Destruction awaits if there are no regulations
I enjoy taking morning walks along Hayes Boulevard, between Todds Road and Richmond Road.
Near the Todds Road end, there's a small protected wetland that provides a beautiful microhabitat for waterfowl and other birds. Adjacent to the little marsh sat a small undeveloped hill, housing a weathered black barn.
I often thought how nice it was for the residents to have this little sanctuary, a diorama depicting the farmland that existed prior to this land being swept over by the never-ending tide of progress.
I thought that perhaps the developers had intentionally left this little area undisturbed to be a tiny oasis.
But, alas, this was naiveté. I noticed the little hill has been razed of all vegetation, the old barn reduced to a pile of splintered planks, presumably to make room for more anonymous boxes in our already glutted housing market.
It is currently politically popular to call for deregulation so that progress may move ahead unimpeded. However, this small example reminds me that there will always be someone willing to destroy beauty for profit.
It would be nice if individuals and corporations could show self-restraint and do the right thing on occasion, without the threat of legal consequences. It would be nice if the term "developer" wasn't just a euphemism for "destroyer." But, this is, again, naiveté.
A safer assumption is, if it's not protected by law, someone will destroy it, whether it be a tiny suburban sanctuary or a towering Appalachian mountain.
Thumbs up and down
Kudos to columnist Mark Story for pointing out the insanity of the University of Kentucky continuing to play in the Southeastern Conference.
The Atlantic Coast Conference would be a far better conference, bringing a quality of basketball to Rupp Arena that far exceeds the ability of the SEC members.
UK will never be able to get the athletes that Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Louisiana State universities can attract to compete in football. In the ACC, they can compete.
Thumbs down to sportswriter Jerry Tipton and the Herald-Leader editorial board. The continuing attacks on the coal industry (now even in the sports section) just reveal the bias of the newspaper. Your naiveté regarding the energy needs of the world is evident. Your willingness to destroy the only decent-paying jobs for many Kentuckians is appalling.
If coal is not burned cleanly in the United States, it will be burned uncleanly in China and India.
Let's quit the attacks and really clean up the environment. Both the editorial staff and Tipton should push to allow U.S. industry to employ the best-available technology available when building new plants, and both U.S. jobs and a cleaner environment will be the result.
McConnell a hypocrite
When Sen. Mitch McConnell prates about President Barack Obama's jobs program being "a political exercise" and declares unthinkable any elimination of tax breaks and loopholes to fund the program, he reveals, once again, what a blatant hypocrite and calculating foil of the public will he is.
McConnell, who has cynically stated that his primary, overriding goal is to make Obama a one-term president, is the last person who should be accusing anyone of acting from political motivations.
The man who loves to maintain (usually without foundation) that he is carrying out the wishes of "the American people" also shows his real contempt for the staunch majority who support ending tax breaks and loopholes for corporations and the über rich.
All this from someone, who, through his scandalous abuse of the filibuster, has prevented democracy from functioning in the Senate.
It is Kentucky's shame that such a man represents us. No need to even speak of our other poor excuse of a senator.
Robert Emmett Curran
What has GOP done?
There is nothing more pathetic than a multimillionaire complaining that we are being unfair for wanting him to pay his fair share. I can hear the whining by their "made men" in the GOP.
On cue, they will cry "class warfare" whenever anyone of the working class asks to be treated fairly.
I know many back the Republicans because they think they will be rich someday, but because of Republican policies, upward mobility has become next to impossible. William Kristol, a conservative operative, referred to it as "pulling up the drawbridge against the masses."
What has a Republican done for you lately? Have they made your workplace safer? Have they protected you against predatory banks?
Have they passed any jobs legislation? Have they stood up against those who dump poisons into our air and water? Have they tried to rein in the rising cost of health care? Have they ever sided with the middle class on anything?
I came across the following in a novel I recently read: All members of Congress should be required to wear NASCAR uniforms. That way, we would know who was sponsoring each of them.
Perhaps our "friends" in Frankfort should be required, as well.
How fortunate we are to have members of the military, past and present, to have put aside their differences or alleviated their prejudices so that some of us can exhibit our intolerances openly in schools and workplaces.
It is hard to believe that people will not ride the same elevator or sit next to a person of a different race in class. Or take the longer route or go through a different entrance just to avoid contact with a person of a different race, color or nationality.
It is still harder to believe that after the disasters of Katrina, the 9/11 terrorist attack — along with past and present wars and military conflicts — that there are still people who exhibit racial intolerances.
Perhaps it will take a disaster or a conflict to be fought on the streets of Lexington and surrounding areas to bring us together and to put aside our differences and accept all people as unique individuals.
I would like to believe that some of us are experiencing xenophobia and fear arising from not knowing our neighbors and fellow Americans of different ethnic groups and religions.
Perhaps we can all benefit from extending our hands out to each other in friendship rather than waiting for a disaster or military conflict to accept each other as neighbors, coworkers and fellow students all striving for a better life for ourselves and our families.
Robert F. Williams