Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Sept. 11

Republicans are on a path of destruction

I never thought I would see the day when a political party would dedicate itself to the destruction of America the way the Republicans are doing in order to get a president out of the White House.

It's true the GOP tried in the most revolting of ways to destroy Bill Clinton, but its assault on Barack Obama brings a level of nastiness seldom seen in our national politics in recent years. And it now has the leverage of an entire media empire and television network helping with their destructive project.

The GOP discovered during the Reagan and Bush years that a sizable chunk of the electorate would rather ignore real political issues like jobs, housing, education and medical care, and focus instead on the things dearest to their hearts — religious bigotry, racism, homophobia and xenophobia.

The Republicans have gladly deployed this pathetically uninformed mob in projects that benefit the wealthy, distract from the real issues, and cause catastrophic harm to the 90 percent of Americans who belong to the working class and the middle class, including most of those poor dupes who are supporting the GOP.

The Democrats are not the party they used to be, when they vigorously labored on behalf of working families and the poor, minority groups, the elderly and the disabled. Far too many Democratic politicians have been compromised by corporate money. Nonetheless, the Democrats are the only party making an effort to pull the nation out of the deep hole it is in.

Patrick McLaughlin


CEO earns pay

What is the media's fascination with salaries earned by corporate executives? Recently, by courtesy of The Courier-Journal, the Herald-Leader reported on the salary and expenses of Ray Weis, CEO of Dismas Charities Inc.

It seems the non-profit Dismas does so well providing services to government agencies it was able to pay Weis even more than is earned by John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John's, and Steve Trager, president and CEO of Republic Bancorp.

I don't believe any of that is news, but my reaction is to congratulate Weis and Dismas for jobs well done.

Guess who makes a lot more money than Weis? It's Gary Pruitt, chairman of the board, president and CEO of The McClatchy Co., which owns the Herald-Leader. McClatchy currently experiences financial difficulties, but according to Forbes, Pruitt's total compensation package for 2009 was nearly $3.8 million.

McClatchy has cut its work force and placed some of its employees on furlough. Maybe if McClatchy reduced Pruitt's compensation, hard-working Herald-Leader columnists and reporters wouldn't have to worry, as reported by columnist Merlene Davis, about collecting unemployment compensation for the week on furlough.

Now that would be news.

Jimmy D. Helton


Not Obama's mess

There has been an enormous amount of discussion in the media concerning President Barack Obama's low approval rating, and various polls taking the pulse of each party and their respective enthusiasm about the upcoming midterm elections.

I know we live with a poor jobs market and economic conditions. That said, surely people realize that the poor economy didn't just appear overnight. Obama simply didn't cause this mess.

What I would love to know from people who criticize him for everything he does or doesn't do: Do they wish to go back to the days of Katrina, Abu Ghraib, trillion-dollar wars based on lies, favoring only the richest of the rich and leaders who are "misunderestimated"?

Are you kidding me? I would vote for my Jack Russell terrier before I would ever trust another Republican. I have not forgotten.

Angela M. Arnett


Let's back Arizona

I am totally perplexed by the response of the Republican Party to the extraordinary circumstances of the U.S. government attacking the state of Arizona and its citizens in court.

Why is the GOP sitting on its hands as the Obama administration and the Justice Department attack a sovereign state in an effort to compel Arizona to cease and desist enforcing laws of the United States, which the federal government is apparently unwilling to enforce?

And why is the party mute while the administration ignores its constitutional obligation to enforce current immigration laws?

When will the Republican Party find the backbone to support the vast majority of residents of this country who want to see our borders secured?

Where are the Republican senators who are willing to stand up to the arrogant Obama administration and for the people of this country? Does it not strike you as even remotely unfair that the federal government should be able to sue the state of Arizona in federal court? The federal court system is supposed to be a refuge for non-residents who would otherwise have to bring suit in hostile state courts — not merely a rubber stamp for an oppressive federal government with an anti-American agenda.

Henry C. Kasson


Stand with Muslims

I was appalled to learn of the plans of a fringe Christian pastor sponsoring a "Quran Burning" in Florida as his response to the tragic events of 9/11. I was profoundly dismayed to see a sign in Berea posted near the shopping center condoning the act.

This is not what Christ taught. It is not a way to honor the dead. This misinformed hate-mongering certainly is not the position of the vast majority of Christians in this area.

True Christians and true Muslims see God's hand guiding us all to a greater worship and a better, more compassionate treatment of each other. This sentiment is expressed powerfully in Hebrew scriptures, the Christian Gospels and in the Quran alike. Whether or not you can affirm the beliefs of others, are we not powerfully called to support the freedom of each person to worship as they are led?

Is that freedom not precisely what our troops are fighting and dying to preserve? How tragic it would be if, in the name of preserving our Christ, we succumb to the devilment of bigotry, violence and hatred.

I, and many Christians, stand with our Muslim neighbors in condemning the terrible deeds of a few religious zealots on 9/11, as we also condemn the acts of the Christian zealot, Timothy McVeigh who bombed the Oklahoma Federal Building.

Our integrity and our faith therefore prompt us to stand against those whose Christian extremism would tear at our Muslim brothers and sisters, and at our American ideals and society.

The Rev. Kent H. Gilbert