Letters to the Editor

Afghanistan war, border war, paychecks

Updated: 2014-02-10T23:00:05Z

Exit Afghanistan

Marcus Luttrell’s “Lone Survivor” is testimony to the insanity imposed upon Western soldiers by the elites. Nineteen American soldiers died on a mountaintop in Afghanistan because Luttrell and his men feared harming the Afghans who betrayed them to the Taliban.

They knew that under rules of engagement they could face life imprisonment.

That is what happened to British Sgt. Alexander Blackman when he shot a Taliban fighter who was heavily armed and had moments before been a combatant. But he was wounded, which made him untouchable.

Western leaders do not hold the Taliban to the same standards as our own military. Rules of engagement have killed and maimed innumerable soldiers while imprisoning many others.

It is time to exit Afghanistan.

Sheila Young

Hutchinson, Kan.

Actually, not

Is there any person under age 35 or so who does not use the adverb “actually” to make a statement or “absolutely” to answer a question? And many TV reporters, local and national, are also guilty.

I happened to hear the Fox News weather person recently and counted five “actuallys” in her one-minute forecast. All very distracting.

William Wood

Overland Park

Parting company

Let ’em go. In 1861, the Southern states seceded.

The election didn’t go their way. They felt that their states’ rights were being violated because they couldn’t nullify federal laws with which they didn’t agree. More than 600,000 lives were lost, and we still can’t agree on states’ rights vs. federal primacy.

It’s time to cut loose these homophobic, racist tea-billies and move this country forward. We’ll give them the Confederacy plus the border states minus Virginia. But give them Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.

Sure, they get sun, sand, beaches and the Gulf, but they’re polluting that anyway. And we have snow and plenty of it.

They have hurricanes; we have tornadoes. Taken as a group, their education system is abysmal.

They take more federal dollars than they give. Most of them have right-to-work laws so their workers make less, and their poverty rates are the highest in the nation.

More of their people are uninsured, causing our health rates to go higher. So, let’s just embrace the fact that we have two very different visions for America and go our separate ways.

Pete Henderson

Basehor

Heal thy paycheck

It’s no surprise that hospital-employed doctors refer patients to specialists employed by the same hospital. They know where their paychecks are coming from.

John Stark

Overland Park

Voting decisions

My vote in 2014 will be driven by my disapproval of Congress and my state government. My approval or otherwise for the president is not a factor, despite all the political predictions about his effect on my vote.

Kathryn Moore

Manhattan, Kan.

Unfair advantage

Regarding Kansas SB 304, I can see no benefit to the citizens of Kansas by forbidding municipalities from providing broadband services to their citizens (2-4, Editorial, “Cable providers want unfair playing field”). But I can see a huge benefit to the mega-sized broadband companies that would squeeze out the little guys.

As usual, the big guys are crying foul when they want to hold on to their advantage.

Taxpayers are not paying for this. Bonds are sold and paid back to private citizens with revenue from services provided. This service is another way to attract new business and create growth.

Please urge your state senator to vote no on SB 304.

Evelyn Davis

Wakarusa, Kan.

Growing wealth gap

A new report from Oxfam documents that the richest 85 people across the globe share wealth that is as great as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.

The wealth of the top 1 percent amounts to $110 trillion, or 65 times as much as the poorest half of the world. Clearly, the solution to this inequality is more tax cuts for the rich.

Brad Lucht

Kansas City

Developing writers

Kudos to Deanna Munoz and her fellow volunteers for helping young students learn to express themselves through writing (2-2, A4, “Creative minds at work”).

Here at The Writers Place, a literary arts center dedicated to supporting writers of all types and ages, we have found that mentorship is a powerful way to help young people from diverse backgrounds experience the power of self-expression. Our grant-supported Write On Poetry! project is a free, after-school writing workshop for 13- to 18-year-olds from area schools.

Our students experience in-depth instruction from professional writers in a nurturing environment away from their schools and neighborhoods. It is exciting to watch them discover the joy and power of writing.

Coming to The Writers Place opens up possibilities for them. We’ve had kids so excited for this chance to work on their poetry that they walked three miles to attend class.

We believe that writing in all forms empowers young people to find their voices and to express who they are. We, like the Hallmark volunteers, are pleased to be a part of that process.

Mary Bunten

Executive Director

The Writers Place

Kansas City

Marijuana strings

I do not object to legalizing marijuana, but I object to the use of marijuana such as driving buzzed. Should marijuana be legalized, its use should be restricted like alcohol.

Beyond pre-employment drug screens, employers do reasonable suspicion, random and post-accident drug testing. Some of my clients are mandated by their employers to complete treatment programs because they failed drug tests.

There is public discussion about drug testing recipients of public assistance. Legalization does not come without personal responsibility.

Johnnie B. Strong

MA, LCPC, LCAC

Addiction Treatment

Services

Kansas City

Abortion restrictions

The right of women to have access to legal and safe abortions was established 41 years ago in the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. This decision paved the way for a new generation of women to grow up in a time when a woman, not a politician, has ultimate dominion over her own body.

Unfortunately, in recent years there has been a concentrated effort to undermine the credibility of the court’s decision. Since 2010, when tea party members achieved significant legislative victories across the nation running campaign platforms based on job creation and small government, there have been more than 200 new restrictions on abortion access passed in state legislatures, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Many of these abortion laws require doctors to give out inaccurate medical information and are strongly opposed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Ultimately, decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy or raise a child must be left to a woman, her family and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor or health-care provider.

Wasting legislative time on restricting access to safe and legal abortions is not what our legislators were elected to do.

Mitchell Cota

Leawood

Legalizing marijuana

Legalizing pot is another step toward a society that is hell-bent on an “if it feels good, do it” future.

I have never tried pot. It frightened me.

I might just like it and I was already hooked on wine, women and song. This was about all I could handle.

The justifications for legalizing marijuana are numerous, but the tax one is the most popular.

Think about it. The tax would merely cover part of the cost of rehabilitation, lung cancer and other illnesses from smoking.

Also, I remember years ago when potheads on the Country Club Plaza had a petition to legalize pot. Unfortunately, they forgot where they put it.

Don Airington

Kansas City

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