Letters to the editor: Aug. 17

August 17, 2013 

Consider treatment of elephants before supporting circus

What claims to be "the greatest show on Earth" is only so to those watching from the stands. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey comes to Lexington the weekend of September 6, 2013.

It is my intent to educate enough people in our community to require more information about the treatment of their animals, particularly the elephants, before allowing them to step inside our beloved Rupp Arena ever again.

In 2009, an arena employee at a show in Colorado claimed that before the show the elephants were chained up and hit with bullhooks. This is the same show in which PETA, during an undercover investigation, was able to record the trainers beating the elephants on camera. A complaint was made but the same behaviors were again reported at the same arena this year.

New pictures during the elephants' training session have leaked. These photos depict baby elephants, too young to even leave their mothers, being tied up and "trained" using electroshock.

Public records in Chicago also show that these gentle giants came to an arena in their city with several untreated medical conditions.

Thousands of parents and children attend the circus every year thinking that these amazing animals enjoy entertaining and doing tricks. We need to expose the circus for what it is and teach our youth that the tricks should be left up to willing humans and elephants should be left in their natural habitat.

Lauren Rogers

Lexington


Redistricting math

There are 100 members of the Kentucky House of Representatives. State law requires that each represent the same number of citizens.

You divide the population by 100 to determine the ideal number of people in each district. It's just math, right?

According to that formula, Lexington/Fayette County should be divided into 6.81 districts, which rounds up to seven. By the same formula, the more populous Louisville/Jefferson County deserves to have 17.08 districts, which rounds down to 17. Right?

Why, then, did the redistricting plan developed by the legislature in HB 2 give Fayette countians only 6 full districts and a hodgepodge of partial districts and at the same time allot Jefferson County 18 full districts?

According to HB 2, people in Fayette who don't live inside a full district will find themselves represented by someone as far away as Rockcastle County. How is that fair?

I know our legislators can do better than this. On Aug. 19, the legislature meets again for a court-ordered do-over of this outlandish plan. I urge my legislators to devise a more equitable plan — one that is not a slap in Lexington's face.

Esther Webb

Lexington


Senatorial responses

In response to the Aug. 8 letter, "Bevin not involved."

The writer asks, "Have you ever asked our senator to do or not to do anything?" My answer is yes.

The morning after the last national election, I wrote to both of our senators through their Congressional web sites. My message to each was identical. I listed what I considered to be the four most important issues and what they would have to do to get my vote in their next election.

Six days later, Sen. Rand Paul (I'm certain it was his staff that responded) sent me an email explaining his stance on each of the issues. He also began sending me emails each week updating what he had done during that week. In addition, I see the papers reporting his presence throughout Kentucky.

I appreciate Paul's response and openness.

Two months later, I received a mailed response from Sen. Mitch McConnell. He (or his staff) did not address any of my four issues. The letter did insinuate that my financial support was needed for the upcoming political campaign.

I have since changed my political registration from Republican to Independent, principally to stave off the upcoming deluge of mudslinging propaganda sent to registered Republicans by Mitch's minions.

Jim Brutsman

Cynthiana


Facts about Obama

A July 16 letter defending President Barack Obama was hypocritical. The writer bashes another writer for having no explanations or evidence in his letter. Interesting that his had only one.

Want an explanation for Obama "retiring" the Constitution? Say we still have the same freedoms?

Ever heard of the PRISM surveillance program? Get your head out of the sand and read about the NDAA and FBI scrutiny of non-profits. And are we not being forced to purchase health care?

The writer said conservatives ignore the fact that unemployment was lower in May 2013 than January 2009 (by 0.2 percent). Nice snapshot. Average unemployment in 2008 was 5.8 percent; in 2012 was 8.075 percent (U.S. Labor Dept.).

President George W. Bush's overall average was 5.3 percent.

The writer claims Obama is tough on terror because our military killed al-Qaida leaders. What about the Ft. Hood massacre, the Boston Marathon bombing or Benghazi attack — all on his watch?

The writer wrongly blames Bush for the bad economy and high unemployment. He should do his research before criticizing others for not doing theirs.

Richard Bendure

Richmond


Jury nullification wrong

The letter of Aug. 7 advocating jury nullification is one of the most disturbing letters to have found its way in to print. There is no right to jury nullification, and it is the antithesis of every ideal upon which our nation was founded.

The basic principle guiding the men who designed our system was the rule of law. There would be a clear law of the land which would apply to all, and it would not be up to the whims of a ruler, a judge or even a jury. People are supposed to be able to follow the law without being subject to its change ex post facto.

Humans are imperfect and often find ourselves subject to imperfect laws. But the Founders foresaw that and we have avenues for changing the law, even the Constitution if we can make the case.

Jury nullification is a ticket to chaos. It is the subversion of our entire system and is straight out of the leftists' playbook: When you can't get what you want legislatively, use judicial fiat to make it up.

The letter was a chilling example of the ignorance with which the left has infused so much of the populace, and should send a chill up the spines of all thinking people who appreciate freedom from tyranny, whether from a would-be dictator, or the tyranny of a mob.

Mike Rose

Jackson

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