Letters to the editor: Aug. 24

August 24, 2013 

Ringling Circus defends treatment of elephants

The headline "Consider treatment of the elephants before supporting circus" is a sentiment that we absolutely agree with here at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. The care of our animals is our No. 1 priority, and our staff is with our elephants literally 24/7. We have materials available to educate the Lexington community about how we treat our animals. We take all reports of mistreatment very seriously and conduct internal investigations, as well as cooperate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and local officials in their investigations. Ringling Bros. has never been found in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

Only a third of our Asian elephant herd travels with the circus. The elephants that don't show the personality and disposition for circus life live out their days in the Florida sun at the Center for Elephant Conservation.

Ringling Bros. is home to the largest herd of Asian elephants in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the most successful breeding program with 26 births. We work with conservation groups in the Asian elephant's native lands, like Sri Lanka and Thailand, to share our knowledge and best practices in elephant husbandry.

We offer a way for Lexington families to experience these amazing animals and we know that they'll come away from that experience with the same awe and appreciation for the endangered Asian elephant that we have ourselves.

Ashley Smith

Director of Corporate Communications

Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Vienna, VA

Cell phones deadly

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter and I were among the first to arrive at a bad accident on U.S. 27. Two people lost their lives. I was holding the hand of the first victim, and her husband followed shortly. It was a scene I hope to never see again.

About an hour after that accident came another one. The next day I saw two accidents on New Circle Road.

I can't say that distractions from cell phones had anything to do with any of them, but I have seen a lot of people holding cell phones with one hand and steering with the other. They shoot out in front of you and look at you as if you were the problem. I don't care who you are, if you are on your phone, you are not paying full attention to driving. The call could anger you, excite you, but it definitely will distract you. I've heard people argue that a cell phone ban while driving violates their rights. Get over it. I will vote for a ban any time.

I ask readers to make a commitment to follow the rules of the road. Your kids are learning these bad habits as they watch you drive. I have stopped at many accidents over my past 25 years of travel, and I don't want it to be your child whose hand I hold while they pass.

Terry Seivers


ACLU hates Christians

It is fascinating to watch the evolution of a hate group over the course of 50 years. This is what the American Civil Liberties Union has morphed into when it comes to Christians. Wednesday's front page article detailed the continuing assault on the Bible by the ACLU. Staff attorney William Sharp, brings this fact into focus: any group (in this case, the Gideons) who dare to pass out Christian literature (in this case the New Testament), are marked for persecution and prosecution faster than you can say Obama's IRS. Let's face it, there is no promotion of religion here nor is any Bible forced on a student. And I will take the mindset, emotional well-being and school effectiveness of 1956 students when Bibles were not banned on school property, over the societal chaos we have now. Liberals can rebut me all day long but this agnostic iron fist on top of Christians, through the courts, over the last 50 years has helped speed up the decay of ethics, moral behavior and patriotism in a way our grandparents could never imagine.

J.D. Mackey


Bless the coal miners

Coal is dirty and there's no way to get around that. If mined the wrong way it causes great damage to the environment and the people who mine it. However, mining coal responsibly has tremendous positives. Coal is America's most readily available, least expensive and most abundant fuel resource, generating about 40 percent of our electricity.

Coal heats and lights your house and charges your cell phones and laptops. Steel from coal has built churches. It has built roads, courthouses, warships and weapons that keep you free. It builds skyscrapers that stocks are traded in. It lights emergency rooms where your loved ones have been saved. It runs plants that make your water safe to drink and it makes farm equipment used to feed your family.

Money from coal companies has supported charities for the poor, baseball teams and Scout troops. Money from coal companies has paid for band trips, school field trips and built playgrounds. Thousands of acres of land have been donated to higher education from coal companies. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Coal miners' kids have become doctors, lawyers, teachers, firemen, cops and businessmen — all on coal miners' paychecks.

It takes a special kind of human being to crawl under a mountain every day to feed, clothe and educate their family. My dad was one of them. God bless the coal miner.

Bill Duncum Jr.


Tell Bible horror stories

In response to "ACLU warns Kentucky schools to follow rules regarding Bible distribution." I would like to offer a suggestion. Allow the Gideons to pass out Bibles to the schoolchildren including both the Old and New Testaments.

The bibles should be an easy-to-understand version. The best Old Testament passages for children should be highlighted; if I may I will provide a few examples.

In Genesis 22 God orders Abraham to kill his son Isaac and set him on fire, or is it kill him by setting him on fire?

In Exodus 10 God commits mass murder of the first born of the Egyptians, both young and old. In 2 Kings, chapter 2, God sends bears out of the woods to maul children for making fun of a bald man.

In Numbers, chapter 15, god orders the murder of a man for picking up sticks on the wrong day of the week. And the book of Joshua is all about genocide ordered by God including the murder of innocent women, children and tiny little babies.

Ah yes, by all means, lets hand out Bibles to schoolchildren.

Phil Greer


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