2014 is history. It left us with a record Dow Jones Industrial average, a strong 5 percent growth of the gross domestic product in the third quarter, lower unemployment, improved relations with Cuba, health care for the commoners and gasoline costing less than $2 a gallon.
I can’t wait to see how the GOP is going to straighten out this mess.
Violence in KC
Has anyone else noticed that 2015 has started increasingly violent in the Kansas City metro area, or is it just me?
And all of this just after Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced that because of the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, violent crime was down in 2014.
OK, KC NoVA. I think it’s time to tighten the screws.
This city could be on track for a record-breaking violent year.
Rev. David W. Brown
New Kansas order
What’s the difference between a brownshirt and a Brownback (2-11, A1, “LGBT protections revoked”)?
There’s a line from a jazz tune that sticks in my head. It goes like, “Half the people want to take over, the other half want to be free.”
Throughout history, all that overly authoritarian governments have gotten us are war and suffering. And now we have the Topeka Taliban 2.0.
Those who claim there is no morality without religion assume too much. These people are fear mongers who lie, slander and deceive.
Their attempts to hijack morality are a monstrous hypocrisy. When people say this is a Christian country, I wonder what that makes the rest of us?
Is there nothing better to do in Topeka than make a law that allows people to discriminate based on their beliefs?
Beliefs are practiced, not imposed. I promise you, this one will hurt some of your kids.
Here’s another bummer from Topeka — let’s make sustainability illegal.
I know this is old news, but the fact that this even came to light gives the message that some people in Topeka want to leave the world like an outhouse for the next generation and not allow the current population to build the infrastructure that future generations will need to survive.
City Manager Troy Schulte recently announced his recommendations for regulating local ride-sharing services such as Uber. I am glad he is advising the City Council to treat Uber just like any other regulated cab service.
If Uber continues operating outside the rules, public safety could be jeopardized and riders could end up paying more than they should to get from place to place.
It’s great that our city now has new options for transportation providers, but there is a reason Kansas City has rules for these types of services.
The City Council has an obligation to ensure these rules are enforced for all providers.
I still struggle with Uber’s practice of surging its prices whenever it is busy. However, aside from safety, the free market has to sort out the winners and losers.
I’m sure Uber will put pressure on the council to reject these recommendations. But, just because Uber is the new kid on the block doesn’t mean it should get special privileges at the expense of Kansas City residents.
I hope the council acts swiftly to get these new rules enacted and enforced.
U.S. police state
In our country it is OK to bundle millions in worthless real estate stock classified as triple A, sell it on the market, defraud the buyers and crash the economy. No problem. You will walk free.
High elected officials can shred the Geneva Conventions, call torture by another name and institute a program for which Japanese and German soldiers were hung after World War II. No problem. You walk free and might even receive a federal pension and Secret Service protection for life.
But if you dare buy a pack of cigarettes and try to sell singles on the streets of New York City, five uniformed and two undercover policemen will come to arrest you, handcuff you and throw you in a paddy wagon — even if it costs your life.
To those who have seen the New York City arrest and death video of Eric Garner and have concluded that he was resisting arrest and should have gone quietly, I say you will be the model citizens when the U.S. has descended completely into a police state.
Shame in Kansas
Is there any reason not to impeach Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback?
Confronted by the shortfall, Brownback said he was unaware of the huge budget gap before his re-election. “I knew what the public knew,” he said. The public did know. National credit agencies knew and lowered Kansas’ rating.
That statement completely contradicts what I remembering him saying. If, forbid, he was not aware, he should have been because:
1. He is our state leader.
2. As a leader, he has the responsibility to know the facts before he makes important decisions.
3. He has led the misguided crusade.
It appears he has stolen from the poor to give to the rich, exempting the owners of about 190,000 businesses from having to pay income tax on their profits and thereby gaining their votes and campaign funding.
The Star has attempted to enlighten Kansans about Kansas’ problem. How could a politically motivated Brownback not be aware of the news and not have done a reality check?
Shame on him. And shame on Kansas voters who chose to ignore this and other realities.
Kids’ future trashed
I have asked myself, Why would Gov. Sam Brownback think that block grants to school districts are a good idea? The only fathomable answer is to make future cuts to school districts easier.
Next year, 4 percent; the following year, 7 percent; and then 10 percent. Bam!
Just like that, whittling away at schools. School-budget complexity disappears, and school-funding problems are solved.
Does the governor not realize the drastic consequences for the future of Kansas? Lost educational programs and teaching positions, declines in test scores (heaven forbid) and education standards, and advancing illiteracy leading to a population ill-prepared to fill all those jobs he has promised and the resulting decline in the earning power of our citizens.
So now I’m back to my original question. How can Brownback think block grants are a good idea?
Perhaps the better question is: Where is Brownback’s sense of civic and moral responsibility for the children of our state?
Good public schools are not just a budget item. They are our best hope for achieving a viable future for our children.
View of bus rider
On a Kansas City Area Transportation Authority bus not too long ago, a guy was hanging all over the bus driver with his arm around her, drinking something that looked like beer disguised in a small juice bottle.
I could be wrong, but I don’t believe you’re allowed to drink anything on the bus.
They were laughing and hugging and carrying on like a couple of kids. You could say the driver was distracted. But, even if there had been an accident because of her lack of focus, there were only about 10 people on the bus.
Several nights afterward, the driver scolded a young man for approaching the bus before the vehicle came to a complete stop. The young kid was confused and embarrassed for the scolding, not knowing just what he had done wrong, and apologized.
But the driver continued to harangue the kid as he walked down the aisle to his seat.
If the rude people at ATA, including the people on the phones, worked for a private company, I’m guessing many wouldn’t last a week.
However, to be fair, there are drivers who go out of their way to be friendly and helpful. Those drivers are greatly appreciated.