The upsurge of al-Qaida violence in Iraq is exactly what our National Intelligence Estimates predicted would happen if the U.S. invaded that country. While a majority in both Congress and the media beat the drums of war because of the prevarications about weapons of mass destruction by the Bush administration, National Intelligence Estimates stated that military action against Iraq would only serve to make that country a powerful aid to al-Qaida’s recruiting and training.
Before the U.S. invasion, al-Qaida had no presence in Iraq because Saddam Hussein, for all his flaws, would not tolerate it there. So it happens that a country that played no part in the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy now greatly serves terrorists in keeping the Middle East unstable and hostile to U.S. interests.
It’s another part of the Bush legacy.
Warrensburg, Mo. Disguised hate state
A bill enabling businesses and people to refuse service to gay people was passed the Kansas House but was killed in its Senate. I am going to put exactly what I did on my Facebook page about it.
This is a civil and human rights issue, and this law would allow every form of homophobia to arise rather than religious belief. This is what I wrote :
“When my veteran, disabled daughter visited me, she happens to be gay, I held her twice while her head was nearly exploding. If you think this mother is going to stand by while her daughter is, by the state of Kansas, a second-class citizen, after she defended my rights, you are out of your ever-loving mind. This is not religion but disguised hate.”
Kansas City Evolution teachings
I am amazed by the people who write letters to The Star and spout what they think is authentic. To the March 1 Kansas resident who wrote about a Missouri legislator wanting to exempt Christians from evolution teaching:
• Be concerned with topics that involve your state first.
• Evolution is not something you can test. It is an inferred theory. No one has witnessed one animal becoming a completely different animal.
• The great scientists have learned about the world with the Bible as their textbook. If it is true science, different theories should be presented until one can be tested over and over again with a positive result.
Lee’s Summit Costly green zone
The Feb. 25 Star reported on the Green Impact Zone, “At 5, green zone still a seedling.” It speaks of the empowerment felt by residents in the zone and energy-efficiency improvements through weatherization and smart meters as major achievements over the program’s five years.
A couple of numbers are important. One goal was to weatherize 1,000 or more homes. Fewer than 200 were actually completed at a cost of $2.7 million, or more than $13,500 per home. If the work saves the homeowner $1,000 per year (several times the $20-$25 per month noted by one resident), it will take years to save that much.
The smart-meter project spent $24 million in federal dollars and $24 million from KCP to install 14,000 meters. That’s more than $3,400 per meter. At an electricity savings rate of up to 16 percent in “peak summer hours” attributed to these meters in the article, that might result in some savings in the cooling season but would take years to recover the initial cost.
It is about time ambitious government programs like this have accountability attached. The goals are fine. The performance, not so much.
The math isn’t that hard.
Independence KCI conveniences
As somebody who worked 28 years at the downtown airport and at Kansas City International Airport, I wonder why the mayor and City Council don’t listen to the majority of their constituents.
It is my understanding that the mayor and council members are there to represent us. More than 85 percent of the people who travel and use the airport have nothing but excellent comments to make.
They like KCI’s easy parking, easy drop-offs, easy pickups, no long lines and reasonable landing fees. Even the current airline operators don’t want a new terminal.
Aviation Director Mark VanLoh said he couldn’t guarantee more business or airline traffic with a new terminal. But with a new terminal, landing fees would increase, leaving us, the customers, with higher ticket prices.
During my tenure at KCI, I have heard on numerous occasions from the traveling public how visitors wished their airports were as easy and convenient as ours.
I seriously wonder who will really reap the rewards of building a new airport?
Kansas City Money in politics
Why is the Koch brothers’ money the only bad and unpatriotic money in the political system? Even Gail Collins in her March 9 column, “The Koch brothers and their fellow oligarchs,” mentions Tom Steyer and others who spend money to get their way.
Unions don’t have to disclose their contributors or make detailed explanations of their lobbying. Let’s be fair about money in politics.
All sides are guilty. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a forum to rail against his enemies — the Koch brothers. He is no more legitimate than those on the other side.
Basehor Attack on teachers
As I was going inside the grocery store, someone asked me to sign a petition to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would base teacher pay by “quantifiable student performance” (standardized test scores), remove teacher tenure, throw seniority for teachers out the door and institute a number of other rules, basically removing job security for teachers.
The gentleman was being paid for his services and was totally misinforming the public about who was behind this petition. He said the Teach Great Initiative comes from a “grass-roots” group of teachers and educators, and he didn’t know from where the money was coming.
Upon researching teachgreat.org, I didn’t see even one teacher’s name, only a couple of attorneys, and I found that Rex Sinquefield, Missouri’s largest political donor, contributed more than $750,000. That didn’t sound like “grass roots” to me.
If Teach Great is going to pay people to do its campaigning, the least it can do is give them proper training and information about the wealthy businessmen who are trying to make teaching an even more difficult profession in which to make a living.
Citizens, please beware of the petitions you are asked to sign.
Raytown Government intrusion
It is truly offensive to be ruled by a city and county government that dictates how my yard waste should be managed. As a 75-year-old, well-informed resident of Overland Park, I believe I am capable of determining what to do with my yard waste.
By the same token, my trash contractor is well qualified to decide what materials to dump into his own landfill. I really don’t need government in my grass clippings.
Please, just take care of the streets, police and fire protection and leave me alone with my leaves.
Overland Park Hobby Lobby case
Apparently, our state legislators, Hobby Lobby, some physicians and pharmacists, and some florists and photographers do not grasp what freedom of religion means. They absolutely have the right to hold whatever beliefs they wish, but they may not impose those beliefs on others.
They remind me of the Puritans and Pilgrims. They sought religious freedom for themselves but did not permit it for others. They used torture and exile on others who would not practice their faith.
No one is requiring owners of Hobby Lobby to use birth control or require employees to use it.
Florists and photographers who refuse the serve gay couples at weddings need to get into another field. One may apply his or her religious beliefs only to himself or herself.
That is what separation of church and state means.