Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Jan. 31

Oh, no, not another year of Williams in charge

Here we go again with another useless legislative session. For some unknown reason (could it be fear of reprisal?) the state Senate chose to retain David Williams as its leader.

It would seem like the people spoke volumes on election day. No more Williams.

This will surely lead to the "party of no" bringing everything to a halt again this year. If it is not done the bully's way, he will take his ball and go home. All you have to do is look to see how he took care of Kathy Stein for opposing him on most of what he does.

I wonder how the people of Lexington feel about electing her to a Senate seat and the bully and his cronies saying, "We don't care who you elected; it's our way or the highway."

Isn't an election by the people for representation supposed to count for something? If nothing else the people of Lexington should be able to have a special election to see if they want Stein to remain as their rep. They elected a Democrat to represent their interests, not a Williams puppet.

Jim Beirne


Pipeline means jobs

You reprinted a New York Times editorial on Jan. 20 which opposed the proposed Keystone pipeline. Because you did not also print your sometimes disclaimer, we must assume that you agree with this misguided babble. I will bet you 35 cents that the Times editors have never been to Nebraska.

I have built pipelines into and near North Platte (that's in Nebraska, for the geographically challenged) and I understand that it is still there.

To guarantee that this construction would generate employment should be unquestioned. Somebody has to build the pipe itself. I'm sure that you have noticed that there are not 1,700 miles of pipe stacked up someplace, except maybe on a $75,000 Lexington art project.

Those workers could start Feb. 1. Somebody has to buy and clear right of way. They could start March 1. People in Peoria (that's in Illinois, for the Times writers) could start building side booms. They could start April 1. Then the hundreds of construction workers could start. All of these people have to eat and sleep someplace, too.

The Times excuses its opposition because renewable energy will soon take over. I wonder what that windmill on the top of the Times building will look like. Are you going to build one on Midland Avenue? Good luck getting zoning approval for that.

Stephen Stinson


Lesson left unlearned

The U.S. Supreme Court, in turning down two Pennsylvania school districts' appeals, upheld students' free-speech suits against schools. Although what the kids did was despicable, the court was correct.

But shame, shame, shame on the parents for not taking this opportunity to teach their children that slander and malicious comments on a social Web site are morally and ethically wrong, not to be tolerated and letting their kids learn from their mistakes.

Instead, all they taught their children is that they are the exception to every rule and acceptable behavior does not apply to them.

This is the parents' fault for not being parents but instead choosing to be "friends" with their kids first. These parents have lost focus on what parenting is about.

I hope these teachers that were slandered with these ugly comments will take it upon themselves to teach these kids and their parents that it's not OK and that there are consequences, like lawsuits for slander and defamation of character.

These pranks, childish as they are, have affected someone's career and should not be tolerated.

It will be interesting to see if these kids grow up to be contributing citizens to society or if they will be "all about me" type of citizens. I'm willing to bet the latter.

Christie Wethington


Another switcheroo

Past incumbents in Congress looted Social Security by exchanging worthless IOUs for worker-earned, real dollars.

They squandered that money on corporate paymasters, self-serving earmarks and other nonsensical projects like highways and bridges to nowhere.

For the first time last year, checks to Social Security recipients exceeded income. The incumbents had anticipated that and found a new way to access the worker-earned, real dollars in Social Security. Thus, the so-called payroll tax holiday.

As of the two-month payroll tax holiday extension and its 12-month predecessor, the old incumbents have been accessing the worker-earned, real dollars in Social Security before they even get to Washington and, as usual, for a self-serving purpose — to influence gullible voters in 2012.

It is just a matter of time until the old incumbents run out of inventive ways to avoid facing and telling the truth. When that moment arrives, the impending debt calamity will take ruthless control of Congress and that old incumbent cliché, "shared pain," will be deeply felt by most Americans, especially so by the elderly and the fastest growing demographic in America, the new poor.

To their credit, however, the old incumbents have feathered their futures and confirmed one of three truths cited in the quotation from Abraham Lincoln. "You can fool some of the people all of the time ..."

Shafter Bailey


Law too lenient

Many people in Kentucky are unaware that a first-time animal torture charge is a misdemeanor. Want to throw a dog out of your car window? Well, you would currently face a year of jail time, and this is wrong.

The legislature is currently in session. If you would like to see animal torture become a felony, please contact your representative now.

We hope a bill will be sponsored by a lawmaker with the guts to do the right thing.

I just got through looking at a little red dog that had its face blown off by an explosive. The little dog had to be euthanized after being tortured by a psychopath, who is on the street today. He faces a year in jail, which will most likely be suspended.

Please help in this matter. Our pets can't type or make phone calls. They would die to protect us. We need to protect them.

Ron Shaw


Challenge for legislators

Mira Ball had an eloquent commentary on the importance of investing in early-childhood education ("Recommit to children," Jan. 3). As people address issues, they often come at them from a variety of perspectives.

Considering the slow economy we are facing, it is important to see that education is the best economic development investment we can make as a commonwealth. It is often challenging for legislators to take the long view in today's environment that demands immediate results.

United Way of the Bluegrass challenges members of the legislature to be visionary leaders and invest dollars in early childhood education and education as a whole.

Not only does research support the successes of programs like pre-kindergarten and earlier interventions such as the HANDS programs, it pays off in the long run with reduced incarcerations, better school attendance, higher graduation rates and more. Our companies need educated workers to succeed. Families need to break the poverty cycle. Education accomplishes both.

Investments in early childhood interventions make sure that our most at-risk students are able to compete effectively with their peers.

It arms them with the knowledge to take advanced classes and to be college- and career-ready. It is time to get beyond cuts across the board and look toward where we can get the best return on investment with the limited money available.

Debra Miller

Chair, United Way of the Bluegrass Public Policy Committee