I have numerous students who are Muslim. They have families who are hard-working, kind, generous and devoted to each other. They are people you would want your children to know, neighbors you would like to have. These children are wonderful additions to my class.
My oldest child has been a student of a Muslim man. He is thoughtful, creative and generous in spirit. He works with students to understand their communities and how to help those in need. He tirelessly creates situations to learn about religions, cultures and acceptance. He encourages young women to be strong and responsible and have pride in themselves. He is so proud of his lovely family and works hard to provide it a good life.
I wonder what it must feel like for these families to see the anti-Muslim propaganda our president re-tweeted Wednesday? (Nov. 30, 8A, “Trump’s anti-Muslim video tweets draw fire from Britain”)
I wonder what it says to them that so few of our leaders are willing to stand up and say how completely misguided and wrong this was, when leaders from other countries were willing to do so?
I am absolutely horrified. This is dangerous rhetoric and unacceptable. There is no excuse, and I know that we are better than this.
A big if on TIF
A new study of Kansas City’s tax increment financing program shows the same results as a 2011 study: TIF does not lead to economic development benefits. In other words, developers pay no taxes, and Kansas City gets nothing in return. (Nov. 24, 6A, “Study finds no development benefits of TIF program in KC”)
If anyone hoping to be Kansas City’s next mayor wants my vote, that person will have to offer a detailed plan on how to end this fiasco once and for all.
At the very least, have developers pay their full share of taxes to the city, and if their projected numbers prove accurate, they should eventually get reimbursed for their taxes. And if those numbers fall short of projections, then the developers get the satisfaction of having contributed their fair share to keep our great city financially solvent.
Kansas’ KPERS pension plan’s numbers are based on an unrealistic investment return of 7.75 percent. Warren Buffett calculates that the Dow Jones Industrial Average will return about 4 percent over the next 100 years. This is a much more reasonable assumption.
Of the $17.7 billion in assets the pension holds, 30.6 percent are invested into fixed income and cash, earning about 2 percent. That means the rest of the portfolio would have to earn about 10 percent in perpetuity, which is absurd.
The stated assumption is that the pension is 67 percent funded. In reality, it’s about 50 percent funded.
Get out of Dodge
Surprise: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is “hoping for a vote on his confirmation before Christmas” (Nov. 30, 5A, “Brownback pushing Senate to confirm him as ambassador)
Why is he in such a hurry to leave Kansas? He worked so hard to boost our economy and bring thousands of jobs by eliminating taxes for businesses. Oops. Kansas is a mess: the budget; services for children, the poor and disabled; state hospitals; education funding and on and on.
It looks as if the Republicans are following Brownback’s lead with their tax bill: tax breaks for companies, eliminating deductions for families, taking away health care for the poor.
Could it be Brownback knows the country will suffer the same doom as Kansas when the results come in? By then he will be safely ensconced as ambassador for religious liberty. What possible damage could he do to religious freedom?
Matter of degree
If you ever wanted to know what it was like during the Salem witch trials, or what it’s like to live where one is guilty until proved innocent, there’s good news: The Sexual Harassment Instant Inquisition has arrived.
Careers are being destroyed just as quickly now as during the McCarthy era. “Are you now or have you ever leered, joked or brushed up against another person?”
I agree we should banish Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and others who appear to be clearly guilty of multiple offenses. But let’s take a pause and think a little about due process before we throw away every target of an an ancient complaint.