Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on politics, President Obama, drive-by shootings

Political nonsense

Why is there a bill being backed by President Barack Obama to end outsourcing, and not many people have heard about it?

And what’s up with Kansas coming out as one of the cheapest states to live in?

I try not to listen to the political hype. One thing that did pique my interest was welfare to work in Kansas.

I am reading too much about hitting a depression bigger than the last one. Some economic gurus in Washington, D.C., should get our spreadsheets fixed and fast.

Debbie Nguyen

Independence

Obama’s turn now

We have seen this before, and Federalist No. 47 says it best: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elected, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

While President Barack Obama may feel on top of the world now, wait until a Republican gets the presidency and he can do what he or she wants.

Remember, the present struggle is not about the elimination of big government but who gets to use it.

David W. Anderson

Olathe

Overcoming violence

Needless violence is never acceptable, official or civil (1-6, A1, “‘This has got to stop’”). “Hands up, don’t shoot” is a good reminder of that.

A few folks need to remember to leave one hand down to hold up their sagging gangster pants.

Maybe we need an alternative hand gesture to remind us of all the needless violence.

Perhaps one hand down with palm open to represent peace and the size of all the innocent little children killed recently in drive-by shootings.

Thomas Dodson

Kansas City

Student debt burden

Richard Hodges, in an online article, “Time to get smarter about student debt,” propagates several myths about college student debt.

Our government should seek ways to make college more affordable, but panic over a “debt bubble” does little to help in that effort.

A recent study by Beth Akers and Matthew Chingos of the Brookings Institution showed the burden of student debt has changed little in 20 years. Today, the median borrower spends about 4 percent of his monthly income to pay student loans, almost the exact same as in 1992. Plus, the average debt-holder earns $7,400 more in annual income, enough to pay for the total increase in student debt in less than three years.

Yet Hodges is right. We can do more to help students.

Kansas has a program called the Kansas Comprehensive Grant, which provides a small award to students with financial need who choose to stay in Kansas to attend a public or nonprofit college.

However, there is only sufficient funding for one in three eligible students.

Rather than raising alarm about mythical student debt bubbles, we need our elected leaders to increase student need-based aid in Kansas and Missouri.

Matt Lindsey

President

Kansas Independent

College Association

Topeka

Stupid, nonfunny film

Seth Rogan’s recent movie, “The Interview,” about Kim Jong Un seems to be raising a lot of discussion about free speech and other rights. The larger question seems to me to be what kind of insolence we show to all countries and their leaders around the world.

Is this just another version of the arrogant “ugly American,” presented in a somewhat sophomoric, stupid and not very funny movie sexualizing everything from a hot dog to an atom bomb?

We may not think Kim Jong Un is a very good leader, but to have the arrogance to make a whole movie to ridicule him? Maybe not all that we have the right to say is the right thing to say. On top of that I just talked to a first-year Korean college student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and she told me that a few of them had seen it, and they didn’t think it was very funny.

So the word was out. It’s a stupid, not funny movie so don’t go.

Patrick Sullivant

Westwood

Parker column

Kathleen Parker says in her Jan. 1 column, “Sony fiasco suspiciously sounds like a bad movie,” that life is “a comic book” when she writes about the Sony movie, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, President Barack Obama, the FBI and others.

She concludes, saying America needs a “superhero to restore truth.”

What is forgotten is that our savior, Jesus Christ, who is the truth, has been with us and is with us.

Society looks to the government, to others and to superheroes to fix our woes and our mistakes. Until we, everyone everywhere, put God before ourselves, we will continue to live in this sad comedy. No comic-book hero is needed here.

Lynn Schaefer

Overland Park

Safeguarding food

I farm in Nemaha County and serve as vice president of the state’s largest farm organization, the Kansas Farm Bureau. I help provide food, fuel and fiber for our nation and the world.

Caring for our natural resources is also something I take very seriously, and I rely on constantly evolving technology and methods to do so.

One tool that farmers use is biotechnology. We produce record yields while using less land, water and pesticides. Biotechnology is safe, and it works.

Some skeptics are trying to pass a patchwork of state laws mandating the labeling of some food produced using biotechnology, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is little more than a scare tactic that threatens the productivity of Kansas farms.

Food policy should be set at the national level because it is a national concern. Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo understands this and has proposed legislation that will ensure consumers receive the information they need without the misinformation and confusion created by a patchwork of state laws.

I encourage anyone interested in the well-being of Kansas farmers — not to mention accuracy and consistency in food labeling — to thank Rep. Pompeo for his leadership on this issue.

Jeff Grossenbacher

Bern, Kan.

Treating slick roads

There is a very dangerous place when either snow or ice hits the Kansas City area. It’s at Northwest Prairie View Road and 72nd Street.

For those not familiar with it, it’s near the 72nd Street exit off northbound Interstate 29. Turn left at the light, go to first big intersection and turn right.

Treatment should begin at the top of this hill, approaching the intersection going south, because many cars almost slide into the intersection during bad weather.

It happened to me recently with black ice on the pavement.

Can the city help with this?

Willie R. Robinson

Kansas City

Frightful tuition

Despite being a thriving student with ambitions for a bright future, and with college tuition being on the rise, the prospect of going to a prestigious university appear dim. Why does it cost tens of thousands of dollars just to go to school?

We all (or most of us anyway) go to college for the same reasons. We all have goals and we all want to make something of ourselves.

Like many students, I have a job and will have one for the rest of my high school career as well as during my college years. Working 10 or more hours a week at my minimum-wage job until the end of my high school years, and keeping up with the countless hours of schoolwork I have each week, will not even make a dent in the pricey tuition of most schools that I would like to attend.

I can continue to work hard and, sure, I can use my good grades and good test scores to get some scholarships. However, I would still have thousands of dollars to pay, and student loans are a sad reality that I and many of my peers must face.

Caroline Matz

Liberty

Uncommon support

I wonder what freshman U.S. Rep. Mia Love, a Utah Republican, was promised for making public statements that we should all move on concerning House Majority Whip Steve Scalise addressing a group whose members consider her to be less than human?

Paul Gumbel

Kansas City

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