Neocons sank Iraq, budget under Bush
Prior to the "cakewalk to Bagdad," the neocons looked into their crystal balls to predict a glorious outcome. The miracle cure of democracy would paper over the hatreds of sect, ethnicity, class, etc. Imposing democracy from the barrel of a gun has often failed because democracy is like marriage — requiring discipline, the assent of the governed and suspension of disbelief.
We must fully re-engage in Iraq so that we do not slide back in our quest to make the world safe for multi-national corporate persons, i.e., big oil. The sacrifices of millions of Americans and Iraqis must not be in vain.
The real stinger was the neocon insistence on combining it with huge tax cuts for the rich. Neocons love war but hate to pay for it. The national debt has ballooned to $17 trillion. The $800 billion annual interest payment on the debt equals our defense and Veteran's Administration budgets combined.
We must institute a 10 percent tax surcharge on the gross income of the 10 percent of wealthiest patriotic taxpayers to pay down the national debt to $2 trillion. Otherwise, we will not have the staying power to prevail in the next world war without destroying our economy.
Allen T. Kelley
Several items in the Herald-Leader caught my attention.
First, the story that the Breathitt school officials reported dropouts as being home schooled.
Second, the article about the 20-year-old with a second-grade education because she had been home schooled.
More recently, there was the article concerning the reluctance of many Kentuckians to embrace the Common Core standards. I have heard parents say, "If CORE is taught I'm home schooling my kids."
Home schooling is basically legalized truancy. In time home schooling will be recognized as a form of child abuse and abolished or at least be much more vigorously regulated.
Ban tax-claim sales
There are hundreds of poor people, some with families, forced to leave their homes every month because of foreclosure by private banks and investment companies that purchased delinquent ad valorem tax claims.
They buy millions of dollars of delinquent tax certificates each year. The tax claim doubles or triples from a 12 percent interest rate, plus legal fees and costs.
The Kentucky legislature's answer to this situation is to allow the sale of tax claims, which only exaggerates the situation.
Recently, I was in circuit court when one of the many motions to sell property involved an elderly woman who approached the podium on her walker. The judge explained that her home would be sold by the master commissioner. The judge was sympathetic and explained he had no choice, except to follow the law. Outside, I asked the lady where she would live. She said she had nowhere to go and didn't know what she would do.
Kentucky can do better than this, and we must. Proceeds from tax collections should benefit the taxing districts, not companies from Tennessee, Texas or even Kentucky.
Gov. Steve Beshear and the legislature need to take action.
Elmer Cunnagin Jr.
Praise for Webbs
The writer of an Aug. 26 letter should be aware of all the wonderful contributions the Webb family has made to the city of Lexington and to the nation.
They gave us Victorian Square, winning a major preservation award. They developed over 5.5 million square feet of buildings to include offices, shopping centers, hotels and condominiums.
In 1986, the Webb Cos. was the third-largest diversified real estate developer in the nation. Together with partners, they founded the Lexington Surgery Center.
The Webb brothers can and should be credited, praised and thanked for bringing Lexington into the 21st century.
Now, despite delays and negative discourse from some, they are in the process of building a hallmark structure called CentrePointe which will prove to be a focal point in downtown Lexington. Again, a major contribution to this city.
What has the letter writer contributed?
Heaven on Earth
How many times every day, month and year do we avoid a simple greeting?
How many times do we play with our electronic devices and keep our heads down to avoid eye contact?
How many times do we judge others by appearance?
How many times do we not care about others?
True caring is good for our souls and helps raise energy for the entire planet.
A non-judgmental attitude would help create heaven on Earth.