The State Journal encourages readers to submit letters to the editor for publication by noon Wednesday for the following Sunday’s paper. All letters must contain the writer’s full name, mailing address and telephone number for purposes of verification. The State Journal will not withhold the name of a writer. Any letter received without a mailing address and phone number will not be published. The State Journal will not publish thank-you letters, obvious form letters or letters addressed to third parties or to the public at large. Any letter may be rejected at editors’ discretion. All letters submitted for publication are subject to editing for length, form and content. Letters may be no more than 500 words long. Letters may be mailed to Letters to the Editor, The State Journal, 1216 Wilkinson Blvd., Frankfort, KY 40601; or e-mailed to email@example.com.
To the Editor:
My seasonal underemployment and political anger management therapy classes have come to an end, providing more time to stew over the way the radical right puts the “coarse” in political discourse and the “cuss” in political discussions. Of course, cussin’ ain’t so bad in and of itself. But some cussing is meant to degrade and insult. This crosses a line. El Rushbo, the voice of the Right, crossed it when he called a Georgetown College woman testifying before Congress a slut and a prostitute. A Republican jackass representing Florida in Congress crossed the line when he stated that dozens of members of the “Democrat Party” (a cuss word) are “card-carrying” members of the Communist Party. There is no Democrat Party; this is a slur created by Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich, prominent members of the “Republic Party.” In any event, the Communist Party of America does not issue cards. This Florida representative was simply lying. But lies and outrageous fact-free statements from Republicans are no longer shocking and hardly newsworthy. Everyone now expects this sort of talk from the Neo Republic Tea Party. Perhaps the next time this jerk stands up to deliver his views on the Democrat Party someone should, as did another fine example of Republican manners, yell, “You lie!”
Here are other lies and myths we are forced to live with: “Lower taxes result in increased government revenue.” Beyond logical absurdity, this Republican tenet of Voodoo Economics has been disproved over the course of the last 30 years. Here’s another: “Republicans are good for business.” Not really. They’re good at lowering taxes, deregulating, reducing payrolls in order to maximize personal profit. But the historical record shows that there is more overall economic growth under Democratic administrations than Republican. Another: “Taxes are too high” and “lower taxes will stimulate growth. Currently the top marginal rate for millionaires is 35 percent. If you don’t know what a marginal tax rate is you are not entitled to an opinion on federal taxation. During the Great Depression the top marginal rate was around 65 percent. During the post-WWII economic expansion it was 91 percent.
Another fiction we’re forced to endure is “a rising tide lifts all boats” and “trickle-down” supply-side economics. First, arguing by analogy is usually fallacious (learned that in a tax-supported college). An economy isn’t a tide (or wave, or any other metaphor). Second, the “tide” of economic growth over the past decades has been toward increased productivity and output, absent job growth, employment, income and benefits, and has resulted in a staggering increase in income inequality. Let’s just metaphorically observe that all cabin cruisers and yachts have been “lifted” while johnboats and bass boats are crashing against the rocks.
I’m approaching Jim Wolcott’s international tripe scale limitation. Next time, the mythic lie of a liberal press. And why the counter-revolutionary Republic Party regards any statement to the left of right as liberal. Who is John Galt? Why does Sen. Paul call himself “Rand”?
To the Editor:
Pedestrians are at the bottom of the transportation food chain; the question is: can this humble mode of transportation get any respect? I personally take my pedestrian rights very seriously on my way back and forth from South Frankfort to downtown.
I expect to be able to walk on the sidewalk without having to get off of it to go around a vehicle blocking it; without having to get poked by plants hanging out over it, without having to jump over a snow bank created to clear the streets for cars, without stepping in dog poop and without having to fear that a bicyclist is going to smash in to me.
It is the bicyclists that have served as the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and prompted me to write this letter. Personally, I am fortunate to be quite able to get around, however, on my walks, I am aware of others in wheelchairs, on walkers and pushing baby strollers that encounter the same problems and may have a similar expectation to mine; that the sidewalks are for those walking.
