As for the quote, McKown noted that when the concept of retirement benefits took off in the 1930s, the retirement age of 65 was selected, at a time when the average life expectancy for workers was 58, creating a system designed to avoid paying benefits to large numbers of employees.
Regarding last week's item about the oddity of Mayor Danny Jones calling a press conference on the omission of lobbyist Phil Reale's name from an arrest-list press release -- thus assuring Reale's arrest went from being unpublicized to the other extreme of being over-publicized -- the mayor sent a note saying, "I called a press conference because I judged [right or wrong] that the other press outlets would have called me about the story in the Daily Mail and wanted to get them all taken care of at one time."
Jones said he holds no personal or political vendetta toward Reale, stating, "I have no reason to wish ill will on Phil Reale, but he challenged the credibility of the administration and we felt we should respond, including [re-filing] charges if necessary."
(Reale had sent a pre-publication email to clients and colleagues which said, "As you might imagine, this is a trying set of circumstances for my family, my employees, and my friends. ... We ask at this time that you not draw conclusions from media reports that may contain politically motivated material.")
Jones said there was no political motivation on his part, pointing out that he supported Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in the 2012 election, and assisted Tomblin in preparation for his statewide-televised debate against Republican Bill Maloney.
Meanwhile, as Kanawha County chief public defender George Castelle's op-ed piece eloquently pointed out, the whole idea of shaming arrestees with press releases and "perp walks" is something of a medieval conceit, not that far removed from public stocks designed to expose offenders to ridicule and humiliation.
Finally, back on the last day of the 2013 session, Sen. Truman Chafin, D-Mingo, temporarily killed a bill making it a misdemeanor for members of grand juries to disclose information about pending indictments by giving a cockamamie floor speech about how husbands and wives would end up going to jail for innocently discussing jury duty over dinner.
In retrospect, Chafin may have had more suspicions about that legislation and what was going on with Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury than he could let on at the time ...
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.