Letters to the Editor

Aug.1: Letters to the editor

Don't pin blame for filibuster on the Founders

Have you ever wondered what life would be like without the filibuster? Imagine the elected majority in the Senate being able to pass laws without permission of the 40 percent rump.

It's the way the world's major democracies do it: 51 percent of the vote passes the laws. Simple.

Minority legislative rights exist nowhere except in the minds of the minority. Search the Constitution and you will not find, in either the articles or the Bill of Rights, a provision allowing a minority of 40 percent to stop the 51 percent from doing what the electorate asked it to do, excepting treaties and impeachments. That used to be called representative democracy. Now it's called protecting the base to keep the funds coming.

Minorities have a simple, constitutionally sanctioned path to establishing their rights: win the next election.

If the oft-quoted but infrequently understood Founding Fathers wanted the Senate to fashion its own partisan definition of "majority," why did they give the vice president the tie-breaking vote? This would be necessary in a body always divisible by two only when the vote is by simple majority, 50 plus one. Two-thirds, three-fifths etc., won't do it.

It's as if the NFL changed the rules so that every losing team got to add 10 points to its score:

Bengals 21, Chargers 14 automatically becomes Chargers 24, Bengals 21. Only great nations are capable of such imagination.

Will Sutter


Old school appreciated

John Rosemond's column has been a favorite of mine for years, and, although I don't agree with his every word, I think he generally does have a good philosophy for child-rearing. But although I know we are from the old school, I believe we all have a right to our own opinion. We don't need censorship in America.

It is my opinion that we have gone wrong somewhere in our child-rearing practices and could use a few suggestions to do better in the future.

Those of us who choose to claim Christianity understand that God requires us to bring our children up in the way they should go and not be so permissive as to cause them to go astray. It is my belief that parents need to be in charge of their households and not allow minors to call the shots. It leads to their ruin, in my opinion, and obviously in Rosemond's opinion, which is more than an educated guess. I have great respect for his opinions.

Shirley Caudill


McConnell no help

After 28 years in office, if Sen. Mitch McConnell had been working for Kentucky, there would be real signs of effort on his part to lift the state out of its poverty.

Owsley County is the poorest county in the nation and there is no real evidence that McConnell has tried to help it. Obstruction does not lead to progress and improved quality of life for Kentucky.

McConnell even filibustered a bill that would help veterans prepare for and find jobs.

Walter Frazier


Questions, thoughts

I was truly taken aback by Newt Gingrich's comments that race has a large impact on the judicial system, as I was by Karl Rove's acceptance of gay people.

I have heard some excellent comments, including the president's experiences as a black man.

I have wanted to repeat some of them maybe altered by my memory or joined with some thoughts of my own. It doesn't matter, the thoughts and questions are powerful.

1. Of course the first question was an "if" and common. "What if Zimmerman had been black and Trayvon white?" The answer is probably agreed upon easily.

2. The second an observation about any innocent young black man, including Trayvon. What should he have done if being followed by a strange white man, or even a strange black man? What would you teach your child to do?

3. What if Trayvon had been armed and shot a Zimmerman who was unarmed but chasing him and Trayvon was attacked physically by Zimmerman? If both were armed and Trayvon got off the best shot? What if he had a gun, period?

4. What if a woman is followed in such a manner? What should she do? White? Black? Would Trayvon have had such choices?

I have not spoken publicly but I wish others were hearing these thoughts when we reflect on the life of this innocent young man.

Don Pratt


Racist rhetoric

Can we please stop beating a dead horse? Let's all come together and tell our elected officials to stop pitting one race against the other and realize we are all Americans.

In the recent unfortunate incident in Florida where a young man was killed, The Rev. Al Sharpton and President Barack Obama chimed in and pointed this toward race and the news media ran with it. Then they learned that the man who killed the young man was Hispanic. Well, that totally blew their racism claim out of the water, so then they came back and said that he was a white Hispanic. What?

Is the left so desperate to keep racism brewing in this country that they will use anything or anyone's misfortune to try to fuel the fire? I have no idea who was at fault in this incident — that was for the judge, jury and lawyers to decide — but I'll guarantee some will use this to escalate racial tension for political gain. This ridiculous behavior needs to stop. The sad thing is, if this young man was killed by another young black man, we would have never heard a word about it. If that white Hispanic had killed another Hispanic we would have heard nothing. Anytime a young life is taken, it is a tragedy; leave the racist remarks and rhetoric in the past where they belong.

I wish we could go back in time and erase all from our history. We can't but we can change from here on.

George Greenup


We are family

Recent events have made it clear that we need to change our ways and thoughts. We must now leave behind those myths and fables that have created divisions between our citizens. Too long have we let skin color, language and physical differences mask the fact that all of us in this country are African-Americans.

Some 60,000 years ago early humans began to leave what is now east Africa to populate all the inhabitable continents. Slowly, generation by generation, the families spread across the world.

As a consequence we are all related — we are all cousins separated by no more than 2,000 generations. The full story is in the National Geographic "Genographic" project which followed the DNA trails of each of the groups.

We must recognize that we are all more alike than different. The DNA of blue-eyed and brown-eyed people are different, but do not determine the character of either. Nor do differences of skin color, church affiliation, language or shapes of noses reveal the content of one's character.

We must not judge others by superficial differences but by more significant elements such as the presence or absence of honesty, reliability, creativity, self-control, integrity or special skills, among others. These elements cannot be detected as you pass on the street. You will need to know another person longer in order to judge them, but your evaluations then will be wiser.

Greetings to all my cousins!

Al Crabb