Pope Francis, Koch brothers, preventing child abuse

04/09/2014 5:52 PM

04/09/2014 5:52 PM

Pope Francis’ action

Many stories concerning our Pope Francis have been in The Star of late about his popularity and humbleness. This is all great news to a cradle Catholic like me.

But concerning the sexual abuse crisis within our church, he said in a response to a question about the tragedy that “no one else has done more” than this institution to address these issues.

The pope may well be correct, but whatever effort has been extended, and if that is all he is going to do, it certainly is not enough.

By one simple, straightforward action, Pope Francis could put substance to what he says and ask for Bishop Robert Finn’s resignation because of Finn’s criminal actions. That one act would show all bishops that Pope Francis means business when it comes to this subject.

David Lewis Biersmith

Kansas City Water boys for NRA

How do you define hypocrisy? Look no further than the Kansas Legislature.

I thought that conservatives abhorred intrusive government. They do, unless it suits their purpose, like carrying water for the National Rifle Association (4-6, A5, “Open-carry bill approved”).

The Legislature passed a bill that nullifies all local ordinances that limit gun rights, particularly open-carry. In Kansas, local control has been thrown out in favor of partisan demands.

Charles L. Beucher Jr.

Kansas City Parker column

Does Kathleen Parker think we are so naive that we don’t realize the Koch brothers have endless wealth and are using it to buy every politician possible (4-7, Commentary, “Reid’s shameful comment about the Koch brothers”)?

They are behind the origination of the tea party. For all this spending, they expect returns on their investments in the form of lower taxes and a pass on regulating harmful dust and elements caused by their business interests released into the environment.

How do we make up the difference? By increasing taxes on the middle class, cutting funding for education and infrastructure, and gutting Medicare and Social Security.

Parker criticizes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his recent demonizing of the brothers Grimm, but from my position as a middle-class, senior-citizen voter, I say, “Go get ’em, Harry!”

Because the Koch brothers have recently been given a blank check by our Supreme Court, it is even more difficult, but our weapon is our vote. Use it.

As for the apology Parker suggested to the Kochs, I think they owe America the apology for unscrupulous tactics, selfish self-interest and un-American behavior.

But I won’t hold my breath.

Camille Buccero

Independence Obama not socialist

Many right-leaning people’s definition of socialism is construed to fit their multiple complaints about our president. If they had extended their educations, they might have learned the definition of the word before using it wrong in every other complaint.

This definition of socialism is easily found in the free online Merriam-Webster dictionary:

“Noun: a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies.”

Nowhere does it say that people are forced to buy health insurance to be in compliance with the Affordable Care Act.

I for one don’t mind seeing everyone being forced to buy health insurance. I pay a lot of money for my insurance coverage and am tired of seeing people use the emergency room as a doctor’s office, causing my health care costs and everyone else’s to go up.

Dennis Parker

Independence Prevent child abuse

During 2013, there were more than 30,000 cases of child abuse and neglect reported in Kansas City area, and at least 35 child deaths were attributed to abuse or neglect.

At the Francis Institute for Child and Youth Development at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley, we teach child-care practitioners how to promote children’s development and health and safety.

The Francis Institute pledged to wear blue on Friday to show a commitment to Child Abuse Prevention Month and will be working with Plaza De Ninos, which acts as a lab school for the Child Growth and Development program at Penn Valley.

We are engaging the preschool children and their staff alongside the Francis Institute’s personnel to continue our annual tradition of planting more than 300 blue-and-white pinwheels on the hillside facing Southwest Trafficway as a demonstration of our responsibility to keep children safe.

Watch for signs of child abuse and call the hotlines if you notice anything out of the ordinary. In Missouri it’s 800-392-3738 and in Kansas 800-922-5330.

When you see a blue pinwheel at 31st Street and Southwest Trafficway on Penn Valley’s campus, please think about how you can help prevent child abuse and neglect and keep children safe.

Rebecca Curtis

Olathe GOP battles fears

There is much talk about President Barack Obama and the Obamacrats trashing the Constitution by executive order. The Republicans choose not to challenge Obama in court, speaking in hushed tones that the next Republican president will also be able to exceed the boundaries of the Constitution, moving to the right to the extent that Obama has to the left.

In the end, they say, the Democrats will rue the day Obama abused his constitutional power.

Not so fast.

You can bet the garden that the next Republican administration will be sued by the Democrats when the GOP president issues Obama-type executive orders. What if the Democrats’ challenge to the Supreme Court is successful, with the court ruling that Obama-type executive orders are unconstitutional?

How will the Republicans feel then when they find out they could have stopped Obama-type orders in time to have prevented the practice in the first place? Ashamed should be the answer.

They are so afraid to lose to fight.

Mike Hellige

Olathe Teachers to suffer

The Kansas Legislature passed a bill that strips teachers of their due-process rights (4-7, A1, “School finance bill passes”). Teachers can now be fired, without recourse, for just about anything.

Parents and students, how are you going to get the best teachers to work in Kansas if they have a sword swinging over their head every moment?

This little doozey of a law was never made public. No public notice was sent, and no public comment was allowed. The Senate, late at night, slipped this provision into a bill that was supposed to be about funding. (This wasn’t all. Math and science instructors now won’t need teaching certificates, and corporations can get tax breaks for giving scholarships to private schools, among other things).

There is only one way to stop this nightmare from becoming law: Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto. He claims to be a friend of public schools. Let him prove it.

If he signs the bill or lets it become law without a veto, he will drive a huge nail in the coffin of public education in Kansas. Call or email him now and demand a veto of this corrupt and destructive bill.

Connie Owen

Overland Park Backward Kansas

The Kansas Legislature took advantage of the late hour and the exhaustion factor to keep the erasure of due process for new teachers and the elimination of tenure for experienced teachers in the kindergarten- through 12th-grade education bill.

Voters (parents, teachers, educators including university faculty, students) wake up.

We, the people, must review the votes made by representatives on probation (first term) and representatives with tenure (secure seats). Unlike the teaching profession, recruitment in politics is intended to vacate a seat.

Now is the time to run for office and restore good decision-making. This is the only way to eradicate a very serious threat to democracy in Kansas.

Dolores Furtado

President

League of Women Voters of Kansas

Professor Emerita

University of Kansas

Medical School

Overland Park

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