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Sad Cats

Attention John Yarmuth:
Good one. You have committed political suicide by providing future political opponents with the unabashed truth. Forget the archives of LEO. Now there is footage of you on “The Colbert Report” stating that kittens could be met with a “Fargo”-style disposal. I’m suing you over my cat’s emotional distress.
Lesley Blakley

Bad Rap
Since when do Carl Brown’s rants classify him as a restaurant/nightclub critic? Name-dropping in a story is one thing, but that was a little over the top (LEO, Feb. 28, “Happy in the Highlands @ Café 360”). The only thing I got from a half page of his rambling promotions was upset. Carl, on the other hand, got free midnight munchies for a long while, if I had to guess. Must have been a slow week at LEO.
Greg Ammons

Issues Over Mud
Mark Nickolas reported in LEO on Feb. 21 that an internal opinion poll released by the Northup campaign for governor shows “Northup strongly outperformed Fletcher by as many as 15 points against potential Democratic challengers in the fall.” Were these respondents likely voters? If not, those results are not worth much.
Anyway, I think it’s possible we could actually have an issues-oriented campaign for governor this fall in spite of Northup’s history of mudslinging. Imagine a match-up of Northup versus either Jonathan Miller or Steve Beshear. Both of these candidates are known to be heavy thinkers on public policy matters. Miller has even written an interesting book about public policy and religious values, which I’d highly recommend.
As everyone knows, Northup bears the heavy baggage of Bush administration incompetence. Besides the war quagmire, there are failed efforts to privatize Social Security, failure to respond to a big natural disaster, failure to deliver on promises of “compassionate conservatism,” reversals of environmental protection policies, and dithering on corporate corruption.
True, these are not state issues. But Northup’s record of supporting failed policies at the federal level says plenty. And many of us wonder whether Northup has ever taken a position she can truly call her own. Just imagine a campaign between Northup and a candidate who’s well known for doing his own thinking, like Miller or Beshear.
Tom Louderback

Stop Political Nonsense

Nearly 230-plus years ago, our founding fathers embarked upon a course of action to commit treason against their country, England. These people had been fed up with paying taxes to the king and having no representation. They carefully provided for future generations The Constitution as a blueprint for the emerging country. These people were storekeepers and farmers, not career politicians. They did not ask what they could get out of the deal. Their simple yet elegant words still guide our country and shape our existence as a whole. The principles remain the same, yet the country has dramatically changed.
Once again a whole group of people pay taxes and yet are not truly represented by our government. Lately it seems to be government by the rich, for the rich and forget the rest. Is it not time to take back the government for all the people? The fat cats have been feeding at the public trough long enough. These politicians wouldn’t know how to survive on less than $100,000 a year, and yet the majority of us, their bosses, do just that. We keep electing them based on campaigns involving millions of dollars and little substance. I have a novel idea for the next round of elections: Let’s hear what they have to say and ask them questions. When they give non-answers, let’s ask them again for concrete ideas and plans. I am really tired of having to sift through layers of gobbly-gook to figure out who would be the least offensive candidate. None really stand out as being for the little guy, who is busting his hump on a daily basis just to make ends meet, and yet it is this very same little guy who is the basis of this country. Let’s enact term limits on all offices and get rid of the professional politicians.
Tony Busch

Limited Thinking
Corporate and government involvement of the curricula and administration at all levels of education limits the development of critical thinking skills, halting students’ abilities to actively participate in the governance of their own lives. An abundance of art instruction is crucial if students are to analyze the world fully so they will not bow beneath the weight of national interests as defined by the White House and others.
Examining this cutback of art instruction during the past decade is crucial to understanding how America could change so much so quickly.
Bob Moore

Caution to Vaccinate
Once upon a time the FDA fast-tracked Merck’s drug Vioxx, which ultimately boomeranged, critically hitting Merck in its pocketbook costing the company billions. Slow-learner FDA has now fast-tracked yet another Merck product, the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, designed to prevent cervical cancer and genital warts in sexually active women. This time Merck, in collusion with a group called Women In Government, is generating bills out of state legislatures mandating the vaccination of pre-teen girls. A bill with a parental “opt-out” clause is now moving through the Kentucky legislature.
“Fast track” means the FDA approves the sale of a drug before all of the data is in on its long-term safety. Follow-up “post marketing” safety evaluations are required of Merck as part of the FDA approval. In the case of Gardasil, some of this data will not be forthcoming for another 10-11 years.
As a registered nurse who in the past has worked with and advocated for middle-school age children, I urge all parents, before consigning your young daughter to the role of a guinea pig for Merck, to consider that at the time of FDA fast-track approval of Gardasil, safety evidence is lacking on: short-term safety, effects on pregnancy, evidence whether the vaccine will prevent cancer, duration of protective effects, potential autoimmunity effects, and whether other HPV strains will emerge and take over from the prevented vaccine strains as happened with the Prevnar pneumococcal vaccine. (See
Parents, make sure your daughters develop the habit of getting annual pap smears. This procedure, adhered to regularly, has drastically reduced the rate of cervical cancer in this country. Future post-marketing evaluations of Gardasil may indeed guarantee the vaccine’s safety. Until then, why the rush to vaccinate?
Marcia Schneider