Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss Child Abuse Prevention Month, insurance and Russian interference

Stop child abuse

Child abuse and neglect must be eliminated. It takes deep commitment in every community and not just in April during Child Abuse Prevention Month. I urge you, every month, to support concrete steps to help end child abuse or neglect by standing for strong families.

Often, abuse and neglect stem from societal and economic stressors on families, including poverty, violence, substance abuse and mental-health issues. Unrelenting issues push people to the edge. Adults raised in unstable households often lack the basic parenting skills others take for granted. Abused children become adult abusers. Without healthy role models or a support structure, abusive parents or caregivers often leave children with lifelong emotional and physical scars.

Instead of assessing blame, let’s commit to actions that address these systemic issues by helping parents learn to parent, build job skills and move away from life on the edge. Studies show that by surrounding families with services, support and training, it’s often possible to safely reunify children and parents, creating a strong family unit where none existed before.

As a longtime partner in Missouri communities, we at Great Circle know children thrive when families are strong. How can you eliminate child abuse and neglect and strengthen your community?

Vince Hillyer

President and CEO

Great Circle

Kansas City


I am 70 years old and I have paid for insurance for my family for my whole life. There were no subsidies for me. There were no tax credits for me. The same applies to my parents and grandparents.

I do not understand why health insurance is now considered an “entitlement.”

It does not make sense to me that after buying my own insurance for 50 years, I and other taxpayers now have to pay for somebody else’s insurance. Nor do I understand why Americans should be forced to buy insurance or get fined by the federal government.

What gives?

Andy Fisher

Pleasant Hill

A comparison

Time for the network TV evening news. We see first a scene from Sudan where tiny children with ribs sticking out lie still to die of starvation while their parents, in similar condition, look on helplessly. We hear that U.N. aid workers trying to reach them are killed.

Switch to a news team in the U.S. where we see college students, the nation’s elite and our future leaders, are on a spring break from their strenuous studies, involved in drunken debauchery on our sunny southern beaches.

William H. Finnegan


Putin’s influence

I have a scientist friend who grew up in Soviet Russia in the 1960s and ’70s. I once asked him about the differences in Russian and American culture, and his answer was one I will never forget.

He said: “Suppose you are poor and your neighbor has a cow. You are jealous of the cow. What do you do? In America, you work hard, save your money, you buy yourself a cow. You buy yourself two cows. Now your neighbor is jealous, and you are happy. In Russia it’s much simpler. You kill the cow. Now your neighbor is as miserable as you are.”

I can’t help but think that President Vladimir Putin is trying to kill our cow. Let’s not let him.

Sarah Smith

Kansas City

Bucking Moynihan

Over the years I’ve vented my frustration with political ignorance by writing letters to The Star. My central theme seems to be folks who formulate opinion based on their belief, while ignoring, or being ignorant of, facts.

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts,” Daniel Patrick Moynihan said.

It appears that President Donald Trump has proved this noted intellectual, Moynihan, wrong. After all, 63 million low-information voters can’t be wrong.

John Meyer

Blue Springs

Start at home

I saw a news clip regarding the heartbreak of a child whose parent was deported back to Mexico. A family torn apart. This was meant to pull at our heartstrings. I’m not buying it.

Thousands of legal Americans, many of whom have children, are incarcerated. They are taken away from their families also. Their families are torn apart. But these adults did something illegal to land in prison; they made a choice — a bad one that affected their family.

So why are we supposed to be heartbroken when an illegal immigrant with a family commits a crime in the U.S. and is deported? Why should they be treated any differently than legal citizens?

Judi Mahaley

Overland Park