What kind of people support Gov. Sam Brownback in Kansas? I think I know, and I’m really sorry for them.
They are people who are afraid of the poor, afraid of minorities and afraid of change. I believe they consider themselves predominantly Christian, and yet they are mean-spirited and act more like Pharisees than disciples of a teacher who taught and practiced loving and assisting their fellow man.
I hope I’m wrong, but these people are just mean conservatives whom even Dwight David Eisenhower wouldn’t recognize.
Former U.S. Sens. Bob Dole and Nancy Landon Kassebaum and former Kansas Govs. Robert Docking and Kathleen Sebelius were all good hires.
What the heck happened, Kansas?
A tale of Kansas
A fable: Once upon a time, an emperor paid a sly man to craft a plan for his kingdom that would ensure the emperor great fame and might. The man assured the emperor that when the emperors of other kingdoms saw how successful it was, they would clamor to adopt the plan for their kingdoms.
The emperor was pleased with himself, and the nobles praised him throughout the land. But later, when the kingdom’s treasurer discovered that the royal coffers were empty, he timidly informed the emperor, who protested: “This cannot be. The kingdom is prosperous, and I am great and mighty.”
He ordered his minions to refill the coffers but warned them not to tax the nobles.
“Tax the peasants,” he ordered. “They have no voice, and besides, they are accustomed to subsisting on little.”
The sly man and the nobles laughed and laughed as they counted their gold. Their plan worked, and the vain emperor still believed that he was great and mighty.
Despite intentions, increases to the minimum wage do not necessarily help the poor. Even the head of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers conceded this.
The reasons are simple. First, most minimum-wage earners don’t live in poverty.
Only 13 percent live at or below the poverty level; 44 percent live in households whose income is three times the poverty level.
Second, the number of people paid the minimum is low. Minimum-wage employees constitute just 3 percent of the workforce. Targeting them is not the same as helping low-income people.
Third, and most important, raising the minimum wage punishes the very people it is supposed to help.
As labor costs rise, employers turn to cheaper technological substitutes, cut employees or cut hours.
As workers compete for fewer jobs, the least skilled are left behind. A study by the University of California found that increasing the minimum wage reduced the earnings potential of low-skilled workers.
They need entry-level jobs to develop skills and gain experience.
We all want to alleviate poverty. We do not succeed by making jobs more scarce, which is what would happen if Kansas City enacted a “living wage.”
Once again, America is confronted with a senseless mass killing of innocent human beings by a man wielding a firearm obtained with an ease that no other civilized society permits.
I have heard smears against me and other Kansans with the courage to stand up to the gun industry and their lackeys, who scream down the least degree of control of this madness. I have yet to hear a truly rational argument from these people.
I will close with a personal note on this subject. One of my schoolmates became a Methodist pastor in Kansas. One Sunday morning he made the mistake of informing his congregation that he thought America could use a little gun control.
More or less instantaneously, he was confronted by a delegation of three prominent men in his church who informed him that they would personally intervene with Methodist Church authorities to have him run out of the church if he ever again dared utter so much as a word about that subject from that pulpit.
If I may say so, the cultural and religious idolatry involved in that bullying is one of the reasons for these last killings.
David A. Lee
All-Star Game votes
I think the fans of the Kansas City Royals should be ashamed of the way they are abusing the All-Star Game voting (6-16, B1, “Even with an All-Star, KC could still seek an upgrade at position”).
The system that allows 35 votes from a single email address has got to change. I think because of our fans, Major League Baseball will change the voting system.
Let’s vote only one time per person and vote only for players deserving the honor of starting the All-Star Game.
Asking about guns
We can add the National Parent-Teacher Association to the list of organizations that endorse the ASK, or AskingSavesKids, program (askingsaveskids.org). It’s great to have the endorsements of national organizations.
National ASK Day Sunday. Even backyard parties qualify, as long as the ASK goal is shared with parents. That is, when your child plays next door, or babysits, ask whether a gun is in the house, is unloaded and is locked and not merely hidden. Free gun locks are easily available.
Gun safes are not expensive. Saving your child’s life is the goal of the ASK program and is the goal of the Brady Campaign to Reduce Gun Violence.
Brady Chapter to
Reduce Gun Violence
Housing Court judge
It truly disheartened me when I read the June 14 article, “Housing Court judge faces a challenge,” on the battle Judge Todd Wilcher is fighting.
I personally know Todd and his family. These are good people.
I can honestly wholeheartedly say the Wilchers are the definition of integrity and compassion. I met them in my church some 15 years ago. I have always admired this lovely family for what it stands for, which is truth, love for others and justice for all.
It breaks my heart that Judge Wilcher is on the hit list of Freedom Inc.
Many of the people who appear before Judge Wilcher are repeat offenders. The Star could have done a little more research to see the reason one community activist has so many fines.
How many properties does he own? Does he maintain such properties?
And then the writer mentions something about Judge Wilcher and his “combat shoes.” Seriously, talk about media bias. Have you never seen wingtip dress shoes that extend slightly above the ankle?
This judge is trying to help the blighted urban core by doing the job he was hired to do. Vote Tuesday to retain.
The Star’s investigation of Housing Court Judge Todd Wilcher revealed a just and practical public servant, competent, compassionate and honorable. He may be tough on repeat offenders but only to the extent prescribed by law.
In a well-timed smear campaign waged by Freedom Inc. to discredit him, Judge Wilcher was painted as an extremist. Kudos to The Star for its objective report exonerating Todd Wilcher.
I wish we had more people like Wilcher serving the public.
Imagine what an honest and dedicated official such as Wilcher might do on the City Council. Imagine what he might do as mayor.
Thanks to governor
As the recently appointed assessor of Lafayette County, I wanted to express my thanks to Gov. Jay Nixon for placing faith in me to serve the residents of our community.
I am deeply humbled and honored at this opportunity and wish to assure the taxpayers of Lafayette County that I will be accessible, fair and responsive to their concerns.