Keep police separate
As former members of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, we support the board and its independent, non-political local control of the Kansas City Police Department.
This newspaper’s frequent call for a return of the Police Department to City Hall and local politics would undo the progressive reforms that eliminated corruption and established a professional system of police governance that has served Kansas City well.
This system was established in 1939 in response to unprecedented corrupt political control of the Police Department by City Hall and the Pendergast machine. Missouri’s governor, with the Senate’s consent, appoints four citizens to the police board who, with Kansas City’s mayor, oversee the department.
Commissioners, the police chief and all department members take an oath to refrain from political activity and to carry out their duties in a professional, merit-based manner.
For more than 70 years, the department has stood against corruption in local politics and inefficiency. While other big-city police departments are the subject of Justice Department consent decrees and court-imposed monitors, the Kansas City Police Department and board have a culture of integrity and competence that citizens trust and admire.
Terry J. Brady
Mark C. Thompson
Jeffrey J. Simon
Real U.S. job creators
The rich dislike paying taxes, and so the right wing of the GOP makes a case for them. They are the job creators, so taxing them will harm our economy.
This is merely smoke and mirrors and nothing but a crass attempt to deceive. Billionaires, banks and corporate America are hording trillions of dollars apparently just to see who can be the biggest Scrooge McDuck of all.
And they must be gambling with this wealth as well; just see what happened to JPMorgan Chase. That company lost $2 billion in bad investments, and according to JPMorgan Chase officials, none of it was their customers’ money.
If true, then whose money was it? Banks such as this and the big rich, like the Koch brothers, have been the largest recipients when it comes to not paying taxes, thanks to presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. However, consider the consequences on our economic engine if the middle class and minorities for one month did not spend a dime.
The cat would be out of the bag as to who really are the job creators.
Fixing the Kansas DMV
The May 25 article, “Traffic jam is easing at DMV,” points out the efforts being made by Johnson County to improve wait times as they relate to the Kansas Division of Motor Vehicles software upgrade mess. The article states the county has reassigned workers, added overtime and hired temporaries and plans to add eight more staff members.
What I have not seen are the cost to the taxpayers for this and the entire cost related to the botched $40 million software upgrade. Is anyone going to be fired over this at the state level?
It should start with Kansas Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan as the head of the department. We need action now, and we need to know what went wrong, how to fix it and what role 3M — the vendor supplying the new $40 million system — played in the mess.
We must demand accountability.
Gambling in Missouri
You have to give Lewis Diuguid credit for his May 28 column, “Let the good times roll.”
Sin is seldom mentioned on the opinion page. For that matter, it’s not often mentioned in churches these days.
Come to think of it, neither is the term “gambling” used often in high places such as the Missouri General Assembly.
“Gaming” is a more soothing, less contentious word used in committee sessions. In the old days when the numbers racket caught legislators’ attention, lotteries were invented to allow states to legalize betting for the working stiff. Legal gambling has always been directed at those who can least afford it. Jefferson City doesn’t seem to mind, as taxes were unpopular and coffers were always low.
The real advantage was lottery venues could be placed in thousands of places. It was a cinch for gaming interests.
I’m glad Diuguid pointed out the cost to society and taxpayers. Extending credit to casino gamblers is but another nightmare for the dedicated gambler.
Revenues for the state will always be tainted by the hurt sustained by the typical gambling family and the costs to the communities. Lottery odds alone remain a moral contradiction.
Prevent war with Iran
I can’t understand the clamor for war with Iran. There is no evidence of that country having or planning a nuclear weapons program.
Our own top defense and intelligence officials say there is no evidence of such.
The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors are there now.
We don’t need to go to war with Iran. We don’t need to go to war with anyone for less than truly self-defensive reasons.
We may not be able to go to war successfully given our overstressed military.
The ecosphere as well as our own economy don’t need the stress.
It seems to me we all need to be insisting on diplomacy as the only way to sanely deal with Iran. Continued talks are scheduled this month, and we must encourage our members of Congress to support diplomacy and not to pass new legislation that could sabotage it.
We can hope our representatives will support HR 4173, calling for robust, sustained and comprehensive diplomacy, and oppose S. Res. 380, pressuring for the abandonment of diplomacy and a push to war. Talking is better than killing.
Thanks to Sen. Roberts
I would like to personally thank Sen. Pat Roberts for supporting farm legislation that stops the dumping of food aid into developing countries. This new legislation focuses on food aid that is produced and purchased in the country for which the aid is intended.
Food aid dumping can ruin developing economies as it saturates the markets and undercuts producers in the aid recipient country. The effects of dumping can be quite tragic as agricultural producers in the beneficiary countries lose their source of income and are then thrown back into the cycle of poverty.
Food aid programs that focus on food produced and purchased in the beneficiary country will prove to be sustainable and will have long-term, positive economic effects.
Again, thank you Sen. Roberts for supporting this piece of legislation.
Defining social media
I turn to social media when I want to be alone.
Our next chance to elect or re-elect our president comes soon. Please remember the following.
Democrats are why we have Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, school lunches for the poor and unemployment benefits. No worthwhile program since the national highway system has come from the Republicans.
They were against the GI Bill, the funding for veterans hospitals and anything for the working poor, which unfortunately now serves a lot of the middle class. Now Republicans attack American schools by cutting funding for math, English and other basic subjects.
Our education system must be universal and free. The Republicans siphon this money for other uses.
It is Republican industry owners who have moved our jobs overseas. It is Republican congressmen who penalize American industry by allowing steel, textiles and autos to be dumped on our shores while tariffs on foreign goods are pitifully low.
It is Republican congressmen who allow Americans to die from a health care system that is riddled with middlemen such as insurance companies.
Republicans have always worked for the rich. Millionaires pay less today in taxes thanks to the Republicans who work for the rich.
Only Democrats care about the middle class. Remember that when you vote.
Divine human design
If our creator intended sex to be used only for procreation as proclaimed by former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, why are humans programmed to feel desire year-round and not just during times of fertility? Could it not be our design is to maintain family unity?
Most other animals are designed as Mr. Santorum suggests. Humans are not.