Syria, light rail, animal cruelty

09/07/2013 5:00 PM

09/06/2013 8:32 PM

Financing war

In the talk over whether America should bomb Syria, one topic has not been discussed — how to pay for it.

One sure thing is that the Republicans in Congress will refuse to have the rich pay by raising taxes or closing loopholes that benefit the wealthy, as they made sure the rich shared no sacrifice for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (the rich got big tax breaks).

Just as sure, the Republicans will insist that any expense for bombing Syria be paid for by the poor and elderly, as they are insisting that the debt from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars be paid for by them. They will even threaten to shut down the government to exact more from those poor and elderly.

Leon H. Keens

Kansas City Light-rail solution

Food and drink are part of all cultures. People are encouraged to spend money on entertainment. But then they must worry about the no-tolerance, driving-under-the-influence police sobriety checkpoints.

Light rail in Kansas City (like every other major city in the world) would allow happy folks a safe way home. The Bingham Middle School land in Waldo would make an excellent rail turnaround, park and ride, and taxi stand.

Jarvis Williams

Kansas City Zoo, not circus

Animal cruelty is an inherent part of any circus featuring wild animals. Because of this, I urge people not to attend the upcoming Ringling Bros. circus.

Abusive training methods often are used to make animals perform tricks. Standing on one foot is not part of a four-ton elephant’s normal behavior, and positive reinforcement alone is not enough to encourage an animal to perform tricks.

Circus animals perform because they are afraid of what will happen to them if they don’t.

The transport methods also are inhumane, with many animals subjected to months of travel confined in small, barren enclosures.

Several major American circuses have voluntarily eliminated animals from their shows, and more than a dozen countries, including China, Bolivia, Peru and Greece, have banned wild animals from performing in public.

If you want to see wild animals, the Kansas City Zoo is a wonderful local attraction featuring more than 1,000 animals in a 202-acre, park-like setting. Please do not attend a circus that includes performing wild animals.

Martha Weber Conradt

Leawood ‘Jefferson Davis City’

Concerning Missouri’s nullification of federal gun laws (9-2, A1, “Lawmakers aim at Nixon’s gun law veto”), may I humbly suggest that as a companion piece of legislation to lawmakers’ attempt to nullify the enforcement of federal laws in Missouri, the General Assembly pass a law to rename the state capital “Jefferson Davis City.”

Ross Warnell

Kansas City Fighting in Syria

I wrote twice to Sen. Claire McCaskill with the Senate Armed Services Committee to determine U.S. policy toward Syria. I am extremely curious about U.S. involvement in Syria’s religious civil war.

Sen. McCaskill did not answer this question. She did state that the United Nations documented almost 93,000 deaths.

In the second letter to Sen. McCaskill, I stated that the U.S. Civil War had the greatest number of casualties of any war the U.S. has fought. No reply.

The president, together with Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, stated that there are no U.S. service personnel with “boots on the ground.” I know personally that the U.S. had Marines and U.S. contractor personnel in Syria.

President Obama stated that the Syria government has crossed the “red line” and was using chemical weapons. Are the American people being told the truth?

Syria is having a civil war, and I don’t think the U.S. should be involved. My question is: “Does the U.S. have a dog in this fight?”

Carl M. Antrim

Independence Arab League’s role

The prayers of Secretary of State John Kerry and Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have been answered by the Arab League meeting in Cairo with statements such as “foreign intervention” is no longer opposed, “war criminals” should face trial and, finally, “The time has come to call on the world community to bear its responsibility and take the deterrent measure that puts a halt to the tragedy.”

Got that right. It’s time for the Arab League and its members to use all the weapons we have supplied them to step up to the plate and take action.

It’s their problem. Let them solve it.

They should take the lead, with the rest of the world giving them its blessings.

Charles (C.K.) Baber

Village of Loch Lloyd Unforgivable cuts

I live with kidney failure and spent almost four years on dialysis before receiving a transplant. This month, the federal government proposed severe funding cuts to the End-Stage Renal Disease Program that funds life-saving dialysis care.

If these cuts go into effect, they will have an incredibly negative effect on the lives of many, including people throughout the metro area. More than 400,000 kidney-failure patients nationwide rely on dialysis care three times a week for survival.

The proposed 12 percent cut might mean there would not be enough funds to cover the cost of dialysis care. It would endanger the existence of many dialysis centers, making it hard, if not impossible, for patients to receive their necessary care.

Although I am not currently undergoing dialysis, I am still very concerned about those who are, including friends and acquaintances.

It is unforgivable to propose these cuts. Please help me, as well as your friends and family members who are living with kidney failure, and urge congressmen Kevin Yoder and Emanuel Cleaver to oppose this funding cut.

Michael Guffey

Overland Park Ogallala Aquifer

David Steward, a Kansas State University professor, in his recent study of Ogallala Aquifer depletion, states “The time to act will soon be past.”

First, we must answer a vital question: How do we manage the water withdrawal and recharge rates so the aquifer can provide water for beneficial uses on a sustainable basis for current and future generations?

The answer depends on at least three facts. The aquifer is beneath parts of eight states. The aquifer depth, thickness, flows and/or water quality vary at different locations beneath the states. Aquifer withdrawal/recharge rates have effects on, and are affected by, the choices and actions of people living in the states.

These aquifer characteristics likely require at least three acts.

First, scientists collect, analyze and use biological, hydrological, economic, social and other ideas and facts necessary for measuring and managing withdrawals/recharges, and their effects.

Second, interest-group representatives undertake skilled negotiation and/or mediation in applying the ideas and facts during their democratic development of an Ogallala Aquifer management policy.

Third, a democratic entity implements the policy and reviews and adjusts it in response to changing future aquifer withdrawals/recharges.

Let’s act now.

Allyn O. Lockner

Topeka Imagine That

Imagine That at 2040 Central Ave. is a welcoming environment for adults with disabilities. When you walk into the Resources for Human Development building, it feels like family.

It is a great place for creating your own art and expanding your imagination. It is definitely an artistic place to be because it is filled with awesome artists and staff.

First Friday is the best day of every month because we can showcase our work and our band; we have even done a live performance. We have the opportunity to meet new people and sell our art.

Imagine That has helped inspire my dreams and goals in life. I have found art to be very relaxing for the mind and body.

I also have the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians, and we create original songs. Through RHD, I have been able to practice and learn other instruments.

If you or anyone you know has a disability and this sounds like a fun environment, contact RHD’s Imagine That.

George Thorpe

Kansas City

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