Crunch numbers on state pensions
I read the excellent article by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting regarding the Kentucky Retirement System for public employees. I am not a member of the system but I am a taxpayer.
One position that reflected particular humor was that of chief investment officer David Peden, who seemed to say that more money was spent on investment fees than originally noted, but it had no effect on net income.
Huh? Spend more, but still have the same?
Tommy Elliott, chairman of the board, said he wasn't bothered by higher-than-average investment costs. Let's see: Higher cost, lower returns, fund in trouble. Yeah, I don't guess that should bother anyone.
I would like to see the Herald-Leader, or some volunteer investment firm, crunch the numbers and let us know the amount of money we could have generated in the last 20 years by just having the entire fund in a simple no-cost index fund.
How does that compare to this high-fee, back scratching, good ol' boy, family-friend atmosphere we're caught up in?
Transparency won't save this fund. Transparency just means we can have an unobstructed view as it goes to hell in a handbasket. We need corrective action immediately.
Green energy creates jobs
On the same day the Herald-Leader printed "Oil and gas production key part of Ky.'s energy past and future" by Brydon Ross of Consumer Energy Alliance, The New York Times printed "Industry Must Lead on Climate Change" by Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens, global industrial giant.
Ross' group lobbies for drilling oil and gas and against carbon regulations, arguing that Kentucky's history of oil and natural gas production justifies increased pollution. Kentucky's jobs, all 3,200 of them, is the main point.
Kaeser pledges cutting Siemens' (340,000 employees) carbon footprint in half by 2020 and carbon neutrality by 2030. He argues that cutting the carbon footprint is a "prudent investment," quickly resulting in big savings.
We need to take a new look at Kentucky's job problem. In 2011, nationwide, there were about 806,831 oil and gas jobs (Josh White, "A Broader Look at America's Fossil Fuels Jobs Boom") against 3,402,000 "green" jobs (U.S. Department of Labor). Renewable energy promises more and higher-paying jobs. Even now, as renewable energy accounts for only 11.98 percent of our domestically-produced energy, the green economy is far ahead of the fossil-fuel economy as the job-creating dynamo.
There are two mysteries of my Catholic faith which are hard to fathom. Timothy McVeigh receiving absolution prior to his execution for his part in the Oklahoma City bombing and the pope meeting Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis on his recent visit to the United States.
So Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her fourth husband met with the pope? I just hope he had the civility to press his bib overalls that time. And you wonder how people outside our great state can think about Kentucky as they do.
Road not needed
Does Versailles have a traffic problem that justifies the construction of the Northwest Mobility Corridor?
Yes, traffic downtown is congested twice daily for about 30 minutes. But have you ever been out of Woodford County? In the rest of the world, this is a laughable problem.
Is it worth ruining the rural landscape? Affecting downtown business negatively? Potentially increasing traffic on Midway Road and in Midway to more dangerous levels? Worth $39 million that could be better spent elsewhere?
All this for a solution that cannot be reversed and is not known with certainty that it will alleviate the problem. The problem does not warrant the remedy.
Columnists flawed on faith
Tom Eblen wrote, "Scary stances on rule of law." Maybe he didn't pay attention in history class. In France and England they did whatever they wanted to Christians in the name of justice.
It is always those in authority who are careless about a law that makes you something that you aren't. They did the same thing to Daniel in the Bible, so it isn't new.
Eblen's coming up with the same tired, old stuff that they used in the Middle Ages.
Larry Dale Keeling is in the same boat when he says it made sense to put Kim Davis in jail. Paul Prather said two good things came out of the ruling and one bad one. The one bad one will be like the dream Pharoah had where the bad ears and the thin cows ate up the good ones.
Rest assured, it hasn't failed all this time, and when folks talk like Eblen, Keeling and Prather, it's going to happen again. Our beginning as a nation was and is for freedom to worship, not freedom from worship. Big difference. Where we're going to is not where we've come from.
Ray E. Davis Jr.
Legal ramifications concerning marriage, immigration and the pro-life movement raise a conundrum which has perennially haunted civilization from its beginnings.
The rule of law is necessary for the maintenance of a stable society and yet it is conversely true that the obedience of law is at times highly detrimental.
Even the Constitution is a living document interpreted at the whim of whomever holds the reins of power; the enforcement of laws at every branch varies significantly by administration.
For Christian citizens, loyalties between the state and God sometimes conflict. The very author of Romans 14 illustrated that his loyalty to Christ superseded loyalties to ethnicity or citizenship.
Ultimately, it is the individual conscience which decides whether to obey a law, seek compromise or face the consequences of disobedience for a higher purpose.
Nations and cultural momentums are temporal; the long arc of physical history leads them only to the dust bin of time. While common societal investment is important, my ultimate loyalties are not in the dangerously wishful thinking of liberal or conservative utopianisms.
It is better to do right facing the consequence of law than to explain to God that one was only following orders.
Victory over Florida
How great that victory will be over the University of Florida football in 2046. Just savor the moment, only 31 years to go.
Florida, of course, then will be just a school for alligator research funded by the government, and the University of Kentucky will be just a school for horses funded by the government.
Eight bells shall ring strong on that day that UK finally wins because Florida forfeited the game for insufficient funds to put air in the old bus tires.
Floyd C. Shipley