Faulty logic keeps Kentuckians voting against their interests
Anyone who missed Tom Eblen's Oct. 29 column should recover it or perhaps read his blog at Kentucky.com. It captures the very essence of the nature of why Kentuckians seem to vote for Republican national tickets and ignore valid evidence about why they should not.
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Kentuckians do indeed have a perverse pride in their ignorance of multiple-issue politics. Somehow, I suspect that many supporters of Republican candidates view Republicans as being somewhat on the wealthy side; so by association, it might rub off on them.
That notion is as silly as taking pride in a Wal-Mart, thinking that its retail jobs, or indeed any retail jobs, are putting money into a Kentucky community, instead of the usual and real net effect of taking it out of the state.
Ronald B. Blackburn
Too smart to fall for it
Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen asserts that if Kentuckians reject Barack Obama's income redistribution program, then we are gullible and willfully ignorant.
Did Eblen ever consider that we Kentuckians weren't raised to ask, "What's in it for me," before considering all other implications of such a program? Did Eblen ever consider that we are educated enough to look beyond the superficial, immediate gratification of receiving someone else's money in the mail?
Perhaps, just perhaps, we are just educated enough to not fall for the class warfare politics that he is advocating. I never thought I would see the day when a society would be criticized for standing up and saying "country first," not "me first."
Furthermore, shouldn't Eblen's statements such as "it is in complete character with McCain's increasingly shrill and desperate campaign," be in the Opinion section of the newspaper and not the front of City / Region?
Overreacting to effigy
The hanging of an effigy of Barack Obama on the University of Kentucky campus was a childish act, but the response to it has been extremely hypocritical. What happened on campus may be a hate crime, but it is no more so than the hanging of an effigy of Sarah Palin in California.
To address one as a hate crime and not the other is the height of hypocrisy. You can't assume that just because someone dislikes Obama, it is racially motivated.
You should at least accept the possibility that it is a gesture of frustration at a nation that is rushing headlong to sell itself to a man who has shown disregard (if not contempt) for many of the concepts that our regional culture values most: our faith, the importance of our right to bear arms, the strength of our military, the protection of the lives of the unborn.
Truth in Pett cartoon
I hope Joel Pett feels vindicated after the vilification he received because of his Oct. 15 cartoon. I'm referring of course to the disgusting effigy found on the University of Kentucky campus. Pett now seems much more prescient than villainous. I only wonder if his prophecy was self-fulfilling.
Leave the signs alone
John McCain would probably be ashamed to be associated with the person who is stealing Obama signs out of neighbors' yards. McCain bravely defended the personal freedoms we hold dear, and first among these is freedom of speech. The thief is disgracing himself and his cause. Please stop.
Obama an abortion hard-liner
Barack Obama has been attempting to portray himself as a moderate on the issue of abortion. However, the real Obama is firmly committed to an agenda of hard-line pro-abortion policies that are far to the left — as demonstrated by the Freedom of Choice Act, which he co-sponsored.
The plain language of this bill invalidates restrictions on public funding of abortion and laws requiring parental notification before an abortion. In short, it would nullify every restriction that has been placed on abortion over the last 30 years at the federal and state levels.
Not only did Obama co-sponsor the bill, in 2007, he also told the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which supports him, that the first thing he'd do as president is sign it. Obama has voted consistently against restrictions on public funding of abortion and against requiring parental notification. This is not the record of a moderate, but of someone committed to abortion on demand.
Patrick Schneider, II
Right to Life of Central Kentucky Board of Directors
(This letter was signed by six others)
Obama sticker gets attention
I used to turn heads. But at 70, I have become invisible. Except for the last couple of months, when in my car, I have begun to catch the interest of others.
Drivers pass me quickly and stare as they whiz by. A few wave. At least, I think they are waving, since flying fingers are involved. Initially, I thought my mojo was rejuvenated.
Finally, by golly, I realized it was the Obama endorsement taped in my back window. To you old guys out there wanting renewed attention, especially other old white guys, I strongly recommend getting an Obama sticker. Oh, and as it happens, he is the better man. You betcha. If you see me, wave. Or wink. I drive a Joe Sixpack Saturn.
Ignore fear strategy
Attacks by his opponents have attempted to raise the fear factor to white-heat levels to cause an irrational response against Barack Obama. Republicans have capitalized on the politics of fear for the past eight years.
It has been a long time since Americans have witnessed the rise of a person with qualities as great as those of Obama. He has uncommon maturity and wisdom. He is intelligent with much "book learning" but possesses the common sense necessary for a great leader. His self-confidence is obvious, but he impresses with his humility.
His calm but studied demeanor in our financial crisis, as well as throughout this campaign, shows he is not a grandstanding "politics as usual" person.
Obama has an ability to bring the country together if we will give him that opportunity.
James Whiteley Sr.
Stick with facts
I know people hate to have their arguments destroyed by facts, but I could not let three letters go unanswered.
First, a writer said Ronald Reagan had a "short stint" in the military. Reagan never served. He made movies during the war, unlike actors like James Stewart, who actually flew bombers.
