New Year’s lament
’Twas the night before the New Year
And all through D.C.
Not a bill was signed
They couldn’t agree.
Issues were pending
Including the cliff
But nothing was passed
They had a big tiff.
Their stockings were filled
With lumps of coal
They’re down in the poll.
Happy New Year to all
We’ll see you next session
Let us just hope
There’s no recession!
No guns in schools
Heaven help us when we cannot give up our status symbol of high-powered weapons after the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. As a teacher, parent and citizen, I continue to be amazed at the foolishness of our state representatives who have a perverted sense of the importance of having big guns and ammunition for our state.
Several state representatives have proposed that school personnel be armed to prevent shootings. How senseless!
How about when we are outside at recess and traveling to and from school on the bus? Guns are not toys for those who want to be mighty warriors.
They are deadly weapons. Politically correct or not, I hope the outcry from those who have had the lives of loved ones taken from them with guns, will continue to pressure lawmakers to move forward on the ban of weapons that are meant to kill en masse.
Those who use guns for hunting or personal protection have no need for assault weapons or military weapons. The issue of violence in our culture is complex and perplexing.
The first step is to have the courage to initiate substantial gun safety measures and do it now.
Justify tax breaks
As our country continues its debate on who should be taxed and for how much, the Republican mantra insists that to tax the rich would be an attack on those who create jobs.
There appears to be a fairly simple solution that would help settle this argument. Provide actual evidence that reducing the taxes on the rich creates more jobs. Countries like Sweden have already done this. High-income people who have inherited their wealth and have created nothing or individuals who make a lot of money by buying, selling and moving money without actually producing anything do not get the tax breaks.
But individuals who actually produce things and who can show how tax breaks result in more jobs for working people receive significant tax advantages. I know a guy here in Kansas City who took over a small company and, through his own hard work and initiative, has expanded his company exponentially.
While he has made a lot of money, he has also created jobs for more than a hundred people. Give him all the tax breaks he needs. As for these others ...
Terry C. Rodenberg
A false alarm
The world was supposed to end before in the past, but it never did. So what makes people think it was supposed to have ended this year?
Throughout my lifetime, the world has been predicted to end twice — on Jan. 1, 2000, as well as June 6, 2006. So I personally didn’t believe that it would end this year.
Some people thought this year was the real deal, though. I think more people scared and worried themselves so much, and that was why they thought the world would end.
Even if the world were to end, there would be nothing we could do about it. If we’re going to die, we’re going to die.
Another reason the world was said to end this year was that the Mayan calendar stopped on Dec. 21. But, hey, that was just a coincidence.
The Mayans had to stop sometime. They couldn’t just keep writing forever.
But either way, different people have their own beliefs.
Seeking ‘made in U.S.’
Big corporations have betrayed our working middle class and poor of the United States by going to the Middle East and Far East, as well as Central America and South America, to avoid our country’s labor unions, which protect our working people.
Unions have enabled workers to earn decent wages to offset the high cost of living brought on by the escalation of transportation and utility costs.
The management of greedy corporations wants cheap labor without any concessions for their workers, which is the reason there is so much insurrection in the world today. The greedy corporations and the wealthy need to wake up and practice theological virtues of peace and goodwill for mankind. Now more than ever, I am convinced to buy only products made in America and boycott goods manufactured by cheap non-union labor. Such products are very inferior and unable to stand by any warranties.
Even Wal-Mart discontinued its “made in America” logo, and I sure won’t buy any more of the shoddy footwear Wal-Mart imports from China. I learned my lesson.
I will patronize only American-owned convenience stores, motels and restaurants in order to support the American dream.
Terrance R. Hawbaker
What has happened to the Republican Party?
It seems to have done everything possible to commit political suicide.
Going back to the early 2000s, we became involved in two wars because of weapons of mass destruction only to find there were no WMDs. This cost us billions of dollars and thousand of lives.
Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas brought notoriety to the party by swimming nude in the Sea of Galilee.
We were lucky to be “educationally blessed” by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin when he informed us about “legitimate rape.” He was trounced by Sen. Claire McCaskill, who was expected to lose.
Then Senate candidate Richard Mourdock of Indiana backed up Akin with a stupid statement on rape and abortion.
The Republican Party has been completely uncooperative in Congress because its goal was to limit President Barack Obama to one term.
The tea party has done its part, too. It drove many of the moderates away. Now we see mostly conservatives.
The moderates controlled the party in its prime. With its many antics and shenanigans, the party has become an embarrassment.
I’ve been a Republican all my life, but I have never seen such immature behavior.
Strength in U.S. roots
Chief Canasatego was an Iroquois — considered by many historians as America’s lost Founding Father — who provided many of the critical words and the very essence of the U.S. Constitution. This fact was confirmed in 1988 by a resolution passed by Congress.
Along with his wisdom, he presented Thomas Jefferson with a single feathered arrow, then took it away and broke it over his knee. Then he presented Jefferson a bundle of 13 arrows representing the 13 states (as depicted in the claws of the eagle on our great seal).
Taking them back, he attempted to break them over his knee but couldn’t. His lesson was obvious. To survive and be strong, we all need to work together.
Chief Canasatego’s words of wisdom are lost on far too many of today’s members of Congress. And, sadly, it appears that many states’ single arrows are being broken as they choose to withdraw from the bundle that binds and strengthens the United States of America.
Our future is in doubt. A mountain of 50 broken arrows is not a portrait of a strong nation but signals to the world and our enemies a nation in decline.
William R. Park Sr.
On Medicare costs, when my mother needed an electric scooter, the cheapest Medicare-approved unit cost $7,000. Medicare covered 80 percent; her supplemental insurance covered 20 percent, or $1,400.
However, she found a new scooter, which met her needs, for $800.
My stepfather needed a walker because of falls when he walks. A Medicare-approved walker cost $1,400. But one on Amazon that cost $100 works great.
One of us younger folks had to do the purchase for him. He does not understand the Internet.
I use a wheelchair. But I don’t want an electric one. I want a NuDrive, which is a manual system that makes it easier to get around and go up steep ramps.
I’ve followed the development of this device in the United Kingdom since 2010. But the company cannot sell to U.S. residents until it gets FDA approval, and then only through a U.S. distributor.
In England, after calculating the exchange rate, the NuDrive costs $650, but buying it in the U.S. costs $3,800. Medicare does not approve of it, only regular or electric wheelchairs, which the approved distributors also sell.
The biggest problem with the cost of Medicare is the profiteering.
George R. McCasland
Commercials beat Chiefs
After watching the Chiefs play on TV, I find the commercials more interesting than the team’s performance.