Candidate offered foolish defense of bias in military
When discussing during the Sept. 22 presidential debate the recent repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" rule for the military, Sen. Rick Santorum stated, "Sexuality has no place in the military."
Really? No one in the military is having sex?
As a Desert Storm veteran, I thought that statement was as laughable as it was offensive. His view really has nothing to do with people having sex, but has everything to do with bigotry and intolerance.
I have many friends who are homosexuals and I also served in the military with homosexuals. I assure you that the last thing they want is to come to work and talk about sex. What they do want, however, is to feel as free as you and I to discuss the people in their lives who mean the most to them.
They, too, want the freedom to put pictures of their loved ones on their desks and to talk about the fun or mundane things they did over the weekend with them. Imagine how you would feel if you were not allowed to mention your opposite-sex spouse or partner for fear of losing your job?
Santorum also said the repeal of the rule will hurt enlistment. Well, I say that if repeal keeps small-minded bigots out of the military, it has added benefits. This is America, after all. Remember that whole "land-of-the-free/home-of-the-brave" thing we always talk about?
I am a fiscally conservative Christian, and I say shame on Santorum
Recently Wolf Blitzer of CNN asked U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, during the Tea Party Republican debate, whether a man hospitalized in an intensive care unit for six weeks should be financially supported by the government or allowed to die.
In response to "allowed to die," a loud "Yeah" sounded from the crowd.
Does this represent the country that our soldiers are risking and giving their lives for in Afghanistan?
I hope not.
Ralph E. Miller, M.D.
I was delighted to see Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer on your front page. However, I was a bit bemused that an aging bridge in your competitor's back yard garnered the larger headline.
At least the story about Meyer was above the fold.
Speaking of headlines, I would think that repeatedly risking life and limb under heavy fire to save 36 lives would be more headline worthy than Meyer's "chat with Obama."
On second thought, it could have been equally traumatic.
As a supporter of the preservation and restoration of historical sites throughout Central Kentucky and abroad, I would like to voice my support for Foster Ockerman Jr. and Jamie Millard's Sept. 25 commentary.
I had the opportunity to go on a tour of the Lexington History Museum last year.
Besides the fascinating rotating exhibits and exceptional artifacts, the building itself is an overlooked Central Kentucky treasure.
As the authors describe, the interior rotunda is a magnificent, yet ignored, work of art. In these difficult economic times, the city needs to invest in something that will benefit countless generations.
I would like to share Lexington's history with my two children in a restored old courthouse.
Give credit where due
When I read about the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts in Richmond, I wondered, since the center has been years in the making, why I do not ever read anything about ex-EKU President Joanne Glasser?
She was a visionary, instrumental in making EKU what it is today. She had desire, dedication and determination coupled with extraordinary intelligence.
Surely Glasser saw the great need for this center and took the initial steps necessary to put it into place. Unfortunately, she had no background in Kentucky politics and how it rules the commonwealth.
Also, at that time a full-time politician wanted to top off his years of service by becoming EKU president. Harry Moberly Jr. is now in training at EKU in a newly created administrative position and will probably be a great president of Eastern. He certainly knows how to deal with "the good old boys."
Recently retired University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. also has this particular ability.
Glasser left to assume the presidency of a school in Illinois, where I imagine they appreciate what a quality person she is. She is never mentioned in any news stories since she left Eastern.
Is it because of lack of background knowledge of the reporter or on the part of the director of the new center? Or is it that the director is well versed in Kentucky politics?
Nation built on faith
In a letter affirming the no-prayers policy at the 9/11 memorial service, the writer made a claim which, sadly, reflects a growing secular mythology about American history.
He said the founders were "clairvoyant" in "omitting God from the Constitution and making it fundamentally illegal for government to recognize faith."
In fact, our founders did no such thing.
The Declaration of Independence four times declares America's theistic commitment, citing "the laws of nature and nature's God," and noting the "Creator" as the source of our liberties.
Imitating the Continental Congress, the U.S. Congress has issued more than 200 proclamations summoning citizens to prayer and fasting. Each house has a paid minister to start each session with prayer and funds its own chapel off the rotunda in the Capitol.
The U.S. judiciary, in 1892, affirmed the major role of religion in the founding of America, declaring, "From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, Christianity is, and always has been, a part of the common law ... not Christianity with an established church, but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all."
The executive branch has also joined in. Most every president who has given an inaugural address has confirmed the religious nature of American society, sometimes citing scripture, other times alluding to it, and several have led the nation in prayer.
In 1947, Justice Hugo L. Black and the U.S. Supreme Court "rediscovered" Jefferson's "high wall of separation" metaphor and since that time, it has nearly supplanted the actual text of the First Amendment.
James V. Heidinger II
Spread the benefits
In Al Smith's Sept. 6 commentary, "Dental health key to curbing host of other costly illnesses," Dr. Steve Davis made an interesting point about young adults being turned away from joining the military because of their dental health.
These adolescents are from all parts of the state, not just the 16 Appalachian counties that will benefit from the programs Smith wrote about.
Although those counties may have a high percentage of children with these problems, I do not think it is fair to limit those benefits when there are children all around our state with the same obstacles.
Clean the hospital
As to Dr. Kevin Kavanagh's Sept. 3 commentary about University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, "Investigate staffing, patient infection rates at UK hospital"
My husband was in that hospital for a week last year. The floor was so dirty, especially the bathroom, that I would come home and wash the bottom of my shoes with Clorox at the door.
