Black lives matter
I am a black man. Being black does not mean being poor, uneducated, a criminal or alcohol or drug addict. Race does not define who I am.
I refuse to be a statistic. My working-class parents did not have a high school education, but they taught me the value of work and education.
My father was self-employed. We were not rich or poor. We owned our house and drove new cars. We were never on welfare.
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My parents taught me that being black is not a liability and to take personal responsibility for how I live my life.
I thank my parents for teaching me that my black life matters.
U.S. Rep. Sam Graves co-sponsored the FAA reauthorization bill, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act. My organization, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, supports this legislation because it fully aligns with NATCA’s policies, practices and core principles.
Our labor union is proud to represent nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers and other aviation safety-related professionals, including 186 members in Missouri. NATCA has advocated for a stable, predictable funding stream to operate and improve America’s airspace system.
The U.S. airspace is the busiest in the world. Aviation is vital to our national economy and that of Missouri. This bill would facilitate system and facility modernization and preventative maintenance. It would support essential air traffic control services and protect the air traffic controllers, including their pay, benefits, retirement and collective-bargaining rights. Equally important, this bill would allow the United States to maintain the safest and most efficient air traffic control system in the world.
NATCA applauds the hard work of Graves and other members of Congress to develop this legislative proposal.
Health care redux
One of the benefits of getting older is that you’ve heard it all before. Take the current health care debate.
Republicans say they would like to insure all of us but we just can’t afford it. They feel our pain; they just don’t share our pain.
These arguments from Republicans always end up in the same place, and that’s money.
One of the reasons we can’t afford to take care of sick people is that the top tax rate has been lowered from 91 percent in 1960 to 39.6 percent today. And Republicans want to take it lower.
Every time they propose lower rates, they argue that it will increase revenues through growth. It doesn’t.
When President Ronald Reagan cut taxes, the debt nearly tripled. Similar results occurred when President George W. Bush cut taxes. Debt went down when President Bill Clinton raised taxes.
These are phony self-serving arguments designed to accomplish one thing: make the wealthy wealthier.
We have seen this play before.
You have to admire the hypocrisy of Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft.
Here is a man who fought against Real ID, the plan that would allow a Missouri driver’s license to be used to board aircraft and enter government buildings, because he claimed that was an invasion of our privacy.
But when Kris Kobach demands that voter information, including partial Social Security numbers, be made public, Ashcroft is right there.
It is very interesting that the supporters of Planned Parenthood are trying to pressure the Royals into dropping ads for the Vitae Foundation. This is a typical tactic they use when alternatives to abortion are expressed in any forum.
Vitae never tells women, “Don’t go to Planned Parenthood” or anywhere else to terminate their pregnancies, but it does tell women who want to keep their babies about supportive places to go. Women who need counseling or care certainly will not get it from Planned Parenthood.
The Vitae Foundation is a caring organization pregnant women can turn to for prenatal care and beyond. Royals, don’t be bullied by Planned Parenthood.
I’ve noticed something interesting about many in the city’s anti-development crowd, such as Dan Coffey: They are often part of the very generation that let the city get run down in the first place.