Letters to the Editor

Syria, Fred Phelps, Tommy Morrison

Updated: 2013-09-07T04:22:30Z

Another no-win war

A delayed-action missile strike against announced targets (mostly empty buildings) in Syria would neither eliminate President Bashar Assad nor neutralize his chemical weapons. These would be the only justifications for such an attack.

U.S. involvement would risk a confrontation with Russia and the real possibility of collateral damage to noncombatants, and would invite military and terror attacks against the U.S. and Israel.

It could very well embolden the Iranians and al-Qaida and spread the war beyond its current boundaries.

Americans would pay for the attack in higher taxes and an immediate jump in gasoline prices, thus weakening the delusional economic recovery here at home.

If President Barack Obama goes ahead with an airstrike or missile barrage, he indeed would be sending a message, a message of contempt for the wishes of the American people who are sick and tired of a decade of no-win war and the loss of lives, treasure and liberty we have endured.

Patrick McWilliams


Thanking Fred Phelps

It has occurred to me that no entity in America is as responsible for the rapid ascension of marriage equality as the Westboro Baptist Church. This group has made anti-gay bigotry so reprehensible and so absurd that people can’t back away from it quickly enough.

After all, who are you going to have more sympathy for — obvious lunatics spewing hate on a public street corner or the nice, boring same-sex couple next door?

I’d like to personally thank Fred Phelps for pushing us to become a more tolerant and probably more secular society.

I hope that anyone reading this will also thank the next Westboro Baptist Church demonstrator you happen across.

Samuel Bennett

Kansas City

Telegraphing war

How time and wars have changed. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, we were not given any notice.

Jim Lockhart


Mellinger column

On Aug. 3, you ran a front-page Sam Mellinger column, “Boxer created his own reality.” Mellinger wanted us to see that a person who served 14 months in prison on drugs and weapons charges, had been arrested on marijuana-possession charges and had the lifestyle of women and drugs was an OK good guy.

Tommy Morrison was sick. He participated in the sport of hitting another God-created person until that person was on the floor or dead.

The image that Mellinger created would not be the idol that you would want any young boy to even know about. What’s to admire?

Have we not had enough of crime and violence without this kind of commentary? Does the editor commend this type of behavior or do you even care?

Think about it.

Dwight Heath


Financial overreach

If Kansas City were my daughter, I’d tell her: “Pay off the Power & Light purchase, fund your pension and then we’ll talk about a new airport terminal and maybe even a downtown stadium one day. Take care of what you have now.”

John Goldsmith

Napoleon, Mo.

Border security

A dead body was floating in the Rio Grande last month on Rep. Kevin Yoder’s border tour. It’s a sobering indictment of our broken immigration system.

When conservative leaders myopically equate morality to rule of law, they easily miss the immorality within systems that sanction human suffering.

There’s a story in the Book of Luke about a man who went to the temple and prayed, “Thank God I am not like other people — robbers, evildoers, adulterers.”

He congratulated himself on following the rule of law.

There was another man, a tax collector who recognized his own complicity in a broken system and beat his breast praying, “God have mercy on me, a sinner.”

We know which one Jesus commended.

I thank God I was born in America. I follow the rule of law.

I think we need secure borders. I’m an evangelical Christian.

But I feel abandoned by conservative politicians when instead of beating our breasts and saying, “God have mercy on us” at the sight of a dead migrant in the river, we can only talk about increasing border security and dismiss comprehensive solutions that honor the humanity of immigrants.

Kurt Rietema

Kansas City

Low-wage jobs

The low-wage workers’ walkouts remind us that “business ethics” is an oxymoron in America today.

We all know about Enron’s faking its books, wage theft from workers by billion-dollar-profit-making companies and corporate boards rewarding CEOs with millions of dollars for running companies into the ground.

Now in the article “Unions make some noise,” the highly paid Richard Berman of an anti-labor business front group lies through his teeth, saying that those on the picket lines have been “paid pickets” creating “nuisance strikes.”

As a retired person who walked those lines with these low-wage workers, along with local pastors, others of faith and workers and leaders of community groups, I can say that we weren’t paid to support worker justice.

We believe in it.

If American business can be successful only through such lying, it’s no wonder our young people have few good models for their own success in life.

Robert N. Minor

Kansas City

Money, free speech

I would like to comment on the disagreement between Rex Sinquefield and state officials regarding campaign contribution limits.

Before 1965, the Missouri General Assembly consisted of senators elected from areas of mostly equal population and one representative elected from each of our 114 counties.

The U.S. Supreme Court deemed it unfair for lightly populated counties to have the same clout as heavily populated counties, meaning it was unconstitutional for Worth County, with its small population, to have equal legislative sway as St. Louis County.

“One man one vote” was the battle cry. Equality of influence was the purpose for the resulting change to our electoral process.

Regardless of station in life, each individual was to have equal say in the operation of our state.

Currently, money is considered a form of free speech, and people can speak as long and as loud as their bank accounts will permit.

However, the disparity of financial resources is as obvious as the disparity in county populations.

In what way are the two inequalities so different that one is touted as wrong and the other as right?

Stanley Robinson

Princeton, Mo.

Letdown by Royals

I was a walk-up at a recent Kansas City Royals day game at the Kauffman Stadium. The wait for tickets was 30 minutes, and it was the third inning before I got into my seat.

This was the franchise that was the model for a first-class operation, and now it cannot handle a crowd of less than 22,000. Many of the ticket windows were not even open.

General manager Dayton Moore has put in a fine effort on the field, but the fan experience is no longer first class.

I complained to an official (at least a person with a name tag). I was told to complain online.

The Royals don’t want to listen, but they want to quantify the comments and give them a number.

After the long wait in line, the team’s computerized system took a long time — much longer than the old printed tickets took — and the person behind the window was in no particular hurry.

I go to many other stadiums during the season, and my disappointment in this organization grows greater as the “Wal-Mart experience” continues.

Mike Messick

Kansas City

Tragedy of Ella

Ella’s story sparks sadness in the community for the loss of this gentle “deer” soul, but I can’t help but feel sadness for the shooter.

What are the factors that stunt empathy and promote the desire for violence?

This abysmal state of mind is mirrored in daily stories of human lives that are lost or shattered by guns in the hands of young people who perceive killing as an answer to life’s challenges.

Ella’s death is another wake-up call for us regarding the state of mind of so many of Kansas City’s youth.

Joan Henges

Kansas City

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