Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on voting in Kansas, Cardinal Raymond Burke and Congress

Voting in Kansas

I saw the movie “Selma,” and many scenes about denying voting registration in some states caused Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to come to mind.

My voting rights are being denied by Kobach, and I won’t let him get away with it.

Kansas was founded as a free state, and yet registered voters in Kansas are being denied a ballot unless they act as further directed by the Republican Legislature. My name has appeared on the voter-registration rolls in Johnson County since 1957, and I have voted in every election since then, thereby demonstrating my right to vote.

The black citizens were seeking just that right in “Selma” and were beaten away. With my voting right fully intact, Kobach’s henchmen at the polls in my precinct say I must further qualify. But my name clearly appears on the registration books, and my constitutional right remains intact.

So give me my ballot and get out of my way.

Kobach, if you think I am unqualified to vote in this precinct, where is your evidence?

I have the entire and complete right to vote. I’m qualified. I have the registered right to vote.

Get the hell out of my constitutional way.

That right is what “Selma” is about.

Lloyd Hellman

Overland Park

Cardinal is wrong

Cardinal Raymond Burke believes that female altar servers have reduced the number of priestly vocations (1-10, C8, “Cardinal blasts inclusion of women”). If this were so, would we not have seen a marked increase in female vocations?

Because this is not true, then the cardinal’s logic is faulty. If empirical evidence exists to support this claim, please let it be published. Indeed, it would be interesting to hear what young adults of either gender feel about vocations.

Further, the cardinal’s blame-casting toward gay clergy is similarly unfounded. Gay does not necessarily equal pedophile.

Such inflammatory language is very harmful in shaping the general laity’s attitude toward being open and accepting of all God’s people, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Were Jesus here today, he would speak up for the rights of women and would accept them as apostles and disciples, just as he did in the context of his own era.

Would Jesus parade around in silk and lace? Hardly.

Women are accepted in board rooms and government but not in the sanctuary? It should be a genderless experience.

Susan Long


Term-limit Congress

America desperately needs term limits for our politicians. We need to enact a rule that candidates can run for Congress, and if they are lucky enough to win, they can serve their term.

At the end of their term, they can run for re-election. Then they are done. That way the huge corporations wouldn’t be able to buy Congress.

We need to get rid of the career politicians.

When politicians stay in for life, the big corporations shower them with money and gifts to vote the way they want them to vote. The longer they are in Congress, term after term, the more they forget about the American people and think only of themselves.

Wake up, America.

Harry Oliver

Kansas City

Conflicting goals

It is important to understand the economy as it works in this country. We are dealing with two systems that are incompatible.

Capitalism, an economic system, rewards people, for the most part, according to their contributions to the economy. Democracy, a political system, is concerned with equality.

Our present president, unfortunately, has chosen to reward the non-producers over the contributors by redistribution of income and wealth through higher taxes and the new Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

The pendulum always swings between the conflicting goals of capitalism and democracy, according to economic consultant Robert Goodman.

Our democracy is still in excellent shape in this country, as is capitalism — the two strange bedfellows.

Richard H. Wiens


Unaddressed rage

Focusing on police aggression may miss the point, although it is an important issue. The criminal/court systems of Ferguson, Mo., and communities of the like result in decades of frustration, which often leads to some sort of criminal activity.

The real problem is poverty, racism and the entrapment of residents in the legal system. What has been recently described as white rage is at the heart of the problem.

It is time to deal with the source of problems and not the results.

Everett Murphy, M.D.

Kansas City

Risky walking in KC

Research, case studies and logic have told us walkable neighborhoods not only improve the health of their people and their environment, they also decrease crime and encourage economic activity. Yet, Kansas City is still failing to grasp this.

Downtown is experiencing developments that will greatly enhance the neighborhood’s walkability.

However, pedestrians outside of downtown are mostly left to fend for themselves. Not only must they create their own paths, but our city is denying them the basic, inexpensive infrastructure needed in our neighborhoods.

Recently, after witnessing a large family sprinting across 39th Street to dodge traffic, I filed a case with 311 to ask for crosswalk at this intersection.

Within a week, a crew was sent to record foot traffic and determined 44 people crossed 39th Street at Walnut Street in one day. But that was not sufficient to justify a crosswalk, according to public works officials.

Forty-four people risking their lives to cross an unmarked intersection did not justify providing an essential safety measure. If our city is not willing to provide basic infrastructure needed in walkable urban areas, we will continue to lag behind other major U.S. cities and will never have a chance to become a world-class city.

DuRon Netsell

Kansas City

End censorship

I think we need to reduce the censorship on government documents.

The current censorship on documents is ridiculous. When you are trying to gain information, all you find are faulty media reports and blocked-out documents.

I believe that anything that doesn’t threaten the nation’s security, no matter how it affects the people’s view of your country, should be released to the public. It is the public’s right to know what the government does.

No one likes being lied to, especially the American people. We need to see the morality of what we as a nation have done — all of it.

We need the truth.

Brianna Taylor

Overland Park

Politics vs. reality

Instead of the politicians voting for their own raises, I propose that we, the people, give them a yearly review just like in the real world.

If their performances don’t live up to expectations, give them the ax and call for an early election for that position. Also give them a yearly salary of $50,000 and make them pay for their own health insurance and save for their own retirement.

Maybe then they would see what the real world is like, because it appears they don’t have a clue what is going on in the real world.

Fred Huse

Kansas City, Kan.

America’s future

The last two times the Republican Party had control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives in a presidential election year (1928 and 2004), the Great Depression and Great Recession were set in motion.

Despite optimistic economic expectations in those years, the subsequent presidential elections (1932 and 2008) took place in the midst of severe economic crises.

In September 2004, I set out the possibility of history repeating itself in this way. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened.

With the GOP now in resurgence, ending this pattern will require Republicans, Democrats and independents to work closer together in demonstrating economic vigilance and backing sensible financial regulations.

America’s future depends on it.

Barry Speert

Overland Park