Defeat Islamic State
No event on the quickly deteriorating international scene disturbs me more than the rise of the gangster movement known as the Islamic State. The thugs that constitute this movement are running rings around those trying to combat them.
We should, at this point, leave it to history to assign blame as to who permitted this heinous movement to gain a foothold and should instead concentrate on the development of a systematic, scientific plan to destroy it. And, this effort will have to be led by the U.S.
If no method for the destruction of ISIS can be found, then we will be reduced exclusively to a policy of reprisals. Such a defeatist attitude in the face of the actions of these vermin is unacceptable.
Furthermore, this problem is far too important and far too complex to ignore the contribution that can be made by the scientific community and its proven ability to arrive at solutions to the most abstruse problems.
In World War II, the Allied victory would have been absolutely impossible without the contributions of science.
I urge the development of a coordinated, systematic, scientific plan to destroy the Islamic State.
David N. Guthrie
Minimum wage push
It is disappointing to see leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City pushing for a wage increase (5-7, A4, “Minimum wage drive is on”).
If approved, this measure would hurt the communities they are trying to help.
Increasing the minimum wage would force employers to hire fewer employees and increase the costs of products. The misguided measure would also make the Kansas City less competitive when new businesses are looking for locations to open.
Instead of moving to the urban core, new businesses would move to the suburbs.
Most important, this measure would only increase the already alarmingly high unemployment rate of Kansas City’s youth.
I would like to suggest that McDonald’s restaurants and other major purveyors of fast food subsidize the continued education or training of their employees instead of increasing hourly wages.
The bigger issue is the skills gap in America that we are not addressing.
Surveys show that more than half of employers nationwide have open jobs for which they cannot find qualified candidates, and eight in 10 have difficulty filling positions altogether. Many higher-wage jobs go unfilled, or American companies bring the talent they need from other countries.
Industry should reward and support people who are willing to improve themselves. That will not only serve the needs of the individual to earn more but will also help build America’s human capital that is dangerously slipping in the modern economy.
People have a tough time making ends meet on minimum wage, but some of them are in those jobs because of choices they have made.
Instead of offering the incentive of higher pay to remain in a low-skills job, we should promote the upgrading of skills that will improve our competitiveness as a country and deliver the commensurate higher wages.
I still see that if you’re caught with a switchblade knife in Missouri you will be charged with a Class C felony. Yet, I can carry a Glock 9mm semiautomatic pistol with impunity.
It seems to me that the legislature should correct this.
If a person can carry such a pistol for self-defense, then I ought to be able to carry a switchblade knife for my self-defense. After all, knives don’t kill people; people kill people.
Denying my right to carry a switchblade allows only the criminals to carry them. I’d even be willing to take a switchblade-safety course and undergo a background check conducted by a law-enforcement entity to find out where the safety lock is on my knife.
The very least the enlightened legislature could do is bring some consistency to the regulation of deadly weapons.
Lawmakers could choose to legalize carrying switchblade knives in the state or take the more sane, common-sense approach and realize that a Glock 9mm pistol is somewhat more dangerous to the public than a switchblade knife.
All responsible gun owners should welcome the licensing, registration and insuring of all guns, and our legislature should demand so.
Thank you, Bill Tuttle, for your illuminating May 5 column “Japan’s other attack on U.S.”
He communicated perfectly the tragedy and terror experienced 70 years ago by innocent non-combatants caused by the Japanese balloon bombing of the Northwest United States in May 1945.
Of course, during this same time tens of thousands of Japanese citizens perished in the fire bombings of their cities.
This makes the actions of the Japanese women who journeyed 40 years later to the gravesites of the balloon bomb’s innocent victims seeking forgiveness and atonement, after learning of the use made of the balloons they had built, even more meaningful.
Today, our country’s drones rain terror, death and destruction daily on Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan — innocent and enemy alike. Thousands die in this unseen, unreported war of terror.
The little that we do know about these attacks from the people experiencing them is that many, maybe most, victims are innocent non-combatants.
When will we seek forgiveness for our daily participation in these tragic atrocities, and what will be our penance?
How can we change the laws and bring back the gallows? A portable gallows would do fine in each state.
All hangings should be televised at a set time.
It would be proper for everybody to watch what happens to persons convicted and sentenced to capital punishment.
We all know whether we’ve lost a loved one. It would be acceptable to hang the person convicted in that murder.
This lawyer thing is bad enough, with many of them involved in appeals and bankruptcy deals that taxpayers have to pay for.
The idea of seemingly endless appeals in death-penalty cases at taxpayers’ expense is robbery.
Life in prison on capital cases also is wrong. The children of today’s taxpayers could still be feeding such offenders long after today’s adults are gone.
We all must demand that the laws be changed.
We all know many good lawyers, and they need to clean up their profession.
We all see the dirty court deals and the prison system as programs being more than we can afford.
William Leroy Elwood
No gas tax increase
The last thing the government should do now that gasoline prices are creeping back up is increase taxes on gas. The government already makes more money on gasoline than the oil industry does.
Great pride in KC
As I finish out my final week of senior year, I try to imagine what it’s going to be like next year when I don’t live in this incredible city. And I truly mean incredible.
Not only is Kansas City big enough to feel like a real city, but it’s also small enough to have a feel of a sense of community.
The natural beauty and uniqueness of Kansas City are things I will never find anywhere else, and I am so thankful I get to call this place home.
I have made exploring Kansas City a priority. I regularly visit places such as Loose Park and The Scout because of the pride Kansas City has given me.
And sadly, there is so much in this city that’s overlooked because of the busyness in our lives.
There is so much we take for granted in our city, and I just want to encourage everyone to take a step back to appreciate all that our city has to offer.
Kansas City has given its citizens the opportunity to be proud of where they live because of the community around us and the dedication to keeping Kansas City as beautiful as it appears.