Middle East pit
The American people are tired of paying for endless, fruitless, costly interventions in the godforsaken Middle East.
We have no friends there, potential or otherwise, and no strategic interests that military intervention has ever been successful in protecting there. Yet the U.S. government insists that action is necessary.
The region is a 21st-century tar pit, and every bit as dangerous and unforgiving as La Brea.
It is unfathomable how this country’s leaders, who constantly pontificate about the dangers of federal deficits, are so eager to involve us in hopeless, thoughtless, heedless, resource-draining foreign interventions. If I hear one more linkage between democracy and the Middle East, I will truly believe that Orwellian-speak has arrived in this country and will throw up.
I see no meaningful differences on this issue between Republicans and Democrats and am so angered by the simple, staggering stupidity of the parties’ abject failure to lead that I am seriously considering a third-party vote the next time around.
We live in a country that spies on citizens in the name of national security. Does anyone really feel secure knowing that our cellphones and emails are scanned?
We live in a country where men make reproductive choices for women. Do men know better? Where are more women’s voices?
We live in a world where dirty energy’s power smothers the cries of our ravaged, torn and lying bare environment — all for obscene profits. Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, droughts, floods and fires rage, displacing people. Ecosystems are dying. Species are being lost, and real people are losing homes because our ersatz justice system decreed that corporations are people and money is speech, buying our Earth, our democracy and our souls.
We live in a country where lies are peddled as facts and facts dismissed as propaganda. It’s where “fair and balanced” trumps truth, where real science and critical thinking are scorned.
America is where those who contribute the most money get their voices and views heard. It’s where fanatical ideologies close down needed services and then parade before the cameras with airs of righteousness.
This country is where movements toward pay equality, a sustainable environment, human rights and social justice are left dangling in the wasteland. Can this be national security?
Senate rule change
I know Republicans are upset that Democrats changed the Senate rules on confirming presidential appointments. Now they want to punish the Democrats.
I hope they don’t punish the American people, too, by refusing to get any work done. It’s just a simple rule change after all.
They can always change it back.
Don’t blame stores for opening on Thanksgiving Day. They’re only responding to consumers’ gotta-have-it-now mentality.
If no one had shopped Thursday, fewer stores would open next year on Thanksgiving. So, where did you spend your day of thanks?
Kathie R. Smith
How much does it cost to buy a congressperson?
I realize the wealthiest 1 percent have a big advantage in this game. The rich can hire all the lobbyists they want, but the 99 percent just don’t have the money.
I would assume that the freshmen in Congress would be bought rather cheaply, while the long-timers can demand a very steep price.
What is the price of one’s ethics, integrity and honor? What is the price for giving away your congressional pledge to serve the country?
How is it that these people on both sides of the aisle can say the most outrageous lies and feel no shame?
If there is no reasoned response to any of this, we are all left in rather deep trouble.
Richard C. Lumpkin
Tea party beliefs
Most people who have negative views of the tea party philosophy have formed them based on sound-bite slams from the media and unscrupulous politicians.
But if you favor a limited federal government that confines itself to its legal authority clearly defined in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution; a government that spends only what it collects in revenue and does not borrow and spend trillions of dollars, which must be repaid by you, the taxpayer; a government that does not expand unanswerable bureaucratic control over everyone and everything; and if you believe in the power of the free market to produce prosperity versus government confiscation and redistribution of wealth, then, whether you realize it or not, you are a member of the tea party.
God, good friends
I am thankful for so much, but especially for my wonderful family and my equally wonderful friends. I am very thankful for knowing who to thank for my bounty, God.
U.S. needs jobs
Unemployment in America is a huge deal right now.
Recently, I saw a chart that showed the relationship between people unemployed with certain degrees versus job openings in that field. The issue resides right there. We simply don’t have enough job openings to account for the growing workforce. In some cases on the chart, unemployed is almost four times the amount of job openings.
If we are ever going to grow our economy, we need to make new jobs available on American soil.
I believe that with the right ideas, we can come up with a plan to boost the economy and thus create more jobs.
Sales tax for roads
Ever since the General Assembly began calling for a penny sales-tax increase for road improvements, Missourians have been weighing the benefits of infrastructure investments against the need to preserve their income.
Income preservation is incredibly important for every citizen, but I do believe that the benefits outweigh the costs with an increase in the tax.
Although sales taxes are generally regressive and affect a high percentage of some people’s incomes, it is still possible for those more affected by the tax to be satisfied with it. We must consider that, during this decadelong tax, gas taxes will be frozen.
On top of that, everybody will enjoy improved roads, which can be beneficial to those worried about gas mileage and damage to vehicles that they can’t afford to replace.
Overall, I truly hope that this legislation passes in November 2014 because the small sacrifices made by Missourians in the next few years will only assist them and future generations by improving vital infrastructure.
Aiding service dogs
Guide and service dogs are changing the lives of disabled individuals in our community and around the country.
Lots of effort and commitment are put into training these animals, but many businesses are unaware of the rights the trainers possess.
Missouri law states, “Any trainer, from a recognized training center, of a guide dog, hearing assistance dog or service dog shall have the right to be accompanied by such dog.” Although there are laws directly addressing this issue, it becomes unclear who has what rights and where they apply.
I believe businesses should be more educated and should support the development of these dogs.
We see them in public in the final stages of their progress, but to get them to that point they need to be exposed to an everyday routine. What better way to make them the best they can be than by putting them in their working environment from a young age and improving from there?
The people dedicating their time to this great cause should not be denied the rights they are entitled to.