Letters to the editor: May 11

May 11, 2013 

Coal quandary: Does it help or hurt more?

As a young Kentuckian, I have grown up thinking that coal is vital to our state's success, but I was most certainly mistaken. Coal, a fuel that pollutes our air and ruins miners' lungs, is a dying industry and an example of Kentucky's unwillingness to become a progressive state.

Coal industry executives have created such a political and cultural sphere of influence that we are nearly brainwashed to believe that coal keeps our state alive. Their support for Kentucky athletics and their financial influence on both statewide and national politics has turned Kentucky into a playground for these executives.

There is one thing, however, that these coal executives cannot lie to us about. Coal is a dying industry, and anybody who disputes that claim hasn't read enough about the shortages of coal we are most likely going to see in the next 50 years. Perhaps the most common belief in Kentucky is that coal keeps the eastern part of the state alive. I find this both disturbing and slightly humorous. Coal has destroyed our beautiful environment and ruined our miners' health, but the main issue is, we have nothing good to show for it. Anybody who thinks the eastern coal country of Kentucky is in good shape needs to wake up and smell the roses. The area is depressed, drug-addicted and poor beyond belief.

So as Kentuckians, I strongly encourage us all to ask this question, does coal help more than it hurts?

John Newton

Lexington


A big miss

The anti-gun media people babble moralistically about the evils of assault weapons without honestly admitting what they are.

Assault weapons used by the military and law enforcement officials can be fired automatically (as machine guns) or semi-automatically. The M-14s or Bushmasters sold in gun stores are semi-automatic rifles only and cannot be used as machine guns.

In other words, they are not assault weapons, they are semi-automatic rifles.

The anti-gun people don't help their case if they lie.

Stop the hysteria.

Ted Smith

Park Hills


Misleading ads? Shocking!

Why do Sen. Mitch McConnell's TV ads talk about Obama allies like that's something terrible? Oh, I know. It's because a Kentuckian doesn't have a mind of his or her own.

Keep blaming Obama, Mitch, while we brainless Kentuckians fall for your diatribe one more time.

Ben Smith

Lexington

Abominable No Man

The nation's eyes are on us; hope springs eternal that Kentuckians can ditch Mitch McConnell.

The longtime senator is on call to the rich and powerful. He's a filibustering, obstructionist procrastinator, also known as a FOP. He blames Democrats for the sequester when he has blocked every proposal brought before him. He should be known as the father of the sequester or the Abominable No Man for his refusal of any bipartisan proposal. He beat the drums to send our troops to fight, die and be maimed, at the same time he led the tax cuts for the rich. He and his party squandered a surplus, had no idea how they would pay for the war, took the focus off Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaida as they invaded Iraq, and gave Halliburton no-bid contracts to profit off a war that brought many broken bodies and shattered hearts.

Alison Lundergan Grimes is an outstanding secretary of state who went to the Middle East to try to ensure our brave troops would be able to vote. While the GOP seeks to cut voting rights, Grimes is committed to protecting voting rights for all people. Her enthusiasm and inspiration contrast starkly with the pessimistic, paranoid and selfish focus of McConnell.

Under his influence, we have sadly watched the demise of the middle class and the growing power of the richest 1 percent. McConnell's Senate career made us poor and him rich.

Run, Alison, run. Help get America back on track.

Bob Terrell

Corbin


Rand Paul, historian

As the Civil War sesquicentennial continues, it seems like similarities between those times and our time turn up in our current events every few weeks. Sen. Rand Paul's recent speeches to African American students at Howard University and Simmons College sounded like another example.

His avowed political purpose was to enlist these students into the cause of libertarian economics. So, he wanted to do his best to help them understand why his work to reduce the power of government is just as important as defending civil rights. Sometimes it's more important, he explained.

Let's think back to March, 1865. In the final weeks of the Civil War, the Confederate government decided to enlist African American slaves into its armies. General Lee had suggested that emancipation be granted to all who would volunteer. It was thought to be the most valuable of all possible incentives.

Still, turnout was disappointing. African Americans in the South could see as well as everyone else that the Confederacy was not going to win. Their incentives were worthless at that point.

Judging by the audience responses, Paul's libertarian theories sounded similarly worthless to the students at Howard and Simmons.

Tom Louderback

Louisville

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