Sen. Paul has our back when it comes to rights
When I was young, one criterion for judging a man was, "Would I go into battle with this guy defending my back?"
I disagree with Sen. Rand Paul on many issues, but he is one of the few in Washington fighting to preserve our constitutional rights in the face of an onslaught of fear generated by our never-ending global war on terror.
Before the recent 81-14 Senate vote to reauthorize the National Defense Authorization Act, Paul argued:
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"We had protection in this bill. We passed an amendment that specifically said if you were an American citizen or here legally in the country, you would get a trial by jury. It's been removed because they want the ability to hold American citizens without trial in our country. This is so fundamentally wrong and goes against everything we stand for as a country that it can't go unnoticed.
"When you're accused of a crime in our country you get a trial, you get a trial by a jury of your peers, no matter how heinous your crime is, no matter how awful you are, we give you a trial," he said. "This bill takes away that right and says that if someone thinks you're dangerous, we will hold you without a trial. It's an abomination.
"When will your rights be restored if the battle has no end, and the battlefield is limitless, and the war is endless?"
I would not hesitate to go into battle with Paul defending my back.
Price of protection
After reading the letter concerning the saturation of police personnel I had to reply.
Yes, pension budgets are high, but our crime rate is even higher. Roadblocks get unlicensed, uninsured, impaired drivers off the road. Those same drivers kill innocent people. Stings find drug dealers and meth labs which could be in your neighborhood selling to your children and exposing you to toxic chemicals.
Traffic enforcement is necessary. What would happen if no one obeyed stop signs? Carnage would result and again innocent people would be maimed or killed.
As for petty arrest, what is petty crime? Theft is theft, whether it be a car or a dollar.
When I call the police I'm not going to be worried about their pensions when lives are in question. Our police put their lives in danger every shift they work.
The recent shooting of innocent children would have been even worse, if not for too many police storming into the school in Connecticut.
I encourage all citizens to support our protectors. Thanks, and may you live to enjoy your pension.
Let pension go bankrupt
The state of Kentucky has an unfunded pension liability of $17 billion or more, for which taxpayers are currently liable.
Taxes would have to be increased and services decreased to balance this deficit.
In the business world (former Gov. John Y. Brown ran the state as a business) a company in this position would declare bankruptcy and allow pension responsibility to be assumed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
Yes, states are sovereign entities, but the federal government has discussed the possibility of allowing this to happen. As of 2012, a pensioner can draw as much as $4,653 monthly in this system, a nice retirement check.
State courts rule that the state constitution requires payment to this pension plan, but in bankruptcy this can be avoided. Are judges participants in this plan?
The Social Security payout to my wife was cut through the Government Pension Offset. Because she had a job, she was penalized from drawing benefits for herself or survivor benefit payments at my passing. Only 14 states are applying this provision. Wow. Yes, pension rules can be changed.
State rules for its employees are too lax. Double dipping needs to be stopped. Employees need to be paid on the amount they pay in personally.
If these changes don't balance the plan, bankruptcy needs to happen. More taxes just compound the problems; our tax dollars currently aren't being spent wisely. No more transfer of wealth needs to occur.
W. Frank Burberry
Satan at work
A letter writer asked why God would allow children to suffer.
The Bible has the answer. Job 34:12 says: "Surely God will never do wickedly; nor will the Almighty pervert justice."
Thus, God does not do bad things to innocent people.
The Bible shows there are three main reasons that bad things happen to good people. Ecclesiastes tells us that imperfect people at times cause hurt to others and that sometimes we are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And thirdly, John explains: "The world is under the power of the devil." But if God doesn't cause the suffering, why does he allow it?
The answer goes back to man's beginning, when Satan tempted Eve to rebel. In essence, Satan told her that God was a liar, that his way of ruling was unfair, and that they would be better off on their own.
God allowed Satan the opportunity to prove his claims. Thus, the issue would be clearly settled. The suffering throughout history has proven the truth of Jeremiah that man is not meant to direct his own steps.
God promises to undo all of the suffering Satan's rebellion has caused. We are told that Jesus will break up the works of the devil, removing all suffering.
In Psalms, it is promised that good people will be able to live on an Earth where there is an "abundance of peace."
Belief from within
In the "Where was God?" letter, the writer said it's difficult for him to believe in any so-called God, "when 20 small innocent children were killed by a crazed gunman at their elementary school."
One must ask oneself, what was one's belief before this tragedy? Because if there was no belief before, how does one expect to have belief after the tragedy?
First, what determines your thoughts of good and bad? Believing in God is a choice that determines our thoughts before the bad times take over. So ask yourself, what keeps you from doing the same thing as mass shooter Adam Lanza? It is a belief in yourself that this is not the right thing to do.
The same goes with our belief in God. It's a higher standard that we put our trust in — one that would never do harm to our fellow man. God doesn't twist your arm for you to follow him, but he does leave guidelines to follow: To love your neighbor as yourself.
Sometimes when tragedies happen, we have to ask ourselves how much love do we have for ourselves; because to love someone else we must first learn love for ourselves. And when we do this we find love through God because God is love.
Alice K. Brent
Leave creek alone
The beginning of Lexington was because of the Town Branch. It was a small creek then and is a small creek now. Not much more water than to float a kayak. It will never be more than that.
Don't waste city money on improving the creek. This idea has to go the same way as the yellow bicycles of a few years ago. Dumb idea, don't you think?