Our turn’s done
Dear Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Thank you for your service. I too am an old white man, and, frankly, we have made a big mess of America.
I trust my interracial grandson and many young mostly women of color to not be afraid to right the course. You are on the deck of the Titanic offering free drinks and zip-a-dee-doo-dah music while good people of color below deck clearly see the iceberg.
A good grandparent should step aside, advise and encourage and give them the wheel. They don’t believe in impossible because there is not enough time left.
I love them, and that love has a mighty responsibility.
I have often pointed out to my wife how easy it has become to turn into the oncoming lane of traffic, especially in inclement weather and when intersections have six-plus lanes, poorly marked road stripes and unusual curb designs.
Going the wrong way is not always entirely the driver’s fault.
Melinda Henneberger’s Wednesday column about Department of Agriculture employees protesting the move of two research agencies to Kansas City is right about the city’s residents being thin-skinned regarding perceived slights. (13A, “KC, don’t take rejection of USDA workers personally”)
However, it doesn’t touch on the deeper truth about Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s proposal.
Agriculture is an extremely low priority for the Trump administration. The secretary of agriculture was the very last, the tail-end Charlie, of the Cabinet appointments.
The USDA is among the largest executive branch departments, and its employees view this relocation as “dividing and conquering” — a way of sending certain agencies away from Washington, D.C., to where their voices won’t be heard during appropriations time.
Bringing these two agencies to the Midwest is not going to be better service for the local agricultural community. The real reason for these proposed moves is to force retirements and career changes among current employees that will greatly weaken these agencies.
The USDA and other civilian agencies have been gutted by this administration’s hiring freeze. Don’t give me that old saw about “shrinking the size of government.” As a USDA retiree, I know the government gets it right with most things it does, and for a heck of a lot less money than private enterprise could.
H. Arnold Bruns
In a name
It’s disappointing that we’ve reached the point of arguing whether the camps at the southern border where the United States is concentrating people — with inhumane conditions and the occasional negligent death, which we’re mostly ignoring because, hey, it’s not anywhere nearly as bad as the Holocaust (why’d we settle on that low bar?) — are really concentration camps.
It almost makes you think President Donald Trump’s supporters care more about being politically correct than telling it like it is.
When the United States will not allow members of the media to visit migrant detention centers on our southern border, we all know it’s because our government is hiding atrocities.
Over the past seven days, we’ve heard about so much secrecy at the detention centers, so much cruelty, such disgraceful behavior, that it makes me ashamed to be an American.
Children are still being separated from their families. They’re starving in their own filth.
What kind of public servants think it’s OK to allow this kind of evil to be hidden?
My level of disgust with the U.S. government is higher than I ever thought possible. We’ve become a cesspool of religious hypocrites who think it’s fine to treat other humans like vermin — as long as the media can’t take pictures.
Spring Hill, Kansas
Not a panacea
Numerous factors contribute to the underperformance of black students. If school districts are serious about closing the black-white achievement gap, they should hire consulting companies to identify and then address all of these contributing factors, rather than focusing so narrowly on equity training for teachers, as has been the topic of conversation in the Lee’s Summit School District. (June 23, 1A, “Equity training shows teachers have much to learn about diversity”)