Working on progress
Forced separation of the races in Southern states officially ended on June 12, 1967. In the landmark case Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation (interracial marriage) statute unconstitutional as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause.
Forty years later, citing Loving v. Virginia as precedent, federal courts in 37 states have declared laws banning gay marriage violate the Fourteenth Amendment.
Conservative activist Tony Perkins complains, “Christians are being forced to condone a lifestyle that violates their faith.”
Sadly, conservative Christians don’t believe Victor Hugo’s words: “Tolerance is the best religion.”
In Springfield Mo., Christians successfully campaigned to repeal a city ordinance protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination.
Evangelicals believed the ordinance unfairly targeted Christians and infringed on their religious freedom.
Religious intolerance and prejudice has always existed in America.
New England’s Puritans hanged people as witches in Salem.
They hanged Quakers and promised to do likewise to Catholics. Anabaptist Roger Williams, America’s first proponent of religious freedom and separation of church and state, was convicted of heresy in 1635.
In comparison to their Puritan forbears, Springfield’s evangelicals seem enlightened — now if we could just get them to join us in the 21st century.
Timothy Finn could have phoned it in (6-29, C3, “Stones throw a show for the ages”).
The Rolling Stones gave a June 27 concert for 50,000-plus fans at Arrowhead Stadium like that and the most important thing in the concert review was their age, repeated again and again in case someone didn’t know?
That had what to do with the quality of the concert?
Curtail ivory trade
Driven by demand for illegal ivory, poachers have brutally slaughtered 100,000 African elephants in just three years, and elephant populations are in crisis.
It is estimated that the United States is second only to China in its demand for illegal ivory.
Wildlife poaching is an issue of concern not just for wildlife activists.
Profits from the illegal ivory trade often are used to fund militant groups such as Al Shabaab, a Somalia-based Islamist insurgent group.
In 2014, the administration of President Barack Obama announced a ban on nearly all ivory sales in the United States.
However, with support from groups like the National Rifle Association, members of the House have successfully added a rider to the Interior Appropriations Bill that would prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from adopting new enforcement restrictions necessary for stopping the sale of smuggled ivory within the United States.
If you are concerned about wildlife poaching, please let your elected representative in the House know that you oppose any language in the appropriations bill for the Department of Interior that would prohibit regulations restricting ivory sales.
Let’s end the illegal ivory trade.
Martha Weber Conradt
Burdened in Kansas
At the entrance of Boys Town in Omaha, Neb., is the iconic statue of an older boy carrying a younger boy on his back.
Etched beneath the statuary is the motto, “He ain’t heavy, Father, he’s my brother.”
The intended message of this slogan is to bear each other up under the burdens of life.
Based on the mindset of the Republican-dominated Kansas Legislature, perhaps a more appropriate sculpture should be cast and placed at the entrance of the Capitol grounds.
The same motto would apply, except the sculpture would depict a scrawny, shabbily dressed young man representing the state’s poor and middle class hefting Orphan Annie’s Daddy Warbucks on his back.
Twisted as it might appear, this image would portray the dismal condition, created by the governor and his Legislature, for the vast majority of Kansans.
To the thousands of businesses enjoying tax breaks at the expense of your fellow citizens, rest assured that your less fortunate brothers and sisters have your backs on their backs.
Where’s the difference between stupid and ignorant?
Stupid is the inability to know or comprehend, while ignorant is a lack of information or knowledge. And so it is said, you can’t fix stupid.
So, how do we explain the Missouri General Assembly?
At first blush one would assume the legislators are neither stupid nor ignorant.
Then you look at their debate on Interstate 70, and one can only conclude that stupid or ignorant, the outcome is the same.
This is a legislature that is incapable of governing.
I see a new drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for lowering bad cholesterol. Let’s just hope that people can afford to use it.
If it is like some other medications it will be out of reach for most seniors to buy.
I was told by my insurance company not long ago when I inquired about the cost of Lyrica (for the pain of fibromyalgia) that it would be $230 for a 30-day supply.
Needless to say I did not order it. When will the drug companies realize that most people who really need their products are not rich?
Let’s hope the cost of needed medications goes down soon.
As a resident of Missouri, I’m grateful for the Kansas Republican Party and its inability to deal with the huge deficit caused by ill-conceived tax cuts to the rich. In March, Gov. Sam Brownback spoke at the Show-Me Institute and dismissed any thought that Kansas was facing any serious revenue problem.
The Show-Me Institute is funded almost exclusively by Rex Sinquefield, a Missouri billionaire who has given millions of dollars to “think tanks” and Republicans in Missouri to cut income taxes and raise sales taxes.
Sinquefield, who has already given at least $800,000 to Catherine Hanaway, said, “If Catherine Hanaway gets elected (governor), we’ll move at a Kansas pace because she said the income tax has to go.”
So, we Missourians have been warned. If Republicans continue their super majorities in the Missouri General Assembly and elect a Republican governor, we will also experience what is happening in Kansas today. I urge my fellow Missourians to make sure this doesn’t happen to us.
Middle East apartheid
I recently returned from Israel/Palestine as part of a U.S./Canadian delegation. Wow!
I had no idea of the extent of the apartheid and racial cleansing of the Palestinians happening at the hands of the Israeli government, supported by U.S. taxpayer dollars. Fortunately, we visited with and were educated by a number of Israeli and Palestinian groups on the ground that are working for peace by working for justice.
What a model Israel/Palestine could be for the rest of the Middle East if it could get things figured out. For sure, the international community needs to wake up (some already are awake) and examine what is going on and put pressure on the situation so that violations of human rights desist and solutions can be found for all involved.
North Kansas City
The current process for the Major League Baseball All-Star selection is a sham. Thirty-five votes per person.
Let those who best know the players on a professional level select the teams. The players themselves know who the true all stars are.
If the fans must vote on something, make it the most handsome, the most popular, Best all around and most likely to succeed. Is it going to take an All-Star game of American League starters all being Yankees and National League starters all being Mets?