Senseless design change
Kansas City Aviation Director Mark VanLoh says Kansas City International Airport’s three-terminal configuration is outdated in terms of “technology” and “security configuration.” Also, Terminal B is “frequently overcrowded,” while Terminals A and C are “severely underused.” Previously, lack of retail sales had been a reason.
A recent J.D. Power and Associates study states: “Kansas City International (MCI) ranks highest within the medium airport segment … a score attributed to its efficient accessibility, check-in/baggage check and security facilities.”
The study goes on to state: “Bigger is not better,” “Basic needs outweigh technology in travelers’ minds” and “Happy passengers are super-spenders in the terminal.”
The aviation director states “general taxpayer dollars” would not be used on a new airport, rather the airlines, federal government and taxes/fees on airline passengers would fund the cost. In other words, we still pay for it, just in an indirect manner.
Just what we need — more national debt, higher ticket prices, additional taxes and fees, temporary construction jobs and lower passenger satisfaction, while laying off permanent security employees. Brilliant.
Food stamp question
Last year, more billions of dollars were spent on food stamps. Public schools are providing free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch to most of the children in the food stamp program, and in many districts they are also providing dinner.
Who is using all the food stamps if the children are being fed at school?
Memo to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach: Give it up. Please stop making Kansas the laughingstock of the nation with your anti-immigrant, pro-voter-suppression and birther shenanigans.
It is bad enough that Kansas may be the only state with a defunded arts commission and a governor who is more interested in pleasing the Koch brothers than advancing the state. Oh, and I forgot to mention the Fred Phelps/Westboro Baptist Church clan.
Do you realize what all of this does to the once-progressive image of Kansas? I would hate to be the people in charge of recruiting businesses to Kansas. How do they promote the state with the lowest taxes and, therefore, the lowest services in the United States?
The secretary of state should be more interested in assuring that people are registered to vote than trying to suppress them. What has happened to the party that I once loved and worked for?
Most of the people who identify themselves as independents are former moderate Republicans. Count me as one of those.
Murder-suicide in KC
Sam Mellinger wrote a Dec. 4 column, “Chiefs faced with a tightrope walk,” about Jovan Belcher and the events of the past weekend. I would just like to comment on the confusion of feelings that come along with this event.
I’ve heard a lot of people talking of how sad it is that two people were lost. However, I send my sympathy only to Kasandra Perkins (his girlfriend), her family and the family of Belcher.
I don’t believe we should feel sorry for Belcher because he was so upset that he was “driven to this,” as some might say. In reality, he ended his own life because he knew that what he did was wrong, violent and in no way acceptable.
This should be thought of as a domestic violence case over a suicide. I still send prayers to everyone involved, including Belcher, but some people need to think about what it is they are supporting.
All in all, it is still a tragedy.
Funding for research
Although it is the 11th-leading cause of death and affects more than 750,000 people each year in the U.S., sepsis has somehow remained a relatively unknown killer. Recent research advancements and adherence to evidence-based guidelines have improved patient outcomes, but more research is needed.
This research would provide a better understanding of the pathophysiology behind this systemwide inflammatory response to infection and would help determine the most effective treatment options for patients. Already funding a large majority of research in the U.S., the National Institutes of Health must expand its support for sepsis research because of the disease’s increasing incidence and high mortality rate.
Currently, there is a disproportionate level of funding relative to the burden of the disease and the poor understanding of the condition by the public. Objections to the reallocation of resources certainly would come from other disease areas with reduced National Institutes of Health funding. But this adjustment in funding would be well-spent, as many patients could be saved.
Fixing Social Security
Every so often I see someone advocating taxing all earned income and maybe even unearned income to fund Social Security rather than having a limit of about $110,000 as it is now. This is seen as a simple fix to the funding problem and seems justified because of the assumed regressive nature of the payroll tax.
First, although Social Security taxes represent a higher portion of a low earner’s income, the payout is highly progressive. The first several hundred dollars of calculated monthly income is replaced at 95 percent.
The next few thousand dollars are replaced at 35 percent. The remaining portion is replaced at only 15 percent.
If all income is taxed, the transfer of wealth from rich to poor would become so great that in essence the program would become a welfare program.
This was not the program’s intention, nor would it have been approved in the first place. The program is meant to afford a base income in retirement through a social insurance program.
Stephen R. Kunz
It’s hard to understand Gov. Sam Brownback’s refusal to allow Kansas to set up its own state-run health insurance exchange as required to be in place by 2014. Instead, he is opting to allow the federal government to set up the exchange.
Why? Doesn’t he know the presidential election is over and it is time to move on? Doesn’t he usually lament that there is too much federal government interference in state government and that states should be allowed to run their own business?
And it’s upsetting to read that our secretary of state, Republican Kris Kobach, had directed election officials not to release the names of voters who cast provisional ballots in the tight 54th District race between Rep. Ann Mah (D) and Ken Corbet (R). In previous elections, names of those casting provisional votes have been released.
Could this be because Kobach set up a political action committee that gave financial support to Ken Corbet? Is it because Corbet led Mah by only 21 votes?
GOP divorce needed
It’s time for Republicans to put some distance between themselves and the far-right media such as Laura Ingraham, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. The GOP needs to add distance from the self-serving groups and individuals such as the NRA, Ted Nugent and Donald Trump.
The bottom line is if there is not a broader appeal to the electorate, minorities and women, the GOP won’t be relevant to the mainstream voter.
Trump called for a revolution and called the election a threat to democracy. Nugent blamed the victory of President Barack Obama on whores, and welfare recipients. Nugent was the one a few months ago threatening the president.
And Limbaugh offered some amazing reactionary comments of hate, which he has spewed for years.
To quote that lovable Archie Bunker, “Stifle yourselves.”
I’ve got a radical idea. What if members of Congress could actually try to work together, even if the dreaded “C” word, compromise, is used to help solve our common problems?
By the way, as a Missourian, I am so proud that Limbaugh is a member of the Missouri Hall of Shame, oops, I meant Fame.
Nikita gets company
Talk about a December-May relationship (12-5, A1, “La femme for a lonely Nikita”). Berlin is 23 years old, and Nikita is 6. Are you listening, Demi Moore?
Kudos to KC Hospice
How wonderful that Santa visited the Kansas City Hospice (12-4, A1, “Christmas spirit visits a special place”).
My mother died there in August, so we didn’t see Santa. Instead we saw angels every day in the form of doctors, nurses, gentle caregivers and kind volunteers. If there is a slice of heaven here on earth, it is this beautiful place.
Thank you, Kansas City Hospice, for the gift of peace at a difficult time.