One morning as we were enjoying breakfast at our favorite neighborhood restaurant, which is part of a national chain, we noticed that our regular waitress looked a bit more tired than usual. We asked whether she was working too hard.
She admitted that she was working at three different restaurants. It seems that her employer has cut her to 29 hours a week to avoid paying for her health insurance.
So, she is working more hours, making less money and has become responsible for her own health insurance. Multiply this hard-working lady by thousands — thanks to our president.
Grain Valley Kudos to The Star
Kudos to Cindy Hoedel on her interview with Jim Hoy (10-6, Star Magazine, “Professor-cowboy lives by ‘true grit’”).
Many years ago, I attended a writers workshop at Emporia State conducted by Hoy and Don Coldsmith, the late M.D., horseman and Spur Award author (“Trail of the Spanish Bit” series). Both men were cordial, approachable and very, very knowledgeable and helpful. I thoroughly enjoyed the week.
Coldsmith later visited Piper High School at my request and had students mesmerized with his Plains Indian tales.
Kansas City, Kan. U.S. citizens’ rights
We pay our elected officials to represent us by protecting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. When they step outside those boundaries, it is our duty as Americans to speak out against it. Moreover, it’s our duty as Christians to protect our rights that come from God.
Many in Congress were swept into office under a tea party banner, as was Rep. Vicky Hartzler in our 4th District. From the beginning of our country’s history, the tea party represented a resistance to unjust laws and taxation, basically tyranny.
But this Congress shows disdain for Americans by passing unconstitutional laws. Even more disturbing, Hartzler wrote a book called “Running God’s Way.” As if God would have someone run for office to vote against the very inalienable rights our founders stated God gave us.
The government doesn’t have the right to erode the constitutional rights of its citizens because the government is not the source of those rights. The Declaration of Independence recognizes that men “are endowed by their Creator.”
The only one who can take our rights away is God, and the only way they can be taken away is if we allow it.
Garden City, Mo. Respecting science
Tea-party Republicans in the Kansas Legislature (and me-too Missouri Republicans) obviously think they can evaluate evidence better than scientists.
Can they also diagnose and treat diseases better than physicians or repair cars better than mechanics? If so, I challenge them to ignore all experts and do everything themselves.
The unbridled arrogance of some politicians is breathtaking.
As a scientist, I’m tired of scientific illiterates telling me how to judge evidence — especially when their only criterion is whether the information reinforces pre-existing biases.
Yes, a few scientists are arrogant, and some might hang onto old ideas despite new information, but science as a discipline and most individual scientists have solid records of letting reliable evidence dictate our understanding of nature, even when new knowledge forces one to reject a pet concept.
Whether Republican legislators are merely reluctant to acknowledge a relationship with other apes or desire to impugn the reality of climate change, whether they are driven by greed (e.g., generous energy-company donations) or the need to kowtow to special interests, I suggest that citizens wake up and elect rational representatives who care about what’s best for the state and the nation — and who can look past the next election to do what’s right.
Robert Powell, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Independence Watch over Chiefs
I'm sure our heavenly father is vitally interested in the Kansas City Chiefs and the kind of season they're having. I hope our heavenly father will give extra protection to the Chiefs for long-term brain injuries because of concussions.
Kansas City Home schooling
I recently heard quite a few people bragging about home schooling. None of the braggers had any education.
They perceived themselves to be better than and smarter than teachers. They all had political agendas, either veiled or overt.
I am educated. I read a lot. I have always thought that cultivating intellect and free thought is a good thing.
Education is a start of lifelong learning. It takes effort to stay informed.
Have the educated done a bad job of selling or representing education? Am I the only person concerned with the de-emphasis on education?
At some point, is home-schooled just plain uneducated and the person just potentially radicalized? How does the field of education address this?
Call me concerned and kicking it old school. I’m a nerd who actually went to college to learn and be productive in society, not to just watch sports.
Independence Shutdown silence
Before the last election, my phone rang off the hook from politicians asking for my opinion on a wide range of issues. I suspect that their strategy was to convey the impression that they wanted to represent me.
Except for friends and unsolicited solicitors trying to sell me something, my phone has been silent. Not one politician has called to ask my opinion about the government shutdown and how they are dealing with the budget.
Funny how that works.
Independence Share the road
In response to an Oct. 9 letter on cyclists slowing down traffic, please accept my apology for the 30 to 40 seconds that my bicycle and those of others add to your daily commute. Additionally, I sincerely hope that slamming on the gas pedal and surging past cyclists is as thrilling as it looks.
Cyclists have the right to ride on roads as long as they follow the same traffic laws as drivers of automobiles. The “side-path” law only applies to side-paths that are designated for cyclists only.
Thus the typical pedestrian sidewalks do not apply. Just like we learned at a young age, sometimes you have to share, so I encourage drivers to respect the rights of cyclists and share the road to make them safer for all.
Kansas City Loving America
I have one thing to say to the tea party politicians who are holding our government hostage and their supporters: Love it or leave it!
John LaPointe Navarre
Kansas City Parkway speeding
Ward Parkway has become what feels like a scene in a “Fast and Furious” movie. Drivers fly down the road at speeds exceeding the posted 35 mph limit, weaving in and out of traffic like lunatics.
Law-enforcement officers need to increase their work on what has turned into one of the fastest roads in Kansas City. It seems inevitable that a law-abiding citizen is going to be seriously injured in an accident caused by one of these crazed drivers.
If there is no one stopping such behavior, a disservice is being done to the people who use Ward Parkway.
Prairie Village Background checks
I think that I can speak on behalf of many people when I say that before selling a gun, a mandatory background check needs to be issued.
The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System is dedicated to saving lives and protecting people from harm by not letting firearms fall into the wrong hands.
Since the elementary-school shooting at Newtown, Conn., there have been thousands of gun-related deaths in America. It is safe to assume that a good number of these deaths could have been prevented with simple background checks.
Long story short, background checks save lives and need to be implemented.