Court ruling debate
Our Supreme Court, including Justices Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia and the June 27 Kansas City Star editorial “Ruling places U.S. on right side of history,” missed the key point in all of this brouhaha about legalizing same-sex marriage.
If same-sex partners had been legalized instead and such a relationship conveyed the same legal benefits as marriage, which for thousands of years has been defined as between a man and a woman, the disruption that occurs when a man refers to another man as his “wife,” or a woman to another woman as her “husband,” could have been avoided.
The other day my wife and I were watching a TV program. One of the contestants, a male, when asked who was in the audience, stated “my beautiful wife,” and the camera focused on another male. To us, that kind of reference was belittling to both individuals.
The whole world got upset when a Caucasian woman tried to pass herself off as an African-American. But we should accept without flinching a man passing himself off as a “wife,” and a woman as a “husband”? Legal partners is a much better fit.
Or if you insist on continuing with this charade, at least refer to them as a “male wife” and “female husband.”
Two years ago when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, the majority based its decision on marriage as a right left to the state. The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act “because of its reach and extent departs from this history of reliance on state law to define marriage.”
Now the judges in a 5-4 decision rule that the state does not have this right, and it is the federal government that is to decide what constitutes a marriage. It is obvious these folks are making decisions based on their individual prejudices and biases and not on the law by reversing what was said just two years ago.
How could they rule the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, which was a federal law passed in 1996 in the Clinton administration, saying this was a power left to the states, and now two years later say the federal government has this authority, not the states to define marriage? I am disappointed in this decision, but not surprised.
Keep in mind it was this body that ruled (7-2) in 1857 in the Dred Scott case that slavery was legal. Radical decisions are not unusual for the Supreme Court when the people comprising its makeup base their decisions on their political and personal views.
Concealed gun safety
Alluding to the nine people killed in the Charleston, S.C., church, if only one person had a concealed gun he could have stopped the attacker. A good guy with a gun is one answer to the mass murders.
Yes, I pack.
While the owner of several McDonald’s restaurants could afford a loss of some profit because of a wage increase to $15 an hour, those advocating forget about the unintended consequences of the change:
1. The probable loss of medical and social service benefits because of the increased income of the wage earner.
2. The loss of hours, staff and businesses (day cares, nonprofit social service agencies) whose funding does not keep up with the added costs.
3. The loss of para-professionals in schools whose funding will not keep up with the added costs.
A small business may not have any choice but to close, as the actual cost, depending on municipality, may be closer to $20 an hour. Grant monies and government programs do not change quickly to catch up with business climate changes.
An increase in income can cause monumental changes in the benefits that a low-income family receives and wreak havoc on their daily lives. Those advocating for an increased minimum wage should look very carefully at the results of this action.
Why doesn’t someone ask how many jobs authorities are cutting in China instead of news about jobs being cut in the United States. I for one do not buy any products that say made in China.
They want you to buy their product. Cut the jobs in China first.
Reginald H. Greene
Hands off gas tax
I am vehemently opposed to a gasoline sales tax increase. We as a governed free people cannot continue to raise revenues on the backs of the low income citizens of Missouri with more and more regressive sales taxes.
The solution for our deteriorating highways is to raise revenues through the motorized property tax structure we already have set up here in Missouri. For example those who may have a BMW and a new Cadillac, along with a boat trailer sitting in their driveways or the owners of fleets of vehicles can very much easier afford to fund our roads than others such as individuals who just own and daily operate a 14-year-old vehicle.
All will pay in, just according to their ability.
Donald Robert Sartain
The Obama administration has proposed the Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants and help us avoid the worst risks of climate disruption. With his other hand, though, President Barack Obama is pushing for fast-track approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would make it much harder to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.
We need robust work toward more efficiency and clean energy, requiring investments in these proven technologies on a much-larger scale. In contrast, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would divert the U.S. toward exporting compressed natural gas to other nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, locking us into more fracking and additional costly pipelines and terminals and more polluted water and more intense storms and droughts.
Furthermore, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would entitle foreign corporations to sue our government for claimed lost profits over local, state and federal regulations that restrict their business activities. This provision would not only apply to climate-protection and other environmental rules but financial regulations and labor standards, too.
Such claims are being filed under other trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement. To avoid costly litigation, our governments would likely retreat from enacting needed protections.
President Obama might trust America’s future to multinational corporations, but we — and Congress — should not.
James R. Turner
We have arrived at the edge of the cliff because the electorate let it happen. A large percentage did not pay attention and/or did not vote.
If you leave the door open to your house, while napping on the couch, sooner or later the wrong people will walk in. Once they are in, getting them out is tough.
It’s called recall election.
Unfair in Kansas
I am self-employed in Overland Park. As an LLC, or limited liability company, our small family business pays no Kansas income tax. None. Zip.
And yet, we have two children in the Blue Valley School District. We drive on Kansas roads, and expect our streets to be plowed in the winter.
The small amount we “save” on taxes hasn’t funded any new employees or major business expenditures. Because of the flawed logic of Kansas zero-tax-rate for pass-through business owners, we are the ultimate freeloaders.
At the same time, I talk to friends (who pay their state income taxes and make far less than I do) struggling to make ends meet and worrying about their grocery bill going up because of sales tax increases.
I’m frankly embarrassed that Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature have decided that I don’t want to contribute to my community and my own children’s education just because I report my income on a different line on a tax form.
Tepring E. Crocker