Kansas’ long tumble
Here we go. In Kansas we have almost eliminated the moderates who kept the Legislature from implementing everything desired by Gov. Sam Brownback. Now some media report that “Kansas Republican legislators want to change the state Constitution to fend off a court ruling that orders the Legislature to increase its educational funding.”
The endgame is to destroy public schools by removing funding. This is simply a first step.
Public schools will fall dramatically, and private schools will step in, request the public funding and allow the teaching of a particular brand of religion that the far right feels is appropriate. We did it to ourselves at the ballot booth.
If America wishes to see where the far right will lead us, watch Kansas. We are on our way.
Are you interested in an atmosphere that helps you find a job or a better job?
If your answer is “yes,” please do everything within your power to ensure the success of Gov. Sam Brownback’s “Kansas experiment.”
Why? If limited government, reduced regulatory red tape and lower taxes produce more and better jobs, politicians of all stripes can point to Kansas as the prime example of how to run the United States.
The moral? All Americans profit.
Natural disaster, prayer
Letter writers have said that since we’ve taken prayer out of schools and given ourselves over to become godless, pagan heathens, we’ve been hit by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.
This seems like a specious argument to me, so I Googled “natural disasters in the United States” and came up with a few that happened before 1963, when prayer was supposedly blacklisted from schools.
In 1950 there was a blizzard in the eastern United States that killed 353 people. In 1938 there was a flood that killed 385 in New England. In 1935 there was a hurricane in Florida that killed 423. I could go on and on, but I’m limited in my word count here.
I’m curious to know what terrible sin we were committing before the prayer-in-school debate that caused God to punish us.
Or, is it possible that stuff just happens in nature because that is the natural order of things? Because that’s the way the world is set up to work?
Do some people really think that if we had the Ten Commandments outside the courthouse we’d be free from natural disasters forever? Seriously?
Everyone’s freaking out that marijuana is legal in three states. They say its “harmful and dangerous.”
For adults 18 and older, marijuana generally has no long-term side effects. The use of marijuana and marijuana-related products has been scientifically proved to help with medical conditions such as glaucoma.
Speaking of which, younger kids are the cause of the lack of trust in the whole controversy because that’s what everyone thinks of when they hear “weed is legal.” For adults who are prescribed medical marijuana, the stereotypical teenager smoking pot after school is ruining the whole image of marijuana.
How would you feel if you knew the only way to save you or a family member was to prescribe medical marijuana? Just think of an elderly man who has no choice other than marijuana to help him. Would you have the heart to turn him away?
Midwest Voices column
On Carol Dark Ayres’ March 2 column, “We’re in danger of losing our country,” I, too, have remarked more than once that today’s political rancor resembles the pre-Civil War period. However, comparing the politics of then to now is simply mistaken unless the abolitionists were actually slaveholders.
The true question is “How do conditions in the President Ronald Reagan era resemble now?” The answer: “They don’t.” We don’t have rampant inflation. We don’t have sky-high taxes.
Yet today’s Republicans offer the same remedies as Reagan offered despite differing conditions. We do have a huge unfunded mandate for Medicare (courtesy President George W. Bush) that Reagan didn’t have.
As a lifelong Republican, I agree the GOP needs better leadership. But I think our national leadership is just fine.
We have the most pragmatic, non-ideological president we’ve had in a generation. What we need is a pragmatic opposition that focuses on our country’s problems, not so much on its own problems.
But if the Republicans insist on treating symptoms the patient doesn’t have and ignoring the symptoms the patient does have, then we are in danger of losing our country. But not for the reason Ms. Ayres imagines.
Fixing firearms problem
No matter how hard we try, we aren’t going to be able to identify and successfully treat all those among us who suffer from mental illness. No matter how sincere our intentions to enforce the qualifications of those legally allowed to purchase assault and military weapons and ammunition, there’s no way to assure that those purchasers will secure those weapons from the hands of others.
The only rational hope of putting an end to the slaughter and the pervasive fear it engenders is to take those weapons out of circulation. It works. Australia has proved that.
For those who believe the right to bear arms guarantees ownership of rifles for hunting and pistols for protection and that is their paramount concern, a renewal of the ban on assault weapons is not an infringement.
So before we again must endure more senseless human carnage, please let your elected representatives know that the assault-weapons ban must be reinstated and assiduously enforced.
Obama and immigration
It is my belief that President Barack Obama’s immigration proposal seems to be too ambiguous in how he plans to implement a change in this law to make it easier to become a legal citizen. So far his proposal seems hypocritical in that he will reward the 11 million illegal immigrants who broke the law with easier access to citizenship but then will increase border security to keep more from entering the U.S.
Rather than Obama’s backward plan, we should first work to increase border security, deport illegal immigrants and then work to make visas and citizenship easier to receive. Right now his plan seems to be politically centered on maintaining the Hispanic vote for the Democratic Party rather than fixing the illegal immigration problem.
Hold insults about guns
As I read the editorial pages, I am convinced that the writers and editors know little about guns or gun owners. This may help.
• Semi-automatics vs. automatic: Semi-automatic guns are common and shoot once for each pull of the trigger. Automatics shoot as long as the trigger is pulled. Automatics are rare and have been banned since the 1930s. People who equate the two don’t know what they are talking about.
• High-power assault weapon: This is a made-up, politically charged term that is offensive to gun owners. Mostly it refers to any “scary” gun the speaker wants to ban.
• Need, as in “why would anyone need ...”: This is an assault on a constitutional right. Rights are not “need” based. This should offend every American.
• National Rifle Association: This is not a hate group, and Wayne LaPierre is not a Neanderthal. This is an advocacy group that successfully represents millions of Americans. It may not be your cause, but demonizing and name-calling are rude.
These phrases are on par to referring to your audience as “you people.” No conversation can begin when one side starts by insulting the other.
Abundance of angels
Thank you to all snow-removal crews who worked many long hours to help clear the streets after the two snowstorms last month.
Thank you to all police, firefighters and hospital workers who slept at work or in nearby hotels so they could get to work.
Thank you to all neighbors and strangers who helped scoop out driveways/sidewalks or helped those with stuck vehicles.
And thanks to all others who helped people in this time of need.
There are many good people in this world.
KC honesty matters
I wish to personally thank the person who turned in the little gold ring I lost at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts while we attended a Kansas City Symphony performance recently.
I didn’t expect to get it back, and I’m extremely grateful to the honest person who found it and turned it in to lost and found. Thank you.