In his attempt to throw ice on the science of climate change, columnist Charles Krauthammer touched on an important principle that is relevant to this debate (Feb. 22 Opinion). Krauthammer stated that “I’ve long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”
The Legislature seems to be going down a yellow brick road and encountering some paths with roadblocks. The Senate killed the House-passed religious freedom bill. The spanking bill didn’t survive. But there is still more deserving of a roadblock. The Senate has passed a bill that would make it a felony for federal wildlife agents to do their job in protecting some prairie chickens.
Kansas City Star columnist Steve Paul wrote that the proposed Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., needed a “reboot” (Feb. 23 Opinion). Paul supports discarding the current design – and designer – in favor of returning to square one.
The current debate about the need to protect “religious freedom” reminds me of the debate that took place in this country in 1883, the year that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was unconstitutional. The Civil Rights Act provided that all persons “shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement.” In explaining its decision, the majority of the court found that private acts of discrimination were simply private acts that the federal government was powerless to correct.
It’s laudable that President Obama should use his own experiences to relate to and advocate for young men of color (Feb. 28 Eagle). But as the government launches yet-another initiative to combat the effects of fatherless young men, it will no doubt skip over the most obvious root of what affects these boys’ futures even more – the explosion of out-of-wedlock births in the black community. That is why young black women need to be included in the conversation.
House Bill 2521, promoted by Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, R-Grandview Plaza, would make school districts report the number of children without documents. Does Rothlisberg know the two other dimensions he needs to access to get the full picture?
All our Kansas children deserve the right to a high-quality K-12 public school education.
It is high time we start supporting our animal shelters by stopping the threat of puppy mills and by ensuring shelters don’t have an increase in license fees. From personal experience working at two different shelters, I have seen the effects of puppy mills in the animals brought in and the numbers relinquished.
Reading the wording of House Bill 2453, the Religious Freedom Act, it becomes apparent that what we were being told and what was being sold were two different things. We were told it was to protect cake makers. But what was refusal of employment, counseling and social services doing in the bill? It wasn’t even hidden in the fine print.
What is going on with the Kansas Supreme Court? Why does it continue to stall on the school-funding ruling? Are the justices so cowed by Gov. Sam Brownback and his cronies that they can no longer perform their jobs? Our kids deserve better.
I offer a solution for curing the punchy and distracted nature of our Kansas lawmakers (“Need to realign priorities,” Feb. 23 Eagle Editorial). It is simply for each of them to visit a public school classroom in their home district soon.
The Legislature wants to pass laws preventing local and county governments from passing laws restricting gun access, and overturn any existing laws to that effect. At the same time, state lawmakers want to pass laws preventing federal law on gun restrictions from being valid regarding “Kansas only” guns made and kept in the state.
Ever wonder what Kansas legislators do? Rep. Brett Hildabrand, R-Shawnee, introduced a bill, which passed a House committee last week, that would “suspend by legislation the operation of all federal laws, rules, regulations and orders regarding health care.” In other words, he is trying to have Kansas opt out of the Affordable Care Act.
Is there no one in the Statehouse who will defend our voting rights? Is there no one worried about the expense of the changes made in the past months, which include the extra time required to follow up on our “suspended” voting registrations by the offices of election commissioners and county clerks across the state?
In regard to House Bill 2699, introduced by Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita (Feb. 19 Eagle): Since when is it a parental right to hit a child hard enough to leave a red mark or a bruise?
My intent in phoning in the tip about a fatal hit-and-run accident was to aid in the apprehension of those responsible. That remains the most important element of this entire debacle (“Hit-and-run tipster likely won’t get paid,” Feb. 17 Eagle).
I so enjoyed a PBS episode of “Great Performances” on the 50th anniversary of London’s Royal National Theatre that I watched it twice. Especially poignant was a scene in which Dame Judi Dench performed one of my favorite songs from the musical theater tradition, Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” (from “A Little Night Music”). Then reading the paper later it occurred to me that this would make the perfect anthem for the Legislature: “But where are the clowns? Quick, send in the clowns. Don’t bother, they’re here.”
I read with interest about the legislators who voted for House Bill 2453, the Religious Freedom Act, and now regret it and wish it would “go away” (Feb. 18 Eagle). Most interesting was the statement by House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, at the very end of the article.
Here is a brief overview of the Common Core standards for history, government and social studies – my field of expertise:
I read the commentary by Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, with fascination, as I wanted to hear from the chairman of the committee that passed House Bill 2453 exactly how he interpreted this legislative action (“Bill protects religious liberties,” Feb. 13 Opinion).
Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, stated that the “religious freedom” bill “protects those on both sides of the marriage debate” (Feb. 13 Opinion). I assume he thinks the one paragraph (Section 4, paragraph C) in the bill that says it does not discriminate somehow “balances” the other 19 or so paragraphs in support of discrimination.
I came back to Kansas last week to bury my father.
I am a retired registered nurse who has been working in the medical field since I was 16. I have seen numerous objections to health care based on religion.
Paraphrasing what a Congressional Budget Office representative recently told Congress: People given heavily subsidized health care would be less likely to maintain full employment.
“We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” It was a sign posted in cafes and restaurants and at drugstore lunch counters in our country throughout much of the 20th century. It was neither a threat nor a promise to refuse service to “anyone.” Rather, it was notice that no one of African descent would be served there. It was commonly accepted by a large majority as just the way things were, or even as they should be. It began to disappear when some brave and proud African-Americans just sat at the counter not being served.
The Eagle editorial board recently admonished the Legislature that climate change is real, and that science should guide lawmakers and not ideological passions (Feb. 7 Eagle Editorial). It also editorialized in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline, citing the jobs created and the fact that the dirty tar sands will be exported somewhere (Feb. 4 Eagle Editorial) – no matter that this ugly scar runs right across the Flint Hills of Kansas, and no matter that this vile stuff is dug industrially out of now fractured and destroyed pristine bog-prairie in northern Alberta, that the “jobs” advertised are fewer than claimed and temporary, that the gunk will be refined for export to South America and Asia, and no matter that the profits will accrue to fat cats in Canada, boardrooms on Wall Street and tycoons in Asia.
I have a great sense of trepidation regarding the state of democracy and the government’s willingness to protect all Kansans after reading “Bill shielding Kansans who refuse to serve gays advances” (Feb. 7 Eagle). This bill, if passed, would further marginalize the gay community by giving permission to private businesses to refuse service to gays, and would allow individuals, even as government employees, to refuse to serve gays.
“Immigration is American” (Feb. 6 Eagle Editorial) criticized a tweet by Kasey Knowles, National American Miss Kansas 2013, regarding the Coca-Cola advertisement featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in multiple languages with images of America’s land and population. The tweet clearly showed Knowles’ lack of understanding and knowledge of the history of our country and the impact of immigration throughout hundreds of years.
Looking at the various bills introduced in the Legislature, it would seem the members are suffering from “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies” syndrome.
When the president gives his State of the Union speech, it is considered good manners to listen to his speech rather than to tweet comments during his speech (Jan. 31 WE Blog excerpts). Even if members of Congress do not like the person holding the office of president, they should respect the office, just as they expect people to respect their offices.