Records used to be good enough
I read recently about a man with no birth certificate trying to get an ID card so he could get a visa (“Hard to get ID,” Feb. 26 Letters to the Editor). Now I find myself in the same boat, but regarding a driver’s license.
I was born in 1938 in Winchester, Va., delivered by a midwife. In those days doctors were hard to come by, and you just didn’t go to the courthouse. Then my birth mother moved to Gettysburg, Pa., where she gave me up to a man and woman. It was called a custody agreement. That paper was used to get me into first grade in El Dorado. It was also used to get me into the Navy in Wichita. That’s all I have had for 75 years.
I was married in Kansas, had a driver’s license here, owned land, paid taxes, raised three children. Now I am told by the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Division of Vehicles that my records are not good enough.
JACK WALKER Jr.
Kochs in control
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was incorrect when he accused the Koch brothers of being un-American. In fact, the Kochs are as American as Yankee Doodle. Plutocrats have a long tradition of controlling the fate of America.
In 1776, only white property owners could vote. In 1789, when the U.S. democracy was formed, poor people, women, Native Americans and slaves could not vote. At that time, and for some time after, white property owners made the decision about who would lead the country.
In the 2010 Citizens United decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found that corporations had the same rights as persons under the Constitution. That case opened the floodgates of corporate spending on political ads. It’s not just the Koch brothers who are cashing in on the Citizens United decision, but with their estimated $80 billion net worth and their widespread corporate “personhood” empire, they have an advantage that outpaces even the richest union political action committee.
So in effect, the Citizens United ruling, with the participation of corporate moguls, has taken us back to the days when wealthy property owners owned the democratic process.
Grow a spine
Wouldn’t it be neat if President Obama would grow a spine when dealing with thugs like Vladimir Putin or the mullahs in Iran? As it is, the only people quaking are American citizens and allies like Israel, who have discovered how expendable they have become in the politically expedient world of Obama.
The burden of fear has been lifted from the Putins of the world as the administration retreats into the fantasy that stuff like climate change is as big a threat to humanity as Iran getting a nuke or Putin invading Ukraine.
If the Obama administration had spent as much effort working with Republicans as it does deceiving low-information voters or weaponizing the IRS to target political opponents, perhaps prosperity instead of angst would be the hallmark of this failed administration.
GREGORY H. BONTRAGER