Will McConnell heed only the political winds?
If Mitch McConnell were interested in representing Kentucky in the important discussion concerning climate change he could be saying:
"Since 1958 the level of CO2 in our atmosphere increased 3.3 billion tons per year. The world population is growing, tropical forests are being cleared and industrialization is exploding in countries around the world. Common sense tells us humans are directly changing the climate of our world.
"We must reverse this trend, if possible. At the same time we must assist those industries and workers most affected by our new energy policies.
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"The coal industry in Kentucky has provided plentiful and inexpensive energy for a century. A greener energy policy will devastate this industry as it now operates and negatively impact Kentucky's economy. State and federal governments must minimize this impact.
"Coal will still be needed for years to come. We must guide this transition so it causes the least harm to companies, investors workers and consumers. There are no bad guys here; there are just changes in national priorities based on environmental facts.
"The government must help companies deciding to diversify into renewable energy markets. Also, mine workers need help updating the knowledge and skills they have so they can match the skills needed in emerging energy industries. This is a big job, but we have to do it."
If, however, McConnell only wants political donations from the coal industry, all he needs to say is, "There is a war on coal."
Joseph P. Fox
Not enough lipstick
Even though the coal industry has spent $50 million to spiff up its image, it still reminds me of the phrase that "if you put a dress on a pig, it's still a pig."
GOP wasted surplus
For the last four to five years Mitch McConnell and the Republicans have been repeating the same line: government has no claim on my income, so cut government spending (Herald-Leader, June 17).
But in the first part of the last decade, the Republican-led Congress voted for significant increases in spending and a reduction in taxes.
During the years 1998 to 2001, the federal government had a total surplus of $765 billion. In 2002 the Bush administration reduced taxes and by 2003 federal revenue had declined by 15 percent; during the same period government spending rose by 11 percent.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were paid through deficit spending. From 2002 through 2007 deficits in the Bush administration totaled $1.8 trillion.
Except for members of our armed forces, including those who lost their lives and limbs, the Bush wars have cost most Americans nothing. Instead we have enjoyed the fruits of lower taxes. But national defense spending in 2011 was $845 billion, or some $7,500 for every U.S. household.
It is hard to argue the government has no claim on our income when we desire to receive the protection of our armed forces and pay McConnell's health care and salary.
Call this 'sport'?
Letter writers have overlooked one shameful aspect of the "One Extreme Huntress" competition described on the June 3 front page: the exotic game ranches in Texas that promote such "hunts."
Want to shoot a zebra, gazelle, badger, oryx or ibex? They will fix you up by partially sedating the animal, making it easy to gun down. Worried it will get away? Never fear, the pastures are tiny fenced areas; that's why they're called "canned hunts."
Afraid an "exotic" animal will attack? They will trap the animal in a cage and drive you to it and let you shoot away while safely in the bed of a pickup. Then they'll drag it out of the cage so you can pose with your kill. How proud you'll be.
How about a hippo? Just travel to Africa to one of a few game-hunting preserves and fulfill your dream. Just bring your checkbook. For much of the day hippos lie around the edge of the watering holes.
They're very docile unless bothered, so your guides can drive you to within 10 yards so you can blast them safely from your automobile. You can't miss something the size of a Camry; your friends will be so impressed with your skills.
I've been to Africa several times and seen the majesty of the beautiful animals and the balance nature has created — until man intervened. You should go if you haven't been; just leave your guns at home.