Obama is a poor leader
The economy is in a shambles and getting worse. The national debt is bloated.
The stimulus didn’t work. President Barack Obama tied the nation up for a year and a half and lost his party’s House majority and much of its margin in the Senate to pass and defend a law that was poorly written. Obama hasn’t delivered on his environmental commitments. Cap-and-trade is a dead letter.
Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin makes a mockery of Obama’s pledge to strengthen organized labor during his term. American popularity around the globe is lower than it was under President George W. Bush, and both Iran and North Korea are more threatening.
Google’s digital divide
Thank you for your July 30 editorial, “Google ramps up, but divide looms,” criticizing the Google Fiber announcement. You correctly highlight what so many cheerleaders have missed: the company’s plan to wire Kansas City with blazing-fast Internet expressly leaves out low-income neighborhoods.
What Google labels a contest to see which “fiberhoods” show the most enthusiasm for the service sounds more like a “Hunger Games”-style competition pitting well-off areas against low-income communities, leaving those who can’t pay in the digital dust.
Google has urged residents to provide a $300 connection fee, a down payment and a one-year commitment before Google completes its fiber infrastructure rollout.
That’s a financial barrier for some people. Google is even asking for upfront cash in areas where it promised slower but “free” service.
This approach flouts the decades-old anti-discrimination laws preventing phone, cable and broadband companies from cherry-picking affluent households.
It is because of these anti-redlining rules that 95 percent of America has access to broadband today, regardless of income.
Shame on Google for taking a PR victory lap while it delivers a slap in the face to struggling communities needing the economic and educational stimulus of gigabit broadband the most.
The truth about the Affordable Care Act is this:
1. Expanded health care will save millions of Americans from losing their homes to medical bankruptcy. No longer will your disease make you homeless. Medical bankruptcy accounts for the largest number of bankruptcy filings in America.
2. Insurance companies can no longer send you home to die. There will be medical treatment for all.
3. Americans will benefit from the expansion of health care-related jobs and services, so our children will be gainfully employed not only in health care but in other jobs that will allow them to buy homes, cars and more.
Nurses and nurse practitioners will expand greatly. Hospitals will hire orderlies and other ancillary workers to meet the growing needs.
Insurance companies will be leaner businesses so they can compete. All health care-aligned businesses may think twice before allowing their chief executives millions of dollars in salaries.
Health care was always meant to be about saving lives. Obamacare will save lives.
The Bible says, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2.
Good people of all political thought must remember this.
Fighting mental illness
The surgeon general says, “The overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small.” Still, violence sometimes occurs.
The risk increases when alcohol is present or a person experiences psychosis or a “break with reality.” Young adults in their 20s are the most common age group to experience the onset of psychosis.
Families should pay attention to:
• A drop in academic or job performance.
• New trouble thinking clearly or concentrating.
• Suspiciousness or uneasiness around others.
• Spending a lot more time than usual alone.
• Increased sensitivity to sights or sounds.
• Mistaking noises for voices.
• Unusual or overly intense new ideas.
Psychosis is treatable, and outcomes are best when help is sought early. The first step, however, is recognizing the onset and getting treatment. The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ free Family-to-Family course gives people the knowledge and skills needed to promote mental wellness.
We may never know whether the Colorado tragedy could have been prevented. What we do know is that increasing our understanding goes a long way in the struggle against the silence and inaction that frequently surround this issue.
Cynthia R. Keele
on Mental Illness
Missouri Amendment 2, “the right to pray amendment,” was passed, as we realized it would be.
However, the fact that those who proposed this amendment felt the necessity to mislead the voting public, prey on the average voters’ ignorance and hide the language regarding education speaks volumes about their ethics and honesty as leaders of this state.
Most of us were taught that if we had to hide something we were doing, we should know we were doing something shady. To mask the truth is simply another definition of lying.
Those who feel the need to lie to promote religious beliefs, are the ultimate hypocrites. These are the people who disgrace the concept of religion in general.
These “protectors of the faith” should reread the Ten Commandments they claim to be their guide to life, with an emphasis on No. 9: “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”
Duane E. Mason
A right to health care
In civilized societies, governments protect their citizens from aggression (both foreign and domestic), assure clean air and water, make certain all citizens have a pathway to become educated, guarantee equal rights for all citizens and provide oversight to ensure safe foods, safe drugs, safe hospitals, clean air, safe highways and safe bridges.
Finally, in most civilized societies except the United States, governments have made it possible for their citizens to have equal access to health care regardless of their ability to pay.
The Supreme Court’s recent ratification of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act should be applauded, as this decision moves this country closer to fulfilling its responsibility of guaranteeing that all of its citizens have access to health care.
Of course, we will continue to be bombarded by the distorted rhetoric from the far right condemning our government for being too bloated and blaming the poor for being lazy and taking advantage of the government welfare programs.
Yet, most right-wingers have never worked in the trenches with the poor and have no idea of the unbelievable hurdles that the poor must overcome.
The poor do have a right to health care.
Robert Stuber, M.D.
Social Welfare Clinic
Fast and Furious
Serious questions that need to be answered are as follows: What was the real reason behind the Fast and Furious botched operation? Who in the government actually authorized this operation?
Why is Attorney General Eric Holder so adamant in ignoring Congress and its attempt to find out the truth in this charade and then claiming this to be politically motivated in an election year? Why now after months has the president invoked executive privilege, thus preventing further investigation into Fast and Furious?
It is apparent to any and all who can rationalize and think that something deceitful and dishonest is taking place, and we as taxpaying citizens, along with the family of dead border agent Brian Terry, demand an accounting of this travesty.
Royals’ poor announcer
About Rex Hudler’s constant chatter, I call him Chatty Cathy. I’ve been turning him off and listening to the radio for quite some time when following the Kansas City Royals’ games.
When the Royals’ games in Chicago were on WGN, it was quite refreshing to hear professional announcers who let us watch the Royals play with only relevant comments.
Hospital sale to hurt city
What is important to understand about a potential sale of North Kansas City Hospital is that the current council members and mayor within a few years will be retired or replaced, but if North Kansas City Hospital is sold under their watch the crown jewel of North Kansas City will be gone forever.
Any sale should be put to a vote of the residents.