Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Nov. 30

History proving hippies were right about everything

A recent letter writer called liberals "growth-stunted hippies."

Yet, the hippies have turned out to be right on nearly every issue.

They were right about the Vietnam War, recycling, green energy, legal marijuana, women's rights, minority rights, gay rights, rampant capitalism, military spending, militarization of the police, mass imprisonment, sustainable organic living, torture and perpetual war.

Conservatives are "growth-stunted" when it comes to accepting changing demographics. Gay rights, women's rights, minority rights, medical marijuana, immigration and science that conflicts with the Bible. They want a return to the past.

Hippies taking LSD created Microsoft and Apple, and their top managers still attend the "burning man" festival, a celebration of psychedelics and the creative process. They promote world peace, create music, art, entertainment and a sustainable way of life. Hippies see a future that is bright and has a lot of colors.

Conservatives want a lifestyle of consumerism, war, stress, waste, guns, violence, prisons, police, productivity charts, "us" versus "them," pompous religiosity, low wages and perpetual war. They want a future that is black and white.

Based on the track record, I would rather be led by hippies.

John Sabot

Lexington


Remember Civil War

So many of us were so absorbed in this year's election that we forgot the Civil War sesquicentennial is down to its last six months.

Gen. William T. Sherman's armies had left Atlanta to commence his controversial march though Georgia about this time in 1864. Meanwhile, in Kentucky, the Army was evicting families of African-American soldiers who had taken refuge within Camp Nelson. One soldier explained his situation like this:

"When I came to Camp for the purpose of enlisting about the middle of October 1864 my wife and children came with me because my master said that if I enlisted he would not maintain them and I knew they would be abused by him when I left."

The Army provided space for the families at first, expecting only a few dozen. Within weeks, the camp's officers feared provisions and supplies for troops would be misrouted to needy families.

Eviction and destruction of the encampments was their solution. Many women and children died of starvation and exposure.

Years later, Mark Twain would blame our romanticism of the Civil War on the thrilling novels of Sir Walter Scott. One of the real purposes of war, he admonished, is "to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief."

The eviction at Camp Nelson was a caustic example.

Tom Louderback

Louisville


Ferguson leadership

Where is our moral leadership?

Those leading the violence in Ferguson, Mo., hide behind masks and the dark of night.

Black leadership attempts to justify violence over the death of a black young man who had just robbed a business and attempted to assault and disarm a white police officer.

Why have none of our political leadership called for reason, law and order, and peace in this terrible situation?

If this had been a white youth in the same situation, killed by a black police officer, would there have been such an outcry?

There must be voices of reason in this country, but we are not hearing their leadership. Why?

John Mitchell

Lexington


UK unfair to disabled

I have been a member of the K-Fund from its inception. I started regularly attending University of Kentucky football games with my father when I was six years old — 72 years ago.

I am a University of Kentucky graduate and my daughter attended UK, as does my grandson.

I purchased my own tickets 54 years ago. When I became wheelchair bound, I reluctantly gave up my football tickets. I did get to see a few games from the handicapped section and I was grateful for the accommodation.

However, I am completely bewildered about my treatment concerning my basketball tickets. I have been refused tickets in the No. 32 handicapped section.

I had a friend take me to the ticket office so I could explain my problem. I offered to trade my tickets for two tickets in the side handicapped section. I was told that this section was distributed by phone only and only on certain nights at 5 p.m.

I have called Ticketmaster three times at the designated hour only to be told there were no more seats available.

I would like to know why I have not passed the loyalty test. Strange way to reward friends for the university.

Virgil Florence

Cynthiana


Pot problem, heroin OK

In Kentucky if you are caught with cannabis paraphernalia, you will go to jail.

Now some lawmakers want to give needles used by heroin junkies a pass. What? Since when do you get Hepatitis C from sharing a joint or pipe?

The law is going to let the hardest and worst drug users off but wants to jail cannabis users. How is it that federal law puts heroin and cannabis on the same level but now some want to give free passes to addicts?

How is it that we let the folks we vote in just randomly choose who they want to arrest and who they don't?

A bill before the state legislature says, "Hey, if you have a problem with heroin, it is OK, we understand you need help. But if you smoke cannabis you're going to jail."

