matt wuerker , POLITICO

Letters to the editor: Sept. 3

September 3, 2013 

Concealed-carry training operates like a scam

We've all heard that governments are mostly in the business of serving themselves. When it comes to Kentucky's concealed-carry law, this appears to be true.

When I first heard that Kentucky requires that you take a class and fire at the range, I thought it was a good idea. You should be able to demonstrate that you are familiar with the law, and able to fire a pistol safely and hit the target.

Administration of the law was given to the bureaucrats at the Department of Criminal Justice Training, and that is where common sense goes totally out the window.

My wife and I signed up to take the class at a London coffee shop with a dozen other citizens, mostly women. We paid the $65 fee, endured the class, aced the test and fired at the targets. It was a long day, but we were happy to have fulfilled our obligations as citizens.

Two weeks later, we were notified by the DOCJT that our training was insufficient, we would all have to take the course again and the state was going to keep our money.

I called the DOCJT in Richmond to complain and was told that it didn't matter that we passed the test because the class was not precisely six hours long as required by law.

So, bottom line, the DOCJT gets to train and certify all the instructors and then can arbitrarily screw honest citizens out of their time, money and permits because they don't like how their certified instructor conducted the class.

It seems to me that the bureaucrats have taken a good idea and turned it into a state-run con game.

James Staunton


Hospice not about care

According to Hospice of the Bluegrass, recent changes by our government required it to cut its annual operating budget by $1 million. The board of directors and senior management recently reacted to this by cutting some 16 people, including chaplains and social workers. Some were offered buyouts.

However, some were firmly requested to resign so the organization would not have to pay unemployment benefits. More than 20 additional employees have left due to the working environment.

While all this was coming down, the board and senior management approved the purchase of an expensive automobile and a hefty raise for its CEO, who was already making more than $340,000 a year in salary alone. First of all, it is very unsettling that the CEO of a so-called nonprofit organization is making that much.

The loving care that hospice portrays has become a numbers game. In fact, they have recently instructed their provider liaisons to plead with physicians to refer those patients to hospice earlier so they can gain the money for a longer period prior to their passing.

Placing a quota on someone's life is not right. Hospice of the Bluegrass is turning into the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing.

Ann Simmons


Stand by the military

What a shame to see some of our own military personnel being persecuted for doing their jobs. For instance, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was sentenced to life for murdering Afghanistan civilians.

Most of these Muslim countries in the Middle East are at war with one another and of course with the U.S.A. They hide behind civilians and are nothing but cowards and using religion as a crutch.

We should back our military personnel 100 percent. I remember when America dropped the atomic bomb on Japan. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed. Nothing was ever said that we were wrong.

Our president gave orders to use drones in the Middle East against the enemies. The newspapers blow this out of proportion. At least his orders are saving some of our soldiers' lives.

One more thing: During World War II every person in the United States was under scrutiny. So the news about our privacy is nothing but hogwash.

Pete Herrera

Van Lear

Something's wrong

Well, is it possible for a state agency to be honest or moral? Not in Kentucky, I guess.

And then a two-star general over the emergency-management office says, "nothing illegally done." After $6 million gone?

Some say we must clean out Washington. Let's start in our own backyard.

C.J. Fernandez


Elephant sanctuary fine

An Aug. 17 letter concerning the plight of captive elephants caught my attention as this is a concern I, too, feel strongly about.

I have followed, since its founding in 1995, the programs and progress of the elephant sanctuary in Hohenwall, Tenn., about 80 miles from Nashville.

This wonderful place operates on 2,700 acres of free-range land for elephants to explore.

It is the result of the dreams of two people to rescue old, sick and crippled elephants held captive for years in circuses, zoos and small shows, often housed in small spaces, chained to concrete floors for exhibition.

The stories connected to each elephant as they have been brought to the sanctuary are compelling, and their individuality as they adapt to their new home shows what intelligent, social animals they are.

This sanctuary is bringing the story of the elephant to many people and many places. It helps other sanctuaries being developed, not only in the United States but other countries.

This awareness of the plight of the elephants in captivity becomes much more important as their natural habitats in India and Africa become endangered.

Jean Broome


Kudos, hospital auxiliary

Thank you for printing the picture of the volunteers of the Good Samaritan Hospital Auxiliary in your Aug. 14 edition.

These ladies deserve the highest form of gratitude from the Lexington community.

For 86 years they successfully achieved their mission "to make the hospital a pleasant place for its patients and nurses."

