Letters to the Editor

October 1, 2013

Keystone XL Pipeline, capital punishment, President Obama

I don’t get it. The same people who deny scientific evidence of climate change accept scientific evidence of groundwater depletion.
Cafeteria science

I don’t get it. The same people who deny scientific evidence of climate change accept scientific evidence of groundwater depletion. Can someone explain that to me please?

Neal Moster

Overland Park Keystone pipeline

You tell me how the Keystone XL pipeline is not going to affect the price of gasoline in the good, old United States. Republicans, Democrats, business leaders and labor unions all agree. I agree we need jobs here at home. After the pipeline is built, where will the jobs be?

A quote in an ad says, “Bring energy to America safely and responsibly.” But guess what? It’ll overload the refineries. Will the oil from our wells be first, and will this cause the refineries to shut down sooner because of the overload?

As I understand it, all this oil coming from Canada will go overseas. In the long run, I see this costing us a lot more for gasoline.

Russell Taylor

Blue Springs Common sense

President Barack Obama came up with the sequester plan and now blames the Republicans. Obama has given away billions of dollars in weapons and cash to countries that hate America. The Republicans come up with plans to cut the budget even though Obama will not act on a budget cut.

As an American Army veteran, I ask all lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to get some common sense.

Ron Erickson

Independence Capital punishment

Those of us in the movement to abolish capital punishment have ceaselessly cited the many reasons the policy is wrong: More recently, amid shrinking government revenue and renewed emphasis on cutting costs, the abolition movement has focused on the millions of public dollars spent to kill people who kill people.

What is the return on investment? Why are we still spending money on state-sponsored homicide when we can’t afford adequate support for public education, transportation and other crucial services?

It’s good to see some legislative efforts and audits to research and report the cost of the death penalty. Hopefully, in a few years the public and elected leaders will have the evidence to show we can no longer afford the expense of capital punishment.

Mike Schilling

Springfield, Mo. Government greed

I had a conversation with a man I greatly respect but do not always agree with. He said the greatest problem in America is greed.

I must admit I agree with him but not in the way he thinks of greed. Greed is normally associated with the private sector. The worst greed is governmental greed in the form of overtaxation. This greed hurts the American people threefold.

First when taxes are taken, second when the government grows stronger and third when our own money is used to oppress us.

My friend was indeed correct; greed is this country’s biggest problem. Our own government is stealing from us to lord over us more and more. The government cannot give you anything unless it takes it away first.

Joe Lavender

Lenexa October, food

Looking through my calendar of national observances, it appears that October is turning into “food month,” beginning with World Vegetarian Day and World Day for Farm Animals on Oct. 1 and 2, continuing with National School Lunch Week on Oct. 14-18 and World Food Day on Oct. 16, and culminating with Food Day on Oct. 24.

World Day for Farm Animals Day (www.wfad.org) is perhaps the most dramatic of these. It celebrates the lives, exposes the abuses and memorializes the slaughter of billions of sentient animals raised for food.

Recent undercover investigations showed male baby chicks suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death, pigs clobbered with metal pipes and cows skinned and dismembered while still conscious.

Moreover, a recent Harvard study of more than 120,000 people confirmed once again that meat consumption raises mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Animal agriculture accounts for more water pollution than all other human activities. A 2011 United Nations report recommends eating less meat to reduce greenhouse gases.

The good news is that our meat consumption has been dropping by nearly 4 percent annually.

Entering “live vegan” in a search engine brings lots of useful transition tips.

Victor Wing

Kansas City Peace dividend

Bring that war-spending money home to wage war against members of Congress and think tanks that have waged war against the working class and blue- and white-collar workers of this fine country — the people who made the U.S. wealthy.

Stop the insane spending on this war. It’s taking the U.S. nowhere and leaving a lot of blood behind, accompanied by dead and disabled American and Muslim bodies. War is reckless and wasteful.

Spend the money on:

• Creating new industries that cannot be outsourced by corporate interests, thus securing jobs for U.S. economic growth.

• Repair old sidewalks throughout this nation.

• Build biking/hiking paths in the name of safety.

• Take over the funding of public education to protect public schools from privatization.

• Take back the college-loan program to protect students from corrupt financial institutions.

• Save our national parks from corporate interests.

• Increase the minimum wage to $17.50 per hour.

• Let Americans have public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special-interest money campaigns because the citizens get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue.

Richard Heckler

Lawrence Practical U.S. defense

The city shouldn’t be involved in supporting a federal nuclear-weapons parts plant. The U.S. should have an honest account of the costs involved.

The nuclear-weapons industry, a 20th century Cold War dinosaur, is in decline. The city should instead promote sustainable industries that create many times more jobs.

Nuclear weapons are the biggest threat to our safety: Weapons of mass destruction can wipe out all life on Earth several times over. A worldwide movement seeking a treaty banning nuclear weapons gathered in Oslo, Norway, with representatives from 127 states, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, UN agencies and civil society actors.

In these times of sequestration, we need to turn to affordable, practical forms of defense.

Ann Suellentrop

Kansas City Insurance shock

I’m shocked and upset about a letter I got from my insurance company concerning an increase in premiums for our long-term care policy.

My wife and I took out this policy on Oct. 6, 1999, to help pay for our care and not burden our family and/or the state.

The insurance company is raising our premium 63 percent. This is unreal and quite a financial blow to people on fixed incomes. We have already paid the company more than $44,500 since 1999.

When we took out the policy, the monthly premium was $251.46. There have been two increases since. The new rate will be $536.86.

Was this rate approved by the state insurance commissioner, and if so, why? If the insurance company has been so badly mismanaged, it shouldn’t be able to penalize customers to such an extent.

I can’t imagine what this will do to many policyholders. Is the insurer the only company doing this? Is there anything people can do to help us?

This is when the people need really help from their government. Where are government officials when you need them?

Larry Bilotta

Kansas City Hartzler, Obamacare

Anyone closely reading Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s Sept. 30 commentary, “Ruining world’s best health care,” would believe she thinks all employers are like greedy Ebenezer Scrooge. Now that the Affordable Care Act is going into effect, she suspects employers will cut off their employees’ health insurance and lay off as many as it takes to get under 50 so they can keep more profit for themselves.

She doesn’t seem to have much regard for the “job makers” in our country.

Rick Martin

Lee’s Summit

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