U.S. losing chance to influence Syria
Because the Syrian government was killing rather than protecting its citizens, the Syrian people asked the international community to establish a no-fly zone. Their repeated calls have fallen on deaf ears, because President Obama is busy with his re-election bid. There is an understanding that no action can be taken before a green light is switched on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hinted that there is a chance for the green light to be switched on after the January inauguration. That was a few months and more than 10,000 dead civilians ago.
After my brother told me Monday about the death of one of our cousins in his mini-market, he said that the Syrian people have given up on their fellow human beings. They are asking the creator directly for either divine intervention to get rid of the dictator or for a collective swift death. They would like to die with dignity before the Assad thugs slaughter them and mutilate their bodies.
My fear is that the United States is losing its chance to influence the outcome and will end up with a foe rather than a friend in the new Syria. That would be another loss.
Not stepping up
I appreciated Mary Sanchez’s commentary “Rise up, middle class” (Aug. 26 Opinion). Also consider our top income-tax brackets from World War I to the present. For 63 of those 94 years, top rates have averaged more than 60 percent. They went into the 90 percent range to pay for wars.
But top rates, the lowest in decades, were lowered again about the time we went into the Middle East and were not restored to help cover the cost. Instead, we borrowed more money from foreign countries.
Even after World War II, top rates were in the 90 percent range for most of the “boom” years – the late 1940s into the 1960s. Our national infrastructure was built, providing jobs for veterans and others. Our tax dollars paid for the war and brought us out of the Great Depression.
Our situation now is similar, and worse. We have to pay for 10 years of war, interest on borrowed money, years of medical care for thousands of wounded veterans, and to rebuild our infrastructure.
Yet the wealthy clamor for even lower tax rates, which will put more burden on the poor and middle class. Why aren’t they willing to step up to the plate like their ancestors?
Tea party betrayal
I am fearful about the future of our great nation because of the betrayals of our elected leaders, especially the leaders who have claimed an affiliation to the constitutional ideals of the tea party. The vast majority of tea party-affiliated politicians – including U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, and Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran – voted in favor of indefinite military detentions of U.S. citizens in the National Defense Authorization Act. The indefinite detentions already have been declared unconstitutional in the courts.
Even more tea party-affiliated members recently voted in favor of the so-called Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act, which allows any president to bypass the advice and consent of the Senate for certain Cabinet-level appointments.
These are just two examples of how our tea party politicians, who swore an oath to defend the Constitution, have no real knowledge of how the American system of constitutional government is actually supposed to work. Tea party-backed officials voted away this check and balance given to us by our forefathers. They gave unlimited power to President Obama and any future leaders to appoint any radical they wish.
Repeat of 2000
With the 2012 general election fast approaching, I hope President Obama loses the popular vote yet wins the Electoral College. This likely will not happen, yet I would like to see it happen as I can well imagine the spirited anger that would come from right-wing radio commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin and others on the radical Republican front. And I can well imagine that they would, in typical form, be hypocritical about it and ignore history and the results from the 2000 presidential election.
Fluoridating our water supply would be an expensive waste of taxpayer money. Who drinks water out of the tap anymore?
If people do not drink bottled water at home, many drink filtered water. Mostly what would get fluoridated are lawns, flower beds, showers, toilets, sewers, storm drains and the Arkansas River.
Of course, our animals would receive fluoridated water. However, I have had a procession of animals over the years and not one has ever had a cavity.
To add the expense of fluoridation at a time when the city is already strapped for cash is a lesson in wasteful futility.
It is hard to find a toothpaste that does not contain fluoride. So brush your teeth after every meal and save the city a few bucks to spend on projects that benefit the majority of our citizens.