Letters to the Editor

Ending racism, fragile Earth, Social Security

Work to end racism

Racism is immoral because it seeks to destroy the basic humanity of another person, thereby paving the way for acts of injustice and aggression toward individuals. It must be confronted whenever it rears its ugly head.

During the Nazi regime, racism was at the core of its philosophy and actions. It might be good to recall the words of a German Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Martin Niemöller of the era:

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.

“Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

“Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”

For racism to be overcome, church people need to be involved. I ask all the Catholics, Protestants and all the people of faith to get involved.

Florentino Camacho Jr. Church and Clergy
Against Race Violence Kansas City Imperiled humanity

What to do about our fragile Earth?

What to do about our fractured world?

What to do about our wealth gap?

These imperil our humanity.

Temp Sparkman Kansas City Social Security, AARP

AARP president Robert Romasco deserves credit for reminding everyone in his Kansas City visit that Social Security is not designed to cover all retirement needs (8-23, A8, “Much to learn on Social Security”). Personal savings are necessary as well.

Unfortunately, however, AARP continues to suggest that Social Security’s financial difficulties are in the distant future and that the system has nothing to do with the federal deficit. Neither claim is correct.

With the aging population, the system has been spending more than it takes in since 2010. The Social Security trustees estimate these cash-flow deficits will average $75 billion a year until 2018 before “rising steeply.”

The system’s trust fund is an accounting device that does nothing to change this. The sooner Washington can close the gaps between promised benefits and dedicated revenues for both Social Security and Medicare, the better.

That’s why the nonpartisan Concord Coalition, the Simpson-Bowles commission and others have called for reforms to put these important programs on more sustainable paths. We would welcome AARP’s help.

Steve Winn Communications Director The Concord Coalition Overland Park War vs. peace

Regardless of a possible U.S. military strike in Syria, the honorable John Kerry was explaining the illegal use of chemical weapons detonated in Syria. He spoke of the immorality of their use, the obscene, despicable, deplorable act of detonating a banned weapons product.

He is, however, careful not to point an accusing finger. Maybe this is because he has not developed amnesia toward America’s continued efforts at maintaining nuclear-weapons delivery systems.

With the use of the civilian employees at Whiteman Air Force base, many Americans have a vested interest in the nuclear-weapons mission. After all, nuclear weapons and the chemical devices detonated in Syria are no more than specially designed products manufactured by skilled tradesmen.

Regrettably, building weapons of mass destruction has, since the early mining of uranium, been an economic boon for untold thousands of investors and highly skilled workers. Making a living by “peace through superior firepower” has become the norm.

Is not the counterbalance to a peace-based economy a warfare economy?

Is war a good trade? Maybe if you don’t mind the blood of the innocent mingled with the blood of the guilty on your hands.

John P. Montgomery Lee’s Summit Parker column

Kathleen Parker’s Aug. 26 column, “‘If I had a son, he’d look like ... ,’” is too much.

She is critical of President Barack Obama about his public statement on Trayvon Martin while trying to downplay racial profiling, saying it could be the way one dresses.

She even suggests that the president’s remarks may have promoted the Oklahoma shooting of the white guy, Chris Lane, by the black boys. She goes on to say we should stop this craziness. Really?

I think Parker grew up in a gated white world, where she never had any real interactions with blacks. It is a real stretch to compare the death of Trayvon to the death of Chris.

The black boys who shot Chris were caught and charged right away. George Zimmerman was not charged initially, and when authorities finally got around to it they let him off.

Sometimes I think that white people forget that they too came from Africa and that this thing we call “race” is an artificial separation.

Clarence Edmondson Jr. Kansas City Legislator’s troubles

The saga of Missouri Rep. Jeremy LaFaver should end quickly (8-27, Editorial, “Setting a poor example”).

It won’t end because of reefer but because he failed to respond to an expired license tag and no insurance. He is a scofflaw, and voters should throw him out office.

Some Democrats may think Republicans will use this for political purposes. This may happen, but, hey, there are probably legislators in similar positions who haven’t been caught.

We all have to obey the laws when it comes to automobile insurance and licensing. Just what happens if you don’t have insurance, whether you are pulled over by a cop or are involved in an accident?

You should be in big trouble, unless you are a member of the elite class.

David W. Anderson Olathe Helling column

Dave Helling, in his Aug. 27 column, “Stop trying to undo elections,” oversimplifies the political situation when he says: “Winning elections is hard work. Candidates and parties must identify supporters, get them registered, raise money, sharpen the message, get voters to the polls. Then the people decide.”

I guess that’s the way it used to work. But, Dave, you left out the effect of huge, nearly obscene infusions of cash that can carry even a weak campaign to victory.

It’s not so simple winning these days, but it is expensive.

Roberta Hammer Excelsior Springs Computer albatross

I would caution the board of the Kansas City Public Schools to look closely at providing a solid implementation program before introducing new computers. Keep in mind that while technology is beneficial, this generation is very proficient at Facebook and Twitter.

When it comes to using the computers as a pedagogical tool, this generation has much to learn. In short, even my juniors have trouble navigating the system.

Teachers must be trained on how to introduce kids to the educational benefits of technology, a feat that takes time. Jumping on the bandwagon just to have kids have computers will be detrimental because teachers will find these to be yet another distraction in the classroom.

As a teacher, I am all for technology, as long as it is introduced in a responsible and logical way. And to the board member who claimed, “If you’re not interested in this initiative, you can take it elsewhere,” I wonder how many years of classroom experience she has.

Chad Lower Kansas City TV’s lite news

What’s to become of our local television news? It’s gotten to the point that we are getting very little news but lots of weather and lots of commercials.

The meteorologist comes on early and tells us what we are going to hear, and a great deal about the weather follows later in the newscast, and then at the end the weather person tells us what we heard earlier.

The news is generally only about the crime in Kansas City. There is very little sports news and practically no news from the city halls of the area and no news from Jefferson City and Topeka.

Some time ago, the local stations robbed the late-night comedy shows of five minutes to get more commercials.

Does it really take that much time to pay for the measly news we are getting?

Larry Hanna Overland Park