Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss Greg Orman, Marilyn Strauss’ legacy and Brett Kavanaugh

A math problem

If Kansas gubernatorial candidate Greg Orman is truly concerned about environmental issues, as he told Star editorial board member Steve Kraske in an interview on KCUR’s “Up to Date” Monday, he would withdraw his independent candidacy and urge support for state Sen. Laura Kelly.

Polls show Secretary of State Kris Kobach with a one- or two-point lead over Kelly, with Orman’s numbers a distant third at 9 percent. Orman’s peeling off of moderate voters may well result in a Gov. Kobach, whose Trump-aligned philosophy would further threaten our fragile environment.

Kansas voters, please think hard about the consequences of splitting the anti-Kobach vote.

Cheryl Morgan

Prairie Village

A great teacher

As anyone who attempts to teach Shakespeare (or drama, for that matter) soon realizes, students can begin to understand and appreciate the plays only when they see them performed. In my case, I relied heavily on films and television for this purpose.

But only stage performances can bring Shakespeare’s plays to vibrant life.

By founding the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Marilyn Strauss gave my English students at UMKC, and all Kansas Citians, the chance to enjoy performed Shakespeare in a relaxed, open-air setting. (Sept. 17, 4A, “Shakespeare Festival founder Strauss dies at 91”)

And when my students experienced “Hamlet” or “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in this way, they invariably praised the encounter as “opening up” the plays to them. They learned when to laugh and when to cry — but most importantly, they gained a better understanding of Shakespeare’s sometimes-perplexing poetry.

I owe Marilyn a debt that unfortunately can never be repaid. But by continuing to support her festival, I can at least help ensure that her legacy will remain a central part of our arts community.

Robert Willson

Overland Park

Qualifying judges

Methinks those sneaky Democrats set a careful trap, and old know-it-all, smartypants Judge Brett Kavanaugh stepped right into it.

Using his hero President Donald Trump’s strategy, he immediately denied any wrongdoing. He could have soft-shoed a 36-year-old event claiming memory problems and said he might have tipped a few, as many young guys do and did go to some parties, although he doesn’t recall this particular one, and would of course be sorry if this were true, but at any rate has no recollection whatsoever.

Being a liar is disqualifying (for judges but not politicians). As the case of Anita Hill showed us, showing disrespect to a few women is not.

This raises a bigger question: What kind of people do we want for judges anyway? These fictitious, pure-as-snow, never-wrong candidates cannot be expected to understand the agony of a woman contemplating abortion or many other issues they have never encountered.

I don’t personally care for Kavanaugh’s record, but if one drunken teenage incident is disqualifying, then we better get used to getting along without judges.

The bad political decisions of the Supreme Court (calling the 2000 election for George W. Bush, Citizens United) have put our nation in a perilous condition. The selection process may be the crux of the problem.

Ron Platt

Overland Park

The same cloth

I was watching the news Wednesday afternoon, and I saw former Sen. John Danforth telling Americans how hard this nomination process has been on Brett Kavanaugh, as it was on Clarence Thomas years ago. He said these men have stellar reputations they are proud of, and they are now put in jeopardy because of claims such as Christine Blasey Ford’s from 30 years ago.

This is “torture” for these men, Danforth said. Torture for Kavanaugh? What about Dr. Ford? She went to a therapist over this. She told her husband years ago, and she took and passed a polygraph test administered by a former FBI agent.

Will Kavanaugh do the same? This is exactly why women do not report these attacks.

In 1990, Clayton Williams, a Republican running for Texas governor, compared rape to the weather, saying, “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.” Republican Todd Akin, running for U.S. senator from Missouri in 2012, said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” And Brett Kavanaugh said in 2015, “What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep. I think that’s been a good thing for all of us.”

This shameful war on women has to stop.

Karen Zentz


Taking care

Recently, I was not feeling well and I left my medicine in my cart at the Hy-Vee store in Prairie Village and walked out.

I would like to thank the person who turned it into the customer service counter. It is nice to know there are kind people left in the world.

Kathy Marquez

Kansas City