Letters to the Editor: Abortion, Daniel Cameron, Joel Pett, flooding

Silas Walker/swalker@herald-leader.com

Abortions will continue

To our KY State Legislature, I want to say that abortions will continue regardless of your bans. You have put the lives of KY women in danger by taking away their right to have a safe and legal abortion. Dr. Daniel Mishell, Jr., an obstetrics and gynecologist specialist in Los Angeles, remembers conditions before Roe v Wade.

They jabbed into their uteruses with knitting needles and coat hangers, which Mishell sometimes found still inside them. They stuck in bicycle pump nozzles, sometimes sending a fatal burst of air to the heart. They’d try to insert chemicals — drain cleaner, fertilizer, radiator-flush — and miss the cervix, corrode an artery and bleed to death. Mishell once put a catheter into a woman’s bladder and got a tablespoon of motor oil.

This is the world that our right-wing conservatives on the Supreme Court and in our state government have created for women in our country and in Kentucky.

Barbara Rave Plymale, Lexington

Cameron’s missteps

Now that the Justice Department is prosecuting four Louisville police officers for the murder of Breonna Taylor, it is clearer than ever that Attorney General Daniel Cameron should resign in shame. This is the man who has made it clear numerous times that he has no interest in fighting for justice in this case. This is a man who lamented the fact that Brett Hankinson’s grand jury wasn’t able to find him guilty of homicide, even though multiple jurors later stated that Cameron gave them no indication that they were allowed to find him guilty of homicide. The most Cameron could seemingly do was charge Hankinson with wanton endangerment of others, a charge which unsurprisingly did not stick.

What kind of Attorney General lies to a grand jury, then lies about lying to the public? The kind who has no interest in justice, but only pursuing a future career in the venerable world of of GOP national politics. And the police force of Louisville is no better off for those lies. Kentuckians, for your sake and for the country’s sake, I beg you to kick Daniel Cameron to the curb.

Ethan Feingold, Chicago, Ill.

Only natives need comment

While families are still looking for lost love ones, Linda Blackford has the audacity to press her liberal agenda and tell us how Eastern Kentucky needs leaders who will act on climate change. Frankly, unless Ms. Blackford was raised in the mountains she doesn’t have a clue what we need. We are a simple people who want to work, raise our families, enjoy a slower pace of life and to be left alone. Eastern Kentuckians are respectful of our nation, the flag, our military, law enforcement and first responders, which makes us outliers to a large portion of the country.

Ms. Blackford was correct in saying their needs to be a plan for these communities but Congress spending another $400 million on climate change initiatives will have zero effect. Our creeks and streams are full and are in desperate need of dredging and cleaning, but more government overreach will not allow it. Apparently, we would rather protect crawfish or milkweeds or some other nonsense than to protect life and property. But what would you expect from a country that riots because the option of killing an unborn child may become a little more difficult?

Steven Dawson, McDowell

Astonished by reaction

I am astonished at how many people jumped to the absolutely wrong conclusion about Joel Pett’s cartoon. Some responded that not everyone in Eastern Kentucky is poor even though he didn’t say we are. If you’re not poor he wasn’t talking about you. If you are poor he was saying what a shame it is that events such as this one hits you the hardest, given that few have flood insurance or the means to rebuild. And that those of us better off aren’t helping enough. And he was right. Anyone who keeps up with his cartoons should have known that. I hope everyone will assume the best in the future rather than the worst.

Roy Crawford, Whitesburg

Cartoon needed more

Despite his sincere intentions, Joel Pett has come under fire for his August 2 cartoon’s depictions of eastern Kentucky’s flood victims. However, for me his cartoon needs more of an inky bite. Did he ever consider illustrating the larger picture to include rain triggered debris flows; that is, landslides surging down the mountain slopes in to the flood waters carrying the house of the two poor flood victims on its roof?These water-borne masses of rock and soil bear the labels of natural resources depleted, job loss stress, infrastructure crumbling and town budget cuts. These illustrate the negative effects of an extraction base economy.

Jim Kurz, Lexington

Mountaintop removal

While this tragic situation was caused by the massive rainfall that occurred In Eastern Kentucky last week, it was further exacerbated by the practice of mountain top mining by coal companies that failed to restore those scarred lands. Politics have and still do play a heavy hand in preventing these lands from being restored. Having grown up in West Virginia and having our farm damaged by a coal mining operation, I well understand how vulnerable poor people are. There was absolutely nothing my parents could do to stop a coal operation from infringing on us because we did not own the mineral rights under the land, a common situation in both Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. As a result, the mountain behind our home was left scarred and so was our access road leading from our farm, which was further impacted by seasonal rainstorms that were rather predictable. When the torrential storms came, the mud was so deep that we had to wear rubber boots to get to the top of the hill where it intersected with the main road. Please make a donation to those in need!

Anna Feldman, Apollo Beach, Fla.

