Sacred Social Security
As an elder who has contributed money for implementation of Social Security and Medicare, I am angry at elected officials who are messing with these programs. Our health costs are high enough now.
The mass media should identify and publish the names and pictures of the politicians responsible.
The elder voters can then throw the rascals out.
Health-care providers should also be monitored to keep the system honest.
Guns don’t kill people
If guns kill people, let’s all gather in a room. We’ll lay an assault weapon on the table, fully loaded with extra fully loaded magazines, along with a semi-automatic pistol, fully loaded and with extra fully loaded magazines.
Let’s all stand back 20 feet and wait.
Let’s see how long it takes for either gun to kill someone.
Larry R. Wilson
Gas rise hurts families
A sadness sets in when you see postings that oil companies such as Exxon Mobil and its brethren are preparing to report record earnings when families are struggling to maintain through the economic crisis largely precipitated by oil companies (2-1, A1, “Gas spike might be just the start”).
Nothing seems to affect a family’s weekly budget and ability to make house payments, buy food and pay utilities as much as increased fuel cost.
I know it’s true in my house. I wonder how to calculate the income increase to oil companies when gas jumps just 10 cents a gallon, when you figure in the purchased fuel coast to coast in a 24-hour period. It has to be millions of dollars in a simple overnight period.
They are predators, plain and simple. Do they own all of our senators and congresspersons?
That seems blatantly obvious when a company that is posting record earnings gets enormous tax breaks on the backs of U.S. workers.
Keep parks attractive
Before going away to college, I had lived in Olathe my whole life.
One of my favorite things about living in the Kansas City area was the availability of parks and green space.
These places were a huge part of my childhood, and I’m grateful that they were well-maintained so that I could enjoy them. After moving to St. Louis, I realized that there are a lot of amazing parks in Missouri.
One of my favorite memories is sitting in a boat on Pomme de Terre Lake on the Fourth of July after spending the day wakeboarding. We sat under the stars, watching the most beautiful fireworks display I have seen in my life.
I’m just one of the more than 18 million people who enjoy these parks every year.
However, they are facing a backlog of nearly $400 million in necessary repairs to roads, trails, and sewer and electric systems.
Right now, our legislators are working on a state bond issue that would set aside a minimum of $40 million for critical repairs to our state parks. I urge our legislators to stand up for our state parks and keep them from falling apart.
Service’s Golden Rule
There was a time in this country when a man could predict how another man or a company that he did business with would react under a difficult condition. He knew problems occasionally would surface in things made by man, no matter how good the product.
The true worth of an organization can be measured only when there is a problem. All companies look great when everything is going well.
Thirty-five months ago, I bought a heat pump and air-conditioner system from Service Experts; many remember that company as Neal Harris’.
The air conditioner had problems. It was man-made, and it had that inherently possible.
When the problems arose, the test was “What’s the right thing to do?” not what would a courtroom verdict be.
What would be the right thing for the local company to do?
It replaced the unit at no cost to me.
Maybe a more important message is to the children of those employees.
They will learn that their parents hold themselves to the same standards that they ask their children to meet, of treating people as they would wish to be treated.
Searching for money
I bet when you were a kid your parents told you, “You’ll find your money where you lost it.”
It seems obvious.
So where has our nation lost all of its money? That’s also obvious.
Tax cuts, two wars on our credit card and an obsession to spend on anything that even smells like homeland security. Osama bin Laden may be dead, but his agenda to destroy our financial house chugs happily along.
Republicans want to somehow find this lost money among the entitlements. But those trust funds are solvent and will be for years. Nothing has been lost there.
Does anyone know how we got saddled with these people who are totally devoid of common sense?
They seem to think if you lost your money in Texas you should look for it in Tennessee.
U.S. health exchanges
About half the states have opted to create state-run health-insurance exchanges and others have opted to have the federal government deal with this component of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
It is my understanding that, at present, the federal government will fund some of the cost.
Health and Human Services will levy a 3.5 percent administrative fee on coverage sold through the federally run exchanges.
That indicates there are significant costs if a state agrees to run its own exchange.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was plainly considering the citizens when he decided to say no to a state-run health-insurance exchange.
Creating new industries
We need to deal with our economy.
We need a president who will fix it.
We need American industry back.
Just to be clear about what an industry is, each business needs to make a product and then sell it and then repeat those steps, which creates jobs and helps our economy.
Starting a company is only half the problem. The other half is that Americans must buy the product or we will end up like we are or worse.
To put it so everyone understands, the American economy is like the Titanic, and foreign products are the iceberg and American industry is like the lifeboats.
Without Americans supporting American industry, things will never get better.
Let’s start this new year right.
Kudos to Screenland
I consider myself a serious moviegoer. But I am sick to death of zombies, vampires, cellphones, texting and smelly popcorn when I visit a cinema.
The alternative? The downtown Screenland Crossroads movie theater.
The theater operators ask you to suggest a film you would like to see, and they do their best to oblige.
We recently saw “Rear Window” with James Stewart and Grace Kelly. What a classic film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
We watched on a couch and enjoyed margaritas, a great film and a pleasurable experience.
Well done, Screenland Crossroads, and congratulations on saving the film industry for me.
This place is for serious moviegoers.
So keep away if you can’t leave your digital device alone for a couple of hours.
Keeping kids safe
It amazes me that less than 24 hours after the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, individuals, organizations and political parties were taking positions on gun control. The issue is not gun control, but rather school safety.
As a teacher, I resent that every county courthouse and Social Security office and many other government institutions have the security that innocent boys and girls are not afforded.
The day after Sandy Hook, a thick high school history book accidentally dropped onto my classroom floor. Students jumped out of their seats in complete terror.
My school and district are very proactive on school safety. They frequently update procedures, equipment and policies to keep students safe.
This spring, they will attempt to pass an increased levy for a new middle school and increased security measures for each of our buildings.
They get it. They sacrifice educational dollars out of limited funding to protect our children.
I believe every classroom in every school district should have the funds to protect children. Knives, bomb materials and lethal chemical agents, as well as guns, are elements that every school administrator has to take into account to keep students safe.