Letters to the Editor

Labor Day, guns, farm bill

Labor Day thoughts

As our country celebrates Labor Day — the day we recognize the contributions of American workers — many workers will reflect on their own jobs.

Do their jobs provide a sense of personal accomplishment and financial rewards?

Do their jobs offer opportunities for advancement?

Do they provide a work/life balance?

If not, perhaps the long weekend is a good time to consider how to achieve a more rewarding career. One way is through additional education.

Many options exist for those who work. One is career-focused schools that offer short-term programs focused on high-demand professions, like medical assisting and massage therapy. They even offer convenient evening and weekend classes.

Although changing careers may seem daunting, countless people have been successful, saying it was the best decision they’d ever made.

Labor Day should be a time of reflection and celebration about your job.

Alan Clay
President Everest College Kansas City Joys of work

For many people, Labor Day means neighborhoods coming together for end-of-summer barbecues and block parties. It’s that same sense of community spirit that makes me love my job at Wal-Mart.

At my store in Kansas City, we have many opportunities to give back to the community, such as volunteering at the Special Olympics and taking part in tree plantings and cleanups along the Missouri River.

Many associates also love volunteering at Northwood School, just a few blocks from the store, decorating pumpkins with students in the fall, delivering gifts during the holidays and reading with them throughout the year.

Of course, the community involvement is just one of the reasons I’ve been with Wal-Mart for more than 20 years. My managers have allowed me the flexibility to adjust my schedule as I’ve needed, and there are plenty of opportunities in and out of the stores for people looking to move up the ladder.

Most important, I have always been able to provide for my family through my Wal-Mart career without relying on anyone else. It’s something I’m proud of, and I’m thankful for that opportunity.

Pam Schmidt Kansas City NRA, guns, slaughter

About the National Rifle Association and guns, we are living in a slaughterhouse and the NRA and its adherents are the cleaver.

William Shapiro Kansas City No to U.S. in Syria

I am adamantly opposed to military intervention in Syria. Our country does not need to be involved in yet another Mideast debacle; Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, were/are all extremely expensive military and foreign policy failures. Nothing was won and much was lost.

Syria is not Iran, either, where a cause to strike would be based on an entirely different set of rationale and perhaps justified.

I also do not ascribe the “moral outrage” excuse for intervening in Syria. The ongoing moral outrage is the Muslim propensity to kill other Muslims, westerners or anyone else who does not adhere to their sometimes sick interpretations of their religion and culture.

Please do not join senatorial saber-rattlers, like Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham. There is nothing to gain and again, much to lose.

Ted Steinmeyer Jr. Leawood Powerful girl film

Last week, I had the privilege of viewing an exceptional documentary titled “Girl Rising.” It chronicles the efforts of nine girls in nine Third World countries to get an education.

Throughout the film, statistics were presented saying how much the education of girls in these countries would benefit not only the girls but also the productivity of each country in terms of financial gains and earning ability.

The health problems of these countries — AIDS, other diseases, deaths from childbirth — and abuse, forced marriages and rape were addressed, as was how the education of girls can help reduce these issues.

While watching the film I kept wondering, what can I do to help? The thing that is most needed is money.

Go to the website girlrising.com to find out ways to donate, how to schedule screenings of “Girl Rising” and other information about this outstanding film.

I hope each person reading this will experience the film for yourself. It’ll touch you, and you’ll never think about girls and education the same way again.

Helen Nahrstedt Lenexa Farm bill problem

There has been a lot of debate about the farm bill recently, particularly as it relates to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. But there is another important issue that is getting lost in that food-stamp debate.

The House version of the bill includes language known as the King Amendment, which is intended to take away states’ rights to enact laws to protect animals on factory farms and puppy mills, as well as laws to ensure food safety and the safety of farm workers.

This language has nothing to do with the intent of the Farm Bill. It won’t save any taxpayer money and usurps states’ rights. It should not be included in the final bill.

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas has been appointed to the conference committee tasked with reconciling the House and Senate versions of the farm bill, and he must oppose any version of the farm bill that includes the King Amendment and do all in his power to remove it.

Amy Povich Kansas City Climate change

Despite having a divided Congress that has largely ignored global warming, President Barack Obama realizes the imminent threat to the planet and has decided to take immediate executive action.

If someone suspected such warming through their own observations, they would conservatively seek the opinions of independent experts who are out in the field making measurements and stating their findings.

This is exactly what has happened.

Based upon a consensus of climatologists, the president has authorized the Environmental Protection Agency (through the power granted by the Clean Air Act) to place limits on emissions for the biggest polluters, namely, coal-fired power plants.Now, it is the responsibility of leaders everywhere to act.

Those who intuitively disbelieve that global warming is a clear and present danger should either get on board and support the president or sue the scientists for damages and invest their big settlement money in the most polluting (and therefore profitable) industries.

It’s time to either put up or shut up.

Richard McBroom Kansas City KCI gold for ages

Has our Kansas City airport advisory committee considered the fact that many major cities, travelers and pilots around the country would give their eye teeth for the convenience of our Kansas City International Airport?

Especially as the largest percentage of the U.S. population, the baby boomers, are beginning to suffer the ill-effects of old age — canes, walkers, orthotics, creaky joints, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cancer, low energy and wheelchairs — all the while struggling to pull a suitcase, hang on to a grandchild or two or hold up a spouse who is equally disabled.

All we want to do is get to our planes from the curbside drop-off in as few steps as possible.

I imagine most members of that committee who now push for a single, long terminal will eventually rue the day that they thought it was a perfect solution, for they will be older themselves, if they aren’t already.

And then they’ll be wanting our wonderfully convenient current airport back. Believe me, we don’t go to the terminal for a dinner date.

It seems our city keeps trying to be like other cities when, if we could only adequately combat our crime, we would be perfect, old airport and all.

Cheri McCoy Pleasant Valley Attacking Obamacare

Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida are circulating a letter to all the Republican members to defund the Affordable Care Act.

More than 30 million Americans do not have health care. They have three choices: going to the emergency room, dying or bankruptcy.

Without the Affordable Care Act, people with existing conditions will have trouble signing up for health insurance. Is it any wonder the U.S. rates so low among the nations in health care? Also, the gap between rich and poor is getting too big.

Maria Baldwin Kansas City