Sunday, March 16, 2008

An Invitation and Observations on the August Primary

The April 8th School Bond Election is beginning to draw attention from voters. As is usually the case, proponents of the school property tax increase are singing the blues about the shortage of funds to properly run the District. In turn, opponents seem to be honing in on labor issues, and the alleged mis-spending of tax dollars for parcels of property in the Raytown area. Like a lake after a storm, the water seems to be gently rising without a hint of the turmoil just below the surface. With the above in mind, I am offering this page to both proponents and opponents of the proposed school property tax to have their say before the April 8th Election. If you are interested in speaking on behalf of either side of the tax increase issue you can send your copy (for consideration) gregtwalters@juno.com. Two guest editorials will be published on this spot before the election. Speaking of elections – the August 8th Primary looks like it may shape up into an event of local interest for the Raytown area. Republican State Representative Will Kraus has drawn two opponents for next November’s election. The two Democrats are former State Representative Mike Saeger and Joe Volpe. The winner of the August Primary will face Kraus in the November General Election. Another contest that has drawn more candidates than usual is the contest for Democratic Commiteeman and Committeewoman. Six candidates have filed for the four seats on the Jackson County Democratic Committee. Local observers wonder what impact the crowded race will have on one incumbent member of the Committee in particular. Michael Downing has estranged himself from other members of the Brooking Township Committee by openly supporting Republican-based candidates in local elections. His action(s) cost him his membership with the Raytown Democratic Association (RDA). Last year, the membership of the RDA voted unanimously to have him removed from the club’s membership rolls. The action is expected to have an impact on the race. The RDA is one of Jackson County’s oldest Democratic Political clubs. Last year, it received the prestigious Harry S Truman Democratic Achievement Award from the Jackson County Democratic Committee at it annual Truman Days event.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

I merely moved this from the last weeks post to this weeks discussion since it does apply somewhat to this weeks post:

Some have the tendancy to forget about the hand that feeds them at the polls. They do the knee jerk reaction of trying to vote on an individuals issue oriented basis. This come up every time at election time. Like, oh the Democrats are going to take our guns, or if they get elected they are going to get more pro abortion votes, and stuff like that. People need to think about and vote for their jobs. One needs to make a comfortable living in order to succeed.

The current administration in their time in office have succeeded in getting the most anti labor, anti worker, anti union representation enacted in this country taking what those that faught long and hard before us to get put into law to protect workers with basic rights and fair labor practices, for instance the 40 hour work week, overtime laws, the right to union representation, etc.
The war on the middle class in this country is alive and well, and the casualties are on the rise each day that the Republicans are in control.

Yes, the $4 per gallon gas effects all of us, the recession effects all of us, working for less than the areas prevailing wage plus fringes effects all of us, and voting for Republicans because the Democrats are going to take all of our guns ends up effecting all of us in the end. Ask yourself a serious question, are you any better off eight years later than you were eight years ago? Most of us are not, the rich and super wealthy are reaping the reward with tax cuts ala Bush. That should answer the question.

Andy Whiteman said...

Why does this have to be a Deomcrat/Republican issue like every canidate is a clown?

My father told me to vote for the person not the party. Yes, it took more time and thought to pull individual levers and not just the party lever.
**********************
I had difficulty with the last election since the list of names was alligned left and the punch holes were way to the right. I am disabled and unable to tell if I am punching the correct hole. (I guess the show me state is trying to duplicate Florida chads.)

The names should be alligned right so people will know if they are punching the correct hole. I contacted the Watch Dog and was hoping the issue would be resolved before the next election.

I assume many people are voting for someone they never intended to vote for.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

bring a ruler

Anonymous said...

Andy,

I've been a Democrat for all of my adult life and a Raytowner for nearly 20 years.

I agree with you about most elections should be voted on the strengths of a single candidate and not simply party affiliation.

But this Downey character ran for a job as a Democratic committeeman, yet he openly supports people from the other party.

With Democratic friends like that, who needs enemies?

