More to ROTC than meets the eye
Your article in the April 13-19 issue on opponents of ROTC (“Opponents of ROTC Up in Arms About Military Presence in Schools”) was worthless. Andrew Miller should be disciplined by his superior for enabling these idiots to voice their antimilitary/antigun stupidity.

Anyone who has experience with kids and guns knows that the best way to keep the wrong kids from using guns is to educate those who show an interest in shooting or hunting. When the bad apples find out that there is responsibility and actual skill needed to fire a gun, they ALWAYS quit.

The new Missouri state gun control laws require military intervention and education on firearms and how to use them properly. Maybe the young Emiliano Huet-Vaughn wants this law repealed?

Reading the adolescent rants of an “antisocialite” made me realize that the kids who oppose the ROTC are the exact types of people who shouldn’t have access to guns — ever. How many school shootings were committed by ROTC cadets? I’ll tell you: zero. Now, how many school shootings were committed by people like the ones in your article? Every high school and junior high shooting was committed by antisocial dolts like Mr. Huet-Vaughn.

These kids are wasting time getting petitions signed and alienating themselves instead of studying. If they are thinking about going door to door and getting people to sign their little petition, they better change their clothes and clean up their appearance or no one will ever sign. Would you? Looking at the picture of those kids, it could be said that THEY are the reason there should be a ROTC program in every high school.

It is plainly evident that these kids have not thought about what they are standing for. Someone needs to remind them about how this country got started (war), what has happened in our history (war), and what a whole bunch of our tax money goes to (war).

Trojan condoms should use the picture you printed (of the protestors) in the Pitch for advertising. — Kelly Olinde

Belton, Mo.

I am a senior at KU, and yes, I am in the Naval ROTC here. I understand Emiliano Huet-Vaughn’s feelings with respect to weapons in school. I was saddened by the events at Columbine High School too! But I would venture to say that students who bring weapons to school and shoot up the place are probably not in the ROTC.

Huet-Vaughn maintains that our military education is one-sided and that we never discuss our war crimes. He is quite mistaken. We study such atrocities as the My Lai Massacre, where American soldiers entered a Vietnamese village and began killing men, women, and children, ignoring their obvious pleas for mercy; 400 to 500 innocent Vietnamese lost their lives that day. We study these atrocities so that we never make these mistakes again.

One last word to Mr. Huet-Vaughn as he continues his crusade against the military and the ROTC: The men and women in the military are willing to give their lives so that the citizens of the United States are free to express themselves in ways not open to the people of the more oppressive nations of the earth. Because of sacrifices made by these men and women, Huet-Vaughn and his friends have the right to wear dreadlocks, the right to petition their school, and the right to live their lives however they choose. Before he criticizes the military and the ROTC so harshly, he should consider whether he would be willing to make a similar sacrifice in defense of his constitutional rights. — Ron Mihordin

Lawrence, Kan.

I normally do not read the Pitch for its articles, but to look at events in the area. The ROTC story drew my attention.

Emiliano Huet-Vaughn is protesting something that has been around for ages and will most likely not be affected by his petition. However, the United States government has, since the country was founded, taken its youth under its wing and has provided guidance for youths who want to make a change and excel in government politics. I commend him on his effort, though, as he is the type of person that the military is looking for. Someone who is willing to take up a challenge and make change.

He argues that (referring to quotes in ROTC textbooks) “the leadership component of the class is questionable. ‘Followership’ is the first subheading in the chapter, and then there’s a quote such as ‘The key to being an effective leader is being an effective follower.’ These are all highly objectionable points.” Like most groups in high school, if you don’t fit in or want to do what the group does, don’t join that group. Therefore, his point is moot. At the same time, he needs to look at the people he himself is leading. Are they not followers?

As badly as he wants to change, to be different, and to stray outside the social norm, his actions are well-founded in what makes this country what it is: giving him the right to assemble and to petition the government. There are classmates of his who might not have the ability or money to attend a military academy or are unsure about what they want to do in the military. Many students enjoy the opportunity to see what the military is all about and to see whether they want to be leaders. Not only do his classmates want to experience the military, but also some of them have bigger dreams than just knowing how to fire weapons. The government has more jobs in military roles that never see a M16A1, or even have to qualify with weapons, than you can swing a dead cat at.

Mr. Huet-Vaughn, take the leadership class and see what it is about before passing judgment. ROTC will teach more than basic rifle skills. Leadership, discipline, history, and duty: These are all things that employers in the workforce are looking for. — Avery King

Lawrence, Kan.

