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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 Any letter received without a mailing address and phone number will not be published.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 rherron@state-journal.com.

One more step

to socialism

To the Editor:

“Obama’s Triumph”? Obama’s tax hike! Your editorial in the July 1 paper was interesting reading. “Obama’s reelection campaign would have been in far more serious trouble if the court had struck down the law.” Then the next statement was: “Recent polls show the majority of Americans dislike his health care package.”  Don’t the majority of Americans elect the president? Well, in theory anyway. I also find it questionable that the law was found kosher using the founding fathers’ principles.

 

There is also a great deal of difference in state-instituted law and federal law. The Constitution is very clear, at least to me, that what is not specifically given to the federal government is reserved to the states and the people. Health care is not mentioned in the Constitution, therefore it is reserved to the state (overly simplistic but true).

Didn’t President Obama promise that there would be no new taxes on the middle class? Another promise, another lie? If it is not a tax then Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional. The Constitution allows Congress to impose taxes that “...shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union according to their respective numbers...”

 

We do not understand your reference to “...Pontius Pilate could not have washed his hands more deliberately” when you wrote about Justice Roberts’ opinion that the court offered no judgment about the wisdom or merit of the law. He is absolutely correct in that regard. The court’s job is to determine if a law or action is constitutional, not make judgment on wisdom and fairness or make law as has been done in the past. It is hard to find a recent ruling by the Supreme Court that is not political in nature rather than what the law or Constitution says. There seem to be more laws made in the courts than in Congress. This decision seems to be no better as the court said tax and Obama said fine/fee/penalty.

I don’t think the Affordable Care Act is the way to proceed.  My main objection to it in the beginning was that it said nothing about the details of the law. It left the details to two non-elected bureaucrats to decide, just another indication that Congress does not want to do its job. Health care overhaul should begin with tort reform that would allow insurance to pay for what it is designed to pay for and not make lawyers and families rich. Change is needed, that is for sure.

The bottom line – President Obama has said he is in favor of a single payer (government) health care provider. Another rung in the socialist ladder. On the other hand, what has the other side provided for their plan of action?

Henry Cardwell

Frankfort

High court

still political

To the Editor:

Plunkett of Tammany Hall said an honest politician is one who, when bought, stays bought.

History will thank Chief Justice Roberts for not staying bought. But despite his recent Affordable Care Act decision, this court is likely the most politically activist in history. Four (Republican) appointed members are among the five most conservative to serve during the past 80 years. One, Kennedy, is among the 10 most conservative justices. All five are conservative Catholics bringing to court decisions a religious opposition to birth control, abortion and gay rights. Scalia belongs to the small but powerful and secretive society, Opus Dei. Beyond this, all (especially Scalia) seem ideologically opposed to the entire fabric of the federal government’s relationship to the American people and to the states since 1932. All five apparently believe the U.S. should return to a state-federal relationship and an economic and social system largely as they existed prior to 1932. A large majority of Americans believed the court’s ACA decision was made “politically” rather than on the legal merits of the case. This is sad commentary on the court’s present state of integrity. How “political” is this court? While the White House had a significant case to argue before the court during the Bush administration, Cheney and his buddy “Nino” Scalia went duck hunting together. Is this appropriate? When asked if he might retire early since he was only 43 when appointed to the court, Thomas (Scalia’s “Mini-Me”) said he was appointed at 43 and would serve for 43 years; it would take him that long to get even (with whom?). Thomas’ wife receives income from a group lobbying against the ACA. Scalia and Thomas were guests of honor at a dinner sponsored by organizations arguing against the ACA. Shortly after being appointed to the court, Thomas officiated at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding. Is all this appropriate?

Speaking of “El Rushbo,” a recent letter took issue with my observation that Limbaugh is the “voice of the Republican Party.” He stated this isn’t so, that Rush is an entertainer. Here are a couple of examples of his entertaining wit and humor: “You are morally superior to those liberal compassion fascists … You have a real job, they just beg for a living”; “Some of them – many of them perhaps – are just diabolical and dishonest to the core.” As the phrase goes, “that’s entertainment,” conservative Republican style. Back to the topic: A 5-4 ruling against health care would have marked the lowest point in the court’s history, lower than Bush v. Gore (5-4) which gave Bush the presidency, or Citizens United (5-4) which will give (Republican) corporations the rest of our elections. We almost witnessed what would have been (in combination with other decisions) tantamount to a coup. So, thank you, Justice Roberts, for stepping back from the brink and preserving what little is left of the court’s integrity, and giving our nation a chance to create a health care system worthy of the richest country on earth.

Mark Henry

Frankfort

Foundations

of freedom

To the Editor:

Has our country turned a significant corner this week? Are we on a path to some other form of government/society/culture that we have not experienced before as a country? I am concerned.

People left their countries and arrived here as long ago as 1492. They left their countries to escape political, cultural, religious persecutions. They settled in various colonies along the east coast making every effort to survive. They tried various systems of self-governance wanting the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

They had left a monarchy or autocracy, plutocracy, aristocracy, oligarchy and knew they did not want any of those. What was a government between tyranny and anarchy, where the people would successfully rule themselves?

They had studied, read, acquired knowledge from a broad perspective of Greek, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, European and English history. They were careful students of the Bible which was held in universal respect and admiration by them. They found guidance in the Bible studying the Israelite people under the leadership of Moses. The laws and the ruling structure of the Israelites provided a model of representative government that the Anglo-Saxons and many other groups of people followed.

