Kentucky's poor incredibly rooted in conservatism
As we enter the final weeks of what has seemed to be an endless presidential campaign, one wonders how protracted the pre-election period would need to be in order for those of less-than-affluent means in Kentucky to have the political awakening to grasp the ugly reality.
They are being conned by the lies, distortions and cherry-picked statistics of the Republican propaganda machine into voting against their own economic interests and promoting the plutocratic state that the right has been assiduously constructing over the past three decades.
Insulated in the faux reality that conservative media have been conjuring, far too many voters give no indication that truth in any measure will puncture their credulity any time soon. Barack Obama has about as much formal visibility as a candidate in Kentucky as Abraham Lincoln had in most Southern states during the 1860 campaign (he wasn't even on the ballot in 10 of the states that became the Confederacy).
It's enough to make one shake your head and ponder, "What's the matter with Kentucky?"
Robert Emmett Curran
Economy trumps all
Understandably, the economy and job creation are the main focus of the 2012 political campaigns, and among the solutions is the proposal to reduce environmental standards to increase production and open up possibilities for industries.
No one seems to have the courage to incorporate environmental safeguards, in spite of the fact that ignoring environmental concerns leads to other problems, as we have seen in the past.
Could it be that the creation of new jobs and a boost to the economy will continue to come from cleanups of disasters such as oil and sludge spills; mining accidents; flooding; forest fires; toxic air, water and land; environmentally related health problems; infrastructure failures; or for political campaigns for candidates who refuse to address the environmental problems that we have?
Mary K. Miller
Paul right on foreign aid
Last month Sen. Rand Paul forced a vote in the U.S. Senate on his legislation to stop foreign aid to the belligerent countries of Egypt, Pakistan and Libya. The final vote was 81-10 to defeat Paul's proposal and kept the hard-earned American tax dollars flowing to our enemies.
What is wrong with these 81 U.S. senators? The countries in question are openly hostile to America; our ambassador was killed in Libya.
Yet the United States Senate rewards these countries with even more foreign aid plundered from American taxpayers. This foreign aid totals billions of dollars each and every year; money that we need to build our bridges and roads.
Sen. Mitch McConnell's no vote on Paul's very sensible legislation is despicable and will not be forgotten.
Add Israel to list
Last month the Herald-Leader published a letter by Sen. Rand Paul expressing his concerns and actions regarding U.S. foreign aid.
For the record, Paul and his father, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, are the only members of Congress who've had the courage to identify the first abuser of U.S. foreign aid and the true international terrorist: Israel.
Congress has been putting the needs of Israel ahead of the United States since May 1948, most recently with HR 4133, the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, which makes the American people responsible for the economic and physical security of Israel.
Unofficial statehood of Israel will bring the past 5,000-plus years of aggression by Hebrew Arabs (Jews) against the Arabs of Palestine, and continued periods of economic depressions and recessions, as part of this great nation's history.
Billy Ray Wilson
Distribution of wealth
Because I am weary of incessant campaigning, I decided to ignore the comment by the Republican presidential candidate that 47 percent won't vote for him because they live on the dole.
Then I read that all of us on Social Security are included in his 47 percent. Once again, Social Security is portrayed as something we haven't paid for. Were there any of us who did not feel insulted?
The next day, GOP attacks over "redistribution' of wealth" appeared, reading as if they think that wealth is redistributed only through government handouts. Mitt Romney must think we are all rock stupid.
Government largess is not the only way wealth has been redistributed. For 30 years, stealthily at first and blatantly of late, money has flowed to the top.
Treaties like NAFTA which cost us jobs, deregulation of finance and energy markets which cost some their pensions, tax cuts for the wealthy which brought us a deficit, all came about through lobbyists hired by corporations.
The Iraq war made a few, like Halliburton, very rich, but it is still costing the rest of us.
The Betrayal of the American Dream by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele is a must read, even for Republicans. They may be comforted to learn that the corporate policies that put us where we are today occurred under both Democratic and Republican administrations.
I hope when I get to the last chapter they will tell me how to begin to fix this mess.
Sara M. Porter