Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Feb. 1

Payday lending fees out of control, need limits

Payday lending companies object to allegations they charge 400 percent interest. (They use "fee" rather than "interest.")

Actually, 400 percent is the amount borrowers would pay for repeated loans over a year (annual percentage rate). A usual fee is 15 percent paid within two weeks.

Frequently, though, the borrower cannot repay the entire loan in that time and takes a new loan to cover the old one, incurring further charges and, often, unmanageable debt.

A database established by the Kentucky General Assembly is bringing to light information on how payday lending affects Kentuckians.

A letter from the attorney general's office to the legislative leaders states that the database reveals "83 percent of payday loans went to consumers who took out five or more loans at an APR of 391 percent during a five-month period."

Testimonies of borrowers indicate that fees of 100 percent and 200 percent accumulate quickly, and are not unusual, propelling them into a "debt trap."

Congress passed legislation limiting payday lending to 36 percent APR for military personnel.

More than 60 organizations have joined the Kentucky Coalition for Responsible Lending, an effort to support House Bill 182 that would limit Kentucky's lenders to that amount.

Now that the General Assembly is reconvening, it is hoped the House Banking and Insurance Committee will consider HB 182. Committee members Robert Damron and Ryan Quarles have not yet indicated their positions. I urge their support. You can send messages to legislators by calling 1-800-372-7181.

Mary Alice Pratt


Dangers online

If Facebook had existed in 1775, khaki would still mean poo here. King George could have easily discovered Washington's gang members, er, friends.

It is a threat to even everyday people. Sonny Barger's mother probably doesn't ride a Harley but could hardly refuse a friend request from the Hell's Angel's founder.

The question of why businessmen would pay hundreds of millions of dollars for part ownership of Facebook begs asking. For several large PCs? Or 500 million résumés that are continuously added to and not erasable?

It is not too late to dilute the damage and pad your résumé but time is running out on friending Jimmy Carter and Stephen Hawking.

Finally, who would want to explain having Googled "offshore bank" in a divorce proceeding?

Robert Perry Jones


Paul needs education

Rand Paul said in his plan to cut federal spending he would remove programs such as education and housing.

Is he not aware the United States is struggling in its global competitiveness? We must have a strong education system. Our local and state governments cannot do it without the help of the federal government.

Carol L. Clark


Loud at stadium, too

Recent letters voicing complaints about the public address system at Rupp Arena playing excessively loud music prompt me to write about the same problems during University of Kentucky home football games at Commonwealth Stadium.

Unless the band is performing or there is an announcement, the music is so loud it is difficult, if not impossible, to carry on a normal conversation.

It is especially intrusive after the band performs at halftime. The very fine drum section usually performs a cadence routine. Only those very near can hear it. The piped-in music drowns it out for everyone else.

The kind of music piped in is not my cup of tea, but that doesn't matter. Many others like it. Play what you want, but please turn down the volume.

Better yet, let the very fine band and the drum section entertain us. After all, this is a school function, isn't it?

James B. Todd


March for Life missed

I looked in vain Jan. 24 for a mention of the March for Life in Washington on Jan 23.

There has been a tremendous outpouring of citizens annually since Roe vs. Wade legalized abortions.

Over 51 million babies have been aborted since 1973. Neither your main section nor your Life section made mention.

However, you give great mention to small gatherings whenever they occur. Isn't this lopsided journalism?

Every year, there is a delegation of marchers from Lexington. Shouldn't that be reported?

Theresa Fitzgerald


Shooting was political

I am sick of hearing Republicans say the left has tried to politicize the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The left has not. Jared Loughner did.

The mayor of Tucson said the population of Tucson is 1 million people. The Republicans said Loughner was a madman with a gun, looking to shoot someone.

On Jan. 8, 2011, there were 1 million Tucson residents and one congresswoman in Tucson. To tell me he randomly passed up 1 million people to shoot the one congresswoman is an insult to intelligence. It was political.

I don't profess to know if it was something a Republican said or something a Democrat said or maybe something happened that he thought was politically wrong. Plainly, something made its way into his sick brain and sent him after Giffords. To entertain the idea it was random is ridiculous.

I remember when Americans talked to each other civilly. Let's try that again.

I bet it will still work.

Bob Caswell


GOP base, in short

The Jan. 25 letter "Devil's helpers" states, "The Democratic Party has opened America's doors to Satan and his false science and false teachers. It allows unrighteous fornication by adulterers and homosexuals, abortion, gambling, drugs and evil covetousness."

I thank the writer for his succinct summation of the driving force behind the base of the modern Republican Party. If only U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell were as eloquent and honest, perhaps the Republican electorate would at least know what they are voting for.

Dan Berry

Stamping Ground

Get 'em outta here

If two appointees to the parole board truly had a physical altercation at work, both individuals should be terminated immediately. In the private sector, this would be the case.

Why should our tax dollars go to provide counseling, workman's compensation or even one more day of pay for people who seem to be such an obvious liability?

Maybe if we're fortunate, Gov. Steve Beshear can follow these two out the door.

Bill Daviet