Letters to the Editor

December 28, 2013

Action in politics, Robert Reich, First Amendment

Grassroots campaigns may not boast a .500 batting average. It’s true they are more often than not defeated by an opposition with far more money and political power.
Action in politics

Grassroots campaigns may not boast a .500 batting average. It’s true they are more often than not defeated by an opposition with far more money and political power.

But not always, as the Kansas City League of Women Voters president pointed out in her Dec. 5 letter to the editor regarding a proposed sales tax. Individuals and groups with competence and commitment but with limited funds prevailed with their efforts to inform and educate the public.

But it took hard work, energy and creativity. Those of us who often complain about government and our elected leaders would do well to model our behavior after these recent victors.

Stop complaining and take action by collaborating with like-minded groups, educating ourselves and others on important issues, and supporting candidates whose votes reflect our values regardless of their political party.

Diane Kuhn

Shawnee Reich is wrong

Although he is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a self-described expert on economic policy, Robert Reich’s column (12-25, Opinion, “Supply side views got us off track”) was disappointing. Instead of educating people on how to get ahead, he rants about the inequality of America.

Without rich parents or winning the lottery, one has little chance of getting ahead. The solution, he argues, is to tax the most fortunate, raise the minimum wage and reduce inequality.

I have never read so much bunk in my life.

Robert Reich knows better than anyone that the U.S. economy and the standard of living it produces are part of the larger global economy. Jobs are produced here when we compete abroad.

These jobs determine the quality of life for working Americans. It is not a moral argument as Reich claims. That’s a false choice.

Rather, it’s a question of what we need to do to prepare our citizens to win the economic war that is being waged in the world today.

We need to train our citizens, Mr. Reich, not confuse them.

Bill Ryan

Prairie Village First Amendment

The thoughtful mind may consider a University of Kansas journalism professor’s National Rifle Association twitter rant, a “Duck Dynasty” patriarch’s airing of fundamentalist beliefs or Kansas City Chiefs fans’ altering of the national anthem ill-advised at best. But if our nation is to benefit from prophets and rabble-rousers shining truth on society’s ills, then it must tolerate commentary from the ignorant and profane.

Our nation’s architects accorded freedom of expression an honored status by drafting the First Amendment into the Bill of Rights.

Shame on University of Kansas administrators and Kansas Regents for casting a chill on liberty’s first freedom.

Shame on A for knee-jerk reaction to a growing segment opposed to homophobia.

Shame on the Chiefs for what many consider willfully trivializing the national anthem in their radio commercial.

Rick Hughey

Overland Park Don’t blame guns

Gun-control fanatics enjoy telling us how many Americans have become victims of gun violence. You might not like to hear this, but we do not have gun violence because of guns.

Behind every violent act such as murder, assault, robbery and rape lies a motive. If you have ever watched a trial on television or in real life, you will notice that the prosecutors, in addition to trying to establish the guilt of the defendants, are also trying to establish the motives behind the murders, assaults, robberies and other violent acts.

This is what the National Rifle Association means when it says, “Guns don’t kill, people do.”

You don’t need a weapon to hurt people. You need a motive.

Where there’s a will, there’s as way, they say.

Timothy Johnson

Kansas City Shutdown memory

Children become spoiled brats when they suffer no consequences for their bad behavior. Although polls show support for the tea party is at historic lows, it is not clear how many Republicans support those politicians.

I fear that the irresponsible behavior of the few who caused the government shutdown will be rewarded. We must not let voters forget this seditious behavior.

Patty Nolte

Kansas City Ill-defined Obama

Have you ever thought about why successful companies use job descriptions to clarify the responsibilities of specific jobs? You write your job description and then place your help-wanted ads to solicit qualified candidates.

Typically, the more important positions are responsible for managing something, unless that something is chief operating officer of the most powerful nation on earth. For this position we have no job description.

We have no set of responsibilities and no mechanism to measure success. We do, however, have words delivered in mind-numbing speeches that are never measured against objectives.

This should be the expected consequence when the candidate you hire has no experience in managing. Do you think if we do this again we will learn we need a job description and candidates with management experience?

Jerry Greenstein

Overland Park KCI makeover

Now that Terminal A is being closed, why don’t officials at Kansas City International Airport convert Terminal A to a central security entrance, ticketing area and baggage-claim area, make Terminal B and C secured areas, use the current baggage-claim and ticketing areas in Terminal B and C for new restaurants/shopping and connect the terminals with a tram?

It would make the airport a bit more inconvenient for quick access to gates but if adequately staffed would not be much of a difference and solves the issue of adding new amenities to the terminals.

That would seem to me to be a lot cheaper than tearing down all the terminals and replacing them with a new one, plus the costs of road reconfigurations.

Steven Daugherty

Olathe Raise minimum wage

I want to express my feelings on the current minimum wage. Being only 18 (all young and wise and stuff), I recognize my $7.35 an hour (before tax deductions) isn’t acceptable.

For now, perhaps it’s OK. But in only a few short months, I will be leaving my warm, sheltered life to plunge into the icy waters of moving out and life decisions.

A “May I go to the restroom?” suddenly turns into “How do I take out a student loan?” Even saving wisely, $7.35 an hour is just not enough to get me where I want to be.

In response to “How am I going to pay for college?” I hear, “You don’t.” The idea is you hopefully use your education to get a higher-paying job.

But what about those who can’t afford college? What then?

The minimum wage is unlivable — especially for those I work with who live alone or have kids. What happened to the president’s idea of raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour, which still is not enough to support a family of three modestly?

Food stamps and Medicaid just aren’t enough.

Katherine Becker

Kansas City Womack woes

It is with great interest that I read Mark Morris’ article on V. Cheryl Womack (12-25, A5, “Defendant on tax charge pushes to leave country”).

I do not know her personally, but I couldn’t agree more with Judge Robert Larsen. She is indicted by a grand jury of hiding millions of dollars of income to avoid paying taxes. She is facing up to 10 years in prison and the risk for her to flee is too great.

I commend the justice system for keeping her in the Kansas City area and hope that she realizes that justice is blind to all individuals, no matter how much money they have.

Jim Dorothy


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