Hurting KC schools
As a retired Missouri public school teacher, I am extremely disappointed in the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision to allow students to transfer out of the unaccredited Kansas City school district (12-13, A1, “School board to sue state”).
This ruling will prove detrimental to Kansas City Public Schools, area districts and affected students. Because the Kansas City district will be required to pay tuition and transportation costs for the transferring students, this will lead the district down the road to bankruptcy.
Also, the influx of students will stress neighboring districts because of the increasing class sizes.
Kansas City students deserve to attend schools in their neighborhoods, not in school districts miles away. For some of these urban children, school is their only stable environment. Uprooting them from their existing schools creates more uncertainty in their lives.
How unfortunate that the Missouri Supreme Court has decided to repeat the same failed ruling that has nearly bankrupted the Normandy and Riverview Garden districts near St. Louis. I had hoped they might have learned their lesson.
Hopefully, the Missouri Department of Education or the legislature will change or eliminate this transfer law.
North Korea danger
It’s difficult to have much sympathy for any American who gets into trouble from entering North Korea or traveling too close to that country’s border (12-10, A2, “Apology recanted”). Really, it’s cheaper to just go to the zoo and stick your head in a lion’s mouth.
Serving the people
In a truly Christian nation, a living wage would be a law of the land. Time with family and friends would be sacred and respected, especially on holidays.
The people would not allow the decimation of soil, water and air in the name of any corporate bottom line and would demand healthy food sources and the right to know what they consume. Climate change would be a high priority, and all media would answer only to the people.
Forests, waters and animals would be held in the highest esteem, knowing that all life is connected and interdependent. Seniors, students, teachers, health-care personnel and public-service employees would be revered and union participation encouraged.
Justice would be demanded for those who cheat, steal, commit fraud and do harm to the common welfare, even if those perpetrators wear Gucci suits.
In a Christian nation, corporations are not people and money is not speech.
We would honor non-Christians, non-believers, alternative lifestyles and other cultures and languages.
We would respect gender differences, knowing that we’re all in this life together, that this common welfare is in our hands and that our public servants have the obligation to serve the people.
Obama to Snowden
It seems Edward Snowden might be offered a chance to return to the United States with amnesty if he were to turn over all the secret material he possesses.
Edward, have you lost your mind? Have you not heard, “If you like your coverage, you can keep it. Period.”?
This is in reference to the Dec. 14 letter writer saying, “Any healthy person should be ashamed of being on Medicaid or any other welfare program.” What you said could very well be true if corporations had not shipped millions of jobs overseas in search of lower wages for workers and more money for themselves.
People should not be ashamed to take the help they need for themselves and their families if they have been searching for a job and have not been able to find one. When I hear of job openings where they may have 60 jobs and 600 to 1,000 people are applying, I know there are not enough job openings for everyone.
For you to put shame on people who cannot find jobs is ludicrous.
You should be putting the shame on corporations for sending jobs overseas just to line their own pockets.
Cuts to hurt vets
So the politicians decide they need to pass a budget and cut costs because government spending is out of control (12-13, A2, “House passes budget deal”).
They have many places to find the savings, but where do they go? They attack our veterans.
Can you believe they propose to cut $6 billion out of the veterans’ pension fund, costing our retired veterans hundreds of dollars per year in benefits. The people responsible for fighting to protect our freedom are being punished, and our promises to them are being broken while the special interests of this administration continue to be advanced.
I am appalled and saddened for what our country is becoming. Shame on us if we allow this to stand.
The elections of 2014 cannot get here fast enough so that the cowards who sit behind their desks will get their just dues while we restore honesty and integrity in Washington, D.C.
Assuming Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro is able to move along with her plan to establish a statewide school district consisting of underperforming schools, I wonder who the superintendent of that district might be.
Oh, no, Nicastro wouldn’t be creating a job for herself would she?
Have we become so used to school shootings that they are no longer front-page news (12-14, A2, “Gunman kills himself”)? The latest Colorado shooting was relegated to a blurb in the lower right-hand corner of the front page with the story on an inside page.
What a sad commentary on our society that we have come to accept these atrocities as commonplace.
Painful Harley noise
Being into pain, I want to thank the big fellow on a big Harley-Davidson motorcycle with no muffler who went by me as I was sitting at a stoplight at 72nd Street and State Avenue.
You must have cranked the throttle big time as you came alongside me because the noise really hurt. My wife is always complaining that I don’t hear her anyway so she won’t notice much difference.
I’m sorry I won’t get as much enjoyment from your motorcycle with no muffler during the colder weather because I will have my windows rolled up. But I hope you will keep on riding.
Maybe you’ll enjoy some pain, too.
Kansas City, Kan.
Social Security fund
High earners can self-insure. Therefore, only part of their earnings are taxed for Social Security. Currently, it’s the first $113,700 earned.
Any excess funds collected by Social Security can only be invested in U.S. government bonds. All other investments (stocks; city, state or foreign bonds; bank accounts etc.) are deemed risky. Excess Social Security contributions invested in safe U.S. government bonds are often referred to as trust funds.
Current judgment by some politicians is that these trust funds should not be honored because repaying them would require increased or additional taxes to pay other debts. Not repaying the trust funds would turn excess contributions into an income tax on bottom-tier wage earners.
High income earners (those above $113,700) would be exempt from this new income tax. If Social Security contributions are going to morph into a revenue source for the operation of government, then remove the limit on income subject to the tax.
I am so thankful for the firefighters and paramedics at Station No. 35 for getting my daughter out of her wrecked car this year. She is alive, and her crushed leg was saved.
These people are truly some of the angels among us. Bless you.