Letters from the week of December 11

LETTERS: “GOOGLE EXPERT,” DECEMBER 4

Socialists R Us

I was dismayed to read the letter from Joshua Lawson calling Barack Obama a socialist. Evidently he had to look up the word on the Internet. I learned what a socialist was, and what socialism is, in a school. For the many out there who don’t know what socialism means:

Socialism is (1) a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole; (2) a procedure or practice in accordance with this theory; (3) in Marxist theory, the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

I am loathe to rush Joshua and others like him through difficult concepts. But now that we know what socialism is, let us measure all political figures and institutions against it so that we may evaluate the veracity of the claim that Obama is a socialist. To what extent does (insert politician’s name) advance vesting the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution of capital, land, etc., into the community as a whole? Why, at least 535 members of Congress and one person in each Oval Office. Ever since the Louisiana Purchase, we have had a mixed-economy of capitalism and socialism. What we do not have is a president-elect who is a member of the Socialist Party any more than we have an outgoing president who is a member. So please, Joshua and all of the others out there crying socialist, please pick up a book, learn the concept of a mixed economy, and the concepts of degrees and nuance. And learn what you should have learned in school, which is not to call people names.

Name Withheld by Request

LETTERS: “SNOT FAIR,” NOVEMBER 25

Clothes Make the Man

I respect Richard Mende’s opinion about Carolyn Szczepanski’s article on Crosby Kemper III, but I disagree with him.

I don’t believe that any of Szczepanski’s observations about Kemper’s attire were meant to be disparaging in any way. For readers who might not know who he is (and believe me, there are many who don’t), it painted a picture of a man who is a humble, kindhearted and generous soul. I just don’t think these were intended to be cheap adolescent potshots. It made him approachable.

Julia Mullane, Overland Park

MARTIN: “BUSTED FLUSH,” DECEMBER 4

No Loss Limit

David Martin was right on the mark when he described the ineptitude of the Kansas Gaming Commission. Its greed also forced the closing of the first-class Woodlands dog track, as well as several others in the state. I guess you can’t expect much from a group that has seen $30 million a month crossing the state line to gamble in Missouri for the last 11 years.

Don Merker, Raytown

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