U.S. 71 traffic lights
The traffic lights on U.S. 71 are there for many reasons, and U.S. 71 is not an interstate. Bruce R. Watkins Drive was constructed to follow standards set by the U.S. District Court and by resolution of the Kansas City Council in 1984 that it would be “less than a freeway and more than a parkway.”
The 10-mile stretch of U.S. 71 goes from the downtown loop, through several neighborhoods, to the area where the speed limit is 55 mph. Drivers moving east and west deserve to be able to cross U.S. 71 to access their properties.
Accidents happen at intersections all over the city, and jaywalkers do jaywalk. The traffic lights must remain.
Mamie Currie Hughes
Curiosity about men
The technically sophisticated rover Curiosity has been exploring the Martian surface for some time now. There have been no signs of giant-screen TVs, La-Z-Boy recliners, empty pizza boxes or crushed beer cans.
NASA has thus reached the only possible conclusion. Men are not from Mars.
KCP&L and Sandy
A few days ago we received an email from friends living in Wilton, Conn. Although they are seven miles from Long Island Sound, they live in heavily forested hill country.
About 87 percent of their town lost power as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Several large trees fell on their home.
Much to their surprise, four cherry-picker vehicles marked with the Kansas City Power & Light Co. logo were clearing the fallen trees on their property. Thanks KCP&L for again rising to the occasion.
Julie and Dick Conn
Proposition B death
I am grieving for the thousands of Missouri children who will become addicted to tobacco and die years earlier than their peers because they can still purchase tobacco products cheap in our state. The uncaring 51 percent of the voters qualify as Missouri’s “simple” majority.
‘I voted’ stickers
I loved the submissions for your redo the “I Voted” sticker contest (11-6, D1, “Wear it proudly”). I would be proud and happy to wear any of the designs to show that I had cast my ballot.
In fact, I think the local election commission should replace its current uninspiring sticker with one or more of the wonderful designs that future voters submitted.
It has been reported that the Koch brothers spent several hundred million dollars trying to defeat President Barack Obama. I donated $50 to the Obama-Joe Biden campaign. I love America so much.
Costly hospital growth
“A healthy building business” on Nov. 6 was an excellent article about the very expensive competition among hospitals to outdo each other. It is at our expense whether we have private or government health care coverage.
An important factor not highlighted is the expansion of hospitals into outpatient care, which is dramatically raising costs. Outpatient care and testing is best provided in low-cost private physicians’ offices and freestanding facilities rather than in these high-cost behemoth hospitals.
Most people don’t realize that hospital-owned testing facilities and hospital-employed physicians are paid much more than freestanding facilities and private physicians for identical services.
The hospitals are expanding their outpatient departments by hiring physicians to reap the higher fees as well as to capture these physicians’ downstream referrals to their high-profit-margin testing facilities and surgeries.
This monopolization by the self-referral of these employed physicians to their employers’ facilities is bad for health care not only because of the higher cost and incentives for overutilization but also because it limits the options for patients needing specialists or surgery.
Life’s vexing questions
Is it OK for a mother to choose to terminate the life of her unborn baby even though a mother who kills her infant is charged with murder?
Unfortunately, we have witnessed cases in which mothers have killed their children, and these mothers have usually been convicted of murder. But what if the baby hasn’t been born?
If someone else kills a pregnant woman’s unborn child, they are charged with a felony because the baby is considered a human being. If the mother terminates an unwanted pregnancy and thus the life of the unborn baby, then the law says that it is OK.
If a child is born prematurely, we spend thousands, if not millions, of dollars to preserve its life in neonatal intensive-care units. An unborn child the same age as a premature infant could have its life terminated, and the law says this is OK.
It appears to me that the difference is that a baby is a human being if it is wanted by the mother and it is not considered a human being with the right to life if it is not wanted by its mother. What am I missing?
Kansas drivers’ blues
Odd, isn’t it? Our Kansas government officials apparently didn’t have the time or resources to thoroughly research the new Department of Motor Vehicle computer system before they unleashed it on the public. They’re now proposing that their constituents foot the bill for the numerous headaches the system has caused.
Remember your Kansas driver’s license? The one you’re now legally required to present if you want to do a pesky little thing like vote? The same one that required you to stand in line at the DMV for eight hours over two days, just so you could get it renewed?
Maybe we Kansans should have dwelled on that experience a little more when we were staring down at the ballot, trying to decide which names to check.
Protect voting rights
We have the best of both worlds/cultures in President Barack Obama — European and African decent. The U.S. is the poster child for democracy for the entire world, and it was founded on Christian principles. Racist and biased behaviors are not Christ-like.
God created us equal in his sight, contrary to the implied message on a T-shirt: “Put the white back in the White House.” The great white elephant of racism is alive and active throughout the U.S. Some people voted based on the race of the person rather than the candidate’s principles and character.
No white candidate has been subjected to the disrespect and racism Obama has endured. The president treats it as “just politics,” but it’s racist first and then political.
Thirty-nine states created 108 legislative options to make voting difficult in an attempt to limit certain citizens’ voter turnout. That’s racism and bias.
Abortion and same-sex marriage are moral issues, neither of which I would personally choose. However, the president must ensure that all people are treated fairly under the law. God is the judge, not the president.
Voting rights must be enacted and protected for all.
Obama’s false claims
President Barack Obama keeps bragging about Iraq and getting al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. The Iraq war ended on President George W. Bush’s timeline, resulting from the Bush troop surge. Then Obama failed to negotiate a “status of forces” agreement.
The Bush policy of tracking couriers led to bin Laden. Obama’s only decision was to use troops, not bombs. This resulted in leaving a crashed helicopter in Pakistan.
And, about the 2008 financial collapse. It was the Bush bank bailouts that saved the banking system.
The recession ended in June 2009, well before Obama’s stimulus and ill-fated shovel-ready jobs could be initiated. Obama’s recovery failed.
What caused the financial collapse? It was Jimmy Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act (enhanced by Bill Clinton) that promoted low-income (subprime) mortgages.
It was Clinton who repealed Glass-Steagall and chose not to regulate over-the-counter derivatives, a turning point in the march to financial crisis, according to Obama’s inquiry commission.
Here’s an idea for parents who still find the statue at the Overland Park Arboretum offensive — don’t take your kids. Neither your kids nor you for that matter have to go to the Overland Park Arboretum.
Or at least if you do, you don’t have to go to the area with the statue. Sometimes the best solution is the simplest one, isn’t it?
Now that Lance Armstrong’s chickens have come home to roost, are they going to change the name of the stadium to Livewrong?