Don't bash hunters; they help in Ky. wildlife growth
When I was a boy growing up in the '50s in Kentucky, I read stories about Daniel Boone and other pioneers living off the land as they settled in Kentucky.
These stories told of hunting deer, turkey and even elk that were abundant across the state.
Never could I imagine these animals ever again roaming freely in huntable numbers.
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To put it in perspective, in 1952 there were about a 1,000 deer, very few turkeys and absolutely no elk in the state.
Today, thanks to hunters, other sportsmen and the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, there are around a million deer, 250,000 turkeys and 10,000 elk in Kentucky.
In addition, an increasingly large number of other wildlife, including bears, otters and beaver, are thriving. This same scenario holds true in many other states as well as in many African countries where controlled hunting is allowed.
I doubt if the ill-informed "do-gooders" who object to hunting and have written letters to the editor have contributed in any way to this success. Maybe they should also take their venom out on farmers who clear the land for food production, the growing population and urban sprawl which negatively affects wildlife.
Robert "Bob" Mason Jr.
Summer care for pets
Hot weather is upon us and with the rise in temperatures comes much suffering for animals.
Dogs are descendents of the wolf, an animal that spends days in the cool forests or in rock shelters. Just as the wolf seeks shelter so also dogs need shade. Rather than providing shade, a dog house sitting in the sun quickly becomes an oven.
Dogs and cats also need plenty of fresh, clean water every day. Water will stay cooler and cleaner if it is in a bucket, rather than a shallow bowl. The care of a pet ought not to be put entirely in the hands of a child; adult supervision is required.
Many supposedly loving pet owners make the grave error of leaving their pets in cars while they run errands during the warm months. Animals and babies are found dead every year locked in cars with the windows cracked. Even temperatures as low as 65 degrees can quickly soar to 120 degrees inside a car. Please save the car rides for the cooler months.
Spend some quality time with your animals: pet them, talk to them, take them for a walk. Having an animal requires time and money. If you are unwilling or unable to give either, please don't get an animal. Each hour of each day, 12,500 dogs and cats are killed by animal control agencies in this country. You can help to stop this terrible suffering by having your animals neutered or spayed.
Fight pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers with a five-year survival rate of just six percent and no early detection tools or effective treatments.
Thanks to the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, a new law enacted in January, there is hope for those touched by this disease.
I would like to thank Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and former Rep. Ben Chandler for supporting this historic legislation, which requires the National Cancer Institute to evaluate its current efforts in researching pancreatic cancer and focus on ways to improve outcomes for patients.
Due to sequestration, however, federal funding for medical and cancer research has been cut, and the progress we have made is now being threatened. Without adequate NCI funding, it will be difficult to leverage the opportunities that develop as a result of the passage of the act.
This disease has had a devastating impact on my life, but with Congress' help, we will be able to develop the tools and treatments so desperately needed to give hope to future generations.
For more information, contact Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's (Pancan.org).
VA rule denies disability
There has been much in the news about abuse of power by the Internal Revenue Service, State Department and the National Security Agency. Welcome to the real world.
Another government agency that has stepped across the line is Veterans Affairs.
Veterans have fought and sacrificed so much to preserve and protect our country and our freedom. Now, the VA has written a regulation that has literally stripped freedom from disabled veterans, and Congress has allowed this abuse of power to continue.
Disabled veterans should be allowed to have a medical examination to evaluate their disabilities to determine service connection and their level of disability. That's just common sense. And, when the VA fails to provide that medical examination, that is a clear error.
Wrong. According to this regulation (38 C.F.R. 20.1403) written by the VA, "Failure in the Duty to Assist (provide a medical examination, collect and consider medical history) is not a clear and unmistakable error."
The Constitution guarantees all citizens fair and impartial due process of law. But this regulation says veterans do not have the right to have evidence considered when the VA fails to give a medical examination.
This seems designed for one purpose: to defraud veterans of the right to disability benefits they would otherwise be entitled to.
Even those convicted of murder have the right to introduce evidence favorable to their case to prove that an error occurred when they were convicted. If that isn't oppression of freedom and tyranny, then what is?
Guns and spiritual decay
America has a spiritual problem when it protects guns rather than children. Since 1963, more than 166,000 children and teens have died from guns on American soil — more than triple the number of U.S. soldiers killed in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined.
It is beyond criminal that we allow so many children to suffer and die. It is spiritual deadness.
No Obama transparency
This president stated time and again during his run for office that he guaranteed transparency.
What transparency did he use to explain Obamacare, which is over 4,000 pages? Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told people, "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it."
Well they passed it, and the taxpayers and people who have private health insurance are suffering from this now budget-busting act. The poor people are largely taken care of through Medicaid.
Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, knew Benghazi was having problems and did nothing to beef up the security. And President Barack Obama seemed more interested in campaigning than the safety of these people. And the news media were more interested in supporting Obama for reelection. The media had no problem going after Richard Nixon.
So much for transparency.
Clinton is laying low hoping Benghazi will go away before her bid for the presidency. She told a congressional committee not to focus on what happened there but what to do in the future. Well, Clinton dropped the ball and did not accomplish much except to rack up an expensive four-year world vacation at the taxpayers' expense.
Where was the transparency of the "Fast and Furious" gun program? Nada. Where was the oversight of Attorney General Eric Holder, the FBI and Homeland Security when Russia informed them of concerns about one the Boston bomber's visit to Russia and who he met prior to the bombing?
Wake up, America. another election is coming up.
Edwin B. Swan