Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss an ‘insensitive’ KU professor, St. Ann school and gas tax rates

It’s emblematic

While reading about the alleged bad behavior by Kansas lawmakers in a Topeka restaurant, I was particularly amazed that, after being asked to be more respectful of the other patrons, one of their party entered the kitchen and yelled at the employees, asking if they knew who House Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch is. (March 9, 4A, “Kansas lawmakers were drunk, booted from restaurant, owners say”)

Sadly, yes, we know who Finch is: a representative of a political party that has thoroughly abandoned decency, starting at the very top. That fact is not alleged.

It’s become a party I’m embarrassed to have once supported.

George Lafferty


Actual help

So an insensitive University of Kansas engineering professor hurt the feelings of a student by suggesting he or she learn to speak English? (March 9, 5A, “KU professor suspended after ‘learn English’ comment”) Well, boo-hoo. He actually did the kid a favor, free of charge.

Students who don’t know English are going to have a very difficult time getting hired after graduation. How many employers want to hire someone they have to struggle to communicate with? They have too many applicants who know the language. They don’t have the luxury that colleges and universities do of nurturing individuals in basic skills. They need to focus on their business.

It could be, as usual, the media told only half the story: The professor is probably frustrated from having to deal with too many of these cases, which takes time away from teaching other students. The professor could be under pressure to graduate students into top jobs to meet school goals. Just maybe he is aware of abilities employers are looking for and is trying to meet those needs.

It’s hard to understand these situations where the tail wags the dog. KU needs to have some backbone and support its faculty members. It hired them, didn’t it?

Terry S. Clevenger


No litmus test

The news coverage about St. Ann Catholic School turning away a same-sex couple’s prospective kindergartner is disturbing. (March 8, 10A, “JoCo Catholic school bans gay couple’s child. Straight parents don’t face the same scrutiny”)

Is this what we have come to in the Catholic Church? Did its founder Jesus tell us to love one another, or only the straight folks?

Did he say to check whether anyone interested in this church is gay?

There is no story in the Bible telling us he had to verify anyone’s gender or sexual orientation before he healed them.

I thought the church’s sexual abuse scandal was horrific, having two victims in my own family, and this rates right along with it.

A very bad decision was made. God, please help us all.

Charlotte Humphrey

Prairie Village

Stand alone

I don’t understand why Missouri’s legislature doesn’t introduce a bill to put the gas-tax increase back on the August ballot by itself without the additional funding for other things such as the Highway Patrol.

I think it might just pass on its own. Instead of trying to come up with other ways of funding, why not try that first?

David Goettel


Downward path

Take away more than a decade of TV celebrity; take away the reputed great wealth; take away the inordinate power vested in a leader of the free world.

What remains is a person familiar to many.

It might be an aging parent, a hard-working colleague, a longtime friend or any number of other friends and relatives.

Where formerly he spoke well, now his speech is repetitious, disjointed and rambling. Mendacity, never well tethered, is now fully unleashed.

He sees enemies and conspiracies against him everywhere. He is angry. He lashes out.

He demonstrates great frustration when his wishes are not carried out or when he is told they are impossible to achieve. He seeks revenge. The base elements of his nature, formerly somewhat repressed, are now on full display.

Those who care about his welfare, his minders, attempt to distract from and deflect his worst instincts. It is all to no avail; his condition will not improve.

The worst is yet to come.

Richard “Alex”



Pack it in

I have what may be the best solution to the problem of a Monday letter writer, who described grocery store employees packing overly heavy bags that break.

Instead, carry plenty of your own durable, reusable bags, and then ask the packer to distribute items evenly among them.

Save the planet and your back at the same time.

Gayl Reinsch

Kansas City