Letters to the Editor

Sales tax plan, tea party, horse plant

No on sales tax plan

I vote no on the Jackson County sales tax for a translational medical research.

With sales taxes, we all pay the same tax per dollar even though we don’t all have the same income. I am middle class and should pay more than my poor neighbor for community benefits.

I doubt new health care innovations benefit those who have neither money nor means to access them.

The tax would fund what would become profits for corporate systems already benefiting from tax breaks, laws and other incentives that shift corporations’ free-market risk to taxpayers. When janitors on contract have the same health care as corporate middle managers, I will support property taxes for medical research from which Sanofi-Aventis, HCA and Humana shareholders will profit.

Tax me. I own property.

Property owners should pay for social benefits accruing to them through government initiatives, not the poor.

Patrick Dobson Kansas City Tea party folly

It was fascinating watching Sen. Ted Cruz and some of the tea party minions see that government is important during the shutdown. Suddenly, they discovered the national monuments are important.

Veterans’ benefits are important. Medical research is important.

Protecting the nation’s health from epidemics is important. The ability to respond to national disasters is important.

Small business loans are important. The list goes on.

Tea partiers continued to support the government shutdown, and some appeared to be unconcerned about national default.

The American people do understand.

Government services are essential, and the nation’s financial credibility is critical to the national and world economy. What is frightening is that such a small portion of the American electorate can paralyze this great nation, subverting the will of the American people.

I hope that those like Rep. Kevin Yoder who support this radical anti-government agenda will learn there is a penalty to pay for subverting that which the people support.

Bond Faulwell Overland Park Duplicating records

I don't really understand why there is such an issue with registering and record keeping for our future health care system. Did our current administration forget that the National Security Agency already has all of our records?

Steve Maxon Overland Park Horse plant need

Recent letter writers have decried the possible establishment of a horse-slaughter plant in Missouri. One writer indicated that these beautiful animals had a right to life and next we will be killing dogs and cats.

As a lifelong horseman, I do not agree with this stand. If every breast-beating animal lover would take in six or eight horses as their responsibility, we wouldn’t need these plants.

That would entail providing shelter, pasture, additional forage, grain when needed, medical attention, hoof trimming and shots. Current hay prices are $5 to $6 per bale. Also, three bags of grain and a salt block cost me more than $50.

Obviously, the needed horse adoption and care are not going to happen.

Nor are all people going to recognize that all horses are not suitable. Some have defects that prevent their use. There is a need for places to dispose of some equines so they aren’t shipped out of this nation as they are now.

By the way, we already do kill dogs and cats daily, as well as cows, calves, pigs, sheep and lambs.

Ruth Fine Paola, Kan. End tomahawk chop

The national discussion in the media regarding the name of the Washington, D.C., football team has to begin making Kansas City Chiefs fans think about their own actions.

Although there may be some disagreement about how offensive the team name may be (because it could be considered an honorific term), there can be little disagreement that the tomahawk chop chant during games is offensive.

Fans will disagree, but the chant has not been a long-term part of the Chiefs’ history and should be stopped. In particular, the Chiefs’ organization should do its part by not playing the chant over the public-address system at games.

Fans will resist, but in the long run the chant will not be missed.

Keith Loftin Jefferson City Treating mentally ill

I believe the focus on guns after a mass shooting by a mentally ill individual is misdirected.

The shootings at the Colorado theater, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and most recently the Washington Navy Yard all were carried out by mentally ill persons during psychotic episodes.

To commit a psychotic person to a mental-treatment facility seems to be a long process involving the courts. A doctor in an emergency room or a policeman may not have the authority to commit the person to a treatment facility. I think if more attention were paid to the individual’s treatment and welfare, the number of tragic events would be considerably reduced.

Frances Felder Lenexa Obama’s presidency

President Barack Obama’s muddling in the Syrian standoff, not to mention other important issues of the day, reminds me of the time I encountered the actor Sam Waterston in a Syracuse restaurant near a theater where he was in a stage play.

I approached him and said, “Is it Forrest Bedford?” a reference to the character Waterston had recently played in a TV show about a Southern lawyer, “I’ll Fly Away.”

Without hesitating, he replied, “Used to be.”

One of these days, sooner or later, someone may ask a similar question: “Is the United States the greatest country on earth?”

The likely answer: “Used to be.”

Eileen Lockwood St. Joseph Keep Bernanke

Ben Bernanke should remain as the Federal Reserve chair. Why so?

When one has a winner, the individual is not put out to pasture or placed on the trading block.

Indianapolis’ sending Peyton Manning to Denver ... didn’t work. Lebron James to Miami ... no go. Steve Jobs to pasture and then back ... waste of talent and innovation.

Loss of Wernher von Braun and Albert Einstein to the United States from Germany ... loss of brain power from the impulsive nature of a megalomaniac despot.

So, Bernanke will go where in the economic milieu of the past eight years thrust forward? To academia? To multinational foreign powers?

Walk remote beaches?

Better yet, keep him on the job, in the same place. We can trust that decision-makers will pause another moment to realize who must truly guide the Fed’s ship of state.

Better that Bernanke do so here than elsewhere. Where might that alternative scenario take place? China? Israel? India? Brazil?

Winners are not sent away. Simply put, they stay on the job to continue their winning ways.

History should not repeat itself here.

Jack Landes Westwood Park Service cheers

Last week, I attended a family gathering, planned about a year ago, at Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine. My family members and I want to thank the National Park Service and especially the park rangers for a great time.

Despite the park officially being closed because of the government shutdown, the rangers did not cite us for ignoring the closed signs posted on small barricades at all park entrances. Instead, the few rangers on duty (I suspect without pay) were friendly and just told us to be careful and keep safe in the park.

The number of visitors to the park was down (local radio said about 10,000 fewer visitors per day), but the experience was wonderful. The park roads were closed to traffic, so it was so much quieter, and the appreciation of nature was greatly enhanced.

The free park shuttle that normally covers the entire park ran only on public roads around the park, but most sites could be reached this way with reasonable hikes in the relatively small Acadia.

In addition to my greater appreciation for the National Parks Service, this experience has convinced me that prohibiting car traffic in our national parks would be a good thing. That would leave only clean, non-smelly, natural gas-powered buses (such as those supported by L.L. Bean in Acadia) to transport visitors from parking areas to the park sites.

Bob De Lisle Kansas City