I write you today as President Barack Obama and other world leaders prepare for two critical summits in September that will determine the future of education for millions of refugee children. As they do so, I encourage the president to commit the financing and policy changes necessary to ensure that every refugee child gets a quality education as soon as possible.
I’ve witnessed firsthand the harrowing journey of Syrians in overloaded rubber rafts, arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos. Despite what many people think, the majority of these refugees only want to find somewhere to live peacefully.
If their children are not given an opportunity to learn and better themselves, there will be countless numbers of exiled people living in poverty because of a lack of access to education. If the current education plight is not addressed, one-third of primary children will not reach basic literacy rates by 2050, and universally we will see an entire generation of illiterate adults.
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President Obama should make sure that the United States delivers on a plan to provide 1 million refugee children with an education this school year.
Add streetcar fare
Kansas City has gained an important asset that not many cities can boast. Our new streetcar puts us on the scale of some truly great cities such as Dallas, Portland and Seattle.
I have been fortunate to ride it and, while crowded, it seems to run very smoothly and seems to be in prime condition. My only worry with the streetcar is how long it will stay in prime condition.
This project has already cost the city more than $100 million, and that doesn’t account for the fact that Kansas City will want to expand our tracks and cars within the next 20 years.
It seems that the simple solution is to institute a small fare.
For some reason, those in charge have decided to make this a free service. Generosity is fine, but I think a small fare would allow for the system to grow at a much faster rate and allow for our great city to continue to grow our streetcar system.
I believe that if we want our city to continue to grow and to have an amazing streetcar system, we need to impose a fare for our streetcar.
Re: Donald Trump’s call to “the Second Amendment people” to do something against Hillary Clinton (8-10, A14, “Trump says gun-rights backers can stop Clinton”).
It made me think of a parallel from 1170. In that year, King Henry II said of Thomas Becket, “Who shall rid me of the troublesome priest?” His men took him at his word.
Am I the only one who finds this parallel frightening? By the way, King Henry later said he didn’t mean for Becket to be killed.
The story about the homeless was startling (8-11, A5, “In a ‘cooling room,’ homeless share their survival stories”).
We spend billions of dollars in this country on sports, Olympics, election campaigns and candidates. Yet a homeless man is trying to get his wheelchair rolled to a center to get cooled a little, and the helper who came along was a homeless woman.
We all know there are reasons for folks who are homeless, but what has happened for this country to continue to allow this kind of living for our fellow men and women, regardless of background?
And yet they both spoke of their faith in God. How about that?
Women in power
I was cleaning things out and found a Life magazine dated 1992. The cover said, “If Women Ran America.”
“How things would be different in Washington, in the cities, at work and at home.”
At that time only two women were in the U.S. Senate — Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum, a Kansas Republican, and Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat.
Only three states had female governors then (including Kansas with Joan Finney), and the nation had only one female U.S. Supreme Court justice.
The magazine said, “It’s time to imagine a change.”
I am so glad I saved this one. Things could be different in 2016. Let’s give the women a chance.
Politicians are like diapers — they need to be changed for the same reasons.