Letter writers share thoughts on U.S. politics, light rail, guns

07/14/2014 4:35 PM

07/14/2014 4:35 PM

Independent thinking

I find it troubling that you can’t be a fiscal conservative without being labeled a religious zealot and you can’t be a social liberal without being labeled a tax-and-spend bleeding heart.

Social and fiscal views are independent from one another, and we should start treating them that way. Only then can we have a viable third party.

When I share my political views with others, the vast majority agree with them, but they find themselves clinging to the tags “Democrat” or “Republican.”

Their views would label them libertarians.

That is, fiscally conservative and socially liberal. The Libertarian Party believes in smaller government and less government interference in our bedrooms and in our pockets.

I challenge people to have thoughts independent of their party.

Sean Lenz

Mission

Derailed KC priorities

Isn’t it ironic that members of the City Council chose to ignore the voters’ desire to move forward on Clay Chastain’s ill-conceived, voter-approved light-rail plan because they thought it failed to meet fiscal obligations?

Yet during a recent streetcar symposium, Mayor Sly James stated the expansion currently being pushed had a multimillion-dollar shortfall but needed to move forward because it would be good for the city, especially the East Side.

This is the same politician who supported the $1.2 billion, single-terminal boondoggle at Kansas City International Airport.

What is Mayor James’ next fiscally irresponsible initiative?

Perhaps endorsing millions of dollars in taxpayers’ funds to sell bonds for a convention hotel that would attract conventioneers and tourists to use our $1.2 billion unnecessary KCI terminal so they can ride around on his more-than-half-billion-dollar choo-choo train and view our neighborhoods that have been neglected because the airport, choo-choo train and hotel gobbled up all of Kansas City’s tax dollars.

Dennis Chenoweth

Kansas City

Gun-rights wrongs

The Second Amendment is not in danger. No one is trying to take anyone’s guns.

It’s time for economic sanctions. They work.

When the gun law in Kansas goes into effect and you see someone in a place of business with a gun strapped to his hip, contact the manager and tell that person how much money the store just lost because you will not be spending your money in that establishment.

Religious leaders, make it very clear to your congregations that a gun is not welcome in the Lord’s house. That type of person is not listening to the word of God anyway.

In Missouri, we need to speak up loud and clear to our elected representatives. The majority does not want the National Rifle Association and hillbillies running this state. How many of you gun-rights people are on antidepressants? Anyone who thinks a gun is a “resolution” tool needs to be stopped.

I own two registered guns, and they never leave my house, and I do not have the need for a concealed carry permit either, and guess what, boys, women are going to stop this foolishness.

Ladies, speak up now, loudly.

Donna Cox

Independence

Taken for a ride

For almost a month, the local copycat TV news stations have been covering what they loosely classify as news — the on-again, off-again water slide in Wyandotte County. For almost a month, the TV news hounds have been portraying a classic public relations escapade as legitimate news.

What we need are mature TV journalists who seek out and find legitimate news stories, not serve as public relations shills for corporate interests selling a product by repeatedly postponing its introduction. Give us more real news, not the proliferation of entertainment.

Bob Tobia

Kansas City

KCI boondoggle

The Kansas City International Airport replacement plan proposes a big-box, centralized terminal.

The plan focuses on federal security consolidation and city revenue growth. Ignored are speed and efficiency, namely passenger convenience.

Who cares if KCI isn’t brand new? There are many older airports that function with higher volumes. KCI has an architecturally significant design and rare convenience.

The airport is incredibly fast to get in and out of. The supreme metric for any airport is how little time you have to spend in it.

There are plenty of seats and food-and-beverage options outside of security. KCI has dozens of bathrooms before security. The lack of power outlets could be resolved for less than a million bucks.

That and concessions variety justify this billion-dollar boondoggle?

Security also wants a new airport. Not for better security, but for cheaper security. Security does not function for the convenience of passengers. It wants the airport to function for the convenience of its staff.

KCI is easy-to-use and fast. The big-box proposal would be a billion-dollar-plus liability for upgraded airport food and to save a few screener salaries.

Wouldn’t that money be better spent upgrading Troost Avenue instead?

Lloyd Frank

Kansas City

Stand with women

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed HB 1307, which would have tripled the mandatory waiting period for women seeking abortions.

This bill was designed to produce significant barriers to abortion by forcing women to arrange for transportation, lodging and child care for three days while they travel to Missouri’s only remaining abortion clinic in St. Louis. Women of lower socioeconomic status would be disproportionally affected because it would be harder to for them to make these arrangements.

This legislation attempts to block a woman’s constitutional right to safe and legal abortion. Missourians fiercely opposed this bill on several occasions, including a march on the state Capitol and a 72-hour citizens filibuster in which people traveled from across the state to oppose HB 1307.

Gov. Nixon made the just decision by standing with Missouri women. We need the General Assembly to do the same.

Stephanie Gail

Kansas City

Kansas desperation

Reading about Kansas and Missouri economic planning, I see pro and con arguments as to what strategies work.

Recent headlines have said things such as, “Kansas officials underestimate impact of income-tax cuts, missing revenue estimates by more than $300 million” and “Gov. Nixon vetoes huge tax-cut bill, says it will drain revenue and affect ability to provide basic services.”

In addition, a telling revelation was in a July 11 letter from Lana Gordon, Kansas secretary of labor, in defense of Gov. Sam Brownback’s record. Gordon wrote that The Star claimed “Kansas lost 1,600 jobs, (while) there was actually an increase in private-sector employment of more than 1,200 jobs.”

If true, a gain of 1,200 jobs in the private, non-farm employment population of about 1 million is an accurate measurement of Kansas’ anemic economic health. Certainly, because of length limitations the secretary could get a bare minimum of information in her letter, but I see it signaling Kansas government desperation in a faltering economy.

Robert M. Shettles

Liberty

VA patient care

I have followed with a great deal of interest the many stories regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a Vietnam veteran, I wanted to share the good experiences I have had with both the Leavenworth VA Medical Center and the Kansas City VA Medical Center.

I have found my internist at the Leavenworth VA to be very thorough and extremely responsive to my particular needs. She has referred me in a timely manner to the eye clinic, physical therapy, X-ray and other places, where I also encountered good service.

My experiences with other departments have shown them to be very efficient and responsive.

I have found that follow-ups with staff are helpful in scheduling appointments. The patient needs to take some responsibility for his own case because the staffs at both hospitals are very busy.

John Strube

Leawood

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