The recent 24th edition of the Friends of Special People Christmas party for special needs children and adults was a huge success.
It came about because of people such as Frances Brocato, who continues the tradition of her deceased husband, Joe Brocato, the founder of the organization.
It succeeded because of John Hamilton and volunteers who work all year on the event.
A special mention and thank you to Tim Gordon and his talented staff at the Downtown Marriott Hotel.
The hotel annually provides the venue, food, beverage and treats for attendees. Special thanks to the companies and benefactors for the items that went into the goody bags that the 1,200 special-needs guests received.
The caregivers deserve special recognition for their work. They are special people themselves.
And how could we forget the wonderful work of the many Santas, face-painters, jugglers, clowns, balloon creators and Kansas City sports mascots?
Thanks also to the Marines of Combat Logistics, 4th Regiment in Kansas City, who provided a stunning presentation of colors during the singing of the national anthem.
This event showed what a big heart Kansas City has and made Christmas and the holidays for some special people.
I had to chuckle at the Dec. 18 front-page article, “Research shows teens are turning to organic foods,” in which The Star reporter states that younger people are eating a more choosey diet.
The article refers to a “healthy diet” of more greens and organic foods.
I do firmly agree that potato chips and other junk food should be reduced in our diets. But a meatless diet is certainly not a healthy diet. Red meat is necessary for protein and good health.
What’s even funnier is this reporter falling for the “organic” label. This is merely a marketing tool to sell greens to thinly educated people.
It is obvious to me that our federal government will not stop seeking more power to control state governments and individual citizens. Ben Franklin said we need a revolution every 200 years because all governments become stale and corrupt after 200 years.
It is time for states and individuals to take the initiative to use Article V of the Constitution to reign in federal government tyranny and reinstate the Constitution. Article V provides a pathway for state legislatures to amend the Constitution without approval by the governing elite.
I do not believe that happiness is something that can be bought especially through social programs run by the government. First off, government, in general, has a losing percentage in taking actions that make the public happy.
So any government trying to force its people to be happy is quite ludicrous. The economies of many countries right now are not too hot.
Spending large sums of money on “mission” programs that are focused on happiness seems curious to me when that money could be much better spent.
Brownback must go
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has got to go.
For the record, I am a Republican.
Historically, I have voted for more Republicans than Democrats. However, that was before moderates, including me, were deemed undesirables by the far right and those who fund them, such as the Koch brothers and Kansans for Life.
The many ways Brownback has taken the state out of the hands of Kansas’ citizens to historically backward times and completely outside the democratic process are quite astounding, given his tenure. Kansas simply cannot tolerate more of the same.
There are good reasons Brownback’s approval ratings are dismal. It’s also not surprising the term “Brownbackistan” came into common use.
Fortunately, Paul Davis, House minority leader from Lawrence, and his selected running mate, Jill Docking, are taking on the far-from-desirable role of running against Brownback and his far-right money machine and the stacked deck of conservative Republicans he and his funders have placed into numerous roles throughout the state.
Paul Davis and Jill Docking need substantial and ongoing support from all of us who have been completely dismissed, ignored and incredibly shortchanged by Brownback and his wealthy thugs.
There’s an issue we all need to give thought to. Both left and right polls show low ratings for the House, Senate, president, vice president and government officials.
Polls identify what the American people want, yet our elected and appointed officials are not addressing concerns of the American people. They only play the blame game against one another on issues they want to address and then give poor excuses one after the other for why things aren’t getting done.
No clear effort is being made by either side to sit down with the other side to address the concerns of the American people — whether it’s health care, the economy or the many other problems.
It’s time for Americans to let government officials know they must start answering to their boss, us, and start doing what we the people want, not what they want.
Their failure to come to agreement on almost anything is nothing but child’s play. Government officials need to do what they are told or they need to step down and let someone who cares about the American people step up to the plate.
Maybe it’s time for a third party.
There is an old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” For those who voted for President Barack Obama twice, shame on you.
Think of his failures. The National Security Agency, Fast and Furious, Benghazi and Obamacare, which will cost American taxpayers millions if not billions of dollars. Need I go on?
Think about what he did before he became president. He was an undistinguished scholar, and nothing is his fault.
Obama said he would lower the deficit. Yet there has not been sufficient improvement.
I think The Star and other liberal newspapers are doing a great disservice to the American people. If a Republican had done half the things this regime has done, there would be full coverage, but the liberal papers choose to sweep everything under the rug.
I want all of you liberals to think about the consequences you are passing on to your children and grandchildren. They are the ones who will be forced to pay for all of this.
Pining for Romney
I voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 but wish I had not done the same in 2012.
He said he was going to end the Iraq war quicker than the George W. Bush retreat plan. But Obama stuck with the same withdrawal schedule.
He said he was going to get us out of Afghanistan, quickly. He has not, and I understand we are going to leave troops in that godforsaken country after major withdrawal in 2014.
He promised to close the prison at Guantanamo, but it’s still a fully functioning, writ of habeas corpus purgatory.
The president inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression but decided to focus on universal health care before fully engaging on the economy and job creation.
Obama has exhibited significant naivete in international matters, particularly with respect to Libya and the Benghazi affair, although they pale compared with Iraq. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been a disaster, again showing technical and political naivete.
Mitt Romney could have pulled off a workable health-care initiative, perhaps in a second term.
I would not change my 2008 vote but wish I could take back 2012. If only Romney would not have pandered so to the extreme right, he had a chance.
Ted Steinmeyer Jr.
We own property close to Noland Road just south of U.S. 40 in Kansas City. About 10:30 a.m. one Friday, my wife and I turned the corner at 59th Street and Logan Road, and to our surprise a man was dumping trash out of his car.
He was well-dressed and had vanity license plates. I would like him to come back and clean up his mess and the mess left by others.
Let’s keep America beautiful.