Secretary of State John Kerry recently released the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranks 188 countries — including the United States — on their efforts to combat human trafficking. It is the world’s gold standard for information on the global crime of modern slavery.
The report shows a desperate need for more international assistance to free children, women and men from enslavement and to prosecute and punish those who exploited and abused them. There is a bipartisan initiative in Congress that would provide increased U.S. foreign aid through a public-private partnership, the End Modern Slavery Initiative.
The fund would receive financing from other government donors, as well. I strongly support the End Modern Slavery Initiative and I hope our entire Missouri delegation will co-sponsor this bill and push for its passage.
Webb as president
Because we are a nation at war and will be for the foreseeable future, the most important role for our presidents will be as commander in chief. The most pressing needs will be knowledge, competence and courage in matters of national defense.
Clearly the most qualified candidate in that regard is Democrat Jim Webb. When all the rants of this ludicrous pre-primary brouhaha are over, the nation would be well-served to listen carefully to Sen. Webb and his intelligent vision for national security.
The politicians whine about the lack of highway funds, saying, “There’s no money to replace the Broadway Bridge” or “We may have to make Interstate 70 a toll road.” It’s preparatory talk ahead of a big push to raise the gasoline tax.
But I wonder about the millions of dollars the state funneled into the Kansas City streetcar boondoggle. We don’t need higher taxes, just common sense in the people who are spending the tax money already available.
KC minimum wage
State Sen. Kurt Schaefer and his fellow Republicans were spitting mad because of Kansas City’s new ordinance gradually raising the minimum wage to $13 an hour. Schaefer was threatening to terminate the city’s 1 percent earnings tax in retaliation.
Who are these guys … the Mafia? Do they intend to kneecap the mayor if he doesn’t cooperate?
Most of the state’s tax receipts come from St. Louis and Kansas City, yet they treat us like bums. Republicans have provided a smorgasbord of goodies for some of their favorite constituencies. Gun owners and agribusiness got personalized constitutional amendments. Rich folks received tax cuts.
Kansas City only gets a wag of the finger. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump treats Fox News personality Megyn Kelly with more respect.
In 1949, President Harry Truman successfully negotiated with Congress to raise the minimum wage from 40 cents to 75 cents. The unemployment rate declined from 6.5 percent in 1950 to 3 percent in May 1951, and America experienced two decades of economic prosperity.
Sen. Schaefer hyperventilating that the minimum-wage increase would do “damage to our state’s economy” is typical Republican hyperbole and historically false.
Schaefer was spoiling for a fight. We should have respond the way Harry Truman would and “give ’em hell.”
Gun violence toll
We’ve had children killed in grade schools, high schools and colleges. Adults have been shot in movie theaters, Army bases and now on live television. How about the congresswoman shot but not killed?
I would like to know how many gunshot victims have been wounded but survived because of skilled doctors. You think the murder rate is down, but is it skilled doctors saving lives?
Who is responsible? The National Rifle Association or the cowardly politicians who are afraid to step on someone’s toes? Will anybody take any responsibility for gun violence?
What has happened to freedom and liberty? Is it freedom to worry about our children in school? Is it liberty to be able to walk down the street and not be shot by some coward or by another coward shooting into our homes?
I must differ with Pastor Scott Gordon, who claimed in the Sept. 19 “Voices of Faith” column that Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God. If God is real, there can be — as Jews, Christians and Muslims point out consistently — only one God.
So if we worship God at all, it must be the same God.
Rev. Gordon points out correctly that “Christians and Muslims describe God in many disparate ways, most notably in our views regarding the Trinity.”
However, our images of God and our doctrines about God are themselves not God. When we claim to have different Gods, we are confusing our images and beliefs about God with the reality of God.
When we shake the hand of a brother or sister in Judaism or Islam, we need to recognize we are affirming solidarity with a fellow believer, no matter how we differ in our beliefs about God.
All three Abrahamic faith traditions have also taught that God is in some ways beyond our historical and finite understanding.
That might be good to remember — for our humility and for mutual respect.
Rev. Anton K. Jacobs
Trump’s true role
Although the news media were neither authorized nor sanctioned to instruct anyone on how he or she should think or what is and is not acceptable behavior, they have become the gatekeepers of public morality as self-appointed defenders of their own opinions.
The foundation of one’s moral and ethical behavior and attitudes should be laid by parents, buttressed by religious leaders and supplemented by teachers. However, the watchdog of our rights has now become the lapdog of political correctness, anointed by lobbyists and supported by public officials who have been beatified by corporate funds.
Now Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has come along to expose the news media’s feet of clay, and while the media may cringe, complain and use every tool at their disposal to smite him, many in the public arena are cheering as the tables seem to have turned, and the “Christians” are now chasing the “lions.”
Diane E. Ferguson
One would think that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the self-appointed voter-fraud czar, would be first in line to investigate possible voting-machine irregularities in Wichita.
But, no, he keeps trying to put up roadblocks to prevent the release of the voting-machine paper tapes for examination. Is this because he is part of the alleged voter-fraud problem and not the solution?
I just finished reading in the Sept. 22 obituaries that Douglas Sutherland’s wife, Twila, has died. I always enjoyed Doug Sutherland’s letters in The Kansas City Star about his life, love and journey with his wife as they dealt with her Alzheimer’s disease.
Thanks for publishing them.
The sun was a blaze this morning
Rising over the hill
Breaking into the dusk of the dawn
Warming the morning chill!
Tonight, shortly before sunset,
In the crest of a hill, in the shade
A sycamore tree bore leaves that were changing;
Others blew to the ground where they laid.
Within the sunrise and sunset ...
Sometime, around noon, today ...
I sensed ...
“A change is coming!”
Autumn is on its way.
Dee Ann Foley Doxsee