You would think with all the wonderful doctors and nurses they would have better housekeeping.
I read with great enjoyment a letter explaining how proposed instant racing machines at The Red Mile will bankrupt University of Kentucky parents.
Here is some free advice for parents concerned with this: Teach your children how to live within their means and make good decisions before you send them out into the world.
Some parents in the community are preparing their 18 year old to have the mental toughness to kick in safe-house doors in Iraq.
Certainly you can prepare your college-ready teen for the awesome mental challenge of not betting too much at the track.
They can then go back to blowing your hard-earned cash at the local bars and hookah lounges.
Service to community
During my more than 50 years in the funeral service, the families we have served have been privileged to have police escorts for their funeral processions.
Not only did this show respect for the deceased and their family and friends, it also provided safe passage through Lexington traffic to the cemetery.
I want to thank the members of the Lexington police force for their dedication and for a job well done.
The job of escorting funeral processions has now been taken over by the sheriff's department. It has been a smooth transition.
Our community needs to thank Sheriff Kathy Witt for stepping forward to take over this valuable service to the community of ensuring the safety of funeral processions.
Milward Funeral Directors
Booing fans hamper team, hurt recruting efforts
As a longtime Cats fan and a University of Kentucky graduate, I can see it's going to be a tough season for the football team. I don't attend the games, and if I did I would not wave a towel or a pom-pon like the fans I saw on TV in West Virginia.
I do my share of complaining about a weak team, but one thing I would never do is boo the team or our coach, an ex-player. The boo birds will come to the few home games and will be a detriment to the team and will be responsible for poor play more than they think. Could you do your job with someone booing you?
They might think they are voicing their opinion of wanting more from the players or coaching, but they are really making it worse, as well as telling recruits not to come to Kentucky.
Some of the sports geniuses on talk shows want a new coach already and think we can pay to get a coach like Nick Saban or Pete Carroll. What coach would come here and put up with fans who boo the team?
Some want us to switch conferences. Yes, let's give up and join a weak conference and stop the whining.
I wouldn't blame the team if it called time out to point the boo birds to the exits. Sometimes we get what we deserve, which applies not only to important things like sports, but also to politics.
Get players' names right
How do we expect the football team to live up to our expectations when the announcer and scoreboard ($6 million cost, mind you) attendant can't get our players names correct?
In the Central Michigan game, Mark Crawford was credited for a tackle. Even I know that Crawford has been suspended since last season. Randall Burden, a senior, is consistently called Randall Burton.
In the game versus Florida, the Jumbotron listed the top tacklers of the game and there it was "Randall Burton."
Come on. If you want the team to care and give 100 percent, maybe people on the Commonwealth Stadium payroll should do a little studying themselves and learn the players' names.
Go Cats! And I'm referring to the football team, not the basketball team.
No need to leave SEC
This is a Florida fan's viewpoint regarding Mark Story's Sept. 25 column saying the University of Kentucky should consider going to the ACC in order to help its chances in football.
Although I am a Florida native, I spent much of my childhood in Lexington and I cheer for UK when they aren't playing Florida.
UK has the facilities and the fan base to be successful in the SEC, and a move is not necessary. What might help them improve?
First, rename the football field after Paul "Bear" Bryant. A football field should be named after someone with a football background, not basketball.
Second, move the Louisville game to the end of the season where in-state rivalries belong.
And last, shut up about basketball until basketball season starts. All a rival recruiter has to ask a player is why go to UK when they could go where football is No. 1.
UK has no one but itself to blame for its football futility, no matter what conference it's in.
Who knows? If Bryant hadn't been almost chased out of Lexington in the 1950s, all those football titles could have been in Lexington instead of Tuscaloosa, Ala. UK would own the SEC in both sports.
Good luck to the Cats for the rest of the season.
UK dishonors its best
I have attended many University of Kentucky football games as a student and as an alumnus. I have witnessed the halftime ceremonies of Hall Of Fame inductees recognizing the achievements of student-athletes.
It takes four to five years to promote and build a winning program. When you reach this status, you are the upper echelon, the elite of the elite.
What I witnessed in Commonwealth Stadium made my stomach turn when Bill Ransdell, a.k.a. "Dollar Bill" was not even granted a framed jersey, nor was allowed a name plate over a toilet stall.
The likes of Blanton Collier, Paul Bryant, Art Still, Mark Higgs, Warren Bryant, Tim Couch, Babe Parilli, to name a few, were erased from the Ring of Honor to accommodate a high-tech screen advertising wall that circles the stadium.
The players' names were replaced by flags that are in the middle of SEC team flags.
If Bear Bryant didn't place a curse on the football program when he left, he sure has one now.
Jason W. Deatherage
Barnhart not cutting it
So far in 2011, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart accepted a back-door raise and contract extension that the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees did not have the chance to vote on; ignored UK's anti-nepotism policy, by hiring a family member; insulted dozens of UK football greats by covering up the Ring of Honor at Commonwealth Stadium, without the courtesy of a phone call; and took to the airwaves before the UK-Florida game to blast fans who dare have an opinion on the very things that he demands they pay for.
After nearly a decade, Barnhart still does not understand UK, its tradition, its history or its people.
It's time that he be held accountable, and it's time for a change — a change years overdue.
Richard P. Johnson