Show us the money!
I completely agree with Robert Baade and Andy Zimbalist that pro teams are economic engines for owners and players only (“The Cost of the Game,” March 30- April 5). I was all in favor of the initial bistate tax to fund Union Station; it was about time, I thought, for those mostly rich Johnson Countians to pay something for all of the goodies here in the city they don’t want to live in. Son of bistate, however, is corporate welfare at its best. So what if millionaire owners want to move their teams in search of new suckers? Let ’em!

Sales taxes are the most regressive of all taxes. Those who cannot afford to attend a football game are hardest hit by this tax, and if they could scrape together the outrageous admission and parking fees, almost all of the seats are occupied by whom? Johnson Countians, and the rest are bought up by corporations (who, by the way, want more and better luxury suites). Where’s the little guy, who paid the bills, going to sit?

If a KCMO resident works outside of the city or a Kansas resident works in the city, each is required to pay a one percent earnings tax. Wanna bet a dollar that none of the visiting millionaire players, many of whom make more than $10,000 per game, pay a dime in earnings taxes? I suggest you go see the Roos or the Jayhawks!

P.S. Did the casinos get public money to build their facilities? Are they going to run the biggest bidder and leave town? Of course not! They own their buildings. They too benefit the local economy. They too created jobs (not mostly minimum wage, either). They have to pay the cities in which they’re located. Casinos bent over backward for the privilege of locating here. Pro teams stand with their hands out, and we (silly taxpayers) agonize that if we don’t do enough for them, they will leave. Well, bye, bye, bye! — Eileen Sherman

Kansas City, Mo.

The horror, the horror
As a KC metro-area resident, I have long been a reader of the Pitch. I have never written to you before, yet a few things in a recent issue made me do just this.

First, in the Klammies article (“Uptown Saturday Night,” April 6-12) I noticed that Tech N9ne was musician of the year. I am not quite sure how this could be. This person is a hip-hop act, and he’s popular, but he’s NOT a real musician, as outlined and taught in the music appreciation and theory that was taught when I attended college. I feel that not only was this unfair but also that this award was given out of popularity. Sonny Kenner kicks this guy’s butt, and you and I both know it.

Next, while I enjoy reading about local talent, I find it odd that the Pitch seems to ignore a local guy who has done some amazing things in recent years. Todd Sheets has been making movies for years in this town, before anyone else and against all odds. As a matter of fact, when I think of a film being done here, he is who many of us think of first. Did you know that Todd has collected over 1,750 locals as zombies in his films? I have followed Todd’s career very closely and I consider myself a fan. Now, even I readily admit his early work was shaky at best, but to see the way he took these poor beginnings and turned them around to not only fan, but critical, acclaim is an amazing thing. The films are available not only here in the States but all over the world. His Web site ( is now one of the largest horror sites in the country, and from what I understand, Todd has signed a deal with Troma Films in Los Angeles and New York to become partners and affiliates on future and current projects, as well as him working with several large record companies to produce soundtracks and crossover videos for the films. His Web site is also host to the famous Chas Balun’s Deep Red, one of the most important horror writers ever. I went to a movie convention in Illinois and was surprised how many fans this guy has.

It is sad that nobody in town will give the guy any credit for growing and working hard. I run into many people here who are jealous of his success. It is so sad that area filmmakers develop ego before talent. From the few times I have met Todd, and from the e-mail that we have exchanged, and from what I read on the Web site, he is a humble guy with no ego problems. Maybe if he made movies about she-males, gays, or lesbians, or if he tackled drug addiction or made movies about racism, he would be accepted by PitchWeekly and others in this town. But his films entertain in the same way that many of my favorites entertained me as a teenager. Films like The Hills Have Eyes, Evil Dead, and Foxy Brown were all entertaining to me, and his films appeal to that same mentality. Maybe you could rectify this sometime.

Lastly, you held the Klammies at the Uptown, but I remember Pitch published an article (“Promises, Promises …,” Aug. 14-20, 1997) about Larry Sells, who owns the Uptown. The article (could have made people wonder whether) he was a crook. I have heard this from numerous people — not only around town but also in the KC Film Society. If indeed he is the arrogant ass that everyone says he is, why give him money by holding anything at this once-incredible venue? I’d rather you hold it in the street than support anyone like that.

Otherwise, I find the articles in the Pitch well-written and engaging, and I love the ongoing stories about that scam known as Oz. The Pitch has the guts to tell it straight most of the time, but please try to look at this letter as a good one that maybe points out some things you never thought about. — Misty Whitlock

Overland Park, Kan.

Categories: News