‘Right to work’ unfair
I am trying to make sense of this double standard Republican legislators seem to want while trying to force “right to work” in Missouri.
Neither my husband nor I can go play golf at the country club in Jefferson City, where I am sure some representatives or senators are members. We can’t play unless we pay dues and join the country club.
But this year the Republicans voted to make “right to work” a law in Missouri, which allows someone who isn’t a member of a union and doesn’t pay dues to receive all the perks that a dues-paying, card-carrying member gets (union wage, medical insurance, pension, etc). Allowing some to not pay will make nobody pay, and if nobody pays there is no money to go into these union funds to pay for the perks. Who wants to pay if some don’t?
So in the Republican world, if I don’t pay dues I don’t golf, but if some workers don’t pay they still get union perks?
How on earth can you call this fair and push for “right to work”?
Karen Marie Zentz
KC Royals food
If the food delivered to announcer Rex Hudler earlier this season at a Kansas City Royals game at Kauffman Stadium was supposed to overcome my suspicion of buying something to eat at the Truman Sports Complex, the ploy did not work.
No thanks. I’ll continue to bring in my own snacks rather than buy something there.
I might change my mind in the future. But Hudler’s taking that food only made me suspicious that things weren’t OK — yet.
I read that Gov. Sam Brownback teared up in a meeting discussing the budget fiasco (6-12, A1, “Brownback makes tax hike plea”). Upon reflection, this sounded all too familiar.
Years ago televangelist Jim Bakker and his wife, Tammy Faye, cried their eyes out on the realization that their financial empire was in ruins because of their misdeeds. Then there was Jimmy Swaggart, who cried crocodile tears of repentance after his sexual escapades were revealed.
In both cases, one had to wonder whether their tears were more about the fact that their misdeeds became public scandal rather than any real feeling of remorse. One has to wonder whether that is the case with our own political evangelist, Gov. Brownback.
His tears were not for the citizens of Kansas but the result of his revelation that his economic/moralistic schemes are in fact a failure.
Darkness in Kansas
Warren Buffett says that “dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise.” Thus, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has sought to end peer selection of appellate judges in favor of purely political selection, starting with his appointment of his personal attorney no less.
If Brownback controls the courts, the schools will have even less money. This is good for him and his rich friends because there would be even more stupid voters to vote for him and their candidates.
Buffett has called for progressive estate taxes to curb the ever-increasing concentration of wealth. Nevertheless, House Republicans in Congress voted this year to abolish it, which would increase federal deficits by billions.
The federal evils of tax cuts for the rich, deficits used to cut programs for the poor and purely political selection of judges have come to Kansas. What was wrong with Kansas is now even worse than before.
If it continues to get worse, at least ordinary people will be well-armed to overthrow the dark tyranny of greed that now exerts its evil power over Kansas government.
Before it comes to that, ordinary Kansans need to wake up.
David Prager III
I have attended multiple sessions of Judge Todd Wilcher’s neighborhood courts. Unlike the response Mike Hendricks reported in “Housing Court judge faces a challenge” on June 15, I have been pleasantly surprised at the calm and fair demeanor this judge holds in his courtroom.
I have observed a judge who consistently identifies helpful city services and alternatives and grants time extensions. He reduces fines when merited and issues judgments only as a last resort. My observation is that Judge Wilcher is justly sympathetic to neighborhood associations as well as toward individual defendants.
I invite those questioning his judgments to live next door to some of the health and safety violations occurring because of negligent homeowners. Many of these violations have existed for years. I do not believe this is a case of focusing on a select community or population within Kansas City. Neglect of property happens in all parts of the area.
If we are to make any changes in the legal system it should be to address property owners abusing the courts and wasting taxpayers’ money by gaming the system to avoid maintaining their properties.
I have been witness to these manipulations by negligent property owners in city, county and federal courts. There are gaps in the system.
Judge Wilcher is not the problem. It is the means by which some people undermine the statutes for their own benefit and to the detriment of the city’s neighborhoods.
It’s really pretty simple. Kansas’ governor and Legislature made some choices. They decided that 333,000 businesses do not have to pay income tax.
Because this doesn’t raise the revenue needed to sustain state services, they have had to make more choices. They had to find others to pay for the lost revenue. The prime target will be sales taxes, which clearly hurt the poor more than anyone else.
They could have made further cuts to state services, which also target the poor. Or they could have rescinded the tax exemptions for the 333,000 Kansas businesses that pay no income tax.
The governor has said he would veto any change to the tax exemption for 333,000 businesses, and it appears the Legislature lacked the courage to rescind those exemptions.
This is not about any hostility toward those businesses. All that is asked is that they pay taxes like everyone else. The wage earners in those businesses are paying income taxes, but the owners of the businesses are not.
Let’s remember these choices at the next election.
Bishop Finn flap
The letters regarding Bishop Robert Finn certainly have covered the whole spectrum of people’s feelings. The new bishop would need to be a cross between Jesus and Houdini to bring these folks together.
In reality, no first-time offender is going to jail for a misdemeanor. But why was so much of the flock’s money spent defending a losing cause?
At the other end of the spectrum, the bishop cannot get a pass just because of the good he is doing.
I disagree about the diocese being adrift before he got there. The diocese had a quite famous lay-formation program, taught by several dedicated priests, nuns and other persons. If Bishop John J. Sullivan’s diocesan boat was a bit adrift, Bishop Raymond J. Boland guided it true.
Finn is given credit for vocations, but I think it is more about admiration of Pope John Paul II than our bishop.
Finn took no counsel. He thought he knew all the answers, when he didn’t bother to learn the questions.
It was no witch hunt. He shot himself in the foot with a gun he loaded. The ordination flap could have been avoided by accepting his resignation effective in June.