Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on Gov. Sam Brownback, Presidents Day and the Keystone pipeline

Brownback, Groucho

Quoting Groucho Marx: “I sent the club a wire stating, ‘Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.’”

That was a telegram to the Friars Club of Beverly Hills to which Marx belonged, recounted in “Groucho and Me.”

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback also makes an irrefutable point. We claim to have good schools in Kansas.

But we are obviously wasting our money on schools that teach Kansans to elect a governor like him.

Dick Whitehouse


Presidents Day woes

Why do we celebrate Presidents Day when corruption has ruled the Oval Office for decades and there are only a handful of presidents in our history worth recognizing and celebrating?

In addition, practically none of these presidents were or are friends of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

What a worthless holiday. Presidents Day ranks right up there as a stupid holiday alongside Columbus Day. Columbus never set foot on North American soil, and he reigned down terror on many indigenous peoples.

Americans find strange things to celebrate. How many people have read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Federalist Papers, and then armed with that knowledge have seen what the government is doing to eradicate those documents and our founding principles?

Scott McBean

Overland Park

Losing in Kansas

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has laid his cards on the table. It is clear he is not playing with a full deck (2-11, A1, “LGBT protections revoked”).

Richard Gier


Brownback is right

People who are bashing Gov. Sam Brownback for rescinding the executive order that gave homosexuals additional protection are either brain dead or have failed to read anything but the sensationalized headlines.

Let’s get this straight.

In rescinding a previous administration’s issuance of said executive order, he clearly explained that he was doing so because it is the job of the legislative branch to enact such laws.

Today’s population needs a serious refresher course in basic government. We have three branches of government: The legislative branch makes the laws, the executive branch enforces the laws and the judicial branch is supposed to determine whether the laws are constitutional.

The executive branch (governor or president) is not supposed to dictate new laws by executive order except in dire need. The judicial branch is not supposed to dictate new laws at all.

If you think homosexuals don’t already have enough legal protections, contact your representatives in the Legislature.

Kim Williams

Kansas City, Kan.

Keystone pipeline

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner claims that the president, in vetoing the Keystone XL pipeline bill, is listening to “left-fringe extremists and anarchists.” Really (2-12, A2, “House sets up veto clash on Keystone XL”)?

Is Boehner referring to the scientists who study climatology and who are in nearly unanimous worldwide agreement that this is a dangerous and costly path for our future?

Is it worth further damaging the planet’s climate for the 35 permanent jobs that will remain after the construction workers are laid off?

The majority of American people understand that climate change is reality and needs to be addressed.

Right-wing paranoids and Fox News televangelists suggest the dangers of overreaching government and a dictatorial tyrant president.

Are they trying to convince us that our children will be safer with congressional leadership that rejects science and denies the laws of physics?

Richard Voss

Overland Park

Wrecking Earth

350KC, part of the international grassroots 350.org campaign, is very disappointed that Sen. Claire McCaskill continues to support the Keystone XL pipeline.

She acknowledges the climate crisis is real (unlike science denier Sen. Roy Blunt), but her stance demonstrates that she doesn’t understand it’s literally an existential threat.

Her support is founded on the assumption that the tar sands that would be shipped through Keystone XL would go through another pipeline built elsewhere if we reject it. She’s mistaken.

Every new pipeline proposed to ship tar sands to the Canadian coasts is fiercely opposed, foremost by the indigenous peoples whose lands they would have to cross.

Moreover, the industry intends to increase tar sands production from the current 2 million to more than 5 million barrels per day by 2030. To do so, it needs multiple new and expanded pipelines to transport it to the global market.

Every pipeline we block helps keep more of that carbon in the ground, where it must stay to avert a climate catastrophe.

Say you have a friend who asks you to help him destroy something. Is it right to say yes because he intends to do it even if you say no?

Friends don’t let friends wreck the world.

John Fish Kurmann

Kansas City

Correct Brownback

1. Cutting income taxes to zero (Gov. Sam Brownback’s mantra) would primarily benefit the wealthy and would only increase Kansas’ fiscal problems.

2. The governor’s recent tax cuts have not helped the Kansas economy, as indicated by important indicators such as sluggish job growth.

3. Raising consumption taxes hits the middle class and the poor the hardest by reducing their disposable income.

4. Giving Kansas school districts block grants will not solve the problem of school underfunding (as the Kansas Supreme Court recently ruled). If a school district experiences an upsurge in attendance and must hire additional teachers and counselors, where does it go for extra money?

Gov. Brownback needs to increase school funding, not complain that the school funding formula is “too complicated.”

Dennis McIntyre

Kansas City

Libraries at risk

Lady Bird Johnson: “Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.”

Laura Bush: “I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card.”

The two first ladies represent two political parties and two generations but with one clear message — that libraries are very valuable to all Americans.

This is not a liberal or conservative value. Libraries are an American value.

Despite this agreement, possible budget cuts now threaten library service statewide. Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposed budget eliminates core support to public libraries by nearly 80 percent.

Nixon’s budget would significantly increase Internet connection costs for libraries. This is critical because last year alone Missourians used 6.3 million public library-provided computer sessions to search for jobs, complete school projects and build technology skills.

Nixon’s budget also would put federal appropriations at risk.

Missouri libraries receive federal funds to help support basic and innovative new library projects. However, without matching funds from the state, that money would be redirected away from Missouri.

Please contact your state legislators and request their support for full funding for public libraries.

Steven V. Potter

Library Director

and CEO


Public Library

Grain Valley

Praise for firefighters

Last month, I had a fall on a cracked sidewalk in midtown after visiting a friend. Ugly cuts and bleeding were sustained.

The fire station at 31st Street and Indiana Avenue was called, and the emergency responders came immediately and knew exactly what to do to get me up and on the way to the hospital.

We are most privileged in Kansas City to have such wonderful city servants on duty to take care of us. They were superb in their methods to handle me.

Thanks to all our firefighters and paramedics everywhere.

Charlotte Humphrey

Kansas City