Letters to the Editor

November 6, 2013

Professor bias, fleeing Facebook, E. Grey Dimond

As someone who has taught for 40 years at three universities and two community colleges, I can assure you that any so-called liberal bias among professors simply isn’t true.
Thinking students

As someone who has taught for 40 years at three universities and two community colleges, I can assure you that any so-called liberal bias among professors simply isn’t true. Yes, in general (but not all) sociologists might be considered liberal, and probably a majority of business professors could be considered conservative.

But to assume that somehow our students are all swayed to a liberal agenda as some claim, which in itself is hard to determine, is nonsense. Perhaps what some individuals perceive as a liberal bias is actually the fact that most professors encourage their students to learn how to think and not what to think?

We ask that students learn to develop their views based on balanced information and facts and not rely on others to do their thinking for them.

This is called an education.

Terry C. Rodenberg

Raymore Fleeing Facebook

I would definitely agree, as a teen, that we have fallen out of love with Facebook (11-3, A1, “Teens say ‘meh’ to Facebook’s drama, flock to other networks”).

We don’t use it anymore because it has become so popular and so crowded that we don’t feel heard any longer. Places like Vine, Snapchat, Twitter and even Tumblr make us feel as if we have a voice in a community, one that we can’t have outside the Internet until we’re “respected” adults.

Earning respect and popularity with our peers is easy compared to the years or decades it takes for the rest of the world to notice us. When that world floods our networks and causes all sorts of security problems that could blur the line between our online selves and our “inr” — in real life — personalities, we flee to somewhere safer, smaller, easier to understand.

There has been a longstanding, critical view of teenage obsessions with actors, bands, movies or shows, but most of that obsession is learning to express ourselves and our developing personalities and tastes in a safe environment.

So, yes, we are fleeing Facebook, not because it’s popular, but because we feel it’s no longer safe.

Natalie Nuessle

Kansas City E. Grey Dimond

I write this letter from the hills of rural Ireland, as far away from Hospital Hill as one could imagine. But my mind and heart are there, fumbling to absorb the news that Dr. E. Grey Dimond, founder of UMKC Medical School, has passed away (11-5, A4, “Med school’s founder dies”).

Only days ago, we exchanged e-mails concerning future collaboration with his wonderful assistant, Nancy Hill, on his biography. In March, we sat talking, laughing, around a table at his home.

I met this fine man in the mid-1980s as medical writer for The Kansas City Times, spending many stimulating hours in the cozy, upstairs sitting room of the Diastole Scholars’ Center interviewing him, drinking greedily from his font of worldly wisdom.

E. Grey’s achievements are multifaceted and will be written about and spoken of widely, not just around Kansas City, but in far-flung towns and cities, within the U.S. and abroad.

This artist-author-doctor-professor-administrator was great among men and will be remembered. All the people who knew him will rethink their lives. And wonder what they’ve done with what they’ve had. And probably regret.

And maybe do so much more with what they have left.

Sean Hillen

Donegal, Ireland Quixotic, costly GOP

The Republicans say they’re fiscally conservative. They want to save America money.

Really? Then why do they waste money trying to destroy Democratic presidents? They spent millions of dollars trying to convict President Bill Clinton of something, anything.

And, after persecuting him for six years, all they could find was a sexual peccadillo. Was that worth millions of dollars?

Now the Republicans are attacking President Barack Obama over Obamacare.

After it became law and was validated by the Supreme Court, the GOP wouldn’t quit. They’ve voted more than 40 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Has the makeup of the House changed so votes would change?

No. But each vote cost America millions of dollars. And did so even though the Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2012 that repeal of Obamacare would add $109 billion to deficits over the next decade.

So why have the Republicans wasted millions of dollars to repeal the Affordable Care Act? Could it be they hate President Obama?

I think they’re simply sore losers.

Suzanne Conaway

Kansas City Sweet manipulation

The tea party looks upon those who have not been educated to their views as welfare dependents, non-consequential government employees, entitled youth, immigrants or recipients of social services.

The question is: Where did these ideas come from, and how did the party come into play so quickly?

Before the tea party there was Fox News, with the likes of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly with their misinformation and stereotypical views of progressive plans to destroy the “white” daydream of the mythical 1950s.

So arises the uncertainty. Do we have a true grass roots movement? Or media manipulation of the uninformed, with the cooperation of corporate America?

John Nelles

Shawnee Transportation needs

It’s time for we, the people, to file a class action lawsuit against the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan. The sidewalks are poorly maintained up and down Parallel Parkway.

For lack of public transportation, people like me have to walk two miles to work, stand on my feet seven hours and then walk another two miles home on Saturday. I just saw a senior couple walking from Hen House down 82nd Street with a cart full of food.

There was no public transportation.

Rev. George Otten

Kansas City, K an. Voting wrinkles

With the strong probability of court action over Kansas’ draconian voting laws, it was disclosed that Kansas right wingers, led by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, are now planning to restrict voters who register under federal voting guidelines to only vote for federal office seekers. Everyone else can vote a complete ballot.

Silly me. I thought that you could only register to vote through the state.

But I guess it stands to reason that if you are a dictator you can pretty well do whatever you wish.

Michal Betz

Wichita KCI convenience

We just came back from vacationing in North Carolina and went through Charlotte’s airport. It was terrible.

When we got in at 9:30 p.m. we had to walk forever to get to the baggage claim and then when we walked outside for our cousins to pick us up, we couldn’t believe it. There were three traffic officers yelling at everyone to keep moving.

All cars coming to pick up people had to funnel down into one line to get to the curb. When we left a few days later we tried three security lines seeking one short enough to get through.

Do we really want this for our Kansas City International Airport? I really don’t think so.

We have the best airport to get in and out of so please don’t change it.

Ed and Barbara Lusk

Kansas City Cellphone hazards

Recently I was traveling on a through street in Kansas City, Kan., that fortunately has a 35 mph speed limit. As I approached a side street that had access to my street, but did not cross my street, I noticed a large pickup truck stopped with its hood just past the stop sign.

This did not seem all that unusual. As I got closer I noticed the driver’s head was turned to the right somewhat.

Suddenly, the truck made a right turn directly in front of me. I was able to get stopped.

The other vehicle had no knowledge of my presence. It turns out he was busy with his cellphone.

I found this out when he exited into a parking lot a block or so down the street and pulled in parallel to my street. His vehicle was some kind of maintenance truck and no doubt he was taking care of a lot of important business, except the business that mattered.

Tom Spath


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