My heart aches for America
The horrific report regarding the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department makes my heart ache for America. We have come so far but we still have so far to go, even in 2015.
We as a country need to demand appropriate action. The first step is to demand the resignations of the mayor and police chief of Ferguson. For both to continue in their jobs sends a message that the current and now-proven blatant system of racial injustice, oppression and discrimination is acceptable. And it’s not acceptable.
Not only does the system need to change, but the current leadership of such a system cannot be tolerated – not in Missouri, and not in these great United States of America. People of all races and colors deserve better from their country, states and cities.
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Until these changes come about, people in America will continue to be judged by the color of their skin and not by the content of their character. Many Americans are still living a nightmare instead of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.
KEVASS J. HARDING
Dellrose United Methodist Church
Bad for Kansas
I oppose Senate Bill 178, a bill that’s bad for Kansas.
SB 178 would change the way agricultural land is valued. It would increase property taxes on farmers and ranchers, upend a predictable county revenue stream and challenge the state constitution.
Agricultural land is valued on its “use value” – the income a landowner can expect to produce from it – rather than its market value.
Use value is based on an eight-year rolling average that takes into account years in which I get very low prices for my crops and years in which prices are high. The system, which is directed by the Kansas Constitution, gives Sedgwick County a stable, reliable revenue base. It also protects farmers and ranchers – who can’t pass tax costs on to their customers – from wild swings in their costs.
SB 178, however, would value ag land based on volatile cash rent rates and increase farm taxes by more than 600 percent.
It doesn’t make sense to weaken the solid foundation agriculture has given our state’s economy or to damage our county revenue stream. That’s why I oppose SB 178.
I urge you to call or e-mail your state senator for more information on this bill.
Sedgwick County Farm Bureau Agricultural Association
A funny thing happened on the way to Gov. Sam Brownback’s elimination of the state income tax. It has blown a $1 billion hole in the state budget. Now the governor and Legislature are flailing around trying to fix this problem.
The governor proposed increasing taxes on alcohol and tobacco. This will only drive business and jobs to other states. There may be more cuts in critical education and social service budgets.
It seems to me that the solution is simple. Because of the tax law the Legislature passed in 2012, there are now 330,000 business owners who pay zero state income tax. The legislation does not require that these people actually create jobs to get this benefit.
If these people averaged paying $3,000 in state income tax, this would make up the billion-dollar deficit. Many of us who work for wages pay well more than $3,000.
We need to get back to having the 330,000 people pay their fair share. I expect that the majority of these people are at the top of the income scale. What am I missing?
All Kansans need to take advantage of the Republicans’ latest welfare program for the rich. Just think of the shot of adrenaline we could give to Kansas if we all formed limited liability corporations to avoid paying state income taxes. I’m not rich, but I want to avoid my share of taxes, too.
We then could see the results of the good old days when there were very few public schools and education was not something for everyone. Why are we concerned about the quality of teachers in the schools that remain open? We all know that paved roads are not necessary, as we did just fine when they were dirt and gravel.
The state and local governments will also have to reduce other services, such as law enforcement personnel. But that’s OK, because everyone will be carrying a gun and people can settle any disputes themselves like in the good old days.
The only other answer that Kansas lawmakers have come up with is to raise property and sales taxes. Who wouldn’t want to relocate to a state like this?
Doesn’t too much adrenaline cause heart attacks?
A group of education and teacher supporters sent an appreciation and encouragement note to all of USD 259’s attendance centers. We think our teachers need messages of support.
After being mistreated by the governor and most legislators, they are still in their classrooms doing the best they can for their students.
If you support the continued efforts of our teachers, please let them know by telling them, e-mailing their schools or writing a personal note. You might also contact your legislators to let them know that you support adequate funding and legal protection for teachers.
Three rules about gun control.
No. 1: When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
No. 2: Read rule No. 1.
No. 3: Read rule No. 1.
After gun control, criminals would have to pay premium black-market dollars to purchase guns. But they can afford to with previously stolen money from you.
The criminal would no longer feel deterred about breaking into your home because, after all, you have a deadly broomstick to use to defend yourself. What a country.
An important note on the Second Amendment: It states that there should be a well-armed militia for self-defense. The militia that the Constitution calls for is today’s National Guard. It is well-armed, well-trained and loyal to the United States. It does not provide for survivalist crazies with AK-47s for “hunting rifles” and looking for a conspiracy around every corner.
I am certainly for recreational use of firearms, and I am going to have my children trained in the safe and legal use of firearms. But as always, there needs to be moderation and common sense, which is in extremely short supply in Topeka and with the National Rifle Association.
Redo Ike design
I agree with former Sen. Bob Dole that President Eisenhower deserves a memorial in Washington D.C. (“Ike is deserving of national memorial,” March 1 Opinion). Dole did not acknowledge, however, why this memorial has been delayed for years.
Many critics – including Eisenhower’s family and members of Congress – believe the design Dole described is too immodest, too expensive and too divisive to represent Eisenhower, a self-effacing hero and fiscal steward who fought and governed through careful consensus-building. Their objections have left the Eisenhower Memorial without federal construction funding since 2012. The current design is just too controversial to build.
To restore the missing consensus and get Eisenhower’s memorial built, we should redesign it through a public competition that is open to everyone. Eisenhower’s memorial deserves the same public process we use for other memorials, which is also the quickest path to its completion.
Right by Ike: Project for a New Eisenhower Memorial
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