Gun control action
For the holiday marking Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, it’s a time to honor the values expressed by him in this quote:
“Cowardice asks the question — is it safe? Expediency asks the question — is it politic? Vanity asks the question — is it popular? But conscience asks the question — is it right?
“And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.”
The murders of the 20 children and six adults in Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14 needs to be redressed. People across this nation agree it’s time to take a stand. We need to tell our elected officials that we will stand with them.
Call, email or write a short note to elected officials. It need not be complicated, but it must be done.
Tell them who you are, that you are a constituent and that you demand comprehensive gun-control measures and increased funding for mental-health treatment.
Ask your legislators to have the courage that Dr. King asked of himself and of us. This is the time to take a position because it is right.
Chiefs’ recovery road
It’s good to see the Kansas City Chiefs finally going in the right direction. By removing those two inept individuals from their positions, now hopefully the team will acquire some true talent through the draft, which will turn this team around.
Preventing skin cancer
It has been known for some time that the use of indoor tanning beds leads to an increased incidence of melanoma — a serious and often fatal skin cancer.
A recent article published in the British Medical Journal written by a team from America and Great Britain has shown that there is also a significant increase in the more common skin cancers, namely squamous- and basal-cell cancers.
Their study showed that use of tanning beds before the age of 25 was strongly associated with the increased risk of these more common skin cancers. They estimate that more than 170,000 cases of these non-melanoma skin cancers can be attributed to the use of indoor tanning beds each year in the United States.
That’s a lot of new cancers.
Perhaps it is time for legislation to make the use of tanning beds illegal — like the use of alcohol before the age of 21.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
G. David Dixon, M.D.
Ads at KC Symphony
A Kansas City Symphony concert this month again showcased the fine quality of our orchestra which, under the baton of Michael Stern, the administrative directorship of Frank Byrne and the guidance of an astute board, has flourished. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has also been rightly praised for its beauty and the excellent acoustics of Helzberg Hall.
We are fortunate to be able to hear outstanding music in this superb venue.
However, I was surprised and disconcerted to see advertising for an area automobile dealership projected on the facade of the lower balcony of the main entrance hall of the Kauffman Center. This would be better suited to a sports arena than to a concert hall.
The need to raise funds to support the symphony cannot be disputed. But, one wonders where this will end.
Will the names “Kauffman Center” and “Helzberg Hall” eventually be changed to those of corporate entities willing to pay the price?
Will Michael Stern stride on stage with a corporate logo emblazoned on the back of his tailcoat?
Appearances do matter, and the insidious commercialization of one of this region’s cultural treasures should be resisted.
The trillion-dollar coin really was a stupid idea. It made about as much sense as not raising our debt ceiling and thereby defaulting on our national debt.
Come to think of it, maybe the coin wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
College’s big picture
A college degree is supposed to be the gateway to your future, or so I have been told. As I start looking around at colleges, all I see is money, money and more money associated with the cost.
It’s hard to think about all the benefits college degrees have to offer when all you start looking at is how much money they actually cost.
What justifies spending $100,000?
The drive for more learning does. In our society, the more education you have the better you are perceived.
We have to justify the cost of college with the amount of benefits that follow.
College will cost students a lot, but students generally will end up making more money in life.
I just can’t say no — the benefits are way too great, and the cost is a minimal expense when you think about the bigger picture.
School lunch dictates
I am a student at Liberty High School, and I disagree with the regulations on school lunches.
For our tray to be considered a meal, we have to have some form of protein, a fruit or vegetable, a grain and a drink.
Your choices on the drink are milk or chocolate milk. My problem isn’t that that the school considers french fries a vegetable.
Also, orange juice no longer is an option for my drink. Orange juice has been my drink of choice ever since I have gone to public school.
Instead, I have to drink the nasty white liquid they call milk that tastes more like plastic than actual milk. Orange juice actually has some nutritional benefits.
It is high in vitamin C. It improves blood pressure and decreases bad cholesterol levels.
The only thing bad about the school orange juice is it’s high in sugar, but kids can get cookies, which have just as much if not more sugar than orange juice.
Chinese aren’t at fault
Let’s stop bashing the Chinese for problems of our own making.
My Chinese wife came to America 10 years ago. Highly educated, she worked menial jobs for minimum wage for several years before establishing her own company. It took another year and thousands of dollars to earn Food and Drug Administration approval of her product.
Most of her competitors are American companies that sell unapproved cheap knockoffs. She pays fees to eBay and Amazon and income taxes to the federal government each year.
This money stays in the country and fuels our economy.
Our economy is based on small businesses like hers. We can’t allow cheesy products to come into the country from overseas.
Keep in mind that they are manufacturing them according to the standards specified and contracted by American corporations. Corporations are cutting corners and dodging taxes by outsourcing cheap labor while trying to bust labor unions at home.
The Chinese are not the problem. It’s much closer to home.
The barbarians are at the gate, and they are us.
Thomas E. Dodson
Losing marriage battle
Same-sex marriage will proceed in America state by state. The Christian church through various agencies of family values have failed to be Christian by not working to help gay and lesbian people to have a civil union.
If Christian agencies had worked to help define a civil union with legal rights for partners long ago instead of being so blindly rigid and insisting that marriage in America be defined in only one biblical way, the definition of marriage would never have been changed in our laws. But Christians failed to be helpful for others in our secular world and enable them to have a civil union.
Unfortunately, there is no turning back. What a failure of helping others.
Christians lost the marriage war because they could not be helpful for others of a different persuasion. You can help others achieve their goals without agreeing with their values and viewpoints.
Strongly principled people can do this.
It’s the first few weeks of the New Year, and by now the gyms all over the city have been be invaded by hordes of New Year’s resolution-setters reciting mea culpas and intent upon doing penance for their holiday sins.
I’ve seen it all before — a rainbow of new spandex workout togs and running shoes, long lines waiting for a turn on the treadmill or elliptical. There are the personal trainers working overtime. YMCAs are flush with cash.
Most of the resolution-setters, if not their excess pounds, will be gone by Valentine’s Day.