Letters to the Editor

Readers react to the Confederate flag controvery, texting while driving and Hillary Clinton’s speech fees

Confederate flag

The flag has been removed from the South Carolina state capitol (7-10, A2, “Coming down today”). In a rush to be politically correct, there are movements around the country to remove that flag everywhere.

Hate has always been with us, and always will be, regardless of the symbols that are displayed.

What happened in that church is a tragedy. Removing symbols from our history will not change what happened, nor will it prevent the next one.

What do we remove then so we don’t offend anyone’s feelings?

Where will it stop?

Robert Gjertson

Overland Park

Texting, driving

As I was traveling south on State Line Road, I saw a small northbound car abruptly hit the curb, ricochet wildly and swerve back toward the center of the road. Fortunately, the driver was able to regain control of his car to keep from hitting me head-on.

I sincerely hope that young man, who was texting while driving, learned his lesson.

There is absolutely no reason or excuse for texting while driving.

Carolyn K. Patterson

Westwood Hills

Lee Judge cartoons

You’ve got to be kidding me. Again I saw a letter to the editor singing the praises of Lee Judge as a cartoonist (7-10, Letters).

Let me give you another perspective. He is the major reason I hold my nose whenever it’s time to renew my Star subscription.

He is a leftist who carries water for the left wing and Democrat party. With all the buffoonish behavior by the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign, you would think Lee Judge could find something at which to poke fun.

No, that might ruin his reputation as the best leftist cartoonist ever.

Ron Stone


Cable company woes

We recently were victimized by a cable company determined to wreak havoc in our yard. As luck would have it, apparently our yard contained some sort of a terminal, where a number of systems joined.

This required digging four large holes, the presence of large equipment and up to 11 workers milling around our backyard. My quarrel was not really with the workers, who were basically doing what they were told to do. In fact, even with a language barrier, they were quite friendly.

Nor do I question the legal right of the company making the installations.

I do, however, take issue with a Fortune 500 company not having the courtesy to knock on our door, tell us what the workers were doing, when they would do it, when they expected to finish and when the restoration crew would arrive and provide a a number to call if we had questions.

In the post-digging phase, there was still one big hole. No resodding had been done.

Our watering system was not working, and there has been no communication with the company.

Roland Pera


Kansas’ fiscal mess

Let’s predict the fiscal mess for 2015-16, now that the governor has given us a “net” tax cut. If you have a house payment that includes interest, half of that interest will not be deductible, and shopping in Kansas for groceries, all will now pay at least 6.5 percent taxes on that food.

Suppose smokers and grocery shoppers buy their products in a different state, and the revenue from the sales tax does not increase.

It’s up to the minority Democrats to solve the problem, according to the governor, even though they hold fewer than a third of the seats in either house. But, all are told, don’t recommend rescinding the exemption for limited-liability companies and other owners.

Instead, another costly overtime session will be needed to find the money.

So, check back with us next winter when the Legislature convenes, and let’s watch as it looks for another net tax cut to plug a gaping hole in the budget of at least $500 million or more next year.

Steve Hopkins


A lot for very little

Reading about all the money Bill and Hillary Clinton have made in the past several years giving speeches, I am wondering about the value thereof.

Several years ago while attending an industry convention in Las Vegas, I attended an evening speech given by Carl Icahn. It was free for all attendees, but the knowledge Mr. Icahn shared was essentially the same I had read in The Wall Street Journal and some business magazines the week prior.

In other words, is there truly a benefit to paying influential people to speak to a group that will come to these events anyway, and is it necessary to pay such exorbitant fees?

Some of these events might benefit from respected speakers, but it is hard to imagine that the Clintons’ average fee of more than $240,000 is offset by additional revenue, especially when attendees are already committed to such an event and the speakers have so little to contribute.

Herman Kirkpatrick


Corporate pig farms

It has been a little more than one year since Iowa-based Eichelberger Farms, LLC, a large-scale industrialized pork producer, announced plans to construct farrowing and gilt-development facilities housing several thousand pigs on a 20-acre parcel in Callaway County.

Each adult pig produces four to eight times the amount of feces of a human, which is applied to county farmland.

Iowa is the top pork- producing state, but pollution is resulting in more regulation so producers are moving into Missouri. The North Carolina Legislature instituted a moratorium on new concentrated animal-feeding operations because of the pollution.

Missouri needs to assess the experiences of other states.

We are blessed with abundant clean-water resources. Do we want to risk those resources so a few mega-corporations can reap relatively short-term profits and then leave the state with polluted lands and streams?

It is time to learn from others’ experience. I encourage people to discuss the issue with their county lawmakers and their state representatives.

Based on the data from North Carolina, Iowa and other states, perhaps it is time to place a moratorium on new concentrated animal-feeding construction in Missouri before it is too late.

Philip Glenn


Glenn Acres

Farm Inc.

Fulton, Mo.

Religious freedom

There is a lot of talk about the separation of church and state. As an educator and teacher of government classes, I know that many think that means keeping religion out of government.

The truth is the Constitution and Bill of Rights are about keeping the government out of religion. Our government, especially the federal government, appears to be moving to bring the churches under its control. If it continues, Caesar will seek to become our god and will be telling us what we can believe and how to act.

If our religion does not direct our behavior, then churches are just tragic fantasies played out only in our minds. If our beliefs do not affect the way we live and how we act, why believe anything?

Then Caesar — our government — can tell us what is truth and what is not. Then we can add the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, along with the Bible, to the trash bin as myths of our history, just as was done in the Soviet Union in the early part of the last century.

Is that what we want? What a loss that would be for us and the generations to come. I pray not.

Terry Emerick


Middle East losses

As the conflict heats up in the Middle East, more and more of our policymakers are urging the United States to become more involved.

If we do militarily, I predict we will not lose a battle. Nor will we win the war. We have no true allies in this area, and they do not want us there.

We are welcomed only as an enabler for their ambitions. We do not understand their cultures or their traditions.

If we do get more involved and, by chance, win a war, what have we won? Would we be the dog that catches the car?

Greater involvement is a lose-lose proposition. If we want to help, limit our involvement to aid for the tragic refugees.

George J. McLiney Jr.

Kansas City