Are we winning the battles but losing the war on terror?
A May 14 column by Jesus Rivas of Somerset, "Justice, not violence, is the path to peace," said one thing that especially resonated: "Nowhere is bin Laden closer to an absolute victory than on the economic front."
Osama bin Laden wanted to collapse our economy. Look where we are today. We have struggled for years, and as Rivas states, "There is simply no way to fix the economy with the constant escalation in military spending." He goes on to state all the service we are cutting due to our economy, including cutting support for our schools and colleges and laying off police, teachers and firefighters.
Bin Laden may be dead, but I seriously doubt that this will end the terrorism. The money to continue the fight will have to come from somewhere. And the above-mentioned services will continue to suffer.
More proof of lack of 'values'
Conservatives should think long and hard about how politicians insist on their belief in "family values."
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is just one example of a goodly number of conservative politicians who have rarely lived up to their hype. Notice how he did not admit his affair and his out-of-wedlock child with a household staff member until after he could no longer run for governor.
Kentuckians, please wise up.
Who's taking care of our trees?
What happened to the street trees on the west side of the 2200 block of Nicholasville Road? They've been butchered.
"Trimming" has ruined them, turning them from beautiful mature trees, enhancing one of the busiest traffic corridors in town, into what look like umbrellas.
It's unclear who did the cutting, and maybe even unclear who's responsible for the maintenance of these trees. Street tree planting and removal, and perhaps trimming, are supposed to be controlled by a permitting process. If these are street trees, was proper permission secured before cutting?
Several years ago, the owner of a building on the east side of the street cut down an entire row of city-purchased trees fronting his building, without city permission. I believe that owner was required to replant appropriate trees in place of the ones he removed.
Lexington's urban forest faces serious challenges. Many of the pin oaks planted in Lexington in the 1940s and 1950s have reached the end of their lives and are dying. Mature maples, ashes and hemlocks are at significant and increasing risk of dying from infections, insect predation or both.
We face the prospect of losing much of our leafy, shady neighborhood canopies and creating a much altered urban landscape, if this process continues. We can't afford to ruin the healthy trees we have by allowing street trees — the only trees afforded any legal protection in Fayette County — to be butchered like this.
Honor those who 'do and die'
Memorial Day is a day to honor the war dead. Tennyson forever immortalized the eternal warrior's creed when he penned these lines in The Charge of the Light Brigade: "Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die."
From the legendary 300 Spartans who fought to the last man against the Persian army of 100,000 at Thermopylae pass, to Germany's sacrifice of its entire 6th Army of 300,000 at the battle for Stalingrad, soldiers have repeatedly been called upon to give their last and final measure.
Even when their fatal outcome was certain and already known, they gave. Whether landing on Omaha Beach in World War II or climbing out of the trenches in World War I, soldiers knew that within seconds huge numbers of them would die. The randomness of death on the battlefield is their constant companion — a step to the right or a step to the left might make a difference. Yet, they charge ahead.
We owe them our constant, unwavering support. Deprivation and sacrifice by our military during war demand bounteous support at home. Current support is good, but fragile.
Korean War veterans were surprised when returning home to find that acquaintances had forgotten their war. Veterans from Vietnam — even those who returned for wound care — were shocked upon their return by threats and insults from young Americans.
We must never again let such apathy and insult shame us all.