Pat Casady said...

I don't much care about Democrats or Republicans and their parties.
I care about how they treat the people. So far from the cities, the state, on up to the top, elected officials haven't shown me much other than spending and giving away taxpayer dollars.
When this town sees how much the tax base falls off after the Wat-Mart giveaway comes to be. You can bet more taxes will be asked for.
Real estate and sales taxes for starters.

As for the school asking for more and more money, after reading the papers and seeing how they have been spending taxpayer money this thought came to mind.
They are like a child with an allowance. Like any child, this child seems to spend
more than allowed and then asks for more.

The problem is a "Yes" vote gives them more money and a message. The message that is it's OK to spend tax dollars anyway they see fit. Not a great deal for the taxpayers.
A "No" vote will just prompt them to keep adding it into any election until they
get their way. Kind of a temper tantrum without the kicking and screaming.
As we have learned in the past, a "No" vote in politics rarely means no. Especially when it comes to taxes.
Along with low voter turnout that normally happens in Raytown a tax increase is probably in our future.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 5:50 AM, I agree it is the duty of a Committeeman to support the candidates of his party and should be removed if not doing his duty but he can vote for whomeever he chooses.

Anon 9:22PM, How will I know if the ruler is straight accross the ballot if in the first place I don't know which chad lines up with the name? It is the obligation of those printing the ballots to print them so they can be vote properly with no chance of error. It is a simple matter of alligning to the right rather than left. In the first place, it would have been more logical to have the chads on the left so this problem wouldn't occur.

Andy Whiteman

Just Wondering said...

It has been almost a year since the last BOA was elected. Has there been any accomplishments of note for the past year?

Anonymous said...

Yes, more empty houses, empty businesses, unmaintained infrastructure, future tax money given away in the form of TIF's, ever growing egos on the BOA.

Anonymous said...

Sounds correct, but one has to also wonder if there is any under the table money involved?

Pat Casady said...

I doubt there is any under the table money involved.
However that would make it easier to understand some of the
dumb decisions that have been made by this and past members
of the board.
It would almost be better to have a dishonest board member than
those that can be talked into anything a developer tells them.

By the way can anybody tell me why Raytown has to have those
"Gateway Pillars?" Why can't they just fix the streets and intersections
and forget the monuments to past administrations?
I think it was Lee Gray that said they were the "Gateway to the graveyard."
How funny..........and true.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Ron Paul Revolution is alive and kicking in Jackson County, Missouri!

Andy Whiteman said...

There is a giantic sign supporting Ron Paul on a house at 74th & Holmes. Obviously Jackson County supports the man even though he dropped out.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why they are wasting their time. all these other candidates will only take critical votes away from the viable candidates that are still in the running. Nader, Paul, etc, need to drop out for good!

Anonymous said...

I read where Chamber employee Vicki Turnbow is writing why Raytown School district voters should vote to increase our taxes. Sure, she's for it because she lives in Cass County. I don't know about you, but I'm really tired of these "out of towners" trying to tell Raytown voters what is good for us. When you move here and start paying our taxes and become a part of the community then MAYBE, we'll start taking your opinions seriously. Until that happens why don't you OUT OF TOWNERS keep your opinions to yourself. In other words, please just SHUT UP about what's good for Raytown, since you're never going to have to pay the tax anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to know this about that Michael Downing character. I believe I remember him approaching me at a polling place in a past election. He always seemed a little strange, guess it was the Republican coming out in him. Won't be voting for him again for anything.

Andy Whiteman said...

As I said at the BOA last night, all newly appointed upper management should be required to live in Raytown. We don't need aliens running Raytown. They don't pay taxes here and most importantly they don't know what it is like to live here.

If Vicky Turnbow had to pay taxes here, she might feel differently. If this school tax passes, that is about $200 per year for me and they don't even invite me to a Royals game!

I don't know about the State of Misery, but in most places there is a sign posted and it is illegal to approach anyone within 100 feet of the polls. I saw no such sign at the last election. I was lucky to find the poll location!

