Schools, border wars
The citizens of Kansas need to trust their political leaders more.
The leaders have seen the test scores. They have talked to the educators. They know it is a waste of money to try to educate those Kansas kids.
Besides, they need to save their money to bribe Missouri businesses with their Missouri graduates to come to Kansas so there will be some jobs.
John G. Daniel
As noted by Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, the negotiations with Iran being conducted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry could be history-making (4-5, Commentary “Five reactions to the Iran outline”). Such negotiations should be put before the United Nations General Assembly.
In the U.N., the U.S., Israel, Egypt, Iran and the more than 180 other U.N. members could have equal status. Why not seek the opinion of the international community, all of which may be affected?
Poor voter turnout
I am an election worker in Johnson County. I work each election because I enjoy the interaction with my neighbors and I feel an obligation to participate in the most important part of our democracy.
I spend six hours in training and about 14 hours at the polling site.
It is demoralizing to have the polls open 12 hours and have only 74 people bother to cast a ballot. Counting advance voting, that meant barely 100 people in a precinct of more than 1,000 registered voters thought it was important enough to vote.
Your vote does count.
“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt said.
Nancy Jan Pickler
Missouri legislators are back at it for the 2015 session — again with Republican majorities in both houses. Again our lawmakers have the opportunity to expand health-care coverage to 300,000 uninsured Missourians by taking advantage of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
Why care about the uninsured in our state? Because healthier communities would make Missouri a better place to live. Because more insured Missourians means lower health-care costs for everyone. Because studies suggest 700 Missourians will die this year if Medicaid isn’t expanded.
Last year, some lawmakers resisted the idea of expansion, contending it would be too costly. But according to the Missouri Budget Project, expanding Medicaid would free up $81 million in state funds almost immediately and, eventually, more than $100 million per year.
Expanding Medicaid not only makes economic sense but is also a moral issue. How can we turn our backs on our neighbors lacking health care coverage?
Many are working families whose jobs don’t offer insurance, and they have no other affordable options. Not only can our lawmakers do something about this vast inequity by expanding Medicaid, but they must act for the benefit of all Missourians.
Recent media attention on adjunct faculty pay points out a shameful disgrace. To think that someone with a doctorate in clinical psychology who teaches three classes at Johnson County Community College is paid $21,000 should make everyone stop and think.
Where are the priorities?
The new athletic director at the University of Missouri has a sports budget of $85 million to administer. Do the math and figure how much money would be available if only half of 1 percent of any school’s sports budget were allocated to faculty salaries.
After all, these people are teaching the nation’s leaders of tomorrow.
Make roads safer
I recently read about new traffic concepts that annoy drivers, and I want to assert my opinion as a young driver.
I am 17 years old and have been driving for about nine months. I live in the Joplin, Mo., area, and a diverging diamond interchange was recently installed on my daily route to school. I found that the signs on the interchange were very confusing because you can see all the signs from the lane you are in.
This winter, a snowstorm hit southwest Missouri. I had never driven in ice or snow, and I was sliding around the road quite a bit. I came to the interchange on my daily drive and found the quick turns caused a lot of sliding.
If the road had simply been straight, I wouldn’t have had to contend with my car almost hitting a bridge.
All I am saying is that I believe these interchanges should be better tested.
It is my opinion that traffic engineers should find a safer alternative to these diverging diamond interchanges.
Carl Junction, Mo.
Include seafood diet
Missouri should be working hard to put more seafood on the plates of underserved populations rather than taking it off (4-8, Editorial, “Micromanaging the poor”). Such an effort would save the state money and quite possibly lives.
America is home to the best minds, best military and best intentions on the planet, but it’s also home to an obesity epidemic that taxes the health system and disproportionately hurts underserved populations. A Harvard study shows low seafood intake causes 84,000 preventable deaths a year, at a time when Americans eat about 110 pounds of red meat annually and less than 15 pounds of seafood.
Cracking down on abuse of nutrition-assistance funds is undoubtedly the right thing to do; safeguarding taxpayers should be a priority. But any suggestion that restricting access to seafood would stop supposed widespread misuse of these benefits on luxury seafood items is misguided.
Healthy, affordable seafood such as canned tuna and other fish should be on the front lines of fighting nutrition-based conditions.
The fight against obesity, heart disease and diabetes begins both on the plate and in the wallet.
Making sure Missourians have access to healthy alternatives like seafood can be transformative.
North Kansas City
Any mishandling/misuse of the legal system (to include city fathers, police and the courts) on the backs of African-Americans is a return to actual slavery. There is no reason to not prosecute all involved for violations of civil rights under our statutes.
It’s a good thing I’m not attorney general. I’d legally invalidate and replace the entire political and authoritative hierarchy of Ferguson, Mo., then head for the county and, after that, state officials.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was the state attorney general for years before he became governor. I’ll bet he had complaints that went ignored.
Live with peace
My lifelong interests have centered on helping others. A recent hospital stay because of the flu, a touch of pneumonia, deep coughing and a troubling temperature almost ended my 94 years.
I’m home now with a desire to share deep thoughts.
From childhood, with encouragement from my parents, I have believed that “this is my father’s world.” We have a responsibility to care for it.
How fortunate we are to live in America. Truly, we are blessed. Our president and other leaders in our country need to hear from us.
We must not assume that all is well. I have expressed my feelings in a letter to our president.
Millions of lost and helpless people in war-torn countries are crying out, “We want to live in peace.” But war-time leaders will not allow that.
What does that say to the world? I am convinced that many of the fighters would love to live in peace if given a chance.
Should we call for peaceful actions from the United Nations? There must be some wise and helpful action.
When peaceful voices by the hundreds are heard, we can save our country and the world.