Letters to the Editor

IRS targets, free speech limits, climate change

Updated: 2013-05-20T23:30:56Z

Government ethics

The Kansas City Council just does not get it (5-16, A6, “New ethics rules go to KC Council vote”). No city employee — including council members — should be allowed to accept gifts from persons or entities doing business with the city.

It doesn’t matter if it is a pencil or $1,000. Gifts of any amount are just smoke and mirrors for buying votes and special consideration.

David Ward

Overland Park

Target NRA next

When I learned the Internal Revenue Service was devoting special attention to groups applying for non-profit status using names including the words patriot or tea party, my first reaction was “Why did it take you so long?”

One can only hope next up for the IRS is the National Rifle Association.

Ron Platt

Overland Park

Limit free speech

After reading letters from local “scholars” sharing their interpretations of our Constitution and the intentions of our Founding Fathers on the Second Amendment, I think a response is necessary.

Therefore, I would like to propose new limits to the First Amendment and free speech. If we are going to start reducing our rights, let’s open this up to a bigger dialogue and start with the First Amendment.

It is clear to me that we need reasonable limits to the First Amendment and the rights of those whom I happen to disagree with or those who talk about something they don’t know anything about.

Simple requirements are necessary. Background checks, training and registration are always deemed reasonable. What is good for me on the Second Amendment should be more than reasonable for someone on the First Amendment.

I would also like to create a usage tax on newspaper articles. The more words you write, the more you pay in taxes.

The media should be happy to pay. Sounds fair.

Let’s call it patriotic, too. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword. That makes it a weapon. Time to close that tax loophole.

Frank Green

Kansas City

Climate change action

President Barack Obama recently said what many youths, such as myself, and concerned citizens across the globe have long been waiting for. He gave a clear call to action on climate change.

In what is arguably Obama’s most definitive statement on climate change, he used the bully pulpit of the White House to push forward the climate-change agenda and declare his commitment to tackling the problem, “knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

His strong statement on climate change, however, is not reason for complacency but is rather a call for action from the ground up. Obama is faced with a stubborn House and Senate, which can likely be coaxed into action only in the face of a groundswell of support for the president.

As a climate activist and a scholar, I know that there is no silver bullet to solve the problem. No solution will occur with small costs.

But I have come to find that the most elegant, simple, effective, just and economy-boosting solution is in the form of a carbon fee and dividend such as that proposed by groups such as the Citizens Climate Lobby.

Alex Lenferna


U.S. corporate foils

Many big corporations harm the U.S. economy. The news media are trying to convince the people of our country that the economy of the United States is improving, which is a distorted prevarication.

Gasoline prices have increased. Utility costs have gone up, and food and clothing prices have risen.

Wages are stagnant, and many of our people are unemployed because our greedy corporations took factories and other operations overseas for cheap labor. Employees have no workplace protection and no decent wages and often are in unsafe working conditions.

Even AT&T has people from India taking care of the billing in the United States, and its English-speaking people are very hard to comprehend. But AT&T is getting by cheaper by not hiring people from our country, which I believe is very unpatriotic toward our own people.

Therefore, big business is damaging our economy and not boosting employment.

Higher transportation costs have the most control over our economy and are the reason for the increase of poverty within our country’s families.

Terrance R. Hawbaker

Atchison, Kan.

Keep KCI as is

I think Kansas City International Airport serves our area’s needs quite capably and am not yet convinced of the need for a single terminal.

The disadvantage I see to our current setup is when a passenger has a layover here. Waiting several hours at KCI would be very boring as well as very inconvenient.

Have any studies been done about the percentage of passengers who stop at KCI because of layovers and not because it is a final destination? My guess is that it would be a small percentage.

If that is the case, then I think we would be better served by rethinking the present space allocations, making necessary changes and then upgrading the resulting structures.

More than a billion dollars should not be casually committed, and I don’t think Kansas City will gain many visitors because of a new terminal.

Nancy Leisinger


Marriage tradition

For 5,000 years, marriage has been established by God as a covenant relationship between a man and a woman. Marriage is the building block of Western civilization.

Now, politicians, the courts and some churches are willing to throw the institution of marriage overboard in order to pander to 5 percent of the nation’s population.

God has set out rules to live by. When you follow them you are blessed. When you don’t you are cursed.

We are living in perilous times.

Wilson Winch


Sequestration harm

My son is an active-duty military pilot. Since budget sequestration went into effect, his training flights have been cut significantly.

He and his bomb squadron are scheduled to deploy in the fall and he has expressed concerns that the reduced training schedule will hinder their ability to be fully capable of responding to military threats in the region, especially North Korea.

As a voter, taxpayer and parent of a member of the military, I am disappointed in the lack of leadership in Congress on this issue.

I am tired of the blame game. Those who represent us in Congress need to stop blaming the other side and work together to find creative ways to handle our fiscal issues.

My son is serving our country in a meaningful way, and the current budget situation adversely affects his ability to defend our nation adequately. To say otherwise is to ignore the facts.

Philip Roudebush


Resisting compromise

Over and over again, I see people’s frustration, saying members of Congress can get nothing done because they refuse to compromise. I have this to say to those frustrated people:

Suppose invaders have penetrated your home and are holding three of your children hostage. They promise to kill all three if you do not do everything they say.

You stall and refuse to negotiate, hoping for police intervention. Pressed for time, they offer you a compromise — do part of what they demand, and they will kill only one of your children.

Think of your individual liberties as your children, and you will understand the meaning of compromise to those who resist ever-increasing state power.

Steven Brooks

Cameron, Mo.

Courtesy warning

Attention all joggers and bicyclists: Would you please warn walkers and other pedestrians as you approach them while jogging or riding a bike.

Recently during my walks in several local parks, joggers and bicyclists came up and passed me with no warning. Serious accidents could easily have occurred for both parties.

A simple courtesy on your part could reduce the chances of this happening.

Richard D. Conn

Kansas City

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