Like children in the playground
It’s often been claimed that perception is reality. In my perception, the United States has a large playground called Washington, D.C. In this playground are children, sometimes referred to as politicians. These children have their favorite toys, which they guard closely and share only with closest friends. When children from outside their circle look at their toys, they start pointing fingers and calling them names.
These children often try to recruit other children into their circle, saying anything their simple logic allows that will convince others they are the cool ones or they are right.
Children often have shortsighted goals while in the playground, seldom seeing past the moment. They easily forget the things they have said in the past to gain favoritism. When challenged about their statements or actions, children often resort to misdirection in an effort to cover transgressions.
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In a real playground, children have adult supervision to watch over them, correcting them when their actions dictate correcting. In the Washington playground, the adult supervision would be the voters. Voters and parents have a responsibility to correct their children when they’re not playing nice in the playground.
Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of children, we had adults walking the halls of power in Washington?
Led by the nose
I am an ex-registered Democrat. Now I’m an ex-registered Republican. I am sick to death of the Republican politicians who let President Obama lead them around by the nose. It’s his way or the highway. Obama and his buddy Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., instigated this whole shutdown to their advantage, and it worked.
Whoever wants to follow Obama down this abyss: Go for it. I’m going independent. I think if more people would do this, it might make the politicians sit up and take notice in their ivory tower. Term limits are another prospect. They’ve held their positions so long that mold has set in.
Bogus cost study
A commentary by Davis Merritt warned that defiance of court-ordered spending on public education may be dangerous to our democratic republic (Oct. 15 Opinion). But the courts’ actions thus far are no less dangerous.
The initial ruling in the Gannon case and the courts in the Montoy case noted that the Legislature provided no evidence indicating that its funding decisions over the years were based on its own detailed analysis. If so, it’s understandable that a court might find that the Legislature had not done enough to arrive at a system that could be measured against a constitutional requirement and send the Legislature back to the drawing board. But it is quite another matter for a court to act as it did in Montoy and set a constitutional standard on the basis of a study deliberately designed to provide inflated figures.
Not a single legislator, superintendent, policy analyst or judge knows what it should cost to efficiently achieve required outcomes, because no such study or analysis has ever been conducted in Kansas. The 2001 Augenblick and Myers cost study was supposed to incorporate efficient use of tax dollars into its analysis, but it deliberately deviated from its own methodology, which gave the courts inflated numbers.
If the courts believe the Legislature has not made “suitable provision for finance,” it is within their right to order the Legislature to do so. They have no authority to create such a system on their own, order the expenditure of money or rule that a bogus cost study is the standard.
Kansas Policy Institute
I am very disappointed in the style of architecture of the River Vista apartments proposed for the west bank of the Arkansas River downtown. I feel the structure should be more like the Farm Credit Bank Building along the river. The George Laham complex will be a gaudy eyesore. The Wichita City Council should not approve this design.