Unfair, unbalanced Fox
Anyone who mistakes the emissions of Fox News for objective journalism (Letters, 2-14) obviously has his head figuratively buried in the sand.
I have had careers in journalism and psychology in my lifetime, and I can confidently state that Fox News is a reflection of that network’s demented state of mind.
Albert de Zutter
Impersonal Kansas toll
I recently headed west on the Kansas Turnpike and turned off at the Lawrence East exit.
As a University of Kansas graduate, I experience a bit of nostalgic pleasure in taking that turnoff.
But that pleasure dissipated. I saw I’d turned into a turnpike toll gate marked “self-pay.” Some grocery stores have eliminated the self-checkout because of citizen frustration with the machinery.
As the cars behind me waited impatiently, I dug through my pockets seeking exact change.
In the process I had to decipher where to put the bills, what slot the ticket went into and what to do when I did not have exact change.
Finally, I dug $2 from my billfold for the $1.65 fare and felt rushed to wait for the change. No friendly human face was there to apply the personal touch.
Finally, I escaped the toll booth, feeling the toll taken on me was far more than the toll taken from me.
My first thought was, “What genius thought this up?”
If you had to devise a terrorist plan to create bottlenecks, slow traffic and steal from work-deprived Kansans, this one would be hard to beat.
Orwellian ‘1984’ future
I am really puzzled.
I consider myself to be informed and mature. What escapes my ability to understand is, where will America acquire the resources to be the world’s policeman?
Open up the borders to immigration of all types and put in place an Orwellian controlling government that watches everyone from birth, if you are fortunate enough to escape abortion, to eventually deciding when you no longer can contribute (bureaucrats will decide what contributing is) and then allows (encourages) you to expire.
Reaching across aisle
I would like to thank Congress for agreeing to raise taxes for the wealthiest Americans.
As a Democrat, I am very grateful. I am also grateful to Congress for raising the debt limit, albeit temporarily.
Republicans are unhappy, and now Democrats are looking to strengthen existing gun laws. What can we give them in return?
As much as I love public broadcasting, maybe it’s time for those folks to go pro.
If Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart are any indication, I think public radio and television can get enough advertisers to cover their expenses.
Planned Parenthood and women’s health need to continue.
Birth control is the best way to fight abortion.
But do these services require federal funding to continue?
Perhaps insurance companies can decide whether they want to cover abortion, and people can choose which company they want to go with. Or states can decide.
Then there’s that pipeline. I’m really torn on that, but you get the idea.
I’ve been chiding the Republicans for not playing ball. I’m just saying that now it’s our turn.
Highway safety costs
Highway safety, as with all safety programs, costs money. Wrong-way accidents on interstates are terrible, but they can be prevented.
It’s only a question of how much the Department of Transportation wants to spend in relation to putting lives at risk. Airlines and other transportation industries have been doing it for years.
I have an idea that would prevent any motor vehicle from entering a restricted-access highway. It’s just that it might cost more than the Department of Transportation wants to spend
Strength in diversity
No doubt I was one of many readers disappointed by an appalling and absurd Feb. 12 letter insisting that cultural and linguistic diversity are in fact “disadvantages” and that the writer does business only with those who promote “American cultural heritage.”
What American cultural heritage are you talking about? American culture is an amazing combination of many cultures and languages. So it would be next to impossible to avoid every single word, food, concept and product that didn’t originate in the United States.
Of course, I am assuming “America” refers only to the United States and not Central America or South America.
The letter writer apparently regards those cultures and their languages as inferior. And by the way, because each of my parents was raised in a different culture, I guess that makes me and my two siblings more of those “disadvantages” the letter writer speaks of.
I think I speak for a lot of us “disadvantaged” people when I say we’re relieved that someone like the letter writer is avoiding us.
Jennifer L. Crane
‘Legitimate’ tax cuts
Republicans have argued that tax cuts, according to the Laffer Curve, increase government revenue by stimulating the economy and therefore do not increase the deficit.
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan promoted a large tax cut, which cost the federal government one-half trillion dollars in revenue over four years.
President George W. Bush cut taxes, and the national debt increased to $5.8 trillion.
With such a record, Republicans should finally understand that tax cuts do not increase government revenue. However, they apparently believe that if it’s a legitimate tax cut, the economy has ways to try to shut the deficit down.
Draft for announcers
I enjoy the televising of many sports, but I sure do not like the way many of the announcers handle the events. They spend more time talking about themselves and trying to be comics.
I realize that some games have lulls, but the announcers fill in the time with banter that takes away from the games. TV remotes are sure handy because you can mute the sound or change channels.
We need a draft for sports announcers. The Royals could have a No. 1 pick.
Budget beaten military
Recently, the Army’s chief of staff, Gen. Ray Odierno, spoke at a gathering of members of the Association of the United States Army in Washington, D.C., and his message was quite clear — our national security is at risk because of the fiscal uncertainty that we face today.
The numbers are sobering — a $6 billion shortfall for fiscal year 2013 in Army operation and maintenance accounts because Congress has failed to pass appropriations legislation. If sequestration strikes March 1, another $6 billion shortfall will occur.
Combined with other underfunding, the total shortfall for fiscal year 2013 could be $17 billion. And we are still at war.
Odierno outlined what the Army is doing to remain effective, but the bottom line is that training and, therefore, readiness will suffer unless Congress introduces some budget predictability.
The Association of the United States Army has been urging Congress to solve the sequestration puzzle and continues to highlight the damage to our Army posed by sequestration and the repeated use of continuing resolutions to fund the Department of Defense.
The fiscal process must be put back in order to ensure our military forces can maintain their ability to defend this nation.
Mark H. Wiggins
Greater Kansas City
Caring for autism
I live full time with a beautiful 8-year-old boy on the autism spectrum, a developmental disability, not a mental illness.
Many on the spectrum are not aggressive. My son can be. His intense tantrums are always ridiculous, like melting down because I refused to buy five 10-pound bags of skittles.
Autism does not mean violent. He isn’t wired to hold grudges or premeditate. He has affective aggression, a reaction to stimuli.
He does not have predatory aggression, which is cool, controlled and detached.
My son can feel sad or slighted. He is not, however, going to form an initial evil thought turned to rage as Adam Lanza did at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Autism doesn’t explain that. Adam may have been autistic, but he was also a whole lot of other things to commit such unfathomable violence.
Isolated. Exposed to an arsenal of guns. Mentally ill.
Those in the autism community are watching the Newtown, Conn., stories unfold with added dread.
We hear reports the shooter had autism, and we worry that narrow-minded people will associate all autistics as individuals to be watched, or worse, feared.
People with autism need your understanding and patience, not judgment.