Washington, marijuana, bratty kids

12/06/2013 11:30 PM

12/06/2013 11:30 PM

Washington problems

Unfortunately, about half of Americans couldn’t care less about anything that’s going on, and only a fraction of the rest pay attention a little.

What we are seeing unfold in Washington, D.C., with the Affordable Care Act should be a wake-up call for everyone.

This is not about Republicans vs. Democrats or the president. This is about a bureaucracy that is out of control and about all of our elected officials basing every decision they make on whether it helps them or hurts them get re-elected.

The Affordable Care Act is an example of the government at its worst and unfortunately the bureaucracy at its best. The problem in Washington has less to do with who we elect — although they all need to go home and get a job — and more to do with the bureaucracy.

Once the government infrastructure becomes as big as ours is, it is no longer possible for it to be efficient, effective or caring.

It’s not the fault of the government employees. It’s the nature of the beast.

Think about that and then decide whether you are being honestly represented or taken for a fool.

Dennis Hawk

Kansas City Decriminalize pot

Those of us who advocate for a regulated, above-ground cannabis market agree that marijuana use by adults is not without potential risk (12-4, Commentary, “The risks of marijuana are many”). Where we disagree is on the matter of what is the best public policy: one of regulation or one of continued prohibition.

Concerns regarding cannabis’ abuse potential do not validate the substance’s continued criminalization. The opposite is true.

There are numerous adverse health consequences associated with alcohol, tobacco and prescription pharmaceuticals — all of which are far more dangerous and costlier to society than cannabis is. It’s precisely because of these consequences that these products are legally regulated and their use is restricted to particular consumers and specific settings.

Similarly, a pragmatic regulatory framework that allows for the legal, licensed commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to adults but restricts its use among young people — coupled with a legal environment that fosters open, honest dialogue between parents and children about cannabis’ potential harms — best reduces the risks associated with the plant’s use or abuse.

The criminalization of cannabis only compounds these risks.

Paul Armentano

Deputy Director

National Organization

for the Reform

of Marijuana Laws

Washington, D.C. Negotiation skills

I recently had the chance to see the award-winning movie “Lincoln.” Now there was a president who would negotiate.

Maybe another president from Illinois could learn something from our greatest president — negotiate for the good of the country.

Nancy Griffin

Overland Park Guns not to blame

Today I swung open my front door and placed my Remington shotgun right in the doorway. I gave it four shells and left it alone and went about my business.

While I was gone, the mail person delivered my mail. The trash man picked up the trash.

A girl walked her dog down the street, and quite a few of my neighbors drove past.

Well, after about an hour, I checked on the shotgun.

It was still sitting there, right where I had left it. It had not killed anyone, even with the numerous opportunities it had been presented to do so.

In fact, it hadn’t even moved itself. Well, you can imagine my surprise, with all the media hype about how dangerous guns are and how they kill people.

I wondered. Either the media are wrong and it is the misuse of guns by criminals, or I have one of the laziest shotguns ever made.

Sorry, I must hurry off and check my spoons. I hear they are making people fat.

So who is to blame?

William Christian

Crystal Lakes, Mo. Misleading politicians

Politicians are very much like soiled diapers — they need to be changed. It doesn’t matter which party they represent.

In fact, that is precisely the problem; they represent their parties, not us. I have been voting conservative since I was old enough to vote with the exception of one time, and then it was to vote for the lesser of two evils.

I truly believe that if we as citizens of this wonderful country don’t take responsibility for ourselves and stop waiting for our favorite career politician to take care of us, we are done. Just stick a fork in us.

We have allowed an army of self-serving career politicians to lead us like sheep to slaughter. We have been lulled into a pathetic complacency, waiting for our politicians to hand out another hunk of pork at the expense of another’s labor.

Call that redistribution of wealth what it is — theft made legal by our favorite career politicians.

I pray that my grandchildren will enjoy the freedoms and opportunities I’ve enjoyed. But I strongly doubt it.

Why? Because we are sheep.

Glenn W. Lorei

Lee’s Summit Racial differences

A few years ago, a friend took me to a basketball game at the field house.

The very successful white coach makes $10 million a year.

The all-white pep band played enthusiastically. The all-white cheerleaders and the all-white student body yelled their approval of every all-black dunk.

Arlin Buyert

Leawood Fishy administration

I believe that Operation Fast and Furious was part of a larger strategy to demonstrate that lax American gun laws are a threat to the world and that this strategy had the explicit approval of the White House.

I believe that the concerted effort to blame the terrorist attack in Benghazi on the reaction to an anti-Muslim video was part of a re-election strategy to persuade Americans that the terrorist threat had been greatly diminished and that this strategy had the explicit approval of the White House.

I believe that the targeting by the Internal Revenue Service of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status was part of a re-election strategy to hinder the effectiveness of those groups until after the election and that this strategy had the explicit approval of the White House.

I would like to be proved wrong in these beliefs, but a lack of transparency at the highest levels of our government prevents that from happening.

I also believe that our elected officials truly should be public servants. They are paid by our tax dollars.

They are sworn to support and defend our Constitution, and they should be accountable for the trust and authority that we grant them.

Bill Watkins

Lansing Education insight

How difficult would it be to invite young education activist Malala Yousafzai to come to Topeka from Pakistan to speak to the Kansas Legislature about the importance of providing affordable education to the residents of Kansas?

Rob Bechtel

Lawrence Bratty kids, moms

When are young mothers accountable for the unruly actions of their children in restaurants?

Meeting once a month at various restaurants, four of my friends and I gathered at a Mexican restaurant at 119th Street and Roe Avenue to enjoy an evening out.

A table of 20-something mothers and their young children sat a couple of booths away. The preschool children were allowed to run around and throw plastic menu holders and were so loud that we had a hard time hearing each other in conversation.

It was unbearable. We are all mothers in our group, and most of us are grandmothers.

At my wit’s end, I turned around and emphatically asked the young women to please let us enjoy our meal.

As they left, one mother chastised me for being rude and suggested that we take our business to a more high-end restaurant in that vicinity.

But the clincher was when a woman in their party, most likely the mother of the outspoken one, told us that we needed to go to church.

I always thought respect of others is taught in the home.

Unfortunately, that was not the case here.

Diane Garrett

Leawood

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