Letters to the Editor

Letters: July 30

Liberty School about politics, not history

As a student of history and a believer in a decent education for our state's children, I must comment on a July 13 article about the Vacation Liberty School sponsored by the 9/12 group founded by political commentator Glenn Beck.

The program offered a lecture on the terrible conditions suffered by early colonists.

The lecturer stated that this was brought about by "shared" distribution of food and other items in what he described as a "communist system." This is an ideological canard.

Take the Jamestown colony in Virginia as an example of a typical new-world colony. That colony was established to create wealth for the people who paid to start it, following the success of the Spanish colonies in Central America and South America.

The Jamestown colonists were there to work the native environment and create goods to be shipped back to England. Little thought was given to the colonists' conditions if something went wrong.

The near-starvation conditions experienced were caused by the desire of the colony's sponsor, the Virginia Company, to receive immediate rewards for its investors in lieu of establishing proper conditions for the colony's survival.

Considering the sponsor of this vacation "school" and the 9/12 group's founder, the lecturer presented a predictable slant to his presentation that must be construed as political ideology cloaked as a quasi-religious doctrine, not historical fact.

Tim Boldrick

Danville

Tunis hits right notes

Walter Tunis is the best reason to buy a Herald-Leader. He exhaustively covers the regional music scene with passion and intelligence.

One is seldom disappointed following his weekly advice on where to head for the best tunes. He also generates substantial revenue for bars, restaurants and music stores by directing people their way who otherwise would have stayed home or gone elsewhere.

Popular music is arguably the most important public art form. Though it receives almost no government support or corporate largess, it is enjoyed by more people than any other form of performing or visual art.

It's great to hear Tunis' take on things every weekend.

Guy Kemper

Versailles

9/11 led to more blood

In the events of 9/11 there were nearly 3,000 lives lost due to 19 terrorists. Since May 2003, when President George W. Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" on a sign bought and paid for by his staff, more than 150,000 Iraqi moms, dads and children have died.

I repeat: More than 150,000 (according to some studies) Iraqi moms, dads and children have died in a nation which did not sponsor 9/11 and had no weapons of mass destruction or plans to bomb this country. This nation has also lost almost 5,000 Americans and only God knows how many have permanent physical and mental injures.

As the world looks on, doesn't anyone realize why the peoples of God's Earth despise us?

That one man who planned 9/11, if he is still alive, must be laughing because he got more than he probably ever dreamed of.

Do the then-president, the Congress and the American public of today now realize they've been made fools of? I think not.

Curtis Gilliland

Somerset

Thanks, safety officers

I was sitting on my porch recently talking to a good friend who is a police officer. We were talking about things in general when he received a call about a man walking around with a rifle. He was gone on his call in a second.

Watching him pull away, I sat back down and it hit me like a ton of bricks: What if he gets shot?

I told God after Officer Bryan Durman was killed that I would not take our police, fire or sheriff's departments for granted ever again. So I renewed that promise.

Thanks to all of you for what you do to keep us safe.

Lisa Johnson

Lexington

Ethnocentric take

A July 11 letter writer who stated that early settlers in America were not "illegal" was painfully misinformed.

The writer said he conducted a lengthy search to find tribal records that would indicate laws broken by European settlers who invaded Native American lands.

It must have been an exhausting search indeed, because Native American tribal laws, style of government and culture differed greatly from that of the invading Europeans. The writer unintentionally demonstrated his ethnocentrism.

Also, Europeans settled America for different reasons. Some wished to escape religious persecution, but others wanted to explore. Spanish explorers Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and Hernando de Soto (whom the reader said Native Americans met with open arms) murdered countless Native Americans, burned villages and captured others for guides into the wilderness.

The situation today is completely different. The Mexicans who are immigrating to America are doing so to escape horrible poverty and crime. It sounds like from the writer's letter that Americans today are just as uncompassionate as many invading Europeans were when America was first settled.

Angela M. Arnett

Waynesburg

WEG parking flawed

I thought the late Sam Barnes wrote a timely piece on July 13 encouraging all who live here to embrace the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. I certainly agree that this is a wonderful opportunity for us to shine. There will be something for everyone and a variety of ticket prices.

However, I believe there is a huge obstacle to community participation. That would the recently announced parking decisions: the cost, the distance for foot traffic between parking area and venues, the lack of off-site parking with shuttle service and the traffic congestion the consolidation of parking will create on Ironworks Pike.

There is nothing about this arrangement that encourages attendance at the games. Hardy souls will have to come in spite of these conditions.

Judy Johnson

Lexington

Mayor's views on gays

On May 7, 1998, in a public debate with Ernesto Scorsone, then-congressional candidate (and now mayor) Jim Newberry attempted to rile up the homophobic campaign rumors by stating: "And in 1992, as a result of Ernesto's efforts, our sodomy laws were declared unenforceable in this state." Newberry told the Herald-Leader in 2006 that his views hadn't changed.

The Lexington Pride Festival recently celebrated who we are: lovers, families and proud people of all sexual orientations and ages who, for one brief day, no longer censored their own actions or life stories.

I am left wondering: Did we, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered folk of the region, celebrate our humanity on the lawn of a county government that would see our identities made illegal?

Whether or not Newberry still believes in sodomy laws is a barometer of his willingness to serve our diverse city. The election season is upon us, and we ask: Mayor Newberry, do you still believe in making it against the law to be gay in Kentucky?

Steven Taylor

Lexington

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