Here’s an imaginary congressional message. Members of Congress will:
• Before asking America to sacrifice, do their part by taking many cuts.
• Pledge to put power, money and privileges aside and always vote in a nonpartisan matter, or shame on each one if they don’t.
• Not cut Social Security or Medicare before trying to reduce fraud in these areas, including hiring and training willing employees to investigate wrongdoing.
• Pay for their own health care and prescriptions.
• Stop free private gyms, personal care and transportation perks.
• Eliminate lobbyists and hometown favors.
• Reduce Congress’ excessive retirement plan and stop all retirement benefits for convicted members.
• Increase the number of workdays for Congress to match what most Americans put in, and spend less time campaigning.
• Take a three-year salary cap as Social Security recipients did.
U.S. wealth, health
A front-page June 12 story was headlined “Families’ wealth withered in U.S.,” not to mention family health. Come on, leaders. Create more jobs and stay out of the doctor’s office.
Losing on energy
The June 10 article, “In the dark about saving,” has little to do with reality.
The government is shoving new energy-efficient light bulbs down our throats that have less lumens than standard incandescent bulbs for about four times the price. In my experience, they don’t last any longer.
We are forced to burn ethanol in the gasoline we buy, which almost guarantees failure of some older engines and lawn equipment.
And for what?
The more we practice energy conservation and use less, each provider stiffs us with higher rates because of less demand.
They win no matter what.
Pleasant Valley, Mo.
A June 12 letter writer said he was upset about anti-President Barack Obama advertisements being paid for by billionaires. I had to laugh.
Do you know where the Democratic ads come from? Media Matters and MoveOn.org mostly.
Guess who helps fund those groups — George Soros, and he happens to be a billionaire.
So, along with having that billionaire backing them and having all three major network news channels, plus cable news, pushing Obama’s agenda, I don’t think it is fair to whine about who pays for conservative ads.
Although the statement is probably true, does the June 12 letter writer think that a billionaire’s money didn’t propel Barack Obama into the presidency? Does the letter writer think that a billionaire’s money will not be used to attempt to keep Republican candidate Mitt Romney out of the presidency?
Silent weather reports
Early Monday morning I woke up to my house shaking from the thunderstorm outside.
I turned on our local channels to see what was going on with the storm and how severe it was going to be only to discover that not one of them had interrupted its infomercials to cover the weather going on outside.
Thank goodness for the Internet.
But shame on our news stations.
Dump opinion blurbs
It’s time that The Star eliminated the “What others are saying” section on the opinion pages. Divorced from their context, these blurbs are utterly meaningless, leaving the reader with a divisive opinion but not the reasoning behind it.
This is exacerbated by the fact that The Star doesn’t direct readers to the articles that would inform people of the facts. Often these blurbs are unrelated to any content in that day’s paper.
This does nothing but create more of the underinformed yet loudly opinionated types who oversimplify and polarize our political discourse. These easily digestible sound bites masquerading as journalism have become the predominant news source for too many.
In an era in which many stories are posted online before the facts are known and real news is reduced to a headline, the newspaper is supposed to be the last remaining source for a full, unbiased account.
For the Star to attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator by copy-pasting only the most contentious aspects of an op-ed goes against everything a newspaper should represent.
This section should either be eliminated or reduced to just one opinion, printed in its entirety.
Park statue uproar
The Star finally printed a photo of the headless, nude, sexting sculpture in the Overland Park Arboretum (6-11, Blog bit).
Is there social and artistic value for children?
There’s been no mention of the news microphones capturing the “whoa!” of a boy viewing the sculpture.
The artist’s own description of his work has been “cautionary,” “warning,” “carves herself into pieces,” “unfortunately,” “for the world to see.”
Overland Park Councilwoman Donna Owens told me “hundreds of adults are objecting, but not children.” Really?
Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of one child unmasking the folly of the king’s duped court with one pure shout, “The emperor has no clothes,” is being played out.
To the vexation of the elite and delight of we the people, when the elected have lost their way and deny the constitutional right of the governed to present grievances, Kansas allows its citizens their day in court via a grand jury by petition.
Citizens are empowered to answer, Is this sexting, aroused sculpture suitable for children, is it obscene and is it in the appropriate venue? Hear the boy’s proclamation at www.afa-ksmo.net.
The decision to take out Osama bin Laden in a manner that allowed a large amount of intelligence to be gathered was viewed by Robert Gates, former secretary of defense under former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama, as a “courageous call” because there was no hard evidence that bin Laden was actually there.
Those now referring to the decision as a “no-brainier” are revealing their own lack of intelligence.
Romney no president
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s policies would take from those struggling in this economy to give to those on top.
Past behavior is a predictor for the future. We are a great nation because we support and uplift one another. This is not a belief held by Mr. Romney.
He is not a leader for the American people.
Thanks for McCaskill
I was so proud to see Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill take a stand again for what is right (6-6, A14, “Effort to find jobs for vets is faulted”), that is finding employment for the veterans who have already paid a price for their own and our freedoms.
She states that the Labor Department’s files on federal contractors is spotty and inaccurate. They are to post job openings and report data to the Labor Department. Government contractors receiving more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded work are in charge of posting these job opportunities.
But with veterans’ unemployment rates approaching 13 percent, somebody isn’t doing their job, which is keeping these veterans from getting jobs.
We need senators like McCaskill calling attention to these government agencies for not taking care of our most valuable resources in this country, our servicemen and women and our veterans.
Thank you, Sen. McCaskill, and please, voters, remember all she is doing when November gets here.
Suspect religious liberty
The current uproar by the Roman Catholic bishops and their supporters over provisions of the Affordable Care Act is, at its core, an argument about whether commercial activities (as opposed to religious activities) not necessarily performed by or for the benefit of Catholics should be subject to the civil law of the United States or the canon law of the church.
Many political figures have aligned themselves with the bishops, claiming the law is an infringement on religious liberty.
If a group of imams were to request that commercial businesses owned by individual Muslims or mosques be governed under Sharia law, do you suppose these political figures would make a similar strong stand for religious liberty?