Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: May 1

We have lost the personal touch in this high-tech age

What happened to the common courtesy of sending thank-you letters, of writing on paper by hand?

What happened to the satisfaction and reward of face-to-face, person-to-person contact?

What happened to the delight and surprise of a friends' voice on the phone?

And what happened to manners, propriety and civility, in general?

The electronic revolution, the new age, instant/now simplicity are leaving these all in the dust.

We send emails (evites) instead of invitations. The post office rues the day when no one buys stamps that help keep thousands of workers employed.

We send tweets, use blogs, Facebook, Youtube, etc., to tell the world what we are doing and what we wish to do right now.

We use texting to communicate about dates, appointments, where and when to meet; we do this even when in the same room.

We use computers to do all our work, spell out our questions and our needs. It is convenient and instantly rewarding.

But what happened to old-fashioned courtesy and good manners which for centuries worldwide have been recognized and honored as the basis for good fellowship, creativity and personal satisfaction?

Susan V. Bonner


History repeats itself

A recent letter about statements of Mitt Romney in 2012 and Jefferson Davis in 1859 illuminated uncanny parallels between presidential politics in 2011-12 and in 1859-60.

Abraham Lincoln, the Republican nominee, faced three candidates, none of whom were expected to win. But it was hoped, especially by the Southern Democrats, that the election could be thrown into the House of Representatives by denying Lincoln a majority of electoral votes.

The objective was to defeat Lincoln, parallel to the often-stated intention of Republican candidates to defeat President Barack Obama.

Today we generally accept the idea that continuation of slavery was the reason the Southern states seceded, beginning with South Carolina in December 1860. However, in his campaign speeches and other public statements leading to his election in November 1860 and in his inaugural address in March 1861, Lincoln emphasized that the continuation of slavery would not be opposed by his administration.

In several articles and editorial comments in 1860-61, opinion was expressed in the New York Times that the reason for secession was the gaining of power and control by a small number of Southern leaders in politics and commerce. (Was that the 1 percent of that time?)

The question of secession was, of course, resolved long ago, but rebellion can take other forms, including refusal to engage in bipartisan efforts to increase the pace of economic recovery.

Charles F. Haywood


Bureaucracy at its best

If you like the federal Department of Energy, which points proudly to its signal achievement over the past 30 years, you will love Barack Obama's proposed Department of Medicine.

The Department of Energy currently employs more than 16,000 people and has an annual budget of more than $26 billion. Its signal achievement was its production of some $50 million worth of gas-rationing stamps several years ago that were never used.

If you think this is bad, ready yourself for the Department of Medicine concept buried in the 2,700 pages of the health reform law that no one has read. If you get sick, don't call a doctor; call your congressional representative.

David I. Carter


City needs a manager

Kudos to Mayor Jim Gray for a realistic budget, including a modicum of meaningful bonded debt, catch-up for public safety and retirement, new recruits, thoughtful downsizing, 2-percent increase for employees a new emergency center. The city is moving forward. Often it's not where you are but the direction that's important.

There are rough seas ahead: reduced revenue because of unemployment, industrial departure, a top-heavy fire department, bloated city hall, a double-dipping former fire chief chasing disability. All caused by zero oversight by poor mayors and tepid councils.

Lexington desperately needs a professional city manager experienced in labor management and collective bargaining. Expensive consultants don't do it. The city charter promised us better. Mayors have blocked, demeaned and buried the charter's concept of a city manager.

Paul McCauley


Hotel stays often needed

The Herald-Leader does a fine job reporting state and local news. I get most of my national and international news from KET and National Public Radio.

The paper is well worth its cost for its major role in providing us with better government through its watchdog role. It has probably saved us taxpayers billions over the years plus the peace of mind of knowing someone is guarding the store.

However, I think it was incorrect to insinuate that the head of the state Fish and Wildlife agency should have commuted 60 miles from home rather than stay in the convention hotel when he has a major role in running or even attending a conference.

Typically such meetings begin after breakfast at 8 a.m. Occasionally I attend similar meetings but only as a participant. I can get up at 6 a.m. to drive and the conference won't suffer.

But if I were chairing or speaking at a meeting, welcoming guests in the evening or morning sessions after driving an hour each way to sleep, the state would not be getting full value from my expertise or from my salary.

Gordon Liddle


Warped liberal thinking

Claiming conservative principles are embraced only by "intellectually inferior" persons and that belief in God is also proof of a person's intellectual inferiority, the writer of an April 20 letter wishes conservative female talk show hosts would just "stay in their place" so that he won't have a problem with them.

As a conservative and a person who believes in God, I am offended by the simple-minded bigotry evidenced by his repeated use of the two phrases just quoted.

However, I must admit that I may be even less tolerant than the writer because I am not content if self-proclaimed progressives "stay in their place."

My concern isn't limited to not wanting to hear their "intellectually inferior" ideas, whether from males or females.

I have a worse problem with their voting record and its impact on public life and the national debt. Generalities are tenuous statements, but isn't it true that liberals think they are generally more compassionate toward the poor than conservatives?

Yet taxing the rich isn't going to help the poor or significantly impact the expanding budget deficit. On the other hand, the free-market principles the writer holds in contempt do at least create job growth and opportunity for a better life.

Prosperity isn't a dirty word, except perhaps to those who can't count.

John Kipling Hitz