Joco Opinion

Letters to the editor: Brownback’s creative accounting, guns and fear, divided national leaders

Gov. Sam Brownback

Dear Gov. Brownback, I want to thank you after receiving my tax refund from the state of Kansas. I know how difficult it has been for you with the state broke and all. Three months wasn’t too long to wait. I was able to simply buy less-expensive pet food and forgo some important but not critical medical treatment until “my ship came in.”

Anyway, I approve of the way you’re running things. Getting my money from the highway and disabled children’s funds was just fine with me because I only drive in the city, and my kids are all healthy.

Keep up the good work, and I will close for now as my dog just nudged up to my leg and something is trickling down on my shoes.

George W. Lynn ll

Prairie Village

Herbert column

Republican presidential hopefuls Sen. Ted Cruz and billionaire Donald Trump were not giving me enough negativity this week. Thank God Danedri Herbert, the Princess of Negativity, appeared in 913 on Feb. 10 with her column, “Our national conversation doesn’t need Bob Dole.”

She appears to have run out of lies and slurs about us liberals, so she turned on one of her own, albeit of an older, less-enlightened generation — former Sen. Bob Dole. Sure, he was wounded, she says, but he “didn’t fight World War II alone.”

But, according to Herbert, Dole was pretty much responsible for the national debt. She closes her vituperative rant with advice to Sen. Dole,

“It’s become quite apparent you have nothing useful to add to the conversation,” Herbert writes.

Good advice, Ms. Herbert. Take a good look at yourself.

Scott Gregory

Roeland Park

Shifting state funds

I nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for the “International Creative Accounting Award.” His most recent financial manipulations should make him a shoo-in.

First he put the state into financial distress with some ill-advised tax cuts. Then he abused the Kansas Department of Transportation by repeatedly diverting millions of dollars from the KDOT account to the depleted Kansas General Fund.

Now he is moving to divert funds from the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System by deferring state payments to that entity, again for the purpose of shoring up the Kansas General Fund and creating a little working capital (2-9, A4, “Kansas pension payments are focus of Senate proposal”). This is particularly distasteful because the state (meaning all of us) just went on the hook for $1 billion in new bonds to shore up KPERS and overcome past chicanery.

In recent weeks, Gov. Brownback had touted the KPERS rescue as one of his sterling achievements. But that was so last week. Surely there are more opportunities for such thievery.

Any normal citizen who would practice such financial obfuscation, such as borrowing money for one stated purpose, and then converting it to other uses, without approval of the lender, would end up in jail. On second thought, maybe that is the proper solution in this case.

Donald Kaiser

Overland Park

Fear fuels gun need

You’re afraid that your home will be invaded by armed thugs so you buy a gun to protect your family. Now, as a responsible gun owner, you’re afraid that your 9-year-old might find that gun and accidentally hurt someone.

So you buy a gun safe. Then, you’re afraid that your wife and daughter may be the victim of an armed robber or even worse. So, you buy them a gun and teach them how to use it.

Now, they share your same concerns. And then you’re afraid that someone else will open fire in a crowded theater or restaurant so you carry a gun on your person — just in case. Then, on the day that you happen to leave your gun at home, you have to worry and hope that this isn’t the day you just happen to run into an armed criminal.

I am all for the Second Amendment and your right to do these things. But with rights come responsibilities. And, at least in my opinion, common sense gun regulation isn’t too much to ask.

But in doing all of these things just to exercise your rights, I have to ask this question. If I can walk outside of the house, unarmed and live a life worry free and not be afraid, nor attached to a gun, nor sweat bullets anticipating the worst scenario, why is it that you can’t leave home without the protection of a firearm?

Aren’t you tired of being afraid?

Tom Davis


Madness in Kansas

Gov. Sam Brownback’s insistence that everything is going well with Kansas is delusional. How can everything be “sunny” if you need to “borrow” from the highway funds and now the state employees’ retirement funds (2-9, A4, “Kansas pension payments are focus of Senate proposal”)?

Please, governor, stop the madness.

Lynn Palm


Dominant Denver

When the Carolina Panthers were introduced at the beginning of Super Bowl 50, Cam Newton came running out with arms outstretched like a soaring eagle. Then he got his wings clipped (2-8, B1, “Dominant Denver defense shuts down Carolina’s high-powered offense”).

Don Cameron

Overland Park

Advice from past

In 146 BC, the advice of the historian Polybius to his student, the Roman general Aemilius, was “Never come back from the (Roman) Senate until you have made one good friend.”

In our divided political House and Senate in Topeka and in Washington, D.C., with the hatred that permeates, could they not take this advice from the past?

John Nelles


To send letters

Visit the Letters website at to submit your letter to the editor for 913. The website form, with helpful reminders on required information replaces an email address for online submissions. You may also mail letters of up to 300 words to 913 Letters, The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO, 64108. Online letters are preferred.