Memorial Day, North Korea, Gordon Parks school

05/23/2013 6:37 PM

05/23/2013 6:37 PM

For Memorial Day

As a veteran, it always warms my heart to see individuals and businesses flying the American flag. But it also saddens me to see the flag flown incorrectly.

With Memorial Day coming up, it might be a good time to review the basics of flag etiquette and for people everywhere to take a look at their flags.

For instance, I often see torn and tattered flags. If your flag is torn or ragged, please take it to an American Legion or a Boy Scout/Cub Scout troop for proper disposal. There are prescribed disposal procedures.

If your flag is flown 24/7, be sure it is properly illuminated at night.

These are just two of the etiquette violations I see most often that give me heartache. For more on flag etiquette and history, go to usflag.org.

Fly your flag proudly. Trust me, a veteran will notice and appreciate it.

God bless America.

Don Homrighausen

U.S. Air Force (Retired)

Overland Park North Korea fizzle

What happened to North Korea? Just a few weeks ago, according to the media, we were on the verge of a major catastrophe with North Korea.

The 15th of April was the deadline the North Koreans were giving, and then the 15th came and went, and nothing. What happened?

It would be nice if the news media would follow up on stories instead of just dropping them and moving on to something else. Some of us do have longer attention spans.

David Goettel

Independence Tornadic politics

To start, I hope the people of Moore, Okla., receive all the assistance and help they can get from the federal government.

I do wonder how many of the Oklahoma senators and House members voted against relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Sandy last year.

I also wonder whether they now have second thoughts, or regrets, for their actions. If not, shame on them.

Larry Bilotta

Kansas City Ratigan lawsuit

There’s something very wrong with a judicial system when a judge can block evidence and dismiss evidence against a bishop and a diocese by stating the evidence didn’t meet federal guidelines for aiding and abetting (5-16, A1, “Diocese settles Ratigan lawsuit”).

The evidence blocked would have included a letter from the principal of a Catholic elementary school to the archdiocese, written because parents and staff were concerned about Ratigan’s inappropriate behavior around children, fearing his actions mimicked a child predator. This letter, pleading for action, was sent in May 2010.

No action was taken until December 2011 when a computer tech found disturbing photos on the priest’s computer. The diocese still didn’t alert law enforcement. It relocated him to a convent in Independence.

On May 18, 2012, the priest was arrested. Child pornography was found on his computer hardware. On Aug. 9, 2012, Ratigan was indicted for exploiting five children over a five-year period.

Webster defines “abetting” as being supportive. Is there a separate set of laws for Catholic officials that I missed?

Carolyn Lee

Independence Crushing civil rights

I have to give credit to a May 21 letter writer. In his letter, he was honest enough to admit that he supports crushing the civil rights of conservative groups.

However, he apparently thinks the Internal Revenue Service needs to go even further to crush all groups that don’t measure up to his way to thinking.

One can only imagine what would come from him if his ox were being gored. Civil rights would suddenly become as important as liberals claim them to be.

Bruce Wendland

Harrisonville Obama gun show

There have been headlines across the country about the large increase in the number of guns sold since December. Magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds have been bought up as well as ammunition.

Hardly a box of traditional defensive ammunition can be found in stores. I know because I’ve been across our cities looking for it and have found very little.

Since President Barack Obama’s and his sycophants’ renewed push for gun control, thousands of guns, many thousands of high-capacity magazines and millions of rounds of ammunition have been sold. Yet, these new gun owners, along with the millions of current gun owners, have been good and responsible citizens.

With the increase in sales of guns, magazines and ammo, there has been no increase in gun violence. I guess all those evil guns and high-capacity magazines didn’t get the message that they are supposed to cause mass shootings.

What happened to the premise that more guns, more high-capacity magazines and purchases of ammo lead to mass shootings? Get past the theater of Obama, and again there is nothing.

Jack Cook

Blue Springs Gordon Parks school

Major decisions require conscientious evaluation, careful weighing of all variables and insightful consideration of the effect on all participants. The Jefferson City bureaucrats who concluded that Gordon Parks Elementary School was to be closed didn’t use those requisites.

Instead, they relied on a single factor: test scores, which are not infallible. The National Research Council warns that “an educational decision that will have a major impact … should not be made solely or automatically on the basis of … test score(s).”

The effect of poverty on children’s educational performance was ignored, as were the considerable efforts made by Gordon Parks’ staff to positively affect these students.

These efforts weren’t ignored by Gordon Parks’ sponsor, the University of Central Missouri, which had recommended the state issue a new five-year charter to fulfill “a mission that needed to carry on.”

The state did not carefully weigh the impact on the students, families and staff or the factors affecting the performance of children who live in poverty.

The decision to close the school was both capricious and punitive and shows a calloused disregard for the environments in which these children live.

Linda D. Roberts, Ph.D.

Independence Race inconvenience

Why do we have to have runs on Saturdays, blocking traffic in half the city?

We have two great parks: Shawnee Mission in Kansas and Swope in Missouri. Why can’t these runs be held in the parks, where they do not interfere with the rest of us?

Linda Smith

Kansas City AARP deception

The AARP sends out millions of junk-mail solicitations with “Second Notice” and “Third Notice” on the envelopes, as if the envelope were a delinquent bill rather than a solicitation for more business. This can confuse seniors.

They worry, “Is my AARP tie-in premium delinquent? I’d better send this in right away.”

AARP, shepherd or wolf? The practice should be stopped.

Ken Kelly

Mission Lee Judge cartoons

Those who protest the content of Lee Judge cartoons must be of a conservative bent and are upset about having their sacred cow attacked.

There is a solution to this: Don’t look at Lee Judge cartoons.

As for this writer, keep them coming, for although they elicit a negative response from some, most of the positive responses come from those who are not so thin-skinned.

This is Missouree, not Missourah.

Jack Gregory

Plattsburg, Mo. Blue River Road

Why has Blue River Road between 95th Street and Red Bridge Road not been repaired? It has been closed since June 2010. It is one of the nicest, most scenic drives in Kansas City.

Joseph Liston

Prairie Village Chiefs’ new start

New GM. New head coach. New quarterback. New players (drafted and free agents).

New season. New Nikes for the cheerleaders.

Go-go boots need to go-go. Be a leader not a follower.

Steve Hunter

Higginsville, Mo.

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