God bless Larry and Paulette Moreau for speaking out about what they saw when Brandon Ellingson drowned while his hands were shackled behind his back (9-8, A1, “Witnesses fault lake inquiry”).
This was a completely preventable tragedy, and the trooper responsible for this young man’s death should be prosecuted and punished accordingly. That pertinent information was withheld from the jurors during the inquest is inexcusable.
Once again, a police/state trooper action has resulted in the death of a defenseless young citizen of this country. And once again, the authorities responsible have closed ranks to protect their own.
This is outrageous and a gross miscarriage of justice if this trooper is not held accountable for his actions.
I cannot begin to imagine what the Ellingson family must be going through.
I hope and pray that justice is done, for all those involved.
Get streetcar plan
Kansas City leaders need to stop selling streetcars as an isolated project and instead show residents how streetcars can be part of an efficient citywide transit plan.
We need to modernize the bus system by expanding routes, decreasing wait times, expanding night and weekend hours, improving shelters and getting new buses. These fundamentals made the MAX lines on Main Street and Troost Avenue successful.
We should move forward on a Prospect Avenue MAX line that is not tied to streetcar funding.
A safe, clean, convenient system that goes where you are going when you want to go is what riders want. It doesn’t matter whether the wheels are rubber or steel.
If streetcars will benefit the whole city, then everyone needs to be involved, not just the few who live in a new unnecessary and unfair taxing district.
Leaders need to decide whether streetcars are a transportation project or a catalyst for economic development.
Without the economic development, it wouldn’t be worth the cost. But the hope of economic development won’t materialize if streetcars aren’t convenient for riders.
If leaders want to move forward with a new plan, they need to sell us on both.
State retirement fund
I have been a retiree of the Kansas Department of Corrections for more than 10 years.
Kansas’ retirement system has never been fully funded. The Legislature once in a while gives a one-time payment at the end of the year, but you have to be five years retired to receive it. The last was the year after I retired.
So, this is nothing new and can’t be blamed on any one governor.
Except that somewhere along the line, the Legislature should have overhauled the retirement fund and put it under professional financial advisers.
Heroes in Congress
Our Congress, which is supposed to be serving the American public, has became an embarrassment.
I am ashamed of its petty quarrels, endless bickering and frivolous lawsuits while few important issues are being taken care of.
Do the members of the House and Senate need to be required to take conflict-resolution classes? Apparently, the only thing they agree on is voting themselves a raise and going on vacation, leaving unresolved issues behind.
How much are we paying them? And for what?
While I am clipping coupons, going to thrift stores and trying to make ends meet, they are drawing huge salaries and refusing to allow the public a meager $10-an-hour minimum wage.
Whatever happened to “of the people, by the people and for the people”?
If they had even a drop of human decency they would resign and allow people who care about humanity to take their places.
If ever we needed a hero in Congress it is now.
“Robber barons” was a derogatory term applied to certain self-serving wealthy and powerful 19th and early 20th century businessmen (industrialists) who, in one practice, used what were considered to be exploitative practices to amass their wealth and gain political control of our states and in as many parts of our U.S. government as possible — this by buying votes to support their agendas and the wishes of the political party they supported.
Thankfully, this practice was thwarted by a sufficient number of representative American patriots who passed laws preventing this foul practice. Now, however, the barons are back, and in early April, the Republican majority of our U.S. Supreme Court bowed to the Koch-brother types.
There are so few living Americans who understand the consequences of the 1 percent taking control of the other 99 percent that we fail to realize that we have (once again) gone over the cliff and are in free fall.
Vote this November to mitigate the consequences of the plunge and fatal impact by at least turning the rocks below into a patriotic brand of deep soft pillows.
The police shooting incident in Ferguson, Mo., and the subsequent troubles there demonstrate clearly that we still have a problem with racism and classism in this country.
The spasm of violence following this incident was the result of long periods of bottled-up frustration.
Communities don’t do well when they are subjected to prolonged periods of unemployment, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, hopelessness, violence and — in their eyes and maybe in reality — disrespect by the police. In other words, with these circumstances we are creating powder kegs that are ready to erupt.
We have to find a way to address inequality so that all of our citizens can have decent lives with self-respect and dignity.
All people need to have hope that things can get better in the future.
Obviously, we have structural problems that must be addressed. A big one is how much influence we allow the market to have in our political and economic systems.
Market forces always enable those who have wealth to get more while making it increasingly difficult for the poor to get started up the ladder toward financial security.
End oil addiction
If you think the actions the United States is taking in the Middle East at this or any other time have a humanitarian purpose, you are deluded.
Our best and only exit from the tangle of this mess is to extricate ourselves from our addiction to oil.
Make a plan that will help get every individual free from needing oil in any way, shape or form and we will take the power away from the extremists, remove the need to direct puppet governments and leave the various arenas to figure it out for themselves.
Linda Q. Muller
Lebanon, a country of about 4.5 million people, is not complaining as it shelters a million refugees from Syria.
The United States, a country of about 316 million, protests having 50,000 children from Central America in our country.
It is big of the Lebanese people and small of us as Americans.
The complainers are far removed from the people on the ground.
These desperate people come to this country under great hardships because the jobs are here and not back home.
Most of us are descendants of immigrants, yet we negate the message of the Statue of Liberty to millions of people today.
Rev. Terry Bruce
I wish someone in the Kansas City Royals organization would talk to the TV announcers and remind them that they are not hosting a talk-radio show. There is actually a baseball game in progress.
They seem to think we are entertained by their yammering on about what they know about baseball or who they know or who they talked to last week.
At least half the time they seem to ignore the game altogether.
Seriously, I turn off the TV sound and turn on the radio every chance I get to enjoy the game.