U.S. falling behind
According to the credibly written international best seller, “The Spirit Level,” the U.S. is nearly last in every important category. The authors found reliable sources for measures of level of trust, mental illness, life expectancy, obesity, children’s educational performance, teenage births, homicides, imprisonment rates and social mobility.
They found the U.S. has an unfavorable ranking in nearly all categories compared with other modern countries. This finding is disheartening — a truly sad commentary about our government, political, legal, elementary educational and medical systems.
As an 82-year-old, native-born, inactive Marine and a retired utility chief financial officer, I am ashamed of what we have let our country become. Our Supreme Court is too politicized.
Our political system is a wealth-controlled oligarchy. Our tax system isn’t adequately supporting our infrastructure. We have too much wealth inequity, and our military is far too costly.
I think we still have a saving grace in our Constitution. Our major star is our inalienable and indisputable right of property ownership, although that is likely to be tested and perhaps abolished.
I am concerned for my country.
Hugh J. Taylor
Sharing a meal
“Dine-In” day for families around the world to eat a healthy meal together is Thursday, sponsored by the American Association of Family and Consumer Science. The goal is to engage 200,000 families to eat a healthy meal — some combination of fish, chicken, or small meat serving with potatoes, pasta or whole grain bread, vegetables, salad, fruit and a non-soda drink.
Locally grown food is a plus. Having members plan and prepare meals together would surely identify delicious options, including those suggested in the food section of The Star, or may elicit fond memories.
Taking time to sit together could be exciting and entertaining. What a wonderful feeling to be one of the 200,000 dining-in together Thursday or have a dine-in date, if you prefer.
I have read in The Star about how our governor, Sam Brownback, wants to keep refugees out of Kansas. I would be glad to trade Brownback for a refugee.
Suddenly the woman on the screen takes out a knife and attacks. What do you do?
Your life-or-death decision has to be made in a split second. This was just one of the training exercises we experienced in the 10-week Leawood Citizens Police Academy (most cities offer a similar program).
Most of us do not realize the extensive training required for police work. We saw firsthand the dedication and passion these men and women have for their serious, demanding and dangerous jobs.
We did a ride along with an officer, toured the Crime Lab and detention center, were mesmerized by presentations on building searches, crash investigation, use of force, driving under the influence, crimes in progress and much more.
These are true professionals who not only keep our communities and schools safe, but their philanthropic and community service programs are exceptional.
We are grateful for this glimpse into what it is like to be a police officer. Our special thanks to Officer Erik Butler who is in charge of this unforgettable program.
Paul and Joyce Richards
Islamic State threat
Mr. President, if the Islamic State is the junior varsity, what constitutes the varsity? We need to double the size of Homeland Security and arm everyone if, and when, our shores are invaded.
Should we start flying our flags at half-staff? With our borders open to immigration, what’s to prevent agents of the Islamic state from entering the U.S.? President Barack Obama only has a year and a half to deal with this problem, and then he can hand this threat over to his successor.
Then consider what happens to his legacy.
Currently, this great country is in a quandary about thousands of Syrian refugees. Those who oppose a mass entry without questions are afraid of the deadly consequences that some, who are harboring deadly attitudes toward the rest of the population, may create.
We have no faith in our president to vet this group properly. He has no concept of good versus evil.
He has allowed millions of illegal immigrants to enter this country through our southern border virtually unopposed. He called the Paris slaughter a setback.
When four U.S. diplomats were brutally murdered in Benghazi, President Barack Obama called it a bump in the road. This man is not the man for the job.
He would rather appear politically correct and allow terrorists in who hate this country than to do what he is responsible to do and that is vet this group of Syrian refugees and not allow the evil ones into this great country.
College entrance test
I am concerned about ACT testing in school. I am a senior in high school and I’ve been told that I have to take the ACT to determine whether I can get into a good college.
I feel like ACT testing isn’t necessary because a test score shouldn’t determine whether I can get into a good school or how smart I am.
To send letters
Visit the Letters website at kansascity.com/letters to submit your letter to the editor for 913. The website form, with helpful reminders on required information replaces an email address for online submissions. You may also mail letters of up to 300 words to 913 Letters, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO, 64108. Online letters are preferred.