Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor (Dec. 28, 2018)

Thanks to Roberts, Marshall

Just in time for Christmas, Congress delivered a gift in the form of a bipartisan, improved Farm Bill, and Sen. Roberts and Rep. Marshall deserve thanks from the Kansas Wildlife Federation. It took two years of careful negotiation, balancing the interests of farmers, ranchers, sportsmen and women, and conservationists, but leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees were able to break through partisan gridlock and get it right.

This Farm Bill will not only benefit America’s hardworking farmers and ranchers, but will also help address America’s wildlife crisis by improving key conservation programs and increasing investments in wildlife habitat on working lands. It includes full funding for conservation programs, expanded efforts to create wildlife habitat for species such as the monarch butterfly on working lands, and measures to combat Chronic Wasting Disease, a threat to Kansas deer.

There’s always more that could be done to protect America’s natural resources, like conserving native grasslands and safeguarding wildlife habitat on conservation lands. But given the monumental partisan political pressures in Washington, it’s nothing short of a miracle our elected officials were able to deliver this Farm Bill.

Laura Mendenhall, Kansas Wildlife Federation president

Build bridges

$5 billion will pay for only 215 miles of border wall!? What more practical and resourceful uses of our dollars could be imagined that would serve to “make America great again”?

Pope Francis has said, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel.” If I am truly a disciple of Jesus Christ, if I carefully read the Gospel, if I listen to the words of Jesus and believe he meant them for me, and if I have the conviction to follow his example, I must agree — it is time to begin replacing barriers with bridges.

The movement of impoverished peoples across man-made borders around the world is indeed perplexing and problematic, but building barriers will not solve the problem. We must listen to our religious leaders and use our collective conscience, unwavering faith, and creative minds to pursue the “building of bridges”.

Marcus Loganbill, Wichita

Crowded Illuminations

“Illuminations at Botanica is awesome; you gotta check it out!” is what they all say. And while the displays are impressive, the absolutely crushing crowd ruined what would have otherwise been a great time. Ever been in the first couple of rows at heavy metal concert? It was like that — sardines. We got in quick enough, but could barely move around after about 45 minutes to an hour. A person would be dead where they fell if they suffered a medical emergency in that mess. There would be no way to get out, or for resonders to get in quick enough to make a difference. I hope the organizers recognize this liability and take steps to better manage the crowd next year. Either sell fewer tickets or extend the hours. 5:30 to 8:30 isn’t enough time to meet the demand.

Dustin C. Sharp, Wichita

Recession

So the stock market had it’s worst Christmas Eve ever. This is just days after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. If that doesn’t cause a recession, they are going to keep raising rates until it does. President Trump replaced Janet Yellen with Jerome Powell. Both seem to believe in the Phillip’s curve. A theory that says when you have a tight labor market, workers have more leverage and wages rise. This causes inflation, so the economy must be slowed down by raising interest rates. Never mind that wages have been stagnant for decades and inflation doesn’t seem to be a problem. The brakes need applied to the economy. In reality, this is last tool to use to keep working people under the wealthy elite thumb.

They can’t loosen the labor market with outsourcing because of tariffs. They can’t flood the labor market with foreign workers because of increased border security. So let’s just have a good old manufactured recession to increase unemployment. Of course the Federal Reserve is going to blame everybody but themselves, but I believe they are the real culprit. When they start the blame game, don’t believe them.

Mike Hubbell, Kingman

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