Letters to the Editor

July 18, 2014

Letter writers expound on Sen. Roberts, President Obama, Common Core

Letters to the Editor: A single death of an innocent person is one too many, but in Israel's reply to the unprovoked ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists, Israel deserves high praise for the low death rate among innocent civilians.

Sen. Roberts’ TV ads

Sen. Pat Roberts’ re-election ads stress how hard he has fought for Kansans. If that’s true, I wish he’d provide us some details on his various victories.

After 12 years of death and destruction in Afghanistan and Iraq, are we winners for democracy? How about the wars on drugs, poverty and illiteracy — successes or failures?

When Roberts went to Washington 47 years ago, the federal debt was measured in mere billions. Today, it’s rapidly approaching $20 trillion.

Who helped spend all the Social Security and Medicare funds and left nothing but IOUs? Roberts, all Congress and the president have separate, cushy health-care and retirement plans.

Roberts has diligently supported free-trade agreements that sent millions of jobs to China and Mexico. He seems to love wars, foreign aid and raising our debt ceiling.

I for one don’t care where he lives, as long as it’s not in Kansas.

Stephen Anderson

Alma, Kan.

Losing White House

A recent event has made it possible for the Republicans to win the White House and Congress.

President Barack Obama shut down plans for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have provided enough oil for our needs and enough oil for us to export to other countries.

Recent events in Iraq make it important that we have a stable source for oil.

Thomas Moore

Overland Park

Life’s core standards

With all the debate over Common Core standards in education, there are really only two standards that are important to me as a parent.

The first is to be a good person. A good person is someone who’s helpful to others, respectful, kind, caring, tolerant, humble, gentle, forgiving, joyful, positive, passionate, and most importantly, reverent of God. We all know that relationships with people are something everyone deals with his or her whole life.

The second is to take responsibility for your life. I want my child to learn that to be accepted one must plant the seeds of acceptance by accepting others. To be respected one must plant the seeds of respect by respecting others.

To be happy one must plant the seeds of happiness by bringing happiness to others. One should never expect to reap what one has not planted.

If we really want to influence our future for the better, our highest standard should be to nurture good people for this world who take responsibility for life. That is a standard we all can live by.

Tom Krause

Nixa, Mo.

Veterans’ lament

Ask any wartime veteran of our many conflicts in this and the last century how most of their time was spent when not in actual combat, and the most probable answer will be “waiting in line.”

In World War II, it was always hurry up and wait.

Now, the Department of Veterans Affairs, responsible for the medical care of the wounded and otherwise disabled among these warriors, has failed woefully in its mission, causing waiting periods of such length as to result in death for many of those veterans.

A growing number of other agencies and departments of government are failing under the present administration because of corruption, dysfunction, neglect — you name it.

But no one has died there yet. Did I hear affordable health care was on the way?

William H. Finnegan


Kansas teen drinking

Underage drinking and binge drinking rates among high school students in Kansas are at historic lows, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey. This is encouraging news that should be shared.

By hearing that fewer of their peers are drinking, teens might feel less pressure to drink to fit in. This is supported by several social norm studies.

Summer is a time to be extra vigilant. Research shows most teens are not purchasing their own alcohol but rather getting it from their parents’ homes or from other adults.

As a physician, I have some useful tips to share with parents of teens: Be aware of the alcohol products in your home, keep close tabs on your teen’s whereabouts, ensure there is adult supervision at all gatherings and make clear to those adults that you do not approve of underage drinking.

Importantly, always be a responsible role model for your teen if you consume alcohol.

Raymond Scalettar, M.D.

Former chairman


Medical Association

Medical adviser

Distilled Spirits Council

Washington, D.C.

Missing Nebraska

My wife and I moved from central Nebraska to Raymore about a year ago. Every once in a while, someone will ask me whether I miss anything about Nebraska.

I reply that I miss clean air, good water, a bridge column in the newspaper and a grown-up legislature. Now, I’m sure the unicameral has been up to some mischief this last session, but it would have to take a deep, deep dive in order to reach the depths that the houses in Missouri and Kansas have sunk to.

I’m gradually getting used to the water and the air. The bridge column is still a problem, but I am never going to get used to the childishness of the Kansas and Missouri legislatures.

If the Democratic and independent voters in these states don’t get together in the next election, then folks, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

Bob Cocetti


State cannabis law

On July 14, Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill into law that authorizes the first legal production of cannabis in Missouri since the federal government promoted hemp farming for World War II.

Although historic, the law is extremely limited in reach. An oil extract high in cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabis component, is the only product allowed. Furthermore, only persons suffering intractable epilepsy will have access and only after multiple alternative therapies have failed.

I praise Gov. Nixon and the General Assembly for moving in the right direction, but this is only the first small step for marijuana policy change.

According to Gallup, 58 percent of Americans think cannabis should be fully legalized, and a Fox News poll from May 2013 showed 85 percent support it for medical marijuana. Regardless of support or opposition, the Pew Research Center recently found that 75 percent of Americans view marijuana legalization as inevitable.

Now is the time to think about our cannabis laws and how to reform them. Please join Show-Me Cannabis for an informative town hall meeting at the Trails West Library in Independence at 6:30 p.m. Monday to learn more about prohibition and policy change in Missouri.

Amber Langston

Kansas City

Controlling deer

Kansas and Missouri are missing an opportunity to appear intelligent and progressive to other states. Veterinary schools (everywhere) should develop programs for wildlife that feed and sustain them in bad weather — and contain contraceptive chemicals to lower or prevent reproduction.

Killing unarmed, defenseless animals for the sake of reinforcing our masculinity has the opposite effect. Real men get their meat at the grocery store.

Bill Doty

Overland Park

Thankful patient

With all of the controversy that seems to be generated by medical assistance to the poor and disabled, one thing seems to have gotten lost, from my point of view: the quality of care received by those of us who are disabled recipients.

After almost 10 years, I moved from Memphis back to the area, and the difference is night and day. I point to my primary-care doctor in Warrensburg, Mo., my pain-management specialist in Overland Park and the hospitals — particularly St. Luke’s East in Lee’s Summit.

It was at St. Luke’s East that I woke from a coma to learn that Medicaid had mistakenly canceled my coverage. The medical professionals worked hard to correct the error.

All were fabulous, and it certainly was not for great financial gain. It was for pride in their calling and concern for their patients.

Patients like me are grateful.

Laura Jackson Radford

Warrensburg, Mo.

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