Reverse cuts to military pensions
I recently learned about the $6 billion cut to military pensions that was part of the last budget deal. Frankly, this is appalling and unbelievable.
A dear friend who is on disability benefits and whose husband is a Vietnam veteran told me that this cut will leave no money for food after their normal bills are paid each month. Of all the groups to be shortchanged, veterans are the last who should be affected this way.
Though many of these dear families may not complain, those of us who know veterans or their families must ask them what they have and how we could help. And whoever is responsible for the pension cut should be banned from politics.
We have been blessed with so much in this wonderful, prosperous land. Surely each of us can do our part for these worthy families until the right actions are taken to stop such unfairness.
House Bill 2453, promoted by Rep. Charles Macheers, R-Shawnee, is the most ridiculous anti-gay propaganda I have seen or read (“Bill shields Kansans who refuse services to gay couples,” Jan. 29 Eagle). You own a business (to make money), but because you have certain “sincerely held religious beliefs,” you are free to refuse services (and lose money) without fear of being sued for discrimination because the customers are gay?
Why are so many people obsessed with whom someone else marries? It reminds me of kids in kindergarten refusing to play with kids they think are different. I do not think God would have people bully, disrespect, threaten, penalize or punish others just for being who they are.
What message is this proposed bill sending? Mom and Dad have a business and it’s OK for them to treat people this way, so it must mean I can, too.
Macheers said that “this is a religious freedom bill and only a religious freedom bill.” Who decides who sincerely holds religious beliefs? Will there be a “sincerely held religious beliefs” police to determine who is sincere and who is faking it?
Why can’t we just be kind to each other?
Wrong to report
I read with dismay and sadness the article about the guardianship battle for Vashti Seacat’s sons (Feb. 2 Eagle). How upset she would be to know the innocent sons she cherished so much would have their pictures on the front page of the Sunday Eagle. How much more upsetting it would be to know that your sons will be able to, with the simplicity and speed of an Internet search in an uncontrolled environment, read all about their family conflicts.
Shame on The Eagle for reporting on a private family matter. No doubt sensationalism sells news. But it’s unfortunate that The Eagle, which chooses not to disclose the names and pictures of children who become victims of crimes, chose not only to make this civil custody issue a front-page story but also to print the boys’ picture for everyone to see. The Eagle put the privacy and well-being of these innocent boys second to selling “headline news.”
We should pray for wisdom for District Judge Larry Solomon as he weighs the recommendations on March 27, and pray that the Hostetler, Forrest and Seacat families understand these boys need what family they have left. May the families put aside their public display of discord and focus on the important task of raising these boys in a loving environment.
Tax cuts flopped
Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts to spur economic growth are clearly not working.
I highly recommend the excellent commentary “Brownback puts lipstick on a pig,” by distinguished Wichita State University professor H. Edward Flentje (Feb. 2 Opinion). This is not normal political spin but factual data that can be verified. Based on current projections, Kansas is headed for a $1 billion deficit over a five-year period, in spite of drastic Brownback cutbacks in education and services to vulnerable Kansans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kansas was 41st in the nation for job growth in 2013. Kansas lags the nation and all of the surrounding states (including Missouri) in this important category.
It is time to give up on the Brownback ideology that clearly isn’t working and to get back to sound financial management for the state of Kansas.
Why not working?
“Brownback puts lipstick on a pig” (Feb. 2 Opinion) said the governor claims his tax cuts will spur economic growth and cover future budget holes but offers only belief to support his claims. Maybe his belief is based on a couple of other states in which tax cuts are having exactly those results – if you believe the economic data. It might be more helpful to question why it’s not working in Kansas.
The “pro” and “con” column on whether President Obama is overreaching on executive orders (Feb. 2 Opinion) essentially had only two “pro” viewpoints. The one labeled “con” was devoted to saying that overreaching done by the George W. Bush administration had only bad results. That sounded like a “pro” vote to me, unless you assume that Obama is inherently smarter and more trustworthy than Bush.
HARRY R. CLEMENTS