Note to Gov. Sam Brownback:
I am a Jewish Kansas resident who is appalled by your blatant conservative Christian agenda in the governance of this state. Your recent proclamation, signed at the Capitol, declaring Dec. 8 “A Day of Restoration” and honoring ReignDown USA and its tagline to “ignite the fire of repentance and unite the body of Christ” totally violates the First Amendment providing for the separation of church and state and makes me question your motive.
It is antithetical to think that anyone other than Christians would be moved by this. So who are you hoping to reach with your plea?
Certainly not Jews, Muslims, Buddhists or atheists, all of whom are included in the Kansas population. If anything, for me, this further solidifies my disdain for the focus of your administration and my concern for the welfare of Kansas.
Ironically, at sundown on Dec. 8, Jews in Kansas and the rest of the world celebrated the beginning of Hanukkah, a holiday recognizing religious freedom of all things.
The American Civil Liberties Union is winning. It is being very successful in keeping Christ out of Christmas.
Just go to any big store such as K-Mart, Wal-Mart or Target and others, and try to find an outside decoration that has some religious connotation to it. You won’t find any.
You cannot even find an angel anymore, let alone a manger scene or the Holy Family. It seems that the ACLU has cowed these big corporations.
Even with their megamillions of bucks, they are afraid to take on the ACLU.
A friend once told me what ACLU stands for. I guess he was more right than I believed. He said, “ACLU stands for Anti-Christian Lawyers Union.”
This is sad, but the facts speak for themselves. If we want to keep Christ in Christmas, then we must ask the good Lord for his help.
I don’t see help coming from anyplace else.
Past time in U.S. for debate over gun control
The White House on Friday issued a statement in response to the Connecticut elementary school shooting, saying, “Today is not the day for gun control debate.” Last week was not “the day,” either, when a gunman in Oregon shot people in a mall.
And it wasn’t “the day” after the gunman in Aurora, Colo., shot people in a movie theater. And it wasn’t “the day” when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot.
I understand the sentiment. Maybe even today is just too soon, too raw. So, let’s get out our calendars and find “the day.”
Mark it down, and let’s finally have the debate. Unless, God forbid, another tragedy happens on that day, and the debate gets put off — again.
Beef series in The Star
Chick-fil-A seems to have accomplished more in three words than The Star did in its three-part series, “Beef’s raw edges,” last week on the beef industry: “Eat Mor Chikin.”
The ambitiousness of the project tells me The Star is angling for a Pulitzer rather than presenting a worthwhile discussion of the industry and personal health.
The segment on antibiotics never included commentary from the American Veterinary Medical Association on the issue of resistance, nor did it bring up ongoing discussions by organizations such as the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, which has staged two symposia in the last 13 months covering all sides of the resistance debate and giving researchers a forum for their findings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health have no studies connecting antibiotic use in livestock production with build-up of antibiotic resistance in people.
A couple of years ago, the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy published a survey of bioscience, chemistry and pharmacology professionals who said 96 percent of human antibiotic resistance comes from humans using antibiotics.
The series also never acknowledged the U.S. food system that produces the safest, cheapest, most abundant nutrition in the world.
Dennis M. McLaughlin
I recently watched the new movie, “Lincoln,” and an old James Stewart movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Both movies showed how senators managed their voting procedures in the past.
I was discouraged that these methods have not changed in 150 years when our current Kansas senators, Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, did the same thing. They voted against a bit of aid to the disabled, rejecting former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole’s recommendation.
Surely we know better.
Carol H. Graham
We want to know what happened in the killing of four Americans in Benghazi. Asking Susan Rice is ridiculous.
Rice, our ambassador to the United Nations, read a printed statement. Rice has absolutely nothing to do with Benghazi. It is not in her purview or chain of command.
That embassy reports to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who reports to President Barack Obama. If you want to know why our Libyan embassy was left undefended in the face of threats of a terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11, then ask the people responsible.
But the Oba-Media, ex-folks at Fox News, are off like tail-wagging, tongue-drooling lapdogs chasing the Rice tennis ball while Obama and the Clinton masters of misdirection are huddled in the Oval Office coatroom hatching another cover-up.
No, wait, Clinton probably wouldn’t go into that particular room.
The Oba-Media’s absolute willingness to divert attention from this disaster by chasing whatever misdirection is thrown their way is beyond incompetence.
You are not duped if you are a willing participant, and this one is too obvious. The Star and ilk do us all a severe disservice.
U.S. coal industry
The United States produces about 16 percent of the world’s coal. So if President Barack Obama were to shut down a fraction of our coal production, the overall effect on the environment would be negligible.
Except a lot of workers would be unemployed. It would amount to another meaningless feel-good exercise.
I applaud Lewis Diuguid’s Dec. 10 commentary, “If you don’t know history, you don’t know yourself.” Diuguid and Professor Bill Howe, who was quoted in the article, are correct in their assessment concerning what students know and don’t know about American history, as well as who could be at fault for these shortcomings.
Professor Howe said, “We need our teachers to set things straight.” I agree.
All too often, politicians, parents, the media and boards of education would cry, “We need to set teachers straight.” Teachers, however, are not always the issue here.
What is at issue is what seems like everyone (from President Barack Obama to Exxon) is calling for — a re-emphasis on math and science. Diuguid alludes to that when he says that the No Child Left Behind law is partly to blame. I would contend that the law is mostly, if not entirely, to blame.
For sure, students need to be proficient in math and science, especially now, but not at the expense of history, literature, humanities and the arts.
Make wise donations
If you are a donor who gives at year’s end and you have been giving to the same organization each year, it is still worth your time to do some research and make sure you feel that your favorite charity is still the wisest place to give your money.
There are several factors you should consider when giving to charities.
Do they have an annual report on their website?
Are their financials and Form 990 data available online? You should find them on the organization website, at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation website or at www.guidestar.com.
Look at the organization’s board and see whether you think it has the size, diversity, backgrounds and expertise to provide good fiscal governance. Look at the staff leadership and see whether those individuals have longevity and expertise and ask whether there has been excessive staff turnover recently.
Finally, volunteer at the charity if possible before giving money.
Donating money at the end of the year is a wonderful way to help the organizations that are serving our community, but as a donor you need to be informed and make sure your money is going to make a difference.