Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss mistreated Native Americans, goofy scientists and property tax

Forgotten people

There’s a lot of publicity about people being mistreated in this country. But no group has ever been mistreated more than the Native Americans. They were here first, shoved from pillar to post and eventually bottled up on reservations in godforsaken places, with no means to get jobs and achieve financially stable lives.

You never hear a word about them.

Evelyn Wilson

Platte City

Scientific silliness

In the July 5 story, “Best way to fight climate change? Plant a trillion trees,” (10A) climate change ecologist Thomas Crowther stated that the most effective way to fight global warming would be to plant a trillion or more trees.

Perhaps Crowther should consult a mathematician to understand what this undertaking would involve. If one tree were planted sequentially every second, it would take more than 31,700 years to plant a trillion trees. By that time, perhaps there would be another problem we could look for scientists to help us solve.

A slight aside: If the current unpaid U.S. student loan debt estimated at $1.6 trillion were paid back at rate of $1 per second, it would take — are you ready? — more than 47,500 years to pay it off. Is there a scientist out there who would like to tackle that problem?

Dean Stonner

Lee’s Summit

Modern realities

On Sunday, Fareed Zakaria critiqued George F. Will’s new book, “The Conservative Sensibility.” (13A, “Trump beat conservatism because America rejected it”) In essence, the conservative creed is tied to the Founding Fathers’ philosophy of limited government, individual liberty and self-reliance. Conservatives are dismayed by the growth of government and government programs, but that is what people want, according to Zakaria.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has said that all our forefathers promised us was life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and thus health care is a privilege, not a right. But at our founding, it wasn’t an issue, because doctors did as much to kill patients as to heal them. Sick with a sore throat, George Washington was bled four times before dying. Many patients died from infection caused by the physician’s hands before handwashing was widely promoted in the mid-19th century.

Today, doctors can provide wondrous care, extending quality of life. But tests and treatments are expensive. Some Americans who don’t have insurance don’t seek lifesaving treatments, while others go bankrupt paying for care.

Many people believe that every pregnancy must lead to a birth. It seems incongruous that some of the same people don’t think saving the lives of those already born is necessary.

Don Schoening


Give them a break

I have followed news coverage about the property tax assessment mess in Jackson County. (July 3, 4A, “Class-action lawsuit challenges fairness of reassessment process”) The detail I haven’t seen mentioned is that a great number of property owners have been subsidizing those who have been getting quite a break on their taxes over the years.

If bringing undervalued properties’ assessments to their current market value, as required by state law, causes an increase in tax revenue, then it follows that many people have been overpaying to provide the money required to operate the county.

Maybe the solution is to use the new assessments, but then charge a reduced percentage for all taxpayers. This would give a break to those getting a greatly increased value and would give relief to those who have been paying the full amount over the years.

I would point out that the inequality of the assessments should not be news to those getting the assessment letters or to the media. I know for a fact that letters to the editor have been written in the past about this.

Tom Turner

Lee’s Summit

Already honored

When did our Independence Day become a celebration of the current and former members of the military?

To paraphrase John Adams: Let bells ring. Let the cannons boom and let fireworks shine throughout the land to celebrate our independence from tyranny.

It should be about that. We should read the Declaration of Independence, especially the last few lines: “… we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor” to become a new nation. There is no mention in the Declaration of celebrating the military.

I was in the Army. We are celebrated on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Edward Barnes

Prairie Village