There is a big, bad wolf in the sky. Muscular and powerful, it is as big as the clouds and the storms. But it is not the wolf’s teeth we should fear. It is his hot, destructive breath.
The wolf can heat up the oceans, turning storms into hurricanes that crash into our coastlines. He can melt the ice at our poles and flush water into our cities and subways. He can spark fires and droughts, baking corn brown on the stalk, or he can create flooding, drowning our fields and farms.
The wolf grows bigger and bigger. Each year he gets stronger and his breath gets hotter.
We should be hunting this wolf — tricking it, trapping it, starving it. But instead we let it roam. Because there are those who still feed the wolf: Big Oil and and Coal protect it. Regulations grow soft, and the wolf grows hard.
And as the wolf paces outside our homes, we can hear the huff and the growl. But we are told: “That is not the wolf you hear. It is merely the wind.” And so we roll over in our bed, as the door is nudged open.
Root out crime
As a cradle Catholic, my shame will subside when the bishops reveal the names of the enablers within the church hierarchy as well as the names of the abusers. (Sept. 7, 1A, “Diocese lists priests accused of sexual abuse of minors”)
The abusers are criminally sick. The enablers are just criminals, and they should be treated as such.
Not my Kansas
U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, a newly announced U.S. Senate candidate from Kansas, said, “I’m a Kansan ... that’s going to fight for Kansans. I’m going to stand beside the president.” (Sept. 4, 4A, “Marshall begins Senate bid in wild year of GOP politics”)
Could there be two more antithetical statements?
This week marks the 25th anniversary of the swearing in of the first AmeriCorps member. For 25 years, AmeriCorps has provided a unique opportunity for people of different backgrounds to rally around common goals and values. In Kansas City and across the country, members have come together to be part of the solutions to the greatest challenges we face in our communities and as a nation.
In Kansas City, The Literacy Lab is one example of how Americans can get involved in national service. In 2018, only 18% of Kansas City Public Schools third-graders were ready to advance to the next grade in English Language Arts. Students who are not on grade level by fourth grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school on time. Across Kansas City, The Literacy Lab’s AmeriCorps tutors provide daily assistance to children at risk of early literacy failure.
In the next 25 years, we should expand Ameri- Corps so an entire generation is able to make meaningful change. Serve America Together — a campaign to make national service part of growing up in America — is bringing this idea to life.
The Literacy Lab
A primary fix
Quite a balancing act on the Opinion page Tuesday. (9A) The Editorial Board slammed readers with a top-of-the-page headline claiming the Kansas Republican Party has “shut out voters to protect Donald Trump.” Thank you, Michael Ryan, for clarifying the primary procedure so calmly at the bottom of the page. (“Decision to forgo 2020 caucuses is not a precedent — and it’s not about Trump”)
A Sen. Marco Rubio supporter in 2016, I am always indignant to be told that President Donald Trump owns the Republican Party. Nonetheless, I concede that he will win Kansas’ nomination for the 2020 election unless a contender with real clout materializes. Unlikely.
My greater concern is for the primary choosing the U.S. senatorial candidate in 2020. Hearken back to the June 13 Star guest commentary by Larry R. Bradley, “Ranked choice voting could give KC better options.” (13A) Let’s conduct that primary using ranked choice voting. Will our new voting machines accommodate such a thing?
As Bradley describes the process, ranked choice voting yields an actual majority candidate. Learn more at FairVote.org.
Sorry, Kris Kobach fans: I don’t believe he’d win a ranked choice primary. A Kobach candidacy would be a gift to the Democratic Party.
Matter of percent
If more than 80% of the country supports background checks for gun buyers, why aren’t more than 80% of the senators in Congress for background checks? If that were true, then we would have enough votes to override a presidential veto, and just like that we would have sensible gun regulations.
Call your senators. Override Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the president. Let’s get national background checks.
When I call the governor’s office in Jefferson City, I believe the state workers answering the phones don’t even write my comments down. We can’t afford to wait.