KC schools, Brownback’s abortion remarks, Obamacare

01/17/2014 5:54 PM

01/17/2014 5:54 PM

New/old school plan

As I read about the new grand plan for Kansas City Public Schools, it sounded like a new name for charter schools (1-14, A1, “School system revamp floated”).

The difference is that a transition authority would be in charge of the schools trying to teach failing kids.

It is anti-labor because unions have no bargaining power unless everyone is united for the same causes. Unions in each building would have no power whatsoever.

What was most comical was the quote by state education board President Peter Herschend that without the right person in the executive director position or at the principal level, it will fail.

Hasn’t it always been the goal of school districts everywhere, including Kansas City, to have the best of the best in leadership and in classrooms?

What great leaders might they get to be in schools where the pay is merit-based and where the poorest, least educationally prepared kids are stuck because their parents didn’t get them in the lottery? Sounds like nothing new or exceptional to me.

Teri Weiter

Raytown Billy Graham column

The question to Billy Graham was harmless (1-11, C7, “Atheists don’t seek evidence”). The question was about atheists.

The answer was not so harmless.

Graham says, “An atheist believes God doesn’t exist. He (the atheist) can’t prove it; he can’t verify it; he can’t demonstrate it. He lives only by faith — faith that he is right and everyone else is wrong.”

Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

Graham continues, saying atheists “reject God for one reason: They don’t want anyone (including God) to interfere with their way of living.” I wasn’t aware that atheists live differently. Were you? It gets worse.

Graham says, “Not all atheists are bad or immoral; some live commendable lives. But it’s also no accident that some of the worst atrocities in human history were committed by regimes that were based on atheism.”

If you don’t get my point, substitute the word Christian for atheist above.

Or substitute your favorite minority. Feel the bigotry now?

Matthew 7:3: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Bob Siegele

Lawrence Brownback, abortion

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback compares the anti-abortion movement to the abolitionist movement that began in Kansas in the 1850s.

He offered that “Kansas ‘marked the bloody trail out of slavery’ when the nation was undecided on the issue.”

Gov. Brownback is right, although perhaps not in the way he meant.

A central figure in the border war of that era was John Brown of Pottawatomie, Black Jack, Osawatomie and Harper’s Ferry fame.

To some John Brown was a freedom fighter, and to others he was a terrorist. We can say with certainty that his was a “bloody trail” of extra-legal violence.

We can say the same of Scott Roeder, murderer of George Tiller.

David Bitters

Mission Hills Increase revenue

There is a widespread misunderstanding of our federal government’s spending.

Many of us compare the U.S. budget to our personal budgets. It is quite true that although some of us have good credit, we could not keep spending more than we take in forever.

However, the U.S. government is quite different.

The U.S. debt that there is so much talk about has gone up and down over the years without endangering our country’s existence because in periods when the country’s revenue from taxes is very low in relation to its spending, as it is now, it can print more money to pay its bills.

This money is backed by the sale of U.S. Treasury bills, which are interest-bearing IOUs backed by the iron-clad credit of the United States, which has never defaulted on these loans. Rich Americans and foreigners eagerly buy these secure bonds, though they pay very low interest.

What we really need right now is to get our revenue up. The tax cuts from 2000 should have stopped in 2010 as intended. The surplus we had in 2000 has been squandered.

Rick Martin

Lee’s Summit Interest in sports

Usually it is during Final Four time that letters and columns appear about the cost of basketball to the detriment of everything else in education (1-16, B4, “KU dorm plan OK’d”).

Now, we have money spent on fancy dorms for athletes at the University of Kansas.

It reminds me of when I taught school, and the ultra-liberal faculty had posters showing bake sales for B-29s. Oh, where are our priorities.

Look at The Star to see how many people follow KU basketball, and to a lesser extent MU basketball, as a great pleasure.

Money is allocated where people want it to be allocated. The $17.5 million, if not spent on the dorm, will not go immediately to deserving people.

Chris Anderson

Basehor College basketball

Do you remember when it was fun to watch college basketball?

Do you remember how it was before high school seniors and college freshmen ruled the scene and forced coaches and universities to cater to them in order to have their services for that one precious year before they started getting their NBA paychecks?

Do you remember when your favorite school was lucky enough to recruit a highly skilled freshman and you looked forward to watching him grow and learn to play basketball at a high level before he graduated?

Do you remember when teams actually played fundamental basketball, as the game was intended to be played?

I can remember these things, and I miss them.

As long as the NCAA and the NBA are allowed to use the colleges of America as a farm system for the pro teams, we will never see this level of basketball again in the major colleges.

The Diaper Dandies, One and Doners or whatever you want to call them are not good for college basketball, only for the NBA. A player should never be given a scholarship without at least a three-year commitment to the school.

Dallas Garr

Emporia, Kan. Krauthammer’s aim

Charles Krauthammer would have us “saber-rattle” Russia, Iran and China. He is a man who detests diplomacy and detente.

Ella McCue

Leawood Obamacare wreck

If you have a job that provides health care coverage, you may not be paying much attention to the raging Obamacare debate.

If you fit this category, I encourage you to go to the Affordable Care Act website at www.healthcare.gov and then look at what it would cost you for coverage if you were not eligible for health care via your workplace.

I went to the website. What I found was shocking. There are no affordable health care plans, only high deductibles and high monthly prices.

Politics aside, it’s time to stand up and speak out. Young or old, employed or unemployed, let’s stop this train wreck.

Gary Martin

Overland Park Getting Obamacare

I just enrolled in Obamacare. I know from dealing with technology over my working career that anytime you start a new program, there will be glitches.

I didn’t even attempt to enroll until about a week ago. With an old computer and not as much knowledge as I felt I needed to enroll, I called a navigator with Advanced Patient Advocacy who is available (at no charge) to help with applications and enrolling.

A recorded message instructed me to leave my name and number and to indicate what help I needed. One of the navigators, Sherri, called me back the following day, and we set a time for her to come to my home.

She brought her laptop, and we got to work. Within about 90 minutes, I was enrolled.

The premium is $60 per month less than I have been paying, so I saved more than $725 a year. The policies are about the same, but there is no exclusion for pre-existing conditions on my new policy.

Enrollment turned out to be a piece of cake (with Sherri’s help).

Patti Reves

Shawnee

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