Koch media dynasty, Kobach protest, banks

06/20/2013 6:26 PM

06/20/2013 6:27 PM

Koch media dynasty

The idea that the Koch brothers ought to be allowed to buy a newspaper chain so their libertarian views will gain a wider audience gives me the shudders.

Libertarianism, while seemingly favoring personal freedom and the entrepreneurial spirit, also opposes the idea of preserving the environment for future generations because that stands in direct opposition to unbridled capitalism. The philosophy is a watered-down version of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, which considered the pursuit of one’s own happiness to be the supreme virtue and opposed such things as antitrust laws, public schools, child-labor laws and government programs for the elderly and needy.

No wonder the Koch brothers like it so much. For those who believe and talk of spontaneous cooperation, you can bet that if the Kochs ever acquired a newspaper chain, they would not “cooperate” with anyone on those papers who disagreed with them.

The dissenters would be fired, and others more amenable to the Kochs’ views would be hired. So much for freedom of the press.

Lisa Gulick

Warrensburg, Mo. Pipe dreaming KC

It isn’t at all surprising that there are more homes reassessed for Kansas City taxes that have a higher-than-market-value estimate (6-18, A1, “Property value issues multiply”). After all, the city needs the extra money to build things that benefit all of Kansas City, such as the airport terminal reconstruction that no one really wants.

The new charter, with decreased neighborhood representation and more at-large members, is really essential — if the city is going to be able to support such projects that benefit the whole city but that no one in the city really wants.

If we really had neighborhood-level representation, the city could at least fight about things that really mattered to the people, such as fixing streets, keeping water rates down and reducing deaths from violence.

Could it be that, as with the airport construction, the City Council fears that if representation really went to the neighborhood level, pipe-dream projects that they say will draw outside people and money to Kansas City (and that usually do not turn out as well as promised) and that don’t benefit the ordinary Kansas City citizen would never fly?

Amrita Burdick

Kansas City Protest overdone

Regarding the protest march at the home of Kris Kobach last week, I do not agree with everything that Mr. Kobach says or support him in his position as the Kansas secretary of state, but 100 people going to his residence to protest by putting shoes on his porch and chanting over a bullhorn is over the line (6-18, A10, “Protest at Kobach’s home”).

This is his home where his family lives. What if his children and wife had been there?

Where were the Kansas City, Kan., police? These people should have been arrested.

That would have been frightening for his family and for his neighbors.Who knows what could have happened? We have all seen peaceful demonstrations turn ugly.

Shame on the Sunflower Community Action group for doing this. I know what it showed me.

Are these the type of people we want to give a quick path to citizenship to the United States? I think they just showed me what type of citizens they would make, and is that what we need?

Pat Rankin

Overland Park Investigate banks

I am disturbed, and so should the American people, about the Republicans’ investigation into the Internal Revenue Service matter and their call for penalties, impeachment and criminal penalties against those in the Obama administration when they have taken no steps against the big banks for their continuing violations of the law, criminal violations in foreclosures and violations of settlements on foreclosures.

It’s disgusting that the rule of law has been repeatedly violated by these banks and the Republicans have refused to do anything, but when their money is investigated by the IRS they begin investigating the IRS.

I’ve spent three years and more than 3,000 hours investigating the foreclosure problems as a former trial lawyer and having had my own problems with a big bank, and every day I see violations of the law with nothing being done.

Only Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is doing something.

So the question is, Why is the IRS the subject of such investigation by Republicans and Congress refuses to investigate and take action against the banks?

Gwen Caranchini

Kansas City Just holding hands

Across the nation, anti-abortion Republican legislators are trying to out-crazy each other in a vain attempt to define when life begins.

Arkansas now says 12 weeks, North Dakota six weeks and here in Brownbackistan, life begins at fertilization.

But this is too liberal for some Kansas lawmakers.

Rumor has it that in 2014, two anti-abortionists will co-sponsor a bill defining life as beginning when one man and one woman hold hands.

Pete Henderson

Basehor U.S. liberal spiral

While I was watching Glenn Beck on a recent morning, I had a sudden realization that our country is at risk. Our American people are asking for more liberals, homosexuals, atheists and, of course, terrorism.

I think the liberals’ weak response to many horrific events are resulting in a terrible fate for our American culture and such.

It has also come to my attention that the North Koreans are threatening us with their culture and anti-American tendencies.

I recently discovered a popular music phenomenon called “Gangnam Style.” This is possibly the worst thing I have ever seen.

Our young Americans are becoming slowly addicted to this anti-Christian/American junk. Please, if your child is listening to Psy, turn him off.

Mia Knowles

Leawood Fixing Congress

Our Congress and political system are in a mess. Here are a few suggestions I feel should be initiated:

• Congress must live within its budget. If our budgeted income and expenses are not met by 2016, then each member shall receive a 10 percent reduction in his or her pay.

If not balanced in 2017 and 2018, then they would have another 10 percent reduction in pay each year. The only exception to this rule would be if there was a national disaster some year.

• Corporations shall not be permitted to contribute to congressional candidates.

• All contributions toward the election of members of Congress in excess of $500 shall be published in the largest newspapers in their district and made available to everyone.

• If a member of Congress is dismissed because of a crime that person committed or another legal reason, then that congressperson should receive no retirement pay from the government.

• When leaving office, a member of Congress may not lobby or help to influence the votes of other Congress members for two years after leaving office. If this rule is violated, that person’s retirement pay ceases.

Don Yerkes

Overland Park Hillary Clinton

I see that former secretary of state Hillary Clinton is reviewing her options on a second run for the presidency.

Will she or won’t she? I guess that’s the question. I guess we will know when we see the smoke.

You know black is no, and white is a yes. I know that Uncle Joe will be glad to see the black smoke.

Lowell Davis

Excelsior Springs Dear President Obama

American mothers, more or less willingly, sacrificed more than 50,000 of their sons for the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. American taxpayers have spent billions of dollars on the war efforts, and they’ve not asked for a penny in return.

Israel has drawn a red line around Iran. Red means blood and debt.

You came into office as a peace president. I believe you can help end this cost in human lives and treasure.

Why? Because you said, “Yes, we can.”

I believed you then, and in spite of reverses, I still believe you can.

Herbert H. Wilson

Kansas City

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