Letters to the Editor

Readers react to Gov. Sam Brownback, the University of Missouri and Beyoncé

Kansas cash game

Although Kansas has already borrowed $1.4 billion, the state is still running out of money. Consequently, Gov. Sam Brownback wants to use money from the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (2-9, A4, “Kansas pension payments are focus of Senate proposal”).

Brownback is proposing that KPERS be repaid over 24 months at 8 percent interest.

“It’s not a loan,” Sen. Jim Denning of Overland Park said. “... It smells like one, but it’s not.”

Maybe Denning knows the fiscal mess is such that Kansas will not be able to repay the loan. Therefore, it can’t be considered a loan. Instead it’s a gift made by KPERS to honor Brownback’s disastrous 2012 income tax breaks.

Perhaps Denning’s sense of smell has become so accustomed to the stink of fiscal mismanagement in Kansas that he can no longer ascertain exactly what constitutes a loan.

If you haven’t registered to vote, please do so. Kansas needs legislators who favor progressive income taxes as opposed to regressive sales taxes.

Brownback and his puppet legislators lowered your income taxes and raised your sales taxes and user fees. Is Kansas better off as a result?

Holly John Blythe


Columns at MU

Feb. 7’s lead article, “Time to fix a broken Mizzou,” was well-balanced and thoughtful.

There is room for differing opinions on whether the University of Missouri-Columbia suffers from systemic racism any different from other campuses and whether polarizing demonstrations are the best way to address it.

Since at least 1990, racism and diversity have been addressed by students and faculty. Efforts are underway to require all students to take a three-hour course designated “D” for diversity. Perhaps more can and will be done.

What is dead wrong is the headline suggestion that Mizzou is “broken” and particularly the picture of the columns coming down.

In 1892, when Academic Hall burned to the ground, leaving only the columns, they were deemed a hazard. But the president of the board of curators wrote, “Let these columns stand. Let them stand for a thousand years. ... They will be to all the rallying point of future devotion and service to the University ...”

That remains true today.

Larry McMullen

Mission Hills

Beyoncé’s stand

The beatings will continue until morale improves (2-9, C1, “Super Bowl’s biggest winner: Beyoncé”). This seems to be the illogical mentality of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others on the far right in response to Beyoncé’s plea to stop the insanity of police brutality and vigilante murders in the name of racist laws such as stand your ground.

Sadly, the problem is now exacerbated by cops who dare to sue the families of those they themselves have killed.

Are we to meekly accept the unacceptable to placate those who would so quickly label us as militant and anti-police simply because we demand fair treatment?

Like everyone else, we bleed when we are cut. We laugh when are happy and we cry when our hearts are wounded.

The problem lies with those who cannot or will not accept that reality and not with black people such as Beyoncé who demand to be treated with dignity and respect.

Eddie L. Clay


Street memorials

I have witnessed on television and in person people making makeshift memorials to people who have been slain in a terrorist’s act, domestic violence or a vehicular accident.

Although the flowers, candles, teddy bears, pictures and other items placed at a street corner, place of business or in front of a home are noble gestures, I can’t help but think it would be a more fitting gesture to the family, friends, loved ones and co-workers of those affected by these tragic incidents to offer the money spent for these articles to go toward the expenses for funerals, housing or other personal expenses incurred.

I think it would be a more fitting memorial than what becomes a pile of trash that the street department or garbage pickup service has to contend with.

Don Rinck Sr.


Safety in darkness

This is a reminder to all who like to walk, jog, walk dogs, etc. very early in the morning or in the evening: It’s dark at those hours, so help keep yourself and everyone else stay safe by wearing light-colored or, better yet, reflective clothing.

Carolyn K. Patterson

Westwood Hills