Herald-Leader scapegoats region's livelihood
I wonder if the Herald-Leader could spearhead a movement for Lexington to secede from Kentucky and become its own state. All the paper ever does is knock either end of the state over coal.
Coal was here long before the horses, and it, not horses, keeps money in my pocket. I've been driving an 18-wheel coal truck for nearly 22 years; in the early 1990s the paper only said what will be when the coal is gone. Now it's all hateful talk.
Ashland wouldn't be what it is without the refinery, and what we have sure didn't come from horses. So what will be done when the coal is gone? Sure ain't gonna be any help from Lexington.
If what it's doing is help, I'd sure hate to see an enemy. I read this excerpt: "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them." Well, the paper can pat itself on the back.
Ray E. Davis Jr.
It's a debate, not war
I've often heard that a lie travels halfway around the world while the truth is still getting its boots on.
So it is only fitting to respond to Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett's recent rant ("Coal industry deserves a fair shake," Nov. 22) by commenting that I've never heard, as Bissett asserted, that truth dies in war.
People do. My paratrooper uncle was killed on D-Day. My amputee father is buried in Arlington Cemetery. My mother was a World War II WAC officer.
To call the public debate about energy and the lawful regulation of the coal industry a "war" is to blaspheme those who fought and died or were disabled for our right to have any free speech and debate at all.
People also die in coal mines due to a company's negligence and disregard for the law.
To characterize the coal industry as a victim is histrionic and shameful for an industry that hides its illegal actions behind the very people the industry's elites continue to exploit in order to preserve their profits.
Ironic that Bissett speaks of war. Coalfield communities devastated by mountaintop removal resemble war zones via constant blasting, the spray of dust and rocks, severe flooding and contamination of air and water.
Like it or not, those who blindly defend the illegal practices of the industry need to realize it is time for new political power, new additional sources of energy power and the creation of a more diversified economy to empower the residents of central Appalachia.
Too many incumbents were re-elected to Congress. Ordinarily, that would mean America lost the election, but maybe not this time.
Sen. Mitch McConnell lit a glimmer of hope when he opposed the ban on earmarks and justified his opposition with the following nonsensical statement: "Banning earmarks doesn't save money."
Earmarks cost taxpayers $17.2 billion in 2008, $19.6 billion in 2009 and $16.2 billion in 2010. In the first decade of this century, a grand total of $208 billion was spent on 100,000 earmarks that did not benefit all of America.
McConnell thinks all that money is not money. Moreover, the $208 billion does not include the cost of corruption and vote-buying nurtured by earmarks.
A few days after McConnell opposed the ban on earmarks, he reversed his position, saying he had heard the voters, but not really. His reversal came right after the newly elected candidates arrived on Capitol Hill for orientation and picture day.
Upon their arrival, it is reasonable to conclude Rand Paul and his like-minded counterparts advised McConnell and the other familiar incumbents they have no plans to line up with them and march in lockstep to the beat of their corporate paymasters.
Thus, the glimmer of hope. Will it become a flame that will ultimately relight our darkened city on the hill?
Randy Smith, a public servant and the director of the Chamber of Commerce, was laid to rest in London, leaving a wife, children, siblings and parents — along with a whole community. He passed away on the day of the Christmas on Main parade.
He once assigned a seat for my husband as Santa Claus on the sleigh float, and he has been there since 1994, enjoying every minute of it. My Santa was not there, either, because he was in the hospital.
Community members stood for a moment of silence honoring Smith's memory, and I, with tears in my eyes, missed Randy as well as my Santa, who was close to death.
We want to thank Smith posthumously for all the good times and his excitement about life in general. And Santa wants to thank him for the opportunity to be Santa for thousands of children over the years. He traded his combat boots for a Santa suit. And he hopes to live to do it another year.
Rest in peace, Randy Smith. We will never forget you. We will pray for your family.
Recluse on loose
While removing my mail from the box recently, I found attached to my Kentucky Utilities bill what could very well be that brown recluse spider that attacked that postal carrier in Versailles.
Unable to communicate with the violin-toting arachnid, I think it would be helpful to have the wounded letter carrier take a look, and the spider can either be destroyed or, if arranged, pardoned by the governor.
Definition of veteran
This letter has to do with the definition of a veteran. All active duty personnel do not become veterans.
A veteran is someone who has been discharged from active duty, such as retiring, medically discharged, end of obligated service — also known as time up — and any other means, including convenience to the government discharge, dishonorable discharge, less than honorable discharge and general under honorable conditions.
The D.D.-214 (discharge document) will denote the type of discharge that he or she was awarded by their respective branch of service. The D.D.-214 also is the most important document of a veteran's career. It should be safeguarded at all costs.
Glenn A. Powell
A new record
I noticed in the Dec. 2 letters that the annual caterwauling regarding "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas" has already begun. Is that a new record? Is it now mandatory to set aside the entire month of December for celebrating Christ's birth?
I prefer a sincere "Happy Holidays" over a militant, politically motivated "Merry Christmas" any day.