Letters to the editor: Jan. 15

January 15, 2013 

Officials exhibit common sense in backing hemp

I am happy to see that state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul are both on board the hemp legalization push.

If we brought hemp back to Kentucky, we could once again benefit from a heavy production with large economic benefits, as well as a step toward creating more sustainable products and potentially creating jobs in Kentucky through manufacturing and refinement.

Kentucky farmers have been looking for something to replace tobacco for more than 20 years now, and hemp is a commonsense answer.

Some will remember when the fields of Fayette County were once covered in hemp, and because of its difference from marijuana there's no reason we can't start to introduce it.

Urge your legislators to sponsor the hemp bill this session.

Jarrod Wooldridge

Lexington


Paul targets Medicare

All you senior citizens in the Tea Party had better watch out. Sen. Rand Paul is not just after the freeloaders on food stamps. He is after those on Social Security and Medicare, too. He wants to take away your entitlements even though you voted for him.

Ironically, this is despite the fact that much of his personal wealth is due to the reimbursements his ophthalmology clinic received from the government for his Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Most senior citizens have barely enough income to live on. Every dollar they receive from Social Security or Medicare goes right back into the economy. Lots of small businesses like Paul's clinic depend on the income they receive from senior citizens. Trouble is, seniors don't have enough left over to make contributions to the re-election campaigns of politicians like Paul.

The politicians want to use tax cuts to put as much money as possible in the hands of those wealthy enough to make substantial re-election campaign contributions.

They claim this also stimulates the economy because the wealthy invest their tax savings into the economy and create new jobs.

If this was true then after 10 years of the Bush-era tax cuts we should have no unemployment and a thriving economy. The reality has been the opposite, with the rich getting richer at the expense of the middle class and the future generations who will have to pay back the debt created by the tax cuts.

Kevin Kline

Lexington


Unfair characterization

Based on my humorous depiction of a self-tanning incident that first appeared in my Bourbonista Blog, the writer of a Jan. 5 letter declared that I was "horrified that I became less white" and compared me to Strom Thurmond.

She snatched phrases completely out of context to validate her vitriol. And, since she chose to not question the logic or validity of these statements, I will.

If, as the writer assumes, I find those of Latin and African background inferior and have an anti-feminist, narrow-minded view of beauty then ...

1) Why was I married to Juan Carlos Rodriguez, a man of Dominican descent, for over a decade?

2) Why have I been awarded two grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women based on my work to break down beauty stereotypes and promote "body love" to females of all sizes, ages and races?

3) Why, as editor of skirt! Magazine, did I profile 30-plus amazing individuals who were of rich backgrounds other than Caucasian?

4) Why did I choose to buy and live in a home in north downtown, one of the city's most ethnically diverse neighborhoods?

5) And, finally, if I find darker skin less attractive, why was I self-tanning in the first place?

Think about it. Actually, for a change, the letter writer should just think before she writes. And now that this ugliness if finished, I can return my full focus to work that is empowering, encouraging, and especially, entertaining.

Donna Ison

Lexington


Eastern Ky. is all us

I read with great interest the stories about Harry Caudill. I'm originally from Whitesburg and proud of it. Caudill was a local personality during my time there.

Eastern Kentucky — the place and the people — is unique and valuable. Its concentration of poverty reflects the factors of its very limited economy — coal, local government, schools and medical. Not much else.

I disagree with the conclusion that education is not valued. NASA scientists, doctors, lawyers, military figures, powerful politicians, people like Francis Gary Powers of Cold War fame and AIDS activist Belinda Mason all hail from Eastern Kentucky counties.

There are problems — that Eastern Kentuckians fell for the industry-promoted lie about the existence of a "war on coal," reflects some of those problems.

A lot of us leave and it's wrenching leaving home because you really can't go back — it's temporal not geographic. Some don't have the means or tools to leave, some are trapped by that local economy.

Those of us who have mined coal know, or should know, it's a boom/bust cycle. That cycle is why, when coal is bust, coal miners are carpenters (I did that for years before I became an attorney).

One thing for sure, the more that people from outside Eastern Kentucky examine the region, the more they should realize they're looking into a mirror.

Bill Adkins

Williamstown


A safe haven

A husband admits to putting rat poison in his wife's coffee in Richmond to kill her — seemingly to have only the expense of rat poison rather than the costs of a divorce.

The recommended sentence is a slap of the wrist of 6½ years in prison with eligibility for parole after serving 20 percent of the sentence.

Well, life must be considered cheap in Madison County these days. Anyone considering a move to Madison County should take this into consideration.

Joann Walker

Lexington


Working solution

I think I have a solution to cliff problems in Washington.

Round up all the politicians and most of the lobbyists and march them off of the cliff. Fill their offices with factory workers, coal miners, mechanics, grocery workers, restaurant workers, construction workers, farmers and any other hard workers.

I know these folks would be willing to work more than the 126 days a year that the House circus now works.

Get ready, Ashley, we need you.

Bill Manuel

Lexington


Litter in a wrapper

Next time you drive down one of the streets in Georgetown, take note of the blue and orange plastic wrappers that decorate our street gutters and front yards.

Thanks for those go to the Scott Shopper, which freely distributes those out a car window as they drive by.

These can be seen any day as they pile up in the street gutters and yards. A house next door has been vacant four years, and I suspect I've gathered well over a hundred to eliminate the litter and keep the house from appearing vacant.

Does this require a city permit? Is there no litter law? Please bring this sickening mess to a halt. County road litter is not this bad and some of it is recyclable.

Bob McCormick

Georgetown

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