Taking a knee disrespects U.S.

This is in response to the column by Jean Griffith (Globe, July 12), who taught at Pittsburg (Kansas) State University, Missouri State University and other schools.

He states, "This fall, every high school football coach in this country needs to lead his team and kneel during the national anthem for this just and worthy cause. Be the kind of role model that (Nate) Boyer and (Colin) Kaepernick are."

Wake up, America.

Taking a knee isn't complicated. It is a symbol of disrespect for the United States.

Are we to continue the practice of hiring professors to pass along their personal disrespect of the very institution that presents the opportunity for a higher education? To see these same professors encourage high school teachers and coaches to lead and teach our youth to disrespect their own country is especially disheartening.

Wake up, America.

Taking a knee isn't complicated. It continues to disrespect the core of our republic — any authority, the university, the schools, the police and other law enforcement, the cities, the state and the nation.

When the time comes — and it will — that the country needs service people for the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines, who will defend a nation that they have been taught to disrespect?

We see many instances of disrespect for our country as we see sections of cities taken over; private property looted, burned and trashed; highways blocked and vehicles turned over, burned and some occupied — a lawless tirade. Among this same group are those who want to defund the enforcement institutions of the laws that forbid criminal action, as mentioned above, and more.

We hear a lot about rights — without law enforcement, no one has any rights. Yes, there are a few bad cops, but most are just doing their job and would prefer a civilized, safer encounter.

If Boyer thinks the U.S. is such a bad country as compared with others he has seen in his world travels, why did he return to the U.S. and urge others to disrespect their own country? He was presented with the opportunity of his fondest dream — to play in the NFL.

It is my opinion from my travel experiences that I prefer the U.S. Please, let's teach patriotism.

Wake up, America.

George Martin



Wearing a mask about saving lives of others

I am writing in response to Doug Hale's letter to the editor (Globe, July 16).

Hale states:

1. The Joplin City Council's mask ordinance was a "rogue" vote in opposition to what the people of Joplin want.

2. The act of wearing a mask is putting a strain on local businesses.

3. His constitutional rights are being "stomped on."

4. If you are afraid of becoming ill with the deadly virus just stay home.

I want to examine these statements:

1. Polls show that the people who oppose wearing a mask are a minority. I would add that they are a vocal minority. Experts tell us that wearing a mask and social distancing and washing our hands frequently are tools that we should use to diminish the transfer of this virus. We have a moral obligation to protect the lives of others.

2. The idea that mask wearing is hurting local businesses is ludicrous. Again, the people of Joplin who disapprove of the ordinance are likely a minority. People stay home to protect themselves from people like you.

3. The assertion that one's personal rights are being violated is nonsense. A mask requirement does not violate your constitutional rights. Government has the authority to make regulations for the safety and well being of people.

4. People can't remain home all the time. We have to eat, go to the doctor, etc.

If you find it inconvenient or burdensome to do something so simple as to wear a mask to protect yourself and others, then you stay home.

Don O'Donnell



Missourians need Medicaid expansion

Before joining Barnes-Jewish Hospital as an administrative fellow, I spent a decade caring for patients in Detroit, Boston, and St. Louis as a clinical audiologist.

Long before seeing my first patient, I learned why we need to vote "yes" on Amendment 2 to expand Medicaid on Aug. 4.

My childhood home sits on a gravel road in a rural Kentucky farming community. After hearing my father had cancer, my mother told me as a high school senior we’d have to exhaust my college savings to cover his treatment, even though he had employer-provided insurance.

I joined my father on his many trips to “town” for treatment; however, if he needed more advanced care, we would have been on the road for hours to go to an academic hospital.

Here in Missouri, trips to the doctor have gotten longer, as 10 rural hospitals have closed since 2014 because of the costs of uncompensated care. Expanding Medicaid would help keep our rural hospitals open.

Four years after his diagnosis, my father watched me accept a debt-free college diploma. My father’s care team and private/public scholarships are why I walked across that stage.

We all need help sometimes, and right now, thousands of Missourians need you. A family of three just like mine — whether my parents and me or my wife and son — is only eligible for Medicaid if they make less than $381 a month. One in 11 Missourians doesn’t have health insurance, let alone extra savings. This can lead to going without or delaying care. Expanding Medicaid would eliminate that choice for many working Missourians.

My family’s story had a happy ending; however, many uninsured Missourians aren’t so lucky. On Aug. 4, you have the opportunity to provide coverage to at least 230,000 hardworking Missourians by expanding Medicaid. Please vote "yes" on Amendment 2.

Andrew Schuette

St. Louis