Education, King’s dream
As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth and legacy, it’s important to reflect on the progress we’ve made as a country in terms of justice.
As an educator in Kansas City, Kan., and in Kansas City before that, I’ve seen exciting things come from so-called education reform.
As a country, we are more focused than ever on the type and quality of schooling we provide our kids.
One terrible side effect of much of this well-intentioned reform is the impression that schools and districts are awash in cash and, if not for misspent tax funds and overpaid teachers, we’d all be better off. Not true.
My colleagues and I regularly purchase classroom materials and cannot spare copies of novels such as “To Kill A Mockingbird” for kids to read at home.
Gov. Sam Brownback and friends in the Kansas Legislature are defying a court order to fund schools adequately. Because we still live in a segregated society, refusal to do this also puts us closer to a place that gave rise to the 1954 Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education ruling.
To honor Dr. King, Kansas educators and parents should push lawmakers to fight for our kids and schools.
Longer films enjoyable
Regarding your Jan. 17 story on overly long films, “Directors take their sweet time,” I’m an avid filmgoer, averaging 12 movies a month.
I recently saw “The Hobbit” and last week saw “This Is 40” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” all of which were more than two hours long.
I love the longer movies, providing they’re good films, and all three were great. There’s nothing worse than sitting through a boring film.
But if I’m loving a story line, I’m really glad to have it go on longer.
It’s not because I’m getting more for my money but because I get so enthralled in the story and the characters that I hate for it to end.
It’s like a great book. You hate to see it come to an end.
The only downside for me is that at my age it’s tough sometimes to not visit the restroom during these sagas. I have to drink my Cokes only during the shorter films.
Wall Street laughs
The state of Kansas, being the reddest of red, should be real proud of its representatives in Congress. Every one of you lemmings has to agree with every wrong position some lead zealot tells you to.
Your leaders are so indebted to the ultra-wealthy that they will sink you and the rest of us. The top 2 percent of these people own 42 percent of all the wealth, and many pay little or no taxes because of loopholes.
I hope you all send a thank you to Grover Norquist. Watch your retirement decrease by half like it does every time the stock market tanks.
I was just about back to where I was before the 2000 crash, and then the 2008 mess hit. Wall Street just laughs at us Muppets.
What gives? The Republicans have hammered the news media about wasteful government spending. Then the Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed a defense spending bill pumped with $1.7 billion more than the president and Pentagon recommended.
The bill would spare outdated weapons hampering the military’s ability to fight. What hypocrisy.
Chiefs’ quarterback hunt
Some years ago, when one of our first astronauts was about to lift off, a reporter asked him what were his last thoughts. He answered, “I look around me and think that everything was made by the lowest bidder.”
When and if the Kansas City Chiefs acquire a first-rate quarterback, I wonder whether the astronaut’s thoughts might be somewhat the same.
Alice B. Swanson
Video game appeal
If you think “Call of Duty” is a better game than “Battlefield3,” then you need to get your facts straight.
“Call of Duty” has millions of dollars if not billions of dollars, yet every year each “Call of Duty” game is exactly the same except for new maps, a few guns, perks and, if you’re lucky, a new game type.
Yet “Battlefield3” has less money but better graphics and brings all of that in just its downloadable content and more, such as new vehicles, guns, camouflage, new game modes and new destruction, and it updates and tweaks things to make the game the best it can be.
Some people may argue that “Call of Duty” is more action-packed and fast-paced. Here is what I say to that.
“Battlefield” has walls blowing up in the building you are in by a rocket-propelled grenade or tank as opposed to “Call of Duty,” which has no destruction of surroundings in it whatsoever. “Battlefield” is not slow-paced; you just have to learn how to get from objective to objective faster, maybe using vehicles, unlike “Call of Duty.”
“Battlefield3” makes less money but excels in everything else.
Colton Anthony Bellamy
I think we have the right to bear arms, but our founders had no idea of the firepower that would one day be available. Because guns are here, we can and should be regulating the ammunition.
If we regulate ammunition, that would seem to cut down on the number of projectiles entering innocent people’s bodies. Projectiles can be marked and tracked like a signature.
We demanded to know how the food we eat is made and how and where it gets to market. Well, I would like to know where that bullet came from that just tore through my thigh when I was watching TV.
I think as the person who is now consuming the end product, I have the right to know how it got to me. If the price on the ammunition goes up, so be it. I did not ask for it to come crashing in through my living room window.
The bullet that lays me down should cost more than a Jack and Coke at the bar.
How long will it take to reduce the number of murders?
Probably a generation, the generation that allowed it to become a problem in the first place.
Epidemic of obesity
I am concerned about an epidemic in our great nation. It’s obesity.
It is one of our most important issues because people need to be able to live long, happy lives. There may be many causes for obesity, but there is one thing we must understand.
We are consuming more calories today than we were in 1970. The total calorie intake per capita increased from 2,169 (1970) to 2,594 (2011). That’s 425 more calories.
In the television show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” they talk about how they are OK with the way they look. But looks are not the problem with obesity.
You might say that it’s OK to be overweight because looks don’t matter, and they don’t. But it’s not OK to be overweight because of how important it is to be healthy.
The problem with obesity is not about looks at all. The problem is that it is a very unhealthy lifestyle.
Being healthy is probably the most important thing you can do for your body, and it’s important that you keep your body in good shape by controlling your calorie intake.
Caring Kansas Citians
We want to again thank the young couple who found the black cocker spaniel near 72nd Street and North Kensington Avenue on New Year’s Eve. She had been let out for a bathroom break, and we forgot to bring her back in.
She is also blind and deaf, but she loves to wander. We looked for about two hours until the couple from Stonebrook saw a bobbing head near the creek.
It was providence that they were there and also providence that our neighbor, Carol, hollered at them that we were looking for a lost dog. They brought her back, cold and shivering but OK.
I got their phone number, but either I wrote it down wrong or didn’t hear it right so we couldn’t call to thank them again.
We knew there were caring people in Kansas City, but this also had to become real with the providence of God.
My friends are just going nuts over coffee. I’d like you to try something that will help make the dollar go just a little further and give you a much better cup of coffee.
If you have a flat-bottom filter in your coffeemaker, try placing two or even three filters in the basket. Three filters will delay the water just a little, giving just a bit more time to soak up the grounds and release that great taste that everyone wants.
Flat-bottom filters are pretty inexpensive, and you will love the extra strength and aroma that happens.
Yes, the old science teacher comes through again. We don’t need to go over the coffee cliff.