Poor KCI change
The excuse given for the new airport terminal, as I read it, is more shops, more restaurants (6-4, A1, “Locals love their KCI, but change is in the air”). Well, here is how I see it playing out.
It opens. Six months after this event, all the shops and restaurants close because of a lack of business. Now the locals are stuck paying for this white elephant via some tax necessitated by the loss of revenue from the closed businesses.
The security lines are oppressive, there is no drop-off virtually at the gate and, likewise, there is no pickup virtually at the gate or baggage claim.
Kansas City International Airport currently is a marvel of efficiency. Locals do not, I repeat, do not, go to the airport to eat or shop, nor will they.
As to the idea that a new terminal would make Kansas City attractive as a hub, the relatively small population base of the area precludes this.
Lest people think I am casting aspersions on our fair city, I am not. I am a lifelong resident of Kansas City and love it dearly. One of the things I love is the wonderful travel efficiency of KCI.
If we are going to spend a billion dollars on something, I recommend sewers and water lines.
Do the members of the Kansas Legislature realize they didn’t create a tax cut but rather created a tax shift in the budget that was just passed? Spending was not decreased; just who pays the taxes has changed.
Here are some examples:
• Sales tax doesn’t go down as promised, so the working poor and the middle class continue to pay a higher percentage of their incomes on sales tax.
• All itemized deductions cut in half by 2018. The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly reduced to $7,500 from $9,000. The standard deduction for head of household reduced to $5,500 from $9,000. Again, all tax increases for the working class.
• The top income-tax bracket lowered to 3.9 percent by 2018 from 4.9 percent. The lower income-tax bracket lowered to 2.3 percent by 2017 from 3 percent. The advantage of a larger percentage decrease goes to the wealthy.
The stimulus our economy needs is for more people to have more money to spend, and this tax shift defeats that need. In fact, it takes money out of the pockets of those who would spend it and pads the bank accounts of those who won’t.
Yates Center, Kan.
U.S. workers suffer
The spin that Kansas Sen. Julia Lynn and others have put on unemployment benefits is making me dizzy. If one person loses the job and another takes it, how does that “get our economy working again” (6-2, A1, “Kansas, Missouri bolster the boss”)?
The loss of benefits for violating any rule and without any written warning will make the workplace dictatorial and hostile.
Actually, the only thing that is gained is money. Money for the businesses that won’t pay as much into the unemployment fund. Money for the politicians that comes from the business lobby.
Nothing changes. The average worker is always the only one to suffer.
Steve Rose column
Steve Rose in his June 2 column, “The NRA stokes real fears about government,” exposed the truth about the National Rifle Association and gun control. It’s not about the Second Amendment, but the 56 percent of white men opposing stricter gun laws and their fear of government.
Fear historically slows change. When black slaves struggled for freedom, white male voters used fear to maintain the status quo. When women struggled to get the vote, white men propagated fear to keep women in their place.
But change is a funny thing. Like water seeping into the ground, reasoned change sinks into the collective conscience of all people and gives them courage to speak.
The NRA uses fear to create a frenzy over this loss of power. Fear is a real feeling, but what is feared may not be real.
Fear of a government takeover is crazy because all of us, not just white men, are the government. Elections have consequences — white men running scared is one.
Fear is why more children will die from guns and the gun makers will grow richer. Changing this requires all of us to speak honestly about fear and its insidious bigotry and ignorance.
Your May 30 editorial, “Gun makers show no remorse over deaths,” was a waste of paper. Your newspaper continually tries to sway its readers with false truths.
I shoot competitively, and you have to have large-capacity magazines for both handguns and rifles to compete. The National Rifle Association is correct in saying the cause is mental illness, not the gun or the legal gun owners.
Obviously, your “urban” editor has a one-sided view without researching the facts and has probably never fired a handgun. He should check out or, better yet, attend the Bianchi Cup, which was just held in Missouri and see what gun owners can do, other than golf or go to the casinos.
The only thing your absurd editorial did was convince me to donate more to the NRA.
Based on 20 years in the Army, two tours in Vietnam and frequently being in harm’s way, I offer some thoughts to consider before arming personnel in schools or anywhere else:
They should have mental stability and aversion to panic and a cool-reasoned demeanor.
They must be physically fit, have weapons training and accuracy, receive semiannual recertification, semiannual “combat in schools” training, as well as training in tactical proficiency sweeping and clearing offices/classrooms, and know rules of engagement and levels of acceptable collateral damage.
They must observe methods of communication with chain of command and first responders, have an open/concealed carry/locked weapons box, possess body armor and know how to handle hostage situations and respond to being shot at or wounded.
They should be ready and willing to shoot to wound or kill as necessary.
They should know how to handle improvised explosive devices, selection of weapons and dealing with multiple intruders.
This is a partial list. Administrative considerations include immunity from prosecution, special insurance coverage and the cost of the weapon(s), twice-yearly training, body armor, ammunition, communication devices, public relations and attorney fees, to name a few.
Think it through, all the way.
David B. Smiley
LTC, USA (Retired)
Lewis Diuguid’s anemic attempt at humor in a May 31 blog bit on Rep. Michele Bachmann’s decision to not run for a fifth term was just that — anemic.
Don’t worry, the late-night comics have plenty of material to work with without Mrs. Bachmann.
President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the Internal Revenue Service and Congress, along with their merry band of bungling mouthpiece pigeons, provide enough comedy material for seasons to come.
Sad but true.
R.M. (Mike) Everett
Chatty social disease
There are few things that I am confident about in this life.
Most of what we believe comes from one group or another that says it knows all the answers and if we listen carefully we can be saved. The one thing in life I am confident about is that usually those groups are wrong.
Public opinion is like a social disease. It’s spread by people who love to talk and have no regard for results.
This year’s Royals provide televised diversion in a ballet of awkward swings and evasive ground balls accompanied by an annoying booth persona.
When, finally, will team officials take the inevitable steps of bringing up Omaha’s first and third basemen? What are they waiting for?
Do we also have struggling management?