Back to the question about pedestrians sharing the sidewalk with the bicycles – yes, the sidewalk should be shared with the bicyclists that are willing to slow down and walk their bikes but not with those who ride on it. There are a variety of riders I encounter on the sidewalks: the Polite Ones that let you know when they are coming up behind you and say thank you as they pass; at the opposite end of the spectrum is the Speedster who is flying and who refuses to stop doing so. As he rounds corners, I sometimes think, if only I had been 20 steps closer we would collide. Of course, most of the bike riders on the sidewalk fall somewhere in between the consideration spectrum...
Nonetheless, between the bicycle riders and all the other obstacles along the way, sadly my commute to and from work each day has become something of a downer. At this point it might not be going too far to say, I along with other fellow walkers experience sidewalk rage at times. Can pedestrians get the respect they deserve?
To the Editor:
Is voting important today? As far as I can see, no. Presidential candidates are not elected on the number of votes they receive, but by contributors who expect to be paid back. They’re repaid in ways that should be clearly visible: favors, kickbacks, etc. Obama won, not because of his voters, but because the people with all the money preferred him to McCain. The upcoming presidential election will be unique in that the Supreme Court has removed the cap that limits the money contributors can donate. So each candidate can possibly raise a trillion dollars. In fact, I consider it a probability. Americans are granted the right to vote, one of the boasting points about the current system, but sadly those votes are a mere formality. One way to drastically improve the system is to count votes as they’re meant to be counted. If candidate A receives more votes than candidate B the obvious winner is candidate A, right? Actually, candidate B has more in contributions and has more friends with more money than candidate A, so the winner is candidate B. If votes were counted as they should be there would be something to boast about, but since they are not people must acknowledge another major flaw in this so-called “democracy.”
A voter has a difficult decision; if they don’t really have a favorite they are stuck with picking the lesser of two evils. Another option is to not vote. Some may consider this wasting the right given to all Americans. I feel that the right to abstain is just as important as the right to vote. The votes are meaningless in the grand scheme of things anyway; why bother? I am not advocating apathy and laziness, on the contrary, I’m supporting citizens who stand against a system they feel is corrupt and misguided. A person wouldn’t eat in a restaurant they know has bad food, so it doesn’t make sense to be active within a corrupt system. Unfortunately, it is easy to become locked in the system and convinced that voting is as it should be. It is very easy to go with the flow and vote based on which candidate’s jargon and nonsense sounds the best. The easiest road is usually not the right road.
Popular vote may sound like democracy, but the reality of the situation shows no acknowledgment of democratic ideals and is a slap in the face of citizens. People ask me what I think should be done since I’m so critical of the U.S. system of government and its actions, and I’ve been told to “love it or leave it.” One thing that can be done is to address a bedrock principle of democracy, reform voting for the citizens so that true popular vote is the sole consideration in electing a candidate. The idea is easy to grasp and I don’t think many people would consider that type of reform as radical, but the implementation of that reform will be difficult to say the least. My hope is that people will not succumb to apathy or be taken in by this propagandist system of government.
To the Editor:
Primaries are more important than general elections when voters are given choices if incumbents have to battle newcomers to keep their jobs.
Many believe Damon Thayer’s job warranty has expired. His devotion to David Williams proved toxic when Williams crashed on his own public disapproval record. Thayer had to cover up his own 2005 acts of patronage: his committee votes with part-time legislator’s ludicrous pensions and free health care for their families. But in 2012 Thayer supports 401(k) plans for governments which must mean he has total amnesia about what became of 401(k) plans in 2008 for millions of workers.
Or does it mean what is good enough for legislators is too good for everyone else? Then there is the paycheck padding for not getting their work done on time while others get fired for it.
Thayer with his political survival in play needed distance from his mentor so he dusted off a popular election issue: casino gambling. Call it “Bipartisan Bingo.” Thayer’s recent “no conflict” ethics opinion on gambling and casinos is the kind of “play politics” that disgusts taxpayers. Remember one thing: No one in Frankfort ever intended giving up their power to voters.
Politician Thayer has reinvented himself: senator, consultant and lobbyist. With his new calling card he has eliminated the middle man totally, The Voter. Remind him otherwise.
Frankfort voters should know what they are paying their public officials and if they are getting their money’s worth because the base salary for their part-time work may not show their real “Pump My Paycheck” costs to voters.
Voters can request “Open Records” reports that reveal both salary and all other “entitlements” officials have awarded themselves with taxpayers picking up their tabs.
