Joco Opinion

Letters to the editor: Obama, Danedri Herbert’s take on AP history, how awful is KCI?

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Obama’s strategy

History buffs take note. What have U.S. presidents done when Americans have lost their lives to foreign forces? President Teddy Roosevelt with the sinking of the Maine — the Spanish American War.

President Franklin Roosevelt with the attack on Pearl Harbor — U.S. involvement in World War II. President George W. Bush with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania — the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Either President Barack Obama flunked history or he is too concerned with political fallout. But, to admit no strategy is to admit defeat.

Steve Katz

Leawood

Upgrade KCI

We just got back from a trip, having spent several hours in the airports of San Francisco and Anchorage. Some people around here love Kansas City International Airport because it is convenient.

But imagine how it appears to those passing through. San Francisco is modern, cosmopolitan and inviting.

In the five minutes it took us to walk to our departure gate, we passed a stunning exhibition of contemporary Korean ceramics, a show that you might have seen at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Arts or Kemper Museum. When we got to our gate, we were blown away by the new terminal. It was filled with light, world-class artwork and comfortable tables to sit and eat the fine and reasonably priced food or plug in your mobile device.

Anchorage was not quite as spectacular but still very interesting, modern and inviting, with artwork, good restaurants and comfortable seating. Coming back to KCI, I was appalled at the contrast.

Our home airport seemed dark, confining, sterile and outmoded. I feel sorry for any visitor who has to lay over here.

Kansas City has a vibrant arts and music scene, but you wouldn’t know it coming into KCI. It is a Podunk, nowhere, dismal dump. Time for an upgrade.

Jim Meyer

Lenexa

Olathe Civic Theatre

First-rate theatrical presentations are plentiful in Greater Kansas City, especially when the summer season shuts down. Although most venues are downtown, there are excellent productions in the suburbs.

Olathe Civic Theatre has a winner with “Over the River and Through the Woods.” The play, poignant and witty, should not be missed.

The acting was so good it was hard to believe the performers have day jobs. The historic theater is charming, and the seats are comfortable.

Ticket prices are reasonable. It’s worth the drive.

Alice Carroll

Overland Park

Obama ineffective

When you hire a chief executive officer to lead your company you want one with proven experience. Governors have the most experience in managing a state.

Senators, representatives and political appointees are part of a group, and none have managed anything politically. Our country has been in disarray since President Barack Obama was elected.

After six years our economy is weak. We are more divided politically, economically and racially than I’ve ever seen in my 55 years.

As a nation, we are viewed as extremely weak on foreign affairs. Please remember this in 2016 as you vote for the next president.

Terry Kliethermes

Leawood

Herbert column

As an educator for 35 years and a College Board consultant in advanced placement U.S. History, I would like to respond to Danedri Herbert’s Sept. 3, 913 column, “My history is better than theirs.” There are many misunderstandings about the nature of the changes to the AP U.S. History Framework, effective this academic year.

The new course is not a survey course of U.S. history, but an exploration of what historians do (how they discover the past and reach conclusions). The concept outline as a guideline indicates what will be on the exam but does not limit the teaching of history to this basic framework.

As noted in the column, there is no mention of Patrick Henry’s speech, but this does not mean teachers will not be teaching this piece in the future. It merely means that students do not need to know this for the exam.

The new AP U.S. history exam is a skills-based test, not a content test. This gives teachers, school districts and state boards the latitude to teach what they consider to be fundamental to an American history course, as noted in the district and state standards for such a course.

Jill Domoney

M.A., history

Leawood

Danedri Herbert

You claim your “history is better than theirs.” To you, maybe, but it’s not accurate.

I take you at your word when you dismiss as collateral damage the theft of land from my Native American ancestors and the exploitation of that land with slave labor. Hold on to your Manifest Destiny beliefs, dear.

However, because you are so by-God sure of the accuracy of “your history,” maybe you should not have mentioned “Patrick Henry’s impassioned speech.” Despite what you may have been taught, scholars agree that the “Give me liberty…” speech did not happen.

There is no contemporary account of the speech. It first appeared in a biography by William Wirt, published 18 years after Henry’s death and 42 years after the alleged speech. Wirt was 3 years old when the mythical speech was supposed to have taken place.

Criticize all you want those whose history does not conform to your uber-right-wing view of the world, but get your facts straight.

Scott Gregory

Roeland Park

To send letters

Visit the Letters website at kansascity.com/letters to submit your letter to the editor for 913. The website form, with helpful reminders on required information replaces an email address for online submissions. You may also mail letters of up to 300 words to 913 Letters, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO, 64108. Online letters are preferred.

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