Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on Kansas schools, female candidates and Kathleen Parker

Schools threatened

No one knows how much Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration will cost Kansas’ school districts. What is news today more than likely will be different tomorrow.

The Brownback administration intends to defund and dismantle public education, whether we want to believe that or not. This plan has been in effect a few years.

To sit back and pretend this is not the plan will cost the public school system dearly — and, more important, our children.

The court can hand down any verdict it wants. However, this Brownback administration simply does not give a hoot and will remain focused on the ultimate agenda.

To date, the court has yet to enforce its verdicts. However, if we want our public school system to remain intact, the issue will need to be put before the voters that we owners of the public school system do not want an American Legislative Exchange Council-controlled school system.

The Kansas Republican Party has allowed the party to get duped big time.

Perhaps the Brownback administration will teach Republicans that they should vote for Republicans, not radical right-wing politicians.

The Brownback administration cannot be trusted to uphold a democracy. This group prefers a dictatorship.

Richard Heckler


Valuing candidates

I saw the May 25 Letter of the Week headlined “Hillary Clinton, president?” The writer stated that Americans have gone through so much change that we “need time to process the changes and take a rest,” so therefore a woman should not be president.

I firmly believe everyone has the right to her opinion, but this went too far.

I would not vote for a female candidate solely because of her gender, just for the sake of progress.

But that is because candidates need to be judged for their values, positions on issues and what kind of leaders they would be.

It is wrong to judge anyone based on her gender.

I also noticed the author of this letter graduated from one of Kansas City’s all-girls schools, and I just do not understand how someone who attended such an institution could write this.

I attended an all-girls school, and we were encouraged to look at a person’s character to judge that individual, regardless of whether the person was male or female.

Gender does not matter in influencing voters. What matters are the values you hold as a person.

Laura Travis

Kansas City

Kathleen Parker

As an independent voter, I find most of Kathleen Parker’s editorials to be objective, balanced and graciously written.

She was as gracious as possible in her recent evisceration of fellow conservative William Kristol (5-28, Commentary, “Kristol finds Clinton’s generation substandard”).

Kristol’s arrogant neo-con certitude, narcissism and self-absorption preclude him from similar objectivity.

Unfortunately, arrogant certitude has become the defining trait of far too many conservative pundits who, like Kristol, were cheerleaders for the disastrous Iraq war and refuse to own up to their gross misjudgment even today.

This trait, which greatly harms the chance for objective political and economic discourse, is continually evidenced in the non-fact-based, purely ideological rants of many of the conservative commentaries submitted to The Star’s letters section.

This brand of tribal politics is a huge factor in the election of destructive ideologues over political statesmen.

One need only look at Kansas politics as proof. None of us is right all the time, and a dose of humility and objectivity would go a long way toward healing this country.

Jeff Gerner


Guns in Capitol

Second Amendment fans should be appalled by the recent arrest of an intern working for Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins of Kansas because he tried to take a gun into a Capitol building (6-3, A5, “Intern accused of bringing gun to Capitol Hill released”).

Jenkins boldly proclaims on her official website when discussing the Second Amendment, “I am opposed to any legislation that unnecessarily infringes on this constitutional right.”

Why are people allowed to have guns on buses, in bars, walking down the street and soon in public schools but not in the Capitol or statehouses? Elected officials could pack heat; that would deter the bad guys in the same way guns in schools would deter them.

If there is a shootout, the heavily armed legislature would surely prevail.

Because Kansas has recently become the gun-rights capital of the world, I say all Second Amendment fans should call upon gun czar Gov. Sam Brownback to make Kansas the first in the nation to allow guns in the state Capitol and governor’s mansion.

Gov. Brownback and Rep. Jenkins, tear down those metal detectors.

Scott Kesterson

Overland Park

Republican wishes

Republicans want everybody to have a gun, but they don’t want everybody to make a livable wage, have affordable health care or be able to obtain a low-cost college education.

And here they expect to retake the White House in 2016.

Good luck with that, I say.

Chris Brethwaite

Kansas City

Shifting sands of trust

Don’t trust the “liberal media,” which report fair and unbiased news.

Don’t trust 98 percent of the world’s scientific experts, who say that global warming is real and man-made.

Don’t trust people in a terrified black community, who see unarmed black males killed by the police. These individuals say that a crisis exist.

With more and more right-wing extremists declaring themselves presidential candidates who will appear on Fox News and urge America to ignore their own eyes and ears, we should all be very concerned that one of them might fool enough people to actually pull off a successful run for the White House.

Eddie L. Clay


Cowardly legislators

We all know what’s coming.

As soon as our dysfunctional Kansas Legislature passes a budget bill that is sure to negatively affect the poor, seniors, health care, highways and education, the legislators will call a news conference to declare victory.

Victory for whom?

We all know who they are.

It’s time to hold them accountable for their votes.

The Star should publish all Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Miami and Douglas county legislators’ votes on the budget. These are the individuals whom we count on to protect the schools, highways, poor and seniors from the corporate lobbyists for the Kansas Chamber and the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity.

Each of us needs to know exactly how our representatives and senators voted.

“This is the best we could do” is not a good enough answer, and they should be required to justify their votes.

We saw what happened the last time reasonable moderates stood their ground against the chamber and Americans for Prosperity. More political action committee money was given to previously unknown conservatives to run in opposition to standing candidates than ever before.

The message was clear — you toe the line or you’re out.

We don’t need cowards for legislators.

Fred Lucky


Campaign insanity

Hillary Clinton entered the political slugfest for the presidency, and our sanity ends for the next 18 months. Estimates are that she will spend $2 billion to get elected.

Admittedly, those from the GOP will be equally as guilty. The political process will weigh heavily upon those of us who depend upon television for our entertainment.

And, the majority of us who have smartphones will be inundated with robo calls.

The only solace is that these incessant political harangues will be interrupted by the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Final Four and other diversions in between.

Perhaps we should devote more leisure time to reading good books.

Steve Katz