Letters to the Editor

Letters: Jan. 5

Genocidal plan less important than celeb sex?

It seems there is enough coverage in the press about South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and golf player Tiger Woods, and their failure to keep their pants zipped (basically a family problem).

On the other hand, there is little, if any, notice in the press that there is a country, Uganda, that is considering enacting a law to kill a segment of its people for being gay, HIV positive or having AIDS. All of this is seemingly encouraged or endorsed by some self-righteous congressmen posing as Christians.

If Uganda's ethics minister comes to America as planned to attend the National Day of Prayer breakfast, there ought to be an outcry all over this country. But first the press has to make this situation and its American connection known.

Maybe if nothing else happens in the sports community or another national leader hasn't dropped his drawers, they may have a bit of ink left to print this information.

Douglas S. Mitchell


Stop teen drunk driving

I am a student at Eastern Kentucky University who is attempting to get a grant funded to help reduce underage drinking.

I believe that grants to the community are vital in providing teenagers the needed awareness on the risks of drinking and driving. I and two other classmates are working with Jessamine County public schools and Nicholasville's police department to bring the National Save a Life Tour to the community.

The tour is a traveling, high-impact awareness simulation program that is designed to provide at-risk students with an eye-opening experience through the use of realistic drunk-driving simulators and multimedia tools.

Underage drinking is a social problem that can no longer be ignored. More and more youths in our communities are being injured or killed as a result of their decision to drink and drive. They have not been educated on the risks involved.

From personal experience, grant writing is a time-consuming process, but it is well worth it if it means saving a life. The public needs to open its eyes and stop being naive when it comes to youth drinking and driving.

Grant funding is very important to combat an issue such as this, but first the problem must be recognized by community members and leaders. Programs such as the Save a Life Tour could significantly reduce the number of accidents and deaths of Kentucky teenagers who make the choice to drive under the influence.

Amanda Marshall


Focus on family

Everyone is concerned over the state budget and how cuts will affect the education system in particular.

Cuts have been recommended for numerous programs offered by school systems across the state, including preschool programs.

A recent article in the Herald-Leader discussed a report that touted the value of preschool education. Many of those in the education system want preschool to become mandatory so the education system can further its own goals. Preschool education is very important, but it also should be exactly what it says it is, "pre" school.

Parents and guardians are the ones who are responsible for early education in a child's life, not the taxpayer. Instead of pouring more money into a broken education system, policy makers should focus on ways to boost the family in Kentucky. Good family structure has more positive effects on individuals than a government-run organization (the school system) ever has or ever will.

Good family structures aren't just the two-parent kind; they come in all shapes and sizes. So instead of listening to a governmental organization on what to keep and what to do without, let's listen to the common people and return to ideas that have served us well for many years.

Josh Roberts


Guns and kids

A young boy exercised his Second Amendment right to bear arms by accidentally shooting his mother. Another young boy exercised his Second Amendment right to bear arms by accidentally shooting his little sister.

Don't worry, gun advocates. None of the adult gun owners responsible for letting a loaded firearm get into the hands of children will be charged with a crime.

Joe Hurt


Israel not the problem

Why is Middle East peace so hard to achieve? Are Israeli settlements the major obstacle?

Consider this: During its first 20 years of existence, Israel possessed no settlements at all. Yet during that period, Arab armies launched two wars of annihilation against the tiny state.

Victorious in both, Israel offered to give back most of the land captured in the second war, the Six-Day War. The Arabs' answer was their famous three nos: no recognition, no negotiations, no peace. Instead, they attacked Israel with the Yom Kippur War. Again Israel prevailed, and when Egypt finally agreed to peace, Israel gave back all the oil-rich Sinai it had captured.

Later, under President Bill Clinton, Israel agreed to give back 95 percent of the captured West Bank, all of Gaza, parts of Jerusalem, and some compensatory Israeli land in return for peace. Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat said no.

In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew all its settlements and forces from Gaza. Instead of peace, the Palestinians increased their rocket bombardments of Israel's southern civilian population from the vacated settlements. War was the ultimate result.

Today, to satisfy a first-ever precondition to even start negotiations, Israel has offered to halt all West Bank settlement construction for 10 months. But once again, the Palestinian response is one of complete rejection.

It seems clear that the obstacle to peace is not the settlements, but the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel and make peace.

Irmgard Gesund


A public question

I have heard many positive comments about the H1N1 swine flu clinics put on by the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

People have been impressed by the efficiency and the professionalism and have expressed pleasure at receiving the inoculation for themselves or their children at no cost.

I wonder how many of these people claim to be against a public option for health care in the United States?

Ann Cowan


Look before cuts

The city's proposed budget cuts on emergency services such as the fire and police departments are atrocious.

Scores of families will be affected — both through mothers and fathers losing their jobs and health insurance, as well as through delays in response times during true crises.

I half expected this administration to make a difference and to clean house. Why not address rampant administrative inefficiencies or excessive travel expenses of certain council members? Don't forget the $600,000 shelled out to solve problems with the implementation of a new payroll system — problems likely caused by poor planning.

We would all benefit by taking a look beyond the politics and correcting long-existing cultural issues, instead of taking the easy route and cutting much-needed emergency services.

Kylie Whipple