Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on extremists, Sandy Hook, Keystone XL pipeline

Battlefield woes

Our politicians can’t be serious about stopping the Islamic State when I read about the jihadi radicals gathered in Libya giving the U.S. military the opportunity to take them all out at once.

Maybe U.S. officials had to get some Pentagon lawyers’ approval before they could drop a bomb. But they acted too late, just like they do to the troops on the battlefield.

What happened to letting the generals run the war?

Dale Epperson

Lee’s Summit

Keystone alternative

If some Republicans want to build a pipeline so much, why not build a pipeline to transport water from the East Coast to the drought-stricken, fire-ravaged West Coast, where much of our food is (or was) grown?

We can live without oil and gas. We can’t live without water.

It’s the water, stupid.

Michele Elliott

Overland Park

Post-Sandy Hook

After the Dec. 14, 2012, mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., we said never again. But the two-year anniversary just passed, and we have had nearly 100 school shootings.

Join me and Grandmothers Against Gun Violence as we find ways to move forward to protect the young lives we hold sacred. The answer will not come from one voice but many voices.

Let your voice ring out in this season of light and hope.

Pat Russell

Grandmothers Against

Gun Violence

Kansas City

Pet abuse in cold

To the individual(s) who abandoned the female beagle on Pryor Road just north of the Interstate 470 interchange with temperatures in the 20s, you must feel a tremendous sense of relief and freedom of responsibility as a pet owner.

It appears she was or had been nursing a litter of puppies. The humane and decent thing would have been to take her to a shelter that would have provided protection from freezing temperatures and starvation or from being run over by a car.

You should be ashamed of yourself, and I honestly don’t know how you sleep at night. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan stopped and rescued this scared, lost and helpless creature.

On behalf of all mistreated, abused and discarded animals, I urge you to please do the pet population a huge favor and never get another pet.

David Vaughn

Kansas City

Political sales job

Doing the same thing over and over despite knowing that it will result in a bad outcome is as close as I can define stupid. Ignorance, on the other hand, can be corrected with knowledge and understanding the facts of an issue.

It was known that cutting taxes in Kansas would result in problems. Despite this knowledge, a warning from credit-rating agencies and the drastic drop in revenue for the state, the voters re-elected the architect of this folly.

Closer to home in Missouri, we have politicians who fight for anti-abortion legislation because they are “pro-life.” Yet they fight even harder to prevent background checks for gun and ammunition sales.

Guess who got elected?

Do we really seek out the facts and what the candidates believe in or do we let them tell us what they think we want?

Someone long ago told me, “Ignorance can be fixed, but stupidity is forever.”

Think about it. Did the voters in the midterm elections seek out the truth and the facts?

Voters have to do better, or the results will be stupid forever.

John Tavares


Christmas, ACLU

To the Dec. 12 letter writer, there is no assault on Christmas. The American Civil Liberties Union is not “anti-religious.”

The ACLU is saying, however, that the letter writer is entitled and welcome to his opinions, as am I. He is entitled and welcome to his beliefs, as am I.

Yes, our Founding Fathers were predominantly Christians, and their writings reflect those beliefs.

But when they wrote about our being “endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,” they added no qualifications that we must believe what they believed in order to exercise these rights.

The letter writer may celebrate Christmas in whatever manner he wishes while in his home, in his church, in his privately supported school or among a gathering of like-minded believers. But in a public place, the ACLU is reminding us, we need to be mindful of the opinions and beliefs of all others.

That’s all. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

John Chilcoat

Kansas City

GOP Santa Claus

Santa Claus is coming, and this year, thanks to the midterm elections, he’s a Republican. That means no help for the middle class and poor.

Wall Street is roaring, reaching record highs, and the wealthiest 1 percent are making out like bandits. But Republican Santa doesn’t care if they’ve been naughty boys and girls, as long as they will be Santa’s little helpers.

For the middle class and poor, there will be no minimum-wage increases, less union activity allowed and no Medicaid extensions in many states such as Missouri and Kansas to help the sick and dying. There’ll be less consumer protection and less environmental protection.

Santa’s little helpers will get richer, and the poor and middle class poorer.

Wake up, America, and stop shooting yourselves in the foot. A Republican Santa is just Scrooge in a cheap red suit and phony beard.

Michael Zygmunt

Kansas City

Streetcar distress

The powers at City Hall don’t seem to remember that the streetcar extension proposal was soundly defeated by the voters.

City officials continue to float subliminal messages about what a great deal this is for the city. Yet they fail to mention the monumental cost the taxpayers are burdened with to float the loans and freebies to the investors along the streetcar line.

That is not to mention the stealth taxes. When we floated the stealth-tax idea during the streetcar campaign, some people snickered. Stealth taxes are the hidden taxes that all voters will pay whether they are are on the streetcar line or not.

Recently, two such efforts have surfaced: The Kansas City Power & Light Co. asked for a 15.8 percent rate increase, and Missouri Gas Energy has requested an “infrastructure system replacement surcharge.”

We were led to believe that the utility cost involved with the streetcar was covered by taxes levied in the transportation development district.

Now here are the utility companies asking for increases not only in the transportation development district but citywide, thus the stealth tax.

Unseen in the beginning, but here they come, and we believe this is just the beginning.

Stay alert, voters, this streetcar will cost us billions of dollars before it is over.

Dan Coffey

Citizens for

Responsible Government

Kansas City

Yoder’s missteps

According to the Dec. 11 New York Times, “Furor over move to aid big banks in funding bill,” by Jonathan Weisman, Kansas Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder inserted language, written by Citigroup, to eliminate the Dodd-Frank protection taxpayers have against having to pay for the banks’ mistakes in another financial crisis, as part of the spending bill decried by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

It sounds like Kansas’ financial irresponsibility is quite fashionable among Republicans nationwide.

Vern Barnet

Kansas City

Kemper aquarium

Build a word-class aquarium in Kemper Arena and move the Arabian Steamboat Museum to Kemper Arena. Many more people would go to Kemper Arena than to the River Market area.

Parking and streets are already in place. Restaurants and shops would be attracted to the area.

This would be a destination for tourists and educationally attractive with the Arabian museum as a jewel. Best of all, it would support itself and become another plus for the Kansas City area.

Everyone likes to visit aquariums.

Don Salter