Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: July 14

Democratic Party unfairly favoring Grimes in Senate primary

Voters may think U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell had not had a Democratic challenger until Alison Lundergan Grimes decided to run. But that simply is not the case.

The Kentucky Democratic Party and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee both sent out e-mails and posted on their social media sites praising the Grimes announcement, even using the event to raise money.

Unfortunately, they forgot that Grimes is not the only candidate running in the primary. Ed Marksberry, Bennie Smith and Greg Leichty are running, too.

In making their support for Grimes obvious, the KDP and DSCC have excluded those candidates from the process and simultaneously violated party bylaws.

According to the KDP Bylaws, "No Democrat Committee governed by these by-laws, or any Democratic Party officer acting in his or her official capacity, shall endorse or support one Democratic candidate over another Democratic candidate in a Democratic primary election. No assets of the Democratic Party shall be used in a Democratic primary election unless they are made available equally to all Democratic candidates in that specific primary election."

The leaders of the Democratic Party have no business deciding the outcome of the primary election. These candidates are just as legitimate as Grimes and are owed the same level of courtesy. Furthermore, the party has no business utilizing party resources, such as e-mail databases and social networks, to benefit one particular candidate over another.

Halyn Roth


Ignore corporate distortions

Two recent letters were written by people paid to write them. The director of food and agricultural communication of the BioTechnology Industry Organization said genetically modified foods are perfectly safe, endorsed by scientists and others the world over.

A quick check with the United Nations website and the Union of Concerned Scientists exposes this as not entirely true. Many countries will not accept GMO crops if they can help it. One among many of their reasons is that such seeds cannot propagate.

The other letter is by a director of corporate and community affairs of Energy in Depth-Ohio. It assured us that pipelines carrying the gunk from fracking are tightly regulated. Yet, in 2005, the Safe Drinking Water Act exempted water from fracking from regulation.

A column from another paid spokesman talked about the safety of groundwater as a result of fracking. The Scientific American differs: If fracking is defined as the entire industrial operation, including drilling and the storage of wastewater, contamination has already been found.

The spokesman also says that fracked gas in the pipelines is no different from the natural gas piped for 60 years. Why, then, do Koch Industries need to build a special facility to separate natural gas from the shale-produced stuff that contains the gas?

Transnational corporations hire people to write letters and pass favorable laws. We can resist by asking for an amendment to the Constitution that takes money out of government. Corporations are not human. Money is not free speech.

Sara M. Porter


Bloated, diseased government

The American Medical Association has declared that obesity is a disease. This means our health insurance will begin to cover expensive druga and surgical interventions to cure it. That's great news for the doctors and hospitals. They'll get reimbursement from insurance companies for trying to cure this disease.

Meanwhile, we know that only a small fraction of obesity cases are caused by disease.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the federal government and other politicians will undoubtedly pass more restrictive laws and levy taxes on sugar, sodas and other foods to fight this disease.

We will likely have a new department devoted to waging the war on obesity. Perhaps, like Obamacare, the Internal Revenue Service will find a way to participate in this new initiative.

If obesity is a disease, the federal government has the worst case on record. It is bloated and eats too much in taxes. It moves too slowly — 600,000 case backlog of veteran requests at the Veterans Administration.

It has trouble getting around — allowed the Benghazi compound to be overrun and four Americans killed without dispatching a single member of the armed forces to assist.

It cannot think or communicate clearly — passed a health care law that was not read or understood, and borrows over 40 percent of every dollar it spends.

Prescription? Surgically remove the grossly overweight IRS and the obese tax code. Transplant the FairTax, a national sales tax that is easier to administer, is fair to rich and poor and would jump-start our economy, putting the unemployed to work.

Ray Davis


Obesity not lack of control

A recent letter writer discussed the American Medical Association's view of obesity as a disease, and says that he, too, had a condition: accepting responsibility.

This would suggest that the writer believes that those who are obese lack personal responsibility and could conquer their obesity through self-discipline.

He has not taken the responsibility to be fully informed on this issue. There are many physical conditions that cause obesity, some associated with women's conditions such as PCOS, Cushing's, menopause and breast-cancer treatment.

However, several of the common causes of weight gain and obesity are quite familiar such as stress, depression, health issues that affect the liver or kidneys and diabetes.

Before anyone else jumps to the common conclusion that diabetes is a symptom of obesity, I would suggest listening to the recent TED presentation by Dr. Peter Attia. The attitude that obese people should be judged by others for some lack of personal responsibility is damaging and inaccurate.

This persistent lack of understanding is likely one of the reasons for the recent AMA classification of obesity as a disease, redirecting doctors and others to see obesity not as a personal choice or personal failing but as what it is: a medical condition.

Kristin Seery


GOP should stay true

Every time I listen to a left-leaning pundit on TV or read an opinion by a liberal, it seems like they know what's best for the Republican Party.

They say Republicans should support the immigration bill so they won't lose even more of the Hispanic vote or get on board with gay marriage and abortion so as not to alienate the younger demographic.

Initially the advice seems sound, although I have a question. Why would a Democrat/liberal/progressive ever want to help the Republican Party?

Maybe it's compassion for a party they see struggling, although that seems unlikely. Republicans would be better served to actually stand for what they believe in rather than kowtowing to what they think the undecided voter wants.

Gary Lee


Great holiday concert

A huge thank you to all who contributed to a delightful concert to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Thanks to maestro Scott Terrell and the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, to the Lexington Singers with director Jefferson Johnson and to corporate sponsor Hilliard Lyons.

It was especially heartwarming for the repertoire to step back to traditional melodies of and about America, reversing a trend of recent years. From Sea to Shining Sea was dazzling.

I hope I speak for all who attended the concert, thank you very much.

Erwin Jones


Thankful for this nation

I want to thank our elected officials for continuing to provide a safe environment for my family and me to have a July 4 celebration. This is a great city, state and country to live in, and I thank you.

In spite of all the partisan politics and doom-and-gloomers, this is still the land of the free and the home of the brave and I want to take time to say thanks to our public officials and military personnel for making this the best place on the planet to live and bring up a family.

Richard Marshall


Firework restrictions welcome

I want to thank our Urban County Council once again for placing restrictions on random use of fireworks.

Two years ago, we had a fireworks nightmare in Lexington. Too bad there are so many people who take advantage, but they do.

We used to have a total ban on fireworks, except for sparklers and firecrackers. What happened to that? How did the fireworks people get back here?

But those of us who lived here two or three years ago remember the horror we were forced to live through for weeks. No way to escape.

The air was acrid, blue with a sulfur smell. Those trying to sit outside were forced indoors. There was also the element of surprise. Is it OK to go to bed now? Is the noise over for tonight? Well, maybe so and maybe not.

Reiteration of bad memories. This year was better. Thanks again.

Donna C. Jennings