GOP foil effective
It has been frustrating to witness the ongoing Republican efforts to implement its political goal of denying President Barack Obama a second term to the point of trying to block anything and everything the Obama administration has tried to do to lift our economy out of the doldrums created during the disastrous eight years of the Bush presidency.
In the Senate, minority Republicans have invoked the filibuster to avoid even up-down votes on measures, a use of the filibuster unprecedented in American history.
On the new health care law, Republicans suggested almost 200 amendments to it, most of which were included in the bill. Then the Republicans voted against the bill.
Afterward they went about the country claiming they had no input into the law, the basics of which were the Republican proposal from the 1990s.
Now they loudly proclaim that Obama has not gotten the country back to full employment, even though they’ve kept him from trying.
As a Democrat who voted for Obama in 2008, I’ve been disappointed that he has tried hard to work with congressional Republicans, which has watered down the progressive agenda we thought we were voting for in 2008.
Glenn E. Bradford
Leave e-smokes alone
As I sit “smoking” my e-cigarette, I’m humored and then angered by the June 27 article, “Kansas ready to snuff out e-cigarette sales to minors.”
I’m humored because these devices were meant for adults and shouldn’t be sold to minors anyway. They should be treated as real cigarettes, and lawmakers shouldn’t waste my taxpayer dollars debating new laws to regulate these devices.
I’m angered because anti-tobacco groups and the government want to control every facet of my life. These groups want to treat e-cigarettes like real cigarettes and not allow me to “smoke” in public venues.
These groups are unsure of the long-term effects of the vapor emitted by e-cigs.
The fact is that unless I’m inhaling cancer cells directly from my e-cigarettes, I’m pretty sure the harm being done is less than what is being done by tobacco. I do think that more testing on e-cig vapor is warranted.
Anti-tobacco groups say they are trying to prevent young people from smoking. Well, you know what? I am college-educated, and I have the intelligence to know that smoking is not good for me.
Anti-tobacco groups should embrace the e-cig as a panacea.
Cheers for SpaceX
Congratulations to Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) on the recent success of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule that berthed with the International Space Station, delivered cargo and successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
SpaceX demonstrated that technology can be simplified and cost effective and still achieve the goals set by NASA.
Watching the videos of the launch and all the subsequent stages of the flight through splashdown was exciting. The SpaceX employees, by some estimates more than 1,000, who showed up at the Hawthorne, Calif., factory where the components are assembled to watch the launch show they have invested their time and talent, which is paying off for the future of American space exploration.
Seeing the employees cheer as the rocket launched brings the pride they have in their work for everyone to see.
If the future of the American space exploration program is in private hands instead of government agencies, this certainly looks like a great start.
We are very proud of the employees of SpaceX who made this possible. SpaceX has plans for many future missions, and we wish them continued success.
Gary and Deborah Mance
Gas price comparison
Gas prices in Kansas City had seemed out of line with the rest of Missouri and the country. The explanation that Kansas City requires a special blend seems more like a ploy to keep margins high (6-23, A1, “KC rarity: Gas prices higher than U.S. average”).
We took a trip to Arkansas recently and paid $3.48 (regular) on the Missouri side of Stateline Road. The price was $3.12 in Little Rock a day later and $3.17 near Joplin three days from the start.
How do the gas companies account for this large difference?
Historically, Kansas City gas prices have been significantly lower than the rest of the country’s average.
Census seeks data
U.S. Census forms are out, but not everyone is receiving one. I’m asking anyone who has received a random census form what you thought of getting it.
The census is taken every 10 years. The last one was 2010. So why now in 2012?
How valid is a “random” census anyway? Is not every known resident of the country to be counted?
In 2010, the census form was six pages; in 2000, it was four pages. Both had very simple and direct questions for residents.
In 2012, it is 28 pages and asks many questions that seem to constitute an invasion of personal privacy.
One has to wonder just why all this information is necessary, and will it be used for purposes other than the ones stated?
Who else out there has doubts about it?
William G. Schmeltz
Johns add to blight
As a resident of the Northeast area, I’ve unfortunately become well-acquainted with the rampant prostitution in our neighborhood.
An older man driving a semi-truck from out of town recently picked up a familiar streetwalker, parked his truck, climbed into the sleeper with her and emerged with her after about 10 minutes.
All of this occurred in broad daylight, on the side of a busy city street, directly in front of my house. I called the police, but the john drove off before the officers arrived.
I attempted to call the trucking company, which seems to consist of only one truck, and found no working numbers. How is it that this man felt so comfortable that he would even attempt this disgusting act?
It’s probably because he could, or better still, he did and got away with it.
These out-of-town johns contribute to blight on our community.
Their money winds up in the hands of drug dealers and pimps, and those individuals wind up shooting at each other and the police and threatening decent people still trying to inhabit this part of the city.
When will the police and city put some real pressure on these johns?
Dean Richards IV
Price tag on Congress
I can’t figure out why the middle class of our country is not standing up together and demanding negotiations from management through unions, the only protection for fair wages with the economy of today.
Scott Walker, Republican governor of Wisconsin, won the recall vote over Democratic opponent Tom Barrett because of a flood of campaign money. Wealthy Republicans and super political action committees were behind Walker’s winning.
Many big corporations such as Koch Industries of Wichita are opposed to unions, Medicare, Social Security and anything else that would aid the middle and working classes, the elderly and the poor, which is the guideline of the Republican agenda.
The conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled that corporations are considered individuals and are permitted to donate with no limits for people running for office, which was very unjust and ethically wrong. Money should not buy the office.
The working and middle classes need unions to negotiate with management so that greedy corporations can’t abuse and manipulate the workers and prevent them from receiving fair wages.
Terrance R. Hawbaker
From the Department of Redundancy Department comes our worst government nightmare: a study about a study about why there are so many studies.
After complaining about his department being “awash in tasks” for studies in 2010, the secretary of defense commissioned his own study to reveal how much all the studying cost. But his study has never been completed, so Congress put the Government Accountability Office on the case.
The GAO found that the Pentagon had documented only a few studies and often didn’t include costs for such things as manpower in the assessments.
Now the GAO can’t seem to put a price tag on how much its study cost, so there’s only one thing to do: another study.
Loving acts of kindness
I want to sincerely thank those people who have a kind word or comment to pay to a perfect stranger. You cannot imagine what it means to me.
I am so touched when it happens to me that I literally shed a tear or two because the majority of people I run into on a daily basis are so hateful and plain ugly on the inside. Maybe the harshness of life makes them that way.
They make me want to live on 100 acres and be a hermit.