Birth of Jesus was the greatest gift
Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus – the greatest gift the world has ever received.
I wish I could have journeyed to the stable like the shepherds did and beheld the babe in the manger, the Savior of the world. Can you imagine when the shepherds looked up into the night sky and saw and heard a multitude of the angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on Earth and good will toward men”?
How much does God love us? There is only one answer: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Having been around for almost as many years as Santa, I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff and I really don’t need anything. The few things I’d like would be hard to wrap and nestle under the tree, but here’s my Christmas list:
Wisdom to keep my foot out of my mouth. Thoughtfulness to arrive on time. Consideration for other drivers who share the road. Honesty to admit my mistakes and try to correct them. Pride in the ability to work, also called self-esteem. Compassion to see a need and the humility to help. Hope and faith that tomorrow will be better. Loyalty to friends who overlook your cranky days and love you anyhow. Dependability to do what I say I’ll do. Honesty to return a dropped $5 bill. Love to treat everyone with kindness and equality.
Also world peace. Or at least in the neighborhood. And if that’s still too much, could I just have peace in my heart? That’s where all the other gifts begin.
I would like to thank the gentleman who was responsible for an early Christmas blessing. I dropped my wallet in a Spangles parking lot in west Wichita. He picked it up and delivered it to my house. May God shower him and his family with many blessings.
ALLISON CHRISTINE GABLE
Boeing bait, switch
Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, correctly noted that Boeing’s reported decision to not finish the KC-46A tanker in Wichita “violates the unequivocal commitment Boeing made to all Kansans” concerning the tanker (“Boeing needs to honor its promise on tankers,” Dec. 21 Opinion). He further pointed out that Boeing also made this promise to the U.S. Air Force. Pompeo also noted the diligent and persistent efforts made by Kansans on Boeing’s behalf to get that contract.
In view of Boeing’s decision to renege on these promises – particularly to the Air Force – it appears that Boeing has pulled a bait and switch on the citizens of Kansas, the United States and the Air Force. Therefore, it should be ruled that Boeing is not fulfilling its promises in regard to the contract and the entire contract should be reopened.
Airbus is expanding in Wichita and contracts work to Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita. Why should Kansans support Chicago-based Boeing in view of its consistent record of misrepresentation to us?
Not held harmless
An undernourished body can’t achieve its full potential. Neither can underfunded schools.
Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan to rewrite the school-finance formula includes a “hold harmless” provision for school districts. This means that when the formula takes effect, districts would not get less funding than they are currently receiving. In some cases, districts could see more funds in their budgets.
School districts across the state are pleased the governor is not recommending further cuts. However, this plan does nothing to restore the historic cuts to public education that school districts, communities, teachers and students have had to endure the past few years. Rather, it permanently (unless student populations grow or more local property taxes are levied) institutes the cuts that have seen school districts eliminate numerous positions and programs.
In Andover, 23 teaching positions and 44 supplemental positions have been lost since 2009. If “education is to the state government what defense is to the federal government: its primary function,” as Brownback has suggested, why doesn’t his school-finance formula truly hold school districts harmless and work to restore the cuts of the past?
January is fast approaching, and the legislative session will be fast and furious. Communicating with your legislator will be crucial.
Andover Education Association
“Cut spending” (Dec. 13 Letters to the Editor) suggested spending cuts in Washington, D.C. I was completely in agreement until the letter writer proposed an exemption for the military.
I am an ardent supporter of the armed forces, and my disagreement does not stem from a desire to see them diminished. My argument is that such a proposed exemption is exactly why the budget is never reduced.
Every agency in the federal government is important to someone, and he will fight tooth and nail to protect it. The reason Congress never cuts the budget is because every proposal makes exceptions for certain programs or departments. The ensuing debate on spending priorities always results in stalemate.
If we truly want a smaller federal budget, everyone must be willing to sacrifice. Make cuts in every department, reform Social Security and Medicare, and we can finally pay down some of our national debt.
District 4 coordinator
Libertarian Party of Kansas
The Keystone XL pipeline project promises to bring hundreds of jobs to Kansas. Among those listed by TransCanada are bartenders, librarians and bread bakers. The company may throw in some construction jobs. But what else is it expected to bring?
TransCanada promised an increase in Midwestern oil prices, which could drive up the cost of gasoline. Higher gas costs mean more lost jobs, perhaps more jobs lost than created in Kansas.
Kansas already has a Keystone pipeline, and it had a leak at a pump station this past May. The highly acidic bitumen quickly corrodes the pipeline steel. Kansas refiners are suing TransCanada for price gouging. Kansas oil is shipped on the existing pipeline, and TransCanada overcharged customers and is being sued for $2 billion in damages.
Speaking of charges, our Legislature decided to give TransCanada a property-tax break (the only state to do so), which can cause us to lose $100 million in tax revenue. The requirement in K.S.A. 79-32,223 is that the pipeline connects to Kansas refineries. But there are no plans to do so. And if the pipeline wants to come through your property you had better sign over your property, or eminent domain will be used, as has been done in Nebraska.
I’m a grandmother and great-aunt. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel that U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius did the right thing by not allowing Plan B to be sold over the counter to girls younger than 17 (Dec. 18 Opinion). Parents should know what is going on in the lives of their daughters, and a young girl shouldn’t be able to go into a store and buy this drug like she’s buying a piece of candy.
Having this drug available on the shelves would give human traffickers of young girls a big break. All they would have to do is give the young girls a pill so they wouldn’t get pregnant. It may sound horrible that a grandmother could think of such a thing, but young girls are being kidnapped off the streets to be sold and bought for sex. There is a bad, bad side of this pill.