Letters to the editor: March 26

March 26, 2013 

Woeful coverage of academic achievements

Each year 25,000 young Kentuckians take part in the largest organized academic competition in the nation. Our children work individually and as teams to win the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition Governor's Cup.

The state tournament was this month in Louisville. High school teams, several of which are ranked nationally, answered questions that ranged from Nietzsche to George Washington to Pride and Prejudice. Middle school students answered questions that were equally as challenging.

Over the last four years, media coverage for this event has waned to where it is almost nonexistent. Our media spend so much time talking about what schools have not achieved on annual progress reports or issues negatively affecting students.

Media cover every city match-up of athletics throughout the year and devote staff members to solely cover the entire week of the Sweet Sixteen. Once a year our children come together in a showcase of intellectual ability that would more than astonish the average person. These kids get a second-rate article pieced together by someone looking at the results page.

We should be celebrating the academic successes of all of our students in Fayette County and around the state. Even though these kids may not be able to dunk a ball or hit a home run, they deserve the same accolades and attention as those who can.

John Darnell


Climate change real Thanks for professor Rick Clewett's excellent article March 7 on climate change and the dangers it poses to Kentucky. However, he omits serious problems and leaves readers clueless about how to fight climate change. Readers hate feeling powerless.

Regarding omitted problems, food prices will rise with droughts. Refugees from drought and flooded coastal cities will inundate Kentucky and other safe regions causing societal and economic stresses (coastal cities expect 15- to 20-foot sea level rise by 2100 per NASA scientist James Hansen). If coastal cities become uninhabitable, the nation's financial capital, political capital and military center must relocate. The costs and disruptions for Kentuckians will be significant.

What can readers do to fight climate change? They must call their senators demanding they support the Climate Protection Act of 2013. This act will charge producers of fossil fuels a pollution fee based on the carbon content of their products, thus reducing emissions. The revenue will be distributed to American households as a "green dividend."

Readers should call President Barack Obama (202-456-1111) asking him to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline. The public should be outraged that the State Department issued an "environmental impact study" on the pipeline that was written by a contractor associated with the pipeline builder. No wonder the study concluded the pipeline will not affect emissions, yet top scientists warn us the pipeline will be game over for the climate.

Judy Weiss

Member of Citizens Climate Lobby

Brookline, Mass.

Benghazi coverup

I am so sick of people not thinking about what they are writing and, also, the Lexington Herald-Leader for printing such letters. A March 6 letter tried to make comparisons to the inactions of Hillary Clinton, during the Benghazi attack, to the bombing attacks of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the World Trade Center bombing and the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, etc.

Comparing bombings, which occur in seconds, and for which help is almost immediately provided, to small arms attacks, which last about eight hours and help is days away, is senseless. In my opinion, the main difference is not that these events occurred, but that the warnings and calls for help during the attacks were ignored and there were attempts to cover them up.

I don't recall in any of these other events that warnings of imminent attack were delivered to the U.S. government. In Benghazi, there were requests for additional security by Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and they were denied. There were emails, from officials in Libya, warning of an attack on the Benghazi consulate within days, and they were ignored. There were calls from Stevens during the attack, and they were not responded to. This is the difference between these events; anyone trying to negate the blame for these inactions is gleaning no insight for improvement.

J.D. Miniard


Obama incompetent

The letter of March 6 completely ignores the circumstances of the various situations. There was never any indication that Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton or George Bush, or their administrations or staffs, were informed of ongoing attacks and refused to take action during the events cited in the letter.

The undeniable incompetence (or else outright criminal intention) of failing to act, to send help, along with the initial attempt at cover-up and subsequent propaganda smokescreen regarding what happened, do indeed mark Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barack Obama as totally incompetent or criminally negligent. Get the facts straight.

Mike Rose


McConnell fits Ky.

Kentucky has voted overwhelmingly for the Republican presidential candidate in the last several elections. Both U.S. senators and five of our six representatives are Republican. In spite of this, the Herald-Leader is trying to convince Republicans to vote Democratic. On March 5, Joel Pett continued the H-L's smear machine of Mitch McConnell by indicating he was a pawn of Karl Rove's machine. Is this the pot calling the kettle black?

Numerous letters and several articles printed recently have criticized McConnell, but rarely are there letters or articles praising him. This is disproportionate to the electorate.

When you look at the federal government's per capita spending vs. per capita taxes, only 12 states do better than Kentucky. This speaks very highly of McConnell and the rest of our congressional representation. That is one of the things they are hired to do.

Where are the articles praising McConnell for preventing the country from going over the fiscal cliff? He approached Vice President Joe Biden with the plan and they successfully negotiated a deal. Had he not approached Biden, there was no one left in government to lead and everyone would have suffered increased taxes. And, if economists are correct, the country would have slid into a deep recession.

Does anyone think Ashley Judd has the leadership capabilities to have negotiated that deal? Who could she have contacted? The only qualifications the newspaper reports are she had some courses in government while in graduate school and she speaks at social activists events.

Norman Johnson


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