Preventing child abuse
The Jerry Sandusky case is now in trial, and we will soon learn the outcome. For some reason, this particular story has captured the attention of the public in a way that few others have.
Is it because well-known sports figures are involved? Is it because of the association with a prestigious university that prides itself on integrity?
Is it because of the connection with a respected charity whose founder may have had ulterior motives for serving disadvantaged children? Is it because there was an apparent eyewitness?
Whatever the reasons, the scrutiny is welcomed.
Far too many children are sexually abused every day, and most of them do not get their day in court.
Hopefully, some positive things will come from this horrific story.
Maybe more victims will feel safe enough to come forward. Maybe organizations that work with children will strengthen their safety policies and procedures.
And maybe some of us will act more quickly and more decisively when we suspect that something may not be right.
If any of those things happen, then something positive will have come from this tragedy.
Michelle S. Herman
President and CEO
Benefits of exercise
I read, with keen interest, both the May 11 article about Dr. James O’Keefe, my cardiologist, “Could hard times mean better health?” and the June 6 letter to the editor by Dr. John Hagan advocating limiting exercise to one hour a day.
I have been racing marathons for almost 50 years, and do to this day. On a recent Sunday, I ran for three hours without any incident. So either I am a freak or, as is usually the case, there are two sides to this issue.
What are we supposed to do, shut down the Kansas City Marathon and Hospital Hill Run? Because to train for either you must run at least two hours in some of your training.
Yes, I do believe there is damage to the heart when one runs a marathon, but it is, at least in my case, only temporary — just as the mental side is affected. It all comes back, and one seems in better shape than when it was started, ready to take the next one on.
Best interest lost
These people shouting epithets have only themselves to blame (6-10, A1, “In small-town Missouri, a collision of cultures”).
Packing-house jobs used to be well-paid union work. Now, as The Star article states, they pay barely above minimum wages. Few natural-born citizens will take these jobs at that price.
Tyson likes the immigrants because it can get off cheap on labor costs. Every time people in small towns vote Republican they are promoting a regime that has killed living wages in this country for the last 30 years.
A cadre of wealthy politicos will spend billions this year on attack ads branding President Barack Obama a Marxist and socialist, and too many people will buy into it and continue to vote against their own best interests.
Lewis Diuguid misses his trucks (minivans), and his father has taught him many valuable life lessons (6-11, Opinion, “Hard to keep on trucking without the right vehicle”).
Too bad for the local economy that Dad did not teach him how to buy a Ford or Chevrolet.
This just in: Lee Judge’s job interview transcript:
Editor: “Well, Mr. Judge, I’ve gone over your cartoon samples, and I must say, I like your style.
“In fact, it matches ours here at The Star. We need a man like you.
“Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t say they evidenced brilliant satire or were even the slightest bit humorous. Of course, I assume you already know this. I mean, you know, you’ll never be up for a Pulitzer or anything. But, again, that’s not our focus.
“We really don’t mind if your cartoons lack cutting-edge humor. We just want them to have a cutting edge. Think attack.
“With that understood, I must say that even The Star has its standards. So is it OK with you if we list your musings as something other than ‘editorial cartoon’?
“Say, for example, ‘Judge’s Opinion.’ That way you’ll never have to concern yourself with the humor aspect. You can simply attack.
“Say, for example, how about questioning the tea party’s IQ? Now that’d work, Mr. Judge!”
This reader especially appreciates knowing Lee Judge’s IQ — intelligence questionable.
Budget cuts hurt kids
In a surprising move, the state of Missouri cut nearly $10 million in funding to early learning programs in mid-May (6-10, A4, “Early Head Start slots victim of budget battle”). These cuts reverse more than a decade of efforts to improve the quality of early education, which helps increase young children’s school readiness.
These shortsighted cuts will affect 65 early learning programs and more than 4,000 children in this area. Plus, 119 infants and toddlers from low-income, working families will no longer receive Early Head Start services in the Kansas City area.
Studies have shown that quality early learning makes a difference in the long run with more graduations, fewer arrests and higher-paying jobs.
Missourians should let their elected officials know what they think. Please contact Gov. Jay Nixon, your state representative and your state senator about the cuts to the early learning programs.
If our elected officials can take away $10 million from our youngest and most vulnerable citizens and no one speaks up, then they will do it again and again to the detriment of our children.
Vice President of Programs
The Family Conservancy
Don’t text, drive
Texting and driving can cause death, accidents or lifelong injuries. There were thousands of deaths in distraction-related accidents in 2010.
But the number is likely much higher. Many more deaths and injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year.
I think the government should spend money to educate people about the dangers and texting while driving. This would be much like what it is doing to discourage smoking and would save many lives.
The Rev. Jarvis L. Collier, in a June 4 column, “Regrettable move by Obama, NAACP,” on same-sex marriage, expressed his opinion that “many Christian leaders are both offended and saddened by the recent NAACP vote affirming same-sex marriage equality.”
As a longtime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a senior American citizen and a great-grandfather concerned about the future of my progeny, I am strongly opposed to Mr. Collier and his minions and associates on the topic of same-sex unions.
Mr. Collier’s comments may reflect the religion of Christianity, but it sounds unrelated to the teachings and actions of Jesus regarding human feelings and interactions. I consider my views to be based on my faith — faith on facts.
I remember the biblical admonition regarding false prophets, in general, Matthew 7:15, Matthew 24:11 and Matthew 24:24. I suggest readers check out “The Hidden Teachings of Jesus: The Political Meaning of the Kingdom of God” by Lance DeHaven-Smith.
I am also interested in Mr. Collier’s positions regarding America’s involvement in past and present wars and capital punishment here at home.
John E. Burris Sr.
Kansas City, Kan.
Unintended statue draw
Joanne Hughes’ crusade to remove a sculpture from the Overland Park Arboretum reminds me of two stories that illustrate the folly of artistic censorship.
A fellow is given the Rorschach inkblot test.
The psychiatrist holds up the first inkblot, and the patient says, “Sex.” The doctor holds up the second inkblot. The patient says, “Sex.” Each of his responses to the 10 inkblots is “Sex.”
The psychiatrist says, “You have issues we need to work on.”
The patient replies, “Doc, you’re the one showing me all the dirty pictures.”
There’s also the story of a school board that came up with the idea to remove all the “dirty” words in the school’s library with black markers. With great effort, the board members completed their mission but soon after realized students were quickly thumbing through books to check out the ones with the most black marks.
Students also found that if they slanted the page a bit the “dirty” words were easily read.
Hughes, like the school board, apparently is increasing the number of people viewing the object of attempted censorship.