Letters to the Editor

Readers share views on school financing, capital punishment and Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith

School financing

There is one aspect of public school finance that has puzzled me since this fiasco began. How is it that politicians can decide not to fund public education according to a formula written into the Kansas Constitution?

Because the obligations here declared emanate from our Kansas Constitution, avoidance is not an option.

It seems to me the formula should be honored until all legal challenges are satisfied. The reduction does not take place simply because a group of politicians decides it is so. The original formula should remain locked in place.

It seems to me these politicians and law breakers are in contempt of court and should be charged accordingly. Yes, they should be arrested and face the appropriate court hearings.

Richard Heckler


Capital punishment

There has been much public discussion about how to administer lethal chemicals to execute the death penalty. It is apparent that some states use different chemicals to do this job, and some may inflict great pain needlessly.

Can anyone explain why carbon monoxide is not used? Exhaust from a car engine simply puts one to sleep without pain, and the inmate simply would not wake up.

I have read of this situation occurring accidentally to people who leave their cars running in the garage. It appears to be a simple, economical and humane method.

What’s the problem?

Vernon Reed


Chiefs quarterback

Alex Smith, the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, may be the nicest guy you would ever want to meet, but he sure is a dud as an NFL quarterback.

Richard W. Dahms

Country Club, Mo.

Social media overload

Kids ages 8 to 18 average 44.5 hours per week in front of a screen. It may be a television screen, a video game or even a cellphone.

That’s a lot of time. Think about what young people could be doing without that screen. Kids and teens shouldn’t be on a device that doesn’t teach anyone anything.

The screens consume time, and if the practice keeps going, all young people will get is addicted.

There are also many negative sides to social media or video games. They can isolate a person.

Social media make the user want to use them more and more, causing that person to think he or she is interacting with people, when really all the user is doing is sitting behind a screen and looking at posts.

Social media and games can cause teens’ grades to drop dramatically. If they stay up too late on a social network, they won’t get enough sleep. If they spend all of their time on it, they won’t have time to study or to get their homework done.

Kids should be playing outside, playing games or getting homework done, not sitting in front of a screen.

Madison Reed

Prairie Village

Reviews by Low

Denise Low’s poetry reviews are masterful (1-25, D6, “Poets from the region deliver lines rich with memories of loved ones”). The way she writes about poetry is poetry. I always perk up when I see them, and often cut them out to save.

Gloria Throne

Kansas City

Hating Obamacare

Face it, in Republican-dominated states, the goal for years has been to defeat Obamacare no matter what — whether it is in Washington, D.C., Missouri or Kansas.

I have family members who must go without health insurance because expanded Medicaid eligibility is not allowed in their location.

And now they face penalties because of these states’ partisan hatred for any type of affordable health care.

I take it as a personal insult, punishing those who can’t qualify for Medicaid or Obamacare.

Emergency rooms in hospitals in all the red states can simply write off the charges and services provided to those who are left out. Then those who have insurance can pay higher premiums next year to make up for the loss.

And we elected these officials to solve our nation’s problems.

Maybe the fault can be seen in the mirror each morning when we get ready to explain to our children why the American dream is dead.

Larry Tucker

Butler, Mo.

U.S., guns, torture

The president’s response last year to the CIA report was, “That’s not who we are.”

Oh really? The United States is among the largest exporters of arms in the world. The United States is the leader in gun violence among “civilized” nations.

We are the most privately armed nation on earth. The first five minutes of every local evening television newscast in the top 50 markets are usually filled with gun violence.

That’s not torture, you say?

Wake up, America. We lead the world in the-end-justifies-the-means public and private policy. There are little morality or ethics in most of government and other institutions of society, including the current executive branch.

From his ivory tower, the president is good at rhetoric, good at myth building. How hypocritical.

We have met the enemy and it is us.

The clock is ticking on the United States as the leader of the free world. We are tinkling brass and clanging cymbals, a mere shadow and hyper-afraid of facing the truth, if indeed a real leader would speak it.

Bob Tobia

Kansas City

All lives matter

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. We shouldn’t have to pay to play in American democracy.

Our public officials shouldn’t regard us as second-class citizens just because we don’t donate, or don’t donate enough, to their campaigns. That’s like the police not protecting your home because you can’t afford tickets to the policeman’s ball.

The NAACP has been working hard for many years — even decades — to reform our criminal justice system so that not only do black lives matter, but all lives matter when it comes to receiving equal justice. But we also want to make sure our voices also matter when it comes to making our political system more representative of a true democracy.

We are not just facing oppression from bad or poorly trained policing. We are facing oppression from the very democracy that promised us an equal voice.

Getting big money out of politics is an equal-rights issue because it disbars millions of Americans for the sake of the American millionaires.

It is time to level the playing field.

Cornell Brooks


National Association

For the Advancement

of Colored People