Letters to the editor on corrupt financial system, fair trade, Reagan’s health, turbine quakes, teaching experience

05/27/2014 12:00 AM

05/27/2014 6:43 AM

Financial system is corrupted

An international Swiss bank avoided criminal convictions last week after what may have been decades of conspiring with wealthy Americans to conceal large amounts of U.S. income and avoid large amounts of U.S. state and federal taxes. At the same time, an Occupy Wall Street protester who instinctively elbowed a police officer she said had grabbed her breast during a scuffle was sentenced to prison. Liberty and justice for all?

The international banking establishment (including Wall Street), aided by politicians and central banks around the world, is clearly “too big to fail and too big to jail” and knows it. Bankers are duping the rest of the world while they drain the value of its natural resources, human labor and frugal savings.

The sad fact is that the vast majority of outsiders being financially exploited have no understanding of what is happening to them, even though most know instinctively that something is wrong. Those few journalists who do understand are co-opted by news organizations that depend on the financial and political establishment for power and profits. And so the largest and most unjust transfer of wealth in the history of the world rushes on year after year unabated, leaving environmental destruction, human misery and financial fraud in its wake.

However, even sadder is the distinct possibility that it is too late to do anything to change this corrupted financial system – that it has become systemic, that we have no alternatives left, and that it must now run its course to whatever ending awaits it.



Fair trade needed

The controversy about Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is not about where he lives. It’s about whom he represents.

Roberts is part of the old buddy system so problematic in Washington, D.C. He was financially persuaded by the lobbyists for the mega multinational corporations to vote for all of the free-trade agreements. Free trade has gutted our economy and sent unemployment soaring. About 45 percent of our manufacturing is now in communist China and Mexico.

Roberts is not alone. The majority of both parties voted to pass these devastating free-trade agreements. This includes former Rep. Todd Tiahrt, Sen. Jerry Moran and former Sen. Sam Brownback.

Free trade is the reason we have hundreds of thousands of unemployed people. It has created windfall profits for the mega corporations in these no-regulation, low-wage nations. There’s nothing pro-American, pro-Constitution or pro-worker about free trade. Any candidate who favors free trade over our traditional tariff system is bought off.

Tariffs build a national economy. Free trade destroys it. We need fair trade, not free trade.



Forget Reagan

Columnist Cal Thomas discussed health issues of five presidents – two Whigs and three Democrats – and commented that “not all presidents or their staffs were forthcoming about them” (“Clinton’s health a legitimate campaign issue,” May 21 Opinion). One wonders why he omitted Ronald Reagan’s health issues.

Reagan’s son said he noticed the problems as early as three years into his father’s first term. He was not the only one, of course. Several reporters noticed that Reagan sometimes confused reality with roles he had played in films. CBS reporter Lesley Stahl considered reporting her farewell audience with Reagan in which she was told that no questions were permitted. Then she observed behavior that suggested that Reagan was incapable of responding to questions. She concludes in her book, “Reporting Live,” that she now believes that both Reagan aides and Nancy Reagan covered up Reagan’s dementia. Later reports reveal that several important people in the Reagan administration were uncomfortable with his preoccupation with facts from movies. “The Day the Earth Stood Still” was a prime example.

Perhaps Thomas himself has some memory lapses that account for his having forgotten to mention Reagan’s health issues.



Turbine quakes?

Studies are underway to find out whether the increased earthquake activity in Kansas is caused by man-made activity. Wind towers haven’t been listed as a possibility. Wouldn’t wind towers transfer a lot of vibrations into the ground? Small vibrations will open cracks in farm machinery. They might also cause ground to settle. Has anyone looked into this aspect of wind towers?



Grew with district

I would like to express my appreciation to the Wichita school district for the opportunities afforded me as a substitute teacher this past semester. As a fall 2013 graduate of Fort Hays State University, I found that being able to substitute in this massive and diverse district allowed me to obtain skills beyond my college education.

In this short period of time, I experienced new ethnicities, communities, school and family cultures, traditions, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, behaviors, skills and successes that will help me excel as a first-year teacher next school year at Christa McAuliffe K-8 Academy. I can honestly say that each job I completed was made memorable by the camaraderie I experienced from the administrators, teachers and staff of USD 259. The human resources department also was always readily available to answer questions and give sound advice.

I commend USD 259 for being an outstanding organization. It has been a pleasure to grow with this district and now become a member of the team.



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