Letters to the Editor

June 15, 2013

Letters to the editor on CDOs, following the money, Obama questions, Father’s Day, yard pest, foreign exchange

They’re back – those financial instruments that almost brought down the country a few years ago.

CDOs’ return shows need for regulations

They’re back – those financial instruments that almost brought down the country a few years ago.

Remember something called collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs? During the financial crisis, these “insurancelike” derivative contracts were largely based on home mortgages. Now, Wall Street firms JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley are going to give investors a chance to bet on the creditworthiness of a basket of companies.

It appears these huge banks are willing to ignore bad memories and common sense. All of this is driven by greed, and greed doesn’t listen to common sense. Nor is it contained by market-driven rules. This cries out for more federal regulations of Wall Street and the greedy CEOs who control the biggest banks.

Risk is not a bad thing. It’s been a part of building America since its very beginning. Risk adds value to the workplace. It creates jobs as well as personal wealth. However, risk that could create a financial crisis like the one we’ve just endured needs rules and safeguards. Remember, the geniuses on Wall Street didn’t think their mortgage-based synthetic CDOs would backfire and create the havoc they did.

Here we go again.



Follow the money

Having read “Climate science isn’t settled” (June 11 Opinion), I think it should be noted who butters the House Energy and Environment Committee chairman’s bread.

The top donors to Rep. Dennis Hedke, R-Wichita, include, of course, Koch Industries. Contributors also include DCP Midstream and ANR Pipeline. Both are natural-gas companies, and ANR is part of TransCanada Corp., which has been in the news so much lately. And let’s not neglect the contributions from Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and the National Cooperative Refinery Association.

Follow the money, folks.


Park City

Answer questions

I have been wondering why the “most open and transparent” administration in history has been having so much trouble answering a short list of very important questions. What’s the truth about Fast and Furious? Who ordered the stand-down of rescue forces to Benghazi? Why did top administration people blame a video for the attack? Who decided to use the Internal Revenue Service to intimidate specific groups of Americans requesting lawful tax status? Do we really need to have a Big Brother-capable National Security Agency? Why do so many high-ranking officials in this administration respond to these questions with nonanswers, no knowledge or the Fifth Amendment?

Only time will tell if the truth is ever known, and that is probably exactly what this administration wants – lots and lots of time.

My apologies to all the Fox News bashers who have no idea what I’m talking about. Just blame former President George W. Bush.



Recognize fathers

As we approach Father’s Day, I am irritated by the barrage of disrespect shown toward men, whether it’s sitcoms portraying dads as idiots or certain feminists saying that fathers don’t deserve a day of recognition.

Over the years, fathers have been caught in a no-win situation. If they work hard to provide for their families, then they’re not spending “quality time” with the kids. If they try to make time, they’re irresponsible.

There’s no denying that there are deadbeat dads out there. But as far as I’m concerned, my father was not one of them. If he could tolerate me for all these years, he definitely is entitled to a day of recognition.



Rid yard of pest

Do you know what bindweed looks like? Did you know that it is illegal to let it grow in your yard? It is a vine that looks a lot like morning glory with a bloom that is white on the inside and lavender on the outside. Please check your yard for this pest and get rid of it. Also check for wild lettuce, and do not let it form seeds.



Great year in Kansas

I am an exchange student from Germany through the AFS exchange program. The past year in Wichita has been a super experience of learning and sharing in the American culture. The year’s activities included living with my host family, making friends, celebrating holidays and birthdays, traveling in the United States, attending church and youth group, and then graduating from Wichita Northwest High School.

I will remember the warmth and acceptance of the people in Kansas who have become close friends, and I look forward to a lot of international travel as we make plans to stay connected. I enjoyed many new experiences in school, such as homecoming and prom, volunteering at Numana making meals for disaster areas, Wichita River Festival, camping in the mountains of Colorado and seeing the sights of Kansas.


Mainz, Germany

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