Letters to the Editor

Readers share thoughts on KCI, Hollywood and torture

Airline’s take on KCI

Before spending a few billion dollars to rebuild Kansas City International Airport, the city should look at the need and the level of service we receive now.

My wife and I recently returned from a western trip, arriving at 6:30 p.m. The terminal was virtually empty, and the shops were closed.

The United flight we took from Denver was on a cramped, twin-engine, propeller-driven aircraft (Bombardier Q400).

If United Airlines classifies us on the same scale as Pierre, S.D., when assigning aircraft, why should we spend a fortune that would be better spent elsewhere (like education) so their propeller craft can arrive at an even bigger empty terminal?

Joe McMillian


Movie PR magic

Here’s the latest from Hollywood. A major film studio cancels a much-ballyhooed movie premiere because of an email hack and threat from North Korea, whose leader the film, comically, destroys (12-18, A1, “Theaters balk; Sony cancels film’s release”).

Imagine canceling a premiere because of an alleged threat from a backward nation known for its empty rhetoric. Want to bet the film is released in a few months to even greater public interest and box office appeal?

Folks, our “fear factor” has just been hacked by one of the most diabolical marketing and public relations schemes ever produced by Hollywood. As the saying goes, it could only happen in the movies.

Bob Tobia

Kansas City

Prettying up torture

Please stop calling torture “enhanced interrogation.”

Wendy Lund

Overland Park

Voter identification

It takes a marriage license and photo identification such as a driver’s license to change a name at Social Security. This is as official as it gets.

It costs nothing, and Social Security is a federal program, so it is the same everywhere.

How could requiring a voter ID be a problem anywhere in the country?

Elizabeth Cook


Endangering the U.S.

The timing of the release of CIA interrogation techniques could not be worse.

Here we are with large shopping centers filled with hundreds of shoppers, and thousands of Americans will be flying to Christmas destinations around the world.

Now here come the documents, which will stir the rage of terrorists around the world who might take advantage of unsuspecting people in holiday mode.

Remember when 9/11 happened in 2001?

We were so shallow back then and perhaps too innocent. When we were struck, George W. Bush had been president for only about eight months and was face to face with an evil force the world had never known.

We all watched in horror as jetliners were used to kill about 3,000 people and fellow Americans jumped for their lives from skyscrapers.

By releasing the interrogation documents, President Barack Obama and his administration are only going to endanger more American lives.

Since when do we give our enemies vital information as it pertains to our safety? Outrageous.

Lynn Pierce


Obama’s successes

Recent criticism of President Barack Obama blaming him for the gridlock in Washington, D.C., is forgetting the promise of the GOP in the House and Senate when Obama was elected. Republicans promised to do nothing to help Obama’s administration succeed.

House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell each made such promises.

Despite their constant opposition, this president has gas prices near $2, unemployment under 6 percent, the economy growing and the Dow Jones Industrial Average at record highs. Considering where these indicators were when Obama took office, surely his has been a very successful administration.

Stop listening to the Republican spin, look at the facts and thank your lucky stars for President Obama, the architect of a six-year economic miracle. Compare the U.S. experience with what is happening in the rest of the world.

The U.S. economy is the envy of Europe, Asia and the Middle East. We must, as Americans, start to assess the situation for ourselves and stop listening to the propagandist.

Look at the evidence before you judge. The “party of no” has sold the public a bill of goods of little value.

John Martin

Kansas City

Working with Cuba

I had the opportunity to visit Cuba last year through a People to People program.

I suspect most Americans who have visited Cuba have returned as we did with the hope that our government would work toward restoring diplomatic relations.

Isolating Cuba has weakened our influence in Latin America and done nothing to foster democratic changes there. The embargoes have been effective only in keeping Cuba dependent on countries such as Venezuela.

Cuba is a country of great possibilities with resourceful people eager to move toward private enterprise. We saw that in the paradors and small shops that are the first step toward individual ownership.

The Cubans’ most profitable exports are doctors and medical personnel who serve Central and South America and who are helping stem the Ebola virus in Africa. Their educational system is first rate.

They desperately need agricultural technology, which we could provide to benefit both nations.

It is time to end the embargoes and start communicating.

To have any influence in Cuba, we must pursue a pragmatic approach. Communism has failed in Cuba, and the next generation of leaders is starting to understand that.

If we can work with Vietnam, why not Cuba?

Larry J. Leonard

Prairie Village

Expand Medicaid

With Kansas facing a budget shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars in the next few years, Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature should accept back the hundreds of millions of dollars Kansans have already paid to the federal government and use it to improve and expand Medicaid.

Listen up, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, it’s time to put patients ahead of politics. The lives of many, many Kansans are at stake.

Michael R. Miller, M.D.

Roeland Park

Dangerous toys

In the 1969 film “Putney Swope,” Madison Avenue advertising agency types try to market a toy called Cops ’n’ Demonstrators Junior Flame Thrower. One of the selling points they use is that it “works on real lighter fluid.”

David Letterman once had a Top 10 list of dangerous holiday toys. I remember it included Freeway Frisbee Fun, Doggy Dentist and G.I. Joe Rooftop Paratrooper.

John R.W. Taylor, M.D.

Kansas City

Abuse of children

The tens of thousands of Central American children who traveled 45 days through dangerous Mexico to get to the United States were abandoned by their parents and threatened with murder, rape and enslavement as they traveled.

Many children never reached the United States.

The parents of these children are criminals for abandoning and mistreating them and should be charged with child endangerment, be put in jail and never have access to their children again.

Dave King


Generous strangers

We want to send a big thank you to our anonymous benefactor at Garozzo’s in Columbus Park recently.

Upon our large group’s boisterous arrival at the restaurant, we had a conversation with a group at an adjoining table about what we were celebrating and where we were from.

We shared that this was our birthday celebration for a colleague, and she was wished well by the other group. When it came time to pay our substantial bill, much to our surprise and delight, our waiter informed us that someone from that group had picked up our entire tab.

We were honored by this kind act. The gesture affirmed us and will make us more focused in our own efforts to pay it forward because of this thoughtful generosity.

Oneta Templeton

Kansas City