Readers weigh in on Jayhawk basketball, Veterans Affairs, Hobby Lobby

07/06/2014 11:00 AM

07/05/2014 10:06 PM

Jayhawk basketball

The great thing about the basketball season at the University of Kansas is that it is never over, according to The Kansas City Star. It just goes on and on, with several articles a day, on the front page or the sports page.

If The Star does not write about Bill Self not being offered a coaching job in the NBA, the newspaper writes about how the Jayhawks lost a marquee player to the University of Texas.

But it all works out for the best for Kansas basketball.

Three-hundred sixty-five days a year and twice on Sunday, The Star floods the paper with ink on Kansas basketball. It gets a little old after a while.

Richard W. Dahms

Country Club, Mo.

Athletes’, stars’ pay

I noticed recently that San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick will get a six-year contract extension that could pay him $126 million. Personally, I’m OK with that if the owner and fans are silly enough to pay it.

What I’m curious about is how many people does he employ? Likely, an accountant and bodyguards.

How many cars and homes does he have? He likely can’t count them all.

The same is true for the Hollywood elite who live decadent lives, spew liberal venom and contribute nothing to society as a whole. Why do they get to skate?

So, help me understand why an executive at any large company is maligned by academics, the press and those who are jealous when the executive employs thousands and feeds several thousands more through his stewardship of the company?

The vast majority of the corporate titans got there through achieving advanced education. But sports and Hollywood personalities got there through God-given talent.

Greg Akridge

Shawnee

Poor government

Recent news events shown on TV and the Internet are signs of an out-of-control government:

The situation at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where many veterans were placed on secret waiting lists, and some died while waiting. It’s still under investigation but despicable at best.

Some employee of the Environmental Protection Agency spent time on porn websites. It’s a total waste of our money.

It’s also a potential problem, because these are the people who write reports and can exercise taxation without representation.

Dennis Tabel

Overland Park

Uncivilized treatment

The loss of lives at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers is a sign of a nation that does not care. Another example of an uncaring nation is the lack of expansion of Medicaid in some states, including Missouri and Kansas.

Many more people could die from this than is acceptable in a civilized society.

Diana Basler

Lee’s Summit

Russia, China, gas

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s $400 billion natural-gas deal with China can be compared to a banquet, where President Barack Obama and Putin are sitting across a table from each other.

Putin pours our president a vodka.

“Excuse me, but you’re in my seat,” Putin says while leaning over to pour.

Obama retorts, “But no one invited you to the party.”

Putin laughs and answers, “First come, first served.”

Louise Pollock

Gruenebaum

Prairie Village

Kansas revenue drop

Kansas tax revenues continue their decline below projections — an additional $28 million in June (7-1, A1, “Revenues in Kansas again fail to hit mark”).

Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan is still trying to use the effect of federal tax law on capital gains to explain the $338 million shortfall for the fiscal year. There is a slight shred of truth there, but it is not the whole truth.

Having been a member of the Kansas Consensus Revenue Estimating Group for more than 10 years before 2010, I find ludicrous the governor’s blame for the shortfall of income-tax revenue primarily on variations in capital gains. Income-tax revenues for the current fiscal year were 12 percent below projection and are down 24 percent from the total at the end of the last fiscal year.

In the latest information from the Internal Revenue Service (Statistics of Income, tax year 2011), the share of capital gains in total taxable income was only 5.6 percent, though undoubtedly was larger in 2012. My best guess, without the benefit of complete data, is that the capital-gains decline will account for 25 percent to 30 percent of the revenue shortfall.

That is, capital gains are simply too small a share of taxable income to explain any but a small part of the decline in revenues.

Edwin Olson

Manhattan, Kan.

Hobby Lobby case

As a progressive Catholic who longs for justice in the church, I rejoiced in Philip F. Cardarella’s July 2 As I See It column, “Catholic justices not like Kennedy.” It is a masterpiece and reflects why separation of church and state is necessary.

It also might hint at why it is not best to have six persons who share a religious persuasion together on the Supreme Court, although one of them did demonstrate independent thinking by voting no in the recent decision involving Hobby Lobby and religious rights. But then, she is a woman. Hmmm.

As the sister of four brothers raised in a pre-Vatican II Catholic home, I saw firsthand the truth of this statement: “Of all major Christian religions, only Catholics are taught that all forms of artificial birth control are inherently sinful.”

The message is drilled into our heads from first grade that contraception is “special — a special evil.”

Somehow that didn’t take with me, but drilled into all of us it certainly was. So as much as I abhor the conclusion these five well-meaning Catholic male justices came to, I understand its origins and fear them.

Beware of more to come.

Janelle Lazzo

Roeland Park

Speaking for workers

To paraphrase Martin Niemöller: “First they came for a neighbor, and I did not speak out, and when they came for me there was no one left to speak for me.”

So I speak out for the workers of Hobby Lobby and their wish to be respected as adults who should be entrusted with making their own family-planning decisions and not have a corporation do it for them (7-1, A1, “Birth control rule rejected”).

I will shop at Hobby Lobby’s competitors.

Judy Beyer

Lee’s Summit

Acting against theft

Two years ago this month, my car was broken into, my window smashed and my purse stolen. I should not have left my purse in the car or left my car on the street.

My son said I was a target. I became more careful.

Recently, someone tried to break into my car with a hedge trimmer at 4:30 a.m. The suspect damaged my car to the tune of $945 but got nothing.

Nothing was in the car. It was locked and parked in back by the garage.

The garage door was broken. It is now fixed.

On a recent weekend, my cat left and did not return home. He is 12 and a sweetheart.

I noticed that my basement window has a crack in it, as if a rock was thrown. It will be fixed.

I have an alarm system. I reported the crimes to the police, and officers came and investigated and wrote reports.

I am sick of you weak thieves in the night. A new camera will be recording your movement.

Nicki Alexopoulos

Kansas City

Imperfect baseball

“You throw the ball; you catch the ball; you hit the ball.” That’s a quote from the movie “Bull Durham.”

Two out of three is not bad, but that doesn’t get enough wins to compete. Wishing and hoping don’t either.

I don’t limit my baseball watching to the Kansas City Royals.

Most teams seem to have three or four players who regularly get clutch hits, hit homers or at least find a way to get on base.

Nori Aoki sure does. What a great find. It’s too bad his efforts are wasted so often.

Regarding announcer Rex Hudler, I think he should listen to recordings of his last 10 ballgames. Either it would improve his blather or he would quit, ashamed of the product he is cramming down our throats.

Paul Juricak

Lenexa

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