Hey, America. Where’s your outrage?
Do you realize the majority of the GOP in the Senate earlier this year rejected a veterans benefit bill? Only two GOP senators (including Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran) voted for the bill, thereby killing the legislation that would have extended health and education benefits to the thousands of American soldiers returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
These GOP senators likely voted for these wars, voted for every appropriation for these wars and have now voted to turn their backs on our brave warriors who made tremendous personal and professional sacrifices to fight these wars.
What a shame. How morally objectionable.
Wars cost money as well as lives, and now the Republicans say they will not support veterans because it would bust the federal budget. Did they have such misgivings before voting for the wars?
Wars are costly not just for the operations, materials and logistics but also in the human casualties that arise from participating in them. What a dishonor to our veterans who were asked to give up their lives for our country.
I hope the electorate will remember this travesty of legislative power in the upcoming elections.
Tonganoxie Virtual school choice
My daughter Madelyn had attended brick-and-mortar schools from kindergarten to seventh grade. We recently started to see a change in her attitude and confidence.
Her grades were slipping and her love of learning was gone. I knew a change was needed.
Kansas has very few options, but I did my research and came across the virtual public school, InSight School of Kansas. We thought we would give it a try.
The decision was life-changing. Madelyn is flourishing, being able to work at her own pace without the distractions of traditional public school.
The Kansas Legislature is proposing a drastic cut to virtual schools, so drastic that if enacted it would make Madelyn’s school and other virtual schools close.
Kansas needs public school options. All of the progress accomplished with Madelyn’s confidence and study habits would be lost. Virtual schools not only allow for freedom for students like Madelyn but also come with cost savings to taxpayers.
Legislators need to understand what they are doing. Decisions they make in Topeka have consequences for students all over Kansas.
Louisburg Court’s unjust ruling
I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that the U.S. Supreme Court would be so dense as to allow unlimited donations to political campaigns.
The court used to be the final stop for justice and fairness. Where is the fairness in this decision?
Do I have as much money as the Koch brothers? Do any of my friends or family or those I associate with on a regular basis?
How are our voices to be heard?
This is another step toward a conservative oligarchy that is being foisted upon the masses by a small cabal that is only interested in how much more can be squeezed out of those masses.
It is time for us to rise up and make our voices heard. We must not allow this cabal to gain all the power.
Kansas City Vegetarian benefits
A recent issue of Time magazine cites several reasons for vegetarians living longer. The article was prompted by a report in the American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine that said a vegetarian diet lowers blood pressure, a key factor in risk of heart failure and stroke.
The Mayo Clinic notes that vegetarians are at lower risk for developing diabetes, another factor in heart disease. Indeed, an Oxford University study reported in last year’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease.
Moreover, researchers at California’s Loma Linda University, examining records of 70,000 patients, concluded last year that a vegetarian diet protects against colorectal and other types of cancer.
It’s no wonder that a 2012 Harvard University study of 120,000 people concluded that meat consumption raises the risk of total, heart and cancer mortality.
The good news: Each of us can find our own fountain of youth by adopting a meat-free and dairy-free diet. An Internet search on “vegan recipes” or “live vegan” provides ample resources.
Kansas City Cameras no solution
Nothing is more tragic than a fatal driveway accident. But well-meaning legislators who want to enact a feel-good fix often craft backward mandates with half-measures (4-1, A1, “Mandate for rear-view auto cameras cheered”). Mandated rear-view cameras offer soon-to-be obsolete solutions.
Rear-view cameras are already becoming commonplace without a mandate. But the problem remains that the driver has to look at the camera’s screen. And a glance is not enough.
Screens are often ignored after countless excursions, and to save every life the driver must watch that limited-view every second of every trip. And that’s the problem with this mandate — it relies on technology to the exclusion of common sense.
For parents backing out of a driveway, please ignore the video screen. Turn your head. Look over your shoulder both ways. See where you are going, and do not look forward again until you plan to drive forward.
Technology and mandates should look forward, not backward. There are already ultrasonic devices that warn of moving objects around a car. Imagine a loud warning that something is moving into the path of a car.
Let’s put our efforts into future-proof solutions that cannot be ignored.
Shawnee Unity in Russia
There is an adage in Europe, “Trouble for Europe always starts in the Balkans.” World War I is one of the examples of trouble starting in the Balkan Mountains and spreading.
The United States needs to be very careful with its actions in the Ukraine. Napoleon tried to interfere with Russia and failed, and so did Hitler. The Russian people have a long history of coming together to expel meddlers in their affairs. The Russians may quarrel among themselves forever, but if we step in, they will all turn on us.
The Black Sea ports are very important to Russian commerce as well as for supplying natural gas to Europe. Don’t expect any concessions and nice negotiations. This is home territory. The U.S. should talk but not act because the Black Sea and Crimean Peninsula will be defended by Russia until the last man is standing.
Kansas City Keep O’Hara open
Meeting their demise because of low enrollment, several schools of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph have regrettably closed over the last few years, St. Mary’s High School in Independence being the latest.
All are remembered for once being thriving schools. If the diocese gets its way, another obituary will soon be written for Archbishop O’Hara High School. However, unlike the other schools when they closed, O’Hara in southeast Kansas City is vibrant and viable.
Those who have visited know it to be true.
Like anything, it isn’t perfect. It is home to a 50-year tradition of excellent Catholic education, amazingly dedicated families and staff, and a diverse and talented group of great kids. But the plan may be for it all to be gone. The green and gold, the lessons, the school masses, the students’ cheers in a packed gym — all gone.
As Cerner moves in, the diocese plans to move out, choosing to abandon one part of town in favor of a suburb to the east. Pulling the plug on O’Hara would be a needless and avoidable tragedy.
Raytown Development handout
Let me guess, the Kansas City Power Light Building that is to be developed into luxury apartments will receive millions of dollars in tax incentives, and its apartment owners will receive property-tax abatements for the next 25 years (4-3, A1, “Luxury apartments could revive landmark”).