Settlers, colonists began as early as 1600s to put a government together that would give freedom and security equally. They continued to experiment another 150 years to get it right! Finally, on July 2, 1776, a “Committee of the Whole” met to discuss a “Manifesto of Freedom.” Over 60 changes were made to Thomas Jefferson’s document but NONE of the “ancient principles” were deleted from the “Declaration of Independence” signed on July 4th.

For well over 250 years of study and experimentation, the early Americans continued to rely on the “ancient principles” given the Israelites recorded in the Bible. For over 200 years Americans have continued to rely on those principles for guidance of a country seeking to offer the opportunity for life, liberty and happiness equally for all.

Go study our American history for yourself. What have Americans known for over 500 years that we don’t know or are forgetting? What has made America great, the “shining light on the hill” that we have misplaced or lost? When did it become the responsibility of the government to provide for us food, health care, regulations for our daily lives. Where has our opportunity for life and liberty and freedom gone? I suggest we have lost sight of the “ancient principles” that have guided us since the beginning of time.

Phyllis Vincent


Frankfort

Good news for

animal lovers

To the Editor:

Oh what a feeling!

Thanks to you, family, friends, volunteers, members and community; the Franklin County Humane Society will soon be the proud owner of a new Toyota Sienna!

We are excited and grateful to win this vehicle in Toyota’s nationwide 100 Cars for Good program.

It opens up many opportunities. We’ll take more of our furry friends into the community for adoption events. Volunteers and staff will no longer have to use their vehicles for transport, rescues and vet visits.

We will save more lives!

In addition to your support, the following deserve praise:

Our spokesperson, D’Arcy Robb, created the promotional video and marketing plan, and coordinated every step of the competition.

Mike Tewell, owner of Glenn Toyota, eagerly pledged $1,000 of advertising.

The State Journal developed a great ad package and printed public service announcements. WKYT interviewed D’Arcy, Froggy 104.9 interviewed Mike Nolan, and both stations provided ongoing announcements.

Finally, an army of volunteers too numerous to name, “worked the polls” to get out the vote! We had nationwide support from friends, family, animal welfare groups, and you, Frankfort!

The humane society is ending a well-chronicled tumultuous (fiscal) year on a very positive note. We recently celebrated a successful membership drive with our annual luncheon meeting generously and graciously hosted by Morning Pointe Senior Care, a first-class facility.

Under the direction of our new manager, Nancy Benton, the society promises to fulfill its mission for professional and humane care for our community’s homeless animals.

Sam Marcus

Franklin County Humane Society Board President

Save pensions

with bonds?

To the Editor:

Our governor tells us hard times and lack of money to balance the budget has placed Kentucky in a no-growth tax thinking. However, with twisted justification of economic magic, day-to-day, work at the commonwealth goes on. Some months Kentucky collects a little more tax because the economy (not jobs) is improving.

The requirements for House Bill 1, passed last year by the General Assembly, require the General Assembly pay a monetary percentage to the Kentucky Retirement Systems each year. Therefore, what is new? Smoke and mirrors again?

Understanding Kentucky has no extra funds, how can the General Assembly appropriate to the retirement system without a bond issue or by raising taxes? Our governor has already said, “Let them eat cake,” meaning there will be no visible tax increases.

This sets the stage for the committee evaluation for the retirement system to begin the consideration of pension obligation bonds.

According to Shawn Sparks, at Kentucky Housing, bonds may very well be the way to fund their obligation. Mr. Sparks says he has not heard anything yet, but I would not be surprised if the idea of pension obligation bonds isn’t discussed as part of the Public Pension Task Force that will meet throughout the legislative interim period. Like anything else, POBs have their good and bad points, but those points may be worth exploring.

Reports I read from The Economist say America can now borrow from the bond markets at a cheaper rate than at any time in the history of the republic. Germany has raised two-year money for a fraction of a percentage point. Even Britain, a weaker economy than either of those two, is enjoying yields on its 10-year bonds that are at an all-time low.

The deteriorating state of government finances and their rising debt-to-GDP ratios mean there are many of these bonds to buy. Nevertheless, thanks to the global economic slowdown and the European debt crisis, the demand from savers for safe assets has overwhelmed the supply. Investors have poured $190 billion into global bond funds this year, according to EPFR Global, a data company, while other funds have seen a net outflow of $1.34 trillion. Almost $1 trillion has gone into bond funds since the start of 2009.

The yield on short-term Treasury bills has occasionally been negative in recent years without affecting demand. Safety is all. This is one of those times as they say; it is the return of capital, not the return on capital, is what matters.

The switch from return on capital to return of capital is more significant. Seems logical that was not a policy followed by our KRS when it came to using placement agents and buying derivatives. Both were just plain misguided decisions by unidentifiably sources.

It may very well mean the KRS gets funding this time around, but it will require more debt that, as forced on the KRS by the Kentucky General Assembly and its hometown pork projects with misappropriated funds intended for the retirement systems.

Jim Anderson Stivers

Frankfort

Farewell,

old friend

To the Editor:

This is not a political outburst or a personal attack on anything. My greyhound (Sasha Marie) lost her life after 17 years by my side.

She had liver cancer. I took her to Bevins Animal Hospital on Elkhorn Drive and they tried everything they could to save her life but it was too late. Dr. Emily Johnson and her entire staff were so compassionate. They were crying with us as we put her down. I will never forget the look she gave me as she went to sleep. It was as if she was telling me it was time and that she was reassuring me that she loved us and wanted to tell me that it would be OK as she had done the entire 17 years I owned her. May the doggy gods be good to her. I will miss her.

Patrick Grugin

Frankfort

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