I predict that sooner or later the good people of Kansas will realize what Gov. Sam Brownback and his gang have done. Then, like the opossum eating the dead skunk in the middle of the road, they will look up and exclaim, “I do believe I have enjoyed about as much of this as I can stand.”
Advertising aids arts
In the Jan. 20 letter, a Kansas City Symphony audience member was disconcerted by an advertisement prominently displayed in the lobby of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, characterizing it as “insidious commercialization.”
The sponsorship in question is an exclusive agreement between the Kauffman Center and the company. The Kansas City Symphony has no role in this agreement.
We should be grateful for corporate sponsorship of the arts, for it is an important component to funding great music for our community. Kansas City is increasingly being recognized as a destination for the performing arts, as evidenced by Travel & Leisure magazine ranking Kansas City No. 8 in the nation for classical music.
The same factors that make Kansas City a wonderful place to visit also make it a great place to live and work. The more businesses that recognize the value of the arts to Kansas City’s quality of life, and invest in the arts, the better for us all.
Alternatively, if the writer wishes to anonymously underwrite all future symphony activities, that could also be arranged.
Kansas City Symphony
Better food labeling
Taco Pepper Cups, a recipe in the Jan. 16 food section headlined “Flavorful, vegetarian treat,” are described as vegetarian. Maybe.
One of the ingredients in the dish is Mexican blend low-fat cheese. Many cheeses on the market are made with animal rennet, sometimes listed as “enzymes” in the ingredients list.
Animal rennet is made from the stomachs of young mammals. Although it is not meat, it is the byproduct of slaughter, like gelatin.
As a vegetarian, I wish it was easier to know whether foods included parts of dead animals, but this is not part of the requirements in food labeling.
Refuting the factual and logical errors in E. Thomas McClanahan’s Jan. 20 column, “Whatever happens, it’s all ‘climate change,’ ” is not difficult, but it may not be to the point. McClanahan has waged a long war against evidence that climate change is accelerating.
Carbon emissions since the beginning of the industrial age, mostly produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil, have warmed the Earth’s surface and now threaten the fragile membrane of atmosphere that protects all life on the planet.
None of this is news. McClanahan’s argument is an enduring theme of extreme right-wing punditry. Factual evidence won’t convince them. Their arguments aren’t about science but about the perceived threat that addressing climate change poses to their free-market ideology.
An economy based on an ethic that respects the natural world and relies on renewable energy is the only solution to avert the catastrophic results that inaction will ensure. As extreme weather and other visceral evidence have made this issue a concern for most Americans, McClanahan joins the ranks of a fringe minority who have nothing to add in finding solutions to the environmental challenges we face.
Sierra Club-Kanza Group
News media racism
It is a racism born out of unacknowledged white privilege that permitted NBC to use all white responders to President Barack Obama’s recent “Meet the Press” interview. Are there no black or Latino reporters capable to respond?
Sam E. Mann
Anguish of a veteran
I have an M15. I have killed people. I walked into the VA crying and mumbled “emergency.”
I waited 1.5 hours. I had an intake interview even though I had been a regular patient.
I was given an appointment in February. Budget losses mean cuts in service.
I was told it was a slow day, and many walk out without the interview. Are cops and funeral directors any cheaper than therapists?
Fortunately, I am not homicidal or suicidal. The gun is registered. The killing was in Vietnam.
I wrote this as a public service realizing I can expect a visit from somebody, or am I being paranoid?
Good people and guns
Post-Sandy Hook Elementary School violence demands meaningful conversations on gun control nationwide. Sadly, some reckless and feckless ideas emerged.
They must be scrutinized with common sense. A National Rifle Association suggestion that we “need more good people with guns” and should arm teachers with guns is as problematic as pouring gas on fire. I am not sure of the NRA’s definition of “good people.”
In the Newtown, Conn., shootings, both the owner and operator of the guns had been viewed as good people. Adam Lanza was not a bad person until he used the guns owned by his mother.
Most teachers have high morals. However, a mistake would be to trust all teachers blindly and bluntly with guns in stressful moments. Some teachers have been found to lose control emotionally and become romantically involved with their students, breaking a code of conduct.
If all teachers cannot be trusted in that regard, how can people trust all teachers to hold guns safely in classrooms?
Arming good people like teachers with guns is not a solution but rather a gun-frenzy delusion that could contribute to future violence.
Guns, politics, questions
Why has there been no director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (the federal agency responsible for enforcing our gun-control laws) for six years? Why has Congress gutted the few significant gun-control laws we have had?
When will the citizens of this country demand that concrete action be taken to stop the incessant murders of innocent children? Why are there more people killed with guns every year in this country than in any of our wars?
Why does the National Rifle Association, with fewer than 5 million members, seem to be running this country?
Opening doors to U.S.
President Barack Obama has tried to improve our education in the U.S. by giving many foreigners wanting to be legal the right to come to the United States. Obama should try to do the same thing to improve our government.
Not only would it help our government, but it would save a great deal of money, and we would not have to listen to all the speakers running for office.
Support for the military
My son recently was shipping back to his unit through Kansas City International Airport when a young boy approached him and gave him a letter. The letter thanked him for his service and for keeping him and his family safe.
It also stated that he wished the soldiers made more money, and inside the letter was $50. The boy, who was with his mother, gave my son the letter and then disappeared into the crowd. My son, who is a medevac pilot, said he will carry the letter with him on every flight.
I am very proud of my son and of this little boy, who signed the letter “Nick.” My son, who has the letter posted on his Facebook page, said there was no address for Nick, so I am writing this in hopes that Nick sees it, with our thanks for his support.
It makes it easier knowing you are behind him, too.
A pilot’s father
You and ‘I’
There’s a reason why we’re here today.
And I know you know that, too.
There’s a reason why you look at me
The way I look at you.
We’re family that is gathered here,
And there’s love within this space.
What we need is just to see how dear
We are when face to face.
But there’s a demon that lurks around
Who calls himself the “I,”
And from what I’ve seen of him I’ve found
He can’t simply just stand by.
He demands that you must go “online”
To Google, tweet or twert.
You set him aside, and that’s just fine,
But he gets his feelings hurt.
But today’s a day for giving gifts,
And I would ask for just one more.
Please tell Mr. “I” that you’ll be back,
And leave him outside the door.