Power corrupts

In this damaged public environment, the maxim “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is a truth we cannot afford to ignore. The more powerful people become, the more likely they are to abuse that power—breaking laws and democratic and social norms in the process. Look to daily proof in the news: power drunk legislators running off the rails and sexual abuse by religious leaders spring to mind. It is important for the preservation of the U.S. democracy that we check rampant political power. Both the political right and left have historically fostered totalitarian regimes— some of our citizenry now seem comfortable with a totalitarian possibility. Many backed Hitler and other dictators only to learn that the Totalitarian Express was in the service of one man’s drive for ultimate power and gave to the people only what was deemed necessary to preserve and enhance the tyrant’s power. The genius of the Constitution is in the separation of powers—its checks and balances—with the attendant separation of church and state and the freedoms of speech and the press. Degradation of any of these provisions damages our democracy and eases the corrosive slide toward totalitarianism. Can we agree on that?

Bill Trigg, Frankfort

‘Clever’ remarks

Kelley Paul seemed quite pleased with her “clever” remark that “…the Democrats went from promising a chicken in every pot to a drag queen in every school.” She later claimed that “Chinese kids are learning calculus in the third grade. What are Democrats teaching kids? That men can have babies.” She apparently has no factual knowledge of what is taught either in the US or China school systems

.Perhaps the Chinese are teaching their children actual history as opposed to what people like Ms. Paul want taught or what she learned. Ms. Paul, you should be aware that it was part of a Republican ad for the presidential candidate Herbert Hoover in his 1928 campaign promising wealth and success to the US at the start of the Great Depression. If this is unfamiliar to you, look up “Hoovervilles” or just watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”. By 1932, running for his 2nd term, the Great Depression was worse. Guess who won the election of 1932 and pulled the US out of the Depression?

Laura Kaplan, Lexington

Help with insulin

Today, 475,000 Kentuckians are diagnosed diabetic and another 100,000 are undiagnosed. For diabetics insulin is essential to survive the disease’s ravages. Insulin is still dirt cheap to produce, yet over the past years the cost has skyrocketed. Insulin in Mexico and Canada today sells for a fraction of what it costs in the US. Senators McConnell and Paul had a chance recently to help 500,000+ Kentuckians with these sky high prices but voted instead to support big pharma profits. Diabetics not on Medicare or Medicaid will still have to pay the world’s highest prices for insulin thanks to their negative and vindictive political vote. Diabetics, you may not like Democrats, but all Kentucky Republican representatives are on the big pharma take. I hope Senators McConnell and Paul are not having back trouble caused by wads of big pharma cash they’re hiding in their wallets. Sitting lopsided for hours can throw spines out of alignment. Please register and vote in November for someone who genuinely and truly cares about Kentucky’s diabetics. Your Republican representatives profess loudly that they will take care you; however, they continue voting to keep your insulin the most expensive in the world. Register and vote for honesty.

Gene Lockhart, Lexington

‘Historic’ gambling

Well, Kentucky has legislatively adopted “historic horse racing,” which is nothing more than slot machines in casinos and is clearly unconstitutional per the Kentucky Constitution.

But, without any legislation, Laurel County has accepted “historic poker machines” in certain locations that also provide petroleum products and food or are nonprofit organizations. Law enforcement has turned a blind eye to this illegal activity, which leads to corruption, if it is not already present. Further, it is more interesting when one of the major providers of poker machine locations is a convicted felon. This, however, doesn’t seem to peak the interest of the local prosecutors.

Hopefully, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney are not too busy to make a thorough inquiry of the cash payoff machines, which breed more illegal activity, such as the private poker clubs in Laurel County with big cash tournaments and employee dealers.

It’s just like bootlegging - If you want it, make it legal, regulate it, and tax it by a vote of the citizens. Otherwise, your city and county governments are just losing money that could be spent for the benefit of all, rather than received by a few.

David O. Smith, Corbin

Andy Barr’s votes

Fifty-one percent of the 6th District population are women. I’d never have guessed that based on how our 6th Congressional Representative votes. Either lots of women in the 6th have no idea what Andy Barr is doing, or they just don’t care how he votes on issues affecting them. Typical examples: (1) Andy Barr’s no vote on HR 5, the Equality Act that prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on sex; (2) his no on HR 1620, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 to provide funding to address domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking; (3) his no on HR 239, Equal access to contraception for Veteran’s Act, prohibiting the VA from requiring payment for contraceptive items covered by health insurance plans. His no on HR 7, Paycheck Fairness Act to prevent discrimination based on sex, pregnancy, sex orientation or gender identity. His no on HR 3110, Providing urgent protections for nursing mothers Act giving nursing mothers workplace protections so they can express breast milk. His no on HR 1065, Pregnant workers fairness Act, prohibiting employment practices that discriminate against providing reasonable accommodations for employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Remember in November.

Peter J. Wedlund, Lexington