Blocking Finland, Sweden from NATO was Josh Hawley's 'Russia, if you're listening' moment




 

Hey, Kremlin

In his Aug. 8 commentary "Hawley's lonely, manly stand on NATO," David Von Drehle wrote that Missouri U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley "argued that NATO expansion could only mean weakening U.S. resistance to Chinese hegemony in the eastern Pacific." Von Drehle rightly disagrees with that claim, but he fails to reach the most obvious conclusion as to why Hawley was the lone senator to oppose adding Finland and Sweden to NATO.

Think about it, folks: Which authoritarian country does the NATO expansion most threaten? Which country directly interfered with the U.S. presidential election to ensure an authoritarian-loving candidate would be elected? And which Missouri senator is ambitiously aiming for the highest office in the United States?

That no vote on a 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 the 2022 Outstanding System of the Year for Mid-Sized Systems by the American Public Transportation Association. This award is highly regarded across the country and is coveted within the public transportation industry.

According to the APTA, RideKC's nomination rose to the top based on its approach to equitable mobility across its varying service areas, regional rebranding efforts and the advancement of equitable fare policies.

While extremely impressive, KCATA's accolades aren't 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 greater, more flexible access to jobs, education, health care and affordable housing. These programs are working in Kansas City as they help meet hyper-local needs based on available financial resources.

KCATA is also helping the Missouri Public Transit Association pioneer 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 its leadership. Eyes will remain on the agency as it continues doing great things.

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

Minority rule

Though almost two-thirds of Kansas voters voted to protect personal choice on abortion, the minority will not accept the results. Kansas will be targeted for attacks for being a destination of compassion and a refuge for women from other states. This minority will be wrapped in a cloak of sanctimony lacking in love and compassion for women in a state of crisis.

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

- John E. Bishop, Atchison

College costs

The Star Editorial Board is dead wrong that President Joe Biden should forgive some federal college loan debt. (Aug. 8, 5A, "Biden must keep promise on relief for federal student loan debt") It would cost a lot to give a little.

The amount of money proposed is huge and would be inflationary. It would not give life-changing help. It would be paid by people who could not afford college and by people who paid for college. It would be a gift from people who do not 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 put my husband through Kansas State University in the 1950s with a minimum-wage job. Tuition was $110 a semester. All his teachers were full professors with salaries and benefits. We lived in married couples housing for $24 a month including utilities.

Inflation has little to do with the increase of the cost of higher education, and it has happened with every college in every state. Undergraduates are taught by grad 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 has gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, my first thought was: There's the shot heard round the world. (Aug. 6, 8A, "Merrifield joins Toronto, says he's been vaccinated")

- Rosalina Shoebrook, Prairie Village

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