Golfers pay taxes, preserve city's quality of life
Let me give an alternate perspective to "Losing on golf" by Andy Hightower of the Kentucky Club for Growth.
First, golfers are taxpayers. We all pay taxes and do not necessarily benefit from everything the taxes fund. We pay for the libraries, but many of us may not take advantage.
Are the libraries self-funded? No. Would other businesses benefit if there were no libraries? Probably. In the end, I think we have golf courses and libraries because they add to our quality of life.
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Second, everything in life is not about revenues and taxes, or maybe it is. In any case, we enjoy our open spaces like golf courses, parks and playgrounds. Again, open space gives us a higher quality of life.
This makes Lexington attractive to new businesses that in turn move here, hire residents and pay taxes.
I'm almost positive that before Toyota moved to the region it was important that they knew the number of golf courses in the area.
Lastly, "the supply exceeds the demand" argument sounds like we are in a recession. I am positive that many, if not all, businesses are feeling the pinch.
A better situation for golfers, taxpayers and just about everyone else would be to get out of this recession and its high unemployment.
In the meantime, I cannot fault Hightower for pursuing his own form of a bailout, but I suggest he look inward and maybe promote golf lessons in order to create more customers.
Vincent C. Smith
Check the votes
I have had it with the commercials by Rep. Ben Chandler saying he voted against tax breaks for companies sending jobs out of the United States.
He votes, and will only vote, how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi instructs him. Perhaps he will explain his vote for cap-and-trade legislation.
He and Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville voted for the bill that would put carbon-dioxide emissions back to 1907 levels and could increase energy costs for most of us by five times.
Assuming Chandler read the bill, he had to know of its effect on Kentucky's coal industry and its impact on all related business. It would cost an estimated 600,000 jobs nationwide.
Also, Chandler voted for the $787-billion stimulus the nation just could not do without but, to date, less than half has been spent. Do not be taken in by his spin and that of his liberal friends in Congress and the Obama administration.
Killing's no solution
My first reaction to the story about Deborah Pooley and Gregory Wilson, her killer, was: We should be trying not to continue creating victims.
No matter how heinous the crime, I don't want to intentionally extinguish life and I don't expect any other person to do so for me.
This is not a request made by healthy human beings.
Family loss is great. Still, I know killing others is not the way to heal anyone or the society in which we live.
We must live and breathe the great commandments of love or die physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
It was with great interest that I read the letter, "Shake up education."
I was a student in a small school district in Kansas in the 1950s and '60s. A key element to education at that time was discipline.
Disruption and disobedience were not tolerated. The teachers had authority in the classrooms, without question, supported by the principal, parents and administration.
Assessment of basic math and reading skills helped the teachers to ascertain how to teach a specific group of students. At the beginning of the school year, fourth-graders were given the Iowa reading test, which checked reading speed and comprehension.
By these skill levels, students were placed into eight reading groups ranging from lower fourth grade to upper sixth grade, regardless of age or grade. At the end of the year students were retested to check progress.
Math groups were also divided by skill levels. Seventh and eighth graders were divided into slower and faster learning groups. Student egos were not a consideration. If a student did not perform to academic standards, they failed and repeated the year.
In high school, students were given the PSAT during their sophomore year to discern how prepared we were for college work. We took the ACT when seniors. The high school graduates were able to read well, were knowledgeable in math, and could write clearly and correctly in form and grammar.
Eliminating teachers' ability to discipline and remove disruptive students and assuaging students' egos has negatively impacted the learning process and our education system.
Problem is spending
We can debate all day about the wisdom of increasing taxes at this point of the economic cycle, but until our representatives in Washington and Frankfort get serious about spending our tax dollars more efficiently, getting our financial house in order will be impossible.
The primary concern I have about a tax increase is the likelihood the additional funds that might materialize would not be used to balance our budget but instead would be used to continue to fuel the unsustainable growth of government spending.
Our representatives on both sides of the aisle should be held accountable to ensure that they are spending our money prudently instead of taking the easy way out and running to the taxpayers for more funding every time they have overpromised and overspent.
Hostility is the plan
As we approached another 9/11, we became concerned with the volatility in our country with regard to Islam and Muslims.
Osama bin Laden ordered the attacks of 9/11 for the express purpose of motivating a holy war between the East and West, Christianity and Islam. He wanted us to express rage and hate toward Muslims and for Muslims to unite in response.
When Americans demand the relocation of a mosque, threaten to burn Qurans or engage in other acts of violence or disrespect toward Muslims and Islam, bin Laden wins.
We cannot lose this war, and it can only be won by embracing those bin Laden and his ilk would set us against. Ignorance and fear are the instruments of this war and must be repelled with education and respect.
We cannot continue to allow 9/11 to come and go without acknowledging these realities, or we will never triumph over those who caused it.