Kansas is facing a huge budget crisis, but the governor and the attorney general continue to waste money on a battle they will ultimately lose. Why not go ahead and legalize same-sex marriage and reap the income from all those marriage licenses?
I wonder whether Jesus turned people away because they didn’t fit “biblical principles” (11-17, A4, “Gay marriage issue spurs decision by shelter in KC”)?
In the story of the Good Samaritan, the man who fell among thieves and was left wounded and dying alongside the road wasn’t asked by the Good Samaritan whether he violated “biblical principles.” The Samaritan stopped and had compassion, bound the man’s wounds, put him on his donkey and took him to the nearest inn and paid for a room.
The City Union Mission needs to learn from this story that, by judging others who do not fit its “biblical principles,” it violates the heart of the teachings of Jesus — namely, that love of neighbor is the love of God.
I was shocked to hear that veteran Tomas Young had passed away last week in his sleep. He had been wounded seriously in Iraq.
Young endured so much that even the strongest medicine in the world could not help him. So Young had plans to pull out his tubes, ask for morphine and to take his own life. He did not follow through with that plan, and probably it was his own decision enduring as much pain as he could to try to live a normal life.
I had the opportunity to talk with his wife, Claudia Cuellar, in hopes that I could drop by for a visit to meet her husband but could never set a date for the visit, which now I totally regret.
Tomas is no longer suffering in pain but is living with other veterans in heaven. I offer my condolences to his mother, Cathy Smith, his brothers and sisters and to his devoted wife.
Words are very hard too come by when you lose a loved one. Rest in peace, Tomas. You will be missed.
We were enormously disappointed with The Star’s decision to give such prominence to the recent jailhouse interview with confessed white supremacist killer F. Glenn Miller Jr., who took it as another opportunity to rant against Jews (11-16, A1, “Every Jew in the world knows my name now”).
Miller’s virulent anti-Semitism was already well known: He has a three decade-long record of bigotry. This newspaper, as well as law enforcement authorities in Johnson County, should not have handed an open mic to an unrepentant bigot.
His hate-filled tirades do not serve a community still emotionally battered by his self-serving hatred and cruelty, nor do they offer any service to broader society. The Jewish community, the Corporon and LaManno families, as well as the entire Kansas City area can live without more of Miller’s hate speech.
It is now incumbent upon our justice system to send a strong message that such premeditated terrorism will not go unpunished, so that the unspeakable acts of hatred that led to the deaths of Bill Corporon, Reat Underwood and Terri LaManno will never be repeated.
Karen J. Aroesty
Shame on The Kansas City Star editors. In the Nov. 16 article, “Every Jew in the world knows my name now,” you gave F. Glenn Miller Jr. exactly what he wanted — a huge headline and front-page above-the-fold publicity for his poison.
What were you thinking? Every neo-Nazi wacko must be delighted. The rest of us are appalled.
Rowena Unger Turk
The characterization by Kansas Speaker of the House Ray Merrick that Kansas government employees are consumers and not producers is self-indicting (11-17, A4, “Lawmakers ponder budget problems”).
Mr. Merrick ignores that he is a state government employee, is a participant in the KPERS pension plan and is covered by the state health-insurance plan. His consumer status is without question. University faculty members are also state employees. As a retired medical school faculty member, I taught more than 6,200 physicians, including Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer. I consider myself to have been a productive state government employee.
The fiscal status of Kansas is a challenge, but taxpayers need to question the productivity of elected officials who consider paid Kansas government employees consumers and not producers.
Dolores Furtado, Ph.D.
University of Kansas
Kansas cuts ahead
It might come as a surprise, but the Kansas state budget verges on the unconstitutional. The planned expenditures for the current fiscal year exceed expected revenues.
The only thing that can prevent a constitutional crisis is spending all of last year’s ending balance of $380 million. The governor and Legislature were counting on this.
However, if Kansas revenues continue to fall short of projections this year, as expected, fiscal disaster is certain even with the $380 million. The Legislature in January will have to make immediate expenditure cuts. Otherwise, the year-end balance would be negative, which is not allowed in Kansas.
It is ironic that Kansas finances have arrived at the same place they reached at the end of the last recession.
At that time, six months before Sam Brownback came into office, Gov. Mark Parkinson and the Legislature passed a temporary sales tax to increase revenues so that the Kansas bank balance was in the black when the current governor took office.
Part of the sales-tax increase was made permanent to fund Gov. Brownback’s income-tax cuts. If income-tax rates are reduced as Gov. Brownback plans for next year, substantial cuts for schools, colleges and social services will follow.
Edwin (Ed) Olson
Save Kemper Arena
Let me get this straight. The city is actually considering the American Royal plan to demolish Kemper Arena, one of the signature architectural buildings in Kansas City, to provide more parking for the Royal’s three-day-a-year barbecue?
Yes, it seems unbelievable, but that is the proposal of the 75 Kansas City leaders who recently signed a letter to city officials. And while you’re at it, build us a new arena with $30 million of taxpayers’ money (as well as $20 million from state tax credits).
Kansas Citians recently saw the folly of a medical-services tax that benefited a few while using the money from the rest of us. It seems to me that this is more of the same.
Kansas maker, taker
The Kansas tax scheme that exempts many business owners from the state income taxes paid by their employees must be very pleasing to conservatives who pine for the really, really good old days of pre-revolutionary France, where the nobility was exempt from taxation.
However, it raises a question in my mind. Is a non-income-tax-paying business owner, who makes use of the roads, schools, parks and public-safety services that lesser citizens support with their income taxes, a maker or a taker? They seem to be making out very well for themselves but also taking advantage of the services paid for by others.
Perhaps someone more familiar with tea party jargon can answer this question.
LETTERS OF THANKS
Feeling thankful? Send letters of thanks for Thanksgiving publication by Friday. The letters will brighten everyone's Thanksgiving Day. Give it a try.