Social Security flaws, zoo ID, logic of liberals

03/19/2014 6:57 PM

03/19/2014 6:57 PM

Social Security flaws

Medicare costs have gone up the last two years, and the things Medicare will pay for have decreased in what could be called preventative care.

Oh, to cover the increase in Medicare fees, we are getting a whole 1.5 percent increase in Social Security.

If in the late 1950s I had started giving money to a private company for retirement benefits and health costs and had paid in every year since, I would now be suing for all my money back. Unfortunately, this is not possible with the government.

What we need to do is form a group to protest the abuse of the Social Security system, including Medicare by our government. We also need to make sure all the elected representatives to our federal government and their appointees become part of the Social Security system.

Dennis Tabel

Overland Park Zoo ID

In Sunday’s Kansas City Star, there was a Blog Bit by Yael T. Abouhalkah (3-16, Opinion) regarding the free Kansas City Zoo day Tuesday.

This free zoo day was a thanks for the support of a sales-tax increase that residents of Jackson and Clay counties approved.

The free zoo day information did come with a caveat that reminded residents to “bring a photo ID.”

Isn’t that just like The Kansas City Star? It advocates and publishes the instructions to bring a photo ID to enter the zoo but is opposed to having to show a photo ID to vote.

Larry Dickstein

Lone Jack Logic of liberals

As a retired military resident of Kansas, I am often asked by my conservative friends why I am a liberal. The answer is very easy. Conservatives for the last 60 years have consistently been on the wrong side of human rights issues.

Starting with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, conservative, Southern Democrats voted against the act and then left the party to become Republicans. This led to the “Southern strategy” that has been employed by the GOP ever since. Fundamental to this strategy is a subtle, cloaked racist message.

During the 1970s, the conservatives opposed and defeated the Equal Rights Amendment. Today, they continue to oppose efforts for equal pay for women.

The conservatives are behind voter-identification laws that will block many minorities and the poor from exercising their constitutional right to vote. Their justification is a nonexistent problem of in-person voter fraud.

And who can ignore the conservative opposition to gay rights that is front-page news? Recently, conservatives in the Kansas House passed a bill that would openly discriminate against gays.

With this historical background, maybe the better question is, “How could you possibly be a conservative?”

Max D. Aber

Overland Park Religious intolerance

I had a nightmare. The Supreme Court ruled that business owners can impose their religious views on their employees.

Catholic firms no longer allowed Jewish employees to eat meat on Fridays in company cafeterias. In response, Jewish grocery store owners refused to sell bacon.

Some of the best doctors in our area are Muslim, and they decided no longer to treat patients who drank wine or beer. This led to Hindus attacking McDonald’s restaurants for serving beef.

Christian Scientists blocked the entrances to several hospitals. Some Protestants raided the libraries and burned all books on climate change.

Other Protestants terrorized women in public office because the Bible says women should not have authority over men. Kansas troopers on State Line Road required everyone wanting to enter the Sunflower State to sign an affidavit swearing attraction only to members of the opposite sex.

The American tradition of religious tolerance

turned to paroxysms of self-righteousness. The devil laughed uproariously because again, this time in America, he had used religion to divide people, sow hatred and fear, and get the government to do his work.

It was a nightmare.

Vern Barnet

Kansas City Raising voter turnout

People may already know that voter turnout in the United States is one of the lowest among democracies of developed nations. In the 2008 election, voter turnout was the highest it had been in years at 62 percent.

In 2012 it dropped to 57 percent. A democracy is supposed to be a representation of the people as a whole, and barely half the population is not a good representation of the people.

The issue of low voter turnout is one that I think needs to be brought to the attention of the American people. Although this is no easy task, it has to start somewhere, and what better place than in the new media.

If The Kansas City Star were to publish stories discussing the issue of voter turnout, then it could very well gain the attention of many readers.

The issue is a large one that will need to be addressed in more than one place. A good article outlining the issue of not voting and some solutions of this problem would be an exceptional place to start.

Mac Conge

Liberty Employee choice

With all the talk of businesses wanting to decide whether they provide coverage for birth control through their company health plans, the rights of the employees are totally being ignored. Politicians cloaked as Christian conservatives want to make the American people think we are losing our religious freedom because of health-care reform.

How ridiculous. What I see happening is business owners trying to project their beliefs onto their employees.

Which sounds more frightening: letting individuals have the right to choose what is best for them or having businesses telling individuals that if they don’t believe in something and the employee does, they will have to bear the cost as punishment?

The employer does not have to take advantage of birth-control benefits if it is against the employer’s belief. People should have the right to make health-care decisions that are right for them regardless of what their employer thinks.

It makes you wonder why the population isn’t greater with all these businesses professing not to believe in birth control. Could it really be that they don’t want the extra cost of providing the coverage?

Karen Bonner

Kansas City Forgetting history

If corporations are people, then it seems that the only religion that counts belongs to the people at the top. Therefore, I wonder whether they should begin to hire only people of the same faith, regardless of qualifications?

Should they perhaps fire people who have had an abortion or use contraceptives that they oppose? Should they — as the gatekeepers of morality — reinstate the Blue Laws for the entire country?

Should they start taking a page from the fascist playbook by disenfranchising and discriminating against homosexuals, gypsies and the mentally and physically disabled? Do they believe the Taliban have it right, except for enforcement tactics like torture and beheading?

It has been written that we are doomed to repeat history if we don’t remember it, but what happens if we suddenly have selective memory? Perhaps, in the end, the key word for this path is simply “doomed.”

Marilyn Schaeffer

Kansas City Traffic light slog

Interstate 49, still commonly known as U.S. 71, is a broken highway.

This is one of three major highways leading to the downtown area of Kansas City. Thousands of commuters use it daily.

What stinks on this highway is its cheap design. Instead of building overpasses at Gregory Boulevard and 59th and 55th streets, Kansas City placed three lights at the intersections. These lights back up traffic every day during the rush hours.

This route could be an excellent alternative to Interstate 35 but was designed so poorly that it will never work. These traffic delays will continue to grow, especially as downtown and Kansas City continue to expand.

It’s sad that the designers took this course, especially because this affects so many people’s daily commutes. If we are going to build highways, let’s at least do it right.

Joe DeMarco

Overland Park

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