One state worker's scandal overplayed during holiday
I write to criticize the Herald-Leader's decision to lead the front page the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend with a state worker/inmate sex scandal.
Since when does one more government worker scandal outrank a Memorial Day ceremony in West Liberty with photos of veterans' honor guard?
Or even the first-ever private docking with the International Space Station?
Does the newspaper's need to sell its product and to be first with exclusive watchdog reports hold sway over singular human achievement and sacrifice?
Are you able to grasp that these sacrifices and achievements are of much more concern for your readers than filth?
I hope this was an unintentional mistake on your part. If not, you should be ashamed.
Social worker's betrayal
The May 23 Herald-Leader reported that a state social worker pleaded guilty to falsifying records that covered four years and an untold number of children.
As a former teacher, and also a member of Kentucky's citizen foster care review boards for many years, I received repeated training on the records that are kept and overseen by everyone involved in the foster care system.
The records are considered "the bible" in regard to children's family background, any possible abuse and prescribed treatments or action plans.
Social workers are looked upon as honorable protectors of Kentucky's vulnerable children, the same way teachers are viewed.
For someone to purposely disregard the safety and welfare of such innocent children is unconscionable. The children's lives will be altered for all time by the circumstances in which they've lived, and the people they looked to for hope and rescue have failed them.
Religion is, by (paraphrased) definition, reverence toward a higher power, commitment or devotion to faith, and an observance of a system of attitudes, beliefs and practices. Also, a cause defined by ardor and faith.
Missions among the faithful are legion and celebration follows triumph over adversity.
Worship in a megachurch involves thousands who pray for enlightenment and exalted success in their endeavors. The ultimate reward for the flock is ritualistic and proof there is indeed, "The Kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen."
Catholicism, Judaism, Protestantism, et al., can't hold a candle to Kentucky's primary religion: University of Kentucky basketball.
Susan V. Bonner
Dylan falls short
While recuperating from recent surgery, I was watching the evening news and nearly fell out of my chair and reinjured myself when I heard our president, in presenting the Medal of Freedom awards, proclaim Bob Dylan as the biggest giant in the history of American music.
I was astonished. What about America's foremost composer, Duke Ellington; or Leonard Bernstein; or the father of Jazz, Louis Armstrong, who became a magnificent ambassador of America's musical gift to the world; or Lady Day Billie Holiday; or the first lady of song Ella Fitzgerald; or Frank Sinatra; or Henry Mancini; or Hank Williams; or Quincy Jones, et al?
George Gershwin, where art thou, now that we truly need thee (and thy brother)?
Two have become one
I would like to officially announce the end of an era — the two-party system is over.
Both parties have become aristocrats or servants of them. No matter whose side you think is here to save you, one thing is for certain: Government will get bigger and more powerful.
Under Democrats it will grow for social re-engineering and redistribution. Under Republicans it will grow to promote global empires, be the social police and prop up corporations.
The new aristocracy is running both sides of the debate and no matter who seems to win, we keep getting screwed.
A new era is upon us ruled by the status quo and we are its willing servants. It is a democratic aristocracy, which uses governments, markets and media to increase its power and wealth.
Our only hope against it is the fading concept of freedom. America is in an economic crisis, but I contend the problem is much deeper — we are in a political crisis.
Will people continue to turn to government on either side of the aisle to solve our problems, or to ourselves to apply initiative, self-sacrifice, self-reliance, resourcefulness and tenacity to restore that idea of freedom again?
Our children will live their lives based on ramifications of our choice — free or stuck in whatever level of aristocracy we pass on to them.
While to get ahead in aristocratic terms means to rise up within the system, the call of leadership must be to restore a system that is free. It is clear the era of aristocracy is now upon us, unless a new generation of self-governing leaders arises.
Loosen smoking laws
Let me start by saying I am a militant non-smoker, having quit in October 1956 after smoking for seven years.
Now I am nauseated by the smell of cigarette smoke, and cigar smoke gives me an instant headache.
Nevertheless, I do not believe that my preferences should be inflicted on anyone else; I do not believe that government at any level has the right to tell a business owner what that owner must allow or ban on the business premises of the owner.
If the owner wants to have the business premises smoke-free, that should be his prerogative.
If the owner wants to allow smoking in his place of business, the government has no right to say he cannot.
While I like the fact that I can dine in any restaurant in Lexington without having to first determine whether it allows smoking and thus bars me from eating there, I still do not believe the government has any right to make that determination for the business owner.
By the way, having non-smoking sections of restaurants is ridiculous. The owner should make a choice; either allow smoking or ban it. There really is no compromise on that issue.
Robert L. Prudent
Can't change history
Homosexuals have the same rights as all constitutionally governed voters. They may and do live together, share sexual behavior, assemble, incorporate, or call their associations what they choose. They may visit hospitals by the rules.
For thousands of years and thousands of cultures marriage is defined by a formal association between women and men of ages to raise a family.
Homosexuals may call it what they want, but they will not redefine marriage.
Rex J. Phillips Jr.