Letters to the Editor

Missives on McGrath, McConnell, marijuana, music

Congressman Andy Barr slapped hands with daughter Eleanor to celebrate his re-election the evening of Nov. 6. as daughter Mary Clay and wife Carroll shared the moment.
Congressman Andy Barr slapped hands with daughter Eleanor to celebrate his re-election the evening of Nov. 6. as daughter Mary Clay and wife Carroll shared the moment.

McGrath no moderate

In his recent opinion piece, Ernie Yanarella characterizes Amy McGrath as “a moderate Democrat at best.” Please. McGrath went out of her way to identify herself as a far-left “progressive,” which is currently coded speech for authoritarian, dogmatic socialist, all the while crooning softly about a fairy-tale world of perfection and equal outcomes.

Either she is incredibly naïve or consciously duplicitous. But then I see Yanarella describes himself as a social activist, yet another coded word for dogmatic collectivism, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

Richard Mize


Lessons from the election

Almost immediately after Congressman Andy Barr first ran the ad where Amy McGrath said that she was more left and more progressive than anyone in the state of Kentucky, the headline in the Herald-Leader was that Barr had run his first attack ad. How interesting. We must assume McGrath was telling the truth about her political philosophy. Why is it considered an attack to point that out?

Secondly, after standing in line for an hour waiting to vote and watching people leave without voting because they had to get back to work, it is obvious Kentucky needs some voting procedure that allows all citizens who want to vote to get that chance.

James Todd


McConnell must back up words

I am pleading for Sen. Mitch McConnell to bring a vote to the U.S. Senate floor to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. McConnell recently wrote an opinion piece on bipartisanship; if he truly is working towards bipartisanship he will bring a protection bill to a vote. It’s of vital importance for our democracy. If he doesn’t, it will be clear that his opinion piece was just a political stunt and he’s trying to hide something. I have lost all faith in the Republican Party and McConnell’s leadership, but I am still pleading for him to do the right thing and protect our democracy.

Connor Slone


Volunteer for Alzheimer’s research

I’ve been an Alzheimer’s researcher for almost 50 years, but I’m also a son who recently lost his mother to this dreadful disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and affects 5.7 million Americans – including 71,000 in Kentucky. It’s also our nation’s costliest disease, at an estimated $277 billion annually. This is a crisis, but there is something each of us can do.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, or ADNI, is the largest and longest-running Alzheimer’s clinical trial and it’s taking place at the University of Kentucky. It’s funded by the National Institutes of Health and focuses on the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and tracking its progression over time. We are looking for healthy volunteers, ages 55 to 90, who have mild memory problems, as well as those who have been diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease. There is no medication involved.

Anyone who has witnessed someone battle this disease knows how devastating it is. We need volunteers to better understand the aging brain, so that we can better diagnose, treat and – one day – cure Alzheimer’s disease.

Please call (888) 223-6495 or visit ADNI3.org for more information or to join us.

Dr. Michael Weiner

ADNI study lead investigator

University of California, San Francisco

Trump gets taste of own medicine

President Donald Trump felt “very insulted” when French President Emmanuel Macron raised the need for a European army to protect Europe from Russia, China and the United States.

How ironic, given that Trump regularly insults, demeans and belittles all who dissent from his policies and fires those in his administration whose primary mistake was giving the president their loyalty. Forty-one people in the Trump administration have resigned or been fired in less than two years, Attorney General Jeff Sessions being the latest. If Americans want to “make America great again,” removing Trump from office is a good starting point.

The Rev. James A. Belcher


Grandmother says listen to both sides

I have an opposite viewpoint than Leah D. Schade expressed in her Oct. 3 opinion piece, “My son’s growing up in a week of Kavanaugh.”

I have children and grandchildren of both sexes. I would never try to pass my biases to them using terms like “powerful male,” “protected by peers,” “predatory,” and “a patriarchal culture.” Schade’s son has no chance to think for himself or be aware of the constitutional right of innocent until proven guilty.

Children should learn that there are always two sides — that fairness dictates you should study, listen, read and look at evidence before smearing another person. These are Christian principles that a professor of preaching and worship such as Schade should express to her children and students.

Many lessons can be taught to both sons and daughters, but listening to both sides and deciding based on evidence is one lesson to which I want my family to adhere. I will always worry about by daughters and granddaughters being abused. They are advised to report it immediately. I also worry about sons and grandsons being accused of something they did not do, and having to defend their name, career and family before there is any proof.

C. Jo Taylor


Legal marijuana’s double benefits

Kentucky’s pension crisis has exposed the incompetence of our elected officials, past and present. Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent for outside consulting firms to “study” the problem and recommend a plan that is unpalatable to Kentucky’s teachers and state employees.

Well, I have an obvious solution: Legalize marijuana and tax the hell out of it.

Currently, there are 30 states that offer some form of legal marijuana. In Colorado, one of the first two states to legalize, marijuana has become a billion-dollar industry, adding $250 million to annual state revenues and creating over 18,000 jobs.

Imagine what that kind of additional revenue would do for Kentucky’s pension plans.

Moreover, many studies show that marijuana has proven to wean users away from dangerous and addictive opioids. Think of the thousands of lives and millions of dollars we could save in Kentucky – one of the most opioid-addicted states in the nation – by legalizing marijuana.

I wonder why Kentucky’s legislature is wasting millions and reneging on pension promises when there is such an obvious solution. For unhappy teachers and state employees whose retirements are threatened by a dysfunctional government, legalizing marijuana will put a smile on their faces.

Ralph Millett


‘Pit’ was great, Tunis review the pits

I was very disappointed in the Herald-Leader review of last month’s Thomas Rhett concert written by Walter Tunis. I’m a 69-year-old grandmother who, along with my 14-year-old granddaughter, stood in the “pit” for five hours enjoying every minute of Brett Young’s and Thomas Rhett’s performance. And so did the other 11,000 fans who stood, sang and danced during the concert. The boys were both energetic and personable and truly seemed to be having a great time entertaining us.

Tunis talked more about what Rhett was wearing and commenting about Rhett being “a country crossover wannabe” than his songs. Also, I had to look up what “dichotomy” meant — guess I’ve been out of school too long.

Tunis’ favorite of the night was the opening act, Midland, and fine for him. Guess that’s why they got the positive review.

By the end of the night, my feet were absolutely killing me but my granddaughter and I had a great time. Will I go back to the “pit”? I’ll have to think long and hard about that or wear different shoes.

Becky Ann Shyrock