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

The Raytown Post endorsed the school tax increase. Do any of these people live in the school district so that they will have to pay property taxes if it passes?

Turnbow and anyone not paying taxes to the school district have no right to state an opinion either for or against because it does NOT impact them.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy, I agree with you. The Post has an out of town owner, same as the Star and the Chamber employee that wrote the letter doesn't even live here. Wonder what real Raytowners think about raising their property taxes another $200 or $300 a year? Guess we'll find out on election day what voters think about our school board not taking the low bid on contracts and snubbing union laborers.

Anonymous said...

Andy,
I moved to Raytown in October of last year, about a month after I took over as editor and publisher at the Raytown Post. As it stands now, most of the staff lives in the school district, if not the city, and we will all be called upon to pay our share if the levy increase passes.
John Ivey, our owner, lives in Lee's Summit - but I make the editorial decisions for the paper and I endorsed the increase because I believe it is the right choice for the district and the community as a whole.
I would point out here that we have yet to receive a single letter to the editor opposing the levy increase, but, as always, we welcome letters on any issue and will continue to work towards providing a fair and open forum for all issues of concern to our readers.
As to the Chamber endorsement that appeared in the March 19 edition of the Post, I would simply point out that the increase was endorsed unanimously by the Chamber's board.
Hope this clears up any confusion regarding my or the paper's right to comment on local issues.
If Report contributors would like to discus these issues further, feel free to contact me at 353-5545, by email at editor@raytown-post.com, or stop by the office at 9504 E. 63rd. St. Suite 102.
Thanks
Dennis Rich

Anonymous said...

For clarification, most of those chamber board members DO NOT live in the school district. Yes they will pay higher taxes on their business property, but they will in turn pass this along to their customers. The poor homeowner, especially our seniors will just have to eat it (the tax increase) or cut back on something like food or medicine. NOT A GOOD DEAL FOR OUR SENIORS. I bet Lee Gray would have given the tax increase a lot more scrutiny than the current owners and management of the Post. Sure miss you LEE.

Anonymous said...

For any civilization to prosper, or even survive, there are few things that rank higher as a priority than the education of our children.

However, since the number of Raytown School District Graduates who continue on to college has been cut in half since 2003, it seems that there are few worse ways to spend tax dollars than to enrich administrators who have overseen this deterioration at the expense of teaching staff salaries and overpriced non-union contractors.

In the past four years, Raytown teacher's salaries have risen 4%, which is under the inflation rate. During this period, from 2003 to 2007, average teacher salaries across Missouri rose nearly 11%. Meanwhile, school administrator salaries in Raytown have increased almost 8%, up to an average of $85,598 in 2007.

Last year Raytown teacher's salaries rose 1/2%, while administration salaries rose over 2%. So, at least we understand the priorities of the administration. Also, by manipulating the budget like this, they get a legion of teachers who drumbeat it into their students' heads the critical importance of passing the next school bond levy. Be sure to tell your parents to vote "yes."

I was actually informed by a Raytown school teacher that all the school taxes in Raytown were expiring and so I really needed to vote for the new taxes to keep the schools going. When I displayed a property tax bill that proved this to be false, she expressed surprise that the administration had misled her.

Well, she's not the only one. I am so tired of being manipulated and lied to by "public servants." Raytown's total tax assessment is just a shade below Lee's Summit's.
We pay less in School taxes, but our fire district tax makes up most of the difference. Why don't we ever see these figures published?

