Letters to the Editor

August 1, 2013

Cat drowning, dangerous trash, Internet dependence

Am I the only one outraged by the man drowning his cat because it had bitten and scratched his fiancee?
Cat drowning

Am I the only one outraged by the man drowning his cat because it had bitten and scratched his fiancee? (7-31, A6, “No charges after cat is drowned”)

And to put the cat in a cat carrier and hold it under water is totally insane. What a horrible way to die.

Obviously, the man should never have owned any animal. Most cats are shy and like only their owners. Maybe the fiancee held the cat, and the cat didn’t want to be held.

Whatever the scenario, this is no way for an animal to die. Where is the compassion for a living, breathing animal?

May the man and his fiancee have a wonderful life.

Joan Flamm

Lee’s Summit Dangerous trash

Over the last two or three months, I have had many an occasion to contact Deffenbaugh Industries concerning being tailgated by their multi-ton trash-collection trucks.

This practice is not only illegal but also life-threatening, and I consider it improper because I drive in what is said to be the slow traffic lane.

Yet, though I drive 55 mph, they pull up behind me and stay there for miles at a time. I fear for not only my life, but I am usually transporting my wife and one or two of my grandchildren.

I have this feeling that I may not be the only person who has been in this situation. If you have been, or if you find yourself in this predicament, the number of the vehicle and the phone number to Deffenbaugh Industries are prominently displayed on the truck.

Call Deffenbagh and say you do not appreciate being placed in a life-threatening situation like this.

Any traffic-related death is one too many, but any that could be avoided is just morally wrong.

A wreck could be financially devastating to Deffenbaugh Industries, but perhaps the company does not care.

Charles M. Gonzalez

Kansas City Internet dependence

An airline’s computer problems this summer pointed out that all businesses that are dependent on the Internet should make backup plans in case their access to the Internet is down.

Our enemies are certain to be trying to do anything to jam the Internet, such as swamping it with garbage information.

Disabling the Internet would completely cripple our economy and would be the ultimate in terrorism. Plans should be made for (gasp) hard-copy operations that would be instantly available.

This would certainly be slower but far better than being completely down.

Bill Moses

Liberty Gusewelle columns

Whether Charles Gusewelle’s work is memorable, like that of another son of Missouri, Mark Twain, only time will tell. But one of his latest pieces underscores their shared affinity for members of the cat kingdom and an antipathy toward live animal experimentation.

In an 1884 letter to his nephew, writing of his household in Hartford, Conn., Twain observes, “Some people scorn a cat and think it not an essential, but the Clemens tribe are not of these.”

Twain was also strongly opposed to vivisection, the practice of medical experimentation and demonstration on live animals.

He asserted in a letter to the London Anti-Vivisection Society in 1899: “The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it. ... It is so distinctly a matter of feeling with me, is so strongly and so deeply rooted in my make and constitution, that I am sure I could not even see a vivisector vivisected with anything more than a qualified satisfaction.”

The reader is free to decide whether these shared attitudes are a reflection of shared talents.

Martin Zehr

Kansas City Comparable views

It is surprisingly easy and tempting to express one’s self (as I am doing) in this electronic wonderland about great and not-so-great and meaningful and less-so matters that affect us while the daily news is replete with what many consider throwaway items about hundreds of deaths and thousands of lives endangered in remote — to us — parts of the world.

Each one of those affected and, no doubt, thousands more not newsworthy in our frames of reference are individuals with all the senses, emotions, needs and expectations of those relatively few who, for one reason or another, are deemed significant in our popular media.

This is something worth stopping to take in and think about. This truth is important to understand in its own right without even the need to compare with our generally safe and comfortable lives.

Steve Sherry

Kansas City Immigration laws

The laws that now cover immigration would cure the problem if enforced. It is simple to identify the laws that will be enforced — follow the money.

If there is revenue for enforcing the law, you had better obey. The speed limit on the highway generally is not enforced until motorists exceed 10 mph over the limit. That’s when the revenue kicks in.

Traffic stop a person, undocumented, no insurance, no license, run them off — net loss for government. What is the chance of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service if you are lower middle class? Practically zero.

A homeless person who urinates on the street at 14th and Oak streets is most likely ignored. All others look out. There’s jail and posting bond after you sober up.

We have so many laws that you break one just by living. So pass another one and make us buy a permit to just breath; maybe or maybe not enforce that one also.

And for those who think the government will ever eliminate the IRS, dream on. It is the best and most intrusive information-gathering arm of the government that was ever created.

Jerry Jackson

Kansas City Closed schools

I have been walking at the now-closed Askew Elementary School at 27th Street and Topping Avenue for a couple of years. It provides flat places, stairs and inclines, which make for a varied exercise routine.

In the past, I reported an attempted break-in of the building and another time was stopped by the police, who told me they were glad I was walking there.

This summer during a walk, I was stopped by a school district security guard and told I could no longer walk there because of recent break-ins at the school.

The officer was courteous in relaying his instructions, and he told me I would be subject to arrest if I returned.

I have seen young people on the playground playing basketball and doing other activities. Will they also be subject to arrest?

Wouldn’t it be better if the school district worked with these kids and their parents to look for and report trouble?

Treating public spaces as private property relieves citizens of both their rights and their responsibilities.

Jeffery Humfeld

Kansas City Jobless struggles

I will have been unemployed for two years on Aug. 11. I am current on all my bills, including my mortgage.

However, it’s getting very hard to make all these payments. I have been in touch with Bank of America for more than a year to do a modification, and bank officials just won’t budge.

What am I do? I don’t want to lose my home. I need help.

We bailed out Bank of America. Now what about help for us? I know I am not the only one.

Bank of America is not a good bank for people who are trying. Because I am unemployed, no one else will take my loan.

Lorrie Curtis

Kansas City Manners, kindness

This is to the mother of the young man (12 or so, I’d guess) who carried my potting soil to my car.

Maam, I don’t know whether you told him to volunteer or he volunteered on his own to help this little old lady, but either way he volunteered with a smile.

On the way to my car, I asked whether he was a Boy Scout. He said he had been but wasn’t anymore. He added, “But I still remember the manners.”

I could tell.

Maam, I hope you’re very proud of this fine young man you’re raising. And I hope you’re proud of yourself for raising such a fine young man.

Suzanne B. Conaway

Kansas City

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