Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss press criticism, USPS and Josh Svaty

A U.S. Postal Service mail carrier.
A U.S. Postal Service mail carrier. Bloomberg

Press criticism

I was pleased to see The Star’s editorial on Sen. Claire McCaskill’s false statements about meeting with the Russian ambassador. (July 3, 6A, “The perils of Twitter: McCaskill misled with broad Russia denial”) This is an example of why we need a free press.

A free press holds all governmental officials, regardless of party affiliation, to a standard of truth.

Truthfulness and the proper use of facts are essential to our democratic society. An informed electorate in a free society needs to know the facts to make proper decisions.

The president’s assaults on the media are counter to the values of a democratic society.

Only in an authoritarian society do you have a sycophantic press that praises the leader and gives the public only that information the government desires.

Without criticism of political leaders by a free press, we become an authoritarian society.

I hope the press will continue the fight for accuracy and criticize a Trump or a McCaskill as appropriate. A free press unfettered by government represents the highest values of our liberal democracy.

Bond Faulwell

Overland Park

Mail, dogs

Dog owners should understand the power that local post office branch managers have over their mail delivery.

When a carrier reports your dog, his or her account is accepted, and your mail service can be stopped with no due process of any kind.

I tried to explain a recent situation in which a carrier reported our dog. I was there, and the dog did not bite the carrier. He merely barked at her. I got him to go into the house.

I then got a printed notice that said “zero tolerance” for dogs. Mail delivery was stopped. I have had to rent a post office box to receive my mail.

When I called the manager at the branch office and asked if I could explain my view of the situation, he said that I had “one minute.” He totally rejected everything I said.

These people have dictatorial power, and there is no way to appeal. The customer is powerless to do anything about the decision. It is very much a Kafkaesque situation at the U.S. Postal Service.

James Floyd

Overland Park

Svaty campaign

Regarding Democrat Josh Svaty’s campaign for governor and the opposition to that campaign by Planned Parenthood and the Democratic National Committee: Abortion does not fit the argument supporting a woman’s right to make choices about her own health care. (July 5, 1A, “Will a litmus test on abortion sink Kansas Democrat’s bid for governor?”)

Health care is about supporting a woman’s ability to screen for breast cancer or be treated by a health care professional for flu, pain or any other sickness affecting her health. All abortion does is ignore these issues.

Why is it that Planned Parenthood and the DNC cannot work with anti-abortion groups to solve whatever health issues women face?

Mary Bognich

Overland Park

Health insurance

Although overall profits are up, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City pulled out of the Affordable Care Act marketplace in Kansas and Missouri as of next year. Some politicians claim the ACA is bad for us, but new bills would take us in the wrong direction.

I paid into insurance companies all my life and into Blue KC specifically for two decades. But now I cost it money because I need expensive tests.

Without the regulations that forced insurers to take me as a member, I simply would not have insurance now. And the regulation-enforced reduction in premiums in my age pool is the only way premiums were even vaguely affordable to me.

Insurance companies can increase their huge profits by removing higher risk people from their rolls, of course. But the money people like me paid to them over the years is the reason they made these profits over the long haul. They should not be allowed to drop members just when their need is greatest.

That is the ACA’s strength. It should be improved, not replaced with something even worse.

Gordon Elliott

Overland Park

Hobby Lobby

So, Hobby Lobby has been smuggling precious ancient artifacts from their countries of origin … and got caught. These are the same people who condemn people who are born LGBT, who are against women being able to make their own decisions on family planning and who preach morality in many forms.

Did they not read the Ten Commandments, especially the one that says, “Thou shalt not steal”? They have no moral authority to preach to the rest of us.

Judith Sturgess