Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor, Jan. 20, 2016

When did we become so stupid?

I am not sure when the American public became so stupid, but I am sure it didn't help when the Sarah Palin, Tea Party, take-my-country-back insurgence began in 2008. The result is a GOP frontrunner whose stump speech is devoid of facts, but long on hate and racism.

Dissect the platform and they are wrong about the U.S. economy, China, Mexico, Iran, the military and making America great again (great now and getting greater).

However, no issue better shows what deep thinkers these idiots are than Muslim terrorists. First, the overwhelming majority of people being killed by Daesh (ISIL) are Muslims, literally thousands for every one American or European killed. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims are fighting against these killers around the world.

The irrational fear that comes from a lack of critical thinking makes these sheep easy to manipulate. For the next speech, a few suggestions on banning things that kill many more Americans than Muslim terrorists: Bees, cars, spouses, the flu, sugar, stairs, motorcycles, bathtubs, guns thought to be unloaded, tobacco, and more.

To the rational and intelligent out there, stop trying to make sense of this, because you can’t and it doesn’t.

Tony McCoy


Historic homes in ruins

Two of the oldest homes in Eastern Kentucky are in ruins because they have been neglected by elected officials in Knott County. The Johnson log home, which was built before Kentucky became a state, is now on the ground. The Francis-Stamper log home, built circa 1800, has been vandalized and is seriously deteriorated.

These log homes were dismantled and moved to Pioneer Village Hollow before the Carr Fork Dam was built. They were maintained for a few years as a tourist destination by Letcher, Knott, Perry and Leslie Community Action Council, Inc. In 2009, after a period of neglect, LKLP deeded Pioneer Village to Knott County.

The Knott County Fiscal Court, mired in 19th century politics, abandoned upkeep of the log homes and has rejected pleas of Johnson family members to retrieve and save the few remaining logs of their ancestral home.

George R. Gibson


Can’t afford Republicans

Polls show terrorism is one of the most important issues in the 2016 election.

The fear of radical Islamic terrorism is largely irrational since Americans are more likely to die in domestic gun violence, vehicle accidents or by drowning in their bathtub than in a terrorist attack. This fear is promoted by the inflammatory rhetoric of the Republican Party, which hopes to turn it into a winning issue. Unfortunately some of the rhetoric and suggested policy will only make us less safe, resulting in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Sen. Ted Cruz's talk of carpet bombing the Syrian desert until the sand glows would not defeat ISIS but inspire more hostility toward America by killing many innocent civilians. Similarly, Donald Trump's proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States will generate animosity across the Islamic world, inspire more terrorist attacks and undermine the values of inclusiveness and religious liberty upon which our country was founded. Sen. Marco Rubio supports a military policy which would entangle us in more foreign wars, inspire further anti-American sentiment and add to the enormous debt incurred during the Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We cannot afford to let Republicans make us less safe.

Emery W. Caywood


Drone dangers

Regarding the 24-year-old University of Kentucky student who crashed his drone inside Commonwealth Stadium, where the crowd was gathering, right before a UK football game.

If I'm reading his self-serving statements correctly, he still doesn't see the danger he presented. Let me offer him some help.

What if his seven-pound drone, with whirling blades, had crashed, not into a wall, but into the head of a person? What if that person was a small child? Or an elderly adult who, because of the impact, then lost their balance and had an uncontrolled fall down some concrete steps? Worst of all, what if that person had been standing at the second level railing and had then, knocked off balance, tumbled into the lower seating area? No, he didn't present any danger, right?

But wait, the police didn't even reward him for his cooperation. As if he didn't cooperate in his own best interest to avoid an even more severe penalty.

And, with unmitigated gall, he says the university and law enforcement were overzealous? This young man doesn't need a new drone, he needs a new brain.

Joe Mercer


Learn to love soil

In 2008, I attended my first Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group conference in Chattanooga. The workshop with the biggest impact on me was led by Jeff Moyer, farm manager at Rodale Institute. Moyer made me look at soil in a totally different light. He said something like: “Soil is like an Olympic athlete. You can’t expect it to take off three months and still perform at its peak.” I had never thought much about soil prior to the workshop, but since I do what I can to keep it healthy and share my knowledge with others. I enjoyed and learned so much from the conference that I went back twice.

This year Lexington will host SSAWG’s 25th Annual Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms conference Jan. 27-30 at the Lexington Convention Center. There will be field trips, short courses and workshops hosted by people with a wealth of experience and knowledge in sustainable agriculture.

Wendell Berry said “eating is an agricultural act.” Tell everyone you know to plan to attend. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to learn more about our food system and how food is grown.

Obiora Embry