Transparency opens eyes. Four of Georgetown’s current council members took health care from the taxpayers for two years. Three of them want to keep their jobs plus those entitlements and have already signed up with increased health care costs to taxpayers knowing their city budget and funding is in the mayor’s words, “precarious.”
Some Scott County magistrates also feed their entitlement greed with taxpayers’ money plus pensions too for these part-time jobs.
Nothing is too shameless for some self-serving politicians. Voters need to know the greed factor of their elected officials then vote them out of office because that is the only way taxpayers will ever stop it.
To the Editor:
It was not a knight, riding in on a white horse! The people/corporations buying bonds may save or bankrupt the Kentucky Retirement Systems. The Bloomberg report had an excellent article on this subject recently.
The fact our General Assembly has failed to properly fund the retirement systems for years will soon affect the state’s bond rating. Municipalities must include all long-term debt and that includes underfunding of retirement systems. That will affect the cost of money.
Those systems that have not funded state and local retirement funds in recent years will have trouble selling bonds at the usual low rate, which attracted many investors. Investment was safe before the economy crashed. However, now the accounting practices for liabilities are changing. Underfunding of retirement, systems will now be considered as part of the long-term debt for municipalities and states.
Pensions in Illinois, New Jersey, Indiana, and Kentucky may have less than 30 percent of the assets needed to cover promised benefits under the measure, according to data from the Boston College Center for Retirement Research.
The changes, which take effect starting in June 2013, will alter how liabilities are calculated and how assets are reported. “People are going to be really surprised. It’s one of the few things out there that could precipitate a major change in investor demand,” says the Boston College Center for Retirement Research.
The rules may raise government costs in the $3.7 trillion municipal market as investors demand more yield to compensate for higher pension risk and possibly lower ratings.
Illinois became the lowest-rated state in January because it hadn’t dealt with its underfunded pensions. (Does that sound familiar?)
The 20-year municipal yield of 3.81 percent is close to the lowest since 1967. When the cost of bonding changes, becomes too high, then what happens? It appears under revised accounting structure if the state does not fund its retirement systems, the state pays a higher interest rate on bonds. And that has never been figured into anyone’s consideration. Therefore, because of the changes in return on investments it may very well improve our chances for some funding in the days and months ahead.
Don’t be too shocked if you see more action this next round of our General Assembly to move the retirement systems to a 401(k) account. That reduces the amount the Commonwealth has to spend for administering the investments by Kentucky Retirement Systems.
Changes are coming for Kentucky retirement investments for both the corporation and employees. In addition, without your own stock advisers those life savings are going to be at a higher risk of failure as most know little about sound investing in the stock market.
It was the 401(k) accounts that went down in the last economic downturn, wiping out savings for over two thirds of the investors.
Whewwww. Life is just too complicated now days.
Jim Anderson Stivers
Horse capital of the world?
To the Editor:
With the headlines April 20 and 19, citing the Coys having already been convicted of animal cruelty, which is unfortunately the norm, not the exception, in rural Kentucky, the ongoing abuse by the thoroughbred “industry” sending thousands of horses each year to the extremely inhumane, painful deaths in Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses because they broke down as a result of starting them too young, or the fact that they just can’t run fast enough to support the bottom line, and the abuse of many jockeys on the track during training and the “big” race, is this title fitting?
I’ve lived in four other states in the east and the west and always brought my horses with me but never have I observed the kind of conditions horses live in here. The fact that officials can’t or won’t do anything about it is a crime in itself.
Gov. Steve Beshear passed the Romeo legislation in 2010 making animal abuse a felony in Kentucky, but local judges and other officials need to be reseated or educated on what constitutes cruelty and abuse.
With the president of the Kentucky Farm Bureau an advocate of “factory farming” and a lobbyist against the Humane Society of the United States, and the above-mentioned atrocities, maybe “the animal abuse capital of the world” would be a more appropriate title. Kentucky certainly is ranked first in the country in animal abuse according to the Humane Society Legislative Fund. More cases of animal abuse are uncovered here than anywhere else in the United States.
