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 Any letter received without a mailing address and phone number will not be published.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the Editor:
Festooned with a large number of “white power” tattoos, a young man named Wade Michael Page killed a number of Sikhs in Wisconsin recently, in what has been aptly called an act of unprovoked ethnic violence. Fear is at the root of such a bloody incident, as everyone acknowledges. However, while some may characterize this fear as simply Wade’s fear of change or fear of the stranger, there is actually something more going on here; and such a reductio characterization in reality constitutes an attempt by the community establishment to let itself off the hook in terms of larger responsibility.
Fear naturally arises when one is attacked, or feels threatened (rightly or wrongly). When one feels that his particular group or interest is under threat. This fear is only exacerbated when discrete groups are excluded from even basic participation in the public forum – especially when the forum claims to be republican. This inevitably produces one of the excluded group’s number who will take the law into his own hands. Part of the problem exemplified by a Wade Michael Page is that no one had ever pointed him to a respected space of interest for Anglo-Americans, and to what legitimate tools he might use in advancing and defending this interest, other than violence. There is a larger responsibility here. Helplessness as well as fear breeds hatred and violence.
When U.S. Army Major Nidal Hassan went on a killing spree at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, there was afterward an immediate chorus of voices from the U.S. president on downward not to blame Islam itself. This was a practical course. When someone like Wade Michael Page arises, however, there is no similar chorus. In fact, there is usually a renewed call to root out Anglo ethnocentricity – thus creating the very threat and fear that engendered the problem in the first place.
This sort of “hating the haters” logic was pretty common in the Protestant communities of Northern Ireland back in the 1970s and 1980s. When an IRA bomb exploded, the push to root out the very idea – the valuation – of Irish republicanism erupted with it. We saw how effective that strategy was. The only solution in Northern Ireland, as in many other places, has been acknowledgment and participation. Otherwise the vicious cycle of the Wade Michael Pages is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Robert E. Salyer
Bonds to pay
To the Editor:
The state is eventually going to issue pension obligation bonds to pay for the lack of previous funding.
There very well may eventually be a movement to grant authority to issue these bonds in an attempt to solve the retirement fund mess the General Assembly created. It is a stretch to think non-retiree taxpayers should assume any responsibility for retirees’ pensions by supporting the sale of a bond.
What’s in it for those voters who don’t have a “dog in the fight” in the issue of a pension obligation bond?
Suppose the bond offering is structured and sold. How will the bond indebtedness be paid?
Since the government may terminate its defined-benefit plan and as a result no more employer or employee pension contributions are being generated, pension obligation bond payments would be made from the general fund and thus compete with the revenue needs of other agencies already short of operating funds.
The payment of interest on a POB would be just another government expense, trading one debt for another — but only temporarily, since the government has contractual obligations to its defined-benefit plan members that must remain throughout the future to the last person standing. In other words, it’s a contract with the legislature. This will be an interesting point of legality when the 401(k) issue comes up. Did the legislature make a contract with employees?
Why would the government go to the expense of issuing a bond to obtain the money to meet its “neglected” financial obligation to the fund and pay a healthy rate of interest to the bond purchasers when it could skip the expense of bond financing and make both principal and interest payments directly to the fund?
To a retiree, attempting to consider the issue from an unbiased economic perspective as well as from a demographic point of view, it is no secret that government is Frankfort’s largest employer. Therefore, active members and existing retirees of the fund and their families represent quite a large voting bloc. It should be no surprise if the initiative comes down to a vote where the outcome will be between those not affiliated with the fund and those and their family members who are. The educational program designed by the proponents of a POB will influence the motivation and concern of the latter. So both sides will eventually pay higher taxes and perhaps reduced services from other agencies resulting from the need for funds to retire the debt.
Since any POB that may be issued by the Commonwealth will not be a general revenue bond but rather a bond guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the commonwealth— one way or the other — sooner or later — the repayment will fall on all taxpayers.
