Gov. Jay Nixon should veto the bill creating a privileged class for nursing mothers (4-1, A4, “Nursing moms are poised to get a break in Missouri”).
Jury duty is an essential responsibility of our democracy, but for too long justice was unequally meted out by an exclusive group, until the courts established that participation by all races, genders and ethnic groups was required.
Still, many seek to shirk their civic responsibility, expecting others to do the work of democracy.
In the 1980s, I nursed two children for 15 months each while working full time. I froze a supply of milk for caregivers during my maternity leaves and continued to express and save milk at the office and at conferences away from home. While it takes effort and planning, it’s not unreasonably complicated.
Women’s brains work just fine even while pregnant or nursing. A private place to express is a reasonable accommodation. Creating a privileged class exempt from civic responsibility is not a reasonable accommodation.
Generations of women worked too hard to be taken seriously for something like this to rear its ugly head in the 21st century. Please don’t turn the clock back to the days of “don’t worry your pretty little head.”
Chillicothe, Mo. Transparent Obama
Finally, after many pleas from throughout America for the administration to be more transparent, the president has addressed those pleas, albeit, perhaps unwittingly.
The administration has directed that many of the directives in Obamacare be postponed until (conveniently) after the next round of congressional and presidential elections.
It is perfectly clear to the administration that many Democratic officeholders’ positions will be at risk because of their support of Obamacare and some of its rules and regulations.
So now the administration is perfectly transparent in its quest for Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and perhaps another Democrat in the White House.
When a president makes 25 or 30 changes in a law that is so controversial, it is not to promote a “smooth transition,” as the president claims. The real reason is all too transparent.
Maynard J. Mitchell
Independence Praise for minister
The Rev. Sharon Garfield’s leadership shaped Newhouse shelter for abused women and sustained the mission of Grace United Church in northeast Kansas City. She struck a light of hope for many and was always a motivating presence in other lives, including mine.
May we hold her in our hearts and give thanks for her guidance.
Lee’s Summit Streetcar questions
I’ve been hearing and reading about new streetcars coming to downtown and nearby areas for several years. I’m 78 years old, grew up in Kansas City and rode the old streetcars in the late 1940s and early 1950s as a teenager.
The trolley buses were replacing a lot of the rail lines, and then came the modern motor buses, which replaced them all. I thought this was progress.
Can someone explain to me the rationale for reverting to the streetcar? Also, what does the modern streetcar have over the buses we already have?
Raymore Disregarding Kansas
The Koch brothers supported Americans for Prosperity’s media blitz attacking Kansas’ wind industry and lingering anger toward former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for halting the Holcomb coal plant and for promoting Obamacare.
Although Americans for Prosperity clamors for repeal of the Renewable Portfolio Standards, the American Legislative Exchange Council is the actual ringleader behind the scenes. Dedicated ALEC members in the Kansas Legislature, Senate President Susan Wagle, House Speaker Ray Merrick and House Energy and Environment Committee Chairman Dennis Hedke, ardently promote ALEC’s national interests, disregarding those of Kansans.
These anti-wind energy legislators seek repeal or weakening of Kansas’ renewable standard knowing Americans for Prosperity’s wind cost information is wrong, as Kansas Corporation Commission data cite Environmental Protection Agency-mandated coal-plant retrofits and transmission upgrades as primarily responsible for rate increases.
Repealing or weakening Kansas’ standards is ALEC’s prime objective. Success in Kansas would be a springboard for repealing standards legislation elsewhere.
This outcome would hurt Kansas’ economy as demand for low-cost Kansas wind energy and Kansas-built wind-energy components would drop. Sadly, these legislative leaders are sacrificing a growing wind market and jobs to appease ALEC and its donors.
Hutchinson, Kan. Buying elections
Regarding the McCutcheon vs. the Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision removing most limits on financial gifts to political campaigns, remember the good old days, about a century ago, when elections were bought by paying people to vote? Wouldn’t that be a far superior way to buy elections, especially considering what power is doing to wages?
Rita J. Norton
Kansas City Congressional rules
According to congressional rules, the Speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader (John Boehner and Harry Reid) are charged with establishing the calendars for their respective chambers. If Boehner or Reid does not like a bill, he can choose to not bring it to the floor for a vote.
End of story. The bill is dead.
It would make a big difference if we could force each house to vote on any bill that was sent to it by the other house. In short, House or Senate members would have to go on the record with a vote — yea or nay.
Because our current crop of politicians have recently changed many a law, here is a change that makes sense.
Every single bill that has been approved by either the House or the Senate must be voted upon by the other house within one year. Failure to do so will deem the bill to be approved and sent to the president for signature or veto.
Pleasant Hill Cellphone guardian
I was bicycling around the area of Interstate 435 and 103rd Street some time last year.
After riding several miles, I came back to my vehicle, which was parked at the ball fields in the area, and discovered that my cellphone had fallen out of my bicycle bag.
It could have fallen out anywhere, so I thought it was lost forever.
That evening while checking emails I noticed one that said, “I think I have your cellphone.”
It was from a gentleman named Larry Arnold. I couldn’t believe it.
I emailed him to tell him that I would be working at the Kansas City Zoo in guest relations the next day and that I could meet him afterward.
Well, lo and behold, Larry and his wife showed up with my phone the next day at the zoo.
They are Friends of the Zoo members and knew who I was, and they thought they would return my phone to me there.
I told one of our managers about this, and she said it kind of restores people’s faith in humanity.
I said, no, it reconfirms what I think of Friends of the Zoo members.
Thank you so much, Larry.
Kansas City No postal ‘service’
I went on vacation and recently returned. I had put in a hold-mail request with the U.S. Postal Service a couple of days before I was to leave.
Yet I continued to get my mail. I then called my area post office and gave my confirmation number. An employee told me they would take care of it.
When I got home, I had days of mail in my mailbox.
What a waste of time.
And the prices of stamps and services continue to rise. What a joke.
Kansas City Ripley, take note
I was heading into Kansas City recently via Interstate 70 when a motorcycle came up the entrance ramp from Van Brunt Boulevard alongside me.
Unbelievably, the operator stayed at the 55 mph speed limit all the way into town.