Hi, my name’s Rip Van Winkle. You’ll recall my story.
I lay against a tree and fell asleep for 20 years. When I opened my eyes, I discovered to my astonishment that I didn’t recognize anyone or the surroundings. I had awakened far into the future.
Dismayed, I recently took another nap. And sure enough, like before, I didn’t recognize anything — but I did note a sign saying, “Welcome to Kansas.”
Off to my right, a number of people were talking. One exclaimed, “I’m pleased that we’ve passed a bill that limits their voting rights! Can’t have everyone voting. We might lose.”
Another laughed and said, “And now we don’t have to serve them if we don’t want to. Don’t want them next to me at the lunch counter.”
A third said, “Yeah, now it’s OK for me to beat my kid blue — and his teacher can practice legal child abuse, too.”
Finally, one commented, “Hope they pass the bill that makes it a crime for women to give birth other than in the normal position on her back.”
Heavens, I thought to myself, this time I woke up in Kansas more than 60 years in the past.
William R. Park Sr.
Shawnee Bullies in Congress
In response to some people calling President Barack Obama a bully, the real bullies are the members of Congress. From day one of Obama’s term, they have vowed to oppose him.
They would rather do nothing, just to ruin his agenda, than work for the people who elected them.
Olathe Sen. Roberts, please
When did the job of a legislator change? I was taught that a legislator was elected by the people to represent the people.
The last several months, I have called Sen. Pat Roberts’ offices regularly. I’ve left messages with secretaries, emailed accounts for constituent input and patiently navigated this system designed for the people whom Sen. Roberts claims to represent, but I’ve received no confirmation that my messages are being heard.
The only response I have had is the voice saying, “We will be sure to pass that message along to the senator.” There has been no follow-up on the issues that concern me, and at this point, I am losing hope there will be.
I want my voice to be heard by my representative, and I am convinced that is not happening.
In hopes that Sen. Roberts reconsiders his relationship with constituents, I publicly ask him to encourage Sens. Robert Menendez and Bob Corker to continue negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to contact me regarding this important legislation.
Leawood Tea party truth
Some people keep saying the tea party is bent on the destruction of the government and the American way. But nothing is further from the truth.
We want to change our government from one that spends too much money, is too big, has too much power, wages unnecessary wars and uses the Internal Revenue Service to intimidate its people to one that operates within the limits of the Constitution, respects states’ rights and enforces the laws on the books.
And what some would call blackballing, we call accountability. Elected representatives should be held accountable for their actions.
We don’t want an all-powerful government. We want a limited government as the Founding Fathers wanted. Because the less government we have in our lives, the better off all Americans are.
Grain Valley Plan for tomorrow
Too many people look at those who are financially successful and assume they were either lucky or crooked. While it may be true in some instances, for the most part it is not.
Most people who achieve financial success do so through a combination of hard work and the wise use of available resources. People who are envious are only denying reality and reducing their own chances for success.
The time spent on envy could be put to better use.
Everyone enjoys a good time. Everyone enjoys going out to eat, taking vacation trips and attending concerts and sporting events. However, some people wait until they can afford these luxuries instead of running up unnecessary debt.
We need to take responsibility for our own lives by using our available funds wisely.
When we choose to attend a concert rather than pay the utility bill, we are digging a hole for ourselves. When we use a credit card today, we are digging a hole for tomorrow.
We are often too impatient in our desires.
People who are financially successful exercise both patience and prudence, and plan for tomorrow.
Cameron, Mo. Democratic trickery
Would Barack Obama have been re-elected president in 2012 if:
• The Internal Revenue Service didn’t purposely delay the formulation of legal, conservative 501(c)(4) groups that would have supported Mitt Romney?
• The truth came out about Benghazi and the horrible lies perpetuated by Obama and Susan Rice weeks before the election to cover up the gross incompetence of Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy?
• Millions of U.S. citizens were made aware that they would lose their insurance and doctors after they were promised over and over that they could keep them?
Isn’t it funny all those smart people in the media couldn’t put two and two together?
Oh, but if you’re suspected to have been aware of a few goofy lane closures in New Jersey and you happen to be a Republican or even a sort of Republican ...?
Kansas City Constituent demands
I am a middle-of-the-road Republican, and I believe we need to change the direction that our Congress (lobbyists) is taking us.
We are advised by many to vote out our incumbents. I have no problem with voting against Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, no matter the opponent.
Sen. Pat Roberts is not a particular favorite of mine. I have participated in several of his teleconference programs. I don’t recall a single (difficult) question to which he provided a direct answer.
Before I decide whom I might vote for (Roberts or Milton Wolf), maybe Roberts could respond to the following question: “What are the two most important ways you have helped your Kansan constituents in your current term?”
Please explain the benefits.
Overland Park Investing in children
One of the reasons early childhood education has suddenly become popular with politicians is the overwhelming evidence that young children are able to learn at breathtaking speed before ever setting foot in a kindergarten classroom.
Capturing and nurturing children’s innate desire to learn sets them up for success later in school and later in life.
However, high-quality early education programs require highly skilled and educated teachers. Head Start, for example, now requires its teachers to have college coursework in early childhood development.
Many teachers have bachelor’s and even master’s degrees. Yet, pay for preschool teachers has not increased along with these increased requirements, which will discourage qualified candidates from entering or staying in the field.
Early childhood education advocates are right when they say that early childhood education produces robust benefits only when it’s high quality, and high quality is expensive.
So, are the nation’s children worth the investment?
Kansas City YMCA’s value
Brad Cooper’s front-page Feb. 27 article, “Kansas studies YMCA’s tax break,” is about apples and oranges.
People use private gyms because they want to and can afford them. People use the area YMCA because it is close and more affordable. Some people cannot afford even the YMCA.
There are memberships according to income. You cannot get that at private gyms.
People who own gyms opened them and priced memberships to cover costs and make money. That is the same as any private or corporate business.
The YMCA is to help all people.