Boy, just when you thought John Boehner had cornered the market on weeping among Republicans, here comes Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback getting all teary-eyed as he told the Legislature, “You’ve just got to act (6-12, A1, “Brownback makes tax hike plea”).”
He wants help from the same guys he asked to back up his 2012 tax cuts that got Kansas in this fiscal pickle to start with?
Well, those lawmakers who bought his supply-side lie now would rather slit their wrists than admit they were wrong.
They aren’t going to budge, governor, no matter who gets harmed by the draconian cuts.
The tax cuts should have been targeted to the number of jobs created. They weren’t.
And worse, lots of businesses reorganized so they could qualify for the break. Surprise, surprise.
Ironically, Senate President Susan Wagle, who has been carrying Brownback’s water on tax cuts for some time, summed up the mess best:
“It’s a crisis. We have not served Kansas well.”
Gee, ya think?
Summer fun benefits
One great way to help kids succeed in school this fall is to make sure they have access to learning programs this summer.
Keeping minds and bodies engaged during the summer goes a long way toward avoiding what researchers call summer learning loss.
National Summer Learning Day is Friday, and summer presents a particular challenge for low-income families and contributes to the broader achievement gap.
According to the Afterschool Alliance’s “America After 3 p.m.” study, we have huge unmet demand for summer learning programs.
Nationally, 51 percent of parents say they’d like their children to be in a program, but only 33 percent have at least one child enrolled. Those results are mirrored in Kansas, where 42 percent of parents want a program for their kids, but only 23 percent have a child enrolled.
At the Johnson County Park & Recreation District, children get plenty of exercise, which fuels both body and brain, along with opportunities for fun interactive learning, including: STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), gardening, field trips, community service, environmental education, social interaction and lots of fresh air.
Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough programs to go around.
Nationally, 85 percent of parents support public funding for summer learning programs. Let’s hope policymakers are listening.
2014-15 Active Hours
Johnson County Park
& Recreation District
Ban on trans fats
The Food and Drug Administration is banning artificial trans fat because it is bad for our health and eventually can kill people (6-17, A8, “FDA wants all food to be free of trans fat in three years”).
Tobacco products destroy our health and cause many more deaths than trans fat.
Why doesn’t the FDA ban tobacco products?
Housing Court judge
The June 16 editorial, “Housing Court judge deserves a new term,” refers to a June 14 article, “Housing Court judge faces a challenge,” with complaints on Judge Todd Wilcher and his handling of the court fines assessed on the condition of properties.
Freedom Inc., a black political club, has an aggressive campaign to influence Tuesday’s election.
It wants Wilcher to be removed from his position as the Housing Court judge.
Freedom says that the judge’s fines and attitude are unfair to the disadvantaged and elderly individuals who are the owners of the properties that are in deplorable condition.
The judge says the individuals are given ample time and are referred to helpful resources.
The group has been distributing literature to get people to check “no” on the ballot.
My thought is, instead of all these meetings and petitions it has passed out, why not spend its time helping these individuals improve their properties?
Email never dies
I’m surprised that no one has said anything about using email.
Every email, as well as almost everything else that is typed on a computer, is saved on the hard drive.
The computer user can erase them, but they are still on the hard drive. One has to destroy the hard drive to get rid of them.
All of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s emails are still on their computer’s hard drive. Ask the FBI.
FBI computer experts know how to retrieve them.
Climate change grief
Despite the threat of being excommunicated and unfunded by the Koch brothers, Pope Francis continues to speak out bravely on the issue of climate change (6-16, A1, “Pope calls for climate action”).
Indeed, we don’t need a papal encyclical to tell us, we need only open our eyes: Hurricane Sandy, massive flooding in Texas and tornadoes in Oklahoma, drought in California. Yet the fossil fuel industry insists that we’re delusional, just making it all up.
The gentle brontosaurus, a dinosaur so immense that it needed the water of the swamps in which it lived to buoy it up, is theorized by some scientists to have become extinct partly because of its own flatulence — the methane having contributed to climate change.
The poor brontosaurus couldn’t see it coming.
We don’t have that excuse, unless we listen to the voices of greed, those who profit by our continued reliance on fossil fuels and figure, come what may, they’ll be able to buy their way out of it.
It all reminds me of the Bob Dylan lyrics: “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.”
In this case, it also thrives on ignorance.
Either we open our eyes to what confronts us, or we depend on some as yet unheralded Noah to build a really huge ark.
John Van Horn
Gov. Sam Brownback does not deserve credit for his bullying tactics to keep tax cuts from 2012 in place for individuals and 330,000 business owners and farmers.
This tax is not fair for the remaining Kansas taxpayers.
There has not been an increase in new jobs or new business that he said would happen as the result of his tax law.
Many state Senate and House members said they were in favor of voiding this unfair tax, but unfortunately they did not have the gumption to vote no and therefore they will be remembered in the 2016 elections and hopefully voted out.
The image of Kansas has been severely harmed by this Legislature, and I will most likely increase my shopping on the Missouri side.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain (6-17, A4, “Budget plan still rankles”).
This is not a tax increase. The sun is shining in Kansas. Too bad this isn’t Kansas anymore.
Lewis A. Stevenson
Great sky show
Regardless whether the weather cooperates, there is a spectacular sky show gradually taking place over the western horizon at sunset. So, some clear evening over the next couple of weeks, look for the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter.
Both are to the east, or left of the sun. And as with all planets orbiting the sun, these two are moving eastward along their respective orbits.
However, Venus, being an inner planet and faster orbiting than the more distant Jupiter, will catch up with and pass Jupiter, coming the closest on June 30.
On that evening, the two bright planets will be closer than the diameter of the full moon and should make for a wonderful sight with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
In anticipation of this close planetary conjunction, watch for the waxing crescent moon to be near these two planets this Saturday, and then Sunday near the star Regulus in Leo the Lion.
Visit bobs-spaces.net for more viewing information.