Letters to the Editor

August 2, 2014

Readers weigh in on petition effort, guns in theaters and capital punishment

The city adopted a proposal that saves taxpayers $770,000 annually, ensures job security for affected employees and meets the council-passed ordinance for a structurally balanced budget. Unfortunately, ill-advised opponents propose to reverse weeks of careful analysis and engage the public in an unnecessary referendum.

Decline petition

The city adopted a proposal that saves taxpayers $770,000 annually, ensures job security for affected employees and meets the council-passed ordinance for a structurally balanced budget.

Unfortunately, ill-advised opponents propose to reverse weeks of careful analysis and engage the public in an unnecessary referendum.

So far, the petition effort has fallen short of the required signatures, but petitioners are continuing to solicit support.

Please decline to sign this petition.

The city’s adopted budget calls for contracting ambulance service billing. The contractor selected will open an office in Kansas City and hire at least 10 current employees. Employees who choose to stay with the city will be offered comparable jobs with no loss of pay, benefits or seniority.

The vendor is a leader in the medical-billing field, with 50 percent market share of this service nationally and a 95 percent client-retention rate.

We received numerous recommendations from clients around the country.

The City Council carefully considered this issue and voted for a contract that will save taxpayers money while enabling our fire department to concentrate on public safety instead of collecting bills.

The City Council’s decision should stand, and the referendum process should be stopped in its tracks.

Jan Marcason


Kansas City

No guns in theaters

A letter writer who is a member of Grandmothers Against Gun Violence wants “No Firearms” signs in movie theaters (7-30, Letters).

If signs are all it takes, we should put signs everywhere that there is no stealing, robbing or shooting people allowed.

Kurt Herbst


Capital punishment

About the death penalty, Missouri does not inflict cruel and unusual punishment on death-row inmates. But isn’t that an oxymoron considering the act of killing a person is pretty cruel in itself?

How about being locked up for 20 to 30 years or being told the date, time and how you will die?

All these things are cruel punishment.

I support capital punishment and think a person who commits a heinous crime and receives the death sentence from a jury of his peers should expect it to be carried out in a timely manner to reduce the amount of cruelty being inflicted on that person. It is the obligation of our legal system to do so.

How many death-row inmates die of old age? What sense does it make for the taxpayer to support the suffering year after year?

Mark McElroy

Cross Timbers, Mo.

Global warming

The definitive results are in. Global warming is here now. The oceans will rise.

Never mind that none of us will be here in 200 years to witness the farce perpetrated by huckster scientists to obtain grants and contributions.

The latest is that the ice sheet in western Antarctica is melting because the water is warmer. Anyone who has lived or traveled to Chile, Argentina and Antarctica knows the glaciers recede and extend all the time.

The El Nino and La Nina currents control the water temperature, and climate changes in the Western Hemisphere.

News reports recently told us that ice breakers were still clearing ship traffic lanes in the Great Lakes, and this has never happened this late in the year.

We visited Alaska in 2010 when scientists were telling us that the glaciers were melting at an alarming rate, only to be told by the park rangers that the previous year all navigation channels were closed and that emergency food and fuel had to be flown into remote villages. Icebergs have been part of our oceanic history.

I’m worried this Antarctic sheet could change the earth’s rotation. But what do I know?

Ricci Ballesteros

Kansas City

Karl Rove, the gnat

After listening to Karl Rove’s comments about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I was reminded of Westbrook Pegler’s attempts to smear first lady Eleanor Roosvelt.

When Eleanor was asked to respond to his remarks, she said, “Mr. Pegler is a gnat on my horizon.”

Dorothy Stoeger

Platte Woods, Mo.

Opposition to Obama

Some folks just can’t handle change.

Can you imagine the fuss our stick-in-the-mudders would be making now if President Barack Obama tried what previous presidents got passed in their day?

Such as President Franklin Roosevelt’s Social Security? They’d skin Obama alive if he had proposed it. “You’ll ruin our economy,” they’d say quite loudly. (How did we ever live without it?)

Or consider the consequences if drug coverage hadn’t been extended by President George W. Bush and Obama tried to author it now. The complaints of doom then were nothing compared with the cries for Obama’s head there would be now.

Maybe I’m being uncharitable, but I’m sure they’d fight to the death against workers’ compensation, women’s suffrage or even laws supporting kindness to little white pussycats if Obama’s name were on any of them.

Does anybody still pay attention to these stand-patter’s reflex rage?

Ben Vineyard

St. Joseph

Protect voting rights

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act by doing away with Section 4 — a provision that protected the voters in states with notoriously bad records of voter restrictions. We continue to need these protections as laws change throughout the nation, leading to the disenfranchisement of many citizens.

Today, we are a mere 49 years from the signing of the Voting Rights Act and we continue to need these protections to ensure our democracy remains strong and secure.

This is not a partisan issue. This is an American issue.

Lawmakers must be persuaded to protect our most vulnerable eligible voters.

With the Supreme Court Citizens United ruling, the will of the people has been subverted. Coupled with the GOP’s gerrymandering districts and new voter-identification laws in many states, the democratic voice has been muffled if not silenced.

Voting rights are a serious matter to the black community, and many of us are appealing to newspapers to have our displeasures heard.

Wali Muhammad

Kansas City

Going beyond ‘black’

I’ve debated for a long time about this subject and for many years refused to accept or use the term “black” when referring to people of African descent. There is way too much negativity associated with this word.

I am of African descent, but I am not black. I am a human being living in America.

I am free, and my foreparents were not slaves. They worked under adverse conditions but were free and passed this on to me. My family never had masters.

I was born in 1943 and worked as a sharecropper in Mississippi but was free in mind, which is where freedom exists. I do not wear those invisible balls and chains that many Americans are wearing.

Lewis Diuguid, think about it. Let all people be free of the word black. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had it perfectly right, saying, “Let people judge me by the contents of my character and not by the color of my skin.”

Americans, let freedom ring.

Ozell Butler

Kansas City, Kan.

Rice for president

The Republican Party has one chance to beat Hillary Clinton or any Democratic candidate. The GOP must nominate Condoleezza Rice for president.

Condoleezza Rice would gather all the enthusiasm and excitement that the Barack Obama candidacy did, and she would win based on the same demographics that propelled him to the White House.

I am a liberal left person politically, but if Hillary Clinton is nominated by the Democratic Party, I would vote Republican if Condoleezza Rice were that party’s nominee.

This is the only chance the Republicans have to remain a viable party. Otherwise, the Republican Party will be relegated to an extremist party.

Tom Suber


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