Anyone who wishes to check my math, the Missouri school planning records for Raytown C2 are at http://www.dese.mo.gov/planning/profile/arsd048073.html

The Raytown School district sure needs something, but I'm not convinced that money is their biggest problem. Our assessed tax base is already up 20% since 2003. Anybody getting a 20% premium for their house these days?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous post of March 20, at 4:53 pm: You are right on the money! As an employee of the Raytown School District, I am tired of seeing the waste of money that goes on everyday. If only the tax payers would get to see the "behind the door" decisions that go on, they would never vote for another school tax again. Yes, alot of the teachers live in all different cities in Mo. Some live in Grain Valley, Excelsior Springs, Lee's Summit, Grandview, Blue Springs and I could go on and on. They don't pay property taxes in Raytown. Those "out of towner's" WILL get the raise, but the Teacher that live in Raytown will just get enough to cover their real estate tax increase! How do we know for sure that ALL the levy WILL go to salaries? The district is such in the red, I bet some will go to pay bills that they created out of stupid decisions. I for one WILL NOT VOTE for ANY tax increase what so ever!!!!!!!!!!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

I have no problem with Raytown teachers living in another city or county.

If the teachers would really get a raise, I would support the tax increase. I would like to see proof such as a budget showing that the increase will go to teacher's salaries and not otherwise squandered.

Dennis, thank you for stating that many of your staff reside in Raytown. That puts more validity to your endorsement. I haven't gottten around to sending my letter to you. I feel any earlier than a week before the election is too early. Thanks for the reminder.

As for college, is there a valid reason to expect students to go to college? My mother wanted me to go to college. Since I had no career goal that required college, it was a waste of money and my time to go to college. I went to college until I had a job (1-1/2 years) just to satisfy her.

Andy Whiteman

Jen said...

Students should go to college so they can owe money to the Dept. of Education until they're in their 40s.

College is an opportunity to gain knowledge and responsibility.. it's a great bridge to adulthood and a great way to learn how to have real discourse, but it's not for everyone. There are plenty of training programs and other options.

AmeriCorps got me the job I have now.. not my Bachelor's degree.

Pat Casady said...

I don't think there is a person in Raytown that doesn't think education is important. But, that's not what this tax increase is about.
The school board rings the same old bell every time it's time to beg for more tax increases. They say it's for the children or for the teachers.
If that were the case there would be no problem. However, we could believe this if they didn't spend the money on everything else
including rundown properties. I'd like to know just how much land and now many buildings this school district has bought since the last tax increase.

The sad fact is the teachers get nothing from the tax increase. A 1/2% a year is a sad figure considering how much this board has spent on everything else
including themselves or at least the administrators.

Until this board or any elected officials can be trusted with our tax dollars there need to be some major changes made.
Money is becoming harder to get and it's a lot harder to make ends meet for everybody. Yet this school board is spending our money like there is a never ending supply. It's time they or more importantly the people took a look
at what and where our tax dollars are going.

Remember the Wal-Mart deal?
The sales taxes given away by the city for twenty three years is building the store building, parking lot and the school. This city gave up twelve percent
of the cities income on that deal. Probably even more when most of the other stores in town start closing after the big store opens.
It seems like the administrators that are paid by the people (tax paid) don't have to worry about where their next pay check is coming from, they have a never
ending supply of taxpayers to prey upon.

Sue De Nemmes said...

Hey there's some eye-popping stuff at http://www.dese.mo.gov/planning/profile/arsd048073.html if you take the time to wade through it a bit.

Here's a fun statistic - In 2007 Raytown had 8742 students, divided by a 19 to 1 teacher ratio, that indicates 460 teachers in the Raytown school district. Now divide $783,000.00, the difference between the union contractor who was denied the Herndon Career Center contract in favor of the non-union "more qualified" bidder, by those 460 teachers and you get $1702 per teacher that could have gone to raises. Gosh, that'd be almost an average raise of 4%. (170200 / 43239 = 3.936...)

Then, if you add in $200,000 for a building that needs to be torn down, you get over a million dollars flushed down the sewer, while the district cries poor and needs a tax increase for our poor underpaid teachers at our "Quality Schools".

Maybe this helps explain why the sewers overflow here in Raytown.


-graduit of rayton sculz.

Pat Casady said...

Thut wuz gerate fugurine!

Andy Whiteman said...

