This has not been a banner year for the meat industry.
The extreme drought has doubled the cost of animal feedstuffs. Undercover investigations have documented male chicks being suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death and their female counterparts crammed for life in tiny wire-mesh cages, pigs clobbered with metal pipes and assorted farm animals skinned and dismembered at the slaughterhouse while still conscious.
A study of more than 120,000 people by the Harvard School of Public Health confirmed again that meat consumption raises the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, warned that routine use of antibiotics to promote animal growth in factory farms is causing “the end of modern medicine.”
No wonder U.S. per-capita meat consumption has been dropping by nearly 4 percent annually.
October offers excellent opportunities for dropping animal products from our diet. The month started with World Vegetarian Day and World Farm Animals Day. It continued with World Food Day on Oct. 16 and Food Day on Oct. 24.
Entering “live vegan” in a search engine brings lots of useful transition tips.
Almost 19 years ago, we moved to the Kansas City area from South Carolina and were surprised to hear certain Kansas City schools did not have air conditioning, resulting in delayed openings or the schools closing early on hot days.
Now, 19 years later, the same story on the same schools. How is the Kansas City school board not embarrassed and humiliated by this fact?
Gosh, even putting some window units in each classroom over 10 years would have solved the problem.
Responding to terror
Two-hundred-forty-one American military personnel, mostly U.S. Marines, died on Oct. 23, 1983, when a bomb-laden truck driven by a terrorist drove into their barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.
The Marines had been sent there as part of a peacekeeping effort by President Ronald Reagan at the height of Lebanon’s civil war. Guards on duty at the time were working under strict terms of engagement that prevented them from having ammunition in their weapons, either in the chambers or the magazines, and so the truck easily got through.
The commander in charge had complained that the barracks were vulnerable to attack. But his warnings went unheeded.
President Reagan did nothing in retaliation, except for some minor shelling days later. Early in 1984, he began withdrawing American forces.
In light of the attacks in Libya on American embassy personnel and the resulting cries that President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is broken, why didn’t the same response take place in 1983, especially after a hawkish president’s anemic response to those who murdered our servicemen?
Negative ads confuse
I turned 18 over the summer, and I am very excited to make my voice heard in the upcoming presidential election.
I realize that it is the duty of the average American to be well-informed on political issues when casting a vote. So I started watching more national news during and after the election four years ago.
After seeing all of the debates and ads that went into the Republican primaries and seeing the recent ads from President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, I am upset at how many negative and hateful ads there are on TV and other media.
It has pretty much come to the point of making the other candidate lose rather than winning the election yourself. We now see Obama bash Romney for keeping money in foreign bank accounts and Romney’s involvement with Bain Capital, and we see Romney criticize Obama for empty promises, hypocrisy and a terrible record.
I think voters need to realize that this election is not about how bad the other candidate would be if elected but about the fundamental question of how much of a role government should play in our lives.
Greenbacks run Kansas
A note to colorblind Kansas: The state is not in the hands of Gov. Sam Brownback. Kansas and the entire United States are in the control of greenbacks.
Even the U.S. Supreme Court has made it possible for corporations to give unlimited dollars for political purposes, so elections are won because of the number of greenbacks thrown into the races.
Brownback used the finances of mega-millionaires to push out moderates and push in ultra-conservatives for the Kansas House and Senate races in the August primaries. It is reasonable to assume that he is trying to curry favor with the tea partiers and other ultra-conservatives for a future run for the presidency.
Kansas is a means to his true end.
Glenn Q. Pierce
With our government’s obsession with regulating anything and everything, if it exists, walks, talks, breathes or is even rumored to potentially exist, it will be regulated.
Regulation is the hidden way to tax with no boundaries. Because regulation creates revenue, it requires bureaucrats (unelected individuals with no restraints) to enforce and collect fees, levy penalties or do anything possible to collect revenue. And how do you pay for the bureaucrats?
As the regulation monster grows, it requires more bureaucrats. More bureaucrats mean more regulation.
More regulation means more bureaucrats to enforce and feed the regulation monster.
Is it possible that this is the main job killer, this unstoppable monster?
No-tax Norquist pledge
If you vote to send a Republican to the U.S. Congress, you are really casting your vote for Grover Norquist with Americans for Tax Reform.
The group is paid to drum up support for all manner of causes while the public remains in the dark as to who is paying the tab.
Campaigning for public office requires large amounts of money. Norquist and his organization help finance candidates if they sign pledges promising never to raise any tax without a corresponding reduction in other taxes.
A majority of Republicans in the Senate and House have signed this pledge.
There is nothing nefarious about pledging to hold down taxes, but this bargain is deceptive. Signers believe their commitment concerns taxes only. But Americans for Tax Reform weigh in on regulations, technology, health care, trade, energy, property rights, labor and an attempt to establish at least one Ronald Reagan monument in every county in America.
Noncompliance ensures a loss of future campaign funding and guaranteed opposition in the next election.
It’s Grover’s way or the highway. Do we want representative democracy or rule by unknown masters?
The stakes could not be higher.
Students silent on GOP
Where are the college students in Kansas City when it is obvious that the Republicans plan on doing away with grants and upping the interest rates on loans? Where is their outrage?
Why are they not taking their message to the streets denouncing Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin for calling grants and loans socialism? Have students lost interest in what would happen if the Republicans took control of the House and Senate?
It is not too late. College students should feel a sense of anger boiling in their stomachs that only mass actions could quell.
Sporting KC fans
Some say that the content of one’s character can be judged by an individual’s behavior when no one’s looking. At a time when disturbing events in the news outweigh the good, I am compelled to share the actions of an inspirational hometown athlete.
Recently, three of my children were playing soccer with a neighborhood friend and his dad on the grass along the Harry Wiggins Trolley Trail. A young man with white hair, dressed in a Sporting KC shirt, driving down Brookside Boulevard, spotted them playing soccer, parked his car and crossed to meet them.
Much to my children’s delight and surprise, Jimmy Nielsen, Sporting KC’s standout goalie and the team’s 2011 MVP, observed them practicing saves and punts and proceeded with a few pointers on post-goal punting.
After a short clinic and an autograph for a pair of goalie gloves, he headed back to his car.
I am impressed with Jimmy’s passion for the game and its future. His selfless generosity speaks volumes for the Sporting KC franchise.
We wish the team the best of luck in the remainder of the season and the MLS Cup Playoffs. My children are fans for life.