Letters to the Editor

June 23, 2014

Letter writers’ opinions on capital punishment, President Obama and Obamacare

Everybody will miss you, Charles Barsotti.

Goodbye, Charles

Everybody will miss you, Charles Barsotti.

Bill Brewer

Overland Park

Capital punishment

Replacing lethal injection for death-row inmates with a firing squad would certainly fix the situation regarding botched drugs, and certainly for the most recent postponed execution.

Missouri inmate Russell Bucklew has a medical condition that would cause undue suffering if he were to go through lethal injection for the crime he committed.

He now gets to continue to reside in the system, being taken care of, awaiting another method, while the family of his victim sits and waits for justice.

And our concern is the humane treatment of this individual?

I’m not saying we need to pursue inhumane treatment of criminals. But if we as a society are going to pursue capital punishment, then we should put in place a system that will work every single time flawlessly.

Chris Goff

Pleasant Hill

Putin over Obama

I’m not sure which is worse, that Barack Obama is the president of the United States or that Vladimir Putin isn’t. Could we, like, trade?

Maybe we could throw in Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi? That would be three for one.

How could they refuse?

While Obama mires himself in small-ball politics, Putin is methodically reuniting the former Soviet Union.

While Obama continues to divide America against itself, Putin is inking trillion-dollar petroleum deals with other superpowers. The contrast in basic leadership and competency is as disappointing as it is stark.

While it’s clear that Putin, in his own authoritarian way, loves Mother Russia, I don’t believe Obama loves America. He made it clear that his goal was a fundamental transformation of some sort.

To what remains shrouded in confusion.

Chris Harper

Lee’s Summit

Obamacare blamed

I think climate change is being caused by Obamacare. With so much energy and hot air going into the environment from those who hate this health-care law for reasons that escape me, the atmosphere is changing. So there is another thing they can blame the president for.

Vicki Walker

Kansas City

Adjustable gun laws

Gun laws should not be crafted as one size fits all. Absolutes rarely exist without loopholes.

There are rural areas, small towns, suburban cities and big cities. Local demographics and group statistics should be accounted for in some laws’ guidelines. The laws should be reviewed periodically and edited or dropped if not needed.

Those who need mental health services and have access to guns should not have to worry about paying for that care for a limited period of time.

Dean Hildenbrand


KCI convenience

Several months ago, I was standing in a somewhat longer than usual line at one of Kansas City International Airport’s security checkpoints. Realizing that the departure time for one of the flights was approaching, the airport security officials came out and allowed passengers for that flight to go to the head of the line.

This sort of thing would not happen at a large airport with central security, where passengers frequently miss flights because of long security screening lines.

This is one more reason to keep our airport decentralized and friendly.

Stu Lewis

Prairie Village

Pawn in politics

The bumper-sticker mentality about Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl annoys me. President Barack Obama would have been criticized for his actions for either obtaining or not obtaining Bergdahl’s release.

If Bergdahl is indeed a deserter, as it appears, then it is a military matter. As of now, he is scheduled for another promotion; he received two after he disappeared in Afghanistan.

The five prisoners who were exchanged for Bergdahl were all officials in the Taliban (deputy minister of defense, the former chief of Taliban security in Qalat, the former deputy minister of intelligence, the senior commander in Mazar-i-Sharif and Taliban governor of Herat Province). All are under house arrest in Qatar, even as the Taliban continues to seek recognition as a legitimate government. Qatar continues to try to bridge the gap between the Muslim Middle East and the West.

Whatever the bumper-sticker-mentality folks have to say about this particular issue is, in my opinion, irrelevant and not newsworthy. If you haven’t noticed, we’re leaving Afghanistan.

Bergdahl appears to be a pawn in both U.S. and international politics.

Earl Brigham

Sugar Creek

Marriage freedom

In some states there are laws against same-sex marriage. I think it’s extremely unfair because people should all have the right to marry.

Telling a homosexual couple they can’t get married is taking away their individual rights. I hope this changes by the time I get married.

I am gay and proud of it.

Joanne Georgiana


Obama, VA trouble

When are we the American public and the liberal media going to quit giving the Obama administration a free pass for utter incompetency?

The president telling us he learned about the Veterans Affairs mess through the media is patently untrue. Sen. Barack Obama railed about the mess, and candidate Obama had cleaning up the VA as one of his pie-in-the-sky platform promises.

Moreover, during the George W. Bush-to-Obama transition, he supposedly was given details about the problems. Is it possible that the new administration was so arrogant or so disrespectful of the outgoing administration that it ignored the information?

The VA system is socialized medicine and an example of why it doesn’t work. Obamacare is another step to that end.

Socialized medicine doesn’t work anywhere. Do we have to be hit in the head to see that a central government can’t socialize something as large and complex as health care?

Certainly, our warriors who made it possible for us to enjoy the freedoms of our country deserve better.

Former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki may be a perfect example of the Peter Principle, whereby one gets promoted to his or her level of incompetence.

Bob Burns

Blue Springs

E-cigarette bill

The Missouri Retailers Association urges the governor to sign Senate Bill 841, which would define vapor products or e-cigarettes and prevent the sales of these products to minors in the state. Retailers we work with statewide agree that e-cigarette sales need to be regulated.

We absolutely share the interests of all reasonable Missourians by voluntarily denying sales to minors. It is now time for state law to prohibit sales as well.

State law currently prohibits anyone from selling or giving tobacco or tobacco paraphernalia to anyone under 18. The law did not take into account vapor products, which entered the market around 2006. SB 841 would address this shortcoming.

Vapor products are emerging as a non-combustible alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. Although these products do not contain tobacco, they still contain addictive nicotine. More stores are selling these products every day, and they are easily available online.

SB 841 properly defines vapor products and makes it illegal to sell or give vapor products to anyone under the age of 18. We believe the governor should make this bill law so that violators would be subject to penalties, leveling the playing field for all retailers.

David S. Overfelt

Missouri Retailers


Jefferson City

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