Missouri has finally broken the grip of a torturous winter. To accomplish this, all we had to do was wait and let nature run its course.
There’s another torturous experience that Missouri can’t wait for nature to run its course on. And that is that the Republican majority in the legislature is recognized as the most open to corruption legislative body nationwide.
Corruption happens when legislators ignore ethics about accepting funds, gifts, favors of all kinds and payments from lobbyists for favorable votes.
How did Missouri get this dubious reputation? Government for the people and by the people is a joke in the Missouri legislature. As it works now, it’s government for sale.
Checks are taken, but cash is preferred.
As taxpayers, we should get what we pay for. But the reality is the lobbyists and slush-fund groups are outbidding ordinary Missouri citizens for control of legislative government.
The victims of corruption are the elderly, programs for children, education, roads, bridges and you the voter.
Blue Springs Tolerance needed
The Overland Park Baha’i community grieves the April 13 shootings at Village Shalom and the Jewish Community Center. We send our deepest condolences to victims, family, friends and community of those who were killed.
Such despicable acts of hate cannot be tolerated in our society.
We join people of all faiths throughout the metropolitan area in solidarity and love for our Jewish and Christian brothers and sisters touched by this senseless tragedy.
The Jewish community has inspired us with its commitment to tolerance, civil discourse and religious understanding through the many programs it sponsors throughout the year. This heinous act galvanizes all of us to strive with even more determination to foster religious harmony.
The holy writings of the Baha’i faith repeatedly emphasize the unity of humanity and the oneness of religion.
They proclaim: “Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. … Know thou assuredly that the essence of the Prophets of God is one and the same. … Their unity is absolute. … Consort with the peoples of all religions with fellowship and harmony.”
Overland Park Corrupting education
As a high school teacher for 30 years, some before and some after tenure, I agree with Paul Davis’ assessment of inappropriate additions to a school-finance measure (4-21, Commentary, “Education agreement hurts schools”). Attacks on tenure and back-door vouchers in corporate tuition tax credits are examples.
Before tenure in Missouri, teachers were dismissed because a hemline did not reach the middle of the kneecap, a teacher was not in church Sunday morning or was in the wrong church. There was no official record of these (due process was absent), but the same complaints were too numerous to lack credibility.
Redirecting money available for public schools is wrong. These additions to a funding bill show the influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
When the governor prepared his draconian budget cuts, he was advised by Arthur Laffer, who has close ties to the council, which seeks to weaken and eventually destroy public education. Back-door vouchers, attacks on tenure and tax cuts are small steps in the direction of weakening public schools and labeling more of them failures.
This makes the public more amenable to takeover by private, profit-making ventures.
How many Kansas lawmakers are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council?
Valley Park, Mo. Better legislation
I propose a law that all males have a 72-hour waiting period before having sexual relations. Then we can discuss having Missouri legislators decide when a female can terminate her pregnancy.
These are serious, personal decisions, and certainly they have consequences. But I would not presume to decide for another woman.
How about discussing child abuse, adoption, foster care, supporting Court Appointed Special Advocates and the shooting deaths of thousands of young black men? Lawmakers don’t want to control guns or increase taxes on cancerous cigarettes, so they decide to try to control women.
Kansas City Benefits of unions
Do you really think you would be getting a living wage, paid vacations, sick leave, health insurance, a 40-hour work week, overtime compensation and retirement if the unions hadn’t forced the issues years ago?
Corporate America proved that unions were needed then, and tracking the trends regarding minimum wage and the demise of the middle class, corporate America still fails American workers.
Those who say they don’t belong to a union and have all those benefits need to recognize that companies had to make available most of the same benefits in order to be competitive in hiring people.
Neither corporations nor unions have a heart or soul, thus they do what is self-serving. Corporations pay the least possible and use tactics such as relocating plants or shutting down facilities to control their workforce, ensuring higher profits. Unions force corporations to share as much of the profit as possible to ensure a bearable lifestyle for members.
With elections on the horizon, we are hearing all kinds of nonsense about cause and effect. The issue is not confusing. It is simple.
Do you trust corporate America to willingly step up to the plate and honestly try to address what ails Americans regarding compensation, or should you rely on the tried and true, unions?
Our representatives will bob and weave, but the truth is simple.
Mission Missouri gun bill
The gun laws pushed by Republicans in the Missouri legislature would punish Americans for doing their jobs (4-20, A6, “Fight on federal gun laws persists”).
It is insane to prevent any federal agent who enforced a federal gun law to be banned from a Missouri job in a similar capacity.
Those agents neither passed nor can repeal federal guns laws.
This would have no effect on federal gun laws but would deprive an innocent American of obtaining gainful employment in the field he is most qualified to pursue.
In America, we don’t punish another individual if we don’t like a federal law.
The Republicans scream about violations of their freedoms and rights yet rush to take away others’.
This must be stopped.
Kansas City Biofuels benefit U.S.
The April 21 article, “
‘Clean’ biofuel is wasteful, study asserts,” includes what the Environmental Protection Agency has suggested are dubious conclusions about some potential energy sources.
From our view, one important fact was overlooked — America’s first nationally distributed, advanced biofuel, biodiesel, is here and working now.
Last year, the domestic biodiesel industry produced 1.7 billion gallons of renewable fuel, filling the vast majority of the EPA’s advanced biofuel volume requirements under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.
The standard was created by a bipartisan coalition in Congress. Lawmakers recognized that moving away from a singular reliance on petroleum for transportation is paramount to America’s national security, economic and environmental interests.
It has helped biodiesel — made in communities across the country from recycled cooking oil, animal fats and abundant vegetable oils — become an American success story.
The standard is working. We’re importing less oil than any time since 1991.
More significant, biodiesel is diversifying our transportation fuel portfolio and creating options.
And, yes, advanced biofuels such as biodiesel are reducing carbon pollution by as much as 86 percent compared with petroleum diesel.
National Biodiesel Board