Wilkinson Blvd. in capital misnamed
I recently made my first visit to see my sister and her husband in Richmond, learning so much about Kentucky's rich culture and history. Between the Bourbon Trail and Berea, I was very impressed.
However, I did come across one small, but disturbing, detail: the naming of a prominent street in the capital in honor of a notorious traitor.
Gen. James Wilkinson, namesake of Wilkinson Boulevard, and the original owner of much of the land that is now Frankfort, has been shown to have been "Agent 13," a spy under the employ of the Spanish king. When the Founding Fathers were gathered to assemble the Constitution, he worked against our young country's interests for personal profit.
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His activities almost led to the arrest of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the loss of the Louisiana Purchase.
In a review of Andro Linklater's 2009 biography An Artist in Treason: The Extraordinary Double Life of General James Wilkinson, the New York Review of Books called him possibly "the most unscrupulous character in all of American history."
If Wilkinson's plots had worked, Kentucky would be part of Mexico.
I do understand that there are larger problems, but the people of Kentucky should consider finding someone more worthy to honor.
Barr a tool of rich
Congressman Andy Barr's infrastructure jobs plan shows just how completely he has been bought and paid for by big money. He calls for government bonds to be purchased by multinational corporations. Not only will the corporations make interest on the bonds, they get tax breaks on the deal as well.
One reason the rich oppose tax increases is that it forces the government to borrow from them. This drives up deficits. But they like deficits because they can use them as an excuse to cut social programs.
If the last 30 years have taught us anything, it is that the supposed trickle-down effects of Reaganomics are pure fantasy. Instead what you wind up with is trickle-up economics. The wealth of the top 1 percent is skyrocketing. Corporate profits are at record-high levels. Meanwhile everyone else struggles to keep their heads above water.
How about some real tax reform instead?
GOP is anti-worker
The GOP caucus promises to pass a right-to-work law and a constitutional amendment to "prohibit any person, employer or health care provider from being compelled to participate in any health care system." And they want to defund Medicaid.
This is a promise to let us work for less pay, as a weakened union won't have the clout to ask for a living wage.
And, if other employers don't have to compete with union wages, they can pay less, too.
So if you can't afford medical care, you'll just have to get sick. If you lose your job as a result, and maybe die, well that just means a job opening for another sucker. And we are suckers if we fall for this party line.
Freedom and liberty, even our state motto of "United we stand, divided we fall," don't mean every man for himself and throw everyone else to the wolves.
A wise person once said that answering a matter before hearing the whole thing is foolishness and shame. This is especially true for the judges we elect.
Our family court should be first and foremost unbiased and not prejudged by gender, the accusation, race or preconceived notion.
We of Scott, Woodford and Bourbon counties have seen Judge Tamra Gormley's actions for seven years and how she has embarrassed the honorable bench on which she sits with prejudices, retaliatory rulings and enabling of social services to slander and defame without recourse.
Now is the time to rebuild and shelter the family with equality and justice in family court.
I recommend Lisa Hart Morgan as our next judge.
There is a principle that states "Shame us once, shame on you. Shame us twice, shame on us." Don't let this ignominy fall on us.
Brian J. Reese
Public safety commissioner
Trickle down and out
Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Andy Barr have failed to join the ongoing conversation about how to create jobs in a sustainable post-coal economy.
Instead they have opted to demonize President Barack Obama and the EPA, blaming them falsely for the decline of the coal industry in Eastern Kentucky.
They have no answer to how Eastern Kentucky might move away from dependency on a single commodity to a more sustainable and diversified economy. Their only solution to the problems of Eastern Kentucky, as for all other economic problems, is to shift national income to corporations and the wealthy and to deregulate markets.
Those views are fully consistent with their support for lower tax rates for corporations and the wealthy, no raise in the minimum wage, no renegotiation of student loans and a draconian cut in the food-stamp program.
These policies have not delivered the promised trickle down of wealth and job opportunities but rather have contributed to rising poverty and income inequality in our country.
Larson friend to the poor
I have known Jon Larson since the 1970s. His work in Legal Aid helps the poor and needy, both black and white.
He has always been for the little guy. Larson is running for an Urban County Council at-large seat. I ask you please vote for my friend and someone who helps the poor.
Ronald T. Winkler
Hern deserved support
Tom Hern, running for council in the 6th District, is a friend, But even if he weren't, I still would not care much for your editorial's characterization of him. I unfortunately can't vote for him, but I support his campaign.
He does have strong conservative opinions, which I suspect is your board's real objection to him.
But he can read a balance sheet, and I would prefer council members wearing green eyeshades to ones with nebulous unfunded visions.
I doubt anyone feels much genuine passion for sewer, stormwater or land-use issues (except perhaps when personally affected).
But as Democrats seem to understand very well, you can't govern until you get elected.
If Hern has made any mistake in his city council campaign, it was a needless display of his ideology. Especially for your editorial board, that must have been like waving a red flag in front of a bull.