Letters to the Editor

Readers react to the Missouri General Assembly, police chases and voting in Kansas

Legislative gospel

The Christian men and women of the Missouri legislature are spreading the good news again as only they know how. Their gospel reminds me of the Spanish Inquisition.

The church had this roving band of “church purifiers,” who found people who didn’t buy into church dogma and put them on the rack until they professed allegiance to the church. Amazingly, their souls would be saved.

Today, we have devout church-goers in the legislature who are eroding the social safety net by getting those poor people and their vulnerable children to pull up their (missing) boot straps and work two or three minimum-wage jobs, sacrificing their kids in the process.

Our legislators, models of Christian virtue and love, continue to strut as they lavish millions in tax breaks on multimillionaires.

Jesus would be so proud of the Christian message our legislature is sending out, “God helps those who help themselves.” This obscure passage, found in the Book of Hezekiah, emboldens our legislators to pull the rug out from all poor people no matter how painful their stories are.

James L. Wrolstad


Police chases

The Star’s recent editorial regarding police pursuit policies errs in suggesting that a metro-wide procedure is in order (7-10, Opinion).

Individual police departments must be free to respond to the unique challenges imposed by the communities they serve. One size does not necessarily fit all.

The concern is not metro-wide, so the solution should not be, either. Cities that do not engage in dangerous chases ought not waste money and resources addressing problems they do not have. They should not be punished for their prudence.

Most disturbing was the criticism of Leawood’s police chief, John Meier. He is spot on in asserting that he, not some wholly unaccountable committee, should be responsible for formulating his city’s policies, including when to chase fleeing villains.

This was a cheap shot at a dedicated public servant who I suspect knows a bit more about law enforcement than the Star editorial board.

James R. Orr


Super license for I-70

As a motoring enthusiast without an audience with Gov. Jay Nixon, I know of the perfect solution to improve both Missouri’s devastated Interstate 70 and the drivers who use it.

Issue super licenses to Missouri residents with decent driving records. The super license would increase the speed limit to 80 mph along I-70 at an annual cost of $100 per driver.

However, a necessary element of this proposal would be to require $100 tickets be issued for any driver who is in the left lane on I-70 without engaging in overtaking or is speeding without a super license.

Missouri has a population of 6 million. Assuming, annually, 1 million citizens apply for a super license and 200,000 are issued citations for cruising in the passing lane, the revenue at $100 per each opportunity would result in a windfall of $120 million in a single year.

Speed is safe (see Germany’s autobahn).

With even a modest volume of the state’s population participating, this program would generate $600 million in five years.

John Edward Krause

Blue Springs

Chaotic in Kansas

I don’t know what’s worse, our failing job growth at the expense of a common tax sense governor (who, by the way, was reported to have shed tears as he pushed for a sales tax increase coupled with the loss of tax deductions for the average Kansas citizen) or our bleary and also teary-eyed legislators who sat on their hands for months as the budget crisis crept closer only to extend their legislative session at a cost of about a million dollars to finally pass totally thoughtless legislation.

Now it’s my turn to cry. I can cry every time I hear the buzz phrases “consumption taxing,” “zero taxes to support growing jobs in Kansas” or (and one of my favorites) “We don’t have a budget problem, we have a spending problem.”

That spending problem, at least in Johnson County, will likely end as residents take their spending to Missouri.

And while the tax burden will sit squarely on the shoulders of the average citizen, so will the blame for electing these single-minded, uncompromising, do-nothing-for-the-average-citizen representatives.

So let’s all cry until the next elections and then vote them out of office and vote in representatives who can unscramble this chaotic mess.

David Vanderwell


Voting in Kansas

All Kansans may be aware of the taxes approved by the Kansas Legislature and the governor. People from other states look at Kansans and wonder how could this have happened.

It is not new that Kansas is a red state and most of the people vote Republican. It appears that most voters voted without giving thought to who the people were or what their positions might be. They are registered Republicans, so they voted for Republicans.

Regardless of the party affiliation, Kansans need to vote. They should consider the actions of the Legislature and the governor a wake-up call. Times have changed, and the world including Kansas is changing.

It is unfortunate for Kansans that the hurt is not over. Kansas will have similar budget problems next year and continue to be known as the failed state with the trickle-down economics. When other parties want to speak of economic failure, they will point to Kansas and the failed experiment of Gov. Sam Brownback.

The bottom line is Kansans need to get out and vote and hold their legislators accountable.

Eugene Lipscomb


Keep art education

Today’s education stresses testing and teaching to the test in order to show yearly progress within schools. Unfortunately, that leaves students short of a well-rounded education.

Many people leave art education out of the category of core subjects that should be taught in schools. But those people don’t realize that fine arts provide benefits to students that will prepare them for the future.

In the challenging workforce of today, students need to be the total package for employers to be interested in hiring them. Art education cultivates creative thinking, yielding problem-solving skills that all students should have to be successful when going out to get a job.

Art education also creates metacognitive learners and translates into other subjects. By having students explore and learn about themselves, this encourages higher self-esteem. This higher self-esteem helps students who struggle in other subjects to overcome adversity.

Art also encompasses the use of math, science, history and language arts to create a fluidity among subjects in schools, providing a cohesive educational experience.

Rebecca Antes


Presidential goals

I am white, gay and running for president — hoping to be the first openly white gay president, although some were questionable. Write in my name with a smiley emoticon if you are allowed to vote.

Marijuana will be legal and partaken of in the White House. Imagine my partner as first spouse.

The White House will be a no-kill shelter. Our son will be the drug czar, and our granddaughter will clean up the Secret Service.

People will not use hatred and bigotry to establish laws or interpret the Constitution. People will be Christlike, or just nice if Jesus is not your thing.

Religious organizations will pay taxes if involved politically. Love will be the law.

Fewer laws will be needed. Bullying will not be tolerated.

Animal cruelty will be the same as cruelty to humans. Women will have freedom of choice, although they better have a darn good reason, and will get paid the same wages as men for the same jobs.

Our veterans will be royalty. Free health care and education will accompany a fair share of taxes.

Term limits with a retirement and 401(k). The United States will be a nation where everyone cares.

Mr. President or Mr. Precedent.

Dan Stiles