Bridges, not walls
A Tuesday letter writer described the visit he and his wife made to the Great Wall at Badaling in China. (7A) My wife and I lived and taught in China for four academic years. We visited the Great Wall at several locations and tried to learn all we could about Chinese history.
The Great Wall didn’t work when it mattered most. The Yuan Dynasty, which ran from 1271 to 1368, was forced on China by Kublai Khan and his Mongol warriors. The wall didn’t stop them. The Qing Dynasty, the last Chinese dynasty, lasted from 1636 all the way to 1912. It was forced on China by the Manchu of Manchuria, also from “beyond the wall.”
This isn’t to minimize the scale of the wall, which — as the letter said — employed a lot of people (some of them unwilling workers). But if you want to see a colossal Chinese public works project whose origins go back nearly as far as the Great Wall, but is still in large-scale commercial use today, look to the Grand Canal. Now that has been a success.
Good commercial ideas usually outlast not-so-good military ones.
The point: It would be more productive to take the billions of dollars President Donald Trump wants for the wall and use it instead on infrastructure projects such as rebuilding our highways and bridges.
Alan F. Perry
After reading about the officials in former Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration going out of their way to award a Canadian tech company no-bid contracts worth $110 million (Feb. 10, 1A, “Emails show firm’s path to no-bid contracts”), I have a few questions:
Has the Brownback administration’s legacy reached its low point? Is there more coming? How deep is this sewer?
Am I supposed to believe that the aforementioned officials pulled strings because it seemed like the right thing to do? Or was there something in it for them?
Not Trump’s fault
I constantly hear that President Donald Trump is always getting in the way of passing “good” legislation. The fact is he has never vetoed a bill that Congress has sent to his desk.
In light of this, how can he be held accountable for holding up new laws that would help the American people?
This is a prime example of how dysfunctional, inept and political our weaklings in Congress have become — on both sides of the aisle. They are too cowardly to actually go on record as being for or against something, mainly for the fear of not being re-elected and losing the immense power that comes with their positions.
Please stop whining about Trump getting in the way of the passage of legislation, regardless of whether you think a bill is worthy. Making him the bad guy is just too easy.
It is outrageous that former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt relatively quickly gets a new job after videos surfaced that he kicked and pushed a woman, while quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still looking for a job more than two years after courageously kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence against black people. (Feb. 12, 1B, “Hunt signs with Browns, worst place he could go”)
Huntington Beach, Calif.
The Star’s Feb. 4 front-page story, “Students struggle to fill gap in education funding,” included an interview with a 22-year-old freshman who entered college at an age when most students are graduating. She, along with most 18-year-olds, is not prepared nor has a clue what will be waiting when she steps into the world of money issues such as income, liabilities and investments that will be in play the rest of her life.
This lack of financial education before college is evident in today’s student-loan crisis. Social media have become the focus, not financial literacy.
Unintentionally, the article highlights a major weakness in the Kansas educational system: the lack of importance that parents, educators and governmental leaders attach to the need for financial-education curricula in public schools. And these adults often neglect to practice fiscal responsibility within their own ranks.
While many parents worry about the cost of college, few act on it. Career and financial planning includes scholarships, grants, savings, earnings, tuition reimbursement and military options. Check with state health agencies about the need in rural and inner-city areas where medical professionals are in short supply and scholarship assistance is available.
Writing a fluff piece without in-depth investigation has helped to pinpoint a fallacy in our educational system.