Not working for us
I find it incredibly disturbing that several news organizations were banned from Environmental Protection Agency meetings on water supply contaminants this week. (May 22, KansasCity.com, “EPA blocks some media from summit, then reverses course”)
I’m quite sure I do not need to remind Rep. Kevin Yoder or Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts, as elected officials in our government, of the importance of the First Amendment and how it protects free speech and journalism.
Scott Pruitt’s behavior as head of the EPA is unacceptable. The first-class plane tickets, taxpayer-funded trips to Morocco and other foreign countries, a $45,000 soundproof phone booth and now this refusal to admit members of the media to EPA meetings are becoming very alarming and authoritarian in nature.
This is a democracy, right? There are elections this November, correct? Do our elected representatives want to be on the right side of history?
Their constituents are watching.
The Star recently wrote about disproportionate ticketing by police in certain areas of the city. (May 20, 1A, “Ticket trauma; Black KC drivers get more tickets than whites, but race is only part of the problem”) One thing was not mentioned in these articles. While the story indicated that many citations were issued for out-of-date registrations, it failed to mention that undoubtedly a large number of these plates were expired because the vehicle likely could not pass a safety inspection.
So, in addition to the overall problem, the question of safety must also come into play.
Alison Dreith made some good points in her May 22 Star guest commentary. (11A, “An assault on women with fewest options”) However, I’d like to add two more:
As she points out, defunding Planned Parenthood deprives poor women access to much needed health care. But it’s also counterproductive (some might say stupid) to try to limit abortions by defunding the biggest provider of birth control to poor women. It’s a simple equation: No birth control equals more unwanted pregnancies equals more abortions. And unfortunately, without Planned Parenthood, many of these abortions will be self-induced and result in the death of the woman.
Second, the objections to abortions are, in most cases, based on religious beliefs — not science. I personally believe that unless the mother’s life is in danger, abortions should be limited to before the fetus can feel pain. Studies show this is around 20 weeks, long past the first trimester (12 weeks), when about 90 percent of abortions take place.
Those of us who take the scientific view are tired of the so-called pro-lifers trying to force their religious beliefs on the rest of the country. Abortion decisions should be among a woman, her doctor and her conscience — period.
Turn it back
I cannot believe people are actually considering naming the new airport terminal after Martin Luther King Jr.
Do they realize he visited Kansas City a handful of times at most? Do they know Kansas City was not a leading center of the civil rights movement?
Are they aware that our metropolitan area’s Hispanic population of about 9 percent is very close to our African-American population of about 12 percent? Should we name the terminal after Cesar Chavez so it would be appropriate if Hispanics ever outnumber African-Americans?
We are building a single terminal for a single airport. We should return the airport to its original name of Mid-Continent International.
Let’s keep things consistent and simple.
President Donald Trump canceling the summit with Kim Jong Un is probably a good thing since Trump had been outmaneuvered. When North Korea started saber-rattling again, Trump immediately blinked and offered U.S. protection for “pretty smart cookie” (Trump’s words) Kim and his regime, and presumably eternal rule of the nation by his family.
I would bet that Trump’s statement was met with quiet celebration in the streets of Pyongyang. Who knows what else the self-anointed “great negotiator” would give away without wiser and more experienced heads in control?
Trump’s current action is right up there with the cliche of someone shouting, “You can’t fire me — I quit!” He had already lost.