Letters to the Editor

August 20, 2013

Guns, Egypt, Michael Brooks

Laws have been recently enacted by some state legislatures expanding the right to engage in gunfire on our streets. Stand Your Ground is just such a statute enacted in Kansas.
U.S. gun sickness

Laws have been recently enacted by some state legislatures expanding the right to engage in gunfire on our streets. Stand Your Ground is just such a statute enacted in Kansas.

It should be repealed promptly, leaving common law standing. Anglo-American common law, which is based on centuries of careful analysis of thousands of cases, is the fundamental, foundational law of the United States.

It is rational and allows one to fire on an intruder invading one’s home but requires one to maintain the peace and disengage, if possible, in the public domain where everyone has a right to be, and be safe, even if unarmed.

There now seems to be a gun-fancying minority, led by the National Rifle Association, who have reversed common law in this critical area of allowing, nay encouraging, the drawing and firing of loaded guns on the streets.

Letting a minority of zealous gun enthusiasts concoct deadly scenes on American streets, just like they fantasize from the movies, is a civil sickness, not a Second Amendment right.

Lloyd Hellman

Leawood U.S. aid to Egypt

Do we really need to give this Egyptian government $1.3 billion every year?

About 700 Egyptians were killed by their government last week alone, along with several thousand seriously wounded.

We, of course, are short on funds for food stamps for our own elderly and disabled. Please tell me we are not borrowing this $1.3 billion from China.

This is insanity at its lowest level.

Arlin Buyert

Leawood KC’s lost cash

Is there any chance the city could retrieve the $15,000 that mysteriously vanished somewhere between the boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Kansas City councilman Michael Brooks, the sexter (8-16, A1, “Kansas City councilman admits online relationship”)? Probably not.

It’s just another load of cash that disappeared down the sewer called City Hall.

People in the Northland feel we should be a separate municipal entity. Maybe we could save a little money.

Margaret Murphy

Kansas City Egypt provoked

I am writing in response to the Aug. 16 editorial, “Egypt is on the edge.”

Currently, I am an American living in Egypt, and Kansas City is my home.

I was disappointed in the level of journalism represented in this piece. It is easy for the West to judge Egypt on simplistic and often untrue information by defining actions as right and wrong rather than analyzing the complex religious and political issues.

The idea that the military randomly massacred peaceful protesters is just not factual. The protesters were not peaceful, nor were they massacred.

They were given several opportunities to disperse safely without force. Instead, I have witnessed, from my window, Muslim Brotherhood snipers shooting police from rooftops, setting churches on fire, tracking down and slaughtering Coptic Christians and firing at the military from behind barricades, hoping the military will fire back.

The extremists fighting for their cause are not only willing but proud to die for it.

I am not saying the military handled this situation perfectly, but I can say that this is not as simple as the editorial suggests.

Megan Highfill

Overland Park KC streetcar plan

The city’s cunning scheme to force its wayward streetcar plan upon the Kansas City community with a mere 300-plus votes while obstructing a citywide vote on a competing light-rail initiative may be coming unhinged:

• The city just lost the first round in the Missouri Supreme Court in trying to block a vote on said initiative, which proposes a new, complete multimodal transit system.

• The city’s nominal stand-alone streetcar line cannot be successful because not only is Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders’ proposed commuter-rail system, which was to feed the city’s 2.2-mile streetcar line, now on ice, but the city also has admitted it has no viable funding means to expand the minuscule streetcar line.

• Legal challenges involving the city’s streetcar plan are surfacing like toxic bubbles.

The city’s streetcar plan is unraveling not only because it is a poorly thought-out idea lacking citywide consensus but also because it violates the proverb that a good mechanic, or government for that matter, never forces anything.

Clay Chastain

Bedford, Va. Year-round school

People often wonder why we don’t entertain the idea of year-round schools.

Since 1980, many schools that tried a year-round calendar have returned to a more traditional school calendar year. There are actually several reasons.

Proponents for year-round school speak of the dreaded summer slump, during which students come back to school having forgotten what they’d learned, and say test scores ultimately might suffer.

But schools that have tried the year-round calendar have not reported an increase in test scores.

Another argument against year-round school is that family vacation time and summer camps would suffer if we didn’t have a longer summer break.

In addition, the cost for year-round school is significant. We can barely afford to run schools now on a traditional calendar, and I can’t imagine districts would be willing to shoulder an additional cost on an experiment that hasn’t been successful in districts that have tried it.

Finally, summer break is when schools make improvements and repairs to their buildings. To do that during the school year is very disruptive.

These are just some of the reasons year-round school doesn’t work.

Annette Bright

Overland Park Nice guys finish last

As I sit here staring at my pictures of George Brett, Hal McRae and Frank White, a thought occurred to me: Nice guys don’t often finish first.

I wish this wasn’t so. But there is an ironclad rule that pertains to life, to sports, to baseball: Nice guys finish last.

Dayton Moore, the Kansas City Royals’ general manager, seems to be a very good man. However, his win-loss record suggests that he is nice.

It suggests that he is soft. He is soft.

His cronies, his manager, some of his players and nearly his entire organization — soft. All of them have forgotten that the best kind of music is chin music.

It’s high time that the great fans of the Kansas City Royals were treated to some real baseball. I’m sorry, Mr. Moore, but you have to go.

I know that you have tried your best, and you have my sincere best wishes, but adios amigo.

Steve Bock

Shawnee Matching faces

I enjoyed the fine new film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” It does, however, make me wonder why filmmakers often cast stars to play real people they do not resemble.

Despite good acting, none of the actors playing the American presidents looked like them. Several had dissimilar physiques.

Woody Allen, my favorite auteur, does it the other way. In “Midnight in Paris” as an example, he used famous names to play roles that matched: Kathy Bates made a splendid Gertrude Stein and Adrien Brody nailed Salvador Dali.

For others, Allen found near-perfect look-a-likes to play Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Allen makes smaller-budget films, which is, of course, a factor. Still, Allen is able to use stars for fictional characters and for less well-known real-life characters.

For this fan at least, Allen’s approach is the more satisfying.

Larry Heffel

Lenexa Photo ID smiles

Here’s a very heartfelt thank you to the ladies at the Department of Motor Vehicles office on Parallel Parkway.

For rental purposes, my mother at age 96 had to have a photo-identification card. She did not have to wait forever. The kind people who work at the motor vehicle office moved her right along.

The customer service was great, and I truly do appreciate the work the staff does. Again, I applaud the employees for taking care of our elders.

Donna Fuller

Kansas City, Kan.

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