Letters to the Editor

Letters on Pakistan massacre, Cuba horrors, pay-to-play democracy, IRBs, NFL protests


Pakistan must root out the radicals

The massacre of innocent schoolchildren in Peshawar, Pakistan, is so horrible that there are no words harsh enough to deplore it (“Taliban hit school, kill at least 141,” Dec. 17 Eagle). The Pakistani-American community of Wichita calls on the government and military of Pakistan to take swift action and root out the radicals from their society. We also request President Obama to assist Pakistan by sharing American intelligence and pointing out the locations of the terrorists so they can be isolated and eradicated from the system.

Pakistan cannot and should not allow its land to become the bed of terror. Pakistan has a key role to play in the region after American forces leave Afghanistan.



Cuba horrors

President Obama wants to restore relations with the Castro dictatorship in Cuba (Dec. 18 Eagle). He even went as far as to say the 50-year embargo has not worked for anyone. This could possibly be because Cuba has not expressed any concern toward human rights.

The regime in Cuba has a rich history of eliminating personal freedoms and suppressing free speech. By allowing a renewed relationship with this dictatorship, we will only look away at the horrors of what ruthless men can really do.

One only needs to look back to the atrocities that were committed by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. These men orchestrated a push of false hope that would have made Josef Stalin excited with the Soviet investment in the country. As for the critics who state the past has not benefited anyone: They need to look at Europeans who invested in Cuba after the Soviet fall. The Castro regime has pocketed the finances, leaving the state and people disillusioned. A renewal of ties will not benefit the people but only the heinous violators of peace.



Pay to play

Sadly, American democracy is now based on the concept of “pay to play.” Example: Citigroup’s contribution to U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, who sneaked into the last-minute government-funding bill a provision drafted by Citigroup that rolls back the protections against the kind of legalized fraud that virtually bankrupted the U.S. economy in 2008.

Yoder’s actions will benefit five of the largest banks in the country – Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. It allows them to use money insured by the Financial Deposit Insurance Corp. to underwrite reckless ventures. And when their behavior once again sinks the U.S. economy, they can count on another taxpayer bailout.

Sadly, Kansas legislators are similarly being wooed by the payday loan industry.

At least 15 states in America have outlawed payday loans – and for good reason. Their obscene interest rates (potentially 400 percent or higher) make old-fashioned “loan sharks” seem like friendly uncles by comparison.

Because so many elderly Kansans are victimized by the payday loan industry, the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature passed Bill No. 3104. It would amend the current Kansas consumer credit code to outlaw payday loans in Kansas. Credit unions and local banks treat customers much more fairly.

Urge your legislators to outlaw payday loans.


Speaker pro tem

Kansas Silver Haired Legislature


No risk to IRBs

Open season for attacks on the progress of Wichita apparently has been declared. First were the successful attacks on financing of essential infrastructure in the community via a 1 percent sales tax. And now some are attacking the use of industrial revenue bonds to finance business expansion with related new jobs (“Don’t attack local businesses,” Dec. 9 Opinion).

The Eagle over the years has fed to readers misinformation about IRBs. Its writers have used terms to the effect that the city has agreed to issue IRBs. That’s totally false; the city doesn’t issue IRBs. If it did, the city’s bonded debt ceiling would be breached and we would pay increased interest rates on city bonds.

IRBs are issued by financial institutions for a business, which is totally responsible for paying the bond interest and paying off the bonds. Many times the city also separately authorizes a tax abatement (for a limited time) on the property acquired by the business from the money realized by sale of the bonds. The city can realize all the benefits of business expansion and job creation by the business.



Athletes stand up

The National Football League did the right thing by not fining the football players for their hands-up gesture or for wearing “I can’t breathe” shirts during warm-ups (“NFL must act,” Dec. 10 Letters to the Editor). For quite a while, it seemed as if black athletes had lost their civil-rights backbone and refused to stand for any cause. So it is refreshing to see them stand up for something that truly matters – in protest of police brutality and the miscarriage of justice that followed.

All athletes should have the right to freedom of speech and expression and not be worried about being fined. If a fan does not like it or agree with what the players are protesting, he can always turn off the TV and choose not to cheer for that team.



Letters to the Editor

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For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.