Applause to Danedri Herbert for her May 7 column in 913, “County celebrates God's things, but not the Creator Himself,” calling on Johnson County government to recognize not only those things that the Creator has made, but the Creator as well on the federally proclaimed National Day of Prayer. And should congressional creation of this day not adequately establish the constitutionality for doing so to some, then applause also to the U.S. Supreme Court for its recent decision upholding the right to pray at town meetings.
That should clear the way for carrying out Danedri’s modest proposal, and then some.
Noting what’s bad
Each day the phrase, “It is bad for...” appears in all forms of the media. We see this in every aspect of our lives — the environment, our health, our community, our families and ourselves.
And we see clearly the results of these problems as they multiply, affecting us and the world. But the only time when leaders and politicians pay any real attention is when “it is bad for business.”
Money in politics
Corrupt influence of money on our politics is the root cause for major concern because it is systemic. We cannot leave the public sector alone anymore.
In our political systems we have developed a legalized system of corruption and bribery. We must get the money out of politics.
We need new leaders in Washington, D.C., who don’t let partisan politics get in the way of getting things done. We have become a government for the few of the people.
We need to recruit and support more candidates for the office at all levels of government who are ordinary citizens rather than professional politicians, academics and lawyers. Our two parties today have a choke hold on our politics.
The political status quo cannot be trusted to fix a problem that they themselves created. We have some changing we can do today.
Let’s correct our country’s course. Shrinking civil liberties, expanding corporate influence and domestic surveillance is poisoning our democracy.
Let’s change our thinking and make our votes count this year for the change we need as a nation.
Every city in Johnson County has a storm sewer department; and a storm water line item tax on the property tax bill. At the close of business on Jan. 31, funds with the Johnson County treasurer amounted to more than $2.4 million.
Unifying the storm sewer departments would have several benefits. A subjective budget audit of the Sheriff’s Department showed an ability to save $2.9 million.
Saving money by unifying the storm sewer departments makes more sense than trying to mandate civilian labor upon the sheriff. The reallocation of cash in the storm water fund to the Sheriff’s Department would help an essential service in Johnson County.
Every city in the county would financially benefit from unifying storm sewer departments whether county or privately operated. As a nation, we spent our way to the point of economic stagnation; and we must spend our way out through investment, personal and government spending.
Personal spending is more important than government spending in our economy. Eliminating the storm water tax would give consumers more money to help inflate our economy. My fear is that runoff water from parking lots, driveways and private alleys will give the county justification to put the storm water tax on the county’s usage/capital billing with a volume rate schedule. The county says there is not a plan to change the current funding mechanism. I am skeptical. Unifying storm sewer departments in Jo Co would make a good ballot issue. Jeff Harkness
Obama’s poor record
With three-and-a-half years left in the White House, we should look at the accomplishments of President Barack Obama. Internationally, he killed Osama bin Laden.
Yet terrorism remains unabated. Obama has lowered the standing and prestige of our country with the rest of the world.
Domestically, it is a greater disaster. Our national debt has increased, and unemployment has remained unchanged.
Obama’s signature program is the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. It is nothing but a series of lies and costly failures.
His opponents call him “all hat and no cattle.” This proves truer every day.
This man clearly did not have the resume for the job. Let's not make the same mistake again with nothing-accomplished as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. Eight more years of impotence would leave our country prostrate.
Gun control folly
Whenever there's a significant shooting incident, there are renewed calls for tighter gun control. Such events are tragic, and preventing them would be wonderful but people need to understand that in a free society, gun control simply doesn't work.
Criminals by definition do not follow laws. Restrict guns as much as you want, people bent on mayhem will still get them.
Taken to the ultimate extreme, where private ownership of firearms is completely prohibited, guess who would have guns: The police, the military (except apparently on military bases) and criminals. Did Prohibition keep alcohol out of society?
More recently there's the decades-long war on drugs. How's that working out?
If you really want to eliminate gun violence, all you need is a totalitarian state. Cuba and North Korea offer great models to follow. Then instead of worrying about thugs and loonies, you can worry about the government.
To send letters
Visit the Letters website at kansascity.com/letters to submit your letter to the editor for 913. The website form, with helpful reminders on required information replaces an email address for online submissions. You may also mail letters of up to 300 words to 913 Letters, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO, 64108. Online letters are preferred.