Vote down streetcar
This letter is to the few hundred voters who plan to commit Kansas City to the $93 million streetcar project. I’m asking you to please abstain from voting for the streetcar.
It’s not because you know past elections have proved the citizenry doesn’t want it. It’s not because it’s unfair to burden the lower classes in one small district with the cost of something promoted as “benefiting the whole city.”
It’s not even because the city will also tax nonprofits in the district, diminishing their ability to help the poor.
I’m asking you to abstain from voting this time because this mockery of the American election system should be an outrage to you.
Why? Because the voter pool was deliberately squished to an easily manipulable electorate. Because eligible voters were disenfranchised by disguising ballot applications as junk mail (with the words “Ballot Application” appearing nowhere on the envelop), so recipients unfamiliar with the sender (“Connect KC”) simply threw them away.
And because those voters remaining were decimated by the unnecessary, onerous, two-step mail-in election.
The mayor, 16th Circuit Court and press should be ashamed. And so should we if we enable this despicable behavior.
Chiefs stymie fun
My family and a group of friends tailgated at the Chiefs-Broncos game Sunday. It was the first time for many of them.
We made the big mistake of pulling out our video camera and recording the fun ... that is until security pounced on us and told us we had to put the camera away.
I understand not being permitted to bring a camera into the stadium, but you can’t even record your own friends and family?
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The Chiefs have now managed to extend the disappointment of attending games to the parking lot.
Hen House expansion
The Hen House grocery store in Prairie Village wants to expand to 32,000 square feet. Why are planners not listening to concerns of shoppers and merchants?
Shoppers stand to lose parking close to the Hen House store, and merchants will lose important space for unloading trucks.
Merchants have submitted a packet of concerns, none of which has been answered. None. Truckers are already arguing over access to loading in existing space.
Shoppers will be moved to farther lots, taking spaces from other merchants and cluttering lots with shopping carts. Employees will be moved even farther away, relegated to long walks in bad weather, in the dark and alone.
The narrowed street will create traffic jams and difficult parking, especially at busy times like holidays.
Why? Could it be the speculative bottom line?
There’s no magic bullet for the complex issue of obesity. As those interviewed for the Nov. 12 story, “Liquid calories count,” have discovered, the only surefire way to achieve a healthy, active and balanced lifestyle is to balance calories from all food and beverages with those expended through physical activity and exercise.
Our industry has been helping schoolchildren do just that with our national School Beverage Guidelines, which removed full-calorie soft drinks from all schools and replaced them with more lower-calorie, smaller-portion choices.
Our efforts have driven a 90 percent reduction in beverage calories shipped to schools between 2004 and the end of the 2009-10 school year, according to independent research published in the American Journal of Public Health.
We’re also supporting first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign with our Clear on Calories initiative to display clear calorie information on the front of every bottle, can and pack we produce.
These actions were not taken because of some government mandate but because of our industry’s commitment to our consumers. They’ll have a lasting and meaningful effect far greater than singling out one food or beverage product.
William A. Gamble
Priceless Social Security
Social Security is more than just an old-age pension. Other benefits include survivors’ benefits for widows and orphans, benefits to severely disabled children, disability insurance and unemployment benefits.
All are covered when we pay our FICA taxes. It’s quite a bargain and the only insurance that many people can afford.
It is estimated that Social Security keeps more than 40 percent of the people over age 65 out of poverty.
Barbara Shelly column
I thought my brain would surely explode as I tried to figure out whether, as a progressive thinker, part-time member of the workforce and recipient of Medicare whose grown children also had loans and grants when they were in college, I was a “maker” or a “taker.”
If it turns out I am more “taker” than “maker,” that would totally explain my recent vote. But my dilemma has deepened.
Barbara Shelly, in her Nov. 16 column, “OK, I voted for Obama. Now where’s my gift?” reminded me that, like her, I still have not received my gift, even though, like her, I voted for President Barack Obama.
What gives? Mitt Romney has clearly stated the president owes his re-election to the promise of continued munificence to his potential electorate, and that means handouts, doesn’t it? Maybe I just was not grateful enough that the GOP was offering to make those pesky decisions about my own body’s health.
Our president and I share something that I did not find in any Republican rhetoric: “a commitment to the common good and a particular concern for the poor and vulnerable.”
God bless all Americans. Dilemma resolved.
America’s mettle tested
In May 1915, the Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat, causing President Woodrow Wilson to start leaning toward war. Japan’s Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor caused President Franklin Roosevelt to declare war.
The attack on Sept. 11, 2001, which included the destruction of the Twin Towers, caused President George W. Bush to declare war on terror.
All of these attacks were designed to test the mettle of the people of the United States. All of the perpetrators found they had made a huge mistake.
Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi, again testing, and what happens?
President Barack Obama apologizes for a video and declares that we will do all in our power to bring the perpetrators to justice. Now sufficient time has passed and his friends in Iran have been warned.
Birth control crusade
The Missouri General Assembly has found the one true God, and he is opposed to birth control. The next obvious step for the legislators is to make all forms of birth control illegal.
In their minds, they must not allow anyone to offend the one true God or the consciences of those who believe in him. I am certain that these doughty crusaders of the 21st century will not shrink from the political risks involved.
If they are voted out of office, they will have the priceless consolation of clear consciences.
I am a 16-year-old who attends high school in the Kansas City area. I would like to shine a light on teen pregnancy.
This year alone, I know more than 10 students who have gotten pregnant, had a baby or terminated a pregnancy. I feel like the issue is not discussed enough among students. Consider that I haven’t received a sex-education course since the sixth grade.
According to teenhelp.com, 820,000 teens become pregnant each year. The website also says 34 percent of teenagers have at least one pregnancy before they turn 20.
Most sites also say that teen pregnancy has declined over the decades, but before the 1980s many teenagers were getting married and having kids. Now many teens are having kids without being married.
To lower the percentage of teens who are getting pregnant, I suggest that school officials and parents talk to their kids about safe sex even if it may be uncomfortable.
Change GOP name
Perhaps the GOP (Grand Old Party) should change its name to the COP. This acronym would embrace both of its guiding principles: the Christian Orthodox Party and Corporations Oppressing People.
The Republican Party I joined many years ago embraced fiscal conservatism and resented government intrusion in people’s personal lives. Now I cringe every time the word Republican is used to describe this bizarre new cocktail of ultra-religious Christians and corporate welfare kings.
It’s very sad.