Sales tax, evolution, death row

10/14/2013 5:43 PM

10/14/2013 6:08 PM

‘Little people’ to pay

We would all like to see Kansas City become a leader in medical research. But a sales tax to fund it?

What an undemocratic idea.

Kudos to Yael Abouhalkah, the League of Women Votes and previous letter writers for speaking out. Barbara Shelly’s Oct. 4 column, “Sales tax for research should be judged fairly,” sounded oddly like a chamber of commerce bulletin, never mentioning the basic unfairness of a regressive tax.

Shelly’s column used the word “region” four times. But this is not a regional sales tax.

Only Jackson County, one of the poorest counties in our region, would be taxed. So the benefits but not the pain will be shared?

I have received four deceptive fliers promoting Question 1. Where are the words “sales tax” on any of them?

The committee pushing for passage of Question 1 seems to be working from the playbook of that shameless plutocrat, the late Leona Helmsley: “Let the little people pay.”

Catherine Morris

Kansas City Science not settled

An Oct. 7 “Stifle this challenge to evolution quickly” editorial ends, “They don’t need to revisit a controversy settled decades ago.” This statement presumes there are no recent scientific discoveries with new implications for the questions of the Earth’s age and life’s origin.

We owe our children this new scientific information. Some of it is the direct opposite of what our textbooks state about ages of fossils, relationships among species and formation of Earth’s features.

Why are we not telling the whole story? I urge your readers and your opinion writers to consider published works from reputable scientists of today, not decades ago, about whether evolution can provide its own evidence or whether these new discoveries are disproving the theory of evolution.

For just one example of recent publications by scientists, see Bruce Malone’s book, “Censured Science.” Another excellent source of monthly scientific discoveries disproving evolution is available from the group Reasons to Believe.

The new documentary created by evangelist Ray Comfort, “Evolution vs. God,” is 38 minutes of interviews with four evolutionists and many college students at the University of Southern California and University of California-Los Angeles.

There are no creationists interviewed, only evolutionists. Not one can give scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution.

The science is not at all settled, so why aren’t our educators questioning it?

Anne Clark

Morganville, Kan. Propofol, death row

Since the death penalty was reinstituted in 1976, more than 1,300 inmates have been executed, which is about 35 a year.

It was stated that there has been a shortage of drugs used in executions. How much does it take per execution? The Missouri Department of Corrections announced it had a supply of domestically manufactured propofol but not whether the supply was sufficient (10-10, A4, “Convicted of killing a Good Samaritan, inmate is set to die Oct. 23”).

How much does it take to execute one individual? Medical experts cited by the attorneys for the inmates have said its use poses “a substantial risk of causing severe and unacceptable levels of pain and suffering during the execution.”

Isn’t this the same anesthetic that is preferred across the country in the majority of surgeries to eliminate “pain and suffering”?

If propofol is such a valuable product and is produced domestically, why aren’t we stepping up its production instead of relying on a foreign supplier? It seems like our drug companies could have a gold mine in this product.

They seem intent on coming up with a new drug for every other little thing they can, while this is overlooked. By the way, who pays the bills for these attorneys representing the death-row inmates? Hmm.

Kathy Lazio

Platte City Streetcar funding

I see where the federal government has just allocated $20 million to Kansas City for the construction of its two-mile frou-frou downtown streetcar line.

If there is “sequester” to reduce the growth of federal spending, this item proves that a hot fudge sundae is acceptable on a diet.

Jim Dingwerth

Olathe Coffin tax on guns

We’ve borrowed the word amok from a Polynesian dialect, where it means the same thing as it does in English: to engage in senseless and random violence, a murderous frenzy.

Now, if some young man wants to run amok with a spear, a sword or a pair of coconuts, I’m more than willing to take my chances.

Note that this happened in Cypress, Texas, a few months ago, when officials say at least 14 people were wounded in a stabbing attack at a Houston-area college campus. Some of the victims had serious wounds from the knife attack, but no one died. No one died!

Since the National Rifle Association refuses to acknowledge that guns create the problem, maybe the organization would agree to a tax on guns and ammunition — a coffin tax. With a coffin tax, the victims of gun violence could at least have funerals paid for by the NRA.

Each coffin could carry an emblem that said: “Presented to the deceased with love from the NRA.” That’s the least the organization could do because it doesn’t seem to want to agree to any reasonable restrictions on guns and ammunition.

Bob Cocetti

Raymore Bingham school use

A little more than 10 years ago, my business partner and I met with then-Sen. Harry Wiggins.

We started a plan to turn Bingham Junior High School into a vocational technical school, emphasizing hotel and restaurant management.

Developing a conference center with a 500-seat theater, state-of-the art kitchen, fitness center and possibly a community swimming pool would make Waldo even more of a destination spot. Sen. Wiggins was very strict about the point that no liquor license should be obtained.

We arranged a tour of the property, and Kansas City Public Schools told our group that if the property ever became available district officials would contact us first.

Now the so-called Repurposing Initiative brings five candidates to the public meetings. All of them want to destroy the old building. All of the candidates want to build another grocery store west of Troost Avenue. One plan was for Block Reality to sell the property to Block Co. for development.

Respect is earned by showing respect to others. Our plan should have been reviewed, and a real repurposing effort should be started.

Bernie Furey

Kansas City Honor flight lesson

On Oct. 2, I was part of the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. What an incredible and emotional experience brought about by the dedication of and resources generated by volunteers of the Honor Flight and the amazing response of young people and men and women who enthusiastically greeted us upon landing in Washington and returning to Kansas City.

There were tears of memory for those who gave life and limb but exuberant joy in the faces of young and old alike who wanted to shake our hands, perhaps give a salute, and always with an intense word of thanks.

The gift of seeing enshrined places such as the World War II Memorial, the Korean and Vietnam memorials and the Air Force Memorial, as well as the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Air Force Memorial and the tour of historic places, was special to each of us. Some planned stops were closed because of the government shutdown.

The Honor Flight organization arranged for each veteran to receive heartfelt and thankful mail from loved ones, friends and schoolchildren during the return flight to Kansas City. What a magnificent way for the Honor Flight to touch each veteran’s heart.

The country may be fractured by political power, greed, self and corporate importance and people ignoring the right thing to do, but never doubt the strength, grit and goodness of most Americans.

Bill Hare


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