Just think, if a taxpayer can read and cypher like that, obviously the administration and board of Raytown "Quality" schools need to go back to school to learn business administration and and just PLAIN COMMON SENSE!

19/1 student teacher ration is damn good! When I went to school in ancient times, the goal was 25/1.

My father claimed to be a college graduate: The College of Hard Knocks

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

More $ does NOT = Quality Schools. The current School Board and Administration have made some really bad decisions that has cost us tax payers big time. We need to vote NO for the school tax increase, and vote OUT the 'clowns' who are now on the School Board, especially the 'PUPPET' who is chairman (guess that would be chairperson if I wanted to be politically correct.

Anonymous said...

These people on the School Board need to be held accoutable for their screw-ups. We don't need more money for the schools, we need people who know how to manage and be good stewards of the money they already have at their disposal! Because you belong to the P.T.A. (or whatever they choose to call it now), or you are a former teacher, in no way qualifies you to manage our school system!

G W Scheil said...

The actual wording of the school levy increase says "Staff" - not teachers. So most will be again going to dead weight administrators, etc. Like the geniuses who buy useless buildings at enormous cost.

G W Scheil said...

Beware the election board. At judge training this Monday we were told that the newly mailed "Voter Notification Cards" (title in green) are worthless. They cannot be used as ID. But, since they look almost the same as the traditional Voter ID cards, how many voters kept the bogus one and threw away their real ID card.

So why did the Board issue these deceptive cards? Apparently an attempt to eliminate the Voter ID cards so most people will use a photo ID instead (Driver's License). Even though their recent attempt to require photo ID was struck down by the Mo. Supreme Court.

Interesting notes - Arkansas is alone in requiring ANY ID to vote for the surrounding states - OK, KS, NE, IA, IL all require ID only for first time voters as do 25 states. Of the studies that tried to measure actual double voters, the stats indicate roughly 1 in 100,000 voters - a trivial problem.

So, is Eastern Jackson County REALLY trying to eliminate fraud or is there some other motive. Hint: All of the staff paranoids just happen to be Republicans.

Anonymous said...

A photo I.D. should always be required to eleminate as much voting fraud as possible. St. Louis and Kansas City are notorious for this. I've worked as a Republican challenger in the inner-city K.C. polls and I have seen it first hand, and it happens often. Democrats rely on votes from people confined to nusing homes, wino's, felons, etc.. Many of these people are either not really qualified to vote or someone else votes for them. Our state Supreme Court is as corrupt as the K.C. and St. Louis voting. As a Republican I want to eleminate voter fraud, apparently as a Democrat you think is okay.

Oh and by the way, whoever accused Michael Dowing of being a Republican is out of their mind! I've talked with Mr. Dowing on more than one occasion and he is a nut case, but just about as opposite of a Republican as you can get.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you have never heard as a Republican that there can and are fake state issued drivers licenses and photo ID's.... It does not matter, you can still have fraudulent voting with photo ID's. And Republicans manage to always bring up taking away our guns, Roe v. Wade, and other issues to scare people into voting for idiots like Bush/Cheney each time the elections draw near. They never ever seem to have a solution to any of those things after the elections are over. Pretty convienent of them to do that each time. I have also seen where Republicans have registered people that have been dead for 50+ years to vote. Yes, it is time for change, we need the Democrats to straighten the mess up that the Republicans managed to create in the last 8 years with lies, lies, and more lies. Blood for oil! Republicans are the scum of the earth. All they want is to reap huge profits and evade taxation all to their gain, while using all the patriotic stuff to their advantage. It just really makes me sick to think that America really fell for this whole line of BS hook, line, and sinker. Economic stimulous checks, another way that the REpublicans can buy more votes for the election this fall. Oh boy, $600, lets go to Wally World and buy some Chinese made TV sets to stimulate China's economy. Wake up people! This is a Recesssion GW!

Anonymous said...

An earlier comment said that Downey is definitely not a Republican.

Maybe so, but as a Democratic Committeeman he should not be campaigning for known republicans.

I've seen him stand at the polls and pass their literature.

