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Letters to the editor: June 22

June 22, 2014 


Cheney belongs in prison, not on TV, for Iraq lies

In an op-ed column in The Wall Street Journal last week, former Vice President Dick Cheney wrote about President Barack Obama, "Never has a U. S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many."

In addition to plagiarizing Winston Churchill, that is an astounding statement from a guy who fabricated all kinds of lies to lead America into its longest war, which cost 4,400 American soldiers' lives, millions more wounded and maimed for life, unknown millions of Iraqis dead and millions more uprooted from their homes, and $2 trillion.

Everything Cheney and the Bush administration said and did about the Iraq war was wrong.

I am tired, tired, tired of the architects of this utter disaster appearing in print and on television telling us now how to deal with the mess they created.

They belong in prison.

Lawrence E. Durr


Pot doesn't kill, guns do

Medical marijuana has been legal in California for 23 years and they have had no problems. It has increased state revenues by billions; 22 states have legalized medical marijuana and more are coming. Everybody knows that pot doesn't make you violent, it is non-toxic and you cannot die from it. Conservatives are pulling out their same old playbook of lies that the public rejects.

If conservatives are really worried about public health, they should address instead the daily gun massacres we seem to ignore. It doesn't matter how many children die due to gun violence, they don't want to do anything to prevent their deaths.

There is no such thing as a gun "accident." If a child gets a loaded gun that has no trigger lock, the gun owner should be held responsible for everything that happens. If a child shoots another child or himself, it is the fault of a negligent gun owner.

Why aren't irresponsible gun owners ever charged with a crime when they allow their loaded and unlocked firearms within reach of children? If right wingers are so concerned about public health, they should start with the blood flowing in our streets daily due to a gun-crazed society.

Bill Hurt


Look beyond decor

Many people are unaware that each assisted living facility and nursing home has an annual state inspection. As a former state inspector, I urge others to request the most recent survey before placing a loved one in any facility. Regulations require that this document be available to anyone who requests it.

I recently requested this report from a nursing home in Danville and was told that the person who had the report was unavailable. Two days later I returned and was given three pages of a report dated 2010. The third day I returned and, after waiting an hour and a half, I was finally given a large notebook with a report dated August 2013, the most recent inspection. The citations of infractions were many and absolutely appalling. No wonder they did their best to deter me.

Don't be distracted by a facility's beautiful décor. I've seen lovely places that provide poor care and less attractive ones that provide excellent care. The very comprehensive inspection covers every aspect of the facility and the care given. It is a must to review these reports before entrusting the care of your loved one to any of these types of facilities. There are good ones out there.

Please call the ombudsman hotline (877) 787-0077 for information or to file a complaint.

Patty Lamp


HL best for bluegrass

Thank you for providing extensive, intelligent coverage of Best of Bluegrass and the Festival of the Bluegrass. Columnists Rich Copley and Walter Tunis were tireless in their reporting on the week of performances in multiple venues around Lexington by some of the greats of the contemporary bluegrass scene.

The extent and depth of their coverage was key in calling attention to our city as a community that is once again taking its signature music genre seriously.

We intend to learn from the experience and to make use of that information to continue developing Best of Bluegrass. The Herald-Leader's support of those efforts by educating the public about the music was invaluable.

Tom Martin


Lexington Area Music Alliance


Bigotry a curse

While I was working, an older man approached me and insisted that I attend his church. After politely declining several times, I finally informed him that I'm Jewish. He then became hostile and stated "you should come anyway, we're going to talk about a good man who your people hate and hung and killed."

I was shocked and informed him that his comment was inappropriate. Still, he continued, "it's people like you that cause all the problems in the Middle East." I was speechless. Then, another man said, "I'm getting away from her now" and agreed with the first man regarding the Middle East. I was baffled.

The man had started out inviting me to church, once he found out that I'm Jewish, his façade of good will turned to rage. The other man, upon hearing that I am Jewish, distanced himself from me because of it. I cannot believe that in a country where people have died for the First Amendment right of religious freedom, people still treat others with such intolerance. I don't believe that everyone has to agree but acting with hostility is wrong.

I could've belittled them with the atrocities of the Christian church (the adoption of pagan festivals, the Crusades and Inquisition) but I did not. I refrained, not because I share his beliefs but because I respect his right to have them.

Bigotry is a generational curse that will only end through education and respect.

Jenna L. Huff

Mount Sterling

Speak up against racism

What a great story about the University of Kentucky righting a wrong in denying Harrison Wilson admission to the university in 1946.

Unlike then, today incidents of racism are much harder to detect.

Yes, we still have our Cliven Bundys and Donald Sterlings who solicit our indignation. But how do we address those cases that are not so clear, such as the treatment of our 44th president who is penalized, scapegoated and faulted for everything that happens inside and outside of our national borders, for what seems to be simply the color of his skin?

What are we to do upon hearing comments like "look at that pretty black girl; she must be half white to be that attractive," or following the incident involving Jalen Whitlow who appeared to be forced out at UK for wanting to play quarterback.

Or, in reading the aforementioned article which so eloquently pointed out the role of Kentucky State University in educating African-Americans, yet seeing the omission of KSU's graduation ceremonies from the graduation ceremony schedule for all the major universities in the area.

What are we to think or do?

In these days and times where things are often sugar coated, we must remain vigilant and speak up, question inconsistencies and take action against all issues of racism no matter how insignificant they may seem to be.

David Aloysius Jackson


Cantor ouster symptom of GOP's Tea Party cancer

I come to bury Eric Cantor, not to praise him.

In the intramural fight that was a Virginia primary election, the narrative pushed today is "Tea Party beats the establishment." Let's be very clear: Cantor's defeat was not a victory engineered by the Tea Party. It was a complacent electorate with 12 percent turnout that beat him.

The Tea Party candidate was Cantor. The Tea Party gave no support to Brat and they deserve no "credit" for the result.

If it was true that the result was a defeat for the establishment and a win for the Tea Party then a win for the Tea Party is not a win for the GOP. On the contrary, such a win is a symptom of the cancer the GOP suffers in the form of the Tea Party.

The dustbin of history awaits them both (if one is distinct from the other, which is questionable). The GOP is in disarray and imploding as Virginia's 7th Congressional District is now a competitive race the Democratic candidate can win.

Bill Adkins


Voters will oust obstructionists who do nothing

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's recent loss in a primary election should send a loud message to the incumbents in Washington. We, the people, are fed up with our elected officials going to Washington then doing nothing. We expect our senators and representatives to do their jobs, which is to pass bills into law.

The childish non-cooperation and failure to compromise have made our government completely dysfunctional. This nation was born from the desire for representation. The voters need to act and fire those who obstruct legislation. We deserve better.

Cheryl Keenan


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