Illegal racers can’t endanger KC streets if the city seizes and crushes their cars

Crimestoppers

Smash ‘em

I read Friday’s front-page story “New device meant to deter illegal sideshows in downtown KC” about ways to try to stop the illegal and dangerous “sideshows” and doughnuts going on around town. The expense of adding these “pucks” onto our streets to deter street racers’ stunts is money wasted.

Police Maj. Dave Jackson said in the story that the people who run their cars up and down our streets are affluent, with a lot of disposable income to invest in their cars. The fix is simple: Confiscate the cars of these outlaws and crush them flat. We can legally confiscate the luxury items bought with the profits of illegal drug dealers, so why not do the same with these criminals’ possessions?

Take some of these cars off the road, and everybody will get the message. Then, maybe, they would go over to Kansas or out into the country and stop endangering our honest Kansas Citians.

- Dick Davenport, Lee’s Summit

Name the place

I was intrigued when South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham recently invoked the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution to try to avoid questioning by a Georgia special grand jury about Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election. (Nov. 24, 2A, “Sen. Graham of SC testifies before Georgia grand jury”) That clause — Article 1, Section 6 — states: “Senators and representatives … for any speech or debate … shall not be questioned in any other place.

I see opportunity here. Shouldn’t this constitutional clause be invoked to stifle the endless rounds of TV talking-head shows where incumbents spin their position but never truly answer a direct question? If Fox News or MSNBC or CBS want to interview them, make them take their cameras to the halls of Congress. Wouldn’t this be a blessing on all our houses?

A second purpose would be to challenge the fiction that some Supreme Court justices rely on a literal interpretation of the Founding Fathers’ original intent. What a joke. How could they rule otherwise on the first suggestion when “in this place” seems clearly to indicate the halls of Congress, or perhaps even the chambers’ floors. Give our eyes and ears a rest.

Please help. I am asking any one of the many court watch groups to file a legal complaint and get the ball rolling — maybe the Federalist Society or the ACLU.

- Ron D. Platt, Overland Park

RIP, GOP

As an ex-Republican, imagine my great surprise to find I actually agree with Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley on an important matter: The headline on a recent guest commentary he wrote in The Washington Post reads, “The GOP is dead.”

He’s right, at least about the nickname. There’s absolutely nothing grand anymore about the Republican Party.

- Larry Little, Manchester, Tennessee

Benefits lacking

I am a railroad signal worker for the Union Pacific Railroad and a proud member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen union. I am one of the more than 6,000 men and women who build, maintain and inspect the major Class I freight railroads’ signal systems that ensure the safe movement of trains and protect the public at highway-rail grade crossings.

Our work is critical to the United States’ supply chain. We are currently involved in negotiations with Union Pacific. As most readers are aware, we do not have any paid sick days. We are required to use the few vacation days we have, which are meant for leisure, to address health, family or personal issues that inevitably arise in our lives.

We have been making a reasonable request for Union Pacific to recognize our essential work and provide a small amount of paid sick leave for us to take care of ourselves or our families during times of sickness or distress. It has been four decades without an improvement, and the railroads need to come into the 21st century.

- Aaron Carter, Lee’s Summit

Modern weaponry

A photo in the Nov. 21 Star showed a Ukrainian anti-Russian sniper nest. (4A) Part of the security equipment the fighters were using was a video camera on a tripod. Common consumer electronics — cellphones, batteries, tablets, drones, flashlights and children’s toys — have become the Molotov cocktails of today’s warfare.

Is there an honest, transparent aid society with a wish list of needed nonlethal materials for Ukraine? I would donate money or in kind.

- Randall Jones, Independence