I found it almost humorous (except the story involved taxes) that Missouri thinks it is overly burdensome to notify any of the 140,000 state businesses when its taxing status is changed, thus requiring it to charge sales tax when it had been previously exempt (1-26, A4, “Averting nasty surprises”).
Instead, the burden is placed on the individual businesses to constantly monitor the tax laws to make sure they are paying the correct amount.
It reminds me of the U.S. Postal Service decision in 1963. Rather than teaching its employees geography, the Postal Service chose to have 200 million people learn zip codes.
I’m an old man, but even I know how to write an email. Copy and paste tax law changes and hit send on an email blast.
It might take a whole minute. It might be efficient. It might solve a problem.
Think about it. It would be so easy, and nobody would have to learn zip codes.
Women face bias
I was at a stoplight recently on College Boulevard. While waiting, and being bombarded with loud shouts of murders of babies and large signs reading, “No abortion,” the 10-year-old sitting with me asked what was happening.
I asked him what he thought. His reply was right on.
He said, “These people don’t want women to have equal rights.”
I prodded him to elucidate.
So he replied, “Women are discriminated against earning unequal pay, in places like work, with glass ceilings, blamed for rape and beaten in domestic violence in their own home.”
He learned in school that women were legally allowed to vote in 1920 after years of protests. He asked whether I knew that and whether I had been born by then and said it wasn’t all that long ago.
But, even Title VII, which bans discrimination in the workplace, doesn’t work for women. “Why?” I asked.
And he patiently explained that women have only 180 days to file a complaint if they are paid less than men on the same job, and because no one discusses pay scales at work, how can she find out until much later or even after she retires from the job?
On news that the Koch brothers and about 300 of their wealthy friends plan to put almost $900 million into the 2016 presidential and congressional elections, I suggest an alternative (1-27, A1, “Lofty sum to stoke campaign for 2016”). Cut out the middle men and save us the anguish of hundreds of nasty TV commercials, offensive mailings and irritating phone calls.
There’s no need for an election. Just auction the office of president to the highest bidder.
Open bidding about Oct. 15, give folks a little time to get organized, shift alliances and build momentum, and then at 10 p.m. on Nov. 8, 2016, declare who had the winning bid.
In response to your Jan. 28 story, “Lobbyists saw budget first,” I found it troubling that a number of Kansas government officials claimed that the use of private email accounts was necessary to conduct official government business while at home.
I know from 25 years of government service that all government email systems from the federal down to the local levels have web portals that allow access to government email accounts via the Internet while at home.
There is no legitimate reason to conduct or communicate official government business with private email accounts. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying to cover his real motivation and should be investigated to the full extent of the law.
GOP, climate change
Republicans who are asked whether they “believe” in climate change now give the rote response, “I’m not a scientist.”
All the more reason for them to listen to actual scientists and not to the deniers at the Koch brothers-funded Heartland Institute.
Anyway, it’s not necessary to prove whether the cause is man-made before limiting carbon emissions. If your house is on fire or your child has leukemia, would you wait to determine the exact cause before taking action?
If Republicans had been around in biblical times, they would have kept Noah from building the ark until he had proof the coming flood had a man-made cause.
Let’s demand these science-deniers stop carrying umbrellas until they have proof the cause of rain is man-made.
When will former smokers get a break? More than two years ago, I quit smoking and switched to electronic cigarettes.
My health improved, with no more morning coughing fits, and my blood pressure is now normal.
I can smell and taste things.
Heck, for a while I even got a break on my health insurance.
Now the Olathe City Council is trying to ban e-cigarette use in public.
There is a tremendous body of real science showing e-cigarettes are harmless to bystanders and next to harmless for primary users.
The only argument for the ban I could gather from the City Council meeting recordings was that the police were being called when people were confusing e-cigarette use with smoking.
This poor excuse for a reason isn’t even backed with data from the Police Department to determine whether it is a real law-enforcement issue.
I don’t think it’s my right to use my e-cigarettes wherever I go.
But it should be every business owner’s right to choose to allow or not allow e-cigarettes at his or her business, just as I have a choice whether to visit that business.
Wrongs of torture
After seeing the movie “Unbroken,” I find it hard to understand how anyone can condone torture in its many manifestations. Yet, that is exactly what the Bush-Cheney administration has done.
In their youth, former Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush pursued military deferments to avoid war and the opportunity to demonstrate personal courage.
After 9/11 they chose a path of false expediency rather than honor our society’s commitment of demonstrating mercy and magnanimity to our enemies when faced with evil.
Now they deny having used torture while celebrating their application of its techniques. A partisan and politically divided citizenry refuses to pursue justice for those who authorized torture as a governmental policy and legalized its implementation.
History will not be so kind, and morality is not so easily manipulated. A true war hero, Sen. John McCain, has spoken as witness for both.
Sad holiday delivery
My partner and I own and operate a small cattery in Kansas City, specializing in breeding of show-quality hairless kittens.
Last month, a few weeks before Christmas, we were arranging to provide a kitten to a family with three young children in the New England area, and the kitten was the majority of their Christmas.
On Dec. 2, when we expected to receive word of their joyful meeting, we discovered they arrived at the airport to be handed a crate containing a frozen kitten.
Not only was the kitten dead and frozen, but her food, water and litter had been spilled out into the crate, providing further proof of the airline’s mishandling during her transportation from Kansas City to Philadelphia.
The final report says airline officials feel they “fulfilled their part of the obligation by delivering the kitten,” as though there was no obligation for her to still be breathing upon arrival.
Upon further research, we have learned that this is not an uncommon happening with this airline, and a quick Google search will provide you more information on the lack of care taken by this multibillion-dollar corporation.
We’ve started a petition on Change.org and will continue working to get the word out.
Kansas City, Kan.