That is his right -- but leadership like that only serves to hurt the Democratic party.

Anonymous said...

This Downing character is a nut case. He's not a good Democrat and I'm sure the Republicans don't want him either. Maybe he should go out and start his own party. I sure wouldn't vote for him to hold ANY party position since he seems a little confused about where his allegiance lies. A Democrat committeeman doesn't work for or hand out Republican material.

Anonymous said...

"All of the staff paranoids just happen to be Republicans."

The chickenhawks are coming home to roost. I wouldn't want to be a republican this year even more than I normally wouldn't want to be a republican, which is a lot.

Anonymous said...

Just a small sampling of a little REAL history for some of you who don't have a clue....

February 18, 1915, Democrat President Woodrow Wilson premiered the movie Birth of a Nation at the White House. That racist movie was based on The Clansmen and The Leopard's Spots, novels espousing hatred for African-Americans written by one of Wilson's college pals.

While vilifying Republicans of the post-Civil War era, Birth of a Nation glorified Democrat
terrorists and Democrat violence against African-Americans. President Wilson called the
movie "terribly true... like history written with lightning."

Birth of a Nation spawned the 20th century version of the Ku Klux Klan, which adopted the white sheet uniforms, cross-burning and other rituals as depicted in the movie. The Ku Klux Klan dominated the 1920 and 1924 Democratic National Conventions. Republicans were outraged.

There are many people today who might benefit tremendously from appreciating the true heritage of the Grand Old Party.

Anonymous said...

What has the GOP done for us lately? Oh yes, record gas prices, got us into a war we can't win, lied to us about weapons of mass destruction, and now we're in a recession. I could go on and on. Don't tell me about the wonderful GOP. You're in as much denial as Bush and all his Washington cronies. OPEN YOUR EYES.

Anonymous said...

I would be happy to give you the facts about what is really happening today in our nation and in the rest of the world, but it's very evident that you are too blind, too bitter, or too stupid to understand! It's you that needs to "OPEN YOUR EYES"; mine were opened to the truth a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

What? The truth about Cheney over discussing how much more money that he, Halliburton, and the Saudi oil shieks can rape from the American People so that the Republicans and Bush can line all of their fat cat wallets.

White sheets? Where does the GOP keep their white sheets with holes in them? As usual, the GOP is like the blind leading the blind, grasping at straws without any factual data to back up their stories. McCain is just another puppet like Bush. Eight years of Republicans is enough already! $3 gasoline, $4 Diesel fuel, utilities skyrocketing, food, clothing, manufactured goods, everything is going through the roof. The stock market is screwed up. How much more screwed up do things have to get to wake up some of you ignorant Bush lovers to realize that the Republicans are in it for their own personal gain and not for you?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, the WMD's must be hidden in the presidential candidates passports..... explain why we are snooping into personal and private information like that? It just goes to show that the GOP will do ANYTHING to keep control of the White House and their oil profits.

Explain why they cannot find Osama Bin Laden. Explain how Bin Laden's family go all the way back to being business partners with Bush's family and friends.

Anonymous said...

I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark.
'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right?
The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country Is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking,
''What are we so unhappy about?''
A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?
B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?
C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?
E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?
F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?
G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.
H.. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.
I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.
J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you,
your family, and your belongings.
K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.
L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.
M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?
Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.
Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are.
The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here. I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?
Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad? Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.
Make no mistake about it.
The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an
''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.
So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?
Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner?
The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another.
Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!
Stop buying the negativism you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.'

C. Smith

Anonymous said...

Yes, brothers and sisters, God will save us all.... right. And the negativity is not from the media, and it is not that one is not thankful for what we do have. It is due to the injustices that are being done within this country amung other issues. Do us all a favor, go back to church!

Anonymous said...

Just a small sampling of gas prices around the world;
Prices are quoted in US dollars per gallon.

Belgium
$8.56

France
$8.16

Germany
$8.53

UK
$8.07

Italy
$8.26

Netherlands
$9.14

Caracas, Venezuela
$0.15 (Give or take a couple of pennies.)

