Annoying robo calls
The proliferation of automatically dialed phone calls has reached beyond nuisance level, and we receive at least five per day.
Henceforth, rather than hang up at the first hint of the purpose of the call, I will listen until the source is revealed. (Calls from political organizations and nonprofits are permitted.)
One of the daily calls opens with The FBI ... and must be from a home-security business. Coincidentally, while writing this letter I answered the phone from Medical Pendant in Utah with the offer of a free alarm device and, of course, the request for my name so a lifetime associate could make a follow-up call.
To underscore the frequency of the calls, just now I answered another, this from the Campaign to Reform Immigration for America, which connected me to Sen. Claire McCaskills office so I could urge her to take action on this issue. It did not advocate a position.
Notifying the state attorney general's office regarding the disallowed calls is a first step in the effort to end the daily intrusions.
The state does maintain a no-call list. Its effectiveness is not certain, but its a place to start and its worth a try.
Beware Dish offer
The Dish Network offer to purchase Sprint made by CEO Charles Ergen is quite a deal (5-8, A12, Behind the scenes on Sprint deal). After reading about Mr. Ergen, I am reminded of Carl Icahns purchase of TWA.
Once Mr. Icahn had full control of TWA, he proceeded to sell the best parts of the company, pocket the money and then sell what was left of a once-proud airline.
Mr. Ergen has stated that he wants to purchase Sprint on his own, not to have the Dish company buy it.
You can see the handwriting on the wall. He would sell all of Sprints most valuable assets, pocket the money and then get rid of what remains.
From what has been said about Ergen, he, like Icahn, has no compunction about putting the screws to his employees. I hope the Sprint board can see through this setup that Ergen is trying to pull.
Supreme Court, guns
The best source for defining the meaning of the Second Amendment is the 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller.
Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, held that the Second Amendment protects an individuals right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia and to use that arm for traditional lawful purposes such as self-defense within the home.
The decision also clarified the limits of this right: Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools or government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and limitations on the commercial sale of arms. ... We also recognize another important limitation of the right to bear arms. ... We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
Those who believe current legislation before Congress would violate the Second Amendment need to read District of Columbia v. Heller.
Lee Judge cartoons
We look forward to Lee Judges political cartoons. Contrary to some opinions, we think he offers fair and equal opportunity comments that are thought-provoking.
Please keep his work coming.
Presidents tough job
The president won pretty decisively (check the numbers). He has tried with much success to lead this country out of quagmire and stagnation but has been met with partisanship, disrespect and Republican shenanigans.
As for the contention that the media are so biased in Obamas favor, I think of a quote from Harry Truman: I dont give them hell. I tell the truth, and they think its hell.
Want to get angry with someone? Send messages to your congressmen and your senators. Tell them no more playing politics, earn your keep, attend to Americas business.
One last vent. I am a member of the Independence YMCA. The Y has chosen to put profit before people in shutting down the Independence facility and misplacing a lot of seniors who need this activity and cannot travel elsewhere in many cases.
I realize, unfortunately, that seniors are not a viable group in some eyes as a desirable demographic at spending money. So ads, TV and so forth are aimed at younger citizens while we are dismissed as used up and unimportant.
Factually, many important discoveries and advancements have been contributed by older adults. We can still be active and useful, but dont take the rug out from under our feet.
Leave us our pride, our chance to keep fit and to meet with friends. Remember, everyone, hopefully, will be older someday.
Surge in Kansas
I am proud to call myself a Kansan. Other states are looking to us as an example of the framework necessary to create jobs and prosper.
Under the leadership of Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republican-controlled Legislature, Kansas has gone from the second-highest income tax rate in our region to the second-lowest.
The march to zero income tax is happening. We are adding new private-sector jobs at a rate of 1,000 per month.
Kansas unemployment has dropped from 7 percent to 5.5 percent, one of the lowest rates in the country. In 2012, Kansas had the largest number of new small-business filings in state history more than 15,000 new businesses.
We are moving in the right direction.
LP child abuse
How very sad that our nation is so concerned with the welfare of animals and trees and a horrific thing like the LP case of child abuse is allowed to happen (5-5, A1, Girl known as LP got help in kindergarten, then vanished).
When birth parents choose abuse, drugs and/or neglect over their own children, then they (the parents) have voluntarily given up their birthright to those children.
If someone withheld food from a dog, that dog would be taken away from the owner permanently.
Shame on us.
Every time I get to the Opinion section in The Kansas City Star, Im greeted by unabashed liberalism from your columnists, cartoonists, blog bits and letters. Do you intentionally go out of your way to publish these often illogical and uninformed submissions?
Its exhausting to read every day about how back in the day they only had muskets so we should go back to that. They also had slavery and no Internet and lacked many conveniences we have today. Should we go back to that, too?
I would also like to point out that muskets were the modern weapons of the time, which allowed our Founding Fathers to defeat the British.
On another topic, one letter writer recently likened a law signed by the governor of Kansas to charging a woman with manslaughter when she had a miscarriage. Really?
All I ask for is balance, a presentation of rational arguments from all parties.
End climate change
This, evolving, pulsating Earth is our home. We have no title to it, only a lease, and that will expire with catastrophic transformations in the sun, our sustaining star.
In the interim we find ourselves in a crisis of a warming atmosphere that is ushering in an era of climate change that if left unaltered will become irreversible. A cadre of scientists has been warning about this worsening condition, but the reluctance of world leadership to act is only prolonging the crisis.
No one can predict which tomorrow might usher in the hastening of Earths end. Any other life-sustaining planets are light years away, and we have no mode of transport to them.
We have this moment in which to be good stewards of our leased home.
G. Temp Sparkman