Put gift to better use
Am I the only person who views the $23 million donation to the University of Kentucky from Thomas W. Lewis and his wife as misdirected at best and self-aggrandizing at worst?
Donating money to create “one of the country’s leading honors programs” in a state that that has one of the worst prepared workforces is an obnoxious joke.
If the Lewises were truly concerned about “all” Kentuckians (not just those hoping for white-collar jobs), they would have funneled that money into the Kentucky Community and Technical College System or vocational schools. These institutions offer students education and training in coveted skills such as manufacturing, HVAC, biomedical repair, computer-aided architectural design, nursing, radiology, automotive repair, etc., often where the students reside.
While factories and large businesses need some people with advanced education, the bulk of work in any large business is typically done by skilled employees who received training in technical schools/colleges.
Until Kentucky can provide such workers, we will never be able to compete globally, much less nationally. I doubt that Thomas Lewis’ ancestor, Squire Boone, would have thought that creating a new honors program would actually help the majority of Kentuckians enhance their lives.
Mary E. Gray
Stop dividing people
I feel bad that the Oscars have snubbed blacks in the top 20 categories. Spike Lee is going to boycott the awards. Does that mean the liberal motion-picture voters are racist? They are the champions of equality.
My question to Lee is this: The nominees for the Olympic basketball team have been announced; 29 of 30 players are black. Should that be considered racist? No, sometimes that is just the way it works out. Why does it always have to be a racial issue?
Their peers have voted who they think are the best. Do you think you will see whites boycott the Olympics? I’m sure there are some blacks who should have been nominated, just as there should probably be some deserving whites in the Olympics. Stop this effort to divide people. Life is not always fair, but if things don’t go your way, don’t just pick up your ball and go home.
M. Bruce Thomas
Trivializing gun violence
In the Jan. 15 Herald-Leader on page 9D was a photo of two men pointing guns. The headline states, “‘Ride Along 2’ is a fun little journey.” This is exactly the type of writing that trivializes gun violence. The story says “PG-13 for sequences of violence, sexual content, language, and some drug material.” That is not my idea of fun. This only emphasizes the lack of morality in the world today. How sad.
Kudos to Sam Youngman
I owe Sam Youngman a public apology. When I first noticed his writing in the Herald-Leader, it read like the usual conservative Republican script. It was obvious we were at different ends of the political spectrum.
However, I found his Jan. 17 piece about the possible Jim Gray-Rand Paul matchup for U.S. Senate to be a thoughtful, informed analysis of the issues likely to surface in such a confrontation. It was free of bias and canned rhetoric. If we readers use this as a model to discuss politics the conversations might be more open and fruitful. I look forward to more work like this from Youngman.
UK should shrug off ‘gift’
The worst aspect of the Koch/Schnatter “gift” to the University of Kentucky is that now students will be expected to take the round-heeled pro-abortion middling novelist Ayn Rand seriously as an economic thinker. If UK intends to provide anything like a well-rounded business school education it will decline this “gift” and instead encourage a healthy skeptical approach to the received conservative dogmas that have unsustainably enriched so few at the expense of so many.
The Amazin’ Palin
Republican leaders’ hypocrisy never ceases to amaze. In less than 48 hours, former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for president and blamed President Barack Obama for her own son punching his girlfriend in the face. She used her son’s mental problems to promote Trump, saying “it is now or never for America’s finest that we have a commander-in chief who will respect them.”
Palin said Obama has done little to assist veterans returning from the Middle East. First, it is reprehensible that she would use her son’s problems to promote her own selfish goals. Second, Republicans in Congress have consistently voted against legislation that would help veterans. Third, God forbid the mother should take any blame for her children’s poor behavior.
She endorsed a man who was a draft dodger with five deferments during the Vietnam War and who had the nerve to publicly disrespect and insult every veteran who has ever been a prisoner of war. Trump said he preferred those who didn’t get captured. Apparently, Palin doesn’t know the meaning of the word “respect.” Maybe that’s why her children are so messed up.
Blessed are the peacemakers
What is an American evangelical? Is it a person with strong Christian principles based on the Bible or someone belonging to a political party with a conservative ideology? Evangelicals likely would assert both, claiming they are compatible, not mutually exclusive.
Paul Prather’s recent column noted that Bible readers tend to be liberal. The question for evangelicals: Should politics trump religion when it contradicts the Bible’s teachings? In this election cycle evangelicals are flocking to support a presidential candidate who promises to destroy ISIS by carpet bombing and “making the sand glow in the dark” — a feat requiring a high temperature only achieved by using a nuclear device.
So kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people too, then criticize a treaty aimed at preventing war with Iran. I can’t find a passage in my Bible in which Christ advocates such behavior, but I did find “blessed are the peacemakers.”
Most of the Republican candidates profess their strong Christian faith, so shouldn’t evangelicals require them to have policies consistent with those self-serving religious proclamations? Evangelicals should not support candidates who use Christianity to disguise hateful extremism. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
James F. Wisniewski