Syndicated Columnists

Letters: Readers discuss ex-Royal Homer Bailey, Democrats’ failure and Jerry Moran

Royals GM Dayton Moore discusses the Homer Bailey trade

Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore speaks with reporters at Kauffman Stadium following the trade that sent starting pitcher Homer Bailey to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor-league infielder Kevin Merrell on July 14, 2019.
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Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore speaks with reporters at Kauffman Stadium following the trade that sent starting pitcher Homer Bailey to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor-league infielder Kevin Merrell on July 14, 2019.

A Royal mistake

How disappointing. As poor as the Royals’ pitching staff is, now Homer Bailey — who had the most wins for the team — has been traded. (July 15, 1B, “Royals trade pitcher Homer Bailey to Oakland for minor-league infielder”)

What a downer for the team to lose its most productive pitcher. How could this move possibly improve the situation? They went from bad to worse.

Joyce Maggard

Blue Springs

Editorial wrong

By defending handing President Donald Trump an additional $4.5 billion, The Star’s Tuesday editorial, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez owes Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids an apology for staffer’s tweet,” demonstrates a willful ignorance of the Trump administration’s implementation of so-called border security. (7A)

It fails to acknowledge how funds have been handed out to private corporations to perpetrate cruelty toward human beings legally seeking asylum, with no accountability. In giving Trump more money, Democrats ensure the expansion of a system that denies food, water, health care and safe shelter. It extracts children from families and has subjected far too many people to neglect.

Democrats won the majority in the 2018 mid-term elections yet failed to exercise their power to force an end to the concentration camp system. They deserve to be called out for their abject failure to stand up to the immoral and brutal Trump and his supremacist enablers, for being complicit in perpetuating a system of misery and death. The Star is as derelict as the Democrats.

Bob Hoffman

Overland Park

Right to privacy

Transparency is for government; people deserve privacy. There should be universal agreement there, yet a June 30 letter to the editor said The Star should require guest columnists to violate other Americans’ right to free speech as a condition of being published. (12A)

That’s the effect of saying a nonprofit such as Kansas Policy Institute, a research and educational organization, should be required to disclose its donors’ names.

The U.S. Supreme Court addressed this in a 1958 ruling that barred Alabama from requiring the NAACP to release donor names as a condition of operating in the state. The state knew the release of those names would result in Americans being harassed and would hurt funding to the NAACP. Fortunately, the court said compelling the release would violate donors’ rights to free speech.

I get the curiosity factor, and the pressure for transparency may seem intuitive. But constitutional rights must be sacrosanct.

Ben Franklin presciently said, “A Republic, madam, if you can keep it,” when asked what form of government the founders had created. Keeping our constitutional republic (please, media, — stop calling it a democracy) requires constant vigilance, and protecting Americans’ constitutional right to private free speech is paramount to its defense.

James Franko

Vice president and

policy director

Kansas Policy Institute


Direct questions

I attended Sen. Jerry Moran’s town hall in Louisburg on Monday afternoon. Despite having differing political views, I think everyone in the room, including the senator, would have agreed that these are not normal times. Unfortunately, the town hall ended before I could ask my questions, so I’ll leave them here. They are short and require only yes-no responses.

1) Do you believe in your heart that the president’s conduct and words reflect the best of American values?

2) Have you read the Mueller report?

Senator, as your constituent, I would very much appreciate a response to my inquiries.

Colleen W. Knight


Doesn’t add up

I don’t understand the methodology used by Jackson County to establish real estate market values. As an example, our home’s assessment went up significantly. It is valued higher than the highest-priced home that sold over the past two years in our somewhat homogeneous development, even though our home is among the smallest by square feet. The new assessment simply doesn’t make sense.

Sale prices are available online, as are square footage and other attributes that can be used to compare true market values. There are recent sales in our neighborhood of homes with four bedrooms, four baths, granite, huge kitchens, new carpet and more that sold for less than our assessment.

We love our home. However, it has three bedrooms and three baths with 573 fewer square feet than a home that recently sold for thousands less than our appraisal. Our newly assigned value simply does not pass the reasonableness test.

Values should be assessed according to sale prices by neighborhood, comparing square feet and amenities, not using average price by ZIP code or whatever methodology was used. Good luck to the staff at the county assessment department.

Tom Fournier

Lee’s Summit