End mass shootings
What if The Kansas City Star were the first newspaper in the United States to initiate an editorial policy to withhold the names, addresses, races, bios and photographs of deranged mass shooters? What if the newspaper would just report what happened?
First, shooters would be robbed of their notoriety they so covet. And second, the public would be spared the disaster that serves only to encourage lone wolves and copycats.
It would take courage for a newspaper to initiate such a policy. But others would follow, and would-be copycats would simply have to resign themselves to the fact that, instead of going out in a blaze of glory, they would just have to enter hell anonymously.
We can solve this problem of mass shootings. It just takes courage and common sense.
And who knows, such a move might just cause the Pulitzer committee to consider The Kansas City Star a prime candidate for a Pulitzer Prize.
Living King’s dream
My husband and I decided to go see the movie “Selma” on Jan. 19, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in tribute to the national holiday for the slain civil rights leader.
I was only 17 years old when the marches actually took place and did not totally realize the complete brutality and sadness involved in that terrible time in our history.
The entire movie theater was sold out, with mostly black viewers and a few white ones, including me and my husband. Watching the depiction made me and a black woman with two small boys sitting next to me actually shed tears together when the violence was unbearable.
I felt such a bond with her at the injustices depicted in the film. I believe a beautiful lesson was learned from the Rev. King and his followers.
America is smarter and more compassionate now and will never again condemn others to that magnitude solely based on their skin color.
We must learn from the past. Our children need to be taught right from wrong.
Our hope is that white, black, brown and yellow people will hold hands and march forward to create an even better world.
We can do it together.
Immigration in U.S.
I want to make two points on the subject of immigration.
First, in Israel, immigration is considered the No. 1 factor attributed to Israel’s economic success.
Immigrants with any Jewish background are welcomed into Israel and made citizens upon arrival.
Israel’s population has increased ninefold in the 66 years since it became a state in 1948.
Many immigrants from Ethiopia, Yemen and North Africa could neither read nor write.
The U.S. should take a chapter from Israel’s book on immigration.
Second, there is the legality question of President Barack Obama’s handling of immigration without Congress’ approval.
Also, the electorate clearly voted against it in the midterm elections.
Leonard Pitts column
Leonard Pitt’s Jan. 27 column, “Why serious people discount Fox news,” should be headlined, “Why liberal people discount Fox news.” Were it not for Fox News, Americans would have little access to the truth behind the major stories reported by other networks.
Ask Sharyl Attkisson, formerly with CBS, about the stonewalling on the Benghazi killings.
Yes, Mr. Pitts, it’s Benghazi, Benghazi. Benghazi because of the cover-up, cover-up, cover-up.
Edward Bernays, considered the “father of public relations,” once said, “The best defense against propaganda: more propaganda.”
We are today swamped by agendas seeking to manipulate our thinking: political parties, religions, corporations, entertainment, those seeking to create fear and most notably social media.
Years ago, as an elementary school teacher, I used a game called “Propaganda” in which the children selected one of 28 ways to manipulate thinking in particular scenarios. I also broke down these techniques into four categories: moral effective, immoral effective, moral ineffective and immoral ineffective.
The parents loved it but often complained that their children’s arguments were becoming too effective.
As the swell of political noise grows toward the 2016 election, we might all want to look carefully at what is being said and how it is presented. “Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.” Again Bernays.
Sinking in Kansas
Our budget is going away. Many students at Manhattan High School are involved in the arts, and many of them choose to go to college for the arts because of the great programs we have.
My directors and teachers have worked for years to get the program where it is, and we could lose all of it. I’m running a fundraiser to help support these programs in this time of uncertainty.
The band program is using instruments that were bought more than 30 years ago, and most of them are being held together by string and tape. The art program can barely afford basic art supplies, and kids these days can’t afford to go buy them themselves.
The drama department has been using the same wood for stagecraft since the 1970s, and it’s not safe anymore. The orchestra’s instruments are severely chipped.
I am requesting your help spreading our link (www.booster.com/save-the-arts-mhk) to help our campaign. The campaign goes until Feb. 10. We’re selling T-shirts that are $15, and we also accept donations.
An art, band
and drama junior
The Star’s crunching and review of the numbers on job/employment/income growth in Kansas are welcome because the majority of voting Republicans and the sum total of the party leadership appear to be innumerate (1-26, Editorial, “Adding jobs in Kansas harder than promised”).
Would that the paper’s lesson be all it took to edify a governor bent on following his dogmatic belief rather than evidence and, soon, very harsh reality.
We should all ask why it is that Kansans have accepted a convention where fewer taxes will automatically confer greater economic growth. Smaller, privatized government is better? Less is always more? Children will make do with less? Rock chalk?
Holistically speaking, income taxation is a relatively small percentage of quotidian life.
Kansas might once have offered stronger schools, superior infrastructure, superb higher education and leading edge health care.
But it is unlikely that Gov. Sam Brownback will be able to offer such amenities when trying to lure new (or preserve old) jobs in a year or two simply on the back of regressive sales taxes and user fees.
Suggesting he seek remedial education to defray his knowledge deficits in economics and governance is probably moot — such offerings are likely already cut.
Leslie D. Mark
My husband and I are senior citizens in Wyandotte County. When I used up my unemployment, we were getting $70 a month in food stamps.
We just got a little raise, getting up to $80. I was happy to get that.
When my husband’s Social Security raise went into effect, we started getting $15 extra a month. Then I was notified that our food stamps amount will be cut $18 a month.
So, instead of the raise, we lose more. We are trying to survive on less than $1,600 a month, but it’s getting harder and harder.
We have to rely on our family for transportation because we cannot afford tags and insurance.
It’s getting more and more frustrating as days go by.
Why is it like this in America?
We are there for other countries in the blink of an eye. But when our own people need help, we can’t get it.
Welcome to Kansas.
Kansas City, Kan.