As writer and actor Amir Talai recently asked on Twitter: When a billionaire dies, who inherits his senators?
Thumb on the scale
When Congress returns to Washington, D.C., it will consider a defense spending bill that includes a section on purchasing rules for mass transit items. Up for debate will be a rule that would prohibit giving federally backed contracts for electric buses or rail cars to companies owned, controlled or subsidized by foreign states.
This could be a way of eliminating federal tax dollars to subsidize manufacturers backed by the Chinese government.
But a competing proposal would allow a company like BYD Auto Co., Ltd., an enormous automaker that receives support from the Chinese state, to win those contracts.
BYD is eligible for them because it has a California facility where it assembles buses imported from China. But it wants more business in America, and if it gets it, American auto and bus workers would be “rewarded” with competition from a rival whose bills are paid by a foreign government.
U.S. Rep Sam Graves of Missouri is the top Republican on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and will have a say on this before it’s over.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask that America’s tax money encourages American manufacturers and supports American workers. I hope Rep. Graves feels the same way.
Please support the stronger rule, Congressman.
Tamp it down
A memo to Chiefs players who score touchdowns: I have a great idea for your next end zone celebration. After you cross the goal line, flip the ball to the referee and then high-five your teammates as you trot off the field to the applause of the fans.
Terrific, huh? Well, maybe not. Too professional.
Johnson County Community College and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth partnered to successfully launch a Great Decisions Program on the community college campus. It’s one of many in the area, and I joined its organizing committee.
Great Decisions is a public outreach program of the Foreign Policy Association in New York City. Its purpose is to engage Americans in discussions, based on information written by experts, to promote a better understanding of world affairs.
At JCCC, we reviewed local resources to expand our discussions and collaborated with the Staff College, whose assistant professor Christopher Johnson arranged for members of its faculty to present at our meetings.
The Staff College has experts with broad-based knowledge in history and global politics. Many lived abroad and worked alongside foreign military and political personnel. Their perspectives provide unique and significant background information.
We appreciate their contributions, and we encourage local organizations to become familiar with them and consider using their expertise as an educational resource.
Our Great Decisions group is open to everyone. For more information, contact International and Immigrant Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In The Star’s Aug. 21 editorial, “Was teacher fired for being pregnant, or for leaving first-graders unattended?” (12A) about a teacher who was fired at St. Therese Catholic School, readers were led to believe that the fact that the Catholic Church teaches that abortion is an intrinsic evil implies there is no such thing as a “less than ideal” pregnancy.
The church does indeed teach that the circumstances surrounding a child’s conception cannot justify abortion and certainly have no bearing on the value of the human life that is created. However, Catholic catechism also states that sex between unmarried men and women “is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.”
Obviously, even faithful Catholics sometimes fall short of these moral teachings, and those who falter should be treated with mercy and compassion.
But it is understandable that an out-of-wedlock pregnancy would be considered “less than ideal.” Children born out of wedlock are more likely to be poor, be depressed, struggle with substance abuse and go to jail.
Perhaps the church is onto something.