Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on the Homeland Security standoff, Gov. Sam Brownback and police

Homeland standoff

Republicans in Congress are taking this country to the brink of another possible government shutdown (2-24, A1, “Agency closure looms Friday”). It’s not the entire country this time, only the Department of Homeland Security.

Sadly, the only reason Republicans who oppose this shutdown state for being against this is that they would be blamed. Why not be against it because it is wrong and puts the security of this country at risk?

The last time Republicans shut down the government was in opposition to Obamacare. Now it’s in opposition to immigration reform.

Republicans keep saying the president won’t work with them. But when they say, “Give us our way or we’ll shut down the government,” that doesn’t seem like a negotiation. It’s blackmail.

The last time, it cost the economy billions of dollars. This time it won’t cost as much in dollars but instead in the security of this country.

Why not just pass a clean bill funding Homeland Security? There are enough votes in the House if you work with Democrats to overcome the opposition from the tea party Republicans.

The Republicans must prove to the American people that they actually have our best interest in mind and not just an extreme dislike of the president.

Karen Lane

Shawnee

Leadership needed

A recent social media clip shows a woman on a game show answering the question, “How many countries are in Africa, one, two, three or 53?” She gave the Palinesque answer “one.”

It isn’t necessary for all Americans to be well-versed in geography and geopolitics. However, because of our stature in the world as the dominant military and economic power, our leaders must be knowledgeable about these subjects.

As we head toward the next presidential election, we should learn about those who seek to lead us. The Republicans are already trotting out a slate of candidates with suspect intellectual skills.

We do not need a rerun of Sarah (Africa is a country) Palin, Herman (Uzbeki-beki-stan-stan) Cain or heaven forbid Rick Perry. People like this can get us into wars and conflicts not knowing who our enemies and allies are, not knowing how to end conflicts and not even knowing what a victory looks like.

Think Iraq and Afghanistan and President George W. Bush.

We can and must do better than electing a president with the knowledge shown by that game-show contestant. The world counts on us to do so.

Kenneth Newman

Overland Park

Brownback’s mess

Kansas, financially, is in a mess. Why?

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback wanted to help the rich and the farmers.

Brownback is not poor, so who did he not help? The poor.

The Bible says the first will be last and the last will be first. So let them have their day in the sun.

To paraphrase George W. Bush when he was president during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina crisis, “Brownie, you’re doing one heck of a job.”

Tyron Carlson

Lenexa

Blaming police

With the Obama administration recovery growing stronger and Republicans threatening to “turn the country around,” both liberals and conservatives have a new set of scapegoats — cops.

Politicians pass laws that burden the working class? Blame the officer enforcing the law. Black-on-black crime occurs? Blame the police rather than the criminals or the politicians who keep poor people oppressed.

Tired of taxes? Cut funding for services, and then blame the officers for the slow police response.

Criminals killed by cops? Blame the officers, and then call for more restrictions on officer safety while glossing over the criminal behavior.

Officer killed by criminal? Not to worry. Cops’ lives don’t matter. Local news might show a few seconds of the funeral. Newspaper coverage? Unlikely.

Some statistics: 124 law-enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2014, 47 by gunfire. Go to the Officer Down Memorial Page (www.odmp.org) and see how many assailants were unarmed.

These people work day and night to protect us, and this is how they are repaid.

June Ford

Archie, Mo.

Cheering Comets

A local team, the Missouri Comets, has just completed an undefeated Major Arena Soccer League regular season, finishing 20-0 (2-23, B2, “Comets finish undefeated”). The Comets’ Leo Gibson led the league in goals, assists and points.

The Comets feature one of the premier coaches in the game in Vlatko (who also coaches the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League champion FC Kansas City).

The Comets were the champions of the Major Indoor Soccer League last season. The MISL having been absorbed into this year’s MASL, the Comets are now looking to be repeat champions.

Let’s get behind the Comets in their quest, Kansas City.

Brad Rincker

Gladstone

Preschool cheers

Thank you to the Hickman School District’s board and Superintendent Dennis Carpenter for providing an excellent model of how a school district can serve its 4-year-old children (2-20, Editorial, “Hickman Mills leads in early childhood learning”).

The research is unequivocal — quality early learning makes a difference in preparing young children for success in school.

While most of our region’s school districts provide various degrees of early learning, Hickman Mills is the first to provide early learning for all its 4-year-old children. We encourage other school districts to look for innovative ways to finance similar efforts.

Jim Caccamo, Ph.D.

Director

Department

of Early Learning

Mid-America

Regional Council

Kansas City

Kinder’s pay raise

When Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder took the job, he knew the requirements and the salary. But like all other Missourians, he thought if he performed his duties well, a raise could be expected.

He makes only $89,000 per year plus benefits. He appears on TV, spending taxpayers’ money traveling the state, while state leaders cut funding for education, which forces us to contribute more locally to fund our schools.

Food prices rise daily. Insurance rates have gone out of sight. I just bought a second home — a tent from Wal-Mart so I can afford to vacation with my son before he sells his soul to loans in order to attend college.

I, too, am a public servant, in local government. I have not received a raise for several years and have taken on more duties.

I say Mr. Kinder should receive the same raise as the below-average Missourian has seen over the last several years. Good luck, poor Mr. Kinder.

Robert Stout

Palmyra, Mo.

Blair’s poem

Dancing and singing

With sparkler in hand

On her 11th Fourth of July

The impossible occurred

As a bullet fell from the sky

A scrap of paper

Later found in her bedroom

Outlined a foundation,

A Girl Scout Gold Award project,

To provide socks for needy children.

Foster children, sometimes barefoot

When arriving at their home, bothered her

Like the girl in her gym class without sneakers

Like the little girl without a bicycle.

Giving away socks, her sneakers,

And a brand new bike

Gave her something greater in return.

Giving the ultimate, life to five others,

Gave her something greater in return.

Upon donating Blair’s heart

Her mother said,

“At least she got to give her heart to a boy.”

Despite all of this

I wish Blair had given me something.

Maybe her mom will find it later

Another scrap of paper with my name on it

Simply printed by a sixth-grader

With a freshly sharpened No. 2 pencil

Telling me

What that something greater in return is.

Thomas Maienschein

Lee’s Summit

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