Letters to the Editor

KC police ticketing, business incentives, Keystone pipeline

KC police ticketing

Are our takeaways from the Kansas City Police Department’s leadership that:

Police officers are slackers and need to be given arbitrary quotas to fill their time?

They don’t have more important things to do?

They don’t trust our men and women on the police force to use their training and judgment on when to make a traffic stop?

I am a resident of Kansas City’s urban core. I see Kansas City police routinely, and they seem to have plenty to do.

If people are driving in an irresponsible manner, by all means, police should pull them over (they’re not hard to find).

As the May 30 letter writer put it, don’t make our officers pull someone over just because they’re being forced to do so. “I’m pulling you over because I have to” isn’t the right tone to strike between the community and Kansas City police.

Focus on what really matters to Kansas City residents — crime.

My thanks to the Kansas City police officers who work every day to keep our communities safe.

David Salas

Kansas City

Business incentives

The conservative dream of doing away with all income taxes and funding government through a sales tax is still alive. This nightmare can be found under many guises, such as the FairTax, Missouri Club for Growth, Better Government for Missouri and Save Missouri Jobs.

Who is against growth or better government or saving jobs? Catchy phrases such as “Tax what I spend, not what I earn” fit nicely on bumper stickers, but they are all a ruse.

I challenge anyone to produce a business owner willing to hire one employee if the state income tax were reduced. Businesses hire when demand for their goods or services increase and they need the help.

Customers create demand. If you could buy a recliner in Liberty that’s 6 percent cheaper than one from Kansas City, Kan., what would you do?

If Missouri lawmakers want to give businesses a competitive edge, they should get rid of our regressive sales tax.

Enticing out-of-state shoppers to spend in Missouri seems like an easy chore.

Let the neighboring states provide roads, schools, fire and police protection for their residents. Missouri businesses will happily provide the shopping experience at an inviting discount.

Stanley Robinson

Princeton, Mo.

Pipeline fool’s gold

According to Newsweek and Forbes magazines, the number of permanent jobs created by the Keystone XL Pipeline would be 35. U.S. News & World Report cites a State Department review with the number of permanent jobs rising to 50.

According to this review, it would generate 3,900 full-time construction jobs if it’s completed in one year, 1,950 if done in two years. The Building and Trade Association is behind the pipeline construction because of labor gains.

With trade union backing, there’s little surprise that Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri also backs the pipeline.

Shortsightedly, this might make sense.

As carbon levels keep increasing in our atmosphere, human-caused climate change becomes a ticking time bomb. Thick tar sands oil heads to Gulf ports for refining and shipments overseas add more pollution.

Another Exxon Valdez is waiting to occur.

This pipeline would traverse the Ogallala Aquifer, with threats of breaks and spills contaminating the water and soil ecosystems.

Good jobs may be at a premium. But so are our neighbors, ourselves and our precious environment.

At best, Keystone XL is fool’s gold.

Rosemarie Woods

Kansas City

Posturing politicians

I bet those Republican senators and congressman would not complain about the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl if it were their son or daughter who had been held captive for five years (6-2, A1, “Freed soldier now in Germany”).

Their posturing is totally unacceptable for representatives of the people.

David Ward

Overland Park

Courage in rescue

In 1943, as the troop transporter that my father was on entered Japanese-patrolled waters, the soldiers were warned that should anyone fall from the ship, he would be abandoned for the sake of the convoy.

Late the next evening, a Marine fell overboard. Regardless of the warning, moderately heavy seas and the fact that he was not wearing a lifejacket, the captain ordered the ship to be turned around and search lights used in the rescue effort. Forty-five minutes later, the man was found and brought aboard.

At first, my father said, many of the men were angry because of the danger in which they had been put. However, within a short time, admiration for the courage and care the captain had shown replaced these feelings.

Each hoped that such a man would be in charge if they were to fall.

John Nelles


GOP must refocus

Conservative author and organizer Richard Viguerie on a recent TV appearance identified the enemy of the conservatives as the Republican Party and the democratic process. That’s not a revelation, but Mr. Viguerie’s vitriolic disdain for the Republican Party and representative government was disturbing.

Why would the political party of Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln be an enemy of the conservatives? The answer is that the GOP stands for representative government, as does the other major political party in the United States.

Who are the disciples in our midst of Mr. Viguerie’s cult? Gov. Sam Brownback in Kansas and state Sen. Will Kraus in Missouri and their minions are the logical suspects.

Government as advocated by Viguerie is the same as “Putinism” and the reign of terror seen during the inquisition. Its aim is to squash democracy.

Republicans need to get a backbone and stand up and declare that the party of Lincoln and Reagan is supportive of democracy and representative government.

Paul Comerford

Blue Springs

Drop in abortions

Abortions have made a dramatic shift downward, and as a Catholic of some regard, I rejoice.

But thank heaven the causes are simply education and the fact that contraceptive measures have been provided and are easier to obtain.

The economics also compel people to consider carefully what a new child means.

I rejoiced because the far right of my own religion as well as elsewhere will use the drop to claim the validity of religious ranting.

The pope has rightfully said the Catholic Church has been “obsessed” with contraception arguments and abortion, and, of course, Cardinal Raymond Burke, once of St. Louis but now in Rome, took exception and said, “We can never talk too much about the subject.”

Cafeteria Catholics, once condemned by Burke and Cardinal Justin Rigali, are people who pick and choose the teachings they support. But apparently cardinals such as Burke are free to do so.

Only this time Burke got his scarlet paws slapped and lost his prestigious post on the committee that chooses bishops.

It all shows that this pope means business when he says we must enter the world of our times in a brave and serious way.

James McCormick

Kansas City

Mute-button cheers

Someone has to speak up. The following are commercials I mute and encourage others to mute.

Please, for the sake out children, join me:

The Walmart commercial where a mom spends $950 for a monster truck that destroys a picnic table and car. Mom records the destruction. The boys smile and thank dear Mom. Way to go, Mom. Teach your children well.

The car commercial where I’m berated for liking vanilla ice cream. The spokesman whispers like the “Person of Interest” cool guy, Jim Caviezel. But he’s not Jim Caviezel. He’s not cool, and he’s actually plainer than vanilla.

Amazon, what were you thinking? Gary Busey? “If you’re like me, you like to talk to things ... hello, pants.” Really?

Earth to Gary? Come in Gary? Your Dockers are lonely and want to chat.

My thanks to the inventor of the mute button.

Rich Bradford

Kansas City