I cry foul
Once again, The Star cluttered the front page of a once-good newspaper with a vapid and remarkably non-newsworthy story — a few service stations that The Star deems to be less-than-good neighbors. (March 4, 1A, “Targeting ugly gas stations”)
However, this time The Star goes one step further and quotes a neighbor as being “p---ed off.” This use of street language did absolutely nothing to further the story, is offensive in many circles and shows a regrettable lack of class and good manners.
R. W. Scarritt
David Brody acknowledged President Donald Trump’s significant failings, claiming that evangelicals have voted for the “moral” candidate before without results. (March 4, 19A, “In Trump, evangelicals found their president”)
Brody says the Bible is “replete with examples of flawed individuals being used to accomplish God’s will,” as if this is a good enough excuse for supporting a president who brags about groping women.
But if the president achieves evangelicals’ goals while demeaning minorities and the disabled and fueling a political climate that leaves the country too polarized to have rational discussions, is that a legitimate, honorable and moral means to an end?
My view is that evangelicals’ almost singular focus on the right to life ignores a greater value — the right to live, providing for people who are disabled and cannot care for themselves. It’s fine to debate abortion, but there are more than 3,000 people with disabilities in Missouri waiting for services and many thousands more who cannot access adequate medical care without Medicaid expansion.
What is the truly moral thing to do?
Grab for the tax
Big-box retailers such as Target, Walmart and Home Depot are protesting that Johnson County stuck them with an average 85 percent property tax increase in 2016, but The Kansas City Star and County Commission Chairman Ed Eilert make it sound as if those stores are asking for special treatment.
The March 2 front-page headline screamed, “Big retailers in JoCo fight for lower taxes.” The story warned of a large potential revenue loss if all commercial values were reduced by 30 percent, but the protest relates to specific large stores, not all commercial property.
Along with Eilert, The Star is trying to scare homeowners into siding with government. Eilert said a large decline in all commercial values would lead to large mill rate increases for homeowners.
The county is trying to use a different valuation method to justify a collective $10 million property tax increase from those retailers. And if the retailers’ protest is successful, government still likely would get an increase — just not as big a windfall.
Blatant deceptive practices of this nature are a big reason that more and more people distrust government and media.
Kansas Policy Institute
I consider Mary Sanchez a columnist of a very high caliber (no pun intended.) I learn from her writing.
Her recent column on the NRA’s grip on gun reform contains real insights on the historical American affinity for guns. (March 3, 11A, “The violence of guns is real and so is our fascination”) This is entrenched in rural America, where I am from.
Sanchez’s reference to a Pew Research Center statistic that about 30 percent of America’s 250 million adults own at least one gun raises a question: If there are more than 250 million guns in the U.S., a conservative estimate, where are those guns?
I believe they are in the collections of rank-and-file NRA members. These people love and collect guns. My cousin has a large collection of shotguns. He is a typical NRA member. He does not commit crimes.
My proposal to the NRA: Start your own buyback program and store the guns in your own collections. You state that you are against crime. Prove it.
Troubled people make bad decisions and often need money desperately.
It would be a start.
A false charge
The March 6 editorial cartoon by Dana Summers attempts to show hypocrisy in the fact that police officers were guarding Sunday’s Oscar ceremonies, during which several people expressed their views on gun control. (11A)
Summers completely misses the mark in that those armed officers are trained professionals doing their assigned duty. No one would dispute the need for well-trained law enforcement officials to be armed in the discharge of their duties in this country. There was no hypocrisy at the event in this regard.
I can only assume that Summers would have much preferred that everyone in attendance be issued a firearm for their protection.
As a retired police officer, I can firmly state that I feel much safer for my family — including my toddler grandsons — when they attend an event guarded by police officers than I would should they attend one with armed civilians thinking they can handle an emergency with the same skill as a trained professional.
The inference in this cartoon was not well thought out.