Twinkie tax, job creators, stopping diabetes
06/15/2014 11:00 AM
06/13/2014 11:16 PM
Yummy Twinkie tax
We tax alcohol and cigarettes because they are bad for us. Why don’t we tax edibles that have no nutritional value and contribute to health problems such as obesity and diabetes?
Instead of constantly raising sales and property taxes, I propose we adopt a Twinkie tax.
Create job creators
For all those who are critical of the wealthiest 1 percent, why not just gather a group of unemployed people in a Kmart parking lot and tell them to build air-conditioning units, forklifts or whatever?
A recent study on diabetes shows that we are moving in the right direction to stop the disease. This is a much-needed dose of good news for our association and the people we serve with diabetes or prediabetes.
We are thrilled that the study shows significant declines in the rates of heart attacks and deaths from high blood sugar during from 1990 to 2010. But we are saddened that the number of people with diabetes also tripled during that same period.
We know this positive milestone couldn’t have been reached without our donors’ support, which helps us give around $36 million annually for diabetes research and currently funds 400 studies.
Unfortunately for the 320,000 people in the Kansas City area alone who have diabetes, there’s much more work to be done. Let’s celebrate hard, and then roll up our sleeves to raise more money to stop this deadly disease.
Kansas City Area
I have yet to hear a compelling argument as to why we need a single-entry airport. All of the arguments promise vague returns on increased use and attraction of new flights.
The Kansas City Star had to search out an airline consultant in Denver to support its belief in a new terminal.
People like the ease of use our current layout provides. Why not compromise? Why can’t a new design be created that allows the current terminals to be saved and builds a new substructure or superstructure connecting the terminals?
This structure could contain dining establishments and lounging areas for people transferring gates and terminals while maintaining security. The cost of maintaining multiple security checkpoints could be partially offset by the elimination of the buses that currently connect the terminals.
Objections don’t seem to be directed at the cost of a new terminal as much as against a new design. I am sure this approach is more complicated than it appears, but it should at least be investigated.
Not a day goes by that one of us is not attending a funeral of a Vietnam veteran who died from some sort of cancer.
I really wonder sometimes how much the military or powers that be knew of the long-term effects on humans who smelled, tasted, touched or inhaled Agent Orange.
I know we will never get an honest answer to that question because those in the know want the facts hidden.
Cancers that veterans died from include lung, gall bladder, bone, bladder, brain, liver, kidney, skin, prostate and throat.
The common denominator on all of these is Agent Orange.
I guess it boils down to who knew what and when, and do you trust your government and military to do the right thing?
You be the judge, and may God bless and protect all of our military soldiers and retirees.
Airports for fast exit
Things change in our world, and air travel is no exception. Airports were once glamorous places where people dressed up to visit.
Now they’re places where we stand in long lines to be searched and X-rayed, and then wait to be shoe-horned into an airplane.
Today, there are three types of airports: Unpleasant, very unpleasant and major hubs.
I have visited the expensive, glimmering new air palaces in Indianapolis and Sacramento. Guess what?
Like every other airport in the country, the best part about being there was leaving them.
I suspect many of the local citizens advocating for a new Kansas City International Airport terminal either stand to gain financially from the project or are living in a bygone era.
Falling quality of life
As a longtime Kansan, I am saddened by the direction of my native state under the funding of the Koch brothers, the state chamber of commerce and the following they get from Gov. Sam Brownback and the right-wing Legislature.
St. Catherine of Bologna is considered the patron saint of artists. Her words are appropriate for the current state of Kansas: “Without art we would survive, but we would not live.”
Other words for art could be substituted as one might choose.
Missouri, please do not follow the sorry path that Kansas is traveling, where the quality of life for the great majority is disappearing.
Good VA health care
I have been receiving health care from the Leavenworth VA Medical Center since I returned from Iraq in 2010. In the 31/2 years years I have been going to the VA, I have had nothing but good experiences.
The administrative staff has consistently been helpful and nice. The caliber of the professional staff is unparalleled.
Every single professional I have worked with has been clinically superb and genuinely kind. People have gone out of their way to assist me and to be sure my needs were met.
I have consistently been able to get appointments in a timely manner. Additionally, on the couple of occasions that I have needed care on an emergency basis, the wait times were reasonable and the care I received was thorough and helpful.
I am aware of the stories in the news about the difficulties the VA is having ensuring sufficient care is provided in some areas of the country.
However, that is not consistent with my experiences, and I want to take a moment to publicly thank the staff of the Leavenworth VA Medical Center.
Voter ID requirement
I have read several letters and opinion pieces in The Star on the GOP trying to “undermine” voting by requiring a photo identification card in order to vote.
To get a job, you have to give one to two forms of identification for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Form I-9.
Students are issued photo ID cards. If you have ever driven a car, you have an ID.
If you can get to the polls to vote, I’m certain you can get to the closest government office to obtain some form of ID.
Wouldn’t you want to provide an ID to ensure someone hasn’t used your ID to cast a vote in your name? The only reason you wouldn’t want to provide an ID is if you are hiding something.
Affordable King Tut
So many people complaining about the King Tut exhibit has me scratching my head.
Do people realize what the cost of shipping the actual artifacts would be? Astronomical. Do people understand that ticket prices would go through the roof to make up the cost?
How many people would pay $100 a ticket to see the actual exhibit? Not very many, I assume.
So maybe, instead of complaining about replicas, more people should be thankful that we have an affordable opportunity to take a look at history.
Heroes at Providence
I want to thank the emergency-room professionals at Providence Medical Center for their hard work on June 9. They worked on my step-dad from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m.
I was so afraid he was going die, but they saved him. The ER staff at Providence impressed my family.
Everybody had a part in it. Thank you.
Kansas City, Kan.
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