Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: Sept. 11

N.Y. mayor right not to add prayer in 9/11 services

The country is paying its respects to the victims of Sept.11, 2001. That was a sad and horrific day. It will never be forgotten. But with any public ceremony comes public scrutiny.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York has decided to keep this event free from religious persuasion. And with that I agree.

The complaint that is being made is not so much with allowing clergy or prayer. It wants a prayer that is from the religious persuasion of the far right, that being Christianity.

These Christians would be furious if prayer came from anything but the word of Christianity.

The founding leaders of this country made many mistakes. But omitting God from the constitution and making it fundamentally illegal for government to recognize faith was clairvoyant.

Prayer gives people solace and ensures perhaps a bit of comfort and meaning. And on Sept. 11, the people of this nation can individually pray.

There are those who claim the attack on our country was by religious extremists. If this is true, does not this tell us to stay clear of the fire?

After all, in Matthew 10:34, it reads, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. "

Barry Alexander


Tribute to ballplayer

I grew up in Richmond and remember the 1950 Eastern Maroons basketball team that finished the season ranked 11th in the nation.

It was the highest-ranked and best team that Coach Paul McBrayer ever had. It was probably the best team in Eastern Kentucky University history.

Four of the starting five were from the greater Pittsburgh area. They were Joe Fryz, Chuck Mrazovich, Jim Baechtold and Ed Shemeleya. The other starter was Paul Hicks from Cynthiana. They were all seniors, except for Baechtold who was a junior.

Baechtold was a great rebounder and rugged defender. I think he was the only one to go on and play as a pro. He was a great ballplayer and a great guy and his recent passing, I'm sure, has left a void in the EKU sports family.

I feel fortunate to have watched him play when I was a youngster.

Charlie Jenkins


Overlooked incivility

Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa's use of inappropriate language in introducing the president of the United States is insulting to him, his office and the American people.

President Barack Obama, one of our most articulate presidents, should have politely rebuked Hoffa when he took the podium.

The president could simply have acknowledged the introduction with a thank you and added a comment that it could have been a little less colorful.

Obama preaches civility but ignores incivility in front of the nation when it is in his presence. My generation was taught to respect the presidency. This is difficult to do under the present situation.

Charles Bebrowsky


Talk-show hypocrisy

Radio personality Sue Wylie began the second hour of her Sept. 6 program talking about Teamster chief Jimmy Hoffa's comments calling the Tea Party SOBs and then went on to say several times that President Barack Obama had praised Hoffa for his harsh language. She asked if Obama should apologize.

Unfortunately, he had done no such thing.

I called the program and read from her favorite news organization (Fox) that Obama had not commented at all about Hoffa's statement. She hung up on me.

During the rest of the program, she neither acknowledged her mistake nor did she apologize for making such fallacious comments.

Her radio station has much more inflammatory programs whose hosts use much more extreme and derogatory speech against Obama and anyone they deem a "liberal," yet she has never had a show questioning their language or asking whether they should apologize.

I call on all Wiley's listeners to demand she retract her fraudulent and baseless comments regarding what she claimed Obama had said and consider boycotting her sponsors until she does.

It is time those conservatives who will say anything outrageous be held accountable for their rank hypocrisy and dishonesty.

John Miller


Bad gamble

I always wondered if I would know when the death of common sense finally occurred. It has.

Kentucky has arranged $25 million in financing for the Red Mile racetrack to build a slot machine parlor within one-half mile of the 28,000 excitable young students on the University of Kentucky's main campus.

Kentucky parents now struggle to pay tuition bills. Wait till they see the gambling bills.

Not long ago, the university administration struggled valiantly to reduce student access to credit cards. Now we'll have a state-financed casino next door.

Remember, an 18-year-old freshman will be able to gamble legally under current administrative regulations.

Yes, this is the death of common sense.

Lawrence E. Forgy


Lessons from history

In a recent letter, "Religion linked to cruelty," the author attempted to shift the atrocities of atheistic totalitarianism onto religion. So, apparently dogma of any type classifies as religion even if atheism clearly influenced the decision making? Dogmatism in itself is not necessarily violent, as the Amish illustrate.

To call Nazi Germany "very much a Christian society" is debatable, at best. The majority of the German populace were nominally Christian and Adolph Hitler does make references to Christianity in Mein Kampf.

That said, Germany was already increasingly secularized by the 1930s and many of the top Nazis were rabidly anti-Christian. The Nazi government increasingly cracked down on religious activity and there were plans to progressively eliminate institutional Christianity.

Hitler's private statements often differ considerably from his public veneer. Even Mein Kampf itself clearly shows he was influenced primarily by a particularly racist version of social Darwinism. A nice summation of church-state relations in Nazi Germany can be found in Richard Overy's book The Dictators. (Norton, 2004, pgs. 278-288).

Finally, writer Christopher Hitchens — whom the author quotes approvingly — would do well to consider the bloodbaths brought on by the Enlightenment itself. The French Reign of Terror comes to mind; but let us not forget the immense human suffering of a certain revolution that Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson were themselves supporters of.

Kyle Richie


Poor economic policy

A recent U.S. unemployment report issued by the Labor Department showed no job growth for the month of August.

On top of that, the number of jobs gained in the previous two months was revised downward by over 50,000.

I can remember one of the two nominees for president in 2008 conceding that economic policy was not his strong suit.

Unfortunately, the fellow who won the election didn't tell us that, too.

Brent Risner

Mount Sterling

Scary football poster

If the intent of the University of Kentucky football posters being distributed at McDonald's is to scare the kids as they get their Happy Meal, it succeeded.

The football schedule is in small letters at the bottom with a huge mean-looking scary face glaring from above. Neither the scary face nor the UK football team scared Western Kentucky University's Hilltoppers, but being a UK alumnus (Class of 1960) I was a little scared until quarterback Morgan Newton made his run late in the game.

I would like to see a new poster with a regular schedule and a friendly face.

Walton R. Haddix


Wrong game site

A question from the boys at the bar: Who at the University of Kentucky thinks having the game against Western Kentucky University in Tennessee was a great idea?

First, look at the revenues that left Kentucky — such as restaurants, hotels, gas, parking — all going to Tennessee. Does anyone think that maybe Bowling Green would have liked to have that money spent there?

Next, the game drew a whopping 24,000 fans and the stands looked like a scrimmage was being played. Nice call, UK?

Bill Warren