Letters to the Editor

Kansas school funding, JE Dunn, firing squads

Updated: 2014-02-21T23:52:31Z

Uneducated choice

I’m not sure if I live in the state of denial, the state of stupidity or the state of Kansas. I’m guessing all three.

Gov. Sam Brownback is endorsing $80 million for all-day kindergarten a year after a court overruled him on cutting education spending. Invest in our future, Mr. Governor, not in your future election.

I may live in a red state, but I’m feeling pretty blue about our future and our next generation of scholars.

Gregory McAdams

Olathe

JE Dunn hypocrisy

According to The Star on Feb. 16, “JE Dunn joins cultural debate,” JE Dunn Construction wants to follow Hobby Lobby in picking which laws it chooses to follow and wants to discriminate against certain of its employees.

Hobby Lobby is dead wrong, but JE Dunn brings a new dimension to the argument.

Look around town and count the JE Dunn cranes. Then take a look at how many are on public projects. Dunn wants to happily line up at the public trough but not follow public law.

What hypocrisy and abuse of power.

Scott Gregory

Roeland Park

Embarrassing lows

Important issues like expanding Medicaid so more Missourians can have access to health care obviously are taking a back seat in favor of lame ideas meant to rally some fearful and ill-informed base as well as to potentially pad the coffers of special interests.

A recent dip into nonsensical waters and the financial wasteland is from state Rep. Rick Brattin, a Harrisonville Republican. His bill, HR 1470, would add an additional means for capital punishment to our state — firing squads.

You read this correctly.

Rep. Brattin has decided that alongside lethal injections, a firing squad would be a good means to dispose of people who receive the death penalty.

I have to wonder, firing squads need guns and ammunition. So which gun and ammunition manufacturers are pushing this inane and immoral bill? How much have these manufacturers contributed to Rep. Brattin’s campaign?

Doesn’t the Missouri Legislature have more important issues to tackle, such as increasing funding for schools along with Medicaid expansion? Once again, elected officials appear determined to be the best at sinking our legislature into all-time embarrassing lows.

Rosemarie Woods

Kansas City

Right-to-work bill

I am concerned that the Missouri Legislature is again deliberating the misnamed right-to-work legislation. Here’s why: I am a construction electrician and have been for 33 years. I don’t work under a union contract, but I realize that my wages are directly related to the wages of an electrician working under a union contract.

There is no question that if the unions are weakened by this legislation, union workers could kiss their future raises goodbye, and so could I. If Department of Labor statistics prove that states with these laws have average incomes that are 10 percent to 20 percent lower than states like Missouri, then why on Earth would wage earners want that?

In a percentage-based income-tax system, if workers’ wages remain stagnant or, worse yet, decline, what happens to the state budget?

The answer is we become Mississippi or Louisiana, where public schools are a travesty and huge percentages of the population are on food stamps, or like Texas, where millions of residents are on Medicaid.

No thank you. We already have the “right” that this legislation promises; the majority of Missouri jobs are not union.

Terry Akins

Grain Valley

Plaza incidents

I used to not even think about my safety when I went to the Plaza at night to enjoy a dinner or a movie (2-18, A1, “Plaza chaos ‘no longer tolerated,’ chief says”). Now, I almost never am at the Plaza at night.

The KC police department needs to do much more to make the Country Club Plaza safe again.

Anthony Mendolia

Kansas City

U.S. health care

Those who say this country has the best health care are nothing but ignorant. This is not name-calling; it is fact.

We pay more for health care than any other nation and are not even in the top tier in infant mortality. While we wage the hypocritical war on drugs, we are on more prescriptions than any other nation.

We stupidly allow a bunch of farmers, who by the way receive more welfare than most, to hold the country hostage. Make sure to hold those responsible at the voting booths this fall. Even though most have gerrymandered their seats.

Homer Glasgow

Kansas City

Reckless in Kansas

The Feb. 19 front page shares the tragic story of a baby found dead in a bucket. In the same edition is a story about the proposed legislation of Rep. Gail Finney of Wichita (2-19, A5, “Proposal would allow harder spanking”).

Allowing up to 10 strikes of the hand could cause redness or bruising. Not only is this proposal reprehensible, it advocates criminal behavior.

Teachers and caretakers would be allowed to violate a Kansas law against intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm and/or a Kansas law against intentionally or recklessly causing bodily harm to another person or intentionally causing physical contact with another person when done in a rude, insulting or angry manner.

Parents/guardians would be allowed to violate the Kansas law against domestic battery intentionally or recklessly causing bodily harm by a family or household member against a family or household member.

It is unfathomable to me that anyone, let alone a person of power and influence, would promote such behavior.

Rita D. Pearce

North Kansas City

Blindly follow Kansas

When politicians start talking tax cuts, I want to get excited and cheer, but the logical side of me knows better. The tax cuts the Republican leaders of Missouri want to impose are not for you and me but for the top wage earners.

This is something the middle class would be paying for in the loss of services and jobs for a very long time. That is not even the end of it.

Our children in public schools would pay the biggest price of all. Kansas is dipping into reserve funds because of the shortfall caused by the tax cuts pushed by Gov. Sam Brownback.

They have not produced the jobs he promised.

Before Missourians follow blindly the Kansas way, we need to do our research.

We want to improve education, fix our water lines, improve roads and take care of our children, elderly and disabled. I believe that is what Jesus stood for.

Maybe I am wrong.

Cheryl Millican

Peculiar

Make votes count

Like most senior citizens, we have worked our adult lives and paid into our entitlement programs to the max while raising a family, too. We, as U.S. citizens, have to make our voices loud and clear as we ponder our votes the next two years.

The Republicans are holding their meetings now with their fellow billionaires, along with the Koch brothers and most likely the National Rifle Association powers, hoping to gather trillions of dollars to buy the elections for the next two years.

We can only hope and pray that they waste their trillions of dollars again against the wellness of the 47 percent. We, the people, need to make our choices at the polls to ensure that our voices are heard loud and clear throughout the next two years.

Barbara Cook

Kansas City

Values in America

As a general commentary on the way citizens are governed in America today, it could be said the federal government maintains a burdensome tax code, encourages a new understanding of traditional marriage and spies on its citizens.

The words of English statesman Benjamin Disraeli, spoken almost 150 years ago, are more appropriately applied to America: “We have legalized confiscation, consecrated sacrilege and condoned high treason.”

Bob Tobia

Kansas City

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