Deal with Iran
For those opposing the Iran deal, they should think instead of just reacting against anything the Obama administration does. Does anyone really believe Iran would not pay very heavily if it sent a nuke at Israel?
The Iranians are truculent but not insane — especially if President Barack Obama publicizes a statement similar to what President John F. Kennedy did during the Cuban missile crisis.
Kennedy’s warning to Nikita Khrushchev: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.”
Six major countries (Russia, China, Great Britain, France, Iran and the U.S.) who worked on this deal say that if the deal is not approved, Iran would immediately be where it would otherwise be in 15 years.
So if members of the GOP think so strongly that this deal is horrific, what would they do?
Bob Sigman tribute
Bob Sigman was my colleague at The Kansas City Star for 29 years. The last eight of those we were on the Editorial Board.
Bob was an exceptional journalist with a great eye for details. His editorials were logical extensions of fact-based research. One of Bob’s accomplishments involved a murder conviction of a mentally challenged southwest Missouri man.
Bob became convinced the conviction was a gross miscarriage of justice. For years, Bob investigated and raised questions. Even after a prisoner in Kansas confessed to the crime, the legal system kept insisting that the coerced confession of the man with an IQ of less than 70 should stand.
Bob kept researching and calling for justice. Bob crafted many editorials calling for the governor to intervene. Ultimately, then-Gov. Mel Carnahan issued the pardon, concluding the state had incarcerated an innocent man for nearly 10 years.
The governor’s office conducted its own investigation, but the most important influence in that pardon came from Bob Sigman.
Despite the seriousness with which he tackled subjects such as civil rights violations, Bob displayed a lively sense of humor. He saw humor in many places, especially the bloated egos of some politicians.
I appreciated Bob as a top-flight journalist, but I appreciated him more as a friend, a gentleman’s gentleman whose time on this planet added grace and class to all his endeavors.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is in over his head. His ego is so large that he doesn’t even realize what he has talked Republican legislators into.
They are offering less than an optimal education to our children. The Aug. 26 editorial, “Brownback’s battle with educators damages schools again,” and the accompanying picture say it all.
Brownback looks like a deer in the headlights, not knowing what he is doing. Lord help us all for the next three years, and pray he doesn’t take our state so far down the tubes that it takes who knows how long to recover.
Sad state of Kansas
This week’s Kansas State Finance Council meeting reminds me of a scene from the musical “Oliver.” That’s the opening scene where Oliver presents his empty gruel bowl to Mr. Bumble and asks, “More, sir?”
Olathe children, represented by district professionals, had to grovel before a council of Brownback-appointed gatekeepers to request enough money to cover the extra 115 children who entered school this fall. They even had to fill out a last-minute questionnaire to prove their ideological worthiness.
Oh, the humiliation! More, sir?
We all know the money is there; $12.3 million was set aside for extraordinary need cases in the state. The fact that less than half of that money was granted to petitioners is galling.
Whose money is it? Taxpayers. Brownback and his crew act like schools are eating from their bowls.
The council’s response virtually spit in the empty bowls of these 115 children. Olathe came home empty-handed. The district will need to increase class sizes or reduce resources for all children. Of course, it is the children who suffer.
We taxpayers need to spit back. Oust the gatekeepers. Return Kansas schools to a reasonable school-finance formula.
Visits to doctors
The Star ran a story some time ago about the many doctors who were self-employed but are now hospital employees even though they appear to be in their regular offices.
We’ve recently noticed another huge change and wonder whether this is a local or nationwide phenomenon. We’re not seeing doctors anymore.
We make the appointment and go to the office, but we never see a doctor. Instead, we see a patient assistant or a nurse practitioner. This change has happened suddenly without a word of explanation.
In several visits, we’ve not been offered a choice even with severe medical problems. Although we are not seeing a doctor, we are paying the same amount.
Shouldn’t we be told when we make the appointment that we won’t be seeing a doctor, and shouldn’t we pay substantially less if we don’t?
We old people (at least this old person) have a very difficult time keeping up with the ever-changing meanings of words or terms. Two of them that drive me up the wall:
▪ Middle class. Back in the 1990s, as a professional earning in the $60,000 range, I was considered “middle class,” approaching “upper middle class.” The way that word is thrown around in politics now, I have to assume middle class is just about anyone with a steady job.
▪ Bullying. I can distinctly remember that for most of my life, “bullying” was physical intimidation (“I’m going to beat your brains out if …”). The way that word is used so freely now, I assume it means anything that ruffles your feelings, like not agreeing with you on a point or expressing a different point of view.
Oh, I forgot one. That idiotic “disrespect,” which I suspect, is the brother of “bullying.”
Bates City, Mo.
Long trip in Kansas
The Republican Kansas Legislature and governor were at it again this year. They were not content to misinterpret the Constitution and the First and Second Amendments as to freedom from religion and gun rights.
They now have found the need to go after those less fortunate than themselves by placing further hardships on them by radicalizing welfare.
The one thing we can look forward to for this bunch, and those who voted them in office, is that when they get to heaven’s door, St. Peter will ask what they accomplished for their fellow man, and then hearing their answer, “Nothing,” he will pull the lever on the trap door and send them straight to hell.
To all Kansans who are dissatisfied with the “kakistocracy” in Topeka, please be advised that our state Constitution provides that “all elected public officials in the state, except judicial officers, shall be subject to recall by voters of the state or political subdivision from which elected. Procedures and grounds for recall shall be prescribed by law.”
As Kansas Democrats seek to rebrand, maybe time spent on organizing a recall vote would be more productive and return the government to the people.
Patrick McGarry, Ph.D.
We were watching the Royals play on television, and a sports talk show broke out. While the Fox announcers spend 20 minutes interviewing someone, no one is calling the game.
They might show a small picture of what is going on, but sometimes we have very little idea what is happening.
The announcers calling the game often talk too much while play is going on. But the interviews are way beyond what most of us want to hear in the middle of the game.