Special section of 'most wanted' played on fears
I was really surprised and disappointed to see the "The Watch" feature in the Aug. 21 paper, because I have always had such a strong dislike for the "Lexington's Most Wanted" feature on Kentucky.com.
This is garbage journalism. It degrades and ridicules people who have not been convicted of any crime.
Printing the pictures of wanted people is divisive in our community, it pits people against one another, it makes people fearful, and it increases racial hatred.
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One of the positive things that Lexington has going for it is a really low crime rate. Many people who have lived here all of their lives don't realize how fortunate they are to live in a place that is really pretty darn safe.
Yet some people in Lexington are afraid to come downtown to the Kentucky Theater or the 4th of July parade because they think they are going to get mugged.
It would be so much better if the Herald-Leader could do a feature about how safe our town is and how great it is to live in a place with low crime. Instead, we get "The Watch."
Please don't go down this road. It is really lowering the Herald-Leader to print this stuff.
Can't trust Romney
Mitt Romney knows that President Barack Obama did not raid $700 billion from Medicare. Romney knows that is actually savings from negotiated fee reductions and improved efficiency.
Rep. Paul Ryan's budget includes the same savings. In effect, Romney is demanding that our government waste money.
Romney will say whatever is necessary to get elected. Compare his statements when running for governor of Massachusetts with what he says now.
He is anti- and pro-abortion rights. He is anti- and pro-gay rights. He is anti- and pro-gun control.
Yet, Romney asks us to trust him. He won't says how he will "restore our future." He won't release more tax returns. As his wife said, that would give his opponents "more ammunition." Even staunch Republicans like columnist George Will think Romney is hiding something major.
The one consistent thing about Romney is that he takes care of himself. He plans to reduce his own taxes. To pay for that either the deficit will increase, taxes will be raised on the rest of us or services will be slashed.
Think about that if you are struggling to make ends meet. Or collect disability. Or receive help from Medicare. Or use public roads. Or appreciate safe food. Or support the University of Kentucky or any other school that receives federal funds. Or receive any of the other government benefits we take for granted.
Don't assume Romney cares about you. All his previous actions indicate that he comes first.
Help all reach potential
Can anyone argue that our country would not be a better place if every American were able to reach his or her highest potential?
Abraham Maslow, one of the most profound psychologists of the 20th century, explored the ways that human potential could be fully achieved. He recognized that living a fully realized life meant that certain fundamental needs had to be met, among them clean air, food, and water, health, education and a safe place to live.
Meeting these fundamental needs provides a foundation upon which we can build to become the best that we can be. It is in all of our interest that this foundation exists for all Americans, and the best way to provide that foundation is by working together as a community. This is what good government is all about.
Let us not lose sight of that during the coming election.
Extremism gains power
When I was growing up in the 1960s, conservatives were focusing their ignorance and hatefulness on black people.
Because integration seemed inevitable and liberalism was on the rise, it was easy to believe that it was a historic nadir. The future would prove that stupidity was a thing of the past.
A half century later, the GOP has discovered new and creative ways to display its ignorance and lots of new kinds of people to hate. It has been a stunning regression for a nation that prides itself on its own exceptionalism.
It is tempting to think that today's right-wing extremism is just a very vocal minority with its own dedicated media network, causing it to seem much more powerful than it really is.
But the fact that conservatives are getting elected in such large numbers suggests otherwise.
It is frightening to think that the modern Republican Party actually represents a significantly large percentage of the American public. If so, the outlook for the next 50 years seems very bleak, indeed.
The Tea Party is fond of saying it wants to take the country back. I would like to have the country we seemed to be destined for a generation ago.
Pass true tax reform
Our American economy remains stagnated with no hope of a quick or lasting recovery? Think again.
While there is little left in terms of acceptable stimulus spending by Congress or Federal Reserve actions, the single most significant weight can be lifted to launch our economy into a new era of prosperity.
Our federal tax code is beyond comprehension in terms of size, complexity and economic impact. Proposed tweaks to the current income tax system, such as the Buffett rule or flat tax, are only temporary and do nothing but add to the tax code.
Past tax reform, such as Reagan-era flattening, lasted only a short time and turned back into what we have today.
Yet there is an alternative. Tax reform legislation in Congress with the most cosponsors is called the FairTax.
It promises to deliver quick and lasting growth to the economy like no other proposal. Isn't five years long enough to have lived in this stagnant economy?
The 2013 Congress will be poised to finally do something with the tax code. It is time for the FairTax. A new YouTube video illustrates one of today's economic woes and how the FairTax would change everything for the better.
Beware the plutocrats
The Romney campaign now threatens that a second Obama presidency will make us the new Greece, a population in austerity and deep debt.
Never mind that the financial shenanigans and tax code that got us here started long before Barack Obama entered the White House.
At least as plausible is that a Romney/Ryan/Rove regime will make us more like a few other countries with populations powerless under an oligarchy of plutocrats dedicated only to securing their power and wealth.
The end of free and fair elections (already well under way) will leave no recourse when we wake up. I'd rather risk the Greek option.