Elected officials failing
I am a schoolteacher. I am face to face every day with the future leadership of our country. What I don’t understand is how our government from the top down has forgotten what democracy is about.
Democracy is elected officials, of differing opinions, engaging in civilized debate of issues and reaching a compromise that is in the best interests of the majority of the people who elected them. I don’t see that happening anymore.
If someone were to ask me what kind of government we have, stagnation would come to mind. Our elected officials should start practicing democracy or resign.
The people of the United States need (and deserve) to regain faith in their elected officials.
Stagnation and stonewalling must stop.
Elected officials need to re-evaluate who they are serving and what is best for the majority. Here’s a hint: compromise.
And I am saying this to all elected officials.
I am looking at my first paycheck from 2013.
My take-home will be $1,200 less this year. Why? The answer is no compromise.
Elected officials must do their job. Act in the best interest of the people or clear out.
I’m hurting. Are you?
Update 2nd Amendment
The Second Amendment needs modern interpretation. When our forefathers wrote the Second Amendment, the arms they referenced were muzzle-loading.
Paul E. Weidmaier
Guns for protection?
The recent attempted abduction of children in the Kansas City area is indeed disturbing (2-6, A4, “Abduction worries spread”). Yet the answer to this danger is obvious, and I’m sure the leadership of the National Rifle Association would agree: It’s time to arm our children.
Gun training and safety classes provided by the NRA would become mandatory in first grade, and specially made handguns would be outfitted to all children upon course completion.
No longer would we fear the abduction of our children because now they would have the means to protect themselves.
Of course, these firearms would be checked in at the principal’s office upon arrival at school and given back to students at the end of classes. After all, we don’t want shootouts during recess.
As NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre says, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy (or child) with a gun.
Helping KC’s homeless
Reading your Feb. 3 article, “Help or hindrance?” on Kansas City’s homeless brought to mind the recent story of a young child and her mother seeing a homeless person on the street. The girl looked at her mother and asked, “What are you going to do about it?”
Yes, that is the question, as opposed to determining how a bowl of hot soup and a warm blanket on a frigid night can be discontinued.
You chose to place the Salvation Army’s truck front and center, referring to it among others as a hindrance. The Salvation Army, a most respected worldwide organization since 1865, has been offering caring kindness, concern and understanding throughout its existence. To call its work a hindrance is much to the contrary.
The hindrance comes only when we turn away and say it is someone else’s job. Many who find themselves homeless today, including veterans, are so for the first time because of factors beyond their control.
Let’s work together to eliminate homelessness in Kansas City, but until that time let’s continue to express our humanity from one to another.
Kansas City Homelessness
Task Force member
Gun control ideas
Here are four proposals to achieve safety while preserving the right to bear arms:
1. Many gun deaths are from suicides committed in homes. Therefore, lock all guns safely away.
2. Frequent only public places that do not allow guns on the premises. People killed by stray rounds are just as dead as those who were the gunman’s intended victim.
3. Tell your local council you will pay whatever taxes are needed to put a policeman at every public venue during every hour the place is open.
4. Ask for legislation that requires a thorough mental-health evaluation of every person applying for a carry permit and require that the cost be borne by the applicants, with renewal every four years.
Medicaid in Kansas
I am writing to support expansion of Medicaid in Kansas under the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
It is tempting politically to not provide health-care services to large numbers of poor pregnant women, children, disabled adults and low-income seniors.
Unfortunately, poor people who are not eligible for Medicaid are not likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance and cannot afford private health insurance. One of several things will happen, none of which is morally or economically defensible.
Some of these people will not receive health care and will face preventable suffering and premature death. Many will show up in emergency rooms for care that will be far more expensive.
Or, they will receive other types of uncompensated care, which will raise the cost of care for all of us through increased fees and insurance costs.
Additionally, the long-term moral and financial consequences of inadequate pre-natal care are almost incalculable.
The only difference is that the additional health-care costs and the suffering incurred by Medicaid cuts will be obscured from public view under a political cloak of “fiscal responsibility.”
Smokers unfairly taxed
There seems to be a belief that increasing tobacco taxes at every turn will reduce smoking and aid in funding schools. The myopic visionaries who chant this mantra, including legislators, apparently choose to ignore the dangers to society that alcohol consumption creates.
If alcohol were constantly taxed like the evil tobacco, society on the whole would be safer, schools would be like lottery winners, auto- and health-insurance premiums could be reduced and there wouldn’t be such blatant hypocrisy in the air, which is much worse than tobacco smoke.
Hypocrisy doesn’t wear well.
Yet, the anti-smoking crusaders and taxing authorities rant on, ad infinitum, while hoisting drinks at their political soirées, after-work haunts, parties, New Year’s celebrations and steering wheels while smokers pick up the tab for everything.
Things that make you go hmmm ...
If other Star readers are anything like us, they are constantly on the lookout for unusual weekend adventures out of town. Here’s an idea: Take the train to Las Vegas, N.M.
On a recent Thursday night, around 11 p.m., we stepped aboard the Southwest Chief on its daily run from Chicago to Los Angeles.
After sleeping in coach overnight, we woke to the sun rising over the high Colorado plains and watched from the observation car as the lovely mountain landscapes of northern New Mexico flowed by.
Around midday Friday, we reached our destination: the small town steeped in the lore of the Santa Fe Trail, the transcontinental railroad and the films of the Wild West. (“No Country for Old Men” was shot there.)
We stayed overnight at the classic Plaza Hotel (1882) and enjoyed local cuisine at places like Estelle’s Cafe, Charlie’s Spic & Span and the historic El Fidel in Las Vegas, N.M.
By midafternoon Saturday, we were back on the train headed for home.
No freeway driving. No airport hassles. Just a restful ride into another time and another world.
We loved it.
and Doozie Martin
Sinking feeling in U.S.
Every dime we cut in government spending is a job loss for someone. With unemployment at nearly 8 percent, we can’t afford more job losses. Yet Republicans keep hammering away at spending cuts as the answer to deficits and debt issues.
We have been through 30 years of tax cutting, and that’s the problem. All the lost revenue has brought us to the point that states can’t even maintain their existing infrastructures.
Losing power during the Super Bowl makes us look like the Third World countries we ridicule.
We are lower in ratings compared with other Western nations than we were in 1960.
It’s no wonder we are having problems keeping the country afloat.
Spending isn’t the problem. Lack of revenue is.