Letters to the editor on Crimea, global warming, net metering, Rutgers protest, gay rights, feelings vs. actions, inspirational author

03/15/2014 12:00 AM

03/14/2014 6:42 PM

Who would lunge for Krauthammer vision?

Is it any wonder that columnist Charles Krauthammer lunged for President Obama (March 8 Opinion)?

Krauthammer argued that past actions by Obama to develop a nonconfrontational relationship with Russia have led to the present confrontation in Crimea. He reminded us that Crimea belonged to Moscow for 200 years, and that Russia conquered it 20 years before the U.S. acquired Louisiana. He neglected to mention that the majority of the people in Crimea identify with Russia, and that Russia already has a naval base there.

Would a President Krauthammer use the U.S. military to force the Russians out under these circumstances? And what if the Crimean public votes to be part of Russia?

Where is Krauthammer’s logically convincing argument that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Crimea would have been any different if Obama had acted the way Kraut-hammer wanted? Is he suggesting that the U.S. play the role of the sovereign authority in the “Hobbesian struggle for power”?

If that is the case, then President Krauthammer had better be prepared for U.S. invasions of other countries on a scale that would make Putin’s entry into Crimea look like the work of a Third World amateur. Does anyone want to lunge for that?

EDDIE J. THOMAS

Wichita

Solve the problem

The March 8 Letters to the Editor had opposing pieces concerning the science of global warming (as it was called in one) or climate change (as named in the other). Whatever you call it, the evidence of it is obvious. But of the identified potential causes, only carbon dioxide emissions seem to be under human control – so we argue over it.

Why not just accept that global warming/climate change will have far-reaching consequences and work on overcoming them? As a stark example, what is to be done for the occupants of Marshall Islands, which are going to disappear in rising oceans?

HARRY R. CLEMENTS

Wichita

Save net metering

Kansas legislators are moving bills designed to kill net metering, a program that makes sure rooftop solar customers are paid fairly for excess power they send back to the grid. It’s a free-market concept that encourages energy competition and energy choice. It has served us well in Arizona and 42 other states.

House Bill 2101, currently in the Senate, is a threat to Kansans who use rooftop solar.

It’s no surprise that utility companies favor these solar-killing bills. Rooftop solar energy represents the only real competition these monopolies have ever seen.

Their efforts to gut net metering in Kansas run counter to the conservative principles my father articulated and supported during his political career. Conservatives who support school choice and health care choice should support energy choice.

Efforts to end net metering in Kansas amount to a tax on solar energy. That’s right – these utility monopolies are trying to convince lawmakers to tax the sun.

Don’t let deep-pocketed monopolies use government to create a solar tax in order to keep customers from saving money. Tell your lawmakers to tear down this tax and reject HB 2101.

BARRY M. GOLDWATER Jr.

Phoenix, Ariz.

Bunch of racists?

I see that some Rutgers University students and faculty are protesting over former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice being scheduled as the commencement speaker. The main reason is because of her role in the war in Iraq and Bush administration policy of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The students and faculty want the board of governors to rescind the invitation.

I would think that being a woman and African-American, she would be revered by the leftists at Rutgers. She had such a prominent role in an administration, putting aside the politics.

If we go with the thinking of some liberals that if you criticize President Obama you’re a racist, then doesn’t that make the people of Rutgers a bunch of racists?

SHELBY SMITH

Wichita

Feelings and actions

People may say they can’t help how they feel, but we are all accountable for how we act. Even if we are born with a propensity for selfishness and other unwholesome traits, when we come to the age of accountability, we become guilty if we allow these traits to determine our future.

As the saying goes, “You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you needn’t let them build a nest in your hair.” And as long as we live, temptations will come, sometimes forcefully, but we don’t need to act on them.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There is no temptation overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

MARY C. FRAZIER

Wichita

Old World mind-set

Rep. Louis Ruiz, D-Kansas City, introduced a bill in the Kansas House this week that would establish legal protections for gays and lesbians (March 12 Local & State). The usual suspects (the Kansas Catholic Conference) came out strongly against the bill, saying that it violates the religious liberty of people who are against the gay lifestyle.

Setting aside the questionable morality of safeguarding the right to discriminate (regardless of its pious origins), allowing a religious entity to dictate public policy is distinctly un-American and unworthy of an enlightened democracy. To do so institutionalizes hypocrisy and shallow self-righteousness, and it soils church and state with the crimes of each other – and there are so many crimes to go around.

It’s worth remembering that our forefathers fled Europe because of this manner of nonsense, and the New World wholly repudiated it after a few bumps in the road (such as Puritans executing Quakers). It is, therefore, unfortunate that so many Kansans are eager to embrace this Old World mind-set and sell American ideals – tolerance, inclusion – down the river in order to score spiritual brownie points.

How little we’ve progressed; how far we have to go.

RYAN T. JACKSON

Wichita

Inspirational author

Thank you, Sarah Bagby of Watermark Books, for bringing the inspirational and best-selling author Ishmael Beah to tell his story to Wichitans.

Beah, author of “A Long Way Gone” and “Radiance of Tomorrow,” shared some of his memories Tuesday night at Grace Presbyterian Church. He spoke of being a boy soldier during the Sierra Leone civil war and later being rehabilitated by UNICEF when he was 16. In his gentle, nonthreatening way, he challenged us to listen to others and become involved in helping those less fortunate.

JUDY KELLER HATTEBERG

Wichita

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