Speak up against immigration ban
Americans of all faiths must speak in one voice in the face of the pernicious attack on the fundamental values of our American tradition. There is no command more cogent in our Judeo-Christian tradition than the one that states, “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
The recent action of our president in his immigration ban flies in the face of that injunction, which is a principle upon which our country was founded. The diversity of the cultures that make up the citizenry of the United States has enriched our country with its intellectual achievements and artistic accomplishments.
Let us stand side by side with our Muslim neighbors, for we are all neighbors in this shrinking universe. Any sort of religious or racial or gender prejudice is a desecration of God’s name and holiness. Unfortunately, our president has unleashed a pernicious bigotry that has been lying under the surface of our country for many years.
Let us stand with the protesters who cry out against the violation of our values. We call upon Republican leaders to read John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage” and come forth and denounce the president’s ban, which is bringing our country closer to the brink of war.
Rabbi Nissim Wernick, Wichita
Shaarei Tikvah Synagogue
Pleased with Trump
The headline alone of Davis Merritt’s recent commentary initiated a faulty premise (“How to avoid normalizing Trump,” Feb. 7 Opinion). Why would any of the just less than 63 million people who voted for President Trump desire to “normalize” him? He was elected to be above the Washington, D.C., normal.
It was known that Trump would have everyone against him when he assumed office. That has definitely been the case. The people who placed him in the Oval Office are pleased with his “un-normal” actions.
Trump has nominated an excellent Cabinet and worked harder in his first days than any president in our memory. He does not deserve nasty adjectives hurled at him.
Merritt wrote that Trump has been “reckless, managerially inept, immature, inarticulate, narcissistic, dangerously autocratic and a serial liar.” The commentary maligned a nominee, said that Trump has had no personal growth, and that he needs to heed words from ordinary citizens, business and professional leaders, and three or four of our ex-presidents.
The base that elected Trump applauds his actions and sent him to D.C. to counter the influence suggested.
Isn’t it a shameful anomaly that a commentary in the newspaper of the largest city in Kansas, a state that voted almost 60 percent in favor of Trump, is so far off point with the people of the state?
Jon E. Ehrsam, Wichita
With the strong emotions post-election, I wanted to channel the narrative back to the beginning – to what many scholars much brighter than I have been debating, arguing before courts, and documenting in the media. This language elegantly describes what it means to be a “United States.” What do we espouse, support and deem most important to our democracy?
It is my belief that we are so far removed from the intent of the preamble of the Constitution, current practices and behaviors are not reflective of the original document. Lawmakers confirming ill-qualified Cabinet appointments, government by executive order, and court cases being filed daily are the new normal.
The Founding Fathers did not indicate it had to be a perfect union, but a more perfect one, different from the tyranny of the Crown.
Both parties are jockeying for the most power and control and making sweeping changes, which will take decades to rectify. I ask you to read the preamble. If you find as I did that President Trump’s government is not of, for and by the people, you have an obligation to resist it and work to effect fundamental change.
Morghan Chambers, Wichita
On Feb. 8, my voice in the U.S. Senate was silenced by Jerry Moran, Pat Roberts and 47 other Republican senators.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., participated in the debate on the confirmation of Jeff Sessions for U.S. attorney general by reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King Jr., in which she opposed Sessions’ confirmation as a federal judge in 1986. For this, Senate Republicans censored Warren and banned her from participating in further debate. Yet, when several male senators later rose to read the exact same words of King, not one of them was censored.
To my fellow Americans of conscience in Kansas: This is not an issue of right versus left, or red versus blue. This is about American citizens in another state being capriciously denied their rightful representation in Congress.
Your senators have no obligation to listen to me, but they will listen to you. Please contact them and register your disappointment in their decision to disenfranchise your fellow Americans in Massachusetts.
Maria Judge, Medford, Mass.
No dog racing
Though it is understandable that the state of Kansas is looking for any way to bring in revenue, adding greyhound racing through House Bill 2173, the gaming bill, is not the answer.
Greyhound racing is a dying industry. Since 2001, more than 24 dog tracks have closed across the country. In fact, dog racing represents less than 1 percent of all wagers placed each year in the United States. Racing proved to be a bad experiment for Kansas in 2008, with a 95 percent decline in gambling that forced facilities to close. It makes little sense to bring this industry back.
Further, dog racing can lead to animal exploitation and suffering. According to the greyhound protection group GREY2K USA, in the last six months of racing in Kansas, 80 dogs suffered broken legs and backs, spinal cord paralysis and other injuries, and a total of 19 dogs died. Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane, and there is no place for it in the state of Kansas.
Let’s ensure we don’t make the same mistake twice. I urge Kansas residents to contact their representative to either remove greyhound racing from the bill or to vote no on HB 2173.
Lorrin Maughan, Derby
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