Letters to the Editor: Jan. 18

January 18, 2013 

Another Lexington connection in 'Lincoln'

As I was watching the film Lincoln, I was delighted to see Francis Preston Blair Sr. (portrayed by Hal Holbrook) in discussions with President Abraham Lincoln.

Blair, an experienced Washington political resource, went to Washington from Kentucky in 1830 to edit the Globe newspaper in support of Andrew Jackson. During this time, he maintained a lively correspondence with his sister-in-law, Maria Gratz, of Lexington, acutely describing the political scene.

Blair's wife, Eliza Violet Gist Blair, was the sister of Lexington's Maria Cecil Gist Gratz (wife of Benjamin, for whom Gratz Park is named).

These letters to Maria Gratz are housed in a volume of Gratz family papers at University of Kentucky Special Collections. They include descriptions of prominent Washingtonians plus observations of the culture, such as: "The hospitable host commonly invites the whole city (to parties). At these parties, they sometimes try to dance, but it puts me in mind of a Kentucky fight when the crowd draws the circle so close that the combatants have no room to use their limbs."

Maria Gratz is known as founder of Lexington's Orphan Society during the 1833 cholera epidemic. Unfortunately, she was called to her eternal reward before the era of this movie, but the Blair and Gratz families remained close. So, here we have another Lexington connection in this thought-provoking portrayal of the emancipation process.

Terry Foody

Speaker, Kentucky Humanities Council

Lexington


Fill the benches

"Uncertainty in the courts doesn't promote order," (Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial on Kentucky.com, Jan. 8) correctly describes Chief Justice John Roberts' Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary.

He emphasized the 27 judicial vacancies that are "emergencies" and the compelling need for the executive and legislative branches to swiftly nominate and confirm "highly qualified candidates to fill those vacancies."

The bench currently has 85 lower court openings, including one created by Eastern District Judge Jennifer Coffman's recent assumption of senior status, while it has encountered at least 70 since August 2009. Kentucky's senior senator, GOP leader Mitch McConnell, is substantially responsible for those vacancies.

This month, President Barack Obama responded to Roberts' importuning by renominating all 33 nominees whom he had suggested earlier. Therefore, the new Senate, especially McConnell and Rand Paul must cooperate with Obama to fill the openings so the judiciary can deliver justice.

Carl Tobias

Richmond, Va.


Passionate governor

I am saddened and shocked at the number of deaths in Kentucky this winter because people cannot afford heat and turn to more dangerous methods of heating their homes.

While I am a Democrat, I keep thinking of the passion Republican Gov. Chris Christie seemingly feels for his state of New Jersey. I have a feeling this passion is there whether a photo-op is present or not.

I cannot help but contrast Christie with our own governor. I remember his plea to garner funding for one of his relatives to compete in the equestrian event at the Olympics this past summer. It seems to me he has a rather "let them eat cake" attitude toward his state.

Jean-Ann Kerr

Cynthiana


Reaction predictable

I'm not a member of the National Rife Association, nor do I own a gun, but when the horrific shooting occurred in Newtown, Conn., one thing was certain: the left would immediately knee-jerk to a gun-banning posture.

And the cowardly, bumper-sticker, defamatory attack by Code Pink represents the shallow imbecility of liberals everywhere.

NRA chief Wayne LaPierre should get a medal for standing tall in the face of the offensive, bigoted propaganda being directed toward his group. The sign in the photograph of the Dec. 22 paper bellowing "NRA killing our kids" is outrageous. I don't see any NRA members pulling the trigger in any of the horrible shootings over the last 10 years.

From what I can tell, it has been the godless and/or the mentally unstable planning and unloading magazines of ammo at political rallies and schools.

What responsible human beings are afraid of is that if the far left starts the process of eliminating one type of weapon from our society, they will eventually come on down the list for any and all guns they find offensive or dangerous.

The Michael Bloombergs of the world will decide what guns are acceptable.

The NRA is not evil and guns are not evil. Blaming them is an easy out for liberals who won't touch a gun but want protection when needed. Hypocrisy reigns supreme.

Brian Dockery

Ashland

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