Letters to the Editor

June 21, 2014

Readers discuss the U.S. return to Iraq, NFL team names and the death penalty

So President Barack Obama is sending up to 300 U.S. troops (sacrificial lambs) to Iraq to probably be slaughtered. What is he hoping to accomplish?

Move back to Iraq

So President Barack Obama is sending up to 300 U.S. troops (sacrificial lambs) to Iraq to probably be slaughtered. What is he hoping to accomplish?

Our 275 will face up to 20,000 terrorists in a country coming apart and whose population simply does not like Americans.

Great job, Obama.

Charles Burright


Name overreaction

Let’s see, we can have Black History Month and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which some would find offensive, but no Redskins football team because it might offend someone (6-19, A1, “U.S. enters dispute over NFL team name”).

Don’t you think it is time to just chill out?

Richard Wiens


Death penalty choice

The current state of confusion about the lethal drug or combination of drugs used in carrying out the death penalty can easily be resolved by Missouri. Here is the solution.

Let the offender on death row choose the procedure, much like he or she gets to choose his or her last meal. The choices could be the electric chair, the gas chamber, a firing squad or hanging.

This would hopefully eliminate the anguish of last-minute stays and botched attempts to administer drugs or a combo of drugs. The four choices outlined above have proved to be quick and effective.

Michael Lawler


Kudos to The Star

I have regained my appreciation for The Kansas City Star. The news might not be “breaking,” and I don’t always agree with the editorials, but at least there is an assortment of important stories.

Just think of it. If The Kansas City Star were like CNN, it would have to have Erin Burnett batting her eyes and saying “up front” every so often.

Then whatever story was being obsessed over would cover the entire front page, second page and part of the third page. One wouldn’t know that there were wars in the world, and this overcoverage would go on for a week or two until something else came along. I mean, Erin, how much do I need to know about an airliner than can’t be found?

There would be panels and experts and all kinds of esoteric articles about exactly the same thing. Can one imagine?

No wonder CNN and others have such poor viewership.

Herman Kirkpatrick


Iraq war aftermath

Ten years ago, I listened to a discussion on the “News Hour” on public television. It centered on the “insurgency” in Iraq. There were three persons talking with Jim Lehrer.

The retired military man serving as commentator said something I considered most profound. I do not remember the names, but the statement was: “It does not matter if we (the United States) leave in the next 10 minutes or the next 10 years. Once we leave, there will be a civil war in Iraq.”

The commentator then apologized to Jim Lehrer for all the nasty calls the program would receive in the next 24 hours. These words have proved prophetic.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq was based on lies by our government to the American public. The people who engineered the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy gave us reason to attack Afghanistan, an event still unfolding.

And if you look at the persons involved in 9/11, there were plenty of reasons to attack Saudi Arabia. Most of the al-Qaida attackers were Saudis.

But the U.S. had no legitimate reason to invade Iraq. Now the world must contend with the aftermath.

George Drew Butler

Kansas City

Focus on Kansas

Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer’s June 16 “As I See It” commentary, “Preventing catastrophe in S. Sudan,” was interesting. He discussed the need for humanitarian efforts in South Sudan and included himself as one who cares for “mothers and children living on the edge.”

While Colyer, a surgeon and resident of Overland Park, is extolling his own virtuous efforts for aiding their poor, he should look around and see the debacle he, Gov. Sam Brownback and the legislators have created. Kansas is in a financial crisis.

The state’s credit has been downgraded, tax cuts and credits to corporations and the wealthy have left public education hurting, income taxes on most businesses have been eliminated and public education is under fire by privatizing efforts through a voucher system.

There also is privatized Medicaid, which has denied at least 100,000 Kansans health insurance from the state not accepting Medicaid expansion.

Colyer’s “medical relief mission” is hypocritical. His record clearly shows a disregard for human rights and needs of our poor, hungry, disenfranchised, elderly and mentally ill persons in Kansas.

Kansas also has a “looming disaster.”

Focus on that.

Linda Neville

Overland Park

Advice to zealots

It is increasingly common to hear the following arguments: There is a need. A massive, expensive, intrusive federal program must be initiated or expanded to meet this need. If you do not agree then you are immoral, and if you claim to be Christian then you are a hypocrite.

Advice to zealots: Base your arguments on how to meet a need on logic, economics and precedent. Then there is a chance that someone other than your fellow zealots will listen.

Thomas Walsh


KC VA hospital tops

I am a Vietnam veteran. I have been dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs for many years. I have seen good things, backsliding times, shake-ups and more good things.

I believe that for the last five years I have received the best health care in America at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Slacking and negligence cannot be tolerated, but I want also to give credit where I think it is due.

Thank you to those who have treated me.

Pat McClelland

Vietnam 1967-68

Kansas City

Corporate culture

What a joke. Lawmakers want to question General Motors CEO Mary Barra about how GM will change its corporate culture (6-19, A7, “Lawmakers press GM on report’s findings”).

Lawmakers can’t figure out how to change their own culture.

How can they judge how someone else is going to change?

John Sheeley

Kansas City

Affirmative action

Affirmative action has been a difficult policy from the beginning because it builds in a lesser injustice to correct a longstanding greater injustice. And it’s complicated by the great class inequality in America.

At times, it has been hard on white males like me who came from working-class homes and had class disadvantages to begin with and then, in some contexts, could not count on a racial advantage.

However, I would argue that all the attempts to overturn affirmative-action policies based on race are attempts to maintain white advantage and privilege.

So far as I can tell, no one who has fought affirmative action has shown any concern for finding some other more just way to make up for some of the cruel disadvantage that white America has imposed on black America for hundreds of years.

Color blindness in this racially stratified society is a cover for not addressing racial injustice and for maintaining white racial advantage.

Anton K. Jacobs

Kansas City

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