America is one big rigged scam
We can all now clearly see that our "justice" system is rigged. The political system is rigged to protect the powerful, the justice system is rigged to protect insiders and the economic system is rigged to protect the rich.
It is time for people to rise up and take on the power. The rich are taking more of the pie every day and letting the poor suffer. The police are murdering people and getting away with it. The political parties have agreed to wage constant war on the rest of the world while protecting the rich from economic decline.
Americans are smart enough to know when the game is fixed and our government is cheating us. Our whole system of capitalism is rigged in favor of corporations. Our system is not a democracy. Senators who represent 1 million people have the same power as senators who represent 10 million people. Many large corporations pay no taxes, and billionaires don't pay their share.
Wars go on forever and Americans are conditioned to accept it. The stock market has been turned into a casino. The middle class is disappearing.
"News" now consists of Kim Kardashian's greasy butt while real reporting has gone away.
America is a scam.
On Nov. 23 you published a letter which stated that, in view of our recent cold weather, no one was talking about global warming any more. On the contrary, the unusual early winter weather can be directly attributed to global warming.
The proximate cause of the cold snap that started here Nov. 12 was a Pacific super typhoon which survived all the way into the Bering Sea, disrupting Arctic weather, pushing large masses of freezing air down into North America. Stronger and longer-lived hurricanes and typhoons are a direct consequence of global warming.
When the remnants of this freezing air encountered unusually large amounts of water vapor evaporated from an unusually warm Lake Erie, the result was the extreme snow which paralyzed Buffalo.
Weather is a heat distribution engine. More heat, in the form of global warming, turns up the "volume knob" on all kinds of weather, including wintry weather.
I have been looking at weather maps daily for over 40 years, and I have never seen one like that of Nov. 12. In the coming years, we will be seeing more and more weather patterns unlike any before in our lifetimes. It would be fascinating to watch, if not for the millions of lives and trillions of dollars that will be lost as a result of weather becoming ever more violent and unpredictable as the planet warms.
Pope Francis wrong
Pope Francis offends conservative Catholics when he refers to them as "traditionalists" who cling to doctrine with "hostile rigidity" and tells church leaders to back off "small-minded rules" that drive people away.
In a recent publication the pope is quoted as declaring: "Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal security, those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists. They have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies."
Showing no sensitivity nor empathy for pre-Vatican II Catholics, Francis' remarks are inappropriate. Strict adherence (mind control guilt) to church teachings, which permeated our thinking and behavior, was essential for our salvation. In his remarks, Francis seems oblivious to the life-altering experience it was to be a practicing Catholic prior to the Second Vatican Council.
Instead of putting labels on conservative Catholics, Pope Francis should promulgate masses of forgiveness for all pre-Vatican II Catholics who have struggled to raise families and live up to demanding teachings.
This apology is long overdue and would go a long way toward healing this faction of forgotten Catholics, victims of the earlier catechesis.
Charles W. Lasher
Energy Opportunity Act
While the state claims to be concerned with both our health and jobs, it habitually fails to hold industries accountable for pollution and abuse of workers, letting millions of dollars in unpaid health and safety fines go.
Communities near mines, such as my hometown, show higher rates of childhood asthma, miscarriage, birth defects and cancer, but legislators seem uninterested in protecting us.
They say they cannot support clean energy and energy efficiency measures because it would cost jobs. However, changes recommended in the proposed Clean Energy Opportunity Act would create 28,000 jobs.
If legislators truly care about our health and our jobs, then the bill should be a no-brainer.
As a young woman studying renewable energy, my biggest post-graduation fears are that I will be unable to stay near my family because the water may poison my children, and a lack of good jobs. I hope that legislators will do the right thing and support the Clean Energy Opportunity Act in the 2015 General Assembly. Other young people with these concerns should contact the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition.
Judge not gender
To the woman who refuses to patronize a specific restaurant because they permit a "man" to use the ladies room, please don't judge a book by its cover.
I have seen and worked with many masculine-looking women but never doubted that they were truly women. I have seen some very homely women who could pass as big burly men, but it is not my place to judge them based upon their looks or to deny them the use of a restroom because I perceived them as men.
I also know men who have gone through gender reassignment surgery. They may still look like men, in or out of makeup, but it is not my place to judge their decision.
To the restaurant owner whom this lady refuses to patronize, thank God for her decision because you have dodged a bullet.
She is obviously prejudiced against anyone who looks different than her. She could cause your facility to face lawsuits by requesting that you ask a woman to use the men's room because she thinks that woman is a man. She has forgotten the basic rule of "Judge not, lest you be judged."
This is going into 2015 and I hope her daughters grow up with a more accepting demeanor and less prejudiced outlook because our world is filled with people who don't fit your idea of what is considered "normal."
John B. Smith