Letters from the week of October 4, 2001


Letters from the week of October 4, 2001

Clubbed Kids
Bully pulp: C.J. Janovy's editorial on Westport ("Bully Clubs," September 13) may have been as ridiculous as anything I have read. The statement that the underage youths who hang out well past midnight have been "liberated" from things like reading and church is probably true. But it is sad.

The Westport merchants only ask for a chance to operate businesses. The liberated youths surely have no use for reading. They are already adept at petty theft, assault, harassment, illegal use of drugs and alcohol and other skills preparing them for the futures the leaders of their community have in mind for them: inmates of prisons, spouse abusers and early guests of the medical examiner's office.

Absolutely brilliant.
Tad DeOrio
Kansas City, Missouri

The Quick and the Fred
Devil's advocate: Regarding Mark Kind's "Kansas City Strip" (September 20): Fred Phelps claims that the insidious attacks on innocent citizens of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the passengers of United and American Airlines were the acts of a God smiting fag America. I wonder what evil deeds America has done to be subjected to jackasses the likes of Mr. Phelps.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Prairie Village
Rush hours: Mark Kind should have included Rush Limbaugh along with Falwell, Robertson and Osama bin Laden. Despite the calls for unity, Limbaugh continues to spew out his three hours of hate every day directed at liberals, Democrats, environmentalists, feminists and any other group he disagrees with.
Kenneth Lee
Keep on truckin': I would like to address my comments to Mr. Fred Phelps.

Please, Mr. Phelps, go to New York! First, Kansas doesn't want you -- you're an embarrassment. Second, unlike the pickup drivers in Topeka, the cab drivers of New York will NOT miss.

You epitomize the face of evil in the name of your God. Notice I utilize "mister" rather than "reverend" when I address you. Your use of the term "reverend" is so abhorrent I cannot bring myself to use it in conjunction with your name. It is truly a shame that the God you worship is incapable of delivering his own "justice" in your eyes without the use of a plane piloted by terrorists.

Maybe you should switch to an all-powerful benevolent entity rather than the vindictive weakling you currently worship -- and ARE!
Barbara Spangler
Kansas City, Missouri

Est Case Scenario
Class struggle: As a staff member of UMKC, I was disturbed by the facts in the enlightening article written by Kendrick Blackwood ("Brain Wash," September 20).

As one who has lived as an outsider by choice through the blueprint era, I can attest to the "Us and Them" mentality emitted by the "insiders." That attitude doesn't bother me nearly as badly as does being branded a terrorist because I do not choose to participate in, and have differing opinions about, "the cause." We live in a democracy. We have the right to our differing opinions without the fear of persecution. Perhaps the chancellor is the terrorist in this situation. Isn't brainwashing a component of terrorism?

Our governing process at the university is actually called the blueprint process. If anything, no matter how large or minute, does not pass through this elite governing body it is not now, or never will be, a topic for discussion or action.

I agree the university could benefit by changing the methods in which it conducts itself, but the blueprint process, under the auspice of leadership by Martha Gilliland and Gordon Starr, is not the way. It is a waste of precious time, money, energy and resources.

Thank you, Mr. Blackwood, for stating the facts so clearly and enlightening all of us to what lurks beneath.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Kansas City, Missouri

How the est was won: I know I speak for many here at UMKC who were amused, appalled and enlightened by the recent exposé of Chancellor Gilliland's connection to est. Around here we cynically refer to "blueprint-speak" in reference to her plans for the future of this institution. Let's see -- she has spent $750,000 for est trainers, $450,000 to "renovate" her on-campus home and another $150,000 or so on consultants for Twin Oaks. Yet adjunct faculty have not received a raise in six years. She tells us this is an arts and sciences problem, but in fact, it is a campus-wide problem; indeed a nationwide problem. What two medical students pay to take one of my classes is less than I make for teaching a class for the entire semester -- and this is with nineteen years' experience and publications in my field.

Gilliland should pay attention to what happened at the University of Hawaii this past year. They went on strike -- and they won. I fear, however, that demands for fair pay will make my colleagues and me only look like the "academic terrorists" Blackwood reports that she has written about and that she either believes in ignoring or eliminating -- despite the fact that she has said we do "a tremendous job." If those of us who are so poorly paid did go on strike, we could shut the university down. Now there's a "breakthrough" that would mess up her nice blueprint.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Kansas City, Missouri

Correction: The correct name of the artist who painted Nude in Red Chair, featured on the Night & Day page of the September 20-26 issue, is Eugene Bortnick.
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