Letters to the Editor

Letters to editor: Jan. 19

Medal of Honor report worth providing

Several letter writers have expressed outrage that reporter Jonathan Landay exposed discrepancies between the Medal of Honor packet for Dakota Meyer and the field accounts of the firefight.

I agree with the outrage, but not the target. It was the Marine Corps, not Landay, who disrespected Meyer by exaggerating and misrepresenting events in an effort to fast-track the Medal of Honor process. It is the Marine Corps which unfairly placed Meyer in this unfortunate position. By all accounts he performed heroically under dangerous circumstances. He should not have been required to serve as a propaganda tool for the Marine Corps as well.

Those who ask "what is the point?" in exposing the exaggerations have forgotten that the job of the reporter is to hold our public servants accountable for the truth. We have a right to know if the lives and tax dollars that have been expended in war are worth the costs. If the Marine Corps will misrepresent the facts in a Medal of Honor packet, we have to ask what other facts are being misrepresented.

Our elected officials, and our military, are supposed to be answerable to us, the citizens of this country, and we are responsible for the actions taken in our name. The more questions that are asked, the better.

I thank Landay and other reporters who put themselves in harm's way to keep our citizens informed and to hold our public servants accountable for the truth. That is patriotism.

Marilyn MacharaLexington

Urban trees beneficial

Trees enhance the quality of our lives. Unlike the letter writer who complains about their maintenance, I hope that the majority of Lexington's residents appreciate their many benefits. Street trees enhance our well-being and provide our community with environmental, economic and aesthetic advantages that are unavailable in a streetscape without trees.

Benefits of a healthy tree canopy include energy conservation and improved air quality. Shade trees provide evaporative cooling that can lower the temperature. Street trees, specifically, cool the environment by shading hot pavement and preventing the conversion of solar radiation into heat. Trees mitigate air pollution by trapping and storing carbon, and they are particularly effective at capturing carcinogenic airborne particles produced by fossil fuels. Trees also improve water quality by absorbing tremendous amounts of stormwater runoff. A single large tree can process up to 400 gallons of water into the atmosphere per day, thus reducing runoff and erosion.

When promoting Lexington to potential visitors and investors it pays to have a healthy urban forest. A healthy street tree canopy promotes a friendly walking environment by providing a comfortable separation between pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Additionally, trees enhance the beauty of the street and increase the marketability of adjacent properties.

Most importantly, trees enhance the quality of our lives and enhance our psychological and physical health. They have a restorative effect that improves our well-being.

As we strive to become better stewards of our community each one of us should become advocates for excellent urban and suburban forests in Lexington.

Brenda BarrettBarrett Partners landscapersLexington

Get past grade school

When I see campaigns today, I see a stark similarity to my younger days in student elections. Often, there were two types of candidates. One was the smartest kid in the class, with many ideas that would help the school and students, but was not easy or popular. The other was a student who promised to add time to recess, eliminate homework and add ice cream to the daily lunch menu. Typically, their peers voted for the latter candidate, not realizing they could not deliver.

Today, the Democratic Party is this overpromising student. Candidates tell their constituents all the wonderful things they will give them: health care, retirement, housing, education, etc. The problem is just like the overpromising student, they cannot deliver.

The most important economic concept I've learned in my studies is Frédéric Bastia's broken window fallacy. Simply, this theory demonstrates how hidden, negative consequences are born from good intentions.

I believe Democrats' intentions are pure. They just don't see the hidden consequences of their actions over the long term. Their policies sound great in theory, but once implemented they have ramifications causing even bigger problems.

Free health care lowers quality, Social Security goes bankrupt, loose loan standards and artificially low interest rates cause housing bubbles, and loans and grants for education drive up tuition.

Look beyond the rhetoric. The Democrats' policies sound attractive, but they are not good for America. You fell for it in middle school; don't fall for it in 2012.

Tay PorterLexington

Bring us more education

I agree with Dorothy Kline pertaining to saving the University of Kentucky the $1.2 million consulting fee. I won't rewrite her letter because it all made sense — especially the sentence about using the $1.2 million for education.

I enjoy sports; however, constantly the Herald-Leader publishes sports on the front page, the Sports section and the Big Blue Sunday section. The Sports section should contain all the information we need about sports. All the other parts of the paper could be used daily for articles about education progress and lack of progress.

Also, the Herald-Leader wrote a very extensive article starting on the front page and continuing to the second page about wild hogs in the state. I really feel sorry for anyone who has had their land ravaged by hogs. I am glad the paper published some news about the hog problem, but did the subject require that much coverage in the paper? Wouldn't it be great if education could get that much press?

We need more coverage about education — we are low on the totem pole nationally with education. From an educational standpoint, our colleges and universities have gone "hog wild" with our money and how the education leaders spend it.

Paul F. CarpenterLexington

Romney's flaws

Though there is little on which I agree with Newt Gingrich, his recent candid assessment of Mitt Romney as a liar was spot on.

In the few weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Romney claimed he was running a positive campaign that touted his strength as a family man with experience as a Washington outsider in the private sector. While Romney claimed a positive campaign, his super PAC, Restore Our Future, blanketed Iowa with $3.3 million in negative ads attacking Gingrich.

By law, such super PACs aren't supposed to coordinate with a candidate, but Romney's campaign clearly tests the limits of this law. Restore Our Future is run by former Romney aides and Romney has gone so far as to attend fund-raisers for it. Since his super PAC is funded mainly by millionaire donors and corporations who can make unlimited political contributions, it's no surprise Romney supports personhood status for corporations and coddles the 1 percent.

Romney's dishonesty concerning campaign tactics disqualifies him as a trustworthy candidate for the oval office, and his support for corporate personhood puts him at odds with the 99 percent.

Romney failed to get as many votes in Iowa as he received in 2008 or crack the 25 percent threshold he can't get past nationally, signaling a flawed candidate.

Emery W. CaywoodParis