Letters to the Editor

February 2, 2014

KCI, health care, science and religion

The front-page headline on Jan. 29 said, “Business leaders decry ‘little league’ KCI.” May I suggest that these business leaders each should make a $2 million donation of their own money to help pay for the new $2 billion (with cost overruns added) Kansas City International Airport that they want?
Funding new KCI

The front-page headline on Jan. 29 said, “Business leaders decry ‘little league’ KCI.” May I suggest that these business leaders each should make a $2 million donation of their own money to help pay for the new $2 billion (with cost overruns added) Kansas City International Airport that they want?

James Wright

Kansas City Knocking health care

Some conservatives respond to the issue of health care by saying that government cannot provide services. That inspires the question: What are the names of three democracies where the government has no involvement in health care?

More important, how do the three compare with other democracies in health-care access, cost as a percentage of gross domestic product, health outcome and satisfaction with health-care services?

The first problem is that a minority profits from health-care price gouging, and that group spends a lot of money lobbying the government and on propaganda.

The first problem is aggravated by conservatives who are more concerned with demonizing the government than with health care.

The last problem: I have looked up which countries get the best bang out of their health-care expenditures. Those countries usually have the majority of their citizens on their version of Medicare.

Theodore J. Sturgeon

Olathe Name-calling no-no

I have heard one too many times that Democrats are communists or socialists, and frankly I am sick and tired of people who feel free to demean and insult others who do not agree with their narrow way of thinking.

I am a Democrat and have been for many years and am proud of it.

I am not a communist or socialist, nor do I in any way support any type of government other than democracy. This, after all, is a free country, and one is entitled to one’s own opinion.

Because I believe that one should show compassion to, and be willing to help, others who are struggling with problems that many of us do not know even exist does not mean I am a communist.

Because I think that immigrants who come to this country looking for a decent standard of living should not be summarily sent back to their countries of origin because they are willing to work at jobs that many of our over-privileged young people turn up their noses at does not make me un-American.

My immigrant ancestors came to this country in 1630 and were equally unwelcome.

Grace Borgmeyer

Kansas City Science, religion

Are science and religion really in conflict, or do they support each other? No person has explored this question with greater skill than Ian G. Barbour, who died late last year at the age of 90.

His books, especially “Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues,” comprehensively examine issues such as astronomy, evolution, quantum mechanics and human nature.

He took a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago and an advanced theological degree from Yale. In 1999, he won the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, often compared to the Nobel Peace Prize.

The year Barbour’s “Issues in Science and Religion” was published, I began working my way through graduate theological studies at the University of Chicago by running errands for scientists there, and the awe I felt from the interplay of these two fields leads me to write this tribute to Barbour.

Folks with inadequate backgrounds in science and religion (that is, most of us) can penetrate the mysteries of science and faith a little more deeply because of Barbour’s work.

Vern Barnet

Kansas City Religious exception

If Kansas Rep. Charles Macheers and other shortsighted lawmakers would have strengthened Sharia Law, rather than ban it, we surely would not have a gay marriage problem in Kansas (1-29, A4, “Response to gay marriage”).

Their proposed religious exception law would make it possible to refuse gay people on religious grounds, as people might do under Sharia Law. Oh, wait, they banned anyone from practicing Sharia Law.

Oh, the irony.

Michael Henry

Kansas City Bad GOP bills

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican, in a recent newsletter of hers, is hoping for the passage of a few “sensible” Republican-sponsored bills. These bills should not be passed.

HR 1406 is misleading.

The Working Families Flexibility Act gives all the power to the employer/company and keeps the middle-class working guy at the mercy of the employer. It is supposed to give workers comp time instead of overtime for extra hours worked so they can spend time with their families.

Well, some of the pay for these workers is so low they want the overtime to make extra money. You won’t get that choice. You will get comped and then told when you can use it at the employer’s discretion — no overtime.

HR 1582 would take power away from the Environmental Protection Agency because Republicans think it’s unfair that the EPA regulates pollution runoff from ships, landfill methane emissions and formaldehyde emissions from particle board and plywood.

Why would we not regulate these dangerous chemicals?

Greed. The five-year farm bill would continue to give a safety net to farmers (subsidies/welfare) by cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. Is that fair?

Vicky, you represent all Americans, not just big business.

Karen Zentz

Raymore Merry-go-round

I remember when the carnival would come to town, hot dogs were a nickel, hamburgers a dime and ice cream cones were three dips for a nickel. Sound cheap?

No. Dad hired three carpenters to help rebuild a burned-down barn for one dollar each for a 10-hour day, or 10 cents an hour. Mom did cook dinner for them.

I remember one year hot dogs went to a dime. Dad wouldn’t pay it, although I did get to ride the merry-go-round that year.

Compare prices today. Same proportion.

The poor are still poor; the rich are still rich. That will not change.

You just get to handle more money. Tax people love that.

Glenn Pilcher

Shawnee Football injuries

I’m sure now that Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles has suffered a concussion or two this past season that he’ll be hanging up his helmet and moving on to something else that’s safer.

It’s too bad that Jovan Belcher didn’t have the opportunity to know about the consequences of repeated head trauma. If he had, there’s no doubt he would have promptly made the decision to end his career and fall back on his solid college education.

The hypocrisy of football players regarding concussions is blatant.

They take a don’t ask, don’t tell attitude with their coaches so they can play as long as possible for millions of dollars per year, and then turn around and sue their teams and the National Football League for millions of dollars more, saying they weren’t told about the risks.

Players aren’t going to give up football, no matter what the dangers are. They’re making too much money, and most don’t have any other training or skills as options.

Please spare us the grief.

Terry Clevenger

Leawood U.S. cuts to poor

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., who would slice the many billions of dollars from the farm bill for the food stamp program should hope there won’t some day come a reckoning.

Those fine chaps could do well to read Proverbs 21:13 in their Bibles, if in fact they should have access to one.

To wit: “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard.”

Jimmie L. Van Bibber

Independence Lessons for children

My mother was shoveling her driveway on a Sunday when a young man and his children took over and finished the job. They refused to take payment.

The father said he was teaching his children good life lessons.

Mom says, “Oh, for more fathers to be concerned for their children’s formation.”

William Marshall III

Kansas City

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