Letters to the Editor

Listen to victims, not prisoners in jail crisis, and other letters from readers

More to life than Trump

It’s Sunday morning, the first post-9/11 Sunday of 2019 and I have just read Teri Carter’s column in the Herald-Leader. I hardly ever read her anymore since I’ve discovered after many attempts that she and I just don’t view the world the same in virtually any way you want to describe. However, the “Thank You, Professor” headline caught my eye and I began to read. This is great, I thought, as I progressed downwards; well-written, thoughtful, enjoyable. Then, near mid-article, in a way not even associated with the other thoughts she was expressing, it burst forth, like an illness that encapsulates the lives of these people. In the midst of one of the best articles, in my opinion, that she has written for your paper, she had to throw in a totally unrelated, unnecessary political comment. I’ve actually grown to feel sorry for these people — isn’t there anything else in their lives more important? Is hatred such a driving force it compels something to be in their lives and thoughts and in everything they do? Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t detect this visceral, all-encompassing hatred of others from supporters of President Donald Trump, of which I am not one.

Joe Mercer, Lexington

The real victims

I have been reading the Herald-Leader’s articles on Kentucky jails and prisons. The articles are not reporting; they are propaganda for the idea that the cure for the problems is letting drugs offenders out of jail.

I think if the newspaper wants to do real reporting, give equal time to the real victims, not the people found guilty under our legal system or the lawyers who make their money defending them.

Write about the pain these crimes have caused, the addictions, the loss of beloved family members that is felt year after year. There is no parole from that sentence. Write about the medical treatment endured because of violence and the broken homes.

The way of the transgressor is hard.

I agree that these convicted criminals should have a nice bed, plenty of room, privacy, exercise and dignity. We all want that. The way to get it is to serve the time. Get a job. Stay away from crime and buy things with the money earned, like everyone else.

Stacie Salvadori, Frankfort

‘Academic value’ missing

This is in response to the recent article by Herald-Leader reporter Mike Stunson on diversity at the University of Kentucky, and the school’s evident commitment to promoting more student body diversity.

In my opinion, this is a classic example of a political decision and has little or nothing to do with promoting academic excellence. The demand for even greater diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation has little or no academic value.

UK has a lot of catching up to do if it matches Yale University’s effort to ensure the commitment to diversity is strictly enforced in student admissions, faculty hiring and curricular design.

Yale has an Office of Diversity and Inclusion, a dean of Diversity and Faculty Development, an Office of Gender and Campus Culture,and an overwhelming presence of similar positions and programs. Reportedly, Yale now has more than 150 full-time staff and student representatives serving in some pro-diversity role.

I wonder what our higher learning institutions are coming to.

Thomas R. McGeehan, Wilmore

Trump ravaging environment

At a press conference after the Group of Seven meeting earlier this month, President Donald Trump claimed to be an environmentalist. Of all the lies he has told, this is perhaps the most egregious. The first thing that he did when he came into office was to revoke a rule that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris into streams and rivers. He repealed a ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. He repealed President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan and pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord. He has largely emasculated the Endangered Species Act and opened the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to oil drilling. He has weakened the Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency rules governing the storage and disposal of poisonous coal ash. Far from being an environmentalist, Trump is a destroyer of the environment. He has placed people in charge of the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and other federal agencies who are actively hostile to the missions of the agencies they head and are doing everything in their power to destroy these agencies. Trump is a despicable throwback to the days of the robber barons.

James R. Porter, Danville

Not on Bevin’s watch

The newspaper has devoted a great deal of effort reporting about the lack of proper procedures for monitoring compliance with KRS 337.200 subsequent to the Blackjewel mining company bankruptcy filing and miners not being compensated. I sympathize with the hardship facing those individuals. However, I believe that the Herald-Leader’s reporting of the problem has been less than accurate in laying all the blame on the current administration of the Labor Cabinet.

KRS 337.200 was enacted during the 2010 Legislative Session and became effective on July 15, 2010. At that time, when procedures should have been developed by the Labor Cabinet, Steve Beshear was governor. In fact, Beshear remained as governor for nearly five more years while the Labor Cabinet continued to fail in implementing appropriate policies.

The failure to properly monitor and enforce the provisions of KRS 337.200 predates the present administration.

Rich Risinger, Frankfort

New laws — not thoughts, prayers

Sen. Mitch McConnell, deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers are not enough. They don’t fill the gaping holes shot through the hearts of the loved ones left behind by gun violence. They don’t heal the wounds and soothe the lifetime of pain felt by the survivors. They don’t heal the souls of first responders who put their lives in danger and healthcare providers who tend to the dead and wounded.

If McConnell really cared, he would allow House Resolution 8, the bill requiring background checks for every firearm sale, to proceed in the Senate, and take the first steps to decrease gun violence in America. We need public policies that prohibit dangerous individuals from easily obtaining firearms.

Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 16, 2019, there have been 20 mass shootings in which four or more people, not including the shooter, were killed in America. McConnell proudly calls himself the “Grim Reaper” of the Senate. This year, that title takes on a new meaning.

Do the right thing, senator. Let H.R. 8 move through the Senate. Now.

Alice Mills, Lexington, volunteer, Kentucky Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

True heroes

As we watch the Democratic Party go ever further left, the music industry grow ever more hateful toward conservatives, and ethics stumble, I wonder where it ends. Comedians and rap singers now using the “F” word oh-so-casually, showing how low our arts culture has sunken. It feeds perfectly into the current fever of attacks on people wearing MAGA hats and the physical violence used on President Donald Trump’s supporters. These actions show exactly who the intolerant radicals really are. My heroes aren’t highly paid football players kneeling during the national anthem, a pop singer flirting with bisexuality or a politician excoriating Israel. The people we look up to should be those who exalt God, not themselves or their possessions. They may be mocked and made fun of, yet they persevere. That is true courage.

JD Mackey, Lexington

My country is family

I love my country like I love my children. I would give my life for those boys. However, at times I criticized their choices. At times I punished them for their actions. But their mother and I made sure that they knew we loved them, even when they said they hated us. Not once in the 30-plus years of their lives did we doubt they loved us. It never occurred to me that hating your parents had anything to do with loving them. What is family if not a safe place to rebel? They grew up; some of their values I share and some I do not. My home and arms are always open to them, regardless of our current or future differences. We are a family with all the love and pain and disagreement that comes with being human. I love my country like I love my family.

Richard Haley, Lexington