Words to live up to
As reported in The Star May 8, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration are instituting new measures under which “families who illegally cross the border may be separated after their arrest, with children sent to juvenile shelters while their parents are sent to adult detention facilities.” (3A, “New border policy will lead to more charges”)
Isn’t this an act of utter cruelty? Is this humane treatment?
It appears you have no intention of relating to Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Are you shutting and bolting the door to freedom and security?
I have watched the controversy over Kansas H.B. 2481, the Adoption Protection Act. (May 5, 1A, “Adoption bill could give lift to Colyer”) It should instead be called the Adoption Agency Protection Act.
In Illinois, Massachusetts and California, Catholic charities have chosen to close rather than open their adoption services to same-sex couples. In response, the Catholic church wants states to protect its right not to place babies with same-sex couples. The contention: Faith-based organizations are being discriminated against.
As an adoptive mom, I understand adoption. For us, a Jewish couple in Kansas, the adoption process was difficult. Christian faith-based agencies would not let us adopt. We had to find an agency that was open to all faiths.
I know same-sex couples who have adopted. They are great parents, and they love their children. They have every right to adopt.
Faith-based agencies may have the right to limit adoptions to their faiths. But when a faith-based agency will not place a child for adoption with parents of that same religious group, then I see bias and persecution.
H.B. 2481 is a mistake. Religious people should have compassion for children who need homes and couples who would love a child, no matter their religion, race or sexual orientation.
In my opinion, the police are overworked and spread much too thin, forced into entirely too much pressure and required to wear too many hats.
They have been required to become social workers, family counselors and law enforcement officers in an ever-changing job description that most of them have not been trained for.
Simple DUI stops and bar fights have become passé. Mental health issues, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and a host of other ailments, have created much-too-complicated problems for police, as well as for understaffed health care workers.
Now, all over the United States, police have taken extreme measures, justified or not, sometimes against people of color.
I watched a local news report where a police officer set up an impromptu basketball game with some neighborhood kids — the kind of thing the police need to be doing.
Then I read that the Olathe police ignored the recommendations of a SWAT team, leading to a civilian woman’s death. (May 6, 1A, “SWAT told Olathe police to wait, but they went anyway — and Ciara Howard died”) I guess they can get it right only about 50 percent of the time.
Since 1933, the Farm Bill has been revised and passed by the U.S. Congress every five years. It is the largest source of federal funding for conservation on private lands and affects all who are concerned with wildlife and natural resource conservation.
In a time when grassland birds have declined 80 percent or more and the monarch butterfly has been petitioned for federal protection, having a Farm Bill that protects wildlife has never been more imperative.
The following improvements should be made to the current version of the bill to protect our native grasslands, safeguard our soil health and water quality, and benefit wildlife and pollinator habitat:
▪ The Conservation Reserve Program should be funded at no less than 35 million acres.
▪ Include the National Sodsaver Provision.
▪ Establish a native vegetation management standard for Farm Bill cost-share programs.
▪ Increase the Environmental Quality Incentive Program funding dedicated to wildlife practices.
▪ Reauthorize the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program at no less than $500 million a year.
▪ Authorize and create supplemental payments in the Conservation Stewardship Program for managed rotational grazing practices known to benefit native wildlife and pollinators.
Society of Greater KC