Letters to the Editor

July 5, 2014

Readers weigh in on the Supreme Court, the Kansas Lottery and the death penalty

The politicization of the Supreme Court in the ruling that corporations are individuals and the recent ruling that some corporations can impose their religious beliefs on individuals might backfire on Republicans in the polls and might also backfire on Hobby Lobby’s bottom line.

Ruling’s blowback

The politicization of the Supreme Court in the ruling that corporations are individuals and the recent ruling that some corporations can impose their religious beliefs on individuals might backfire on Republicans in the polls and might also backfire on Hobby Lobby’s bottom line.

Richard Huff

Overland Park

Big game of chance

People seem to line up at the courtesy booth to buy Kansas Lottery tickets. For most, I wonder whether much thought goes into really knowing what they are buying.

They must have some vague ephemeral vision of being touched by a fairy’s glittering wand and gloriously cashing in for riches they could not earn in a normal lifetime.

Perhaps it’s just me. I admit to having more than once bought tickets, conjuring a glow of belief that my numbers were, possibly this time, going to match. But not even a $2 win has occurred within recent memory.

The lottery is mostly like a tax on gullibility. What would happen if everyone decides as I have that buying lottery tickets is a trip to nowhere and quit this gratuitous waste of money? The odds against matching the numbers are way out of proportion to ever have a chance to get rich.

For longtime enthusiasts, it would take a major win to even break even.

It makes one wish he’d studied Warren Buffett’s advice a long time ago. He buys actual companies, not supine addiction.

Tom McCue

Overland Park

Capital punishment

I don’t understand the fuss over how to execute condemned felons when the lack of certain lethal drugs arises. The warden can just issue an order cutting off food and water to the convict, who will be dead within about two weeks, just like Terri Schiavo in 2005, when Florida judge George Greer ordered the deprivation of food and water because she had suffered brain damage in 1990.

This method of death cannot be deemed cruel or unusual, otherwise it would not have been done to Terri Schiavo by Judge Greer, who was obliged to leave his church and threatened with impeachment but nevertheless remained on his bench.

Ray Parker

Overland Park

Government crutch

Independence and dependence are opposite words. They can apply to both nations and the individuals within a nation.

The American Revolution gave us our national independence and our freedom. Victory allowed us the freedom to control our destiny, to be self-reliant. The price was heavy, but the rewards have been great.

In any society, there are individuals who are incapable of being self-reliant. This list includes young people, those with intellectual or physical disabilities and often the very elderly. Society has an obligation to provide assistance to these individuals, giving them the freedom their conditions allow.

But what about individuals who don’t meet the above criteria but are still dependent on society (government) for their well-being?

Those who are dependent economically, no less than those dependent on drugs or alcohol, have lost their self-esteem and sense of independence. The longer one is dependent, the less likely the person is to regain control of his life.

Sadly, we are witnessing generational dependence that results in a downward spiral, making personal independence increasingly difficult. Government policies that keep people dependent are contrary to the independent spirit of our nation. Perhaps a new approach is in order.

Mike Hanrahan

Cameron, Mo.

Bishop Robert Finn

Your leadership has cost the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph millions because of your unlawful and sinful behavior — not Father Shawn Ratigan’s or former priests’ illicit behavior (7-2, A1, “Diocese told to pay $1.1 million”). That is a whole different and unholy matter. They have cost the diocese dearly in every sense of the word.

No, this most recent arbitration award is because of your sin.

St. Francis said, “Preach the gospel at all times, speak if you must.” Unfortunately, the gospel you are preaching by your words and deeds seems very different than what is found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

It is time for you to resign before you hurt any more people in the diocese and in the community at large. Besides, you need to be going to each person you have harmed and begging for their forgiveness.

That penance will likely last the rest of your life.

David Mertz


Guardianship case

Thank you, Platte County officials, for not making a mockery of civil rights by ignoring John Flentie, living in squalor and too ill to correctly manage his own medications (6-29, A1, “Life under guard”).

It appears that two years of intervention with medication consistency and healthy, safe living conditions and diet have provided Mr. Flentie with two years without falls and hospitalizations and allowed him to again function instead of further deteriorate.

If friends and family really think this man is healthy enough for independent living, one of them should petition to be his personal guardian or limited guardian. Has this happened?

Privacy laws are vital. Officials, understandably, can’t comment on specific cases. How unfortunate you could only hear and print Mr. Flentie’s side of the story.

Jeanne Pyland


Climate change facts

People who defend the climate-change deniers should pay attention to two facts:

Close to home, there has been a $900 million loss in Kansas winter wheat crop because of the ongoing drought.

Farther from home, climate change has caused an irreversible collapse of the West Antarctica ice sheet, causing rising sea levels along the beaches of the world.

But for the climate-change deniers, not to worry. It is a long way to the top of the ivory tower.

David Barber

Kansas City

KCI conundrum

I have been following the Kansas City International Airport mess for years. I remember the millions of dollars spent on the downtown airport.

Then, within months, plans shifted to the construction of KCI. What a waste of millions of dollars.

Now the city is proposing spending millions of dollars to rebuild KCI into something that most people don’t want. My answer to the problem is to remove, as in fire, the whole airport board and appoint intelligent people to run KCI.

Jerre N. Fischer


GOP 2016 convention

The last Republican convention was held in Tampa, Fla. I was a delegate from another state and attended the convention.

I met a friend in St. Louis, and we rented a motor home.

When we arrived in Tampa, we were greeted by a hurricane. It was as if the sky had opened and dumped a year’s worth of rain on us with high winds.

At night, there was a knock on the motor home door. There stood a drenched police officer.

He told us the hotels had opened all their reserved rooms for people like us and invited us to spend the night at no charge, courtesy of the city of Tampa. He said officials didn’t expect major problems but would feel better if we were inside.

Would that have happened in Kansas City? I doubt it, considering the political climate here.

I had contacted the Republican National Committee and asked that the convention be held anywhere but here.

When will we learn in Missouri that Democrats are the minority? If Kansas City had been picked for the GOP convention in 2016, the city would have been the laughingstock because we follow the donkeys rather than the elephants.

Charles Melton

Kansas City

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