It was astounding on the same day I was commiserating with President Barack Obama as he shed tears over the wanton loss of young life in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to also be shocked by a Southern lawmaker. This gentleman appeared on TV with the astounding observation that the reason our country is great today is because of the laws that allow all citizens to arm themselves with lethal weapons against hostile actions perpetrated by the government.
We have truly reached a standoff in our thinking, which belies reason. Couple that with the proposition by leaders in Kansas that one way to raise the wages of prison guards would be to siphon even more money out of education funding, and the indefensible vote by the House of Representative to deny basic health care to needy women by defunding Planned Parenthood.
One wonders at the depth to which some legislators’ thinking has sunk. Still, I have hope that the electorate is listening carefully now to the campaign promises of the presidential candidates in each party.
If ever there were clear political choices to be made that could affect the well-being of the country, this will be the year. We have a solid foundation to build on, laid down the past seven years by the Obama administration.
Hopefully the majority will want to continue that progress. But there is also a chance that the extremists on the other side will build such a network of misinformation and fear that unwary voters will be persuaded by rhetoric rather than common sense.
My hope is that the alert, thoughtful members of the voting public will turn out and win out in 2016.
Militia for wealthy
As special interest groups are now allowed to “nitpick” the U.S. Constitution to meet their particular needs (National Rifle Association, corporations, religious beliefs), will it then become possible for the wealthy to raise their own “well-trained militias” to advance their agendas?
The earliest use of militias I could find occurred 2,300 years ago. These “armies” were used by the rich to protect their interests. Feudal lords maintained personal fighting forces; railroad and mining corporations used “goons” to beat down employees looking to unionize, and the drug cartels of Central America are more than capable in protecting their holdings.
So it only seems natural that if the government will no longer regulate those who take up arms, we should look to the wealthy to “take them under their wings.”
Gov. Sam Brownback talks about transferring money from programs for young children, highways and biosciences to the general fund. What are we to think?
Let’s see. In his State of the State speech, when the governor said transfer, he only referred to the president and moving terrorists out of the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and, according to the governor, that was a very bad thing. In his State of the State speech, the governor did not mention the words “fiscal,” “financial,” or “balance.”
When he mentioned “health,” he only said that we could measure it, not that the measurements are good. When he mentioned “children,” he said that 96,000 had been in innovative reading programs, not that they would be there in the future.
When he mentioned “highway,” he only referred to police officers, not to our transportation arteries. Did he learn politics at the poker table and decide politics was sleight of hand?
The governor claims to be Catholic. In Catholicism, there are sins of omission as well as commission.
Maybe he keeps a confessor close at hand so he can be forgiven his sins after each speech.
Deceptive advertising is once again raising its ugly head in the form of an item’s manufacturer’s suggested retail price as a sales comparison — hoping gullible potential buyers will think they are saving money in comparing the sale price with the manufacturer’s suggested retail price figure shown. Today’s newspaper and television advertising is over the top. Most egregious are furniture, appliance and automotive advertising.
I spent 42 years in retail advertising — consulting for companies producing $3 million to $3 billion in yearly sales. And I would like to have a hundred dollars for every heated argument I have had with a merchandising executive who pleaded to use the manufacturer’s suggested retail price as a saving comparative.
I refused to allow it for one basic reason: To my knowledge, nowhere in the country is the item selling for the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. That’s the price the manufacturer placed on the item so that it and the merchant could bamboozle potential buyers.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is not a true selling price and should not be used as a sales comparison. Don’t fall for this questionable and unfair sales practice — once outlawed.
Check out what the item is selling for in the area — or the price of the item before it went on sale. Buyer, beware.
William R. Park Sr.
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