Finland money

Josh Hawley’s Sweden, Finland, NATO, no vote was for Russia

OPINION AND COMMENT

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The Kremlin was surely paying attention when the young senator from Missouri voted alone not to strengthen the Western alliance.

Associated Press file photo

Hey, the Kremlin

In his August 8 commentary on “Hawley’s lonely and manly stance on NATO,” David Von Drehle wrote that U.S. Senator from Missouri Josh Hawley “argued that NATO expansion could only mean the ‘Weakening American Resistance to Chinese Hegemony in the Eastern Pacific’. Von Drehle rightly disagrees with this assertion, but he fails to come to the most obvious conclusion as to why Hawley was the only senator to oppose the addition of Finland and Sweden to NATO.

Think about it, folks: Which authoritarian country is NATO enlargement threatening the most? Which country directly intervened in the US presidential election to ensure that an authoritarian candidate would be elected? And which Missouri senator is aiming for the highest office in the United States?

The lack of a vote on NATO expansion is a pretty clear signal to the Kremlin that Hawley wants to be its next puppet.

-Barbara Domke, Kansas City

Kudos to RideKC

RideKC was named 2022 Outstanding System of the Year for Mid-Size Systems by the American Public Transportation Association. This award is highly regarded across the country and is coveted in the public transportation industry.

According to APTA, RideKC’s nomination rose to the top due to its approach to fair mobility across its various service areas, regional rebranding efforts and the advancement of fair fare policies.

Although extremely impressive, KCATA’s accolades are not limited to APTA. The agency is known as an industry leader for its track record of innovative programs such as Zero Fare, Micro Transit and Freedom On-Demand, which provide broader and more flexible access to jobs, education, health care and affordable housing. These programs work in Kansas City because they help meet hyper-local needs based on available financial resources.

KCATA is also helping the Missouri Public Transit Association launch a statewide program with colleges and universities to develop and provide an ongoing pipeline of qualified candidates for operator and mechanic positions.

Public transit builds thriving communities, creates jobs, eases traffic congestion and promotes a cleaner environment. Kudos to RideKC for their leadership. Eyes will remain on the agency as it continues to do great things.

-Kimberly Cella, Executive Director, Missouri Public Transit Association, St. Louis

Minority rule

Although nearly two-thirds of Kansas voters voted to protect personal choice in abortion, the minority will not accept the results. Kansas will be under attack for being a destination of compassion and a haven for women from other states. This minority will be shrouded in a moralizing cloak devoid of love and compassion for women in crisis.

If we continue to send representatives to Topeka who are committed to fighting human rights, the damage will continue.

– John E. Bishop, Atchison

College costs

The Star editorial board is dead wrong when it says President Joe Biden should forgive federal college loan debt. (Aug. 8, 5A, “Biden must deliver on federal student loan debt relief promise”) It would be expensive to give a little.

The amount of money offered is huge and would be inflationary. It wouldn’t give life-changing help. It would be paid for by people who couldn’t afford a college education and by people who paid for a college education. It would be a gift from people who don’t want to give.

No one wants to ask about the elephant in the room: the price of college. What determines the cost of tuition? I sent my husband to Kansas State University in the 1950s with a minimum wage job. Tuition was $110 per semester. All of its teachers were full professors with salaries and benefits. We lived in married couple housing for $24 a month including utilities.

Inflation has little to do with the rising cost of higher education, and it has happened at every college in every state. Undergraduates are taught by graduate students who are paid a pittance with no benefits.

No one questions the increase. Does anyone know the answer?

– Elizabeth Cook Shawnee

Finally, Whit

Upon hearing the news that Whit Merrifield received the COVID-19 vaccine, my first thought was: the shot was heard around the world. (Aug 6, 8A, “Merrifield joins Toronto, says he’s been vaccinated”)

– Rosalina Shoebrook Prairie Village