Equal opportunity is a pipe dream
Sen. Paul Ryan was interviewed by Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation. Regarding the unrest and poverty in Baltimore, Ryan stated, "The condition of your birth doesn't determine the outcome of your life. Anyone in this country can overcome their current circumstances and make a better life for themselves and their kids."
His opinion is pie-in-the-sky or at the very least naive. If a person is unemployed and trapped in the cycle of poverty, how can he move to an area of better housing or employment opportunity?
Higher education or technical training require money and transportation. State funding for college tuition is at an all-time low, and college debt is rising. Even those fortunate enough to earn a degree are not guaranteed gainful employment to pay off student loans.
Being born into a family with financial means gives a definite advantage over those raised in poverty in spite of hard work and determination. It is hard to pull oneself up by the bootstraps when you cannot afford boots.
No to Travis Ford
In a recent letter to the editor, the author was highly critical of the methods employed by Kentucky coach John Calipari and at the end of the letter urged that "Let's all pool our money so we get Travis Ford. Please."
Unless Ford is able to turn things around this year at Oklahoma State and improve on what has been a very mediocre record during his tenure there, I don't think it will be necessary for us or anyone else to pool our money so we get Ford.
It will be Ford who will be out of a job and seeking employment in a new coaching position.
Not so 'everyday'
Hilary Clinton says she's just an "everyday American." Of course she is. After all, who among us everyday Americans doesn't have a private email server and chauffer-driven limousine?
Sweeteners not dangerous
The May 3 column from University of Kentucky professor Geza Bruckner attempted to sound the alarm for a nonexistent danger.
Low- and no-calorie sweeteners used in beverages have been deemed safe repeatedly by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, regulatory agencies around the globe and decades of scientific research. There is no reason to beware of these ingredients, or the products that contain them.
The body of evidence simply doesn't support that eating or drinking products with low-calorie sweeteners negatively affects body weight. Three recent studies confirm that dieters lose as much, if not more, weight with diet soft drinks as with water.
In addition, a systematic review of low-calorie sweeteners in clinical weight-loss studies showed consistent benefits on body weight and fat mass. Finally, another study showed that four out of five successful dieters consume diet soft drinks as part of their maintenance efforts.
Although Bruckner points to one study on gut bacteria as a cause of concern, the fact remains there is more we don't know about the effects of substances on intestinal bacteria than we do know.
Therefore, it's way too soon to draw any lessons about sweeteners — or any other foods or ingredients — from one study.
Marilyn D. Schorin
Consultant, American Beverage Association
Rich Democrats also exist
I have to admit that I laugh at Joel Pett's cartoons. I laugh not because they are funny but because they are totally off base.
Take for example his theory about the evil one-percenters. According to Pett, all rich people are evil and also must be Republican.
Does any one know someone named John Kerry (net worth $194 million)? His wife is the heiress to the Heinz ketchup company. Therefore, according to the theory, he is rich and evil and must be a Republican. Oh, wait, Kerry is a Democrat.
I believe the Clintons live in an $11 million mansion. Didn't they spend millions to marry off daughter Chelsea. To be honest, only a true one-percenter could afford to do such a thing. I believe the Clintons are Democrats as well.
Pett needs to stick to picking on Calipari and UK. These are the only examples of when he is correct and even remotely funny.