It’s time to embrace the future of ride-hailing. The last time I checked, UberX was available in more than 200 cities. I am writing to plead that Kansas City keep up with the changing times because things cannot stay the same forever.
I am a car-free cyclist of many years, and I am very conscious of my carbon footprint. I am a licensed driver but prefer not to own a car.
I have centralized all my needs into a five-mile radius. When I can’t ride my bicycle, I walk.
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If there is inclement weather and I cannot walk, I rely on a car service. For many years, I relied on Yellow Cab, but I happily converted to Uber last year. I quickly realized that Yellow Cab’s service couldn’t hold a candle to Uber.
Also, in my line of work, I interact with many people in Kansas City on business. They are always impressed that our city has UberX available. It makes our city appear to be more progressive and sophisticated.
UberX is different. It’s safe. It’s up and coming.
It’s innovative and exciting. It’s changing everything.
I wish our city and its antiquated regulations could change, too.
My 40-year-old son is mentally challenged and has worked successfully for 22 years at a major hotel. During this time, he has paid taxes, supported the local economy and has been an upstanding citizen.
After more than two decades, the hotel management has decided he is not as productive as he should be. His hours have been cut in half, and he is losing benefits and the apartment he has shared with another disabled person.
Without Medicaid expansion, he will need to wait seven or more years to receive the support services needed to survive. It is ironic that he has been paying federal taxes, which are going to other states that have recognized the humanitarian need for expanding Medicaid to serve their vulnerable citizens.
For the sake of my son and 5,000 Kansans with disabilities awaiting funding support, our Kansas legislators need to step to the plate and support the expansion of Medicaid now.
Beware of come-ons
I am getting very disgusted with the junk mail being sent today, trying to tempt people to buy their products and hoodwink us out of our money.
There should be a law against fraud schemes and the phony letters we call junk mail. They defraud the people and beg for donations for suspicious reasons.
An example is a senior center in Washington, D.C., that is forever begging for donations and trying to intimidate senior citizens because members of Congress borrow (or I should say rob) from the Social Security and Medicare funds.
Members of Congress have bilked senior citizens out of billions of dollars and didn’t put back into the fund, as they should have. Common sense dictates to me that Congress needs to be held accountable for borrowing from the Social Security fund, and Congress needs to be responsible and restore the fund.
Members of Congress should have to take 20 percent less of their $174,000 annual salaries for as many years as it takes to restore the money into the fund that Americans have earned from a lifetime of labor.
Terrance R. Hawbaker
The past and current Republicans in Congress have been nothing but disrespectful to President Barack Obama since his election. I am ashamed to say someone who represents Missouri is one of them.
Sen. Roy Blunt has gone with the pack and not the people. The job of the members of the House and Senate is to check and counterbalance the executive branch and do the will of the people and not follow the agenda of groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Republicans have shown the world that they are trying to dismantle the democracy of this country. It is the job of the president to negotiate with other countries using diplomacy.
Killing death tax
Rep. Sam Graves’ recent note said he was ready to take action on the “death tax,” the clever moniker used by Republicans for the estate tax.
The House Republicans will take up what they consider one of the nation’s most pressing problems — relieving the tax burden on the wealthiest 0.2 percent, by eliminating the estate tax.
Its repeal will cost $269 billion over 10 years, but Rep. Graves thinks the issue so compelling that he would add that total to our deficits rather than see the truly wealthy paying it.
Rep. Graves argued he is doing important work, saving small-business owners and family farmers, but this nonsense has long ago been exposed as fraudulent.
No one has ever identified a family farm sacrificed to the estate tax, a tax levied on fortunes exceeding $10.9 million for a couple or $5.4 million for an individual.
Keep in mind, Rep. Graves just voted for a budget that calls for slashing $5 trillion over 10 years in investments in education, Pell grants, environmental protection, Medicaid and Medicare, food stamps and other programs for the most vulnerable.
Apparently, family values value only a certain class of families.
Timothy E. Jaques
Law, order needed
We do have a law and order problem, but it’s not the cops.
Cops make the cases, and then we have prosecuting attorneys who may be eager to cut a plea deal or won’t try a case because they might lose.
We have judges who allow repeat offenders awaiting trial to sometimes bond out to inflict themselves some more on the public.
We have the Missouri parole board that releases repeat offenders into society, and those repeat offenders sometimes go out and commit crimes.
This is all done under the guise of overcrowding and lack of money.
Missouri needs two more prisons. Economic development in areas where prisons are built is a win for Missouri.
As for politicians who like to second guess law enforcement by producing bills in Jefferson City to hinder the police in getting repeat offenders off the street, you need to be voted out and sent home.
I keep hearing about recruiting and training videos that terrorists are now using.
If we can make North Korea lose its entire Internet and have someone in our government with the ability to read our personal emails, why can’t someone really smart figure out how to eliminate the terrorists’ recruiting and propagandist websites?
One pops up, it could then disappear. Are we afraid we would make them mad or infringe on their freedom of speech?
North Korea, Russia
Recent news that Russia and North Korea have rekindled their relationship of earlier decades and will further deepen economic and political ties under the banner of a “year of friendship (in 2015)” worries me, a Korean-American.
This development seems like a slap in the faces of the world leaders who have been tirelessly working together to discourage North Korea’s nuclear ambition and to dissuade Russia from fueling the war in Ukraine.
The Russian army entered the northern part of Korea in August 1945 at the request of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, soon after atomic bombs were dropped in Japan — Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945.
It was the prelude to the Korean War five years later.
After the three-year war, during which brothers killed brothers and 3 million lives were lost, including 35,000 Americans, the war ended without a peace treaty.
Four decades later, in December 1991, the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate countries, ending its communist empire.
Today South Korea stands among the leading nations in the world, but North Korea remains as the poorest nation of the poor and evil of all evils.
What will Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un come up with?