Letters to the Editor

Readers react to the Supreme Court, pension cuts and gravity waves

High court pick

The Kansas City Star in its Feb. 15 editorial, “Scalia’s legacy is polarizing; Congress must not make it worse,” is critical of the Republicans’ position that appointment of a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia should be delayed until after the election.

The Star cited the U.S. Constitution with respect to the president’s duty to nominate a replacement.

The request for a delay is not unreasonable. The Senate must approve the appointment and probably will not. It is giving President Barack Obama advance warning.

Please point out to your readers that Obama has told Congress that if certain legislation were passed he would veto it. In essence it was dead upon arrival.

The Republicans’ position is no different. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Ron Hinkle

Olathe

Court vacancy

Delay the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s replacement (2-16, A5, “Vacant seat bodes big changes at Supreme Court”)? Why? What on earth makes these people think President Hillary Clinton will make a better choice than President Barack Obama?

Gary Hanson

Topeka

Pension hearing

For years, we have been lied to about our pensions. Now proposals would cut them by 50 percent (2-17, A1, “Union retirees decry pension cuts”).

College students who don’t think they have a dog in this fight, should think again. Their student loans are a tremendous burden after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, which is now equal to a high school diploma from 1960. A master’s degree does little more for them except raise their loan payments.

Non-union workplaces are dictating lives, and billionaires are giving small raises. Young people are unable to live on what they are paid.

Teachers doing one of the most important jobs in this country struggle on low incomes and have classrooms with 30 students.

Sorry, U.S. government and big industry, but a national strike is in order.

Steven Addison

Kansas City

Gravity waves

I am certainly relieved to hear that the existence of gravity waves has been verified (2-12, A7, “Einstein was right: Gravitational waves are finally detected”). I thought there was something wrong with my bathroom scales.

Bruce Erickson

Lee’s Summit

Waste on poppies

People should be totally disgusted by how the Pentagon spends our tax money(2-16, A1, “Afghan opium trade thrives”). More than $7 billion has been spent in the last 14 years to combat poppy seed production.

Doesn’t the Pentagon know the poppy farmers have been growing the poppies from the beginning of time.

No. 1, it is profitable. No. 2, their soil works for this crop.

Would we tell Kansas farmers to stop growing wheat because the chemicals are killing bees?

Billions of our dollars have been going to Afghanistan to fight the poppy production while young people in the United States are dying of drug overdoses, and they do not have facilities or medical assistance because of lack of money.

And now we hear we need more money to make our defense stronger.

Maria Baldwin

Kansas City

Missouri toll roads

Here we go again. Despite the fact that motorists don’t want them, the Missouri Department of Transportation keeps discussing toll roads.

The Transportation Department contends that it is cash-strapped, but the new director’s salary “was not immediately available” upon inquiry.

He comes from New Hampshire and has said “the basis for the tolls is that users pay for the use of the road and that toll roads will be discussed as MoDOT moves forward.”

Here’s a news flash: Users already pay for the use of the roads with diesel fuel and gasoline taxes.

I think this whole thing is a scam to make a few people rich at the expense of motorists who use Interstate 70.

There is no other practical route between St. Louis and Kansas City, and Missouri Department of Transportation officials know it.

Toll roads are a bad idea for tourism and interstate commerce. I hope motorists will let the powers that be know this is unacceptable.

If the Missouri Department of Transportation gets away with this on I-70, it will be just a matter of time until there are more toll roads in other parts of our state.

Philip D. Gipson

St. Charles, Mo.

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