Letters to the Editor

Medical research sales tax, nuclear weapons, English as the official language

Updated: 2013-08-21T23:30:00Z

No on sales tax

It would be insane to even consider a half-cent sales tax for medical research (8-18, Letters).

Millions of tax dollars would be handed over to a private entity without having much of a claim to the billions of dollars that such a company might generate in income from intellectual property rights and with little guaranteed benefit to the residents.

What were Donald Hall Jr., Mark Jorgenson, John Sherman and Scott Smith thinking?

That all of the low-information voters and those who are told to vote for such, in order to keep their jobs, will do so, thus letting the 20 percent or so who would vote for this decide to hire high-dollar employees who ultimately will live in suburban or rural Johnson County.

And we get zip.

Roger R. Bisby


Education flimflam

Education has become a commodity in the free market. Potential students do not know on whose door they are knocking.

The tricks of the hustle are to convince prospective students that they can borrow money to pay the tuition from private lenders or the federal government. The con is to cajole, flimflam, hold out hope, blind hopeful students with promises and prey on their ignorance.

The payoff comes when the student extracts a loan he cannot afford from the federal government or commercial banks and turns over this money to the educational enterprise. Drop, pass or fail, he will not get a refund.

The con will continue as students are encouraged to pursue their dreams by taking out more loans. The training, job prospects and potential earnings will be questionable.

Missouri is part of the con if it cannot or will not assure that the public and for-profit educational institutions and enterprises in its borders truly educate and that the costs of the education equates to the value of the training received.

Robert Hedrick


Messiah, Jesus

If people are free to name their baby Jesus, what exactly is the problem with this Tennessee baby being named Messiah (8-17, C7, “Judge orders new name for ‘Messiah’)? If the pronunciation is changed, would that make it OK?

If they give the baby a nickname, would that be acceptable?

Whatever happened to separation of church and state? If I am reading this article correctly, the magistrate said this name was a “title.”

I wonder whether I should rethink the names Mary, Joseph, Isaac, Matthew, Moses and Abraham for my children.

Maybe that’s the real issue here. No religious names or titles. Does that mean my middle name wasn’t legal? It is a religious word, associated in a Christmas song.

Maybe my parents just squeaked by, went out the back door of the hospital so they wouldn’t get caught.

Megan Travelstead


Abandon the bomb

A guard unit at Whiteman Air Force Base can drop the bomb. Yes, the nuclear bomb (8-17, A1, “Guard unit in Missouri makes history”).

Jesus said, “I have come to set the Earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Luke 12:49-53). It could be the gospel for today.

Is it our right to set the Earth on fire? Do we usurp what belongs solely to God?

Why do we continue to think, create and prepare to use the bomb that would reign terror and cause untold destruction on many children, women and innocent noncombatants?

Have we lost our right mind?

We must fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves to aid in God’s creation and love, to heal, to bind wounds and to be the voice of conscience.

In the words of Albert Camus, “Be neither victims nor executioners.”

Henry M. Stoever


PeaceWorks KC

Overland Park

Push English in U.S.

I strongly object to the Aug. 19 editorial, “Embrace our linguistic diversity to strengthen America.”

A nation is defined by its borders, its language and its culture. Examples include Greece, Turkey, Italy and France.

If the U.S. does not have controlled borders, a national language and a cultural ethic, we are not a nation.

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, proceedings of Congress and enacted laws are all written in English.

I lived in a foreign nation for four years. It had a mandated national language for all official government business. If I wanted to understand my work-permit status, it was up to me to hire a translator.

I have no objections to people using any language they want in their private lives.

I would encourage people to learn more than one language. It broadens horizons to know a language other than English.

All official U.S. government business shall be conducted in English. That is for courts, laws, road signs, ballots and licenses.

Any person who needs a translation can get his own.

Richard Blaisdell

Kansas City

GOP obstructions

House Speaker John Boehner and Republican Sen. Mike Lee have publicly stated that unless more cuts are made and Obamacare is repealed, they will not raise the debt ceiling and will shut down the government. Thousands of government workers will be furloughed, services will be cut.

But why should that matter to Boehner and Lee when they still get their paychecks? Apparently, the fact that the economy continues to slowly improve is a problem, and they would like to stop that dead in its tracks.

Apparently, the country has not felt enough pain from the cuts because of sequestration. We need to feel more.

Their line will be, as always, “It’s the president’s fault.” No negotiations, no compromise, just do it our way or we will bring the country to its knees once again.

Since the president took office, Republicans have threatened to shut down the government every time the debt ceiling comes up for renewal. They put the same things on the chopping block each and every time.

Repeal Obamacare, cut Social Security, cut Medicare, cut Medicaid, cut food stamps, cut unemployment benefits, lay off more teachers and first responders.

I have to ask, do Republicans even care about us anymore?

Karen Lane

Overland Park

Slaughtering horses

As a Missourian, I do not want our state to become a place where horses are brutally slaughtered for their meat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture documented that most of the horses sent to slaughter are in good condition and are able to live productive lives.

Additionally, because horses are not raised for meat, they have been given a cocktail of products unfit for human consumption that do not pass out of their systems. Kill buyers go to auctions to find fat, healthy animals.

These horses could be sold, re-homed or donated to one of the many programs that rely on donated horses, such as therapy programs for children and veterans. Unfortunately, at auctions kill buyers can outbid the legitimate horse owners and rescues.

Horses are sent to a horrific death so a predatory industry can make a buck.

Horses are sensitive animals; they cannot be humanely stunned with a captive bolt or shot in a slaughter plant because they can sense danger and react.

No horse should have to endure the evils of horse slaughter, and no person should have to endure having his or her horse taken and sent to slaughter.

Diana Kline

Kansas City

Pull up sagging pants

As a young rebel in the 1960s, I used to wear bell-bottom pants. I finally realized that they looked ridiculous — feet flapping around like a bell clapper.

And yet our modern young men continue to wear their pants sagging.

This fashion is so over. How many years will it take to realize that it’s not only an anachronism but simply in bad taste? Nobody wants to see anyone’s rear.

I applaud young people’s youthful rebellion. We need young people to shake up the status quo or our society will eventually stagnate.

But pull up your pants, lace up your boots and prepare to take on a dysfunctional world that only your generation can correct.

Thomas Dodson

Kansas City

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