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Corps Vet Simmer

Letters from the week of May 5, 2005

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Not Fonda our cartoon: Mr. Ziegler can enjoy his freedom and draw his little cartoons in part because American men and women serve in our armed forces and die to protect his freedom today, as they did during the Vietnam War (Backwash, April 28). He should apologize to veterans for his latest cartoon and especially apologize to the VFW. Have him check out articles on the Human Rights Watch Web site of recent Vietnamese government abuses. This is part of the reason why the U.S. government sent troops over there in the first place.

Joe Moran
Kansas City, Missouri

Brown Out
Kansas went a-courtin': I enjoyed Tony Ortega's "Funny Math" (Kansas City Strip, April 14), but the analysis of Brown v. Board of Education is incorrect and misleading.

The U.S. Supreme Court consolidated numerous similar cases from many states into one hearing. The cases were listed in alphabetical order by the plaintiffs' last names. Brown was alphabetically first and therefore became the common name for the entire class of cases. The class of cases heard did not "originate" solely in Kansas, and Kansas was not singled out in the opinions.

All states are bound by Brown, and some have not done as well as Kansas in adhering to the ruling. But I agree that the Kansas Legislature, as usual, could certainly do a better job than it has.

John Compton
Overland Park

Cold Cuts
Kids incorporated: Thank you for the article about Sen. Matt Bartle and the issue of Medicaid and adoption cuts (Ben Paynter's "Playing Defense," April 14). This is such an important issue, and it is only by educating the populace that we can hold these elected officials accountable in their bids for re-election.

It's nice to know more people are paying attention to our state government. Thanks!

Lindsey Walker
Kansas City, Missouri

Block party: I am usually a very sympathetic person; however, I don't feel a bit sorry for the Gersts or anyone else who voted Republican and are now facing cuts in the social-service programs they rely upon.

The Republican Party has openly declared war on social-service programs for at least the last 25 years, so this is hardly anything new. The likelihood of finding "an alternative Republican," as Mr. Mooers stated, is not going to be easy. Republicans who dare stray from the party line are soon brought back in line or severely punished.

I don't understand something: Why is making sure gay people don't marry or people don't have abortions more important to these people than continuing programs that benefit themselves directly and, more important, benefit some of the most vulnerable children in the state? Please explain that to me.

Don Clark
Kansas City, Missouri

Picture This
Hung out to dry: Regarding Bryan Noonan's "Well Hung" (April 21): The following is not going to be popular with your readership or with the Pitch, but it needs to be said. Tom Deatherage, his supporters and his admirers epitomize precisely what is corrupt, degenerate and false in the contemporary art world. The phoniness, the swagger and resort to "in your face" cursing, the shallowness and superficiality, the booze, the street drugs, the delight in shocking the "uninitiated" -- it all adds up to the old obsession with style over substance, in this case, a quite despicable style. This, by the way, very much characterizes the "fine art" pretensions of this cultural desert of Kansas City, at least in visual arts.

Therefore, the near apotheosis of Deatherage and his ilk is both predictable and symptomatic in this wasteland of visual ignorance.

Bill Erickson
Kansas City, Missouri

Field Manual

Punter, pass and kick: I've enjoyed Jen Chen's column since moving here from San Diego last month. This is an interesting town. Seems everyone has known each other since they were 5, and I can't get over the smoking-inside thing. That's totally gross to me. I hope this city is progressive enough to go smoke-free.
Anyway, Chen mentioned DJ groupies (Night Ranger, April 7), and I wanted to give her the official name for them for her ever-expanding vocabulary: punters.

Matt Wendel
Kansas City, Missouri

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