Letters to the Editor

Readers share thoughts on Kris Kobach, the new Iraq war and the KC streetcar design

Kobach in Kansas

I read in The Star that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was in Topeka the other day and ruled that former Democratic candidate Chad Taylor had to stay on the ballot for U.S. Senate. I find that very unsettling.

What was Kobach doing in Kansas anyway?

Don Cameron

Overland Park

Costs of new war

I don’t know whether the Islamic State poses an existential threat to the U.S., but politicians are on the airwaves demanding aggressive military action (9-11, A1, “Obama outlines plan to combat militants”).

Before going down that path, Americans must face facts: It won’t be fast, easy, bloodless or cheap, and it will have unforeseen consequences.

If defeating the Islamic State is not worth putting your own son or daughter in harm’s way, it is not worth putting anyone else’s there, either. And if citizens are not willing to raise their own taxes to pay for war, they cannot responsibly advocate for it.

Let’s all grow up. Going to war requires more from the citizenry than talking tough, going shopping and bumper stickers. And it certainly requires the safe sacrifice of raising one’s own taxes to pay for it.

In the last two wars, America and its politicians were willing to do only the first three, and then only if it involved sending someone else to do the fighting and only if someone else (our kids) pays the bill, while we demanded huge tax breaks for ourselves.

This time, unless the nation as a whole is fully engaged and willing to sacrifice for the cause, we have no business even thinking about another war.

Cynthia Spaeth

Kansas City

KC streetcar design

The committee that picked the Paris design for our city’s trolley had a good eye for classic beauty. Thank you for avoiding the garish choices others have made.

The committee in charge of design for our possible new Kansas City International Airport terminal needs to check out the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and especially take note of the imaginative, functional facilities in the ladies restrooms. I can only add, Wow!

Jo Lawrence

Overland Park

Health care costs

After I retired and before going on Medicare, a medication my wife was required to take cost us $180 for a three-month supply with our insurance plan. Now we pay $23 per month for a drug plan, and the same medication under that plan is $601.24 for a three-month supply.

That seemed to us quite a jump in cost. We recently learned that we can get the same medication (manufactured at the same location) from a pharmacy in Canada for $187.21 for a more than three-month supply.

While on vacation in Florida last winter, we met some people from Canada. They love their health-care system and told us that none of the stories we hear in the U.S. about long waits and such were true.

The evidence I discovered about medication indicates that this may be true. At least, it looks good to me.

Perhaps we need to look north for advice on our health-care planning.

Stephen Amthauer

Overland Park

Vote out incumbents

Politics has become a game in Washington, D.C. The time spent in the nation’s capital by our Congress is despicable.

Terms of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, even our own Sen. Pat Roberts, are unbelievable.

The American taxpayer is not ignorant.

What’s going on in Congress is another example of money ruling the roost. Fresh blood is needed to actually represent us, the people.

I will not be voting Democrat. I will not be voting Republican. Please join me in voting “out.”

Kate Robertson


Ellingson’s drowning

Congratulations to The Kansas City Star and Laura Bauer for keeping the story on Brandon Ellingson’s death in the forefront (9-11, A1, “Details vary in trooper’s interviews”).

The Missouri Highway Patrol has not answered completely what really happened with Trooper Anthony Piercy and Ellingson at the Lake of the Ozarks.

I hope with The Star’s pressure the truth will come out.

All too often, when things don’t go right a cover-up appears to be the easy way out. And it would be, if we were allowed to forget what happened.

I believe when the patrol says “no comment” or refuses to answer questions, it smells of cover-up and hiding from the truth.

Let the full and truthful report come out and Piercy pay whatever penalty is appropriate.

Tom Sprenkel


Vote for better U.S.

Term limits and mandatory voting would represent a true democracy. I believe that “united” in United States means society must be united as a free America with equal opportunities.

In college, I was taught that Republicans represent corporate America, states’ rights and trickle-down economics. Democrats represent labor and centralized government with consumer-driven economics.

I do not like taxes or government waste. But I am not proud of an America that has so many children in poverty and the rich getting richer at the cost of the middle class.

To truly understand poverty, walk in the shoes of the poor. Too many people are judgmental and don’t care about others.

Equal opportunity is a true democracy. God truly does love all of us, not just the fortunate. We all should cherish our freedom as a society and participate in our democracy. Individuals do make a difference with their votes.

Herbert Ray Blagrave

Kansas City

Obamacare questions

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has confused this nation. Many think it to be two separate government health care programs and can’t decide which would be better for the country.

With all the controversy and to help myself comprehend the facts, I had to ask myself some common-sense questions:

1. Why did the act have to pass Congress before it could be read? That in itself raised a big red flag.

2. Why does it not pertain to all Americans? Why are government employees and union members exempted?

3. How can a nation that is $17 trillion in debt afford such an expensive program?

4. With the problems of existing government health-care programs such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicaid, how can the government effectively run another one that is far more complicated?

5. Why do some parts of the act have to wait until after this year’s elections to be implemented? Another big red flag.

Common-sense answers dictate that this act will not be good for America. But the biggest question is, will common sense prevail over politics?

Thomas Hay

Kansas City

Immigration laws

I keep reading opinions and letters in the newspaper and listening to the rhetoric on the television news shows. I don’t understand why people keep lamenting that we need immigration reform.

I wonder whether these people know we have immigration laws. Have they read the present laws?

The problem is not that Congress won’t pass immigration reform, it’s that the administration in Washington, D.C., (Homeland Security, the attorney general and others) won’t enforce our present laws.

Don’t write your congressman; write a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Patrick Pepple

Lee’s Summit

Foreign occupation

Once upon a time, there was a government in Vichy. It was born under the auspices of a powerful foreign army of occupation.

It could not have survived without it. Large segments of the population saw it as collaborationist.

Apart from ideology, a large number of the resistance fighters merely wanted the last foreign soldier to leave their land. When the army of occupation left, this government lost its reason for being and was rapidly toppled.

Its leaders were tried as traitors and sentenced to death.

Once upon a time there was a government in Kabul ... and in Baghdad.

Guillermo Ibarra