Best Interest

When my cleaning lady mentioned that her two little boys were victims of prejudice in the school they attend, I was upset and sad. She and her husband were born in Africa and now live in the Kansas suburbs. Because of President Obama’s commitment to education, the school the kids attend is one of the best in the country.

Then, to my surprise, she said she is irritated with President Obama for coming out in favor of gay marriage. “We’re not voting for him again because the bible says only a man and a woman should be allowed to marry.”

I wondered whatever happened to separation of church and state and, for that matter, where to draw the line on prejudice.

Not long ago, a woman with two little children living in Wichita, Kansas told me she wouldn’t vote for our president because she wants her state to make the rules. Perhaps she doesn’t know that President Obama has made the environment a national priority. She must not realize that there are unregulated Kansas coal plants near her that pollute the air her children breathe and, unless stopped, a dirty oil pipeline that will probably pollute the water her children drink.

Kansas senators and representatives had quite a legislative session this year and through all the talk by our elected officials, we are left to try and figure out what we’ve gained or lost.   Business and the rich got great tax cuts. Not so the middle class and the poor. Unlike the national government, Kansas requires a balanced budget so that means big cuts will be made in other places.

We can no longer deduct child care expenses, long-term care insurance, and adoption expenses.  Hardest hit  will be schools, social services and public safety. Highway budgets must be cut leaving our roads to deteriorate. Services for the elderly, poor and disabled will be decreased or stopped all together. All this on the gamble that lowering state taxes for the wealthy will, according to Governor Sam Brownback, make Kansas a mecca for big business.

Lawmakers did modify the states long lasting “use it or lose it” water policy and thus protected the Oglala water reservoir, but now they should stop the dangerous and dirty practice of fracking, a method of getting oil that requires the use of tons of the precious water they just saved.

It is important that we take the time to read and listen to our legislators. Many of us unknowingly vote against our own best interests. Take care not to be one of them.


8 Responses to Best Interest

  • Bob says:

    What’s that old saying, “You’d cut off your nose to spite your face”? Who would have thought that Americans would resiste a national health care plan with the vehemence they have? Sure the plan is terribly flawed, but, still, it’s better than what we have.

    I remember when Alan Wheat was running for re-election. Some gay men I know refused to vote for him because he’d bounced a $10 check in what was known as “The House Banking Scandal”. They supported that John Ashcroft instead. Huh? John Ashcroft, the neo-reactionary, right-wing, nut job who put leaves on the private parts of statues and had daily prayer sessions in his government office. Please! (Secretly, I don’t think they like Alan Wheat because of his race, but maybe a bounced $10 check meant more than what a candidate believed about the inferiority and criminal nature of homosexuals. Maybe?)

    And what’s wrong with Sam Brownback? Someone over there must have wanted him to be governor. Are the voters in the State that ignorant? They knew what they were voting for. Will they vote for him again?

    I think we vote our own selfish, self interests all the time. The majority of votes reflect our prejudices. People who don’t like Obama because of his race will come up with all kinds of reasons not to vote for him: his foreign birth, he association with radical black activists, his family’s pet, his good dental habits. It doesn’t matter.

    People vote for anyone who says, “I’ll cut taxes. I’ll send the illegals home. I’ll protect marriage.” The list goes on and on. And we will support that person. We don’t question how things will get paid for without taxes, how we will fill positions that no one wants but illegals, or how male-female marriages fail half of the time. Okay, this is enough for a Sunday morning. I have laundry to do while the country falters.

  • Mike Lance says:

    Unfortunately, your cleaning lady demonstrated an evolutionary trait (can I say that in Kansas?) Humankind evolved as tribal beings. Generally, that provokes visions of Africa and the Hutu vs. Tutsi conflict, but it’s just as evident in our “civilized” country. The conservative tribe battles the liberal tribe. There is the Protestant tribe, the Jewish tribe, the Catholic tribe, the Gay tribe, the Kansas City Chiefs tribe, the North of the River tribe, etc. ad infinitum.

    Humans who banded together survived. That innate characteristic also survives and too frequently overcomes rational thought and behavior. It is becoming too familiar in our governing organizations. Whether real or imagined attacks occur against our tribes, the instinct is to lash out and attack the tribe threatening ours.

    Perhaps someday reason and critical thought will allow humankind to evolve past this limiting characteristic. I assume it will have to occur somewhere else than in Kansas. Wasn’t evolution voted down in Kansas?

  • Dee Dee Dale says:

    What’s the matter with people, especially those in positions of authority? Are they so solidly against any views not their own or what is promulgated by their so-called heros that they can not even look at the other side? Take the blinders off and let the sunshine in!! Dee Dee Dale

    • Beth says:

      I think our only recourse is in the voting booth. There are people in our state legislature who agree with you-just not enough of them.

  • Peg says:

    Can no longer deduct adoption expenses? That’s cruel. People who adopt are making a huge commitment, taking into their lives a small child who is in desperate need of a loving family, and coincidentally relieving the government of the responsibility of providing care for that child. Whoever made that decision? Brownback is a great supporter for adoption — it’s his answer to advocates for abortion rights.
    How much does it cost to raise a child to adulthood? Seems like people who are willing to take on that awesome task, thus saving the government hundreds of thousands of dollars, are deserving of a little break.

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