As I watched the unfolding events in the tragic shooting Aug. 9 of Michael Brown, I am saddened by all the violence that has occurred as a result of an already violent event.
I, for one, am waiting for results from all sides to be disclosed before making an unbiased and objective evaluation of the actual incident.
I believe with the current climate of emotions on both sides, it is almost impossible to draw an accurate and fair picture of what occurred. Conflicting eye-witness reports, failure to disclose information and the expectant predisposition of both sides is making it hard to evaluate the facts of the case.
I do have to wonder if Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson had been videotaped whether the Brown family lawyer would find that relevant to be presented in this case.
My hunch is he would see relevance.
Here we go again. What chapter or sequel is this?
Sprint hires a new chief executive officer, Marcelo Claure (8-12, C1, “Sprint in transition looks back, ahead”). He ends up laying off more employees to make his bottom line look good.
He gets a bonus. After a few years, he leaves and the cycle starts all over again.
If the huge bonuses were left in the company to pay employees, the company would be much better off. Now we have another ex-CEO with a great retirement package and a lot more workers soon to be unemployed.
I just don’t get it.
Sinking middle class
Surprise, according to news reports earlier this year, the U.S. middle class is no longer the richest in the world. Even the poorest in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom earn more than the poorest in America.
Also reported, our median income has barely moved since 2000, whereas Canada’s has increased 20 percent and now surpasses the U.S.’s. Why?
Jared Bernstein, an economic adviser, says our country has lost good, middle- and working-class jobs. Case in point, Mr. Bernstein cites American corporations’ outsourcing work to lower labor costs.
Apple Corp. is an example, employing more people in China making products than in the U.S.
President Barack Obama asked Steve Jobs at a business conference in 2012 what it would take to get those jobs back in the U.S. Mr. Jobs said they are not coming back.
The University of California reports that more than 14 million white-collar jobs may be in jeopardy of being outsourced by corporate America.
James L. Atkinson
Kansas City, Kan.
Steve Rose column
The Aug. 17 Steve Rose column, “Kansas City police should use body-mounted cameras,” is right on target.
I would consider my share of tax dollars a good investment in the $1 million to equip all our officers with these cameras.
Fixing VA system
How long does it take to figure out there are problems with the health care of our military, who are trained to give all they have in order to do what our government asks them to do.
So they go to some country where our government wants them, and when they return to the United States they can’t get proper health care from our government. This isn’t right.
Our government hasn’t taken care of them.
This isn’t a new problem. It has been going on for many years now.
Now Veterans Affairs officials are going to change the system.
It is a disgrace the way they have treated our military.
All of the people who caused the problems should be fired and jailed or not be hired at any government job in the future.
Path to riches, cheat
A recent study by Gabriel Zucman, an economist with the London School of Economics, found that a major cause of wealth inequality is tax evasion.
Eight percent of personal wealth is stashed in tax havens, and 21 percent of corporate profits are shifted overseas.
Because multinational corporations and individuals with at least $50 million in revenues are able to evade some of their taxes, the average taxpayer must pay more to finance government.
The Internal Revenue Service should be collecting more in taxes, but it has a major problem.
Congressional Republicans have been cutting the budget of the IRS, and as a result it is estimated that there is a $385 billion gap between what taxes are owed and what is collected.
In 2013, only 24 percent of returns of more than $10 million were audited compared with 30 percent in 2010.
Only 16 percent of incomes between $1 million and $5 million were audited in 2013 compared with 21 percent in 2010.
The wealthy make large contributions to Republicans and receive lower taxes and opportunities to evade taxes.
House Republicans have proposed more cuts to the IRS in 2015. The president has requested an increase of $1.2 billion.
Food on avenue
I wonder whether all of the city’s food truck ordinances apply to the many street vendors on Independence Avenue in the old Northeast area of Kansas City (8-20, Commentary, “Food trucks often face roadblocks”).
President Abraham Lincoln began the Gettysburg Address by reminding everyone that “our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
This nation was to be unique in the world. Power was to rest with the people.
Other nations had government-established churches. The folks making up this new nation didn’t want that.
So, the very first amendment addressed this concern by stating, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
The First Amendment also addressed freedom of speech and press, but isn’t it interesting the first mentioned was religion, ahead of speech and press?
The Danbury Baptist Association was not convinced that it would be able to maintain its freedom, so people wrote to Thomas Jefferson for reassurance. He responded on Jan. 1, 1802, assuring them that the First Amendment built “a wall of separation between church and state.”
Lincoln concluded the Gettysburg Address “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
David F. Robinson
Return to sender
How many of you got the 2014 Republican Platform Survey? It is “registered” and complete with dictatorial instructions that one is to return it as it “must be accounted for during tabulation.”
“Do not destroy” is printed in red ink.
The envelope provided by the Republican National Committee is oversized but still too small to contain the Republicans’ precious document.
Who is responsible for the measurements of the envelope and enclosure?
Has anyone taught them to read a ruler?
How did they find the courage to trust such a precious document to the Postal Service, which the GOP is working hard to destroy?
It is highly repellant that Republicans and corporate interests could not provide prepaid return envelopes.
Were their mothers remiss in teaching them to impart common courtesy?
One does not send an unrequested item and demand the return of it without paying transportation both ways. That is rude.
The Democratic National Committee did enclose a prepaid envelope for return of its survey.
Republicans aren’t really interested in registered GOP voters’ opinions because the questions on the “survey” read as if they were composed by the emotionally histrionic info-tainers of Fox News.
Sarah E. Karl