Worst threat to U.S. from within
The greatest threat to this nation is not ISIS, not Ebola, but drug abuse. Our politicians have ignored or covered up its horrendous toll too long.
Drug abuse kills more Americans a month than terrorists have in the past 100 years, and costs billions. Most crime is drug related. Drug abuse, not guns, is responsible for most murders or attempted murders.
It is impossible to find anyone who has not been negatively affected. Americans no longer feel safe in their homes. Shoplifting losses and break-ins to pay for illegal drugs cost everyone. We spend billions defending against terrorists but very little to protect our country from drug abuse.
We give billions in foreign aid to countries that ship thousands of pounds of illegal drugs into this country. Our courts and jails are overwhelmed. Terrorists don't have to attack us. They can just wait around until we are destroyed from within by the drug abuse plague.
Stopping and preventing drug abuse is where we must spend our greatest resourses Of the thousands of political commercials on TV have you seen even one that addresses drug abuse? We must demand that these officials make drug abuse their No. 1 priority.
Nice mowing job
I walk every morning along Man o' War between Gladman and Clays Mill Road and would like to compliment the department that maintains the grass along the sidewalk. It is well mowed and trimmed, making an attractive avenue toward the airport and Keeneland.
Too often we grumble about things so I would like to thank the people for a job well done.
Elena W. Reese
Do better, Kentucky
Ninety-three percent of the American people say Congress is doing a terrible job solving Americans' problems.
Surely it must be the other states and congressional districts that have elected all the big-money, self-righteous, personal agenda type loonies we have in Congress now.
News flash, Kentucky voters. We're guilty also for the gridlock in Congress. If we truly want a Congress that works together to solve America's problems, not spend its time trying to look tough for the next election, why don't we reject our ego-driven, chest-thumpers, Mitch McConnell and Andy Barr. It's time for a change.
America deserves better from Kentucky. Kentucky needs better than what we have now. Let's try Alison Grimes and Elisabeth Jensen for a change.
Who pulls strings?
Elected officials or puppets?
When individuals are elected a U.S. senator or representative, they are chosen as a voice to serve the American people.
But, unfortunately, this voice is controlled by Washington lobbyists and Super PACS (political action committees). Many members of Congress are often persuaded by big money to support issues that help control our government while making them wealthy individuals.
Presently, there are over 33,000 lobbyists in Washington. That means that there are over 60 lobbyists for each of the 535 members of Congress. Some super PACS contribute money to each official, but no one seems to know how many super PACS exist.
Out of 535 elected officials, 268 are millionaires. Ask yourself how they became millionaires.
Our elected officials are there to serve the American people. They were sent to Washington to voice our concerns and to solve our problems, not to line their pockets.
William D. Johnson
Black lung puzzle
The Sept. 16 article about black lung being on the rise is a puzzle to me. I've been confused, but now I think I understand.
I was born in the '30s and had math and logic in the '40s, and I see now that my teachers and parents got it all wrong.
I'm to be against that terrible U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration with rules and regulations that lower the coal and silica dust that miners are exposed to.
I am to feel sorry for all those big coal companies that have such huge fines for not improving the lives of folks who live around mining.
I don't obey silly laws either, running four-way stop signs and not paying for all those licenses. If the coal companies want to poison the waters and streams of Eastern and Western Kentucky, we should let them.
I finally see — the coal companies' main concern is their profits, and we are to keep anyone running for office in Kentucky or in the U.S. with this same goal.
Easy to feel defeated
I want to thank Anne Leader and Mary Meehan for the article on Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. I, too, was diagnosed in that category, in 2010.
Knowing others are experiencing the same emotions is very supportive. Because we never hear the words "cure" and "survivor," we can feel defeated.
All the people who have cared for me at Baptist Health — including my oncologist, surgeon and the radiology team — have been more than supportive. They remind me of all the different treatments there are to fight cancer and make me feel as if I am a survivor.
Because of all the advances made toward fighting this dreaded disease, I thank God every day, and I thank all those helping to find a cure.
Unendorsed candidate response
Improve health care, create good jobs
I am glad to see the Herald-Leader's editorial board got at least one thing right in its recent and predictable endorsement of my opponent: my passion for finding solutions to our broken health-care system.
As a physician, I understand the importance of improving access to health care. Under Obamacare, however, I have seen firsthand the negative effects it has had on health-care providers, Kentucky families and their pocketbooks.
Many people who already had health insurance plans have seen their premiums and deductibles rise or their plans cancelled altogether. Going forward as a state, we need health-care solutions that are both efficient and sustainable. Obamacare does not meet either criteria.
We need legislators who want to move our state forward in a positive direction, not maintain the status quo.
Time and time again I have heard from people throughout the 28th Senate District that their No. 1 concern is attracting good-paying jobs to the commonwealth. As a state, we need to pursue policies that will help Kentucky compete with her neighbors. We can no longer afford to be overlooked by businesses who find states like Indiana, Tennessee and Texas more attractive.
As your next state senator, unlike my opponent, I will be active and visible in our community throughout the year, not just during election season. I will listen to my constituents and their needs, using my faith and Christian principles to guide me to move Kentucky in the right direction.
I ask for your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
Dr. Ralph Alvarado
Candidate, 28th Senate District