Letters to the editor on reducing government, Keystone, Obama, Harjo, Shorty Small’s

03/16/2013 12:00 AM

03/15/2013 4:14 PM

Pay more attention to loopholes in laws

We hear a good deal during these times about “unleashing private enterprise” and “reducing big government.” Maybe we should consider some aspects of that grand idea.

The New England Compounding Center – which produced a tainted product that killed 48 people and has left nearly 200 looking at possible death or a lifetime of intense pain and illness – was “unleashed” by a law passed by Congress in 1998 that exempted such companies from Food and Drug Administration inspection and regulation.

Sometime between then and now, NECC (private enterprise) decided to manufacture drugs in quantity, which it was not allowed to do, rather than preparing unique prescriptions. The FDA (big government) didn’t know what NECC was doing, since the company was legally exempt from inspection and regulation.

When called before Congress to testify, the owner of NECC took the Fifth.

Not once during the various reports on this medical disaster have the names of the representatives who sponsored the 1998 bill been reported, nor have their reasons for thinking that exempting these companies would be a good idea.

Perhaps rather than watching how our representatives are working on our behalf to “cut taxes,” we should pay a little more attention to the dangerous legal loopholes that they work so hard and so quietly to create for their corporate constituents.

PHILIP H. SCHNEIDER

Wichita

Drastic changes

I am deeply disturbed by the prospect of the Keystone XL pipeline and its connection with the tar-sands oil removal efforts in Canada, which are leaving behind an apocalyptic landscape. It will be up to future generations to try to clean up this mess.

Frankly, I worry that it already may be too late to do much to prevent drastic changes to our environment. Already, we witness firsthand the higher rates of cancer, behavior and mood disorders, and other maladies affecting real-life people.

We recently experienced two back-to-back blizzards – one of which contained thunder-snow. This in the middle of a yearslong drought hitting our area and other areas of the country.

Meanwhile, flooding and tornadoes are happening in some places for the first time.

All of us owe it to the world to speak up when we see some unspeakable act about to be committed. The Keystone XL pipeline falls into that category for me. I am speaking up.

DEBRA CUMMINS

Coldwater

Show leadership

It’s time for President Obama to start showing some leadership and start doing the job he was elected to do instead of acting like he’s trying to win “American Idol.” His administration’s recent outrageous claims of doom and gloom with the sequester have exposed the president for the fraud that he is.

Recently, the official call line at the White House had a recording telling citizens that all future White House tours were canceled due to the sequester.

The president’s attempt to use this for political gain is shameless.

The White House also recently threatened journalists Bob Woodward and Lanny Davis for exposing Obama’s lies suggesting that the sequester is the Republican Congress’ fault.

The sequester was the Obama administration’s idea.

The Obama administration also ordered the release of thousands of illegal immigrant criminals, claiming the United States didn’t have the funding to house them.

Yet we can give Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood $1.5 billion in aid.

The president will do whatever he can to advance his political agenda, even if it means that the American public will be harmed.

MARK NELSON

Wichita

Nothing soft about it

I was saddened to learn about the passing of “Charlie” Harjo.

Reporter Beccy Tanner’s fine article noted that Harjo loved to play “soft-pitch” softball (March 11 Local & State). I can assure you that the type of softball Harjo played was hardly considered “soft” pitch.

Harjo played the very demanding game of fast-pitch softball for M&M Supply and was named to the city league all-star team in 1977. He played the “hot corner” position of third base, and as I remember, he played so close to home plate that the breeze from the batter’s swing would tousle his long locks of hair. He was also among the most-feared batters in the fast-pitch leagues.

FRANK LaFORGE

Wichita

Another bites dust

And another one bites the dust. Shorty Small’s restaurant at 119th and Maple closed, and another good eating place is gone (Feb. 26 Business Today). My husband and I had celebrated several anniversaries and birthdays with them over the past few years.

We also used to enjoy the Timberline restaurant at Ridge and 21st, but it no longer exists either.

It’s a shame that the recession is still killing off so many good places. Oh, wait a minute – the recession ended three years ago.

JANICE BRECHT

Wichita

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