Letters to the editor

01/21/2014 3:59 PM

01/21/2014 3:59 PM

KU’s privileged few

In this era of Brownback Republican austerity for public schools, the University of Kansas plans to spend $17.5 million on 32 apartments for basketball players. That comes to $546,875 per college kid housing unit.

No doubt the kids will be flown in on the university’s private jet to enjoy chef-prepared cuisine in the athletics dining room. Could we also do something this neat for future geniuses of science and the arts, and for those future “job creators” Republicans so much honor?

Charles Hammer

Shawnee Helping children

Our grandson, Hunter, was in Children’s Mercy Hospital over the holidays. I was very pleased and surprised to learn that Jay Wolfe donates money each year to the hospitalized children who cannot go home to be with families.

The “snowflake program” made my grandchild smile and very happy. The holidays are for children, and this program makes a challenging time more tolerable.

We appreciate all of what has been done. Thank you, Jay Wolfe.

Richard and Flona Halley

Shawnee Illegal immigration

Imagine my apartment is in need of repairs, and I need a place to stay until thing are better. You are kind enough to let me stay in your home for a short time.

Several months pass, and you ask me when I am going to leave. I reply I gave gotten comfortable in your house and have decided to stay.

You respond that I will have to pay you rent and go by your rules. I decide that I will stay, but not go by your rules or pay you rent.

I will do what I like and present you with a list of demands that I expect you to meet. I see no difference between this scenario and that of illegal immigrants.

William Gray

Overland Park Herbert column

On Danedri Herbert’s column on Jan. 1, “Dining at the public trough?” she states that the average federal employee’s salary in 2011 was $71,206 compared with $40,331 in the private sector. Ms. Herbert suggests that federal employee wages should be frozen until private sector wages “catch up or surpass” federal salaries.

There are currently fewer than 3 million federal employees, or 2 percent of the total work force, and more than 115 million private sector employees. The private sector salary figures quoted in Ms. Herbert’s column include those of all the service employees in the United States.

The vast number of service workers in the country tend to skew private sector salary figures. If service salaries were to “catch up or surpass” federal salaries, we would be paying a minimum of $60 to $70 an hour to restaurant staff; sales personnel; farm workers; and numerous others.

Think about it.

Mona Glazer

Overland Park

I read Danedri Herbert’s diatribe about federal salaries. She argues that the average federal salaries should be the same as the average private sector salaries. Current federal job openings in Kansas City include pharmacists, medical doctors, nurses, therapists, contract specialists and social workers.

The fact is federal employment contains a disproportionate share of positions requiring higher education skills and certification compared to the private sector. The proper comparison is between federal and private sector salaries by occupational area.

Many studies have shown the higher you go in the federal service, the lower the salary in comparison with the private sector. This is not bad, however.

People whose major motivation is money should not be government employees. I’m not sure how you value those government law enforcement and foreign service personnel who sacrifice their lives for the nation.

Fortunately, there are people who value public service rather than wealth. Perhaps this explains why there are also disproportionately more veterans in the federal government.

We all benefit in some way from government beyond the military including Social Security, medical research, national parks and law enforcement. The nation deserves serious political discussion not the paucity of thought in Herbert’s column.

Bond Faulwell

Overland Park Jesus, the Bible

In reference to a Jan. 8 letter in 913, Jesus was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem, as in Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus the Nazarene. The story had to be skewed to make it seem that he were born in Bethlehem. Jesus was born of a virgin: even if so, but doubtful, it does not prove he was divine.

There are two differing accounts of the genealogy of Joseph, but because Joseph was not Jesus’ father, maintains the letter writer, these supposed genealogies have nothing to do with Jesus.

There were many wise men and prophets who told stories and informed the public how to lead good lives. Jesus was one of many, but said nothing new or original. His sermons and parables had been told for ages.

Those who wanted it to be true (Jesus was the son of God) took great pains to make up stories and fables that would “prove” he met all the requirements of the Old Testament.

And so it goes. There is no “evidence” in the Bible for any of the letter writer’s claims. For evidence, one has to seek reason and science.

If you study the four gospels horizontally, you will find that all is inconsistency.

However, it isn’t until we meet “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” in the New Testament that we learn of hell. It suddenly turns into compulsory love.

We are commanded to love the person we also must fear. It stretches credulity to the ultimate power.

Martha McEldowney

Overland Park

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