Another writer said people should not criticize Sarah Palin because she has the same experience as Barack Obama. Wrong, again. Obama has been in front of the public for more than a year. If qualified, why hasn't Palin faced the press to answer unscripted questions?
Finally, it is true that John McCain heads the ticket, not Palin. However, his nomination of her shows how little he cares about this country. He wanted one of two others, but folded to the far right.
It is time for a real change, not of the guard, but of the whole castle.
Obama bad for economy
We are in the midst of a financial panic that has occurred on average every 20 years since 1819. We have always emerged and enjoyed long periods of prosperity.
However, we have a candidate who wants to redistribute wealth, provide college for everyone who wants to go and start a public insurance program. He proposes to do this by raising taxes on the top 5 percent of the population who pay 50 percent of the taxes. This 5 percent are the ones who create the jobs; the more you tax something, the less you get from it.
We could dismiss all of this as just an election ploy, but he may have a super majority of liberal Democrats in the House and Senate; all of these proposals may become law. If Barack Obama is elected, we could have a long, deep depression. I'll vote for the old patriot, however flawed he may be.
With a nod to SMITH, the storytelling online magazine that originated the concept of the six-word memoir, I offer these commentaries on the presidential and vice presidential candidates:
Vision, reason, judgment, compassion: Obama.
Dedicated, seasoned, volubly effective spokesman: Biden.
Honorable Cold Warrior, just old: McCain.
"Guys and gals" robotic mouthpiece: Palin.
Marilyn J. Hilliard
Mongiardo's comment wrong
In a Sept. 29 article, Democratic Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo was quoted as saying that if people do not support Barack Obama, they are either ignorant or racially biased.
This statement should not have been made. I resent it coming from Mongiardo.
My three sons went to school with him, and I went to high school with his dad, Jim. In the 1960s, I installed the heating and air- conditioning systems when Jim Mongiardo built his house. Dan Mongiardo has forgotten where and how he was raised.
Glossing over racism
In regard to Leland Conway's Oct. 6 column: What planet does Conway live on?
Come to Western Kentucky, and I will show you real racism.
How about white Christian ministers using the n-word from their pulpits?
How about people saying aloud to me that they cannot vote for a black man?
Conway is dangerous because he glosses over the problem and pretends it does not exist. How familiar his arguments are; I hear them daily from Republican spokesmen.
I may be a 74-year-old farm dweller, but I know garbage when I read it. Go, Obama.
Nancy M. Askew
Obama's energy plan
John McCain and Barack Obama have diverse views on how to solve the high cost of gasoline. Obama says the United States should decrease its dependence on foreign oil by looking for alternative sources of energy, while McCain says we should increase offshore drilling as a way to boost oil supplies and decrease reliance on foreign oil.
While increased drilling at home would lower prices at the pump in the short term, the only true way to ensure that Americans will be able to afford fuel is to look into alternative forms of energy like wind power, solar power and more electronic and hybrid vehicles. So, the only way to vote to ensure that we will be able to provide enough energy for all Americans now and in the future is to vote for Obama.
Philosophy trumps race
I am one of a number of whites who are inclined to vote for Barack Obama precisely because he is black.
My first impulse on reading about the bumper sticker, "Keep the White House white," is one of disgust and anger and a desire to vote for Obama just to nullify the vote of the jerk who displayed that crude message.
However, the paper is right about not using race as a basis for deciding one's vote. I ought to vote for the candidate who shares my political philosophy.
Sadly, I am not sure that Obama shares some of my values, as well as my view about how government should be based on them. So I have to beware of the racism in my own soul that might incline me to vote for an African-American to prove that I am not a racist.
James Robert Ross
Where are other radicals?
The thing that really concerns me is not that former Weather Underground leader William Ayers is a friend of Barack Obama, but rather how a domestic terrorist got into our education system. Even in 2005, he said he wished that he had done more damage. How many more like this do we have in the education system and in our government?
For years, I've heard that our country will be taken over within; this is happening. In 9/11, the terrorists aimed their force at our economic system. What is happening with our economy now?
Look at what has happened to our country and vote for the democracy and freedoms we have enjoyed for years. Look at countries where the government is caring for its people and see if this is how you want your children and grandchildren to live. I don't.
Another limit on voting rights
I received a voter guide in the mail from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, which includes a section on "Restoring Rights to Former Felons." Perhaps KFTC ought to focus on restoring the right to vote an absentee ballot by people in jail on misdemeanors.
Yes, the Kentucky General Assembly has disenfranchised you if you are not a convicted felon, but are merely in jail on a misdemeanor during the time you could have otherwise filed an absentee ballot. I doubt that many people are aware that entering a guilty plea to a misdemeanor has the horrendous collateral consequence of being disenfranchised.
Rather than focusing on allowing ex-felons to vote, shouldn't we be focusing on allowing people in jail on any misdemeanor to be allowed to vote by absentee ballot?
Stop automated phone calls
Message to all candidates: Automated phone calls with recorded messages cost you votes. Your campaign advisers who talked you into this obviously do not understand how much people are irritated by unsolicited phone calls of any kind. Our elected officials conveniently exempted candidates from no-call lists when they passed such laws. As one of more than 30 million households that have opted for no-call registration, I call for an end to these bothersome calls.