Term limits needed
Experience matters, as incumbents proclaim. A 2008 law that incorrectly banned Tupperware instead of Styrofoam got past their watchful eyes. The ethics law was ruled invalid because it violated a law that they wrote.
Term limits are needed because it’s fun to watch the first-termers.
They go from highlighting the need for change to change that is destructive.
Politics benefits only the politicians, so the voters should spread the wealth every two years.
Romney’s tax returns
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he has released two years of federal income tax returns and insists he won’t release more. His wife, Ann Romney, recently said on ABC, “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life.” Really?
You people? All we need to know?
Actually, Romney has released only one year’s return, 2010, and an incomplete estimate for 2011.
When Romney was being vetted by John McCain’s campaign for the vice presidential position in 2008, he released 23 years of tax returns to the campaign and wasn’t chosen. When asked about it, McCain said only, “Sarah Palin was the better candidate.” That statement alone should cause people to think for a minute or two.
All presidential candidates since Romney’s father in the 1960s have released eight to 12 years of returns.
Why is Romney so reluctant to release his returns? We all know Romney is wealthy, and I don’t think most people care about that.
I can’t speak for “you people,” but I am curious about what Romney obviously doesn’t want everyone to see.
Payday loans, elections
The donations of payday lenders to our elected officials are threatening our rights as citizens (7-28, A4, “Millions given by payday lenders”). Because of the influence of this money on our politicians, Missouri is one of the least regulated states for payday lenders.
We need to change corporations’ ability to influence our elections and our elected officials by stopping this flood of money. Congress has tried to write laws that limit donations, but this has been overturned by the Supreme Court.
What we need to do is amend the Constitution to be clear about what rights belong only to people and not to corporations.
We need a country where citizens, not corporations, are making the decisions.
An American hero
As expected by target shooting enthusiasts, one of the greatest Olympic accomplishments in the celebrated history of the Games was mostly ignored by media coverage. Kim Rhode became the first U.S. athlete to medal in an individual event in five consecutive Olympics.
Rhode broke 99 out of 100 clay targets to earn the gold in the women’s skeet competition in London. NBC did not even break into other coverage to give a brief announcement of this spectacular win, and The Kansas City Star buried it July 30 on B6, “Shooting: Rhode adds another medal.”
Although skeet shooting is certainly not as popular as women’s gymnastics or swimming, shouldn’t world-class performances and accomplishments also be showcased?
Shooting sports have been included in the Olympics since the modern Games began in 1896. Skeet has been nationally popular for both men and women for more than 100 years.
Another woman made a similar Olympic target game by the name of trap shooting wildly popular. Ever hear of Annie Oakley?
Kim Rhode is an amazing champion and should be acknowledged as a true American hero.
Finn faces media trial
Letter writers in The Star have called on Bishop Robert Finn to stand trial. Unfortunately, Bishop Finn stands trial almost daily.
He faces trial in newspapers, in radio and television broadcasts and in rampant gossip. He has been verbally crucified, his reputation shot, his vocation threatened and his right to freedom questioned.
All this before a legitimate trial.
It seems time to cease pillorying Bishop Finn and let the forces of justice to do their work without a constant public uproar.
In the meantime, if the grace of Jesus is needed, and it seems to be, we might also consider the new commandment that Christ left us — love one another.
Presumably, this includes protecting the rights of Bishop Finn, no matter how heinous the accusations are against him.
Christians unlike Christ
The actions and outcry of the American bishops protesting President Barack Obama’s health care mandate are insulting and injurious to the many Catholics who disagree with the bishops.
In my mind, it has nothing to do with loss of religious freedom.
I was reminded of a time when traveling in France I visited the Palace of the Popes in Avignon. What I remember most is a large mural at the top depicting the pope, cardinals and bishops in heaven with God.
Below them are the black slaves and women enveloped in the fires of hell. The thinking at that time was they did not have souls and therefore could not go to heaven.
The current attitude of the American bishops regarding the rights of women to control their reproduction choices and the bishops’ insulting attitude toward the nuns, with references to them as radical feminists, I find appalling.
I agree with the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
The Catholic Church does not appear to be the same church I grew up in during 16 years of Catholic education.
Delia Harrington Tankard
Rewriting U.S. history
The plan to follow the guns into Mexico, known as Fast and Furious, began in 2005. As usual, the new Republicans forgot this important point, but that is normal.
Some of the Republicans also claim that President Barack Obama started the unfunded wars, caused the U.S. economic crisis and is to blame for the entire deficit.
In their minds, former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney saved the world by eliminating Osama bin Laden and claiming “Mission Accomplished.”
Is this rewriting history or just plain lying?
Who says students can’t pray in school?
Missouri students will have their prayers answered if a proposed amendment passes that allows students to opt out of school assignments that infringe on their religious beliefs.
Maybe the Mayans were predicting the end of common sense rather than the end of the world.
The Kansas City Public Library is involved in a project in conjunction with the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City and the Mid-America Regional Council to recycle books that are not sold. It is called the Book Recycling and De-binding Project.
The project collects books and takes them to the Rehabilitation Institute’s Sheltered Workshop, where individuals with disabilities take off the binding and covers. Once the binding and covers are removed, the recycled value of the resulting paper is more valuable.
Additional book donors are involved in the project, including the Mid-Continent Public Library, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Book Drive KC.
This is a great partnership among the Rehabilitation Institute, the Mid-America Regional Council and the libraries, resulting in more than 55 tons of unwanted books being diverted from the landfill since April and the employment of eight individuals with disabilities
Helping birds cope
You think you are tired of this terrible heat wave? Just imagine our sweet bird friends, who give us so much pleasure with their songs and beautiful plumage.
They do not have the luxury of water spigots or air conditioning. With the continued hot, dry weather, it is imperative that we put containers of water in our yards for the birds, or many will die.
If you do not possess a birdbath, then roasting pans, a dog dish or large flower pot saucers will suffice. Be sure to place the receptacles in an area where cats cannot easily hide and pounce on the already stressed-out birds.
Also, refresh the water every day to keep mosquitoes at bay and to get rid of the muck that the birds will engender. They are fun to watch as they happily splash and take sips of life-sustaining liquid.