Obama shows strength by his mosque stance
While people across the country debate the wisdom of building a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City, I am proud of President Barack Obama for taking the principled, though perhaps politically unpopular, position of supporting the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion that gives all religions the right to exercise their faiths side-by-side, without a state-sponsored religion.
While the 9/11 attackers were Muslim terrorists, the majority of Muslims are peaceful people who deserve to build a community center, including a mosque, wherever they please as long as private property rights allow it.
Refusal to allow the proposed building two blocks from Ground Zero would be akin to blocking the building of a Christian church near an abortion clinic just because a radical Christian extremist may have bombed the clinic in the past, killing innocent civilians as a protest to a lawful medical procedure.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
All religions have their extremists who give the rest of the followers a bad name, and this is no different for Christianity.
I wish more politicians had the intestinal fortitude to stand on principle rather than doing what is politically popular. Standing up for what is right is not always easy but is always deserving of praise,
Thankfully, we have a president with this admirable trait.
Perilous to flout law
We as a nation are at a crossroads. Our nation is a result of respect for law. But when laws exclude corporations, politicians and a class of citizens, a nation declines.
Our nation endured eight years of criminal corruption under the Bush-Cheney administration. President George W. Bush referred to the Constitution as "a piece of paper."
Whereupon his administration violated the law by illegal wiretapping, obstructing a Senate 9/11 investigation and lying to Congress and citizens about the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and then it outed a covert CIA operative in retaliation for her husband's exposure of an administration lie.
Congress and the courts refused to correct this corruption of the Constitution. This indifference to the law has spawned the current political unrest, economic troubles and military expansion — all indicators of a nation's decline.
President Barack Obama was elected primarily on the promise to return our nation to the rule of law, restoring the vital trust between the people and their government.
His promise to investigate and possibly prosecute the Bush administration's alleged crimes gave voters a reason to elect him.
But Obama has chosen to ignore his predecessor's violations based on the absurd notion of "looking forward" while ignoring the cancer eating us from the past.
If our nation's leaders continue to encourage violations of our Constitution and established laws, our fate will echo those past nations that fell after ignoring the law.
The LexTran bus schedule is not supposed to be about convenience to the passengers. It is a set schedule at a very low rates, saving passengers parking fees, gas and the stress of driving. If people are looking for a fast way home without a wait, try a cab or one of Lexington's many car dealerships.
I'd like to comment on an Aug. 14 story, "A woman's interest in butterflies took wing."
It's true that if people really want to help butterflies, it is better to grow native plant species that the butterflies need for their life spans as well as provide them a pool of salty water.
Monarchs in particular must have milkweed. So plant some milkweed, but never disturb any that is established because wild milkweed is becoming rarer every day.
No one should believe they are saving butterflies by saving one at a time. Instead, I urge everyone to give up your grass and plant native plant species that butterflies need for their life cycles so many can be saved and many can be enjoyed.
Problem is McConnell
I am so discouraged with the disarray in the U.S. Congress. There is so much dissension and pure animosity among the members.
Recently, I read that the ever-vocal Sen. Mitch McConnell wrapped all the problems into one ridiculous package. He claims that, because the Democratic Party holds the majority in both the Senate and the House, the nation is not represented in "political balance."
Now there's real news. Because he must have most of the other Republicans hypnotized, they disagree with almost everything that is before the Senate.
One can only assume the political imbalance is brought about because the Republicans blockade the Senate into doing nothing on many issues. They delay passing needed and important bills, seemingly just because they can.
What do the majority of Republicans really think of President Barack Obama and his policies? Could it be that, between the lobbyists and McConnell, they are being led by the nose? Why did we vote for the men and women in Congress if we didn't think they would use their own research and intelligence?
I would assume they're influenced by the money their lobbyist pals will donate to their re-election campaigns. Did you ever hear of a greater cry for term limits?
I think I can sum up my unhappiness with Congress in just a few words: Who declared McConnell the wizard of America?
Cut government payroll
U.S. Census Bureau data that's available online illustrates how government payrolls are the source of budget problems, not public services.
While federal officials have reduced their ranks somewhat since 1969 when much of the baby boom was entering the workforce, the monthly federal payroll tripled between 1969 and 1984 and doubled again by 2007.
The number of state and local government employees increased 38.8 percent between 1969 and 1984 and another 43.6 percent by 2007, but payrolls more than tripled during each of those periods.
One brutal jump in monthly state payrolls was from more than $9 million in 1990 to more than $17.7 million in 2007 (up 95 percent) when state employee counts increased by 15.4 percent.
In Kentucky, the biggest outrage is in the area of state and local administration.
While complaining constantly about budget problems and with a less than 1 percent increase in employees in financial (or other) administration, between 1997 and 2007 there was an accompanying payroll increase of nearly 60 percent for that group.
When the people responsible for setting taxes and fees also decide their own pay and benefits, this result, it has been predicted, is inevitable.
Clearly, our economy cannot move forward because there is too much weight in the wagon and the solution isn't more taxes but less government. Lots less.