Let's back coal production until an alternative is viable
To the opponents of mountaintop removal: As soon as I see an economically feasible alternative to coal, I'll support it.
Meanwhile, I continue to support environmentally responsible mining — which, by the way, is not an oxymoron just because you say it is.
Has it occurred to any of you saviors of the mountains that it is socially irresponsible to harm the economy of a region and negatively impact the economy of a nation prior to developing a viable and financially realistic plan to at least prop it up during the transition? You offer nothing to Appalachia yet rally to take away everything. I have no respect for such a position.
Just looks wrong
One of the biggest problems of strip mining, other than destroying ecosystems, filling once-healthy streams with sulfuric acid and heavy metals, poisoning land, animals and people, is its appalling ugliness.
People simply don't like to look at such an eyesore.
Seeing the ravaged mountain makes people downright cranky. So much so that good folks actually sat for four days in the Capitol in Frankfort to protest the pillaging of the earth, while several hundred supporters rallied outside.
Our Senate knew it had to act to placate its constituents. First, it proposed a bill to exempt the coal industry from the Clean Air and Water Act. After all, how much profit is actually in coal if the industry has to — gasp — clean up after itself?
Next, the Senate proposed letting optometrists perform eye surgery, despite not having any surgical training whatsoever.
Their rationale is that rural areas don't have enough trained ophthalmologists. Guess it's one way to get environmental activists to turn a blind eye.
Karen H. Strand
Horse farms not alone
I would like to comment on your article concerning the problems facing the thoroughbred industry ("An industry in distress," Feb. 20), which, by the way, is also being felt by the standardbred industry.
Little mention is made of the financial problems facing the related industries.
I would like to point out some of those suffering in the horse industry: veterinarians, horse transportation companies, horse supply companies, equine insurance companies, feed stores, blacksmiths and horse trainers.
The loss of tax revenue is tremendous and the economic impact on our community has been severe. Believe it or not.
Quite simply, in our Basket of Wants and Needs, KET is a beautiful, delicious cupcake, but we are running out of bread.
Yes, we would sorely miss cessation of any programs through loss of government subsidy. But that doesn't have to be the end.
Shea Hopkins, KET executive director, was quoted in the Herald-Leader as saying that the federal funding amounts to about 76 cents per Kentuckian.
How many KET watchers actually make contributions? And those that do, could you give just a wee bit more?
There is much we could do as individuals, groups and community to help continue programming through private funding.
As a retiree on fixed income, I am going to up my donation and phoned the Lexington KET office offering to volunteer in any way to help with private funding.
I do this with hope and trust that our Congress will use the funds, even this relatively small amount, where they are more urgently needed and where there are not other alternatives.
March 4's significance
Because it is not designated as a special day on our calendars, March 4 will go unnoticed by many people.
On March 4, 1789, the United States of America adopted the Constitution to guide it. That short document, consisting of a preamble and seven articles, outlined the fundamental principles of government.
The first three words of the document are the most important. They pla ce ultimate authority in the hands of "We the people."
That authority, a privilege that should be appreciated and exercised by everyone, is wielded through the elective process.
The preamble, the brief introductory statement, defines the purpose the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution. That sixfold purpose was: To form a more perfect union, to establish justice, to ensure domestic tranquility, to provide for the common defense, to promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.
Frequently, the word rigid is used to describe the Constitution. That word implies that the constitution is superior to ordinary laws of the land and that it is subject to a gradual process of amendment.
Since the adoption of the constitution, there have been only 27 amendments to it. The first 10, known as the Bill of Rights, were adopted on Dec. 15, 1789, just a few days over nine months after the constitution was adopted.
May the Constitution ever remain as the guardian of freedom.
The Republican Party is having a nationwide fit of hysteria over the state of the economy and of government debt at all levels.
After ramming through Congress an immense and unaffordable set of tax cuts for the already-wealthy, the GOP has decided the money they gave away will have to come from the middle class and blue-collar workers.
It's now attempting, therefore, to destroy all remnants of programs that make life livable for the majority of us who are not wealthy.
What gets lost in all this is that the recession was not caused by us plain folks — it was caused by those very people the Republicans represent: the banks, the investment firms and the multinational corporations that still pretend to be "American" firms though their plants are now mostly in cheap-labor countries, and their boards of directors include many foreign nationals.
In Wisconsin, the Republican governor is trying to create a state-level template for the final destruction of unions and the impoverishment of public service workers by arbitrarily taking a huge bite from their salaries and pension plans and threatening to attack them with the National Guard if they don't like it.
Not since the 1890s have we seen this kind of brazen assault on the public by a ruling class in America, and I suspect they may be biting off more than they can chew.
Time will tell whether the American people will peacefully assent to being driven into poverty and immiseration.