Back small businesses
My wife and I own Mission Fresh Fashion, a small shop in downtown Mission. On behalf of all small businesses we ask everyone to participate in Small Business Saturday this weekend.
We’ve heard of Black Friday and we know of Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday is a day to support the small businesses that fuel our economy and invigorate our communities.
Take the pledge to shop small. If not this Saturday be sure to put it on your list of things to do this holiday season.
Meddling in Kansas
Why do people who do not live in Kansas feel they have to criticize Kansas for whatever? Case in point is a Nov. 17 letter and the writer’s sarcastic comments about the Kansas school system.
Kansas has some of the finest schools in the country. Lansing and Louisburg schools are just two examples of the many fine districts we have in this state.
The letter writer’s home state of Missouri, on the other hand, has some real serious problems with some of its school districts, with Kansas City Public Schools being the best example.
The letter writer should devote more time toward improving things at home.
U.S. aid to Israel
A “reluctance to referee” does not constitute impartiality in Gaza when the United States is providing billions of dollars in weapons financing to Israel from 2009 through 2018 (11-20, A1, “U.S. reluctant to referee”).
I support the rights of both the Israeli people and the Palestinian people to peace and justice.
Unfortunately, our “support” of Israel (and not Palestine) is being used to kill civilians, destroy their homes and take their land. In our attempt to support Israel’s safety, we turned our gaze the other way and even stood between other nations at the United Nations when they asked Israel to abide by international law and earlier treaties.
It is time to cut U.S. military funding and stop supporting apartheid and oppression. Real neutrality and willingness to work with both sides toward peace would be a godsend to the area.
Change Senate rules
Sen. John McCain’s outburst threatening to stop the possible appointment of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice as secretary of state is just one indication of broken government when one senator can stop any presidential appointment. Senate rules for this and the filibuster (requiring a three-fifths majority to pass legislation) need to be eliminated.
It’s argued these rules protect small states, but they are already protected with two senators from each state.
Do the math:
Twenty-six states with less than 18 percent of the U.S. population have a voting majority, dominate leadership positions and give small states a larger share of grants and programs than is justified by their size and wealth. Nine states with a majority of the population have 18 percent of Senate vote. It’s not democratic or even representative government.
Senate rules can be changed by a simple majority, 51 senators. It’s called the “nuclear option.” These antiquated protections need to be eliminated or modified to five working days.
G. Ross Stephens
Political Science and
University of Missouri
‘Gifts’ from Obama
Erstwhile Republican governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said we who voted for President Barack Obama did so because of gifts bestowed on us throughout Obama’s first term.
He has a point.
Here are a few of the things that tumbled out of my gift basket:
• The Lily Ledbetter Act.
• The rescue of General Motors (a specific gift to autoworkers, but we all benefited).
• The end of one war and winding down of another — neither of which Obama started.
• The death of Osama bin Laden.
• A slow but significant upturn in the staggering economy, which Obama faced on taking office.
• The renewed respect of other nations.
And Obama did it all with quiet grace, with no trace of the pettiness and mean-spiritedness demonstrated by an obstructionist Congress, many whose primary objective was to see the president defeated.
What have I given him in response to this largesse? My gratitude, my admiration and — oh yes — my vote.
Raise minimum wage
Unemployment rates and citizens struggling to make ends meet have been huge issues for the U.S. government during the Great Recession. However, the government has failed to address the younger generation’s concerns.
I am age 17 and struggling to pay for things on my own. I hold two jobs that pay minimum wage, but it just isn’t enough to pay for the things I need.
I attend high school and am in many classes that demand effort after school and on weekends. With the minimum wage at only $7.25 an hour, I cannot pay for my car insurance and many other necessities unless I work ridiculous hours, which leads to my schoolwork and grades slipping.
Congress needs to raise the minimum wage. Doing so would reduce stress for people like me holding two jobs to make things happen.
We could focus on education, which is an issue that first lady Michelle Obama and many other political figures claim to be important. Raising the minimum wage would be best for the future of America.
People could put more emphasis on their education and still afford the many things they need.
Social media drawbacks
I’m a teenager, so I am constantly checking social networking sites. As is to be expected, everyone is taking full advantage of the opportunity social networking brings them to voice their political opinions.
Recently, my Twitter timeline and Facebook news feed have been full of posts that have gone a step too far.
I’ve been raised to always have respect for other people’s beliefs. But when there is a lack of mutual respect, we begin to have a problem.
I understand when an individual posts something supporting President Barack Obama. But when someone decides to type, “You’re bigoted, ignorant, narrow-minded people who are connected to the American Taliban, otherwise known as the Republican Party,” I start to lose some of my respect.
I’m fully aware that we are entitled to our freedom of speech, but don’t you think those words may offend some of your Facebook friends or Twitter followers?
How do you know you aren’t going to upset someone you actually care about?
I believe people of all political beliefs need to start thinking before they click to post their latest Facebook status or tweet.
Since the creation of the Constitution, the United States has repeatedly gone against beliefs contained in this revered document, with the most commonly recognized mistakes dealing with discrimination.
Many Americans unwittingly oppose a fundamental principle of the First Amendment.
As a country, we consider the freedom of religion a natural right.
We are not all Catholics. Few of us worship the Qur’an, and the first time I heard of the Torah was in middle school.
Yet, if I were to insult other religions, my friends would immediately condemn me.
As a whole, Americans have similar beliefs, so the majority has the power to defend our “correct” values and create laws and amendments restricting “terrible” religions.
That’s what we’re doing with same-sex marriage. However, denouncing other religions is considered wrong.
Going back to the First Amendment, we believe that everyone has the right to follow his faith. Yet we condemn same-sex marriage.
Most people explain this inconsistency by quoting their religion. They believe that gay marriage is wrong and must be stopped.
That same logic justified the Crusades and would justify barring minority religions.
It is not enough to prevent same-sex marriage.
Asleep at Arrowhead
A few weeks ago, a so-called pro tackle named Eric Winston complained about the Kansas City Chiefs fans (10-8, A1, “Chief rips fans’ cheering injury”). Well, the Chiefs’ quarterbacks continued to get mauled at a record pace.
I was wondering, isn’t Mr. Winston’s job to protect these guys?
Maybe if he wasn’t so busy running his mouth to the press at a record pace he could concentrate on his job.