Letters to the Editor

February 8, 2014

Egg lawsuit, minimum wage, concussions

I am disappointed that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is wasting tax dollars to challenge laws on the humane treatment of animals.
Egg consequences

I am disappointed that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is wasting tax dollars to challenge laws on the humane treatment of animals (2-2, A1, “Missouri enlists in the egg wars”).

It’s bad enough Missouri is known as the puppy mill capital of the country. Now we’re going to be known as the state that doesn’t want farm animals to have the right to turn around in their cramped cages.

The least we can do is to make their deplorable factory-farm lives a little more comfortable before they are slaughtered for food.

If Koster succeeds in telling California that it can’t have state laws on animal welfare and food safety, it could jeopardize other state laws here in Missouri and across the country. What about Missouri’s law requiring labeling and container sterilization for the sale of alcohol?

What about our law setting humane standards for the care of dogs raised in puppy mills? What about all of the states that set conditions on the testing of

livestock for brucellosis, tuberculosis and other dangerous diseases, or making sure firewood is free of pests before it’s imported?

If Koster is saying that states do not have the right to pass their own laws, we’d better be prepared for the unintended consequences.

Kathleen Kastner

Kansas City Minimum wage

Minimum-wage increases are unlikely to push up the cost of a burger. A recent University of Kansas student study found that McDonald’s could double all employee salaries, including the salary of the prior McDonald’s CEO, by raising the cost of a Big Mac just 68 cents.

In the midst of crocodile-tear concern about minimum-wage increases, the CEO of McDonald’s last year received triple his prior salary — $13.8 million, up from the measly $4.1 million he got in 2011.

As the recent (infamous) money-management advice site for fast-food workers indicated: to survive financially, it is expected that fast-food workers have two jobs, not pay heating bills, sell their Christmas presents on eBay and not eat out. That is, they are not expected to be able to purchase the food they prepare or serve on the wages they receive.

CEOs are unlikely to head to the nearest fast-food place for luncheon meetings. Why not stimulate the economy by sharing more of the company’s money with people who might actually buy the product it produces?

Amrita Burdick

Kansas City Unreal numbers

Let’s see, almost every time I pick up a newspaper or listen to the television I hear frightening reports about the housing market and the millions of honest citizens who have been victims of the Great Recession.

Yet, looking at my tax bills for the past 10 years, I see that my property taxes have risen nine times and decreased one time.

Interesting is the fact that the one time my taxes went down, it was $1.45. How on earth does the county figure that the value of my home actually decreased?

In questioning the assessment, I am always told that the value of my home will be determined in two or three months and nothing can be done before then. Incidentally, I am paying the wages of these county staffers and I am always surprised and saddened by the way they treat a senior citizen.

But, accepting the word of these individuals, I am guessing that the value of my home has increased 300 to 400 percent. Please let me know of names of some potential buyers, and I will gladly sell for the new figure.

Tim A. Lesley

Independence Football head hits

Most young athletes are eager to sign contracts for large sums of money to play professional football. Most are trained to play aggressively.

Hard hits are allowed and encouraged. For many years we’ve seen players stop the opponent with helmet-to-helmet blows. Injured players continued to play unless they were unconscious or play was stopped. The NFL has ruled that helmet-to-helmet hits are now illegal and result in a penalty.

The history of the resulting injuries is well known; doctors and the news media discuss the subject time and again.

Now we see football players and/or their families filing lawsuits against the NFL or whomever they believe responsible for their head injuries.

Players must know the risks while negotiating and signing big-dollar contracts.

Currently, family members of a deceased player are filing lawsuits against his former team, stating that the coaches should have been aware of this player’s deteriorating mental health.

Why were his own family members not aware of his mental condition? Are these lawsuits based on need or greed?

Maybe some of the big dollars the players earned should have been put aside for future needs.

Rebekah Silkiner

Leawood Snowblowing angel

Early in the morning, after the last three snows, we heard the roar of a snowblower and looked out at our driveway, and it was our neighbor, Michael Lazar, snowblowing our driveways.

Again on the evening of the big snow, we heard the sound of a snowblower, and, yes, it was Michael. He made sure the walkway and porch were also clean on each visit.

He refused any compensation. He doesn’t live next door.

He lives half-block away down a steep hill from us. This is a true act of kindness.

Thank you, Michael.

Art and Barb Pfaff

Rich and Mary


Gladstone Youths, Obamacare

Concerning young people and their place in the Affordable Care Act, I personally think that the younger, healthier population should not be forced to buy into a health-care plan that does not concern them.

First of all, not all 18-to-34-year-olds qualify for subsidies.

Making more than $26,500 a year disqualifies young Americans from receiving subsidies. Another, more important, point is that we live in the United States, a country founded on the principles of freedom.

If we can’t choose whether we want to pay for health care that we may or may not even use, then what’s the point of even living in America?

Nick Robison

Overland Park Sure, blame Bush

This is in response to the people who ask whether there is any way we can blame former President George W. Bush for Obamacare. Certainly.

If Bush hadn’t disgusted everyone so much with his performance as the leader of the United States and the free world, Barack Obama might not have gotten into the office, and there wouldn’t have been any Obamacare — at least not by that name.

Michael Bayne

Overland Park Karzai’s arrogance

Would someone explain to me how the president of Afghanistan can demand anything from the United States of America?

This is an insult to all the soldiers who have died in that country and to their families (2-4, A1, “Secret Taliban contact irks U.S.”).

Let’s tell President Barack Obama and our Congress to pull every American out now and not at the end of 2014. Do it now.

Tell that egotistical Afghan President Hamid Karzai now.

Carolyn Crone

Kansas City Kudos to The Star

After shoveling my drive three times on Feb. 4, I shoveled once more in the morning to get the Feb. 5 edition of The Kansas City Star. I thought it was ironic that the page-one headline read, “Winter blast stalls KC.”

I guess the storm stalled everything except the paper delivering the news. I thought personal service had passed away in the early 1980s, about the time bar codes were placed on products for sale.

The street in front of my home when I reached my paper held about a foot of pristine, unplowed snow.

My first job in the 1960s was throwing The Kansas City Star from the back of a converted Chrysler station wagon. I know how hard it is to do this job. My hands would crack after scrubbing off the ink with Ajax.

I have never met my carrier, but I wanted to say thank you for your above-and-beyond effort in getting The Star out on Feb. 5.

I rarely take the time to write letters of accolade, but this time it is fully earned.

Wayne Kozak

Overland Park

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