Letters to the Editor

June 27, 2014

Readers weigh in on the right to vote, free lending libraries and global warming

The Supreme Court says money is free speech. Surely our votes are free speech too.

Ensure right to vote

The Supreme Court says money is free speech. Surely our votes are free speech too.

There should be no prior restraint on our free speech right to vote. Republicans are erecting unnecessary barriers. For justification, they’ve fabricated the reason that sounds good: preventing voter fraud. The real reason: preventing voting while Democrat.

But it shouldn’t be easier to buy guns than to vote.

In McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission, Chief Justice John Roberts says limiting campaign money unduly burdens “an individual’s right to participate in the public debate through political expression and political association.”

What about the individual’s right to vote?

Roberts argues against restrictions on campaign money without proof of corruption. Potential voters should likewise be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Then there’s venture capitalist Tom Perkins, who proposes that he should have one vote for each dollar earned. (He has $8 billion.) “It should be like a corporation,” he said. “You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes.”

That would destroy the democratic principle of “one person, one vote.”

Don’t let the GOP and a few billionaires such as Perkins and the Koch brothers take away your free speech right to vote.

Susan Pepperdine


Free lending libraries

I was disheartened to hear the story of the Little Free Library in Leawood that has caused so much commotion and had to be removed (6-25, A1, “Little libraries out of circulation in Leawood”).

With all the big problems in our world, I wonder why a few grumpy neighbors had to complain about something that has the potential to be a really nice community builder.

I saw my first Little Free Library when I was driving around with a friend, and we came across one in Prairie Village. We were both so delightfully surprised.

I went online and learned more about them and found a map that showed me where all the libraries near me were. When my sister was visiting from out of town, we went to six Little Free Libraries.

I took pictures of all of them, posted them on Facebook and had only positive feedback. The front-page article illustrated what positive things these Little Free Libraries can be in a community.

I hope that Leawood comes to its senses at the hearing in July and allows this family to put its Little Free Library back out.

Amy Persechini

Overland Park

VA hospital fix

I have a solution for the crisis of care at Veterans Affairs hospitals. Although it is a long-term approach, it is sure to work.

Stop making so many veterans.

Larry Hitchcock

Westwood Hills

Global warming

The people who are convinced that man-made global warming is real and the debate is over should attend the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas July 7-9.

This is a meeting of numerous international scientists (experts on world climate change) presenting papers disputing the alarmists who say the debate on climate change is over, and attendees will hear debate on the economics of subsidies for renewable energy.

The news media probably won’t cover this three-day conference because they are in bed with the alarmists. However, anyone interested should attend the conference or visit climateconference.heartland.org for details.

John Kettler


Two-tier education

I read where Southwest Early College Campus will be used by Academie Lafayette for its high school, allowing some of the Southwest students to stay at that school (6-21, A1, “District, charter want to team up”).

This will prove what I’ve been saying all along — having charter schools is going to create a two-tier education system.

Special-needs students and those who are troublemakers and too hard to teach will be placed in public schools, and the rest will be placed in charter schools. It’s simple.

Public education should be for everyone. No tax dollars should be drawn away from public education.

But we are headed in that direction.

H. Lon Swearingen

Kansas City

Manufactured crisis

Throughout the last few years, many important situations have occurred, some worldwide, others domestic. Just to name a few, there have been controversies over Iraq, Iran, Crimea, the Internal Revenue Service, the National Security Agency and Benghazi.

Throughout all this, we never heard much from Sen. Claire McCaskill on whether any of these situations have reached a crisis level.

But, hold on, she does know a crisis when she sees one.

Just recently she started an investigation into the dietary clutches of Dr. Oz (6-18, A1, “McCaskill grills Dr. Oz on diet fads”).

Are we lucky or what?

Maynard Mitchell


Missouri deer debate

The Missouri Department of Conservation does a great job managing our natural resources (6-20, Editorial, “Protect Missouri’s deer from disease with reasonable rules”).

MDC officials do everything they can to ensure that our wildlife populations are strong and healthy, at least until the legislature takes that power away from them.

Legislation to do just that is sitting on Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk awaiting his signature or veto. These harmful bills would transfer oversight over captive white-tailed deer and other cervids from the Conservation Department to the Department of Agriculture — declaring these animals as “livestock.”

On the one hand, there are the countless hunters, conservation officials, government agencies and animal-welfare advocates who are urging a veto.

Standing alone on the other side are the only people who would benefit from this change: those who breed deer and operate canned hunting ranches, where people shoot animals in fenced enclosures.

These bills are nothing more than the canned hunting industry trying to escape regulations from the Conservation Department that would help protect our wild deer herd from dangerous diseases that have already been found behind their fences.

Gov. Nixon, please do the right thing. Veto the bill.

Kathleen Kastner

Kansas City

As a veterinarian serving white-tailed deer farmers and a lifelong resident of Missouri, born and raised in Kansas City, I am responding to The Star’s June 20 editorial, “Protect Missouri’s deer from disease with reasonable rules.”

The standard of medical care for these animals is at least as high as for other livestock. I have performed surgical procedures (such as antler amputations and mammary hematoma drainage), dystocia resolution (pulling fawns), blood work, X-rays, catheterization, endotracheal intubation and pulse oximetry on these captive cervids, in addition to administering oxygen, IV fluids, and injectable antibiotics.

Furthermore, current regulations to move a deer within Missouri require tuberculosis and brucellosis testing of the individual animal, plus CWD surveillance of 100 percent of adult animal deaths within the herd of origin.

As you can see, Missouri’s deer are already protected with reasonable rules.

Therefore, reclassifying captive deer as livestock is hardly an “audacious provision” that would “enable owners to evade sensible health regulations.”

Roxanne I. Knibb, DVM

Manchester, Mo.

Teachers with guns

I wonder whose child will be the first to be killed by a teacher carrying a firearm at a school (6-22, A1, “Armed with resolve”).

As a former educator, I worked with some teachers I didn’t think were very competent to be teachers let alone carry a firearm.

There were also days as an educator when I was glad I didn’t have a firearm because sometimes students can be very stressful.

What happens when two students get into a fight and run into a teacher packing a gun and that gun discharges?

Accidents happen with firearms; no one can deny it. I just pray my child is absent that day.

David Reinert

Kansas City

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