U.S.
$3.50 ($2.99 today in Raytown)

I suppose you will suggest that “Bush” (as you so indignantly call him), controls gas prices all over the world, just about as ludicrous as saying that he has a lot to with what they are here in the U.S.! If you want to blame someone, our Democrat controlled Congress might be one of the first places you may want to look. If the Democrats regain control of the Executive Branch of the government you'd better really hold on to your pocket books, it will cost you dearly. Especially if you fall into the middle class working category (what the Democrats like to refer as the “rich”, I call them the tax payers)!

Anonymous said...

This is a reply to C. Smith.

Bush and the Republicans have enflamed and harnessed the fear of our citizens to increase their own power, start a war under false pretenses, legalize torture, politicize the justice system, and quash dissent. Since this is perfectly okay with you, I suggest that you have little grasp of the sacrifices and ideology that lie at the foundation of this great country.

We are among the most blessed people on earth, but an informed population and free press are the sentries that secure those blessings. The bill of rights was adopted to restrain the government from taking away the civil liberties of its citizens. If you have any question about why our founding fathers were so concerned about unchecked governmental powers, the last 8 years should answer them emphatically.

Anonymous said...

What makes me laugh, is these people like the one above that is afraid that if the Democrats regain control of the executive branch of government you'd better hold onto your pocketbooks! I hope that they can regain that control. The budget was balanced and there was a surplus to boot, and there was plenty of work as well. The economy was a lot better than it is now, at least for people like myself. The only reason that one would make a statement like that is quite possibly that you must be a business owner that is a Republican, and that is why you must keep ahold of your pocketbook, my friend. Try spreading the wealth, instead of squandering it.

Anonymous said...

If there was a way to actually reason with you (the last two entries, which is probably one person)I would try, but it's impossible to rationalize with a bitter fool!

Anonymous said...

I'll put President Clinton's years in the White House up against Bush's 8 years. Facts are facts, financially I, and I suspect most Americans were better off under Clinton. Also he left the county with a budget SURPLUS that Bush squandered away on a war we should have never been involved in. Let me hear it again how great those Republicans are. DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH!!!

Anonymous said...

I am glad to hear someone else say that other than myself. There is definately more than one person that knows what is really going on here. We were really better off with Clinton.

What is impossible is to try to reason with an egotistical Republican. That is like trying to reason with a habitual drunk. They will not listen to anyone else, and they insist that they are always right and that they are never wrong. These Republicans can never admit that they made a grave mistake in voting for Bush/Cheney. They just like to get all these tax breaks. The war on the middle class is alive and well! Ditto, Dont make me laugh!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If you are part of the middle class (those of us who actually work for a living and pay taxes), then YOU have been getting significant tax cuts, but are apparently too stupid to realize it. The economy has been booming for several years now. It was artificially puffed up during the Clinton years, the bottom dropped out about the time he left office. I was alive and observant during that time, you were apparently asleep or maybe out of your mind, I would guess the latter based on your idiotic comments! Oh, and by the way the budget surplus during the Clinton years was due to a Republican controlled Congress, not SLIK Willie's escapades!

Anonymous said...

Boy, you are so out of touch with reality. You must have voted Republican the last time. The only idiotic comments seem to be yours. The reason that the bottom dropped out was that the republicans gained control of the White House and got the war started. Yeah, it is obvious that most people like myself have to get up and work for a living, and have to pay an excessive amount of taxes, again thanks to the republicans. What tax cuts?? If there are some tax cuts that were available I sure did not get to benefit from any of them. If anything we get hammered again and again.

You must be one of those do gooder born again so called christians that worshipped the ground that GW and Halliburton dude walks upon believing that they were the second coming like that they all keep talking about. You were just misgided and blinded by the lies and the stories of WMD's.

I still maintain that we were FAR BETTER OFF WITH CLINTON in office than the eight years of Bush and his Recession, almost Depression!

