Missouri brain drain
Substantial policy issues in Missouri and Kansas have me questioning whether I can sustain my medical career in the Show-Me State. There are several reasons for my concern.
Last summer, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled caps on noneconomic damages unconstitutional, and Missouri suffers as a result. Our medical schools are world-class, yet many of our bright graduates are being driven away.
And they don’t have to go far — they can move to Kansas, where the state Supreme Court upheld a cap on noneconomic damages. Additionally, Kansas has a prescription drug-monitoring program. Missouri, meanwhile, is the only state without one.
Overdose deaths would be largely preventable if Missouri implemented prescription drug-monitoring, which would prevent addicts from “pill-shopping.”
What’s more, because of recent tax reform in Kansas, small businesses, including physicians’ practices, do not have to pay the state income tax. That means that just by moving to Kansas I could save 6 percent every year.
I enjoy living in Missouri, and it pains me to even have to consider moving out of the state. Fortunately, all of these issues are fixable.
I am encouraging legislators to take a stand for reform.
Sean Clinefelter, M.D.
Graft in Afghanistan
President Hamid Karzai clearly states that U.S. troops and allies aren’t wanted in Afghanistan. He banned Special Operation Forces from Wardak Province and implied that the U.S. was behind car bombings carried off to justify keeping an allied force in the country past the 2014 pullout deadline.
Yet Congress has authorized an additional $88 billion to Afghanistan for fiscal 2013, and who knows what supplemental funding will follow? Karzai is trying to come to some accommodation with the Taliban before the pullout to preserve his and his cronies’ monies.
I’m not a graphologist, but I see the same handwriting on the wall as I did as an Army officer in 1967-69.
I hope our government has a plan to co-opt the pilots who will fly Karzai and pals out of Kabul when it falls.
Maybe they could be persuaded to give up their account numbers to the off-shore banks where our money has been stashed.
It is time to leave Afghanistan. Spend some of those billions at home on infrastructure like our sewers and water mains.
H. Jonathan Pratt
The Kansas Legislature passed a bill late Friday night that includes a declaration that life begins “at fertilization.”
That means the state has to legally recognize that all Kansas citizens are nine months older than their birth certificates read. Therefore, all Kansas citizens are entitled to, among a whole host of other things, all Social Security benefits nine months earlier.
Keep KCI as is
I have a new suggestion for the city officials who think we should spend $1.2 billion for a new airport. Many, many fliers who go through Kansas City International Airport talk about how easy and great it is, yet city officials feel the need to destroy that.
You are now talking about building the new terminal on the site of Terminal A, destroying Terminal B and using Terminal C as rental for business offices. Here’s a great idea.
Why not leave Terminals A and B as is and rent out terminal C? Part of the reason we don’t have enough equipment for security scanning now is that the use of the airport has decreased.
This should be put to a vote of the citizens of Kansas City and not left to the few men and women on the City Council.
KCI is a great airport. Leave it that way. Just because you have a brand new sparkling terminal doesn’t mean more passengers are going to use it.
Beware North Korea
An ancient Korean proverb says, “Watch out for a biting dog.” North Korea has been barking ferociously, threatening to strike the United States and South Korea with nuclear bombs since the U.S. sent warplanes to South Korea last month.
Some American experts considered Kim Jong Un, 29, a spoiled child blowing his horn to get attention and to establish his status as a tough guy among world leaders as well as his own country elders.
Let me remind America that in 1949, when CIC (Korean CIA) agents reported to the U.S. military leaders in South Korea of the Communists’ military activities on the north side of the 38th parallel, particularly hundreds of Russian tanks gathering there, no one took it seriously.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur, then the supreme commander of the Far East who was rebuilding Japan from the ashes of the Pacific War at the time, retorted, “There is no way North Koreans can launch a war against the South.”
But it happened. During the three-year Korean War, 3 million lives were lost, including 54,200 American troops.
As a Korean, I say, “Barking dogs can bite, too.”
Goofy U.S. priorities
What’s funny is all of the squawking about the right to “bear arms.” Back in the 1700s when this Second Amendment was passed, all people had were single-shot muzzle-loaders. It’s not exactly the preferred weapon for a mass murderer.
Why would anyone but a paranoid psychotic need an assault weapon with multiple-round clips? As gun fanatics tried to make their case with nationwide gun rallies last month, four or five of them managed to shoot themselves or those next to them.
Maybe gun buyers should be required to take a stupidity test first. I’m all in favor of the right to “bare arms.”
Call me a liberal if you wish; I embrace the term. The word “liberty” is printed on our currency and is the reason most of us came to America in the first place.
But I’m also in favor of women’s rights to nurse their babies in public. How did America manage to get its priorities so goofed up?
Thomas E. Dodson
Target on guns wrong
I’ve grown weary of the pro-gun-control argument that centers around some version of “you are more likely to be injured or killed by a gun if there is a gun in the home.” I think that is rather obvious.
So what’s your point? I certainly can counter with, “There was a gun in 100 percent of homes where invasions, burglaries and assaults were thwarted because the homeowner was armed.”
They are both ridiculous points to try to debate. What is particularly unnerving, though, is that when pro-gun-control advocates parade this point out it is really a signal of what their true agenda is.
To complain that people get injured or killed when there is a gun in the home is one step from finishing the thought with, “so let’s remove all guns from all homes.”
There is a healthy debate that needs to happen. Common ground and solutions are out there.
But in the end, if any additional restrictions affect only calm, rational, law-abiding citizens then it is not needed. Focus your energy on the problem.
And the problem is the bad guys who do bad things. That’s not us. Leave us alone.
I’ve had many instances in which the police are very unprofessional and judgmental.
One time I got stopped in our old car that has dents and doesn’t look attractive. One officer commented, “You need to get this car looking good.” Right, in this economy the poor can’t afford collision repair.
In another recent instance, a family member was stopped, and when the police searched the car, one officer said, “This car smells like dirty socks.” And then one commented, “Oh, I feel dirty after getting in this car.”
I think the police tend to target poor people like me. They don’t care if you have a disability. Most of the city courts are filled with poor people. I have never seen a rich person in our local city court.
The police need sensitivity training. Not all people can own new cars with no problems.