Sen. Will Kraus, a Lee’s Summit Republican, appears to be getting his “Brownback” going (2-14, A6, “Bill would curb aid to fired workers”).
His target this time is any individual attempting to claim unemployment benefits and whose employer claims the claimant was late for work only one time or appeared to have dozed off on the job.
Sen. Kraus and his ultra-punitive legislation are mean and draconian and will make hourly workers nothing more than Missouri’s disposable citizens.
Even Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback isn’t this much of a Scrooge.
Repair blight in KC
The Feb. 12 article, “School sale process in KC lauded,” on the sale of former Kansas City Public Schools’ vacant buildings mentions Faxon School, at 37th Street and Paseo Boulevard, which I attended as a child in the late 1940s.
The building was sold and now sits vacant, although not apparently deteriorated.
As I drove around the area of the school recently, I noticed many vacant lots and deteriorated houses.
It seems to me that rather than waging useless and ill-purposed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our government could better spend money upgrading and repairing such houses and lots.
I believe historically we let this deterioration happen as a result of segregation, rampant through my childhood, and we now have the duty to remedy that injustice.
Pope Benedict’s exit
As a practicing Catholic, I wish to thank The Kansas City Star for its Feb. 12 editorial, “Pope’s exit offers opportunity,” with suggestions on how to reform our church. I intend to email these suggestions to my Roman Catholic representative in hopes that these ideas can be introduced into the College of Cardinals.
I have no doubt that if these ideas were adopted we would obtain the same results as the Anglican Church, whose progressives have already adopted these ideas and experienced a substantial drop in membership.
George J. McLiney Jr.
Regressive Kansas tax
I must respond to Nick Jordan’s “As I See It” in the Feb 11 Star, “A plan to boost growth.” He touts Kansans’ personal-wealth growth because of cuts in tax rates ranging from 14 percent to 24 percent.
He fails to say that the wealthy received the 24 percent cut in rate and the less fortunate received the 14 percent rate reduction.
He does, however, correctly state that this is fulfilling the promise of a “flatter” tax.
He is incorrect, however, to say that the flatter tax is a fairer tax. We have a flat tax now, and it’s not fair.
It’s called the sales tax, and the promised return to a lower rate this year won’t happen.
We commonly call our flat sales tax “regressive,” and “regressive” describes what we will have with a flat income-tax rate, which is now more and more within sight in Kansas.
Obama must lead U.S.
Mr. President: Your four years to establish your legacy have started. So show some leadership:
• Lead us to a balanced budget, which you promised four years ago.
• Lead us in decreasing government spending. You have your increased taxes on the wealthy so cut spending.
• Lead us in reducing the size of the federal government, which is now a bloated mess.
• Lead us to lower unemployment.
• Lead us in reducing the debt, which has increased by many trillions over the last four years to where one-third of our budget is funded by borrowing.
• Finally, lead us to the necessary changes in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Lead, follow or get out of our way. We are fed up.
End U.S. foreign aid
It is absolutely amazing that our government officials have been blinded by greed.
As a retired military individual, I find it extremely appalling that foreign countries (leeches) continue to demand foreign aid from the United States.
They do absolutely nothing for our dollars. Examples are Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt.
Why are we spending millions of dollars to satisfy the top government (corrupt) officials? They don’t do a thing to earn our dollars, but they are among the first to criticize the United States.
Why don’t we smarten up and cut the aid, applying it to our national debt, and bring our troops home to protect our borders and become energy efficient?
I’m sick and tired of hearing all the negative comments from these freeloaders about how they don’t get enough aid.
We as a country can employ our military to protect our borders and strengthen our economy internally. Stop wasting dollars on those countries that do not want us there anyway.
William J. Hahn
Marketing more guns
The gun manufacturers’ marketing scheme puts the tobacco marketers’ approach to shame.
The tobacco companies told us we’d be thinner, sexier and more glamorous if we smoked. The gun manufacturers looked at the decline in hunting and gun ownership and started telling us that if we didn’t own a gun, somebody — the poor, the minorities, the terrorists or the government — would “get us.”
And it worked.
People got scared and decided they needed guns. But our old shotguns or rifles wouldn’t do.
They sold us the upgrade, so we’re armed as if we are patrolling the streets of Baghdad instead of just going to the grocery store.
I’m not sure where it will end, but I do know that the goal of the gun manufacturers is to make money, and if that means convincing us we all need shoulder-fired missiles then their marketing departments will be up to the task.
Rubio’s wilted response
On Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, this man was spewing word salad at the rate of Sarah Palin. It means nothing.
He is running for the Republican nomination, not the presidency in 2016.
Curbing fame seekers
Neither additional gun control nor extended mental-health services will do much to prevent loners or losers from seeking fame and notoriety.
Given the extensive press these mass murderers enjoy, it seems plausible they primarily wish to scream at society, create big headlines and have the world look at them.
Whether dead or alive, they have accomplished their objective not by mowing down people but rather by etching their names, faces and deeds in the public eye via all the media hoopla.
I suggest we put a lid on the “want to be infamous” by restricting any mention of the perpetrators’ names or family members and ban any photos from being splashed across any media outlets.
No doubt this restriction would hackle not only folks who support Second Amendment rights but also those backing First Amendment rights. Yet we already restrict full disclosure for minors and withhold information for national security reasons.
I maintain that by restricting the star power of going down in flames for headline-seekers, we would minimize the copycat syndrome and greatly dilute the motivation of becoming famous through the commission of a heinous crime.
Perhaps a secondary byproduct of this restriction might be that we all would remember those who died rather that those who killed.
Scott R. Busch
On April 16, 2007, 32 people died at Virginia Tech, and 17 were wounded. All had families, friends and futures.
Many people use their Second Amendment rights in their everyday lives, whether it’s for food, for sport or for the defense of their life and the future that they have.
Think a moment about the ones who were lost on April 16, 2007.
Think of the promising futures of the students and teachers and the families that were victimized.
Some of these people had children, husbands and wives who were dependent upon them, and now they’re gone. A son or daughter is without a beloved parent, and a husband or wife now sleeps alone.
The Second Amendment gives people the right to bear arms. Today, there is a license allowing people to carry concealed firearms for personal defense.
I think that if colleges upheld this right, the Virginia Tech shooting may not have been such a tragedy.
If there had been one student in every classroom to defend himself and those around him, there might have been one or two shot instead of 49.