Veterans Affairs, Catholic Church, term limits for Congress

05/28/2014 6:29 PM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

VA underfunded

The Republicans are blaming everybody but the ones who are really to blame, and that’s Congress. Lawmakers have been underfunding Veterans Affairs for years.

The Republicans say they care about the veterans, but they just blocked a veterans bill. Let’s put the blame where it belongs.

Richard Powell

Independence

Biased church leaders

A woman has been removed from her Christian ministry because she is in a same-sex marriage (5-15, A4, Commentary, “Church fumbles chance to change”). This is the latest of many discriminatory acts by local Catholic leaders against gays and lesbians.

We are saddened that leaders of our Catholic Church have committed acts that are so divisive to our community. Jesus said the first of all commandments is to love God and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves.

There are no greater commandments.

Most Catholics love their gay family members and neighbors. Our faith teaches us to be inclusive, accepting and grateful for all of God’s creation while finding the good in all humanity.

We cannot be silent while our gay brothers and sisters are isolated and discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and sexuality. We believe these actions represent grave social evil, not love and acceptance.

Our Catholic leaders seek pledges of money to our diocese and parish. We ask our leaders to pledge to end acts of discrimination against the gay community. Then Catholics of good conscience could sign pledges of financial support that no longer implicitly condone actions that separate and divide us.

Janelle Lazzo

Regional Representative

Heart of America

Call to Action

(101 cosigners)

Roeland Park

Questions for Kansans

Here are some questions moderate, thoughtful Kansans should address:

When you feel your core beliefs are being compromised, do you stand up for them or step back from your responsibility and remain quiet?

Which is really important, reducing debt or meeting the basic needs of Kansans? Can citizens be only those who find it easy to vote or do we seek liberty and justice for all candidates?

Will we really be prepared for a bright future if our children (all children) do not have the opportunity to meet their full potential? Is a woman equal to a man if her medical choices are either forced upon her or made impossible to receive?

How do you think the candidates for state, district and local offices would answer these questions? You just might want to find out before you vote.

Missy Taylor

Roeland Park

Term-limit Congress

Putting term limits on members of Congress would better the economic and political areas of our nation. I believe it is unreasonable to have elected officials become career politicians and be able to serve in the House of Representatives or Senate for however long they wish.

Politicians who serve so long soon become distant from the people whom they are actually representing. Term limits would allow politicians to actually live in the light of what they do in Congress once their term limits are up.

With term limits in place, members of Congress would be more responsive to their constituents because they would soon be constituents themselves. Our Founding Fathers mentioned that we need a rotation of office.

Once congressmen reach their term limits, they could put their experience to work in other areas, such as state senators, governors or other areas of political representation. The experience of the politicians doesn’t have to stop once their terms are up in Congress.

Holly Pratt

Lenexa

Robert Reich column

Robert Reich, in his May 21 column, “Why American women are endangered in pregnancy,” reviews several important causes of maternal death. But he fails to mention a major cause of death during pregnancy — domestic violence.

According to Futures Without Violence, a national domestic-violence policy agency, homicide is the second-leading cause of traumatic death for pregnant and recently pregnant women in the U.S., accounting for 31 percent of maternal-injury deaths.

A pregnant woman may become a target of abuse because her partner perceives the pregnancy as a threat to his power and control in the relationship. Complications during and after a pregnancy in which there has been violence include high blood pressure, miscarriage, bleeding, preterm birth and underweight newborns.

By screening patients for abuse and referring them to domestic-violence services, health-care professionals can help stop the violence and prevent the deaths and injuries of pregnant women.

Safehome and other area domestic-violence agencies offer training to staff at hospitals and clinics on how to screen for domestic violence, as well as 24-hour response for victims who need immediate help. Call 913-262-2868 for more information.

Janee’ M. Hanzlick

Executive Director

Safehome Inc.

Overland Park

Streetcar no priority

I believe that Kansas City is putting the emphasis in the wrong place with the current focus on streetcars.

Yes, it would be fun, cool and neat to take the occasional ride on a streetcar around town.

However, we really need to be spending our valuable resources on more mundane but essential infrastructure such as roads, bridges and especially sewers.

We have been arguing about light rail and streetcars for years and years. Kansas City citizens who have a need for public transportation have our excellent bus system to rely on.

Put in the streetcar downtown for tourists to see and ride on, and then let’s get on to fixing the things that really need to be fixed.

Glenn Bradford

Kansas City

Kudos to KC police

The criticism of the practice of police writing speeding tickets to generate revenue is amusing and likely raised by those who speed and some who have received speeding tickets (5-27, A1, “KC police step up ticketing”).

Given the predominance of speeders, especially on highways, I think it should be a primary revenue target for the city and state and is a much preferred source over Missouri looking at a sales tax to finance roads.

Enforcement of traffic laws is ever more critical with all the distracted drivers on our roads. Please add a few more enforcement units.

Larry H. Banning

Kansas City

Keep Trolley Trail

As a Kansas City resident, I think adding a streetcar to the Trolley Trail, particularly through Brookside, would be a mistake.

The current transportation system is well-equipped but not used by our residents.

The amount of money that one day could be wasted on this project is absurd. There are numerous causes that deserve the money and attention that this project could be taking.

Our city needs to address more pressing issues before throwing our resources at an unnecessary endeavor.

Kiley O’Toole

Kansas City

Guns, false security

What is a gun? Aside from being a hunting tool and a defense mechanism, it seems for some that a gun is a device to reduce or allay their fears and insecurity.

Many who support gun freedom ownership seem to be afraid that someone is going to try to rob them, threaten their lives or the lives of people they love, take away something that belongs to them or infringe on their rights.

They assume a gun will somehow make a difference and prevent a tragedy. They don’t seem to trust the government or the police to do the job.

My Marine Corps experience tells me that most people cannot hit what they’re shooting at. If they’re lucky to be close enough to hit something critically important on the assailant, the assailant would just take the gun and use it on them. Hitting a barn door may be an exception.

For my part, no one carrying a gun is welcome in my home. If possible, I will trade only in those places that have a sign posted, “No Guns Allowed — Leave Guns Outside.”

Hugh J. Taylor

Overland Park

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