I live north of the Missouri River, and a couple stores/shops I have visited over the past few years have been playing Christian music, which I really like to hear. Just recently I shopped at some more stores/restaurants in the Northland and found to my surprise that they are playing Christian music, too.
What a way to help sooth troubled times in this world for a person. Hearing Christian music can help lift people when they are troubled or going through something and can help soothe their minds.
To those stores/restaurants that are playing Christian music, thank you.
Simple business logic
Business is simple. Money in needs to exceed money out or you eventually go bankrupt. Every small-business owner (myself included) knows this. There are certain expenses you just can’t avoid in business or in life, so you try to minimize those expenses.
When I hear people talk about the issue of taxes during the fiscal crisis, I have to admit it drives me a little crazy. It’s very simple.
I don’t mind being taxed if it’s going toward things that help increase my bottom line (short or long term). I don’t like expenses that decrease my bottom line.
So the questions facing us are somewhat distorted. Are our tax dollars being spent for future gain? If so, please tax me. If not, stop wasting money.
But at the end of the day, if the money coming in the door exceeds what I have going out, I don’t mind paying more taxes to invest in the future of this country. Any small-business owner who says otherwise is posturing and not really watching the bottom line.
This is about details, not rhetoric.
Fix 2nd Amendment
Most people agree that the Second Amendment gives people the right to keep and bear arms. When that amendment was written more than 220 years ago, “arms” were much different than they are today.
Fast-forward a few years from now to the new lobby NRGNBA — National Rifle, Grenade, Nuclear Bomb Association — which continues to push for expansion of our rights to own weapons of mass destruction in our homes, while Congress argues that nuclear weapons and heat-seeking missiles should be banned.
I fought in the infantry in Vietnam and believe there is a time and a place for assault rifles and other high capacity arms. Our homes and communities are not the place for the common citizen to bear today’s arms.
I think it’s time that our leaders in Washington, D.C., take the brave step to draw a line in the sand and modernize the Second Amendment.
Dennis G. Smith
Charge U.S. entry fee
If the U.S. charged everyone entering the country $10 like the Dominican Republic does, it would greatly help our economy and help the middle class by maybe lowering some of the taxes we have to pay.
In 2004, the Dominican Republic welcomed 3.5 million tourists, or 29 percent of the Caribbean total, making $35 million on the entry fee. About 64 million foreign travelers are projected to visit the United States this year, making a possible $640 million the U.S. could make on entry fees alone.
So Gov. Sam Brownback signs a law that says life in Kansas begins at fertilization. I’d have more respect for his so-called protection of the unborn if he cared about children in Kansas after they were born, but that’s for another time.
What I have yet to see from the governor or any of the sponsoring Republican legislators is the funding for the enormous increase in costs this statute will bring. Obviously, now whenever a woman in Kansas has a miscarriage there will have to be a full criminal investigation because, according to the governor, a “person” has died.
Can we charge the mother with homicide, manslaughter or depraved indifference? Did she do something to contribute to the death of this “person”?
Only a full criminal investigation can determine this. I also assume the governor will require a funeral for every miscarriage. Obviously, this “person” must be properly buried.
Laws carry consequences, but I have yet to hear from the governor about the consequences of this one.
Edward A. Knight
Most of us do not know what to do if we suspect a child is being abused or neglected. We doubt ourselves, question if we should get involved in other families’ lives and are unsure whom to call, so we look the other way.
Yet anonymous tips by concerned neighbors locally resulted in police rescues of a malnourished 8-year-old girl locked in her room last year, a 10-year-old girl weighing just 32 pounds imprisoned in a closet last summer and a frail 17-year-old boy chained to a pole in a basement earlier this year.
All were saved because people reported their suspicions to the child-abuse hotline.
As caring citizens, we must do everything in our power to protect and nurture vulnerable children.
Don’t ignore the signs. Trust your instincts. Believe children, and act.
If you even suspect a child is being harmed, call 1-800-922-5330 (Kansas) or 1-800-392-3738 (Missouri) immediately. Reporting does not constitute a proven fact — it raises a question about the safety of a child.
Your action may protect a child and get help for the family.
The untold tragedies, the crippled families and the many lives lost without reason can be avoided by interpreting the right to “keep and bear arms” as ownership held in an arsenal.
Holding money in a bank, holding securities by a security firm and holding gold in a bank vault involves storage, ownership and use.
A reasonable set of justices could make the same interpretation with guns. Guns held in people’s arsenal, available during the hunting season or for certain approved designated purposes for a set period of time, is reasonable. Shooting ranges would be managed by the arsenals.
Storage of guns in arsenals is just. It would avoid killings that are a function of rage and predetermined criminal activity.
The law would call for all guns not assigned to law-enforcement personnel to be stored in district arsenals within a period of two months. Possession thereafter would result in heavy punishment and fines. Ammunition would be sold only by the arsenals under rigid guidelines.
Approval to form a militia that would bear and keep arms would be granted by a governing board or by U.S. law. These details could easily be finalized should the justices decide that the right “to keep and bear arms” is not violated by storage of guns in an arsenal.
I applaud the efforts of the many service providers who are working to end homelessness in our region. By any measurement, our community has a robust system that is focused on closing emergency shelters and getting homeless individuals and families into housing as quickly as possible.
Extensive research indicates that providing stable housing for homeless families is a far less expensive option than having homeless people using inordinate and expensive resources in the criminal-justice, heath-care and social-service systems.
Now, we need to take the next step in ending homelessness. We need to expand Medicaid fully in Missouri. Providing access to health care for 260,000 low-wage earners and low-income persons in Missouri would go a long way toward making our efforts to end homelessness a reality.
The reason? Families often become homeless because of health problems. Access to health care allows families to become much more stable in housing and supports them for the long term.
Expanding Medicaid fully in Missouri is the right thing to do. It’s right for our economy, right for adding jobs and cutting expenses. It builds families and strengthens communities.
Who could say no to that combination of good choices for all Missourians?
Rev. Dr. Martin Rafanan