Joco Opinion

913 letters to the editor

Immigration reform

I was pleased to read (8-15, A6, “In a letter, 32 Kansas mayors urge immigration reform”) that Shawnee Mayor Jeff Meyers had joined 31 other Kansas mayors to urge our congressional delegation to support immigration reform that meets business and economic needs, ensures adequate funding for law enforcement, and offers a reasonable and timely path to immigrants, many of whom have lived here, paid taxes and contributed to their local communities for years.

I am heartened to know that both local elected officials and business leaders are sending the message to Congress that we need efficient, expeditious and humane reform. And we need it now.

Diane Kuhn Shawnee
Dome construction

Is it time to change our building structure design in the face of future storms. Dome shaped or Quonset styles are proven very durable in surviving extreme wind conditions.

What happens in places like Moore, Okla., might have a somewhat less disastrous result with some doable changes in new construction. Our legislatures should look at some new requirements in both commercial and residential design, at least in areas with recurring tornadoes.

In addition, buildings built with reinforced curved or domed shapes are also much more energy efficient. Not to mention a design that allows much less expense for lighting because of sections in the tops that can be clear plastic to make use of nature's sunlight.

Tom Spath
Lenexa Computer calls

It’s once again that silly time of politics. I’ve been getting those computer calls with their strange questions.

Do you feel we’re doing enough to destroy the government? Do you want us to shut down the government?

Do you feel we would be better off without The Kansas City Star? Are we doing enough to destroy the nation’s health care?

Will you back Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in his run for president? And will you give us money to support us as we put together the worst federal government that the country has ever known?

Did you know that you can’t yell loud enough for a computer to hear you, and just like the computer these people really do not care that their perversion is destroying a once beautiful country.

Richard Lumpkin Prairie Village Egypt, religion

How bloody it is where religionists insist that they rightly control the truths of life and therefore the government. On the other hand, freedom from religious domination must be maintained to achieve a democratic form of government for all.

Egypt, of course, is what I’m talking about. This deadly drama of religious control, or not, is unfolding before our eyes.

This is a perfect paradigm on which to understand why, a government, promising democracy for all, must not be controlled by a religiously dedicated group. Our Founding Fathers knew this psychological and pragmatic truth.

They were men of the Enlightenment, which recognized that democratic civil rights were threatened by imposition of religious dogma. Whether or not a very small or a large group of men can distort the meaning of the religion phrase in our First Amendment, Egypt’s current history is the stage upon which the absolute necessity of separation of religion from a democratic form of government is presented for all to see.

Lloyd Hellman Leawood Turnaround coming

Traditionally midterm elections have low voter turnout. Hopefully that trend will end in 2014.

After their defeat in 2008, mainstream Republicans counted on complacency in the 2010 midterms and got behind tea party-backed candidates to take control back.

The result was ultraconservative members of Congress and 13 states with full control in the governorship and both houses. Immediately, especially in the states, they started passing laws that would work to their advantage in future elections and began drastic redistricting.

Not by coincidence, these states began dismantling union and worker rights. Then came the slew of new voter identification laws and more anti-abortion bills than this country has ever seen in its history.

In Congress, now with the House back in Republican hands, the leadership discovered they had a bigger problem as they were fighting not only Democrats but the new tea party members as well. In 2012, almost all Republican moderates were primaried out in states, Congress and the Senate.

States went further to the right, but the tea party in Congress and the Senate lost seats. We have a chance to change course in 2014, only if we show up and vote.

Karen Lane Overland Park Give GOP credit

I am not a proponent of either party as they present a unified presence of ideological selfishness. However, I must give some credit to the Republicans, despite the likes of former Rep. Todd Akin, that they have been a part of major advances in the rights of the individual.

Empathy and reason have played an important part in breaking through the “crust” of social conservatism to advance social services, the rights of race and religion, empowerment of women and tolerance of gays (even a certain regard for marriage). They have even shown a concern for better treatment of animals.

The changes have been a “bitter pill” for many of their constituents and have temporarily damaged the party. But, they have moved forward for the sake of the people.

They should be commended. The Democrats cannot take all of the credit.

John Nelles Shawnee