Letters to the Editor

October 18, 2013

Immigration reform, sales tax question, Maryville horror

Strangers in a strange land. They don’t speak the language; they don’t know the customs.
Immigration reform

Strangers in a strange land. They don’t speak the language; they don’t know the customs.

They are foreigners through and through. They’re at the mercy of the citizens of this land, who consider them suspicious.

Yet these strangers do not consider returning to their old country. Why not? Because they seek a better country, a country without fear where they can live in peace and raise their families.

Who are these people? They sound like the immigrants in our country today, those who came with permission and those who did not.

But this is ancient immigration history. The Bible records this as the experience of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Hebrews 11:8-16).

The plight of immigrants in this country should resonate with Christians. Immigrants remind Christians that we, too, are strangers in a strange land. We long for our heavenly home, considering ourselves foreigners in this world.

Shouldn’t our immigration laws extend respect and compassion to the people who are earthly reminders of our spiritual pilgrimage?

We want to be treated with compassion and respect in this world. That’s why Christians must contact their Congress members to demand compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform.

Bill Niffen

Liberty Anti-gun rhetoric

Anti-Second Amendment letter writers, please check with federal, state and local prosecutors. Ask them just one question: “How many National Rifle Association members are in prison on firearms-related matters?”

The answer probably is none.

Anti-gun letter writers should be sure they have their data correct before they share their biased effuse.

Roger R. Bisby

Independence Sales tax question

It is surprising that nowhere in the ongoing dialogue on the proposed half-cent sales tax for medical research has there been mention of the Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at the University of Kansas, known at KU as the Frontiers Program. This institute is less than five miles from the proposed site of the translational research institute on Hospital Hill.

During 2012 and 2013, the KU institute received $8.1 million through the Clinical and Translational Science Award program of the National Institutes of Health. The Clinical and Translational Science Award program has funded 60 translational medicine research centers in 30 states.

This National Institutes of Health program was launched in 2006 with the objectives to “create academic homes for clinical and translational research, provide investigators and research teams with research cores, tools and local environment that encourages and facilitates the conduct of clinical translational research, including with community and industry partners, train the scientific workforce needed for the translational sciences.”

Sounds much like the proposal now being considered for funding by Jackson County voters. On the one hand, this demonstrates that funding is available; on the other, it raises many new questions about the current proposal.

Linda Vogel Smith

Parkville Poor representation

Could Reps. Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler and Kevin Yoder please explain to their constituents how their votes against ending the shutdown and avoiding the default of the U.S. government helped their districts? All of them talk about growing the economy and the creation of jobs, but if their votes had been successful most economists agree the result would have been disastrous for the country.

They need to please explain this to their districts. It appears to me that all of them have completely forgotten, or just ignored, the vast majority who wanted this mess resolved.

It is obvious who they actually represent, and it is certainly not the retired, the working class or the indigent. I dread the middle of January when, with their continued resistance, we’ll go through the same insane process.

No wonder the approval rating for Congress is less than 10 percent.

Robert Duncan

Lee’s Summit Maryville horror

Thank you for publicizing the outrageous and shameful miscarriage of justice in Maryville (10-13, A1, “Nightmare in Maryville”).

Those who are willing to sexually victimize children and those who re-victimize children in social media should be exposed. A criminal-justice system that allows child rape and endangerment to go unpunished should be exposed.

I realize there is little hope that the guilty parties will recognize themselves and understand the damage they have caused. But perhaps we, as a society, will discuss these situations with our sons and daughters and teach them to stand up and stop sexual violence instead of filming it for Facebook.

Let’s talk to our kids about the danger of mixing sex and alcohol. Let’s make sure they understand that consent is impossible when one is intoxicated.

Let’s stop blaming, shaming and abusing victims. We owe that much to Daisy, we owe that to the Coleman family and we owe it to our kids.

Jennifer Blanck

Kansas City Connection charges

I received my Time Warner cable bill and see the company added a $3.95 monthly fee for the Internet modem that I have had for years. The real cost is $4.33 when you add in taxes.

When I questioned the company, the person said a post card was sent five months ago. I never got it.

AT did something similar by adding a 63-cent administrative charge per line on cellphone bills. The company must think that by calling it something else we will not realize it is a new form of revenue.

This is on top of all the other tricks they both have used to make us pay more for the same service. Some state attorney generals are looking at this as possible fraud. Let’s hope Kansas will do the same.

Remember when the phone company leased you a phone?

Time Warner will allow you to buy a modem, but it’s hard to get around other fees. Since implementing this fee last year in other states, the company has raised the modem fee to $5.99 a month.

I am sure that at this time next year we will be paying the same.

Jeff Kocen

Overland Park France, right tilt

It is worth reading William L. Shirer’s “The Collapse of the Third Republic.” It describes the political paralysis in France between the world wars.

Basically, people on the right always hated this post-1870 constitution. They would have preferred a monarchy controlled by them.

It would be as if some wanted our Constitution rolled back to its original form with slavery, disenfranchised women and much of the government controlled by appointments and thus denying the popular vote. In short, these Frenchmen would support the conservative members of our Supreme Court.

They corrupted the government to secure subsidies, special tax treatment, lucrative no-bid contracts and hereditary cash entitlements through the monopolistic privatization of public assets and services. They then pointed to this corruption to damn “the system.”

The right did all it could to tie the government into knots by abusing parliamentary rules. One fringe group actually ran on the platform of always voting no. It secured enough seats to play a crucial role on some issues.

Once Germany conquered France, Germany occupied most of the urban and industrial areas and the Atlantic Coast. The Vichy state included most conservative rural areas.

Here, as in red states, “family values” were championed while voting was squashed, the poor damned, education cut and the wealthy succored at public expense.

Thomas Stroud

Overland Park

Exciting Chiefs win

Unbelievable as it was, watching the Chiefs win their first game at Arrowhead Stadium this season was exciting because as far as I could see they showed me nothing in preseason to even suspect that such an ending could be possible. Watching the team’s outstanding, incredible victories has been totally unbelievable.

Go Chiefs.

Peg Smith

Kansas City

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