Cooperation serves our own self-interest
Philosopher Ayn Rand preached that we should each pursue our own rational self-interest. She was absolutely right.
Unfortunately, the current group of neo-Randians and their followers fail to understand that it is in the best interest of each of us that we cooperate.
Anyone who has worked for a good organization realizes that the whole is more than the sum of the parts. The complementary skills of people working together as a team produce much more than the same individuals working separately.
The same is true for our communities. Contrary to the ranting of the right-wing Tea Party libertarians, we can achieve much more working together than we can as islands of individualism.
Good local, state and federal government — freed from the moneyed interests and their lackey politicians (who Rand loathed) — provide public infrastructure, health care, education and safety so that each can enjoy not only the success of his or her own efforts, but also the higher success obtained by working together as Americans.
Our investment in an American organization that works for all of its citizens will pay great dividends. This is not altruism or socialism; this is true rational self-interest.
What makes us all better makes each of us better.
Rule of law or guns?
The debate over gun control seems to have missed a basic question: Are we a democratic nation of laws or is every man to be armed and look out for himself? Domestic safety in American society is grounded in its institutions of education, democratically established law-enforcement entities, and multiple civic voluntary associations.
The idea of schools becoming armed camps is an example of an appalling solution to the problem of gun violence. All public and private institutions need to be a part of the solution and might start by re-examining their mission statements and effectiveness in upgrading the quality of our democracy and civil society.
The fact that we are having these problems and this debate is an indication that our democracy has lost its way. Take a few minutes at your next association meeting to see what you can do to improve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Democracy is in the hands of every man.
Regarding Fayette County's homestead property tax exemption for disabled armed service veterans: When preparing to make my third annual property tax payment, I went to the Property Valuation Administration office to inquire about having my homestead exemption backdated to include my first two years.
I was informed that backdating was permissible for the elderly but not for the disabled. Between my first two years of property tax assessments and payments, this discrepancy cost me significantly.
I sent a letter to an attorney I know whom I thought had the skills, fortitude, compassion and experience to represent me. If disabled veterans were certified as a class, his contingency award would have been quite generous. He declined.
I then sent letters to other attorneys, requesting referrals if they declined my cause of action. No takers. No referrals.
Is there any attorney out there willing to take on city hall or state government? Why are elderly deemed worthy of this tax reduction, but not disabled veterans or other disabled citizens?
Are disabled armed service veterans not worthy of the same legislative or judicial solicitude as the elderly?
As always, I will continue to cast an educated vote for those that best represent my interests, who encouraging others to do likewise. By the way, if you are eligible to vote, thank a veteran.
Robert M. Atkinson
On April 8, the paper published opinions of Rep. Stan Lee of Lexington and Bob Terrell of Corbin regarding Gov. Steve Beshear's veto of the most recent religious freedom bill, which I find confusing.
What's confusing is the United States of America is a constitutional republic where the source documents are the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, not the Old Testament, New Testament, Torah or Quran.
The Code of Hammurabi had more influence on our founders than the referenced religious publications.
I concur with Terrell's fear that, "the world's biggest danger comes from religious zealots who will not tolerate those with whom they disagree."
The religious zealots should take the time and effort to research the truth of this nation from historical records, not pieced-together religious writings.
This American recommends that Lee and others like him in Kentucky's government take a refresher course in U.S. government.
Billy Ray Wilson
Pick up, please
City government at your service?
Sure. If you wait long enough.
Recently, I had a general question for any member of the city government, so I accessed the online directory of employees and city council members.
Call after call resulted in a voice-mail response. It got comical. After 35 minutes, I got a live voice only once when I called the vice mayor's office. You guessed it — not the vice mayor.
I called every number I could find online. No luck reaching a live person. Twenty-four hours later, I got no calls back.
How's that for a government dedicated to serving the public? Pitiful.
Freedom to love
Everywhere I turn there is another news alert about the gay marriage debate.
Although I'm not gay, I do have numerous friends who are and support their right to choose who they wish to spend their lives with.
This choice should include marriage and all the inherent legal obligations and benefits as granted to heterosexual marriages.
Banning same-sex marriage is a direct violation of the gay community's First Amendment rights, by imposing a religious opinion into a legal arrangement.
This may not be what the Founding Fathers had in mind, yet the only legal means by which this country can ban gay marriage would be to repeal the First Amendment.
Love is love. Everyone should be able to show and share that 1ove with whom they please.
Tired of bad drivers
Dangerous driving is a real issue in Lexington. People should be required to take their driver's license test every five years.
In one simple trip from my house to Kroger I had a car driving on the median next to me, and also a car in the wrong lane coming straight at me. Kentucky drivers are some of the worst I've ever seen.
On a busy weekend day, I pass at least three to five wrecks of some sort. People run stop signs and red lights like crazy and cannot grasp the concept that oncoming traffic does not stop.
I think we should spread awareness of how dangerous it is when people text and drive, and drive drunk, so we can have safer streets to travel on.