Electoral College debate
Now that the November election is over, it is time to think about the Electoral College. After listening to the talking heads on the networks, I couldn’t help but think that there is a fairer way for the Electoral College to work and come closer to providing for one man, one vote.
Each state has electors based on the total of its representatives and senators. If the electoral votes were awarded to the winner of each congressional district, with the two senatorial votes going to the winner of the state vote, wouldn’t that be a fairer and more equitable count than the winner getting all of the electoral votes?
Granted, it would be more difficult for the networks to project winners, but really, who cares? At least it would be a lot closer to the one man, one vote principle.
David L. Ullery
The results of the 2012 election have inspired calls to abandon the Electoral College. This sentiment is shortsighted and emotional.
Without the Electoral College, the leader of our nation would be elected by only a few extremely populous states. All others would be out of the process altogether.
California, New York, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and Illinois would be the only states to elect the president. Their combined population would obliterate all the other states combined.
This is the reason the Electoral College was developed in the first place.
Complaints are not unusual after an election. For those who cannot explain their losses, an inanimate system is a popular target.
Eliminating the Electoral College would indeed be an anti-American thing to do.
Governing health care
Does an employer have the right to deny a health benefit in the employee’s health insurance? Should employers provide a benefit that is against their moral beliefs?
We now have a precedent that denial based on religious beliefs is acceptable. What if the employer denies coverage for blood transfusions to employees? The employer may feel that it is within his or her rights to deny almost all medical procedures and medicines.
If one benefit may be denied on moral grounds, then it opens the door to many benefits being denied.
I believe acceptance of an employer having the right to decide medical benefits is morally bankrupt.
Bob Smith, Ph.D.
Release of workers
I’m very happy the NBC workers were freed unharmed (12-19, A3, “Kidnapped NBC News crew members are freed in Syria”). Interesting, though, how the news media have no trouble suspending “right to know” when it is needed to protect their folks.
Does anyone remember our nation’s collective shock and grief over 9/11? It was the event that was finally going to unify us as peace-loving Americans.
Didn’t happen, and it was a far worse tragedy than the one in Newton, Conn.
Michael Moore has said that we humans simply are violent and have been since the dawn of time.
I don’t see us changing soon.
Salvation Army kettles
The Salvation Army bell ringers often go ignored while people do their holiday shopping. I have to admit that I am often a prime example of walking past the red kettles and not giving them a second glance.
This year I decided to look up the Salvation Army and see what its causes are. Now that I know, I probably won’t ignore the bell ringers.
These red kettle donations pay for Christmas dinners, clothing and toys for families that can’t afford to buy those things. I tried to imagine having to worry about whether I would have dinner on Christmas, about whether I would be able to buy and receive presents, and, probably the most unfathomable, whether I would be able to afford warm clothes as protection from the harsh winter weather.
So, next time I see a red kettle and a bell ringer, I will think of what it would be like if I were in the same situation as those families that benefit from the donations. I urge everyone to do the same.
New fad in education
The Common Core Standards program requires that “70 percent of what high school students read overall should be ‘informational.’ ” Common Core Standards are just the latest in a long list of educational enlightenments, like new math and Madeline Hunter, which were all the rage for a few years and then faded as the next fad moved in.
It is a dubious attempt to develop curricula that will render useless statistics that can be used to evaluate the performance of students, teachers and schools. As for reading assignments in high school, except for literature (fiction, poetry, drama), aren’t all reading assignments “informational,” i.e. factual?
For that matter, since when are the themes, conflicts, motivations and the array of allusions and historical references found in literature not information?
Educating kids is a messy chore, many facets of which do not lend themselves to meaningful statistics. In any case, replacing fiction, poetry and drama with non-fiction will not produce a better-educated populace.
It seems to me that people are getting tired of evangelicals’ constant message of hate and intolerance toward people different from them.
I honestly doubt smoking pot makes people unacceptable to God. Some suggest legalization of marijuana is a “seismic moral shift” in the culture. Please, spare us the moral pontification.
As for same-sex marriage, it seems to me straight couples make a mockery of the “sanctity of marriage” in everyday news. Why refuse to realize love is love, whether between male and female, female and female or male and male?
There are many things stated in the Bible that will make a person “hell-bent” if these actions are taken. For whatever reasons, evangelicals have always made homosexuality their chosen sin.
Being gay is not a choice. People are born that way, whether evangelicals like it or not. If anything, God would abhor your ignorance.
Display of firearms
I am concerned about someone carrying a firearm (openly or covertly) who has not had background checks or training and may not have knowledge of the weapon. The requirement that the firearm be secured in a holster with safety engaged does not give me very much comfort.
The same restrictions that conceal-carry permit holders have in place should/must apply to these open-carry individuals. I fully support the idea that people should be able to protect themselves, but openly displaying a firearm on an untrained/unaware person is inviting the criminal element to overpower the person and steal the weapon.
Carrying a weapon is a serious matter with long-reaching and devastating (both mental and financial) implications. Instead of carrying openly, go get training and keep the criminals guessing.
The information you will get from the class(es) is eye-opening and will forever change your outlook.
A police officer friend of mine said to me, “We usually get there in time to put up the crime tape.” The police cannot be everywhere all the time.
Obama’s ‘gifts’ to U.S.
Here are some more “gifts” from President Barack Obama:
• More added debt by trillions in four years versus a promise to cut debt.
• The largest tax increase and lie in history called Obamacare.
• Lies about him getting Osama bin Laden. See Seal Team 6.
• More people on food stamps.
I thank the wise people for ratifying the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution. What is left after the Obama years, the people of the United States could not afford to re-elect him again.
Freedom from taxes
In Missouri, we were told we needed to raise the cigarette tax to encourage people to quit smoking. But only half of our taxes use this philosophy.
I live in one of only 16 states that allow cities to charge an earnings tax. Are they trying to encourage people to not earn money in Kansas City?
I live in a city that is second only to New York City for the highest hotel room tax, $17.38 per day on a $103 room. Then our rental car tax is $8.33 on a $55 per day rental.
So how do these people tell us we need to raise taxes on cigarettes but not talk about lowering anything else? Then they come up with the idea that a new airport will bring tourists to Kansas City.
After all, if you follow their logic, they have been telling tourists not to come for years through their tax policies. And, by the way, lower taxes equals greater freedom.
They say we need to raise taxes because our state is in last place. But if we are in last place for taxing our citizens, then we are first for freedom from taxation.