With states enacting laws allowing discrimination in the name of God and freedom, I have to wonder how one knows who is gay or straight. Will we require gays to carry cards and show them when asked?
Can I sue you if someone’s hunch is wrong? Or perhaps a yellow star on the sleeve would be a better system — as used in Germany years ago.
Yoder’s poor choices
The Star’s April 25 front-page headline, “Yoder pushes funding boost,” was over an article that stated my congressman, Kevin Yoder, is supporting the doubling the annual budget of the National Institutes of Health.
The article suggested that Yoder sees this increased spending as supportable because it would save taxpayer money later by lowering health-care costs over time and “from a moral standpoint.” This is a logic that Yoder needs to apply to other choices he makes in supporting absolutely appalling draconian cuts to the federal safety net that are anti-life, anti-Christian and immoral.
A good example is the Head Start program. A local community leader I talked with recently said: “Head Start is an investment in your local economy. For every $1 in education there is a return of $7 to the community.”
Over and over, across a broad range of government programs, Yoder fails to recognize that a dollar spent now can save multiple dollars in the future. If you live in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District and care about our country’s people and want to invest in them, you need to work to replace Rep. Yoder.
Here is a history lesson that state Sen. Ed Emery, a Lamar Republican, sent to me in response to my note about “public education being the foundation of democracy.” I disagreed with his support for charter schools, removing teacher tenure and more local control of education by school boards and parents in today’s complex technological society.
Sen. Emery wrote: “Many ... schools were privately funded and locally funded — not (by) the state. Teachers were often pastors and commonly used the Bible as a textbook. Parents usually hired and fired teachers — no tenure. The parents were the principal instrument of selecting teachers. I like that model, and it was extremely successful.”
Yes, Sen. Emery, that may have worked 400 years ago when the rest of the unschooled child population labored in the fields for the rich folks. Also I believe that most of the ruling positions in the town were appointed by those same rich folks.
This latter condition appears to be true today. But leave the business of operating public school systems to those who live in the 21st century and are educated to meet the requirements of this technological age. I like that model.
Good old boys
It seems that one hand giveth and the other hand taketh away. I don’t pretend to speak for all Catholics in this parish, but this particular Catholic looked at the April 28 article, “Finn still has role in diocese,” and felt that she had been kicked in the stomach by a Missouri mule.
I was not able to read the article in its entirety, but nothing that the acting bishop said could possibly take away the feeling of complete devastation and physical illness that overwhelmed me at the thought of this man going about business as usual, as if nothing had happened.
As usual, we have not, nor will we ever be, privy to the whole story of this fiasco.
But I must say that it causes me, at least, to rethink my feelings about being a part of an organization that is so resistant to recognizing its role as the Good Shepherd whose first responsibility is to care for the well-being of his flock, especially those who are unable to care for themselves.
It doesn’t take four years of seminary to understand this. Good old boys will be good old boys.
The Baltimore police need to explain how a prisoner’s spine was almost severed while in their custody. Freddie Gray looked as if he was gravely injured before he was put into the van.
It would seem nothing but a high-speed collision would produce such an injury if he were in the van. The longer authorities take to explain the injury, the angrier the people will become, and I am not just talking about black people in Baltimore.
The FBI needs to take over the investigation of Gray’s injuries in a manner we all can believe. If police did this by brutalizing Gray, then severe punishment would be appropriate.
This type of treatment by police of any suspect of any race makes me very angry, and I want answers now.
Big Brother’s grab
We constantly hear about how Obamacare and big government are intruding into our lives and how people ought to be allowed to choose for themselves. Now in Kansas the state wants to dictate how we are married, who we are married to and how we interact with our spouses.
This flies in the face of the constant negative message coming from the Republican Party. Are we or are we not allowed to have our own choices within our lives?
If we’re allowed to make our own decisions, shouldn’t the Republican Party do as it says and allow people their personal freedoms?
The April 26 articles, “Ignoring the terror within,” about the American extremist movement (white nationalists, militias, Christian Identity and “sovereign citizens”) were excellent and well-researched.
We can thank the National Rifle Association and its representatives in our legislatures for making it possible for those folks to own and carry (openly or concealed) guns and ammunition (now in Kansas without that pesky requirement for training).
I assume that our representatives in Topeka consider the people described in The Star’s articles to be the “good guys with guns” who will protect us from the bad ones. Therefore, I want the metal detectors in the Kansas Statehouse removed so our legislators are just as safe as the rest of us.
Justice left waiting
It was reported that 11 former Atlanta public-school educators were convicted for conspiring to inflate scores on students’ standardized tests. They were motivated by bonuses or to keep their jobs.
How does this compare with the recent Department of Veteran Affairs scandal?
VA employees conspired to hide wait times for veterans. They had a similar motivation in bonuses.
It was reported that at least 40 veterans died while waiting for appointments. The FBI’s Phoenix branch opened a criminal investigation of the Department of Veterans Affairs in June 2014.
Will there be any charges or convictions for those involved in the VA conspiracy?
Republican gun party
The Republicans used to say they were the law and order party, but now they are only the gun-lobby party. The only goal now is to increase gun sales and get as many guns on the street as possible.
They don’t care that people such as the Jackson County prosecutor and law-enforcement personnel tell them that their new laws result in violent criminals becoming legally eligible to carry guns and cause more deaths and violence.
They care about one thing — rewarding the gun manufacturers who fund their campaigns.
Lost middle class
Well, the congressional Republicans have released their budget.
Eliminate health care for millions of Americans? Check. Cut student aid? Check. Ignore crumbling roads and bridges? Check.
More tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans? Check. Big increases for the military? Check.
The sad thing is, this budget wouldn’t be any different if Hillary Clinton were elected in 2016.
Would someone please start looking out for the middle class?