Pension obligation bonds are not the way to solve the Kentucky Retirement Systems short funding. It is like paying one debt with a credit card while maintaining a considerable shortage for other obligations.
Jim Anderson Stivers
You can help
To the Editor:
On behalf of the staff and board of directors of the Franklin County Humane Society, we would like to express appreciation to our members, volunteers and donors for their outpouring of support following the seizure of animals from the Coy property.
The FCHS has received much needed financial contributions and in-kind donations providing some relief for our overstretched resources.
We are also very grateful to those involved in the seizure operation and aftermath, including the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, Franklin County firefighters, our county and city animal control officers, our county attorney and district judge, and numerous volunteers.
This is an ongoing case and situation.
Most of the animals have been entrusted to the care of the FCHS and will be for some time. As reported in The State Journal, the next court hearing is Sept. 25. Our shelter will be at or above capacity until the case is resolved. Many of the animals require medical care and treatment beyond the normal daily requirements. Although their care does present some challenges, we are pleased to report that all the animals are in stable health and doing well.
Here’s how you can help:
Fosters are needed. If you can open your home to one of these or other animals at the shelter, you may help save a life. The Coy case animals can’t be adopted pending case disposition, but they can go into foster homes.
Adopt another of our wonderful shelter residents. We have many beautiful dogs and cats at the FCHS needing and ready for loving homes. Visit them at the shelter Tuesday-Sunday from noon-5pm or online at Petfinder (www.petfinder.com) or our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fchskyorg).
Donate – send contributions to the Franklin County Humane Society at 1041 Kentucky Ave., Frankfort, KY 40601 or donate securely online through our website (fchsky.org). Frankfort is a loving and generous community and your humane society appreciates your support for the lives entrusted to our care!
To the Editor:
Well, let the political games begin. We see it starting with miscellaneous TV ads as they are going from state to state campaigning. The Republicans’ convention was this week and Democrats’ is the following week.
What is so funny is what the media is actually doing and even some people that are sending in letters. They are not talking about what Obama is going to do to get us out of the economic instability that we have had over the last six years but rather how Romney will make it so much worse and how Ryan is going to throw grandma off the cliff.
What we need now more than ever is a president that is ready to take the bull by the horns and take responsibility. The president we have now strictly finds fault with the Republicans or the candidates and does not talk about a single issue.
I don’t know who is going to be the next president of the United States but I hope that we as a people choose the correct one and whether it is Obama or Romney I hope we have one that will not play the blame game any more and find some solutions.
Jerry B Blackburn
will be missed
To the Editor:
For the past 10 years as a CASA volunteer, I have had the pleasure of working alongside Dana Todd, from the commonwealth’s attorney’s office. We have shared information regarding cases of abused children in Franklin County.
Dana has been a good friend, a professional partner on some of my cases and a caring individual. She has a tremendous amount of energy in standing up for the truth regarding her cases. I admire her and her willingness to support those she feels have been victimized.
The Justice Cabinet has gained a good individual and it is the commonwealth’s attorney’s office’s loss. I wish her good luck and blessings for the future.
To the Editor:
Mark Henry of Frankfort has explained to his “pen pal” the difference between “facts” and “opinions,” stating that opinions are like a part of the human anatomy that everyone has. I might add, “they all smell.” This may be too graphic to print.
Now it is my turn to explain about “facts.” Open your Bible, God’s Holy Word, to II Kings 28:27, in which Rabshakeh said, “Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? Hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own urine with you?” Now, this is not graphic. This is “fact.” If you don’t like what this says, turn in your Bible to Isaiah 36:12, and it will tell you the same thing. This Book has nothing but facts. You will not find any opinions in it.
There are 66 books in the Bible: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. To me, it is my road map for Christian living – my “Route 66.”
Please pray for me and especially state Rep. Derrick Graham and any other politician who has made the wrong turn in life. I received a very off-base letter from Mr. Graham, which I will share with anyone who calls me at 223-1788 or visits me at 217 Beechwood Ave.