Letters to the Editor

Letters: Editorial wrong about burning chemicals at Army Depot

An exterior view of an igloo storing chemical weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot
An exterior view of an igloo storing chemical weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot File photo

Wrong on chemical weapons

Why didn’t we burn the chemical weapons?

Years ago, a Herald-Leader editorial smugly explained how by flexing its political muscle, Kentucky forced the U.S. Army to chemically neutralize the chemical-warfare weapons stored in Richmond’s Blue Grass Army Depot, thus avoiding the fate awaiting people in Alabama, Arkansas and Oregon, where the weapons were going to be burned.

The weapons elsewhere have now all been safely destroyed. In Richmond, work has yet to begin, the weapons are leaking, and some will have to be “exploded” — which is the same as burning them. Our “smarter decision” was a delaying tactic, and ignored the technological realities.

Decisions like these should take into account the limits imposed by physical laws, technological feasibility and economic principles. These cannot be changed by strongly worded editorials, letter-writing campaigns, lawsuits or acts of the governor and legislature.

Joseph P. Straley


Coal ravaged the state

A recent article looked at an Eastern Kentucky study on the annual impact of strip mining. It’s not fun to be reminded of the history of exploitation and rape of Kentucky, even if it was with the support of many our own leaders.

I remember photos of the first exploitation by the logging industry that wanted to build and build. Mountains were clear-cut, meaning the rains would come and wash the topsoil away with nothing to protect hillsides. Crops and much of the valuable soil for growing were depleted.

The coal industry stepped in; and despite the efforts of one of Kentucky’s greater men, Harry Caudill, stripped and dumped with little control. Tearing off the tops of mountains followed, with creeks, streams and rivers on the way to the Gulf of Mexico polluted and/or eliminated.

Don Pratt


Lost meaning of conservatism

I concur with a letter last month concerning the need for a conservative voice in the community. As a registered Republican approaching age 80, I remember when conservatism went beyond flag pins, slogans and attack ads.

The conservatism I grew up with meant attention to deficits; respect for the Constitution’s insistence on the separation of powers, where the legislative and the judicial branches are independent of the executive; the consequent limitation of the power of the executive branch; civility of discourse (it used to be called “manners”), and a respect for law enforcement and intelligence-gathering agencies.

Disclosure: My father worked for the CIA from its post-war founding and shared with many Republicans and most Democrats a well-founded distrust of Russia. This knowledge came from facts, not wishful thinking.

I have a nostalgia for this conservatism, and will support candidates of whichever party remembers what it used to mean.

John Greenway


Info, not insults, from candidates

I know I am not the only one who is sick to death of the negative political ads that have begun.

I just want to know what a candidate wants to do for this state and/or this country, not how bad the opponent is. Incumbents should tell us what their accomplishments are and what they would like to get done in the future. From those running for the first time, we would like to hear their views on the issues and for them to be specific about what they would like to accomplish.

What kind of role models are they if all they can do is call each other names, something that used to take place on grade-school playgrounds? It’s really tiresome.

Nina Benton