Letters to the Editor

National Security Agency, Gordon Parks Elementary School, whistleblowers

Big Brother love

The National Security Agency collects data on millions of Americans’ phone calls. The Internal Revenue Service targets organizations based on their politics.

The Department of Justice reads reporters’ emails and listens to their phone calls. And the military launches drone strikes against American citizens.

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself.

He loved Big Brother.

Matthew Miller Leawood Gordon Parks school

What does it really mean to educate? Webster’s defines it as “to advance mental, aesthetic, physical or moral development.”

Kansas City struggles to educate its children, particularly those who are in generational poverty. Poor children arrive at school with mental, physical and emotional problems, making learning difficult.

Gordon Parks Elementary School was created for these children. It has a high percentage of special-education students.

Gordon Parks Elementary sought community partnerships to provide counseling, therapy and help with vision, hearing and dental problems. It introduced children to academics and to enriching experiences in the world outside their neighborhoods.

Over 14 years, the school raised $7.5 million from people who saw results — students developing an interest in learning, in achievement and in doing the right thing.

Without visiting the school and defying its university sponsor, the Missouri Board of Education voted to close Gordon Parks Elementary based on MAP scores. How does closing the school help the children?

Missouri does need to improve its education, and the education department should rescind its decision and view the total picture of services Gordon Parks provides as research of what might work on a larger scale.

Jama Akers Mission Brave truth tellers

Just when we thought the system was completely dysfunctional, whistleblowers Bradley Manning and Kevin Snowden bring us the truth about the situation we find ourselves in.

Suddenly and clearly we recognize it’s not just the Republicans and it’s not just the Democrats, it’s the system itself. And it was us.

We were expected to remain cowered while our representatives enriched themselves at our expense. All the while fronting for the largest organized-crime syndicate in the history of the world, the military industrial Congress complex, which President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about decades ago.

So now they agree, the truth tellers are the criminals, not those responsible for the illegal wars and occupations, torture and profiteering.

They’re scared. The jig is up. We know and we’re angry.

Viva whistleblowers. Legalize the truth; prosecute liars who murder and spawn death for profit.

David Quinly Kansas City Paula Deen case

I’m tired of how the media treat Paula Deen (7-5, A7, “Paula Deen parts with agent”). Nobody goes after Lil Wayne or 2 Chainz using racial slurs and even worse words.

It’s sickening how America is treating this. The Second Amendment is not only being taken away, so is the First Amendment. Nobody is standing up for her.

Instead they’re treating her like some kind of monster for something she said years ago. There has to be a statute of limitations on something like this.

It disgusts me that this is how we treat people who have made one mistake. When Martha Stewart went to prison in an insider trading case, nobody got rid of her products.

Why should Paula be any different? It upsets me that this is what our country has come to.

Nobody is helping her when she needs it most. I’m speaking out on her behalf, and I don’t believe how we’re treating her is fair.

I want something done about it. I want someone to listen and understand that she shouldn’t be getting all this grief just because she said the N-word once.

Noelle Prideaux Liberty Better manage KCI

Aviation Director Mark VanLoh and the single-terminal advocates for Kansas City International Airport could help their case with an eventual vote if they convinced us that the current facility is being operated optimally. The frequently closed parking lot at Terminal B does not help make this case.

While the single-terminal debate goes on, must we abandon management of the existing facility? It seems to those of us who must meet a passenger who is elderly or disabled and requires help or juveniles who must be released to an adult, that Terminal B is just poorly managed.

If there is a near-term rebalancing plan, it should be announced and implemented with all expedition. Otherwise, why should we even consider handing a new facility to these same mismanagers?

Bob Hishaw Kansas City Political cartoon

Talk about a picture conveying thousands of words. Joel Pett's July 10 cartoon showing our two parties squatting on bags of gold, backed by charts showing “Campaign lies,” the vast-and-growing gap between rich and poor, gerrymandering map at the feet of Uncle Sam deploring Egypt's coup, Lady Liberty's tablet lying beside her as she gazes unbelieving at the two villains in their perch is indeed a memorable depiction of a few of the many absurdities daily flaunting the flaws in our political system.

Bob Hooper Raymore Rex Hudler debate

Rex Hudler’s major league background, or lack of it, is not the most grating distraction. We could even forgive an occasional lapse in his command of the rules, such as forgetting that a starting pitcher must go five innings to get the win.

But every parent, teacher or person who values decent conversation must wince at Hudler’s frequent “he shoulda went” or “he shouldn’t have ran” or his failure to differentiate between “sank” and “sunk” and other garbles in an English language that is already under attack.

Presumably, Hudler was hired as a professional announcer, not a modern-day Dizzy Dean, who entertained us in the vernacular about folks who “slud” into base.

Dizzy’s credentials and personality made him worth wincing for.

Jim Bagby Kansas City

It seems to me some people are trying to railroad Rex Hudler. I have read letter after letter calling for Hudler’s dismissal. I have read only one in his favor.

If a viewer does not like the commentary Hudler provides, turn off the sound and tune in 610 AM radio. Chiefs fans have been doing this for years.

I have been following the Royals faithfully for years on Fox Sports Kansas City and noticed the new lingo Rex brought at once. I found it a refreshing improvement — color commentary from a player’s point of view.

I also enjoy his stories of his years as a player and his interface with players and coaches.

His insight to his personal life and the trials of his young son are very heartwarming and uplifting. He comes across as a type of person I’d love to have as a neighbor.

Again, we all have a choice of broadcast options. Do not force your choice on me. I would like to see Hud get a contract extension.

Lawrence Subelka Shawnee Scouting tradition

The mention of Iconium, Mo., in the July 7 Star, “Home of the Peach Nehi float,” brought back memories of my Boy Scout days at Osceola, Mo., as a member of Belton’s Troop 210.

This was around 1944, and Iconium was a rest stop on a 14-mile hike, which was required for some rank or badge, as I recall.

I remember the general store, where we bought candy bars. But the peach Nehi float had not yet been invented.

Having had my taste buds piqued by the front-page article, I found a peach Nehi float on the menu at Tara’s Cafe Malt Shop on Main Street in Belton.

Sheila Sullivan, the owner, said she added the float to the menu two years ago because of frequent requests from former Boy Scouts. It was delicious and saved me a trip to Iconium, although that would be fun, too.

Jack Dryden Kansas City