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To the Editor:
Why did the state auditor not list international travels by members of the Kentucky Retirement Systems in June? It appears in the audit there is no listing or mention of the trip to the Middle East by Adam Tosh, then the chief investment officer for KRS. The KRS chief investment officer went on four trips to the United Kingdom within a 19-month period and one trip to Dubai. Why did the auditor forget to mention this in the 118-page report?
The four European trips for Tosh were 9/28/08, Edinburgh; and 11/12/08, 10/3/09 5/10/10, London. Sources say Adam Tosh went to a conference in Dubai. Several vendors saw him there. Could it be the Dubai trip was paid for by another source? A source outside of the KRS? Someone like Glen Sergeon, the placement agent for the Connecticut firm who assisted the KRS in investing $100 million in the current hedge fund controversy?
For many of us the cost of a few days in Dubai would be like an entire week’s vacation in Florida. Were there gold faucets in the bathroom, a high-up suite of rooms for important guests? Gratuities are not slight when someone manages billions of dollars in investment. The audit will later claim that since the trip was not paid by KRS it was not required to be listed since it was not a state expense. It may appear later, however, if a chief executive officer traveled to Dubai, the financial center of the Middle East, there should be a report of that to the KRS board. Did you know we have some high-flying executives from the Kentucky Retirement Systems with international credentials? After all, a fund managing billions of dollars means the executive officer would have adequate respect even though it is not his money.
Something is seriously affecting the decision-making process at the KRS. So far it seems most of the fire is being directed at Christopher Tobe, the former member of the auditor staff a KRS trustee.
That is until Mr. Tobe blew the whistle on the huge losses that have occurred at the Kentucky Retirement Systems.
The auditor conveniently laid the KRS issue off to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which delayed any action – for a time –conveniently after Beshear was re-elected.
When all investigations are done, it may very well appall you to realize your lifeline at the KRS is virtually only 30 percent funded. And this lies squarely on the shoulders of the money not appropriated to the retirement funds by the elected officials we keep sending back to Frankfort year after year and the decision making board at the Kentucky Retirement Systems.
Jim Anderson Stivers
No news isn’t
To the Editor:
I’m thinking about “objectivity” and “Objectivism.” Thinking of objectivity makes me think of Fox News, objectivity’s opposite. Being long in the tooth, I must visit doctor’s offices that make me watch Fox News. So I was interested in a recent study done by Fairleigh Dickenson University that found people generally are able to answer 1.3 of five questions on domestic policy news correctly, and people who don’t watch any news at all are able to get 1.22 of the questions on domestic policy right. But as one (i.e. I) could expect, the study also found that people who watch only Fox News fare worse; that is, all else being equal, someone watching only Fox News can be expected to answer just 1.05 of five domestic questions correctly, a figure significantly worse than if they watch no media at all. The study also found that conservatives who watch Fox generally do about the same as people who watch no news at all. Finally, the study found that people who watch Jon Stewart or listen to NPR are the best informed. Of course, conservatives will argue that they are just “elites” informing themselves about a “reality” which is really just liberal bias and propaganda. Along these same lines, I recently wrote about the big lie of a “liberal media.” Well, a recent study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism determined that Romney’s coverage was twice as favorable as Obama’s between last January and April. Romney’s coverage was 39 percent positive during that period, while Obama’s coverage was only 18 percent positive. Again, the mainstream media assumes the position and bends over backwards to demonstrate that it does not have a “liberal bias.”
So, what’s “Objectivism”? In a recent letter I asked the questions, who is John Galt? Who is Ayn Rand? Rand Paul knows. As does Paul Ryan (House budget chairman). As do many of the current breed of congressional Republicans. Ayn Rand wrote “Atlas Shrugged,” a bible for Rand Paul and Paul Ryan and most right-wing Republicans and Libertarians. In it the hero, John Galt, states the essence of Rand’s Objectivist ethics, “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” The social, political and economic system making this oath possible is unrestricted, unregulated capitalism; absent taxation (that “confiscates” wealth for the “sake” of some “other”).
Another (more pressing) issue for politicians raised by Objectivism is its avowed atheism. Under pressure from Catholics, Congressman Ryan disavowed Objectivism. So has Sen. Paul (and likely any other who is asked). Oh, they all love them some Ayn Rand, and John Galt, and “Atlas Shrugged” (and “The Fountainhead”) and (law of the jungle) laissez-faire corporate capitalism, and opposition to taxation is a form of living “for the sake of another” – but not her underlying philosophy”? If we really want “bipartisan” solutions, we need less Objectivism and more objectivity.
To the Editor:
What is happening to America? When El Rushbo is referred to as the voice of the Republican Party when he is an entertainer. Does that mean that Bill Maher is the voice of the Democrat Party? Makes one proud, does it not?
What is wrong with thinking the USA is exceptional? Singing the song “God Bless the USA”? Do folks really believe that Americans do not care what is going on in the rest of the world? That Americans are so arrogant that we would insult the rest of the world with songs that are patriotic? Perhaps the women on the “View” should go overseas and walk through the cemeteries that contain the remains of our brave servicemen and women who have given their lives for the rest of the world.
These same folks that state the lyrics of “God Bless the USA” are offensive most likely listen to and defend the rappers that sing obscene lyrics and deride our public servants. They likely defend the right to burn the American flag or demonstrate at a serviceman’s funeral. Unbelievable to me is that these folks actually have an audience that watches them! These folks that imply that they should be able to say and do anything they wish, but if someone they do not agree with expresses their opinion then that should be stopped and not allowed, these hypocrites and anti-Americans.
Why don’t they go to another country if America is so vile? Is this the hope and change that most Americans want? If it is perhaps we patriots need to go to another country. The chance that the anti-Americans could get into another country is slim at best as most countries do not accept malcontents and subversives. I do not understand this feeling that folks in the USA are bad people when all the evidence points to the contrary.
This makes me so angry! I wish that I could express how I truly feel about this subject!
Was watching MSNBC (President Obama’s reelection headquarters) the other night and saw the leader of the NEA saying that the election in Wisconsin eliminated the voice of the common folks. Now I assume that this gentleman is a well-educated man, being the head of the National Education Association, so I assume that he meant that the common folks did not vote in the election. What I think he was saying is that the only common folks in Wisconsin are union members. What are our children and grandchildren being taught in public schools and universities? Is it join the union and avoid competition?
One more thing, after watching MSNBC, CNN and Fox News it seems there is no unbiased news any longer. Watch C-Span, not the commentary programs, but the real coverage of the House and Senate, and see what the politicians (we have few statesmen) are saying. Only then will you understand how much trouble we are in as a nation.