You wouldn't believe what some folks believe
While leafing through advertisements in a recent Sunday paper, I saw an ad for green tea that promised it would "BURN FAT!"
I wondered how many would accept this preposterous claim, and then moved on to the rest of the paper.
Soon, I saw an item that made me realize there are many who believe the actions of man have no effect on the environment.
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And next, an item reminded me many in Kentucky do not believe "clean coal" is an oxymoron.
This just opened the door to a list of instances in which a significant number of people believe the impossible, the probably wrong or the ridiculous:
■ They will win the lottery next week.
■ President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
■ Their Lexus and/or their castle indicates status in society.
■ Adam and Eve had no ancestors.
■ Fox News is a reliable source of the truth.
■ The government should stay out of my kitchen while I'm cooking eggs.
■ Dinosaurs and man coexisted.
■ Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
■ The End Days are near.
■ Fortune tellers can predict the future.
■ Yeti, Nessie and Bigfoot are still out there.
■ The University of Kentucky will soon be a Top 20 school.
Perhaps these observations of our voting public might indicate why some elected officials are not as smart as we wish they were.
I am amazed at the logic of our governor and lawmakers. In order to save money, they are punishing a select few of the lower-paid employees with six days of furlough.
From my understanding, no one in the court system is getting furloughs nor are elected state officials and others.
What about the money wasted by not passing a budget when they were supposed to, requiring a special session?
I asked a representative, "Why not raise sales tax, that is the most fair tax of all?" He said people don't like taxes, but that would not hurt me.
If I bought a $50,000 vehicle, it would maybe hurt. But as far as buying food, it is not taxable.
For what the average worker buys, a 1- to 2-cent increase on the dollar would not be painful.
What about casino gambling? Gov. Steve Beshear was elected to bring in casino gambling, but others say no, and it's not possible for us to vote on it.
Why? Do lawmakers feel people in Kentucky are not as smart as our neighbors to the north? I'm not saying I want gambling, but I do want to vote on the issue.
I feel politicians in Frankfort are making a lot of bad decisions and spending a lot of money needlessly while not doing the job we elected them to do.
We all need to think real hard when we vote this time.
Respect 9/11 site
As a pastor, I can surely applaud the First Amendment, which was meant to guarantee freedom of religion. However, the building of a mosque near Ground Zero is not just about religion.
Like it or not, the 9/11 attackers were Muslim terrorists. To compare this controversy to a dispute between a Christian church and an abortion clinic bombing, as in an Aug. 26 letter, is an insult to everyone involved.
The real problem is the lack of respect for the families and friends of those brutally murdered on 9/11.
Freedom of religious expression ought to include respect, courtesy and consideration for the feelings of others.
If the builders of the mosque are really mostly peaceful people, then let them prove it by choosing another site for their mosque. I have always believed the saying that "action speak louder than words."
The Rev. Gary L. Fields
Respect 1st Amendment
Blaming all Muslims for the acts of a few terrorists and insisting that an Islamic center should not be built in downtown New York City is like blaming all Christians for Timothy McVeigh's attack in Oklahoma City and insisting that a Christian Center not be built near the bombing site.
Extremists in any religion do not represent that religion. We have been inundated by the media with news about Islamic terrorists, but Islam has the same roots as Christianity and Judiasm, and most Muslims view acts of violence as against their religion.
We need to move beyond misconceptions and prejudices.
The First Amendment of our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and a separation of church and state. Denying that freedom to any religious group threatens the freedom of all religious groups.
We need to stay true to the ideals on which this great nation was founded and protect freedom of religion by supporting the Islamic center.
Execution as politics
As a retired prison chaplain, I find it interesting that Attorney General Jack Conway sent a death warrant for Gregory Wilson, along with two other pending death warrants, along to the governor while his ringing "fight crime" endorsement by the Fraternal Order of Police for a U.S. Senate seat is playing on the airwaves.
If resorting to taking someone's life — even that of a condemned criminal — is necessary to win a political race, surely politics has reached an all-time low.
I challenge Conway and the governor that no executions take place until after the November election.
I suggest Gov. Steve Beshear meet Wilson. There is a major difference in seeing a name on a piece of paper and looking into the face of one whose life he is about to take.
God's forgiveness for our sins is contingent upon our willingness to forgive those who have wronged us. Forgiveness is not easily attainable but, if Christ is really directing our lives, it is possible and imperative.
That Wilson was found guilty of a heinous crime is undeniable, and my sympathy goes to the family of the victim; but his execution will change nothing.
Further, he has been locked up in an iron cage for 23 years and likely will be for the remainder of his life. Surely that is enough punishment.
Finally, I leave with the question I posed to the governor, "If your child or grandchild was sitting on Death Row, what would you want a governor to do?"
Joe F. O'Cull
Rand Paul doesn't know the location of Harlan or Hazard. I bet he doesn't know that Harlan is both a city and a county. I bet he thinks Jackson is in Jackson County. Your newspaper is equally geographically challenged.
The Herald-Leader must be somewhere near the Knox County Times Tribune in Neverneverland.
That paper does not exist in Kentucky, despite the mention in an Aug. 27 editorial. There is the Corbin Times-Tribune.
Has McClatchy Newspapers outsourced the reporting to India via Web surfing?
Robert A. Knight