No ride to riches
It appears that all of Kansas City’s financial and growth concerns will fade away once the long-awaited downtown trolley line is built.
I am reminded of a story I once heard about a small African country that wanted to become a major world power. But how?
The leaders observed that modern nations such as the United States, England and Germany didn’t have any elephants roaming about their cities and countryside. They reasoned that this was their secret of success, so they killed all of their elephants and waited for growth and prosperity to arrive.
And waited, and waited, and waited.
James L. Riggs
Yes, price-gouging of collect long-distance phone calls made from jails and prisons both in and out of the United States is for real. And why is this?
These price-gouging collect phone calls, up to and beyond $8 per minute, should be against U.S. law. Yet they continue, and telephone companies are getting away with it.
Personally, I’m in debt for accepting seven collect calls for more than $1,000.
Our government should put a stop to this practice of price-gouging collect phone calls from jail and/or prison facilities.
It’s just not right.
Not an economic goat
Those blame George W. Bush letters keep coming. Just make some general statements, and case closed.
However, it was President Bill Clinton who repealed Glass-Steagall. Clinton chose not to regulate over-the-counter derivatives, which President Barack Obama’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission said was “a key turning point in the march to financial crisis.”
Senate Republicans introduced a 2005 bill to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their subprime mortgages.
Then-Sen. Obama’s supported filibuster stopped the bill.
Regarding Bush tax cuts for the rich, Democrats now say the bottom 98 percent need those tax cuts.
Increasing taxes on the top 2 percent will generate some funding.
We have trillion-dollar, budget-less deficits. Obama is increasing debt at twice the Bush rate.
Obama’s ill-fated stimulus is hurting the U.S. economy.
The can-kicking Clinton left Bush al-Qaida, a recession and Saddam Hussein.
Even though Clinton enjoyed the upside of the housing and dot-com bubbles, and Bush suffered the downside, Bush grew GDP more than Clinton did.
Ending climate change
President Barack Obama’s pledge last month to “respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations” was a clear sign that he understands the urgency of addressing this problem. Now we’re counting on him to follow up those words with action.
We know what we need to do in Missouri and nationwide to tackle global warming: Clean up the largest sources of the carbon-pollution fueling the problem. And with the president’s leadership, we can make that happen.
Right now, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency are developing the first carbon-pollution limits for new power plants — a truly historic step toward cleaning up the single biggest source of carbon pollution.
A record number of Americans have already spoken out in support of the proposed standards, and more and more opinion leaders are echoing the need for action.
I urge the EPA to finish the job on these standards and develop standards for existing power plants.
Our health and our environment are depending on it.
State Field Associate
Protecting area schools
I am an eighth-grader at Hope Lutheran School and a Star Scout working toward my life rank. I am writing to express my view on guns in schools.
My letter is the result of the Dec. 14 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. I think that all schools should have a person standing at every entrance and exit when someone enters the buildings.
This would make sure that people carry in no weapons of destruction. I think that the only individuals who should carry weapons in schools are the police, if the schools can afford them.
Also, schools should have police patrol the grounds to make sure no one is hiding in or around the facilities.
I also believe that you cannot fight violence with violence.
It will only lead to more violence in the future. The only way to fight violence is to make sure it never happens in the first place.
I hope my thoughts encourage government officials to work at building the defenses of the common people.
E. Thomas McClanahan, who lives in Missouri, in his Feb. 10 column, “A suitable remedy for an unsuitable ruling,” doesn’t like the Kansas court’s ruling regarding school funding in Kansas. His solution?
Give sole authority to the Legislature. What part of tripartite government, or checks and balances, does Mr. McClanahan not understand?
As it stands, the judiciary is our only protection from the tax-cutting lunacy of Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature, which is driving Kansas into bankruptcy and destroying the state’s historically good schools.
Conservatives, who give so much lip service to the Constitution, are always willing to dispense with it when it gets in their way.
Gun control needed
There is an old joke about why guys drive fancy sports cars. It has something to do with compensating for masculine insecurity.
Along those same lines, I think many National Rifle Association members need a big gun to make themselves feel powerful. They fail to understand that times have changed and the most powerful weapon now is information.
When innocent children are senselessly murdered, we should consider every possibility that might prevent it in the future. To pretend some form of gun control is not needed is ridiculous if not insane.
Mass killings are much easier with 30-round clips and splintering bullets.
Surely, there is room for compromise that might lower the death count when our next maniac goes nuclear.
I guess Lewis Diuguid realizes that 55,000 Americans died freeing the South Koreans and that more than 91 percent of them were white (2-11, Commentary, “Honoring black soldiers who helped free Koreans”). Now, 60 years later, we still have 50,000 soldiers there (at great cost to us taxpayers) keeping them free.
How about just writing a column honoring all soldiers who died in this useless conflict?
In-state Kansas games
I pay taxes. We all pay taxes. I also love college basketball.
The state collects taxes from all residents in Kansas, and then the state dishes out millions of dollars to state institutions of higher education.
As a taxpayer, I am demanding our representatives and senators pass a bill requiring Wichita State to play the University of Kansas and Kansas State University each year in basketball.
Think about all the positives from in-state basketball games. Let’s keep all the revenue from basketball we can in our state.
Playing these intrastate basketball games would tremendously cut the expenses that college basketball teams spend to play in faraway states.
Just rent a bus, and off they go.
College basketball players miss enough classes each season as it is. But when playing in state, the traveling team can cut traveling time.
We have a better chance of keeping our homegrown talent in Kansas.
We lose too many great student-athletes to universities outside of Kansas.
The state of Kentucky passed legislation similar to my proposal that requires the universities of Louisville and Kentucky to play in basketball.
Wichita Sports Hall of
Fame & Museum
Co-Host of The Press Box
No to bill on basketball
Concerning a bill in the Kansas Legislature to force the University of Kansas to play Wichita State University in basketball every year, as a Kansas resident, I oppose politicians setting sports schedules.
They should have more important issues to tackle.
After watching the game between KU and Texas Christian University, could we at least force KU to schedule Washburn University instead of Wichita State?