Edward Snowden, Korean War veterans, ShotSpotter

07/26/2013 4:15 PM

07/26/2013 5:17 PM

Snowden’s patriotism

It appears that Edward Snowden has caught the attention of Washington, D.C., lawmakers on both sides of the aisle (7-21, A3, “The Grapes of Wrath”).

While ordinary Americans remain apathetic toward the National Security Agency’s spying on their emails, Internet searches and phone calls, Congress is beginning to recognize the danger of PRISM eavesdropping on Americans’ personal lives and communications.

This could be self-serving as many lawmakers would limit the program rather than deem PRISM unconstitutional by violating our Fourth Amendment rights of privacy and unwarranted searches and seizure.

Benjamin Franklin said it best: “They who would give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

I believe Snowden recognized this dilemma and made the difficult decision to expose the spying program.

This is not treason. It is patriotism.

Diane Mitchell

Kansas City Korean War vets

I noted during the news one morning that $48 million has been raised to complete the museum being erected in honor of those who died in the Sept. 11 attack on our nation.

I applaud the effort and was even able to make a small contribution myself. It is an honorable undertaking. The news, however, caused me to be saddened in considering the American memory.

Today is the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the fighting in Korea. Yet in those 60 years, those trying to remember the more than 34,000 men and women who died in that war have never managed to arouse enough public interest to establish a museum in their honor.

The only establishment making any effort to preserve the archival memory of that war, the Center for the Study of the Korean War, is in Independence. It has for a quarter of a century struggled against the apathetic effect of America’s poor memory in an effort to keep its doors open.

As we bear tribute to the ongoing moments and events that shape our nation, I urge everyone to remember those whose sacrifice, while now somewhat distant, is no less worth our memory.

Paul M. Edwards

Independence God bless America

We have enjoyed 237 years as a nation. We ought to remind ourselves that our nation was founded on Bible principles and therefore has been blessed by God because “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34), and God also says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12).

As scholars will tell you, the righteousness of our government is even patterned after biblical principles. Our nation’s framers got the idea of three branches of government from Isaiah 33:22, which says, “For the Lord is our judge (judicial), the Lord is our lawgiver (leglislative) and the Lord is our king (executive). He will save us.”

I am thankful that I can still celebrate our great nation begun by God working behind the scenes of our nation’s framers. As Irving Berlin said back in 1938, “God Bless America,

Land that I love.

Stand beside her, and guide her

Thru the night with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans, white with foam

God bless America, My home sweet home.”

Gene McCubbin

Kansas City Digital wallets

The Star’s July 21 article, “The new way to pay,” on digital wallets and mobile payments was on target and on time. We agree that consumer-driven electronic payments are mainstream.

But the discussion gets better. These payments are ideally suited for the needs of the financially underserved.

A group with limited access to traditional banking services, financially underserved consumers are paying the most to access and use their own limited funds. Given the comfort we all feel with our mobile phones — and considering that many underserved are uncomfortable or have limited access to traditional banking — mobile devices hold considerable promise of access to financial services that many of us take for granted.

Nicole Hinken

Executive Vice President

Financial Services


Leawood Shrink government

The ShotSpotter gunfire detector in Kansas City was funded by $720,000 in tax dollars. This money was secured with the help of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.

Granted, this is a drop in the bucket. However, this is the kind of thing that keeps the federal budget out of whack.

We have become a nation of takers way more than givers. Every congressman/senator talks of the bloated budget. Yet when it comes time to stand up and fight for what’s right for our overall economy, they stick their hands into the pot so they will get votes to get re-elected.

People complain about government, but when we need something we can’t afford, who do people run to? You guessed it, and afterward they start griping again.

Yes, there are many things we would like to have to make our communities safer, but we have become reliant on the government instead of ourselves. You show me one Republican, Democrat or tea partier who isn’t like this, and I will apologize.

Our government is too big and needs to be downsized. Our tax system is messed up. Why is it this way? Because we the people let it happen.

Leslie Christians

Kearney Guns, KC, divesting

I read the recent editorial (7-19, Editorial, “KC should urge financial disinvestment in gun industry”), and I think investments should be made in industries that provide a return for shareholders.

Holding gun manufacturers accountable for firearms violence is like holding GM accountable for drunken drivers. As for who is profiting? Well, how about the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

They seem to always be around this issue, generating protests and news. As for loss of life, perhaps a review of Mr. Sharpton’s behavior is in order based on some of the protests he has championed.

The problem of firearms violence is serious, and frivolous ideas such as proposed in the editorial help no one.

Most firearms violence is black against black. The situation with George Zimmerman is rare. A loss of life matters regardless of race or gender.

The Star is a better newspaper than this editorial. Please think about the content a bit before you stir the pot with more nonsense.

By the way, a jury that heard the evidence was not convinced Mr. Zimmerman was at fault. That alone should tell you something.

Bill McCully

Lee’s Summit Obama’s travels

I was so happy that the president was going overseas this summer, even though it cost us taxpayers. Then I found out he was coming back.


Joe Neuner

Olathe Foreclosure saga

We contacted officials at Wells Fargo, our lender, about refinancing last fall. They said we didn’t qualify because our value was lower than what we owed.

But they suggested that if we missed payments, we could do a loan modification under President Barack Obama’s Making Homes Affordable. So, we did what they suggested.

I then called continually and sent letters asking for the loan packet. After four months, I received it. I mailed it in. They said items were missing.

I overnighted the missing documents. Every few weeks, they’d call saying they need another item.

We were then stunned to get a letter from their attorney stating that they were going to foreclose. I sent a letter of dispute.

The lawyer said he would stop everything if I sent him $7,000. I owe only $3,000 in payments and late fees. I called Wells Fargo and said I could pay over the phone right then to catch up on my mortgage, but my payment was refused.

We are devastated and fighting to save our home.

The attorney general told us that the lenders get government money for attempting loan modifications and then foreclose on people and make more money.

Now we face being homeless.

Carolyn Kisler

Kansas City

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