Just the facts
I was amused by Scott Stantis’ cartoon in Sunday’s Star. (19A) Thomas Jefferson often expressed the need for a free press, as the cartoon points out.
However, I have a favorite Jefferson quote from a letter he wrote to Nathaniel Macon in 1819. In it he noted he read only the ads in a newspaper, writing, “Advertisements ... contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.”
Ads in Jefferson’s time were notoriously dishonest. Yet he said he found them more believable than the news stories. We now have truth-in-advertising laws but no truth-in-news-reporting laws.
Maybe we need those, too.
Kansas City, Kan.
Whenever I call my bank or credit card company, they ask me information such as my name and address. And then to confirm the info, they ask for the last four digits of my Social Security number.
President Donald Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, headed by Kris Kobach, is asking for the names, addresses, birth dates, voting records and the last four Social Security digits for all 200 million U.S. voters.
Can you imagine what a trove that would be for hackers, domestic or foreign?
In regards to The Star’s recent story, “Life, liberty and health care for all?” (July 23, 1A), I say that one doesn’t need to believe that health care is a right to be convinced that a single-payer, government-insurance approach to health care — such as Medicare for all — is the best system for the U.S.
There are many strong arguments for single-payer government-provided health insurance.
It would be cheaper overall and more efficient than the current byzantine for-profit private health insurance system. Employers could stop diverting resources to health care for employees and focus instead on their core business missions. Individuals would no longer be tied to a particular job to secure affordable health care and would be freer to pursue entrepreneurial projects.
Whether health care is a right is really a secondary discussion in the debate about the U.S. government’s proper role in health care. As a society, we could simply decide that a government-paid health insurance system is the best way to provide health care to all citizens.
I sincerely hope that we will, and soon.
The Star’s July 22 editorial, “Kansas school spending, on pause,” (12A) was an insult to the children and young adults in the state.
Equal education across the state is a constitutional requirement that has been grossly ignored by past Kansas Legislatures for too many years. Over half of Kansas high school graduates do not complete a degree in higher education, so they rely heavily on their high school education. Parents and educators help make a difference on their future success. But the Legislature must do its part to adequately fund equal education across the state.
The Star’s suggestion that the courts should pause is a slap across the face of Kansas children who are relying on public education to change their lives. Remember, our children are the future of our state. We as citizens and taxpayers have a responsibility to make certain all of them have a chance at success.
On July 16, The Kansas City Star reported the deaths of multiple motorcyclists, some of whom were not wearing helmets. (4A, “One rider dies after two motorcycles collide early Saturday morning,” 5A, “Fatal sport bike crash in Lee’s Summit adds to area death toll”)
Motorcyclists are not required to wear helmets in Kansas. According to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die during a crash than automobile drivers.
As a physician, whenever I see motorcyclists speeding past me without helmets, I wish I could take them to the nearest trauma center so they could see the consequences of this lack of head protection.
Injuries to bones and soft tissues can heal and are seldom life threatening. Head injuries, on the other hand, create a at high risk for permanent disabilities and death.
The impact of the head against the pavement or other stationary objects can lead to skull fractures, bleeding, swelling, herniation of the delicate brain tissue and death.
Motorcyclists are not invulnerable and should always wear protective headgear. They owe it not only to themselves but to their families and loved ones.