Letters to the Editor

Congressional pay, NRA, President Obama

Updated: 2013-10-23T22:41:24Z

Congressional pay

Because Rep. Vicky Hartzler voted against ending the government shutdown, I think it is only fair that she donate her congressional salary earned during the shutdown to charity. I encourage other residents of her congressional district to write her personally and ask her to do this.

Elwin McKenzie Jr.


Silencing opponents

The National Rifle Association must be very pleased (10-22, A2, “Math teacher is slain”). Not because a middle-school student brought a semi-automatic handgun to school and killed a teacher and shot other children, but because this story ran on Page 2 of The Star.

Before the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, this story might have been front-page news. Afterward, many state legislators and members of Congress quickly vowed to set reasonable limits on gun ownership.

The NRA insisted on protecting the right to own semiautomatic weapons and the right to privately sell or give them to whom-

ever. The NRA leveraged its political and financial resources to silence elected officials’ outrage. The NRA even funded a successful recall campaign against two Colorado state legislators who voted for reasonable gun-control measures.

It’s no coincidence that, although more mass shootings have occurred, our elected officials have become quieter about the issue. Even more significantly, so have the media.

Less than one year after Sandy Hook, the story of a shooting rampage in a middle school is considered less newsworthy than streetcar expansion and airline screenings. How many of us will even notice?

The NRA must be very pleased.

Connie Owen

Overland Park

Political failure

Shame on every politician in Washington, D.C. The American people put you there to protect their best interests and help their ways of life.

You should hang your heads for what you’ve done instead of going on TV and bragging about how you shut down the government for the betterment of our country. I hope all the innocent people who’ve been hurt remember this when it comes time to vote.

The only reason there are two parties is so both sides can blame the other side, and nothing gets done except a lot of blowing smoke at the American people.

Bill Babcock


Obamacare set up

This whole thing about the Obamacare website being overwhelmed and the tea party making hay out of it is such a sham. If all those red states, Missouri and Kansas included, had not voted to opt out of setting up their own exchanges, fewer people would have had to go to the federal site to sign up.

Most of the states that set up their own exchanges have had no problem enrolling people. So, the Republican/tea partiers at the state level have some responsibility for the problems with the website because they forced so many citizens onto the federal site.

Why should they be allowed to make political hay out of something they had a part in causing? And why isn’t anybody pointing this out?

Christo Whelan

Kansas City

Obamacare troubles

Kudos to the legislators and governors of the 14 states who cared enough about their uninsured citizens’ health care to set up insurance exchanges run by the state. For the most part, they’re working fairly well and people are getting signed up (10-21, A1, “Health market glitches remain”).

Shame on the states (Kansas and Missouri included) that refused to cooperate with the Affordable Care Act and set up state exchanges. As Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger pointed out, “It was intended to be state-based. We could deal with the smaller capacity needed to deal with just a state exchange rather than the massive system that has to interface with multiple states’ Medicaid programs.”

So, to all the citizens who have been unable to sign up on the national website, don’t put all the blame on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Obama administration. Put most of the blame where it belongs — on your state legislature and governor.

Chris and Ken Lander

Overland Park

Kobach’s appeal

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is a snake oil salesman. He travels the country finding paranoid people and telling them he can cure all their ills.

After cleaning out the city coffers and not accomplishing what he promised, he tells them that for just a little more he “might” be able to do what he lied about in the first place. I wonder who is paying this fraud?

J. Allen Smith

Excelsior Springs

Nursing children

For mothers, the nursing of our infants is a very short and precious time of our lives (10-19, A1, “Nursing mom, court at odds over jury duty”). We should support mothers and babies and not force separation.

Jury duty can be delayed with no serious effects; we have our whole lives to serve. Separation of a nursing couple could be traumatic. Just as we would not insist that a bottle-feeding infant take an “occasional breast,” we should not expect a breastfeeding infant to take an “occasional bottle.”

Clearly, some families combine breast and bottle feeding and some have regular separation. Those families have made decisions that suit them, and those mothers are available to serve.

But many have quit jobs at great sacrifice to avoid separation and to nurse and nurture their own. Those babies have never had a bottle, those mothers have never pumped their milk and both are very aware that breast-milk feeding in a bottle is much different than breastfeeding.

Many can serve on a jury, but only a mother can nurse her baby. Let’s support and encourage these dedicated mothers.

Rosemary Boudreaux


Kansas school cuts

Wake up, Kansas. The barbarians are knocking at your gates.

They call themselves Americans for Prosperity. And they want you to believe that you are spending way too much for your children’s education.

Aiding them in this is your governor, who is trying to stack the courts so that the courts will never again force your elected officials to spend money on education.

If you go to the Americans for Prosperity website to find out just who these Americans are, you will come up empty. A simple search solves the mystery of the founder of this group, and it should be no surprise. It’s one of your

homegrown robber barons, David Koch. I can only guess why Mr. Koch would not want more money spent on education.

In fact, an ad sounds as if he wishes to cut education funds. My theory is that he has eyes on the monies not spent on education to be available as corporate welfare for the Koch brothers and all their cronies.

Brian Marrs

Kansas City

Vote yes on tax

Regarding the proposed half-cent sales tax increase for funding medical research in Kansas City, I am disheartened at seeing so much contraposition to a choice that should be obvious to all.

Yes, the tax is being levied only on Jackson County residents, and a sales tax isn’t exactly the best way to fund medical research. But Children’s Mercy Hospital is a nonprofit teaching hospital.

Its staff members hold faculty appointments at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. It trains its residents. It is in effect a public institution.

Furthermore, the measure of every great city is not just having nice roads and parks but having great academic centers and hospitals.

Children’s Mercy is already highly ranked and respected, perhaps higher than any similar institution for several hundreds of miles around. People’s half-cent sales tax contribution would help propel the hospital from regional to truly national stature, elevating the city with it.

When you have a child who truly has a shot at becoming the best, you do what it takes to help him or her, instead of withholding support for logistical or ideological reasons.

Do you want Kansas City to be known for having an elite medical institution or not? Then the choice Nov 5 should be a no-brainer.

Nima Kasraie

Kansas City

Deal Saver Subscribe today!


The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here