You were obviously asleep and out of your mind!

Anonymous said...

I have to go to work now to pay my taxes so that you as a business owner can benefit and reap even more profits, idiot.

Anonymous said...

If the economy was" artificially pumped up" why didn't that Idiot Bush fix the problem. Instead he got us into a war that we can't win, while wanting to cut taxes. It doesn't take an economist to know that spending more than we are taking in is just mortgaging our children and grandchildren's future. This guy Bush will go down in history as one of the WORST PRESIDENTS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR NATION.

Andy Whiteman said...

Lets look at the individuals, not the party. It can't be said that ALL Democrats act like Clinton or ALL Republicans act like Bush.

Clinton abused his power by having sex with an intern (depending if "sex" is defined by Clinton or someone else) and is a liar if the normal definition of "sex" is used. Hillary alread served 2 terms and didn't succeed with her Health Care refore the first time. One has to wonder about Hillary's accepting Bill's behavior.

If the Republicans can produce a good candidate, I will vote for him. If the Democrats produce a good candidate, I will vote for him. I don't vote for the party, I vote for the person.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

FUZZY MATH FUZZY MATH FUZZY MATH!!!
Shame on you all for thinking that some formula can play out your argument. Get the fact straight. Go to Southwood... Norfleet... Go to South Middle or SpringValley and do some simple counting... 19 to 1 ratio... Where did that come from! Try 24-27 in some of those schools... My child last year had 26 in her elementary school class. These people are grossly underpaid... And, if you invest a little bit of time to look at the true issue... NOT THE PAST, then you will clearly see the need. Most of you that are against this are against everything... A lot of anonymous garble... with no substance and no real relevance or solutions. I have seen the same thing time and time again in this mess... I read because I hope someday we all will "get it." You guys attack firemen, policemen, our ambulance's EMTs and now teachers... whats next... how about the children... Well in away, you are doing that too... Saints... all of you are Saints...

Anonymous said...

Huh? Must be the wrong article. That must be for the Salamander editorial. It got posted in the wrong location. And we are talking about schools here?

Andy Whiteman said...

I noticed that on this blog, people don't follow the same subject in the string. Sometimes it is a little hard to follow.

There are other blog forms where a reply can be made to a particular post to create a real string. I wish Greg had chosen that format.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

This is a reply to "Fuzzy Math".

The state of Missouri says that the Raytown School District has a 19 to 1 student to classroom teacher ratio at http://www.dese.mo.gov/planning/profile/arsd048073.html
That link has been posted twice in this thread, but apparently you aren't interested in the real numbers.

Oh, and a small correction. That's called "Hard Math" where one actually states actual numbers compiled by an entity who has access to all the facts. Sometimes these macro numbers don't match up well with a micro sampling.

But don't get blown out of shape. Realistically, the chances of this levy increase passing are 19 to 1. I just made that number up, but I hope it helps you get your gasket back inside your bloomers.

Anonymous said...

just not true... the proof is in the classroom... go look for yourself... perhaps you can call any one of the principals at the elementary school level... And why would you rely on anything that the state says... they have done their best to screw up education in this state for years... they are part of the problem with the economics as it relates to public education. My children have never had a class less than 24 kids... that is a fact!

Anonymous said...

LOL cute hatchet job. Want to make a bet on it working?

Anonymous said...

Dear "Proof is in the classroom",

What you are saying boils down to two possibilities - Either you don't like the way the current school administration utilizes their resources, with 24 or more children to an elementary classroom while the district average is 19, OR you're accusing the current school administration of lying to the state of Missouri about our student/teacher ratio, and who knows what else.

The logical conclusion from your argument is that we should not vote more money to this school administration because they're either incompetent or they're liars.

So it looks like we're in agreement here.

Anonymous said...

Lets talk about the real issue here and that is teacher's salaries... if you are voting no... realize that it is the teacher and the children that suffer... You live with it... not me... I am supporting our teachers... regardless of the class size...