Thank you for 24-year-old Caleb Hall’s eloquent letter on May 4, stating that being a recipient of welfare benefits did not corrupt or cripple him and his sister.
It is indeed sad that so many Missourians, as reflected in the people we have elected to the state legislature, have concluded that there is something wrong with lifting others as they climb.
I also wanted to take the opportunity to ask Missouri and Kansas legislators these questions:
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▪ How can you be “pro-family” and allow women to be paid less than men for the same work?
▪ How can you deny women the opportunity to make their own health care choices or access common forms of birth control?
▪ Why won’t you acknowledge the basic rights of same-sex parents and partners?
▪ Why do you refuse to raise the minimum wage or provide paid sick days and paid family medical leave?
▪ Why do you want to eliminate employee bargaining unions to negotiate on workers’ behalf?
My recommendation to Kansas and Missouri elected officials is to buy and listen to some Negro spirituals. I wager that some hearts will be changed and, indeed, some of them will become truly pro-family.
Gwendolyn J. Cooke
U.S. postal workers
In defense of postal workers, I must say that the public has no idea how hard these people work to move the mail. There are time standards they must keep and tons of mail moved via various means 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including Christmas Day.
Window clerks also have certain times to take their breaks and lunch break. The postmaster and managers are responsible, and those are the ones people should complain to if they think their service is substandard.
People should not dump their displeasure on the clerk helping them. That worker is only doing what he has been told, and individuals’ verbal abuse adds to the already difficult job.
It may happen that the lunchtime for one or more clerks is the same time as customers’ lunch breaks, which some may use to mail packages, although I do agree that breaks and lunch breaks should be scheduled around peak business hours.
And, yes, I am a retired U.S. Postal Service mail handler who worked very hard to serve the public.
I am a Boy Scout from Troop 366 on Fort Leavenworth. I want to comment on the May 3 article, “Parental vigilance needed.”
It is an interesting topic that has arisen since the rise of social media and it needs to be addressed.
Sexual predators are everywhere, hiding behind masks in the computer. That’s what makes them dangerous.
An average teen can’t distinguish between a normal kid and a 45-year-old man living in his mother’s basement.
It is up to parents to teach their kids the difference and to monitor their kids’ activities online, although it is important for parents to let young adults keep their independence.
That way the next generation won’t be a mess.
Thank you for addressing such a serious matter in the newspaper.
Back wind energy
The Kansas Legislature’s desire to tax the wind industry out of existence is bad for farmers and ranchers and bad for our economy.
Instead of admitting that the tax policies of Brownback have failed and putting back the fair tax structure that produced enough revenue to balance the budget, legislators are determined to destroy the wind industry with new taxes that violate their own anti-tax promises.
The wind industry in Kansas has the potential to be a $100 billion business. It would create jobs, generate tax revenue at local and state levels, bring hundreds of millions of dollars to our farmers and ranchers, and help save our vanishing water supplies.
Only the Koch brothers and the oil and gas industry want to kill the wind industry, which is a threat to fossil-fuel companies. Polls show that 90 percent of Kansans support more wind power.
It appears that the campaign contributions from fossil-fuel companies are more important than the huge benefits from our wind industry, which most Kansans want.
We need all Kansans to tell state legislators that they should do what is best for Kansas and not do what they are told to do by the Koch brothers.
U.S. history loop
After watching the PBS story last month about Kent State and other protests over the Vietnam War, I find it eerie how the atmosphere that ushered in President Richard Nixon in 1968 — namely the riots in American cities during the 1960s — is being repeated in today’s headlines.
Thomas J. Hogan
Last week, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a 4th District Republican, voted to block predatory lending protections for U.S. soldiers.
Rep. Hartzler, in her weekly newsletter, never fails to wrap herself in the American flag, touting her support for the military.
But with this vote she shows her true colors, choosing the benefits of big business over the financial welfare of the people who are charged with protecting our country.
All voters in her congressional district should be aware of this hypocritical and shameful act.
Elwin McKenzie Jr.
Mr. President, you recently advised Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a likely presidential contender in 2016, to “bone up” on foreign policy. Like, for example, your boning up before declaring al-Qaida decimated and on the run, or your boning up before issuing specific dates for exiting Afghanistan and Iraq and your boning up in regard to closing the prison in Guantanamo Bay and the related release of five detainees for a U.S. Army deserter.
That’s to say nothing about your boning up in declaring Yemen a success. I’m quite sure you can cite other instances of your boning ups.
By the way, how much bone-up time did you use before proposing a nuclear deal with Iran? Mr. President, it appears that you yourself could use some serious boning-up time to avoid any more bonehead decisions.
Carbon dioxide tax
Maybe it’s time to charge a price for the carbon dioxide we spew into the atmosphere.
We don’t throw our trash out on the street but pay to have it collected.
The same should be true with our atmosphere. Why should we be able to dump any amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with no consequences?
Well, there are consequences, such as increasing temperatures from the greenhouse effect, warming rising oceans, more storms and extreme weather.
The Environmental Defense Fund says major corporations, including oil giants and investment banks, want a price on carbon and say it would be good for business.
The Citizens’ Climate Lobby wants a fee charged for carbon that would be given back to the American people in the form of a dividend, which would help pay utility bills.
Mary Helen Korbelik
About Benghazi, what is insulting is that our government called the attack a result of a video, which U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice spoke about on Sunday talk shows, and the fact that our administration did nothing about this. There was a window of opportunity to possibly save two of the four persons who were eventually killed.
Isn’t anyone curious to know who knew what and when?
And the most insulting of all: “What difference does it make now?” said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
These questions do not fit a political agenda. If this is the type of leadership that some people want, then they should vote for Mrs. Clinton.
Then think about the families of the fallen and thank the Lord that none were your own. Maybe they would have found comfort in the knowledge that a rescue was attempted.
Kevin M. Kuebler