Letters to the Editor

Readers react to campus violence, President Obama’s spending plans and the Koch brothers

Violence on campus

I applaud Blair Kerkhoff’s stand on college violence, specifically athletes hitting women (7-15, B1, “Colleges must condemn violence”).

I would like to see the stand taken one step further, including males who get attacked by athletes. Most college athletes are stronger, quicker and taught to be more aggressive than the average college male. When they’ve been drinking or get egged on by their buddies, they can do a lot of damage in a very short time.

Even after 50 years, I still have a lump in my gum where I got hit by a tackle on the football team when I tried to stop him from beating on my brother, whom he’d mistaken for someone else.

I complained to the coaches, but nothing ever came of it.

It would send a clear message if any athlete caught fighting were dismissed from his team and not allowed to be offered a scholarship at any other university or college of any size.

Bruce L. Hogle

Overland Park


President Barack Obama must think Christmas extends year-round. Santa Obama continues to promise “free to all” in many areas.

The problem with this socialism-type thinking is this: If you gave every adult $100,000, about 5 percent would save part, then invest it and make money. About 5 percent would pay their debts and try to live within their means. About 20 percent would spend every penny and have noting left.

The remaining 70 percent would spend all of it and go further into debt.

Ninety percent would say it’s so unfair because 5 percent have money left.

Robert Burger


Violence, gun control

To the many who favor gun control, what exactly does that entail? In my opinion, people kill people instead of guns.

I often read where victims are bludgeoned to death with hammers or hatchets, or stabbed to death with knives. Do we outlaw all those lethal weapons?

Or, do we address the problem at the source — derangement and mental illness?

Steve Katz


Capital punishment

Nebraska recently became the 19th state in the U.S. to abandon the death penalty and the first red state to do so since North Dakota in the 1970s.

Repeal of the death penalty had strong support from both Republicans and Democrats in the Nebraska Legislature. They overrode Gov. Pete Ricketts veto.

The death penalty has not been used since 1965 in Kansas. It costs us millions of dollars to keep it on the books. Because of the many appeals, it is less expensive to keep an inmate in prison without the possibility of parole than to execute him.

Questions arise about the cruelty of the death penalty when combinations of drugs don’t work. People have been freed after spending as many as 30 years on death row because they were discovered to be innocent. Some innocent people have been executed.

It is my hope that Kansas will follow Nebraska’s lead. Other states have repealed the death penalty.

Victims’ families have pleaded not to have the death penalty because they realize that years will be spent having to face the murderer in court during lengthy appeals.

Barbara Chlumsky


Gun law effect

Many families similar to mine living east of State Line Road have enjoyed a barrel of fun at different places and events in Kansas over the years. That includes T-Bone baseball, the Renaissance Festival, Sporting KC soccer, Schlitterbahn Water Park, camping at Clinton Lake and fishing at Wyandotte County Lake, just to name a few of the many family-friendly attractions.

However, as of July 1, because of changes to the Kansas conceal-and-carry gun law, most Kansas citizens may carry concealed firearms without a permit. I keep thinking that I could be looking down the barrel of a gun instead of having a barrel of fun with my family.

In the future, we will be spending our discretionary income and enjoying our family’s barrel of fun east of State Line Road.

Ed Casey

Kansas City

Energy bonanza

It is apparent the power-company lobbyists were able to persuade Kansas’ legislators to undo the Clean Energy Standards adopted in 2009. The opening lines in SB 91 begins with a statement that completely waters down Kansas’ renewable-energy standards.

By removing the requirement to produce 20 percent of energy from renewable resources, the power companies are allowed to continue to generate revenue in shortsighted fashion. Instead of fully investing in the potentially limitless renewable-energy field awaiting harvesting, they have chosen to primarily pursue traditional methods.

Although current methods may yield sizable profit margins, coal and petroleum are finite resources.

It would be wise, both for our Legislature and the power companies, to begin a concerted effort to harness our state’s naturally occurring green energy. They should implement not just a few projects scattered across our state, but ones that will allow us to remain secure on that day when our last oil well has run dry and the last seam of coal has been mined.

Power companies may feel the pressure to generate profits for shareholders, which is why the Kansas Legislature must be forward-thinking enough to require energy providers to start planning for a bright and sunny future.

Israel Elder

Wathena, Kan.

Kansas overhaul

Mr. and Mrs. Kansas Electorate took their car to the Republican Garage for service one day. The car was running a bit slow.

Gov. Sam Brownback, the chief mechanic, determined the car would run faster if it was lighter. He suggested removing that heavy thing in the front called an “engine.”

That did lighten the car, which made it easier for the mister and missus to push, but they wanted it to run under its own power. Democratic Garage mechanics asked whether they could try fixing the car, but loyal Mr. and Mrs. Kansas Electorate stayed with the Republican Garage.

Puzzled that his strategy didn’t work, though not admitting it, Gov. Brownback consulted with his other mechanics. Some suggested putting the starter motor back. Others, who thought even more lightening would do the trick, wanted to remove the tires.

Alas, they argue still, and the car is still stuck. Mr. and Mrs. Kansas Electorate have had their credit downgraded because their transportation is no longer reliable, and now it looks like the Republican Garage is charging them extra for parking and storage.

Have the mister and missus learned anything? One can only hope.

Gary Henry


Pastime of wealthy

I wonder how much money the Koch brothers are saving by not paying Kansas taxes? I assume they qualify just like other Kansas businesses.

Each of the Koch brothers is worth roughly $44 billion. That’s 44,000 million dollars. If they each spent $1 million a day, it would take them 120 years to spend it all, assuming it wasn’t being regenerated at that rate or higher.

When people have that much money, I can only speculate that their goal is to have more than anyone else.

If those rich people happen to die before those 120 years are up, they’d pass along all their chips to the rest of their family, who then would worship those rich individuals for eternity.

What else could there be? Wealthy people can’t take it with them, although I’m guessing they have a think tank set up to try to figure a way. What people such as the Kochs and Rex Sinquefield are doing is simply to get attention, because they really have nothing else to do.

Their agendas are not to help the majority of the people. They are pushed to help themselves and others like them. Just look at the Koch brothers’ pet project, Americans for Prosperity.

Tom Wolff

Overland Park

Sprint spending

I think it’s great that Sprint is looking at the millions of dollars it has been spending on marketing deals (NASCAR and NBA) (7-16, A9, “Sprint will end NBA marketing deal”).

Now it should look at CEO pay. Sprint has lost money for years. How can it justify having the highest-paid CEO in the area?

Bob Dinkins