KC mayor interrupted
I have read with interest and heard on Kansas City area radio a few comparisons between Kansas City and St. Louis.
Generally, discussions revolve around how much better Kansas City is compared with St. Louis, making mention of statistics, crime, behavior, conduct and the resulting population shifts.
We certainly have our problems here, and behavior that can be very unbecoming.
But on Tuesday I saw your mayor be interrupted by an angry and foul-mouthed resident during one of his speeches.
It is interesting to see on national television that Kansas City also has some unattractive residents and faces some unbecoming public behavior, which are commonly attributed to us on the other side of the state by those from the western part of the state.
Missouri Republicans continue to ignore the Missouri Utility Consumer Relief Act. This proposed legislation would safeguard utility customers from skyrocketing rate increases and questionable surcharges.
Amazingly, Missouri’s Democrats, the so-called champions of the poor and working class, have joined their Republican colleagues in abandoning their constituents to protect their wealthy utility campaign contributors.
Both parties have bought into SB 207’s hoopla of modernized infrastructure, more jobs and a “smart grid.”
What they refuse to tell you is what their smart grid will cost you, not only monetarily but in terms of health risks and loss of freedom.
Consider the case of one disabled woman who refused to have a smart meter installed based on the risk it posed to her pacemaker.
Her local power company, AEP Ohio, gave her an ultimatum: Either have the smart meter installed or have her power cut in the dead of winter.
The Missouri Utility Consumer Relief Act would stop such utility company abuses and give utility consumers meaningful representation on the Public Service Commission.
Missourians can add their signatures of support for the bill by Googling “Missouri Utility Consumer Relief Act” and going to petitiononline.com/weddle7/
petition.html. Tomm Buzzetta
White House tours
To all those who seem to be hyperventilating over the lack of White House tours, have you taken one recently?
A March 13 letter writer said her tour was the experience of a lifetime or something like that. She must lead a sheltered life.
Here is my experience as I can best remember it:
Contact Sen. Pat Roberts for a tour. They’re free. (Do it early ... six months ... almost everyone who asks gets one).
Get granted a tour. Show up at White House on schedule (no cameras allowed).
Go through extensive security search (no problem there; it’s necessary).
Get escorted into one wing (it’s the East Wing, I think, but not sure).
Walk down a hall past seven or eight rooms with names such as Red Room and Green Room (just look in; you can’t go in).
Walk out a different door.
You’re done. Out of a total of 132 rooms, you may have seen 10.
Experience of a lifetime?
If you insist on bellyaching about something that the president has done, please pick something a little more significant.
Spending cuts needed
Someone needs to educate our liberal friends as to the working of government. For some reason, some people seem to think the only thing that has an effect on the deficit is the level of taxation.
It is as if they came late to math class.
Yes, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush pushed through tax cuts.
Yes, the deficit did go up. However, the part of the equation so many liberals forget is the spending side.
During both the Reagan and Bush years, federal income increased. The problem was, spending increased more, thus the increase in the deficit.
It is impossible to raise taxes enough to cover what the liberals (and some Republicans) are spending. We could take everything from the rich, and it would never be enough.
Spending is the only number in this equation where there is room to cut.
Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio mustered up the courage to be the only sitting Republican senator to take a stand in opposition to his party’s platform regarding gay marriage (3-16, A2, “GOP senator now backing gay marriage”).
His son also had the courage to come out as a gay man to his father.
Although it did take the senator two years to change his mind, his reasoning is quite simple and powerful from the perspective “of a dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his (straight) brother and sister would have.”
The senator’s story amplifies what has been said many times before. The path to change and progress on this issue is for everyone to understand that they know, love and respect gays and lesbians now. They just may not realize it yet.
Stepping out of the closet frees not only those who are entrapped within but also those who are able to shed their falsely held stereotypes and beliefs when their friends, parents, siblings and co-workers come out.
Disturbing gun news
I read three articles in The Star one morning about students with guns.
The first was about a third-grade Michigan student who took a loaded gun to school.
The second was about a 14-year-old Jackson County boy who took a semiautomatic Glock 19 and a separate magazine loaded with 13 rounds to school. The third reported a 16-year-old Ruskin High School boy who shot at a school bus.
Each article painted a clear picture about a serious problem we live with. I checked the Internet that morning to see what the gun situation is in other countries.
I found a United Nations report saying the death rate by handguns in the U.S. is 20 times higher than the average death rate in 30 other of the most developed countries.
The average U.S. citizen would like to see more responsible control over gun sales.
Yet, if I am right, we, the majority, are not winning this debate.
This is one of the many problems in our country that Washington does not seem to want to fix. Our many problems such as guns, immigration and debt are all fixable.
Let’s get the leadership back in Washington, D.C.
Kansas merger plans
Is it possible that the reason Gov. Sam Brownback wants to bring the Kansas Turnpike Authority into the Kansas Department of Transportation is to gain control of the turnpike so it can be privatized (3-16, A16, “Kansas Senate GOP leaders like turnpike-KDOT merger”)?
That would bring in a lot of money to bail the state out of the fiscal hole created by the cut in income taxes.
Or could it be that the reason for the governor’s urge to control the Kansas Transportation Authority is to bring toll-road-operating expertise into the Kansas Department of Transportation so that other routes such as Interstates 70, 35 and 135 can be converted to toll roads, providing more revenue to state highway finances?
This would surely be needed if highway funds are diverted to pay for a revenue shortfall in the state’s general fund.
Because the reasons given for the Kansas Department of Transportation takeover of the Kansas Turnpike Authority were to save money, which is an unproven case, and to eliminate duplication of state agencies, which is not overly compelling, there is reason to suspect an ulterior motive behind the governor’s proposal.
No accusations here, just wondering.
Death panel debate
As an intensive care unit nurse, I hear a phrase that breaks my heart and which continues to be perpetuated in the national health-care debate. It is the term “death panels.”
This term, derived as either a misunderstanding or a deliberate misrepresentation of Section 1233 of bill HR 3200 (the original Affordable Care Act), has devastated the potential protection of human rights through the dying process.
To clarify, the original legislation sought to provide physicians reimbursement for having conversations with patients regarding their wishes for end-of-life care. There was no panel to ration care and no outcome incentive for physicians. It was intended to protect patients’ rights and wishes if incapacitated.
As an ICU nurse, I cannot emphasize enough how important these conversations are to have before life-and-death situations. The conversation is challenging, but it is nothing compared with the challenges your family will face when the time comes and your wishes are not known.
Protect yourself and your family and have the conversation.
Chip George RN, BSN