Readers weigh in on pursuing happiness, military spending and the NRA

06/28/2014 11:00 AM

06/27/2014 10:37 PM

Pursuing happiness

The Declaration of Independence guarantees the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The concept of “a right” is being changed politically into “you owe me” or “others owe me.”

Some factions add the assertion, “I am able to demand suppression of others’ rights as I please for my pleasure and gain.”

Some people must pay for the indulgences of the empowered: “You have the right to owe me.” “You must be evil if you are successful, especially economically.”

No longer is the embodiment of a right the freedom to use all of your individual abilities and talents to further your interests in family, worship, free speech, artistic expression and economic security within the bounds of not harming others.

Who is fostering this political divisiveness and manufacturing the concept of classes of people existing in the United States? Our Constitution is based on a classless society.

Are the culprits the political and bureaucratic class members who use this strategy to anchor themselves in governing power and demonstrate their self-awarded superior knowledge, judgment and deserved privilege?

Weakness demands that emotion dominates decision-making. Undisciplined emotion coupled with slothful greed has destroyed logic.

Marvin Kramer

Overland Park

U.S. military spending

By the end of this year, the United States might have fewer than 10,000 troops left in Afghanistan. The U.S. won’t technically be at war with any country.

So why does President Barack Obama want to increase the amount of money our country allocates to war funding? I want to encourage people to find out more about the Overseas Contingency Operations fund and contact your senators to ask them not to fund this part of the budget.

Let’s invest the money we’ve been spending on war on other priorities, not provide extra padding for the Pentagon’s already well-endowed budget.

Kate Grotegut

Plattsburg, Mo.

Wind energy rescue

I’m a native Kansan and trace my family heritage to farming in Russell. The extreme and record drought happening there, and in 55 other Kansas counties, is unquestionably a result of a changing and disrupted climate.

Russell residents are taking baths out of buckets and watching their crops and plants wither.

I returned from Malawi three weeks ago after having lived there for five years. Water shortages, bucket baths and poor crop yields are common there also.

I didn’t expect to get a taste so soon of the place I knew I would miss. What an odd state of things. I can imagine a day when we have Malawian Peace Corps volunteers serving in Kansas.

Other than bigger buckets, there are ways to reverse this trend before it’s too late. Kansas has the second-most potential for wind energy production in the country.

George Pro

Lenexa

GOP’s KC snub

The Star blames lack of hotel space and public transportation as reasons for the loss of the GOP convention (6-26, Editorial, “Nice try, no cigar on GOP bid”). Certainly those are factors.

The editorial staff of The Star should do a little soul-searching. The continued absurd and hateful attacks on the GOP might be a factor.

If I am making a decision on bringing a convention with a multimillion-dollar boost to the local economy, I wouldn’t want the major newspaper in the area to benefit from an increase in sales. Think fair and balanced.

Tom Horton

Kansas City, Kan.

Guns, civilized society

There’s nothing wrong with Europe that more guns wouldn’t solve. With all the gun restrictions Europeans are required to endure, you have to wonder how they maintain any semblance of a civilized society.

Rick Gould

Overland Park

NRA vs. smart guns

I can see absolutely no reason the National Rifle Association and those who worship at the altar of semiautomatic weapons would be opposed to a handgun that will not fire unless the shooter has a special watch on his wrist.

We all know the NRA is really nothing more than a powerful lobby for gun manufacturers. So why wouldn’t a responsible gun owner not want a child to be able to accidentally shoot a friend or not want a criminal who wrestles a gun from a police officer to be able to shoot him or her?

Stealing and trying to sell these guns is of no value unless a person has the specific watch for that gun.

So once again, what is the NRA’s problem with the smart gun? Responsible gun owners need to let the dimwitted NRA leaders know that there is no government conspiracy in the works to prevent anyone from accidentally shooting a neighbor dressed up in a Halloween costume.

In fact, people do not even have to buy this gun. It is just a matter of safety first.

Steven Addison

Kansas City

No sense in Missouri

Let me get this straight. Missouri is short of cash and was unable to pay tax refunds as promptly as in the past.

But the Missouri Republicans just passed a major income tax cut. And they want voters in August to approve a big increase in the sales tax.

Does this really make sense to anyone?

Richard Johns

Kansas City

KC Royals announcer

I am a Kansas City Royals fan, even though I still follow my Los Angeles sports teams — the Dodgers, Angels, Kings and Lakers. I do not follow the Clippers.

I have always liked all the Royals commentators, including several former Royals players, because they call an excellent game — all except for one, and his name is Rex Hudler. He seems to always say negative things about the ballclub or management.

He has never said anything nice, and he is still in the broadcast booth. I’ll never know why.

Let him finish out this season and then terminate his contract and bring back the Duke (John Wathan) or make Jeff Montgomery your color commentator.

But please get rid of Rex Hudler. He has got to be the worst color commentator in Major League Baseball besides Chicago White Sox announcer Ken (Hawk) Harrelson.

Tony Lordi

Kansas City

Drop streetcar plan

Kansas City administrators seem bent on spending money on an unwanted streetcar system.

When the last streetcars were abandoned, there was great joy and approval. Buses are more comfortable, quieter, easier to move through traffic and nearer to self-supporting than rail lines will ever be.

My pioneering-era, wise mother advised me, “When you’re on a dead horse, get off.” So city officials should get off the expensive streetcar nightmare, fill the holes in Main Street and fix the sewers when they break.

The best way to fix old sewers is by running new plastic pipe through the old pipe. It’s cheaper and non-disruptive. I did three of them in Westport, over 180 feet each.

Beverly H. Platt

Mission Hills

Minnesota Vikings

As our country debates whether the Washington Redskins should change the team’s mascot, I want to make sure my outrage about the Minnesota Vikings’ name is registered as well.

I am of Scandinavian descent. The portrayal of a Viking as a wild, long-haired, mustachioed warrior with horned helmet is not an accurate or fair portrayal of my heritage. The use of the word Viking is also racially charged and offensive.

The Viking caricature should be banned and Minnesota’s mascot changed.

Vikings were actually great explorers and sailors. Their helmets were not horned except for ritual purposes.

This football franchise needs to come into the 21st century by changing the team’s name and mascot or risk offending all those sensitive to the misrepresentation of their Scandinavian heritage.

Or maybe Minnesotans simply gave their team a mascot with a name of endearment and fun. Perhaps the caricature is not meant to be offensive but rather just a name the fans liked and can rally around.

Dan Charpie

Lee’s Summit

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