Letters to the Editor

KCI, Missouri General Assembly, presidential term

Updated: 2013-05-01T23:23:40Z

KCI is the best airport

For years I have traveled extensively throughout the United States as well as overseas on a regular basis.

Airports I am intimately familiar with include Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco-Oakland, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Kimpo, Inchon, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Harrisburg, Raleigh-Durham, Wilmington, Jacksonville, Savannah, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Boise, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, Detroit, Minneapolis, Madison, O’Hare, Harrisburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Tulsa, Fort Smith and probably others I don’t readily recall.

My experience in parking, check-in and security is that Kansas City International is by far the most traveler-friendly of the whole lot.

Kansas City Aviation Department officials should remember that the airport is not there for the city. It is there for the people who travel to, from and through Kansas City.

I should add that the other very traveler-friendly airport I have passed through repeatedly is Los Angeles, which has a similar configuration.

Jim Shaw

Platte City

Legislative politics

Have our legislators forgotten why we elected them? Their job is to get good jobs for Missouri and improve our schools so Missouri kids can compete.

I don’t see that coming out of Jefferson City. I see politicians more interested in political games. That’s what the right-to-work push and the public employee paycheck bill are all about — politics.

I am a caregiver for people with disabilities. I take pride in the work I do.

I don’t think the legislators understand the damage these bills would do to Missourians.

Specifically, the Paycheck Deception bill would undermine the voice that I have to try to make my workplace safer and more efficient.

Missourians, please understand that the politics being played in Jefferson City, including so-called right-to-work, doesn’t do anything to make this state better. It will only lower everyone’s wages.

Our politicians need to get back to the real issues Missourians are concerned with — jobs and schools.

Laura Ledesma

Lexington, Mo.

‘Issues’ is new normal

I applaud The Star’s April 29 editorial, “It’s about time we took issue with this word,” bemoaning the trend of substituting “issues” for “problems.”

I’d argue, however, that psychobabble is to blame for spreading this linguistic disease.

“Issues,” “conflicts,” “closure,” etc. have all successfully barged their way into everyday discourse. After all, they make our problems sound more clinical and therefore more likely to secure us a spot at the feet of Dr. Phil.

And newspapers like yours might try their best to lead the charge for “clear, English sentences,” but newspapers are unfortunately becoming extinct.

Facebook and Twitter, domains where fragments and 140 characters are the rule, have emerged as sites of real-time communication, not stylistic accuracy.

To use a recently arrived cliche, “issues” is the “new normal.”

Robert Willson

Overland Park

Midwest Voices

Saralee Rhoads, in an April 27 Midwest Voices column, “U.S. swallowed by snake of debt,” lashes out at the U.S. debt and at uncontrolled government spending. She argues that both citizens and the government must cut their “wants.”

She fails to note that some Americans have lots of money — the top 1 percent have 40 percent of the country’s wealth while the bottom 80 percent have 7 percent.

In terms of income and wealth inequality, we’re back to 1928. On the same page, Paul Krugman, in “The austerity agenda reflects rich preferences,” writes that the wealthy by a large margin agree with Ms. Rhoads.

“The wealthy favor cutting federal spending on health care and Social Security,” he writes, “... while the public at large wants to see spending on those programs rise. You get the idea: The austerity agenda looks a lot like a simple expression of upper-class preferences.”

Ms. Rhoads’ argument is not about economics. It’s what Krugman calls a “morality play.” The wealthy have enjoyed huge tax cuts but cannot be asked to chip in. We’ve lived beyond our means and now must suffer.

Charles Hammer


Zimmerman trial

There is an old Native American saying: “Never judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.” This saying is worth keeping in mind as the nation prepares to watch the upcoming trial of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin.

To many black Americans, the death of Trayvon Martin is simply one more instance (like the Emmett Till case in 1955) of white Americans being able to get away with killing black Americans. Most white Americans, in contrast, have a quite different view of the U.S. judicial system.

Historically, people who killed white people, regardless of their race, usually have been forcefully and energetically prosecuted. So, as we come closer to Mr. Zimmerman’s trial, it is crucial for both black and white America to “walk two moons in the other’s moccasins” so as to appreciate and understand the quite different ways that these two communities view the U.S. system of justice.

To fail to do so runs the risk of further racial polarization and bitterness, and possibly even racially motivated violence.

Ernest Evans


NRA gun folly

After reading, watching television and listening to the radio, I’m beside myself. It seems to me that the National Rifle Association, with the help of gun manufacturers, condones mass murders.

In the Sandy Hook Elementary School slayings on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn., if high-capacity magazines had not been used there would have been fewer deaths.

When are we going to become mature enough to realize that background checks and bans on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons would decrease mass murder and start us on the right track to fewer deaths by guns?

Anyone who thinks having armed guards in schools is going to do anything other than cause more carnage should check into the nearest mental institution.

H. Lon Swearingen

Kansas City

U.S. president’s term

I so agree with the people who want to limit the president of the United States to one six-year term for all the reasons imaginable. I have been saying the very same thing for a long time.

Even my very politically conservative son and I agree on this subject. So if he and I can agree on this one subject, there must be a lot of other people feeling the same way.

Our Constitution has been amended before limiting the president’s term of office, so it can happen again. But we need to limit the terms of our representatives and senators as well.

It’s time for a general overhaul. The people in Washington, D.C., need to read these letters so they know we are serious about this.

Phyllis Malone

Manhattan, Kan.

Editorial cartoons

Editorial cartoons can enlighten, clarify or simply present a humorous angle on a news story or political issue. A major newspaper such as The Star has a responsibility to print quality cartoons from a variety of political perspectives.

Recently, several letters have been published on the opinion page criticizing Lee Judge’s and Glenn McCoy’s work as “biased.” But that misses the point. These cartoons represent opinions and are therefore by definition “biased.”

I admit that my opinions lean toward those of Judge’s. Ironically, an anti-Judge letter appeared in the April 29 issue of The Star right below a simplistic and witless McCoy cartoon attacking President Barack Obama and those who qualify for food stamps, a federal program of longstanding that has helped feed families and support the agriculture industry.

Moreover, the overwhelming number of Obama voters pay taxes and don’t receive food stamps. There is no excuse for using blatant inaccuracy to make a political point.

McCoy’s cartoon is an insult to worthy food stamp recipients as well as to the intelligence of Star readers.

Robert Schultz


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