Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: Dec. 25

Correll's biggest investment is in Ky. arts, businesses

It must be a slow news day when a bank going through proper channels and making a profitable land investment is the front-page story.

A better Christmastime story would have been how Jess Correll and the First Southern National Bank have heavily invested in preserving Kentucky art, culture and history.

Have you visited Stanford recently? They have revitalized that town, with a new library and community arts center, as well as supporting local businesses that offer Kentucky-made products.

While other businesses take money out of the state, the Corrells and the bank are quietly enhancing the quality of life. They support the theaters and libraries, rescue and preserve historic structures, all the while assisting with the development of businesses, like a new restaurant with a locally grown menu, Marksbury Farm, and Kentucky Soaps & Such — all of which showcase some of the best the state has to offer, at world-class levels.

Want to fact-check? Go visit Stanford.

Holly Henson

Pioneer Playhouse


Unfair resignation call

Sen. Julie Denton's call for the resignation of Secretary Janie Miller was typical of the usually rude and wrong legislator. Miller is doing a fantastic job with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Denton apparently wants to be provided with every little detail about the cabinet's daily administrative activities. Her issue is seemingly centered on not receiving certain information about neglected and abused children, which is considered confidential by the cabinet.

Denton clearly does not understand the difference in responsibilities between the executive and legislative branches of state government. If she really wanted to work in partnership with the cabinet as claimed, she would have discussed this issue in private rather than going on a tirade in a committee meeting.

Denton's professional background as a dental hygienist hardly qualifies her to lead the Health and Welfare Committees and to question administrative actions of the executive branch. Although her interest in child abuse and neglect is commendable, it must be noted that the Courier-Journal reported in November 2008, that she was sued by her son for allegedly taking $15,000 from his trust fund for her own use.

Perhaps it is Denton's resignation that should be called for.

Jimmy D. Helton


WMD evidence found

Last Sunday's paper had letters referring to the Iraq war. One said the war was based on lies and another referred to "phantom WMDs."

These claims are repeated endlessly and unfairly by those negative about President George W. Bush and the war.

President Bill Clinton said on Larry King Live just months after the Iraq war began, "It is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted-for stocks of biological and chemical weapons."

In September, 2002, Al Gore said, "We know that [Saddam] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." On October 6, 2002, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy said on Face the Nation, "Saddam Hussein is a dangerous figure. He's got dangerous weapons."

Similar assurances were uttered by then-Sen. Joe Biden, senators John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Jay Rockefeller and John Kerry. All are Democrats.

There is considerable evidence that WMDs did exist. In June of 2004, U.S. forces seized 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium — the kind used to make fuel for atomic bombs — in an Iraqi nuclear facility, according to the BBC. Polish soldiers purchased 17 chemical-weapons warheads from Iraqis for $5,000 each to keep them from insurgents. U.S. soldiers found 1,500 gallons of chemical agents in a warehouse in Mosul in 2005. A roadside bomb that failed to explode was found to contain the nerve agent sarin.

A final note to one writer: it's not helpful or charitable to imply that those who disagree with you are mentally unstable.

James V. Heidinger II


Principled politician

When Kentucky's incumbent governor did his Christmas shopping, he should have bought dozens of gift subscriptions to the state's two largest newspapers, to repay the papers for the role they played in his re-election. He should really be grateful to them for the way they demonized his opponent the past several years.

If you're of a different political persuasion from Sen. David Williams, I suppose it would be easy to mistake his intelligence for arrogance, or his dedication to conservative ideology for obstructionism. However, there are many who admire Williams and his steadfastness in upholding principled conservative political positions.

Without him and his party being in control of the state Senate and standing in the way of bad public policy initiatives, I hesitate to think of what the two-headed monsters of Patton/Richards and Beshear/Stumbo may have inflicted upon Kentucky in years past.

If the situation were reversed, and the Republicans held the governorship and a majority in the House, and the Democrats controlled the Senate, the Herald-Leader wouldn't have been blasting the Senate president for obstructionism.

