Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Products have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to relieve them from compliance with the Affordable Care Act, claiming that their religious beliefs are being violated.
What may be overlooked is the fact that the corporations are required to comply, not the owners. The owners might have strong religious convictions, but corporations can’t and don’t.
Imagine if the owners believed exclusively in faith healing and opposed all medical interventions. How many of us would support their right to deny medicines, doctors, hospitals or therapies to be paid for by health insurance coverage.
The corporations in this case are not “religious” and hence should not be allowed to claim religious exemptions.
Dr. James S. Walker
Raymore Sending rail by truck?
I cannot understand why the initial order of 800 tons of rail for the new streetcar project is being shipped by truck (4-11, A4, “Streetcar construction maximum price settled”). According to The Star article, this would entail 50 truckloads coming from a mill in Pennsylvania to Kansas City.
Would these trucks return empty? If so, this would mean 100 trips to accomplish the job.
I have never seen a steel mill without rail access, and Kansas City is the second-busiest rail hub in the country. Both financially and environmentally, it would be a no-brainer to ship it by rail.
Why is this not being considered?
St. Joseph End gun violence
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the April 13 killings and their families along with the local Jewish community (4-15, A1, “Hate-crime charges likely in federal case”). Local government officials, including Gov. Sam Brownback, Rep. Kevin Yoder and Sen. Roy Blunt, also expressed condolences.
One must ask whether this incident, along with others recently, might have been prevented had these three men been supportive of stronger background checks for people wishing to buy firearms.
While fighting for the Second Amendment right to own firearms, have we forgotten the God-given right to life?
When are we going to realize that firearms kill and death is final. I again would suggest that we, the voters, begin to demand that the officials we elect begin to represent the voting public.
I pray that we understand that as long as we have liberal gun laws we will continue to experience tragedies in our communities.
Will we self-destruct before the hatred goes away?
Rev. Gary R. Charles
Independence College ball circus
I love college basketball, the University of Kansas, in particular. When did college ball become farm teams for the pros?
When the players enter college to play ball, most on scholarships, I think they should have to commit to at least two years. Maybe this way they would at least leave with an associate degree.
I think it harms the college teams from building a good four-year team. (Yea, Wichita State.) One and out, two and out, both are bad.
These are still kids. I do not feel they are ready to play with grown men in the pros. I feel it messes with the schools’ teams. If they are so good after one year, let them go straight from high school.
Leave spots on college teams for players who will commit for four years. Let’s return to true college ball, with true college players.
Olathe Metro North closing
It was with a heavy heart that my family and I made what we thought would be our final trip to Metro North Mall on April 14. I’m roughly the same age as the mall and grew up about a mile away.
I’ve got too many memories of it to list here. It’s painfully obvious the mall needs renovating badly.
The mall meant so much to me and my family that we wanted to be there in its final hour to say goodbye. We arrived at the entrance by the old theaters at about 7:45 p.m.
The doors were locked. We checked all the other doors. They were locked, too. We made our way into Macy’s, and the employees there informed us the mall shut down at 6 p.m. It brought my 8-year-old son and my wife to tears.
We weren’t the only ones who were upset. We noticed many other vehicles circling the building, trying to find an open entrance. I’ve since heard from numerous others who were told the same thing — that the mall would be open until normal closing time at 9 p.m.
I’ve got a few questions. Who made the call to close the mall early and why? The mall had been almost completely vacant for years. What’s another three hours going to hurt?
Did it not occur to anyone that people with sentimental feelings toward the mall would show up to say goodbye? We’re not happy.
Kansas City Shady public finances
Our society is rotting from the bottom up. I am not talking about legal abortion, entitlements, legalized same-sex marriage or sacred gun legislation.
What has me concerned is the way in which we now finance our infrastructure, schools, fire safety and police. You know, basic services.
States have legalized gambling, both casinos and lotteries, one by one, bringing in funds to “support our schools.” Now, Colorado has legalized marijuana, and other states are frothing at the mouth over the money that is bringing into Colorado.
While there may be certain benefits to legalizing marijuana, it also creates more issues for the police force, which is already stretched thin because of cutbacks.
What will it be next, legalized prostitution? Just think of the money that would bring to the state.
License the prostitutes, require regular medical exams and support our police with money the prostitutes take in.
Perhaps the taxes cut in recent years to buy votes have also sold our morals, our Christian ethics and our society.
Olathe Build subway in KC
All the fuss about streetcars and light rail caused me to rethink about a better way to move people.
I know that the subway rail system has been mentioned for use under the Kansas City area. If the powers that be really want to plan and build for the future, they would be wise to go the subway route.
Yes, it is very expensive, but it is the least disruptive in the long run. As I understand it, the Kansas City area, including suburbs in both Missouri and Kansas, has a limestone base. Limestone makes tunneling relatively easy.
Terms like streetcar and light rail seem fine on the surface. My problem is that streetcar seems a little too connected with the past, while light rail is still pretty heavy if you’re trying to lift it.
Why not look at a system that fits in any time zone, be it the past, present or future? Subways are one such system.
Lenexa NSA overreach
We need real reform in the National Security Agency. Edward Snowden’s revelations have shown a NSA that is interested in gathering information about everyone just in case it turns out to be useful in the future.
Mass surveillance not only violates Americans’ privacy, it creates an environment in which people are less willing to use or invest in American technology. As a software engineer, I’m concerned about the broken trust that America and the world now have about our technology industry.
People won’t want to use the online cloud service if they think they are being spied on without cause or legal recourse.
The solution to this is not to try to cover up leaks or to call for Snowden’s head. Reform the NSA so that it accomplishes its security priorities in a targeted way that does not allow for the growth of a mass surveillance state.
I urge my senators, Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts, and my representative, Kevin Yoder, to support the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 3361/S. 1599) to start reining in the NSA.
I also urge them to oppose the so-called FISA Improvements Act (S. 1631), which does nothing to halt the NSA’s bulk collection of American phone records without legitimate cause.