Caucus helps temper environmental damage
The Monday opinion piece “Military knows on climate change” points out that a Republican amendment was added to the National Defense Authorization Act forbidding the military from studying the impact of climate change on our bases and missions. As Mr. Barnhill reports, “enough Republicans who cared” helped defeat this absurd amendment, but he didn’t identify them.
Thanks to the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, many of its 31 Republicans voted against the majority’s position and the amendment was killed. Besides this national security issue, they have stripped environmentally harmful language from other legislation as well. This caucus of 62, with equal numbers from both parties, explores common-sense ways to cut pollution, reduce climate risk and protect the nation’s economy.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is one of the non-partisan grassroots forces working to grow the size of this caucus. We urge Congressmen Ron Estes and Roger Marshall to look at the good work this caucus is doing and vote with them.
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Darrel Hart, Wichita
Rep. Alford, you should read and understand the racist roots of “reefer madness.” Hemp and marijuana was a crop farmed largely by Latinos and blacks. Yellow journalism, the reefer madness propaganda campaign, and pseudo science was used to squelch the farming of hemp due to a wave of immigration of farmers from Mexico.
It’s wholly shameful, albeit unsurprising, that in 2018 a state legislator can be so dense as to rely on “science” from the 1920s and ’30s. The intellectual disability shown in such behavior should be alarming to anyone who’s researched this issue at a minimum.
Rep. Alford, I am no more genetically predisposed to be affected by the use of marijuana plant that has been cultivated for 5,000 years as a white suburban man is predisposed to become addicted to heroin, ushered in by the misuse of prescribed opiates, of which I’m assuming you care deeply about considering the wave of developing drug addicts currently sweeping white communities and now considered a crisis. I will not stand idly by as you abuse and misuse my community for your racist benefit while in the company of a sea of white faces.
Thanks for your service.
Djuan Wash, Wichita
Make a weapon be visible
All the letters to the editor and editorials about the death of Andrew Finch seem to be missing the 10-ton elephant in the room. The core issue is misguided police academy training.
I have studied police training in the context of lethal force liability in actions against police departments. I know police training emphasizes how quickly an assailant with a knife can close a distance gap. What I think is happening is that this mindset is being wrongly applied to firearm scenarios.
If officers have properly placed themselves behind cover and they have their weapon drawn and on target, there is no rational reason for them to shoot before they actually see a weapon. But they are being taught it’s OK to use lethal force merely upon fear that a suspect might have a weapon.
Police lethal force replaces the safeguards of a judge and jury and should be used only when there is an actual threat, not when a potential threat is prematurely perceived.
John Williamson, Wichita
Turn pain into strength
When tragedy strikes a community that involves citizens and law enforcement, many times battlelines are immediately drawn and a community is torn apart first over the loss, and then over how the loss occurred. In the tension-filled environment in which we live, emotions tend to rise quickly when the question of force used by police is brought and while we can never erase the damage, we as a community can learn from our loss so that these events are not repeated.
Now is the time for citizens, elected officials and law-enforcement agencies to come together and generate solutions to ensure recent outcomes are indeed isolated while building a bridge that leads to better policies, trust and transparency. This community belongs to all of us, and we have a shared responsibility to make Wichita safe for all. We can be divided in our hour of tragedy or become stronger for the future by working together to turn our pain into our strength.
Lamont Anderson, Wichita
Williams served Wichita well
Now that the incoming members of the City Council have been sworn in, I would be remiss if I failed to thank Lavonta Williams for her years of work and caring to make Wichita the best city it could be.
She has been a quiet presence over the years, from the time I worked with her in the Wichita school district through her years on the Council. I expect she will continue to be that same person, investing herself in efforts to make a difference.
Thank you, Lavonta.
Ginny Sartorius, Wichita
Invocations should remain OK
I fail to see how prayer in meetings constitutes a religion and even so how that imposes a religion on those attending the gathering.
Anyone so insecure about their beliefs, values and self worth that they have to subject the rest of us to their unreasonable angst need to seek mental health treatment.
Carolyn Winn, Wichita
Technology’s effect on children
There is no doubt that technology is taking over society; however, it is also taking over the imaginations of children. The need to stay in contact with people in the social media universe instead of the people that are surrounding us is replacing one-on-one conversations and hindering children’s imaginative growth.
Technology is the way of the future, but children are our future as well. Parents have given up on their children playing outside, playing pretend, and using their imaginations to create fantasy worlds beyond our comprehension.
Not only is it taking away children’s ability to imagine and create, but technology targeting children is on the rise. A cable channel, BabyFirstTV, has developed nearly 27 apps aimed toward young children. It’s as if parents would rather shove a tablet or cell phone in their child’s hand rather than spend quality time with them or sending them outside to play. So let’s put down the tablets and communicate with our kids.
Jenna Terrell, Wichita
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