Fortunately, I joined the volunteers in the Good Sam gift shop in 2006, totally unaware of the organization's history.

I discovered a small remaining group of about 12 "pink ladles" who were the sole operators of the gift shop or delivered patients' mail and flowers.

They were extremely dedicated to the patients and their families and the Good Samaritan staff.

The gift shop provided a warm, friendly atmosphere for everyone. The volunteers listened compassionately to the worries of family members who needed a respite from the bedside of their patient, or laughed with the hospital staff needing a brief but cheerful pause from the stressful duties of patient care.

All the profits made in the gift shop were distributed to scholarships and local charities annually. As the number of volunteers dwindled, their spirit of giving did not.

Upon dissolution of the organization last month, they had accumulated more than $100,000 and made their final donations toward scholarships at the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, Midway College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College and many local charities.

I have such respect and admiration for all these ladies and the ones who preceded them for their unselfish and humble sense of service to others.

Ladies, I salute you.

Vickie Robertson


Too-quiet celebration

This year's celebration of our nation's independence was strange. First of all, it was quiet, but a small crowd gathered on the street.

A child walked down the sidewalk carrying a large sparkler. Suddenly, a woman with a garden hose frantically watered him down, cuffed him on the back of the head and put an end to that nonsense.

An older gentleman trudged down the street carrying a large lighted candle that some people thought might be an explosive. They immediately pummeled him with cans and bottles until he lay on the pavement.

Another man was irate about regulations concerning insurance. He said he was from a poor area where the million-dollar policy was outrageous; that money would buy two blocks of his community.

Someone started singing God Bless America in hopes that others might join in. Someone did join in, from a loudspeaker of an official car: "You'd better not bring God into this celebration or you will have to answer to the ACLU in court."

But all was not lost. A man with a bloody bandanna around his head staggered into the crowd with a smile on his face.

He announced he had swum the Kentucky River and climbed the limestone cliffs to bring a message of hope and freedom.

He related that people were celebrating in Madison County with rockets and flares and children screaming with delight. Parents were teaching children to celebrate freedom and love of country and to enjoy that day with noise, lights and fun.

Charles Tipton


Sick of Washington

I am sick of the Congress cronies. The only difference between this bunch and robber Jesse James was that he rode a horse and had two pistols. Government "for the people" is a joke.

Also, I heard in Benghazi we lost 400 surface-to-air missiles. Nothing was said about this.

It seems every time I pick the paper up, President Barack Obama and his wife are on vacation. Just how much does this cost us taxpayers?

The scandals are sickening, such as Benghazi and the IRS scandals. They all should be fired, but they still draw their big checks, and IRS official Lois Lerner is on administrative leave but probably got her six-figure bonus.

One day in America we are going to look like these other nations, rioting and killing in the streets because of a government that knows nothing and their greed is destroying us.

They have vetoed God and his word. That is the only hope we have.

Bobby N. Osborne


Our house is full

What to do or what not to do about immigration? I don't have the answer. Immigrants built this country, most will agree. But the country has been built, overbuilt in some places.

When one house has been built the carpenters are no longer needed and they depart. A dwelling, no matter how large, can accommodate only so many people.

There can be only so many plates on the table, which brings to mind this little nursery rhyme: "Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone. When she got there, the cupboard was bare, and the poor dog had none."

Earl H. Stewart


Looking for integrity

Honor: Good name, reputation, privilege, outward respect, person of superior standing, one who brings respect or fame, and evidence or symbol of distinction.

Integrity: Adherence to a code of values, incorruptibility, soundness or completeness.

Honesty: Free from deception, truthful, genuine, real, reputable, creditable or with all sincerity.

Washington, and our leaders: corruption, lies, deceit, cover-ups, manipulation, scandals, self-serving, out of control, out of touch, for sale to lobbyists, PACs and special-interest groups, addicted to power, addicted to greed, feelings of superiority, feelings of entitlement, delusions of grandeur, no morals, shameless, no sense of duty, lost their honor, sold their integrity, have no clue what honesty is, have lost their way, stopped doing what is in the best interest of "we the people" and our great nation, turned their backs on middle-class America, cater to big business or people with big campaign contributions, and squandered the trust that we citizens placed in them.

Where have honor, integrity and honesty gone?

Congress's approval rating in 2013: 14 percent.

President's approval rating in 2013: 42 percent

It's time that we all realize that our government is not the solution, it's the problem.

David Riggs


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