Letters to the Editor

Letters: Sept. 2

Withdraw fully from Iraq; end combatin Afghanistan

In a recent commentary, University of Kentucky professor Robert Olson did not speak very highly of the United States war and occupation of Iraq. Neither do I and I note with thanksgiving that the Herald-Leader was one of few newspapers not to support the war from the beginning.

To protest the war, I joined the group CODEPINK: Women for Peace that stood against the war in front of the federal building in downtown Frankfort.

I now join with CODEPINK  to mark the occasion of the troop withdrawal by calling on the Obama administration and Congress to take the following actions:

■ Withdrawal of all U.S. troops and military contractors from Iraq and the closing of all U.S. bases.

■ Reparations to help the Iraqis repair their basic infrastructure and increased funds for the millions of internally and externally displaced Iraqis.

■ Full support for the U.S. troops who suffer from the internal and external wounds of war.

■ Prosecution of those officials responsible for dragging our country into this disaster.

■ Transfer of funds from war into resources to rebuild America, with a focus on green jobs.

The lessons of this disastrous intervention should also be an impetus for Congress and the administration to end the war in Afghanistan. It's time to focus on creating real security here at home and rebuilding America.

I noticed that New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in a piece republished in the Herald-Leader said about the same regarding the war in Afghanistan.

Anne G. Woodhead


End sports obsession

The ongoing scandals in the world of organized sports are yet another reminder of our misplaced priorities. With all of the problems facing the world, and perhaps the future of mankind at stake, why are we so caught up in college and professional sports?

The inescapable truth is that most organized sports are children's games played by mostly young adult males recruited from distant places, that are somehow supposed to represent the values and achievements of the school, city or state where they play.

Even some adults who are normally perceptive and reasonable, often resort to ludicrous behavior in their frenzied support of meaningless athletic events.

It's time to reevaluate the purpose of organized athletics and relegate these juvenile games to the playground where they truly belong.

Just think how much better the world would be if we transferred our adulation of those who excel athletically to those who excel academically.

Ralph Barnes


Taking Ky. backward

The gospel according to Paul. No not that Paul. I'm talking about the Rand Paul who puts his foot in his mouth every time he opens it.

He has said he doesn't believe that government should interfere in any situations such as integration of public facilities. He said facilities should not be forced to accommodate physically challenged and older citizens unable to get into buildings to conduct their business.

Paul does not believe the federal government should get involved in the safety of coal mines. That should be left up to the workers, mine owners, state and local officials.

We all know how well that would work, due to the power of coal companies over the majority of state and local politicians.

Paul said on talk radio he worried about beer being thrown on him at the Fancy Farm Church Picnic. He had to apologize as they don't serve alcoholic beverages in a dry county.

He does not seem to have much knowledge of the history of Kentucky, either, or he would have known that "Bloody Harlan" was not a Saturday-night shoot out by local drunks, but coal company goons hired to kill miners.

We don't need another Mitch McConnell who brags about how long he has been in Washington but hasn't done much of anything to move the state forward.

Take a look at Jack Conway's plans for the future of Kentucky and compare what he plans to do (take us forward) and what Rand Paul plans to do (take us backward).

Owen D. Humphress


Chandler successes

As midterm elections draw closer in November, it is important for Kentuckians to be aware of the accomplishments of the Obama administration and of 6th District Congressman Ben Chandler. Here are a few:

■ Took a stand to make insurers cover mental illness like other illnesses.

■ Expanded health care for millions of children.

■ Gave the biggest-ever funding increase for veterans' health care.

■ Passed legislation to give our military men and women the chance to get a four-year college education.

■ Passed the biggest middle-class tax cut in history.

■ Protected consumers with unprecedented credit card reform which took effect earlier this year.

■ Took steps to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."

Remember, Chandler voted yes on all these bills and many more. Re-elect him in November and vote the Democratic ticket.

Maureen L Tarpey


Safety over beautification

As a Chevy Chase resident, I am writing in regard to the beautification of the intersection at High Street and Fontaine Road.

I'm not really sure how adding trees, flowers and other green space to this intersection is going to help with traffic flow.

I live two doors down from this intersection, and the traffic jams and accidents should be the main concern here. The need for turning lanes and turning signals is beyond apparent.

Traffic is continually backed up Fontaine Road with cars trying to turn left onto Tates Creek Road.

Now that schools are back in session, the problem has only escalated. Until these issues are addressed, I could care less about a bench in the middle of High Street to rest on while trying to cross.

Roxanne Sparks


Golf course a jewel

If you don't know about the Meadowbrook golf course, you're missing one of Lexington's recreational gens.

It is a par-3 executive golf course that allows a golfer to use every club in the bag. It's located off Wilson Downing Road behind Southern Elementary and Middle schools.

My wife and I have spent many mornings getting great exercise while helping our then-young grandsons learn, and fall in love with, the game.

Now that they are grown and playing other courses, we're still making our rounds while watching other parents and grandparents do the same for their youngsters. Plus, we've enjoyed the company of other golfers; the staff members are just about the nicest people you'll ever meet,

Meadowbrook isn't a profit-making endeavor. In some years, it operates at a small loss. But what community service that enhances our lives as Lexington residents does operate at a profit? Not garbage collection, police and fire protection, traffic control, road repair or city parks.

In a time when obesity and sedentary lifestyles contribute to poor health, one could say that places like Meadowbrook are essential.

Along with Keeneland, the Horse Park, the Opera House, University of Kentucky sports, the Legends, beautiful parks, terrific regulation golf courses, Meadowbrook is a treasure for our leisure hours — no matter our age.

Ronald Reinhardt