Letters to the editor: Feb. 19

February 19, 2014 

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    Letters about candidates in 2014 political races are limited to 150 words. No commentary from candidates will be published. Candidates may respond, every 30 days, in 250-word letters to editorials, news articles and columns in which they are the primary focus.

Ky. doesn't need voter-ID bill added to felon voting bill

Sen. Damon Thayer, a Republican from Georgetown, wants to attach to the Restoring Felons' Voting Rights bill his bill to require voters to have a photo ID.

Our current voter identification requirement is effective in preventing voter impersonation. There is no need for change, because our current system works.

Thayer should withdraw his attachment and let the bill to restore felons' voting rights pass on its own. Kentucky is one of only three states in the nation that has not restored voting right after felons have served their time.

His bill seems designed to do one of two things: kill the felons voting bill or offset the felon's vote by taking voting rights away from another group.

This bill for requiring a photo ID at the polls would shut down a large group of voters — many seniors, the poor and homebound individuals who do not have IDs.

Not many seniors or poor people would vote for candidates who support government shutdowns, or cutting Medicare and Social Security. Therefore, it is apparent that he wants to disenfranchise that group so they can't vote.

I say shame on him for trying a trick like this.

Gail Hardy


Distracted cops

I've read that Kentucky law enforcement has started Operation R.A.I.D (Remove Aggressive, Impaired and Distracted drivers). Checkpoints will not only stop texting drivers but also those with a coffee, soft drink or snack. Smokers better watch out, too.

While the spin gives the appearance of concern for drivers' safety, Operation R.A.I.D. is a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Kentucky law enforcers are being converted from policemen and policewomen protecting the vast number of law-abiding citizens to policy-men and policy-women, procuring for state and local governments' coffers under the guise of safety.

This program will turn hard-working, taxpaying law abiders into cash cows with criminal/traffic records. Who will be in charge of citing the law enforcement officers who violate the exact same laws of distracted driving: grabbing their radios, turning on their emergency lights and flashers, taking cellphone calls or typing on their laptops while on these tax revenue-generating manhunts?

In Kentucky there is a law on the books against texting while driving; there are no laws on these other supposed violations.

Steven Brixey


Call the hounds

I understand that the ad Sen. Mitch McConnell is running on TV is the same one he ran six years ago.

It looks like he was unable to find anyone he has helped this term. I certainly understand why he is having trouble.

Maybe he could enlist his famous hound dogs from his first Senate campaign to help search.

Bob Vaughn


Survival of richest

It appears we will have to revise Darwin's theory — survival of the fittest — to survival of the richest if, as predicted, we will be having extreme changes in the weather. People seem to forget the key word in global warming is global.

For example, while the Northeast and South saw unbelievably low temperatures this winter, in Australia it was so hot that tennis' Australian Open was almost canceled and one ballboy fainted from the heat. They are desperate for water in California, and the list goes on.

And, since corporations have systematically caused these problems by selling us an unsustainable lifestyle, they need to share the wealth or fix the damage they have perpetuated.

This does not necessarily rule out those with multiple cars who are bent on shopping until they drop. Nor those who refuse to recycle.

There are many causes for this dangerous situation. But, no more tax breaks or loopholes for these corporations or the wealthy. Some of us are sick of it.

Name a species ( including humankind), and it is being threatened. Evidently many have forgotten what they learned in eighth-grade science: there must be a balance in the ecosystem or all things suffer.

Those with their tons of money can escape; others cannot.

Jean-Ann Kerr


Something missing

Kentucky is the acknowledged Horse Capital of the World, yet there is not a horseman or horsewoman among the 10 finalists for the Kentucky Sportsman of the Year award.

(Please don't cite Thoroughbred co-owner Rick Pitino as a horseman; he's a basketball coach with money.)

There are many possibilities in an industry which means so much to the state. Here are a few:

■ Shug McGaughey, racing Hall of Fame trainer who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby, his first, at the height of an illustrious career.

■ Ken and Sarah Ramsey, winners of several awards for owner/breeders. They are always among leading owners at race meets.

■ Seth Hancock, master of Claiborne Farm, a world-renowned breeding establishment. Hancock also races classy horses.

■ Jennie Rees, turf writer for The Courier-Journal in Louisville. Her coverage of racing has earned her many awards, and it evokes comparison to turf-writing greats Joe Palmer of the New York Herald-Tribune and Kent Hollingsworth of the Lexington Leader.

■ Tom Hammond, whose knowledge and insight into Thoroughbred racing led him to great coverage of many Breeders' Cup events.

The sportsman award should reflect a more cosmopolitan competition.

Bill Hanna


What have we done?

From the beginning of the history of the world, one man or group of men has tried to rule the masses of people, and make slaves of them through fear or death. In my way of thinking, they have tried to become God.

Many years later, a group of people hear of an unsettled land (that later became the United States) where they could teach love and trust with God as their leader. With this system they became the richest, most powerful and loved country in the history of the world.

Have we the people here in the United States let a man or a group of men take God out of the schools and public places, and let this great nation and democracy return to and be like the beginning of history?

Cliff Barker


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