Letters to the Editor

September 15, 2013

Letters to the editor on Syria, Pompeo, will of people, climate change, ACA, voter ID, space program

The Syrian crisis gives the United States a great opportunity to show the world what humanitarian help really looks like.

Bombs not in national interest

The Syrian crisis gives the United States a great opportunity to show the world what humanitarian help really looks like.

If we really want to help Syria, let’s provide (maybe even unilaterally) food, shelter, protection, medicine and schooling to the 2 million Syrian refugees, half of whom are children. Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq are in dire need of the basics of human existence in order to cope with the refugees.

Syria is finally, after 2 1/2 years and 120,000 deaths, on the international stage. Now is the time for an unprecedented humanitarian “Marshall Plan” to provide life, not death, to citizens of an amazingly rich and ancient culture. More bombs would be stupid and are not in the national interest of the United States, no matter what Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, says.

Secretary of State John Kerry calls those of us opposed to an attack on Syria “armchair isolationists.” He is wrong. Seventy percent of this nation wants no attack on Syria. But we are a generous and giving people. So let’s stop being the leading arms dealer in the world and take on the really peaceful step of providing humanitarian aid to those dying for lack of the basics.

Let’s help make a livable world instead of aiding and abetting its criminal destruction.



Find humility

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, said that President Obama, “left to his own devices, will perform more poorly than a president we push back on and engage” (Sept. 10 Eagle). Such arrogance is breathtaking.

Pompeo also characterizes Obama’s Middle East policies as “failed.” What would he call the policies of President Bush, who stood on an aircraft carrier under a sign saying “Mission Accomplished” as he touted a victory in the Iraq War? The Iraq War, based on lies to the United Nations and the American people, went on without “mission accomplished” long after Bush left office. Does Pompeo consider Bush’s Iraq policy successful?

Does Pompeo consider it a successful policy for Bush to have gone to war in Afghanistan when a better course of action would have been to find those responsible for the Sept. 11 murders and bring them to trial?

Given the costs, we have gained little by going to war in these countries.

Unlike Pompeo, I think we will gain little by mounting a strike against Syria. I hope Obama will use diplomacy to avoid a military strike. I hope Pompeo finds some humility as he carries on in his discussions with Obama.



Will of people?

Republican lawmakers are overwhelmingly against taking action against Syria. We all know the reason why, but here is what they are saying in unison: The American people overwhelmingly don’t want or support it.

So is the will of the people a key factor in how they normally vote on things? No.

Here is a list of some of what the American people overwhelmingly wanted, according to polls, that Republicans voted against: background checks for all gun sales, a minimum-wage increase, the Buffett rule on taxing those who make more than $1 million a year, protecting gays from workplace discrimination, the American Jobs Act, eliminating tax subsidies for big oil, the Veterans Job Corps Act.

So they say, “The people don’t want it.” My definition of “hypocrisy”: Republicans.



Forever changing

“Climate changing” (Aug. 26 Letters to the Editor) noted how Kansas shifted from droughts to floods this summer. How true. But as a matter of fact, the climate has been changing forever and will continue to do so forevermore.

The scary thought is that faceless bureaucrats could and would establish some arbitrary set of constant and monotonous climate conditions under which the rest of us would be forced to live.

Fortunately, it is above the pay grade of humans to be able to regulate the climate.



ACA here to stay

Where would millions of U.S. adults who are beyond retirement age be today if Medicare had not been instituted? Many probably would be without health insurance – without health care at an age when they need it most.

I wonder if those who were against Medicare during the 53 years of debates before it was instituted in 1965 called it “Wilsoncare” or “Coolidgecare” or later Trumancare” or, lastly, “Johnsoncare.” And as with Medicare, how many people 53 years from now will actually remember when the Affordable Care Act was passed and instituted, and will wonder why anyone was against it?

Reps. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, and Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, and now Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., are working to prevent the implementation of the ACA, even threatening to shut down the federal government in order to get their and the tea party’s way. Huelskamp is even refusing to help his constituents obtain information on how to register for it. Such foolishness.

They and others in Congress who are working to repeal the ACA may as well face it: The Affordable Care Act is here to stay, just as Medicare has survived nicely for us all.



Verify voters

When government agencies discover fraud worth millions of dollars – such as welfare or medical claims – it is usually because the agencies neglected to verify those claims until after the money was awarded.

Ask yourself: Why would law-abiding citizens not want their identity verified when voting? Or when applying for Medicaid or other governmental entitlement programs? Would it be to cheat the system? What is your answer?

Next question: Why should our U.S. Supreme Court condone this?



Light engines

I was thrilled recently to see and talk to Buzz Aldrin at the Kansas Cosmophere in Hutchinson (Aug. 21 Eagle). It jogged my memory back to a great and glorious day that I witnessed on TV along with my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a couple of grandparents. It was a day when Americans had the will and the desire and the means to put plans into motion.

I hope we, as a nation, can regain some of that American ingenuity, with our own internal fire, energy and gusto. We need not venture to planet Mars just yet. I think America should revive its space program but keep the goals modest, attainable and within our budgetary means.

We need to have our engines lit.



Stop calling

I receive phone calls numerous times of the day and evening, and when I say “Hello,” no one is there. Nor do they leave a message. I don’t know how others feel, but I think this is rude and inconsiderate.

I have been keeping a record of such calls since June 7. As of Sept. 3, I had received nearly 80 calls. Some were soliciting for charities or wanting to sell me something I didn’t need or want. Some even told me how to stop them from calling again, but following their instructions didn’t stop their calls. These calls come from all over the United States. I even received one on my cellphone. I later heard on the news that was another scam directed at seniors.

I support several local charities, but that may change. It doesn’t seem to help being on a “no-call” list. Such lists do not cover charitable calls, but maybe they should. Robocalls should be prohibited.

If you think about it – your contributions to these charities are not going where you think, because these callers have to be paid.



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