Unfair attack on the nonpartisan, nonissue Sue Shear Institute
The American Association of University Women Missouri is shocked at the language in two bills moving through the Legislature that essentially erases the Sue Shear Institute ("Shear Institute imperiled by measure," May 4). The most troubling is an amendment that was added to House Bill 1731, relating to funding for veterans homes.
This attack centers on the misapprehension that the Sue Shear Institute engages in political activity, specifically for the advancement of Democrats. The institute is nonpartisan, nonissue and is dedicated to encouraging more women to get involved in the policy process. This would be illegal, according to this bill, which states that no public institution of higher education or campus thereof, political subdivision, governmental entity, quasi-governmental entity, division, board, commission, committee, council, state department or agency, instrumentality, public officer, employee of the state or private entity shall operate the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, any successor entity to the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life, or any other institute that engages in political activity or whose operations consist of the following, or have any connection whatsoever in the furtherance of the following:
• Tracking the participation of women at various levels of government;
• Increasing the presence of women on boards and commissions;
• Training college women leaders;
• Increasing the number of women in policy making positions in government;
• Encouraging women to seek public office
Whatever your political leanings, please tell your legislators why they should stop this legislation.
Julia Triplett • Ballwin
President, American Association of University Women Missouri
Coordinate to help
Regarding "Shacks razed as Larry Rice presses on" (May 5): St. Louis has a continuing problem with homelessness. In a poor economic climate, it may be very difficult for people who have been laid off to find another job. Without savings, they may no longer be able to pay rent and soon become homeless. Shouldn't it be government's responsibility to take care of those who can't care for themselves through no fault of their own?
Our state and local governments must have a coordinated system to help. Elected officials should feel a responsibility to take on this problem and find a comprehensive solution. Thanks to Bill Siedhoff, St. Louis' human services director, and the Rev. Larry Rice for doing what they can, but St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon must provide adequate housing, funding and social services to satisfy the growing need.
Joan Botwinick • University City
President Barack Obama made a stealth visit to Afghanistan to cheer on the troops and to sign a symbolic agreement with President Hamid Karzai that commits America and NATO to 10 years of political, military and economic support after the last of our combat troops leave in 2014.
Mr. Obama, in a talk to troops, painted present conditions as heroic progress toward a sovereign Afghanistan with a "capable" military force, perhaps needing just a bit of aid from NATO.
The early agreements call for the Afghan officers' approval and operational leadership of the night raids that U.S. Special 0perations forces have regularly made on homes of suspected Taliban — to Karzai's regularly expressed outrage. These seem hardly possible without NATO's superior technology, air cover, equipment, fire power, etc.
But if this story of Mr. Obama's visit and pep talk is read beside the careful analysis by Andrew Cordesman, perhaps the most respected of observers, it seems that somebody is telling a dangerously flawed version of the present and the likely fortune for Afghanistan. Mr. Cordesman expects that little will change from the flagging present, it may even get worse and NATO's religious and cultural outrages long will rankle among the Afghan people.
A new president, soon to be elected, might earn the constructive authority and trust — or the opposite. But elections themselves guarantee little. American reformist goals (and results) do not seem to be changing. In spite of the 10-year commitment, America will save money, and Afghanistan may face even harder times with the reducing flow of U.S. cash.
Al Edgell • St. Louis
Despising the successful
"Paying up" (May 6), regarding executive pay, made for some rather interesting reading. I was particularly intrigued with this: "And, while boards have addressed many of the shareholders' concerns, they haven't been able to assuage some critics, such as members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, who say CEO pay has simply gotten out of hand."
The radical, socialist, blood-sucking, I-deserve-it members of Occupy Wall Street will not be pleased until our way of life is done away with. They want everything given to them, and they hate the successful achievers.
We are becoming a nation that despises the successful. But only in business. This article is typical of the Post-Dispatch attempt to promote class warfare. How about same type of reporting on the highest-paid players in NBA, NFL or MLB. Or still better, the overpaid Hollywood elitists?
America became great because of producers, not takers.
Larry Schwartz • Ellisville
In the black
"Paying up" (May 6), an article on executive salaries and bonuses, was interesting. It listed CEO salaries, including extras such as medical and any bonuses for when the company shows a profit. I did not see any mention of whether employees get any bonuses for their work. It isn't solely the CEO who keeps the company in the black, even though by what they get paid it appears to be.
It takes many people to keep a company running effectively and putting out a product or service, including people in records, supplies, shipping, production, supervisory and maintenance. They equally deserve bonuses for their support of the company. It is not the arm-chair general who gets the dirty, strenuous work done.
There are some firms that share the money for a job well done, but there are many that do not even let some "trickle down."
Getting the economy moving again needs the pump primed. You can't get the pump flowing again with air, a certificate of appreciation and tightfistedness. I'm not talking about giving it away as a charity, but extra for a job well done. This is what will help move the economy along, not some cash investment that only puts money into the investors' pocketbooks.
When people are set adrift in a lifeboat, you pitch in and share, or you perish.
Thomas Bisso • Maplewood
Is this enough?
I find it totally disgusting that Charter Communications CEO Michael Lovett is compensated at more than $20 million per year. Isn't this the same company that just a few years ago declared bankruptcy, leaving stockholders holding the bag on millions of dollars? This is just another example of the crookedness and blatant disregard our judicial system and the Securities and Exchange Commission have for the average investor. It would take about 21,000 households paying $80 a month just to pay Mr. Lovett's salary.
When will the public stop and say enough is enough?
Richard E. Browning • Washington, Mo.