As the general public becomes more aware of what really goes on in Kentucky in regards to all animals, thanks to the media and animal rights groups, maybe someday horse and dog racing, factory farming, and animal breeders will be more regulated or even outlawed, and officials will figure out that public outcry rules, not some local sheriff or backwoods judge.
is best choice
To the Editor:
We are writing this letter to express our support for the candidacy of Kyle Thompson for mayor of Frankfort. We have known Kyle for many years, as an attorney, a businessman and a valued family friend. After carefully studying the positions of all three candidates for mayor, we feel Kyle is the best qualified for this position at this time in Frankfort’s history. He stated his positions on public safety, city efficiency and fiscal responsibility as he announced his candidacy and his positions have remained the same. That cannot be said for all of the candidates. We were shocked recently to see an ad placed by one of the other candidates that used Kyle’s positions almost verbatim. Frankfort should be grateful to have an independent thinker who is consistent and reliable running for mayor.
In our experience with Kyle, he always sees the big picture and is able to step back and assess issues with wisdom. He actively seeks the counsel of others, using their information to make his own informed decision. Kyle is experienced in working with people in all walks of life, and we have heard a wide variety of people who think highly of him and also support his candidacy.
Frankfort has an important choice to make – go back to the status quo, take a risk on an inexperienced candidate who doesn’t seem to have firm positions on issues, or elect an experienced man who cares deeply about Frankfort and has built the reputation and relationships that will enable him to govern effectively. We encourage all voters to carefully examine the positions of all candidates, and are confident that on Election Day, Kyle Thompson will be elected the next mayor of Frankfort.
Rick and Laurie Lancaster
Let Kyle tell
his own story
To the Editor:
Recently a letter was published regarding Kyle Thompson and his mayoral race. I would like to encourage your readers to fully vet any candidate they are considering for public office and to rely on facts rather than supposition.
Kyle is an excellent candidate with clear views on how to improve the lives of all Frankfort citizens and plans on how to implement the needed changes. Curbing wasteful spending should be a priority for all of us in these tough financial times; but that in no way means programs for the elderly or poor would necessarily suffer as a result of tightening our fiscal belt. To imply otherwise is irresponsible and nothing more than an attempt to scare voters.
Kyle has been, and continues to be, quite clear on his plans and the vision he has for Frankfort. He has never deviated from his original platform and has been able to answer all questions put to him with real solutions, not merely rehearsed rhetoric and a lot of bluster.
I support Kyle Thompson for mayor and I support his vision of a safer, more prosperous city. Reducing spending is only one of the numerous areas Kyle plans to focus his efforts on should he be elected. Crime reduction, the creation of jobs and the overall improvement of life for our residents by working to provide areas our families can play together, these are all areas Kyle has plans for.
Before making a decision based solely on what you see in this newspaper, try visiting http://thompson4mayor.com/my-platform to hear from Kyle himself how he plans to change Frankfort for the better. Then judge for yourself which candidate you’d like to support on May 22.
Laurel J. Dailey
To the Editor:
Last Friday, I was helping the Frankfort Kiwanis Club distribute food from the Food Pantry to families in the Frankfort Community. It was a very pleasant day and I thought to myself, I could be out campaigning. You see, I am one of the campaign coordinators for the Tommy Haynes campaign. Tommy Haynes is running for the City Commission. Tommy would have been right beside me distributing food, except that he was out of town. In fact, Tommy had helped with the previous food distribution. That day was also a great day for campaigning, but there Tommy was, helping to distribute food to those in need This really did not surprise me, since Tommy Haynes has been in the forefront of helping others. Tommy is the immediate past president of the Board of Directors of the Franklin County United Way. He is a trained CPR instructor for the Red Cross and he is active with the Agency for Substance Abuse.
When I think of all of the qualifications required to be an outstanding city commissioner, I have to think of Tommy Haynes. His military background (retired major from the U.S. Army) gives him the discipline and fortitude to get the job done. Tommy Haynes is the ultimate team player while at the same time remaining highly competitive. You don’t become co-captain of the U.S. Army Olympic team (1976 Montreal, Canada) without being a team player and being highly competitive. Tommy Haynes has over 33 years of budget experience. He has over 35 years of leadership and training experience.
On Tuesday, May 22, I am asking all Frankfort residents to give serious consideration to Tommy Haynes. Look for Line nine and elect Tommy Haynes to the Frankfort City Commission. Remember, Frankfort gains with Tommy Haynes.