Letters to the Editor

Mandatory voting, tea party, KC sports

Mandatory voting

In recent years, it seems most political campaigning is focused on attacking opponents or getting people to the polls. I think compulsory voting could be a viable option for the United States to solve this problem.

Some might complain about liberties being trampled because of this new duty to vote, but I think this could help to solve some of the key issues with our current system. First and foremost, we would see higher civic engagement from citizens and more people voting.

By incentivizing this political expression, our government would get clearer direction from citizens about how to handle issues. With Congress’ approval rating dropping to record lows, some guidance about what citizens support and don’t support certainly couldn’t hurt.

I think it would benefit the nation to hear from more people. I wish more people would understand that having the right to vote is valuable and would appreciate it by participating.

Abby Hill Liberty Lucky Chiefs shirt

This is an open letter of apology to the Chiefs Kingdom. It is my fault the Chiefs lost three games before last Sunday.

You see, in September I chose two Kansas City Chiefs shirts to wear for all games. One I would wear at home, the other when I went to Arrowhead (three times this year). As long as the Chiefs won, I would continue to wear the shirts without washing them.

For nine weeks the Chiefs didn’t lose, and I have to say that by the ninth week, the shirts were pretty ripe. They stuck to the wall, so they were easy to find for next game.

Finally, the Chiefs lost to Denver, but I didn’t wash the shirts.

San Diego came, and the Chiefs lost. I still didn’t wash the shirts. Denver again, and dirty shirts equal another loss.

Realizing the error of my ways, I woke up at 5 a.m. last Sunday and ran to the basement and put my shirts in the washer. Now red, gold and clean by game time, and the result: Chiefs 45, Washington 10.

If I had only washed the shirts after the first Denver game we’d be 12-1 and leading the division. Sorry, Chiefs fans, my bad.

Joseph Shockey Kansas City Tea party, GOP

It’s time to admit that those who warned that our country is drifting into a European style of government are proving to be correct. No, I’m not talking about Obamacare, which was a Republican idea until President Barack Obama adopted it.

European countries typically have several parties representing distinct segments of the political spectrum. That is where we are now. We just haven’t admitted it.

The tea party is not really a wing of the GOP. Tea partiers won’t follow Republican leaders, won’t compromise with them and support candidates who hope to defeat them. It’s time for the GOP to let the tea party go its own way, collaborating when it can responsibly do so but reaffirming that it is a conservative party whose principles don’t include an uncompromising ideology.

Out on its own, the tea party might eventually conclude that compromise is not always a bad thing. Tea party members might even recall that the convention that created our Constitution was successful precisely because of its ability to compromise.

James Baker Belton KC teams snubbed

A curious national snubbing of the Kansas City Chiefs has been on my mind. It started way back when Howard Cosell was talking on the radio about sports, and he summed up his broadcast with: “Oh, by the way, the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl.”

In the deluge of catalogs I receive, some include items you can buy designating National Football League teams. All of the teams are listed except, you guessed it, the Chiefs.

I realize Kansas City is in the “flyover” zone and considered part of the great unwashed, but it concerns me when it gets down to ignoring our big league sports teams.

We now have pretty good hockey and soccer teams. But I am sure they will be destined to obscurity, too.

Don Airington Kansas City Pope, Miley Cyrus

I couldn’t really understand how Time Magazine could mention Pope Francis and Miley Cyrus in the same category. That is, until I saw that the magazine selected the person who most influenced the news of the year, good or bad.

Seems like Time Magazine got this one right.

Joe Magerl Raymore Support Sebelius

To all of those who are calling for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to step down or be fired because the contract to build the Affordable Care Act website likely went to the lowest bidder, per typical government procedure, can you please name one chief executive officer who helped engineer our recession who has lost his job? I rest my case.

Leave Ms. Sebelius alone.

Cherie Ziegler Lenexa Hero in Kansas

Kansas coach Charlie Weis, you are a hero. You are a hero because you have taken young men who play college football and taught them to find pride in themselves, their teammates and their school.

The result? A college football team that is constantly improving and fun to watch and cheer for.

Thank you for publicly challenging the press regarding recruiting. Thank you for instituting the tradition of singing the alma mater with students after every game, win or lose, ingraining in these athletes that they are a worthwhile, recognizable part of the University of Kansas.

Thank you for making college football at KU fun to watch as players improve, jell as a team, display unity and spirit and play for the love of the game. That makes you a hero, Charlie.

Alice Bennett Parkville Football lawsuits

News articles on concussions in professional football sensationalize ex-NFL players’ feelings of being cheated out of the monies due them for undisclosed head injuries.

Football is a brutal sport, and the professional athletes knew it going in. But they had no trouble cashing those paychecks each week. I guess they ran out and now want more.

Maybe we should call it the NFFL for National Flag Football League. See how many fans the teams would attract then.

Lawyers are all the same — get free money from somebody else, so sue.

Michael Colbert Olathe Gifts to planet

Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela. Now they have returned home, leaving our world a better place than when they entered it.

Mangesh Gaitonde, M.D. Lee’s Summit Mandela lessons

To honor Nelson Mandela, I am reading his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom.” He wrote: “Democracy meant all men were to be heard, and a decision was taken together as a people. Majority rule was a foreign notion. A minority was not to be crushed by a majority.”

Wouldn’t you think our country could behave like a democracy?

Lisa Shartzer Kearney Kneeling, praying

You’ve been showin’ me lots of mountains, Lord

So steep and hard to climb,

That I’ve forgotten what it’s like not to worry,

It’s been so long a time.

But my troubles seem so small now,

When I look around me,

I need to kneel right down and thank you, Lord,

For looking out for me.

A colder air has been blowing, Lord, all the colors have left the trees,

And the nights are so quiet,

But for the rustlin’ of the leaves.

But I can get up a little early,

And watch your love light my day,

I need to kneel right down to thank you, Lord

I need to kneel right down and pray. Seems the only time I talk to you

I ask you to take my sins away

If today is the last that you give me, Lord, who am I to know?

I want to thank you for all the blessings, all the wonders that I’ve been shown

All the smiling faces

That I’ve passed along my way.

I need to kneel right down just to thank you, Lord

For giving me today.

Bob Bennett Lake Winnebago