My rules for trick-or-treating:
1. No mask. Too hot, restricts vision, not safe.
2. Carry a pillow case. Very flexible.
3. Hold out hand to get candy. Makes it personal, and you will get more.
4. Don’t go in large groups. People give less to each when they see a large group.
5. Have your parents check candy before eating.
6. Keep a close eye on your father. He loves candy.
Overland Park Billionaire puppeteers
It doesn’t take much computer time to find information that identifies states where an individual billionaire funds his own political party and his beholding legislative lackeys.
It’s called the Buy Your Own State Government Club. Unfortunately, Missouri and Kansas are bought-and-paid-for examples. Both have individuals who seem to own the state legislatures.
Missouri years ago was bamboozled by the term limit fraud and by legislation doing away with ethics laws dealing with political contributions.
These were initiated and passed by the Republicans, taking funds from one individual. In other words, the Missouri GOP seemed to legalize political corruption.
We deserve better from our state legislature, and maybe it’s time to replace the Republican-controlled legislature until lawmakers can shake the grip of their benefactors with the GOP dog whistles.
The Washington House of Representatives is owned by the same club.
Blue Springs Pinching taxpayers
To say I’m opposed to the campaign to assess Jackson County voters with a half-cent sales tax for the next 20 years to fund so-called translational medical research is an understatement.
It is a repugnant idea.
This is not a public-works project worthy of taxpayer funding. This is a private, for-profit venture by groups to fund their research at taxpayer expense.
Our local politicians apparently are not happy with giveaways to developers and sports teams. Now they have dreamed up yet another way to squander taxpayer dollars on for-profit ventures.
Taxpayers, watch your pockets.
Lee’s Summit Sales tax insight
I would like to suggest that Jackson County voters read the article, “How science goes wrong” in the Oct. 19 edition of “The Economist,” before casting their votes Nov. 5 on the half-cent, 20-year sales tax for medical research.
The article should give people a better understanding of how their tax money may be spent.
Overland Park Health care trauma
I saw U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius being interviewed on TV. She said that if 7 million people enroll in Obamacare by the end of 2014, it would be considered a great success.
Seven million, folks, is 2 percent of our population. We as a nation are going through all this mess for 2 percent of the population.
Go figure. I can’t.
Prairie Village Race, KC media
The Oct. 27 Star Magazine was an interesting juxtaposition of race and reality. The story, “Advocacy, activism and 300 good suits,” told the story of Eric Wesson, who is out in the trenches, trying to make sure that African-Americans get a shot at equality in Kansas City.
Yet, on Pages 29 and 30, in the “KC People” section that shows the rich and elite of the Kansas City area mingling with other rich and elite, not one face of color was to be seen.
It looks as if the white citizens of Kansas City say all the right things when it comes to race. Just don’t ask them to practice what they preach.
Boonville, Mo. Deceptive mailers
I am disgusted by a political mailing from unnamed supporters of the half-cent sales tax for medical research.
Starting with its title, “Translational Medicine: Accelerating Cures for Kansas City,” the entire mailing is deceptive.
If Jackson County voters pass the regressive tax, the resulting research is highly unlikely to develop actual “cures.”
Furthermore, there is nothing about the research to be funded by the tax that would accelerate “cures for Kansas City.”
The term “translational medicine” appears repeatedly throughout the mailing. The word “tax” is absent. The only mentions of research refer disparagingly to “traditional research.”
I assume the consultants for the sales-tax proponents found that “translational medicine” suggests a starting point that is only one step from cures, while “translational research” sounds as speculative as it actually is.
I will vote no on the sales tax for translational research.
Kansas City Keeping kids safe
After reading the Oct. 26 article, “Priest pleads to porn charges,” about Shawn F. Ratigan pleading guilty again in a child porn case, I was ecstatic. Something needed to be done with this because child pornography is a crime, and he did it repeatedly.
Do people not put themselves in other people’s shoes before they commit these hideous crimes? Parents of children have the right to protect them from any harm that might come their way.
How safe can parents feel if people in authority are doing this to our children? Our children are not meant for people’s sick amusement. Our children are living, breathing human beings, just as we are.
Shawnee Sebelius, Obamacare
I watched the congressional hearings about the Affordable Health Care Act to see Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, our former Kansas governor, defend and explain.
I didn’t anticipate getting a lesson in how to behave badly if you oppose the policy of the person testifying.
Of course it could be expected that many Republicans would testify in opposition. They’ve made their opinions clear in 44 unsuccessful votes to try to topple the law.
But gentleman after gentleman contradicted, interrupted, sneered and did his best not to listen as the secretary valiantly tried to answer each question courteously and completely.
I found myself hoping students in civics classes, whose teachers might have shown this to expose how government works, were in fact not watching such a display of bad manners.
It was edifying to me as a Democrat to see Democrats present a different face as they asked questions and actually listened to the answers.
Perhaps some Republicans displayed similar behavior. I did watch for quite a while and I didn’t see it.
But I may have missed something. I sincerely hope so.
Roeland Park ‘12 Years a Slave’
My disappointment concerns the movie “12 Years a Slave,” which has gotten rave reviews, but no big theater in Johnson County is going to run it.
Olathe AMC 30 and AMC 20 Town Center informed me that depending on the reviews the movie gets, they will consider it.
The Palazzo will not be showing it at all. I can’t believe in this day and age we are still acting like this but we are. This is not the first time.
When “Lee Daniels’, The Butler” was shown, there were a number of security standing inside one theater. A lot of elderly blacks went to see that movie.
How many all-white cast movies have these theaters shown with awful reviews or that went to video after a few months? They’d rather their prejudice make them miss out on huge profits that “12 Years a Slave” could bring.
We are going to use social media to let everyone know Johnson County is showing its true colors.
Overland Park Pedaling kindness
Recently, I was driving in Fairway looking for an address. I waved over a cyclist.
He explained in detail the directions. But I must have had a quizzical look because he then instructed me to follow him.
I gratefully did so, arriving safely and promptly. A big thank you to Jack, and I never want to hear another negative thing about cyclists taking up too much of the street.