Letters to the editor: Dec. 17

December 17, 2013 

Moms carrying on fight to curb gun violence

On the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, I was driving to a Christmas lunch when news came over the radio of a shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. None of the horrific details had yet been revealed, but just the thought of what could be made my stomach drop. I quickly turned off the radio so I would not hear any more details before lunch — I just couldn't bear it.

After lunch, I returned to my car, flipped on the radio and braced for the news. Yes, little children had been slaughtered, a lot of them. I felt crippled with feelings of disbelief, sadness, anger.

And then, all at once, I knew there was no more time to be sad. I had to do something to protect my children and others from this same fate. That's when I discovered a group of moms who felt just as resolute as I about doing something to prevent gun violence.

During the past year, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has been committed to ending the silence on gun violence. This grass-roots movement has grown from one mom who created a Facebook page the day after the tragedy to more than 127,000 members with a chapter in every state.

I have been in awe of the fight these women have in them. The gun lobby would like you to believe the fight is over, but moms will not be silenced. Please join us in calling for common sense gun reform: Momsdemandaction.org/join-us/

Pam Mangas

Lexington


Inhuman wages

I have followed with great interest the recent comments of Pope Francis concerning capitalism and his criticism of the trickle-down theory of economics. I think that the Wal-Mart model of job creation illustrates the folly and the inhumanity of the capitalist model to which he refers.

Did you know that Wal-Mart employees are the largest group of Medicaid recipients in many states? Are you aware that an estimated 80 percent of the employees are recipients of food stamps? Or that the employees of the average store receive $420,000 in government aid amounting to $2.66 billion in subsidies every year?

Yet, at the same time, several members of the Walton family are among the richest billionaires in this country. I wonder how much the Waltons need to accumulate in wealth before they decide to give their employees, at home and abroad, a wage that does not require them to receive government assistance to survive. Working families are deserving of a living wage and the taxpayer should not, in effect, be subsidizing the lifestyle of a few billionaires.

Loren Drzal

Lexington


Collateral damage

I am going to steal a line from Bill Clinton for Shaping Our Appalachian Region: It's about the chemicals, stupid.

The people of this state have been poisoned by these chemicals for the past 100 years; the people in the Appalachian region are on the front line of this war. They have paid a heavy price for their service to this state.

Bradley S. Hayes

Louisville


GOP, unite

As long as Republicans continue to oppose each other we will be left with Democrats for a long time. Republicans are not united which is so essential at such a pivotal point in our survival.

Susan Washburn

Grayson


JFK legacy spurned

It's been 50 years since John Kennedy was assassinated, and things sure have changed in the Democratic Party. Kennedy believed in everything that the Democratic Party today does not believe in, such as smaller government, lower taxes and a strong military. His beliefs were similar to Ronald Reagan's.

Many Democratic voters today have become a lazy bunch of sloths who depend on government for their sustenance. It's sickening. Kennedy would turn over in his grave if he could see what the Democrats have become.

Kennedy was the only Democrat among the eight presidents who were lifetime members of the National Rifle Association. He was a decorated hero of World War II with a Purple Heart and Navy/ Marine Corps medals; a Pulitzer Prize winner for Profiles in Courage; member of the House of Representatives and Senate; youngest U.S. president, and the first Boy Scout as president. Kennedy founded the Navy SEALs and Peace Corps, and inspired America's goal of putting man on the moon in the 1960s. The Kennedy Space Center is named for him, and one of our famous quotes is from him "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country". In comparison, President Barack Obama looks like a dumb kid in a candy store.

Doyle Glass

Lexington


Red Mile in peril

The Red Mile, a standardbred racetrack, opened in Lexington on September 28, 1875 — more than 135 years ago — and has operated continuously ever since. That was the same year that Churchill Downs opened and 61 years before the opening of Keeneland in 1936. Unfortunately, The Red Mile's days will be numbered if Rep Larry Clark's proposed expanded gambling bill (House Bill 109) is adopted.

Clark's bill provides for five casino licenses to be allocated to Kentucky's racetracks and three "standalone" casino licenses to be allocated to nonracetrack operators. Unfortunately, Clark's bill also specifically forbids all standardbred racetracks from applying for one of the five track licenses until 24 months after the adoption of his expanded gambling bill. This insures that the state's five Thoroughbred tracks, i.e. Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Turfway, Ellis Park, and Kentucky Downs, will be allocated all of the five track licenses, leaving none for the state's standardbred tracks, including The Red Mile.

Clark's expanded gambling bill is eerily reminiscent of the "Boptrot" days when legislative attempts were made to squeeze the state's standardbred tracks out of intertrack and simulcast wagering.

James L. Avritt Sr.

Lebanon


Kindness multiplies

I stopped in recently at The Fresh Market to order some of my favorite cinnamon-raisin-streusel bread and decided to indulge myself further and got some Concord grapes, two bags of candy and some whipped topping. When I got to the check-out counter — no credit card, no check and not enough cash. "I'll go to the car and get my husband's credit card," I said. The lady next in line said, "Let me pay for it." Protests, more offers to pay. "I really want to pay for it," the lady continued, and I sensed a wish for her to do so, so I acquiesced and accepted her offer.

The funny thing is, just a few days earlier I had done the same thing at Kroger. An obviously needy man was trying to buy some headache medicine. His credit card was not accepted and his coupon was out of date. "Put it on my bill" I said and I received a smile of thanks.

What goes around comes around. Kindness invariably pays. Let us all be kind to one another and help others in need. I could well afford my extravagances and in appreciation for the help I received I am sending twice the amount of my purchases to the Lexington Rescue Mission.

Thank you again, kind lady.

Georgia Henderson

Lexington

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