Letters from the week of March 31, 2005

Maker's Marked 

Letters from the week of March 31, 2005

Majority whipped: Regarding Nick Johnson's letter from March 17, he writes: "And in a matter of belief, don't sheer numbers matter? It make sense to me that if millions upon millions believe something, it deserves a chance just to be heard. From a Gallup poll: In 1990, the population of the United States was 250 million, with 175 million Christians. You cannot ignore such a massive collection of your community pointing to one idea -- there is a God, who, in this context (Christianity), did create the world."

What preposterous reasoning! Just because a majority believes something does not necessarily make it a fact. For example: At one time, nearly everyone believed that the heavens revolved around the Earth and that the Earth was flat! The church in particular considered it heresy to believe otherwise. Literal interpretations of the Bible can be wrong.

Intelligent design (creationism) is religious dogma, which has no place in public schools.

Nicole Philips
Overland Park

Stripper Search
Adult mis-content: Much was left unsaid in David Martin's "Big Matt Attack" (March 10). While Martin's article dutifully covered Sen. Matt Bartle and his stem-cell bill, many small businesses around the state have serious concerns about Bartle's other bill, Senate Bill 32, which will kill a lot of Missouri jobs and eliminate a good deal of tax revenue for the state and its communities.

On its face, Senate Bill 32 just looks like a massive, punitive tax bill, one that levies a $5 admission tax on most independent video stores, all adult-product stores, and all adult cabarets in the state. It also imposes a 20 percent gross-earnings tax on these businesses. This is a tax rate that no industry (save casinos) could survive. Imagine this tax on your liquor store or your gun shop. It is obvious that this is an attempt to destroy these Missouri businesses.

Mr. Bartle claims that his motivations are the several adult-product stores that have popped up on Interstate 70 in the last several years. This is his route to work in Jefferson City. If this is his actual motivation, there are myriad ways to reasonably regulate the density of adult businesses. It is not necessary to propose a piece of sledgehammer legislation like Senate Bill 32 that eliminates a whole class of businesses from the state. Maybe it is just a grandstand from which to holler. We hope it fails.

Richard Snow, board member
Missouri Association of Club Executives
Kansas City, Missouri

Spit Ball
Strike out: I read Kendrick Blackwood's article about Larry Lester and his association with the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City ("Stealing Home," February 3).

I have known Mr. Lester since he worked for the museum and have dealt with the museum on several occasions since he left. It is my opinion that Mr. Lester was one of the best things going at the museum, and I was sorry to see him leave his post there. I have worked with Mr. Lester on a project in the last year and have found him to be professional and extremely knowledgeable. In dealing with the museum in the past few years, I have become somewhat wary of the way it does business and have, when asked, recommended that people donate artifacts elsewhere.

Kyle McNary
St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Sacrifice bunt: As a fellow Negro Leagues and black press historian, I place my full support behind Larry Lester without reservation, without qualification.

I read with interest "Stealing Home." Without a shred of evidence, Larry's name is dragged through the museum's self-made mud? Implicated in the case of the disappearing tapes, even though he has documentation showing that the tapes were where they belonged? The museum's directors have made a colossal error. It is so transparently a case of sour grapes.

My question is a simple one: Why can't the museum spend much more time (and money) on being a museum and much less on running a gift shop and litigating? Brian Carroll, Ph.D.

Professor of journalism, Berry College
Mount Berry, Georgia

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