Instead, you would have been praising him or her for a principled stance.

To add insult to injury, you showed that your side is incapable of being gracious winners by trotting out Larry Dale Keeling to gloat about Williams' defeat in a truly classless column.

And why do you continue to give Mica Sims a voice? She speaks only for herself, not for the majority of Tea Party movement supporters.

H.B.. Elkins


Troubling firing

The firing of Natural Resources Commissioner Carl Campbell, and the subsequent resignation of the highly regarded conservationist, Tom Fitzgerald, should sound a resounding alarm for all Kentuckians who cherish the natural beauty of our state.

As a supporter of Gov. Steve Beshear, I have been deeply disappointed about the way that he has been seeming increasingly to block the enactment of needed Environment Protection Agency policies.

I hope he will begin to realize that, like Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, there are many metro citizens who also love our mountains and care about the growing number of folks whose communities are being destroyed and literally washed away by the reclamation neglect of coal companies.

It is going to be increasingly difficult for a number of his supporters to remain behind a governor who appears to be in the back pocket of the coal industry.

Gary E. Pennington


Academic bullying

In his letter Sunday, the chair of the University of Kentucky biology department lacked the grace to acknowledge that those who believe in intelligent design or creationism use facts to support their beliefs.

Evolution is still a theory and not a proven law of science. Also, this is the only theory allowed to be taught in public schools, despite its lacking evidence.

There is an embarrassing lack of transitional fossils to document in stone the many transitions of life if evolution happened, evidence that Charles Darwin himself said would be required to prove his theory of natural selection.

In agreement with Hart County Superintendent Ricky Line's concern, I have reviewed biology texts used in public schools and found drawings of creatures that never existed to teach how one animal changed into another. If myth must be used to prove evolution, why not allow intelligent design to present its case?

Should children be taught what to think as indoctrinated robots or how to think enabling them to wisely evaluate facts? A belief in God or intelligent design is not a handicap to understanding the laws of physics and chemistry or applying them in any scientific discipline. It never hurt scientists Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, Isaac Newton or James Clerk Maxwell.

Many educated, scientifically trained men are not convinced there is evidence in nature that one kind of animal changed into another.

The letters against Line are academic bullying, preaching and supporting the enforcement of one paradigm over another by law.

James Ashcraft


Know what's valuable

On a beautiful November afternoon as the sun was setting, a group of visitors to the Holy Land stood silently in Bethlehem and looked eastward toward the village of Beit Sahur. That little village is about a mile east of Bethlehem, and the rolling fields around the village are known as Shepherds' Fields.

Tradition tells us that for centuries shepherds have tended sheep in those rolling fields. Those sheep were not ordinary sheep; without blemish, they were special sheep and more valuable than others. Shepherds raised them for a specific purpose: they were to be sacrificed on the altar of the temple in Jerusalem.

We have the record that, on that night of nights when Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem of Judea, shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks of sheep in those fields, but that watch was suddenly and dramatically interrupted.

An angel appeared to them and announced Jesus' birth. Then, leaving their flocks untended in the fields — that which was most valuable to them — the shepherds hurried off to Bethlehem "and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger."

Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, is a significant reminder that there are some things in life more important than valuable possessions. Like the valuable sheep in the fields around Beit Sahur, some things that seem valuable can be left without significant loss, and life may be better.

Howard Coop


Faith and football

OK, I've had enough of Tim Tebow. Let me see if I have this straight; millions of prayers are sent up to God each day. How many times does God say no to a parent begging to save their dying child? How many times does God say no to a husband begging to cure his wife's cancer? How many times does God say no to parents begging for the life of a teenage child dying on an emergency room gurney after a car wreck?

How many times does God say no to prayers for rain in a country with the population dying from a famine? How many prayers were said by 6 million Jews for life during the Holocaust?

And yet we are told that God is answering the prayers of a millionaire in the entertainment business of trying to carry a ball from one place to another?

Phil Greer