Letters to the editor: March 13

March 13, 2013 

Invasive plants at nature preserves invade the soul

It is a perpetual sadness to visit the city's two nature parks, McConnell Springs and Raven Run. All one sees at these so-called preserves are invasive species.

Japanese honeysuckle and winter creeper have literally overrun these parks, and the public is paying a high price for it. Maybe not in monetary terms, but these wild places do not impact the soul nearly like they should.

I love the plans to revitalize downtown, resurface Town Branch, etc., but let's not forget about the greenspace we already have.

Why are not park employees making a more concerted effort to remove these invasives and plant natives? The progress on this front seems painfully slow. I believe the problem is a lack of inspiration and accountability, not funds.

I live in town off Richmond Road and have been ecstatic about its cleanup between the fire station and Shriners' Hospital. I'm not sure how the town organized this cleanup. I'm sure it involved taxpayer dollars, but it also needed dedicated planning and plenty of volunteers.

Why could not a similar dedication be given to the cleanup of McConnell Springs or Raven Run? Particularly with the smaller McConnell Springs; just a few days of large-scale volunteer work might be enough to forever heal that precious piece of land.

If someone with the knowledge and political will were to lead in this effort, I, among many others would be glad to follow.

Mark Tower


Faith and climate change

A majority of our major faith communities have accepted the role of human activity in climate change, and have published policy statements calling for immediate preventive action. The wording of these statements is impassioned, urgent and unequivocal.

These faith communities include: the Catholics, Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ, Church of Christ, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists (some denominations), Evangelicals, Jews and "green" Muslims.

Collectively, these communities provide spiritual leadership for vast numbers of the world's people. Their urgent calls to action rise above all political divides to the moral high ground of stewardship for sustaining a habitable planet.

These powerful statements can be viewed on the website, Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media. A collective reading makes it abundantly clear that climate change ranks among the most important moral issues facing us today, and that the responsibility for change belongs to everyone.

If we continue to wait for consequences that are visible, personal and undeniable, we will recognize, as have our faith communities, that the perpetuation of political discord is a tragic barrier to prevention.

Sadly, misconceptions continue to discredit climate scientists as trusted messengers. At the 2012 American Geophysical Union Conference, celebratory rejoicing over grant awards was absent. The prevailing mood among climate scientists was grim, based on their conclusion that we have already delayed action for too long.

While some may continue to embrace falsehoods about our scientists, it is hard to understand how we can ignore this clear imperative to action from our spiritual leaders.

Judith Humble


Mad science

Blinded By Science, a song by Foreigner, captures the eco-mania of today:

"I worry 'bout the world that we live in

"I'm worried by all the confusion

"I wonder 'bout the lies I've been reading

"I wonder where the madness is leading

"Is this a road going nowhere?

"Or is someone leading us somewhere?"

Catastrophic global warming is a political device intended to scare legislators into passing draconian laws that will in time create power shortages. It's all smoke and mirrors.

Our country is awash in natural gas, oil and coal, yet we are unable to tap into these resources because the natural combustion product, carbon dioxide, which is essential for the life of every living thing on this planet, is wrongly classified as a pollutant. Every living organism gives off CO2 as a result of cellular respiration. It's as natural as rain, sunshine and the air we breathe.

So where is this madness leading us? We've moved slowly in the direction of bigger and bigger government over the past century; but now, the pace has picked up considerably. Universal health care has sapped the economic vitality out of every nation it has infected. Coupled with future energy shortages and continued profligate government spending, the inevitable outcome is economic collapse.

There are two ways to subjugate a country: by military conquest or by bankrupting it. Freedom's adversaries have chosen bankruptcy; it's conquest numbed by Novocaine. It's painless until the drug wears off. Then, it hurts like hell.

George Tomaich


Paying for our sins

Some sinful things, like explosives, poisons and highly addictive drugs, society must use every means to prohibit.

Less sinful things mostly grandfathered in from previous centuries — like tobacco, booze, recreational drugs, gambling and guns — must be heavily regulated. Libertines want open access to these sins at the cheapest price, although they saddle families and society with huge downstream expenses.

Families and society invest $200,00 to $300,000 in every child by the time they are 20 years old. So when a 20 year old shoots another one to death, society loses out big time.

Adequate regulation of sin can best be achieved through a federal sliding-scale sin tax. If combined state and local taxes on a sin are 30 percent, the federal sin tax should be 70 percent so that all sin is taxed at 100 percent everywhere.

This tax would preserve freedom, discourage sin and provide the resources for society to clean up after the destructive and debilitating effect of sin on families and society.

As sin will be with us for the foreseeable future, it is in society's best interest to withhold a 100 percent sin tax from the wages of sin up front — not after 911 calls, rehab, divorce court, disability claims, etc., that currently burden families and society so heavily.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall turn the other cheek and mobilize the tax collectors to serve the greater good.

Allen T. Kelley


'Uncoachables' disappoint

The University of Kentucky has given its basketball players a new lodge and the best coach in the NCAA, and all this team has done is make a mockery out of the university. This team has played over 20-some games and they have not learned one thing about how to play basketball.

You cannot blame this season on Coach John Calipari. The players have no one to blame but themselves. Thanks a lot for all the disappointments.

Calipari is getting technicals called on him, and assistant coach John Robic was thrown out of the Tennessee game because they care for these players and are trying to show they are standing up for them.

Calipari was right when he said there are players on this team who cannot be coached because they want to try and be heroes and do it their way.

Well, guys, it isn't working. This season may have gone too far to get a shot at playing in the big dance. All I can say is thanks for the damage the players have done.

Lanny Forbis


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