Russia, bullying teachers, Miss America

09/17/2013 5:53 PM

09/17/2013 5:53 PM

Putin, Sinatra song

We now know Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite song, thanks to our National Security Agency taping his Kremlin office telephone. It’s a Frank Sinatra classic titled “I’ve Got The World On A String.”

It seems every time Putin finishes a conversation with our president, he breaks out singing at the top of his lungs: “I’ve got the world on a string, I’m sitting on a rainbow. Got him around my finger.”

Thomas J. Moran

Belton Beware Russia

How convenient for the Russians to help President Barack Obama by throwing him a lifeline. All this does is buy time for Syria. We will get to watch another scavenger hunt as was the case with Saddam Hussein, who pretended he had such weapons to scare his neighboring enemies like Syria.

There are big U.S. economic decisions to be made soon, and this whole fiasco may well be a distraction from that. Syria will never appease the United States by revealing all stockpiles of poisonous gas.

Have we not had enough hide-and-seek relative to weapons of mass destruction? I wonder, Why would Russia bail out Obama? What will Russia gain?

Remember, in March 2012, Obama told Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev that he, Obama, would make a deal on missile control after the election when Obama would have more “flexibility.”

What did Obama promise Russia to get the Russians to bail him out in Syria? You can bet he promised something.

Recall the missiles of October 1962, when President John F. Kennedy supposedly stared down Khrushchev, keeping missiles out of Cuba? All the while Kennedy traded missile bases in Turkey for withdrawal from Cuba.

Mike Hellige

Olathe Bullying teachers

“When parents abuse teachers” on Sept. 15 points out a disturbing trend: irate parents physically assaulting teachers. Although less physically dangerous, a related and much more pervasive trend is the bullying and intimidation by parents that many teachers experience.

It is not at all unusual in this “self-esteem” era for parents, most often mothers, to email teachers several times each week. They are most often concerned about grades, but any number of other issues can disturb them. And for each email, a return explanation is demanded.

It is also common for some students to email Mom during class whenever a sharp comment or harsh look by the teacher upsets the student. The parent then calls an administrator (instead of first talking to the teacher), and more time is spent on explanations and possibly meetings.

When several parents engage in this type of pressure and intimidation, many teachers find it easier to decide that the kids and parents are always right.

One of the most damaging consequences is grade inflation. Making the honor roll is hardly an honor when content is watered down and average performance is rewarded with B’s and even A’s.

Bill Boley

Kansas City Miss America contest

We keep hearing that Miss Kansas Theresa Vail should have won the Miss America competition. The only thing that Miss Kansas lacked was beauty and talent, which the winner, Nina Davuluri of New York, had both! I was surprised Miss Kansas made it to the top 10.

John Cook

Kansas City Build KCI tram

Demolishing Kansas City International Airport’s three terminals and building a single terminal would be a mistake at enormous cost. Admittedly, the three-terminal design was conceived and built before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists forced us to change the way we process and handle passengers.

Having buses connect the terminals is now less practical because we now have secured and unsecured passengers. So how can we fix this without demolishing the existing terminals and starting over at great expense and construction time?

I suggest we construct what many existing terminals already have in use, and that is an underground tram (train) system to connect the three terminals and possibly to access the parking lots as well. An advantage of this approach would be that the underground construction would be a smaller inconvenience during its construction period.

If parallel trams were constructed, then the secure and unsecured areas could be connected simultaneously. Additionally, one of the terminals could contain a larger eating facility instead of each one having small sandwich shops.

Many of the nation’s terminals already have underground trams that seem to work well. This could also have the advantage of giving rides to those who want the return of streetcars by painting the trams to look like old Kansas City streetcars.

Bob Patterson

Lee’s Summit War outrage missing

I recently watched the PBS evening news. At the end of the broadcast, the anchor announced the names of seven U.S. troops who were killed in the conflict in Afghanistan that week.

For all the discussion of the events in Syria, where is the outrage for what continues to take American lives in a war that seldom is mentioned in the press and infrequently on television?

Bruce Eighmey

Kansas City, Kan. Subtracting freedoms

So, the National Security Agency keeps track of our phone calls and reads our emails, and the only thing Congress is concerned about is that they don’t do it in secret. What happened to our right to privacy?

Our freedoms are being taken away a little at a time. Is anyone else concerned about this?

Terrance Coots

Atchison, Kan. Remembering Ella

I am one of the many who were privileged to have had Ella in our lives (9-15, A4, “Young and old mourn cemetery deer, Ella”). She was so gentle and loved to be petted.

I was also there Sept. 14 to mourn for her. While standing in the crowd and sharing our stories with each other, I saw how many lives she had touched.

I only hope she knew that. She was the highlight of our day every time we went to see her.

I want to thank Frisbie Monuments for donating the beautiful granite stone for Ella. I heard many people say, “Oh, there’s her dog with her.” It was quite touching.

Elmwood will never be the same now that Ella is gone, and I hope that she will never be forgotten. My days will never be the same now that she is gone.

But I will always remember the wonderful days she gave me when I visited with her. Thank you, dear Ella, I will remember you always.

Pat Faris

Shawnee Vital global warning

While I was passing out fliers recently at the City Market on the president’s climate plan, a man sarcastically said, “You don’t believe in global warming, do you?”

The fact that 135 members of Congress deny global warming, or that humans are the cause of it, reflects their belief in the big lie pushed by fossil-fuel lobbies and right-wing media.

NASA has an article, “Global Climate Change,” which states that 97 percent of climate scientists agree the warming of the Earth over the last 100 years is very likely caused by human activity.

Lonnie Thompson, a globally recognized climatologist from Ohio State University, wrote an article, “Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options.” He says climatologists are speaking out because most of them have concluded “global warming is a clear and present danger to civilization.”

As a society, America is sleepwalking into a nightmare.

We had better wake up, smell the coffee of reality and work on solutions to our massive dumping of carbon into the atmosphere.

David Mitchell

Organizing For Action

Kansas City Arboretum statue

I was recently in Florence, Italy, and saw the nude statue of David, Michelangelo’s masterpiece. I felt fortunate that I was able to view it because the American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri would certainly start a petition against it if it were displayed in Overland Park (9-17, A4, “New law brings new push for grand jury inquiry”).

Charles Barnes

Kansas City Kindness at game

This letter is to thank the kind and generous person who found my driver’s license at the Sept. 15 Chiefs game. You found my license amid all that trash at the stadium, drove it to my home and placed it on my front door while I was away.

Your note said only “Found at Chiefs game 9/15.” You didn’t leave a name or number so I hope you see this letter and know how much your kindness meant to me. Not only did you save me from a dreaded visit to the Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles for a replacement, you made my day with your thoughtfulness.

Elayne Garrett

Olathe

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