These are your rights
If you can get pregnant, or know someone who can, or if you can get someone pregnant, or know someone who can, keep reading:
On August 2, Kansans will vote whether to amend our state constitution to remove the right to access abortion care in all cases, including rape, incest, or to save the life of a pregnant woman.
In Kansas, abortions are already highly regulated. But if this proposed amendment passes, Topeka politicians can — and will — pass laws that completely ban abortions in Kansas, no exceptions. A no is a vote against excessive government interference and overreach.
The proposed amendment is — by design — confusing. But those who read carefully can discern that it would give Topeka politicians the power to ban abortion in any case.
Everyone eligible to vote in Kansas should vote no on August 2. And if you’re not affiliated, you can (and should) still vote on this amendment. But you must register to vote, if you haven’t already, by July 12.
Vote and vote no. Prevent the government from interfering further in our lives.
– Amii Castle, Lawrence
I love the heart signs I see all over the Kansas City area. It made me think that maybe we could do something like this for peace too.
I plan to put a flag or a sign in my yard that says “peace”. Maybe you could too. Then, when someone sees them, we can feel a little better about everything that’s going on in the world.
– Marilyn Ousley Kansas City
The birds need us
Now is the perfect time to help the birds. Missouri sits on the Mississippi Flyway, the route taken by more than 300 species of migratory birds.
Most birds migrate at night, guided by the stars, the sun and the earth’s magnetic field. The glow of the city sky – the haze of light created by artificial light at night – diverts migrating birds from their path, into dangerous urban areas where they run out and merge, often striking windows and buildings in reflective glass. Hundreds of millions of birds die every year from flying into buildings, with artificial lights playing a major role.
Kansas City is one of the 10 most dangerous American cities for migratory birds according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Artificial light at night is often used without understanding the impacts on the urban ecological system. This light is particularly harmful to birds, beneficial nocturnal wildlife and insects, including fireflies.
Be part of the solution. Lights Out Heartland is a project to encourage businesses and the public to turn off lights at night during the peak migration periods of May and September. Commercial vessels can register for lightsoutheartland.org
-DeAnn Gregory, Kansas City
Let the numbers rule
Isn’t it amazing how many Americans can’t agree on common-sense perceptions of reality (hint: it’s not just black or white), or what constitutes fact? , or that there are more existential threats to our survival than the others?
Maybe it’s because we seem wired to be easily and unconsciously manipulated and suggestible. Critical thinking, including questioning one’s own beliefs, takes more time and effort than pulling a trigger, or following a crowd, or the anonymity of social media, or yelling at a member of the school board. Disagreement does not require incivility.
I suggest that diversity does not require divisiveness or mean that coexistence is a zero-sum game of winners and losers. If you can agree that every human being has the right to exist and be treated equally and fairly, and that humanity itself is to survive, then most of us must believe that we are in the same boat.
It’s been my experience that you can’t argue with stupid. Stupid always doubles down on you. For our country, simple arithmetic may be our only hope. If people who are more rational than irrational vote, then the madness can stop. Otherwise, our country’s democracy, unlike a dead fish, will rot from the bottom up.
– Mark L. Willens, land park
Garbage also pays
The author of an April 10 letter to the editor said providers of so-called ‘junk mail’ should pay for their own deliveries, allowing postmen to deliver only first-class mail . (19A)
Does he think the US Postal Service delivers this junk mail to these providers for free? I am a retired postman. It’s called job security, sir.
– Diane Caps, Kansas City
As a volunteer who collected 505 signatures in support of Medicaid expansion in Missouri, I would like Republican lawmakers, especially Senator Bill Eigel, to name the so-called “outside special interest” groups. ‘State’ they claim to be behind the campaign. to extend health care to the working poor of Missouri. They can surely identify these groups if, in fact, they actually exist.
If Republicans’ continued opposition to Medicaid expansion is so well founded, why do they need to continue to make false arguments? Prior to the referendum, anti-expansion ads warned of an “army” of illegal immigrants coming to Missouri to benefit from the Medicaid expansion. Any legislator should know very well that undocumented immigrants are not even eligible for Medicaid.
Over the past few decades, it has become clear that Republicans in Jefferson City repeatedly reject aid to the working poor because they despise these people, even though many are among their constituents. As for outside interest groups influencing policy, the only ones I’ve seen positively identified include the nonprofit Charles Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council, which provides cookie-cutter bills to Republican lawmakers moving forward.
Claims that Medicaid payments are unaffordable, even though the federal government covers the lion’s share, continue to shift. Expansion isn’t just affordable, it’s the right thing to do.
-Jonathan Rand, Kansas City
A recent story in The Star noted that Kansas lawmakers are considering National Rifle Association formation in public schools. (Mar 20, 4A, “KS Lawmakers Consider NRA Gun Training in Public Schools”) Supporters have urged a Kansas Senate committee to pursue legislation requiring “Eddie Eagle” programs and “Hunter Education” of the NRA are the only options for schools wishing to provide firearms safety training to students.
This seems very selfish for the NRA. Lobbyists must push for this. But I wonder why, if kids need firearms training, Marine Corps Junior ROTC isn’t touted. The JROTC not only prepares children to handle firearms safely, but also offers possible career paths.
From my limited research, JROTC programs seem to be available in most if not all states. Locally, Ruskin High School in Kansas City is one. Has Kansas explored this option or discussed the benefits and outcomes of expanding it beyond the two schools in Kansas that already have the program?
– Judith Maud, Lee’s Summit