Abundance of blessings
I do remember dragging large plastic bags of clothes seven blocks to the Laundromat during the winter. I do remember going almost two years with no electricity and several years without a phone in the home.
I do remember going to work at age 12 as a sacker in the local grocery. I remember my father dying of cancer because we didn’t have enough health insurance or money to make up the difference.
And I’ve never had a vacation that lasted more than a weekend other than with family. But all in all, I have experienced a blessed good life.
Today, all three of my children are college graduates. I work a secular job that allows me to be among the lower middle class, and I pastor a small church that I founded six years ago with my wife, where we assist other needy people.
It’s not a fairy tale but a real, blessed good life, and I have God to thank. I wish all people would remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Carl H. Bowman
Keep KC taxes low
For those of us who choose to live and work in Kansas City, it is disheartening to read about the proposed sales tax increases for the Country Club Plaza and Power & Light District (3-11, Editorial, “How high can sales taxes go?”).
Many of us do not view these areas as tourist attractions or special-events destinations but as places where we regularly socialize with our friends and families.
The costs of living, working and socializing in Kansas City must not reach that tipping point where it is financially insane to continue to do so. Attracting and keeping residents and increasing the number of employees is the way to build our tax base.
Let’s figure out how to do that rather than just raise the tax rates.
Susan J. Brandt, Ph.D.
Kansas and Texas
Gov. Sam Brownback tells Texas to look out. Kansas will catch up with Texas’ no income tax. If Gov. Brownback would talk with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, I am sure Gov. Perry would explain that Texas schools are not financed from general revenue. In Texas, every second section of land statewide is designated as a “school section.”
This means all mineral rights in each school section are half-owned by the state and can never be sold. The mineral rights can only be leased, and all lease proceeds are committed to funding the state’s schools, from kindergarten through 12th grade, and all public colleges and universities.
If only Kansas had a similar source of income without taxation, then maybe Kansas could threaten Texas.
Making tea party sense
I’m afraid a lot of people don’t fully understand the infinite wisdom of our tea party-dominated House of Representatives.
It was necessary that the legislators provide extra money to the Defense Department. They had to establish that they are much smarter on matters of defense than are our generals and admirals. To their credit they believe in a balanced budget, so they had to reduce spending elsewhere to pay for their defense spending.
Again this is easy. Just cut Social Security and Medicare.
Now, because most of us who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits are senior citizens, if we cut this money some of us will die sooner. This will provide even bigger savings.
So see how smart the tea party lawmakers are?
Support urban farms
Kansas Citians have a chance to be leaders in urban agriculture, a method of farming that is sustainable for our environment. Sen. Jason Holsman is sponsoring a bill that would incentivize urban agriculture. Other Kansas City legislators need to get on board.
The average “fresh” food item on our dinner table travels 1,500 miles to get there. Buying locally produced food eliminates the need for fuel-guzzling transportation that releases global-warming pollution.
Additionally, runoff from Missouri factory farms has caused a dead zone the size of Rhode Island in the Gulf of Mexico where no fish can survive. For those of us who care about our environment, our health and our community, we must act now.
Missouri legislators have the opportunity to pass SB 228, which would provide incentives for urban farmers and vendors, revitalize communities, cut down on water and air pollution, and funnel money to help start school gardens.
It is necessary to ensure that our city councilmen vote to incentivize urban agriculture so our cities can reap the many benefits from locally grown food. Call or write your legislator today in order to make Sen. Holsman’s bill a reality for Kansas City.
Vote against weapons
With Lent and the closeness of the April 2 ballot, I turn to Scripture for guidance on preventing future city contracts for nuclear weapons parts production.
Do we choose life, be transformed by God and repent? Or do we build more weapons of mass destruction?
I hope Kansas City votes yes on Question 3 on April 2.
Keeping union sound
The two most ominous words in the American lexicon surely are “states’ rights.” In The Star’s March 10 article, “Lawmakers put more energy into debates on states’ rights,” we read how Oklahoma Republicans want to make it a felony to enforce new federal statutes related to health-care reform, regulating firearms, the environment and many others.
We must recall it was under the banner of states’ rights that the “peculiar institution” of slavery thrived in the South until ended by President Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Undoubtedly, states’ rights advocates would consider that a gross overreach by the federal government.
When the North tired of Reconstruction, states’ rights legislators instituted Jim Crow and segregation. Today’s states’ rights proponents have engineered the new voter-suppression laws and targeted women’s reproductive rights. In defiance of the Constitution, Republican politicians would replace science with Christian creation stories in our public schools and make children of all faiths begin each school day with a Christian prayer.
It is only because of our strong federal government that social conservatives aren’t able to impose their own version of Republican Sharia law on an increasingly diverse population that rejects their vision of what America should be.
I recently read that some letter writers think the Second Amendment should be updated to reflect modern times. Therein lies the conundrum.
If you change one amendment, then you set a precedent for changing the others, including the First Amendment. When someone starts talking about the Constitution being a living document, I get all sorts of red flags.
That is just spin for rewriting the Constitution to fit whoever is in power or who has the most money.
The Second Amendment is there in case the First Amendment is ignored. Tyranny can come in different forms, be it governmental or criminal.
The colonialists were armed with the most advanced weapons of their time to match the British firepower. That is why the assault weapons hysteria touches such a nerve. I do not own one, but I don’t begrudge people who do.
Love of guns vs. lives
As to the argument that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” this sounds like the old riddle: “Does a dog wag its tail or does the tail wag the dog?”
Without getting into extremely long-winded arguments over the theory of relativity, why not just cut off the dog’s tail?
In essence, what’s more important to us, guns or human lives?
Admiration for team
I am a grandmother, and I love my grandchildren and support them at whatever they do. Often in this complicated world, the fine character of our young people goes unnoticed.
But after witnessing the coaches and players of the Blue Springs South High School basketball team this season, I want to call out these fine young men, many of whom are seniors playing this game they love for the last time. So after a very good season and getting near a state championship, they lost a heartbreaker recently.
Although they are sad, they made us proud in losing, as they had done so many times in winning. I just want to publicly acknowledge all the boys and give a special shout-out to Nick, my grandson, who loves his teammates and the game so much.
Hold your heads up, guys. You did your school, coaches and fans proud, showing class on the court and off.
Good luck to you all. Go Jags.
With our admiration, you are winners to us. God bless you all and a safe journey to your next venture.