That sends a good message of how backwards we are.

Robert Hamele

Lexington


Immigration reform

Show compassion for newest Americans

Join me, Republican free-thinkers, and welcome undocumented America-seekers into our community.

Cowardly, Barack Obama waited to take steps to allow 50 percent of our new neighbors to come out of the shadows. Let us insist that our legislators make comprehensive immigration reform a reality.

It has never been in the collective mind of compassionate souls to evict and deport millions of hard workers, breaking up their primarily Christian families.

Instead, empty-minded talking heads proclaimed border security must come first. Our southern border will probably never be secure enough for the naysayers. The only honest border solution is to end out country's demand for illegal drugs. The cartels control the coyotes who victimize immigrants who struggle and sacrifice to get here.

I am convinced that a majority of Republicans would vote for laws increasing green cards and "back of the line" citizenship. In the meantime, we should allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers' licenses, demanding they obtain vehicle insurance. Next, make it simple for them to get documentation, registering them as taxpayers.

Let us ask ourselves how our rapidly aging population, depending on diminishing numbers of Social Security payers, can survive without an influx of young, hard-working immigrants.

Jon Larson

Fayette judge-executive

Lexington


Obama acted because Congress didn't

President Barack Obama may have been wrong to provide such a sweeping level of deportation protection to so many of our undocumented immigrants. Yet Congress has failed for years to pass legislation to modernize our immigration system, largely due to opposition from the far right.

Now that the Republicans have gained control of both houses, I await what they will do. Continue to pick fights with Obama and the minority party or provide leadership to craft bipartisan legislation to provide immigration fairness?

We cannot try to deport every person here illegally without more invasion of privacy by the federal government. We cannot make the border a militarized zone with draconian measures to stop the flow of economic and political refugees.

We should absolutely not reward those here illegally with a path to citizenship. What is needed is a guest-worker program with low fees and quick processing and periodic renewal.

No pathway to citizenship other than our current permanent immigrant visa process. Guest workers would pay taxes to offset their social costs. Stop granting their children automatic American citizenship. Common sense immigration is within reach if those we have elected will only again see the wisdom in compromise.

Karl Pfeifer

Lexington


Beware overreach of executive power

In view of arguments justifying President Barack Obama's executive orders on health care and immigration reform because of a "do-nothing Congress," it might be well to remember Winston Churchill's observation:

"No one can pretend that democracy is perfect, or all wise. Indeed. it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

We should also remember Caesar, who made puppets of the Roman Senate, and dictators like Franco in Spain, Hitler in Germany and Mussolini, who "got the trains running on time" in Italy.

The last time Congress decided to put American boys in harm's way was in 1941 when President Franklin Roosevelt asked for a declaration of war against Japan after Pearl Harbor. This, in spite of the "police action" in Korea, interventions in Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Libya, Bosnia, Grenada, Panama, Iraq (three times) and Afghanistan. Some were covered up by resolutions based on lies, and some happened just because the president decided it was in our best interest.

Those are things to think about when we try to justify executive orders because the president decides Congress does not enact laws he wants passed.

Kelvin Keath

Mount Sterling


Off your soapbox on immigration

A fellow in the gym restroom tried three soap dispensers before he found one with soap in it. "D--- undocumented illegals," he groused. "They at least should do their job."

He was gone before I could respond, but here's what I would have said if I had had the wit:

One, not all brown people are illegal or undocumented. Two, isn't it interesting that we depend on "these" people for tasks as simple as filling soap dispensers. Three, not all old white guys are tea-partiers.

But the exchange made me sad, too.

The Republican-chaired House committee — after two years of hysteria — concluded the Benghazi incident was more or less as the Obama administration said it was. But we're on to the next hysteria.

The president has 30 pages of closely reasoned documents that say he's acting legally with his executive order. Most objective legal analysts agree. We can argue over whether he abused his discretion — just as I'd argue that House Speaker John Boehner is abusing his discretion by not allowing a vote on the immigration bill the Senate passed overwhelmingly. But both men are acting constitutionally.

But until then, with the president's order, the soap-dispenser guy — if undocumented — might be able to do his job openly.

Joseph G. Anthony

Lexington

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