German reunification, government shutdown, questionable drugs

10/02/2013 5:06 PM

10/02/2013 6:30 PM

German example

Today the Germans observe Reunification Day, the day in 1990 when East Germany was abolished and the country again became one. Declaring unification was easy.

Making it real was challenging and expensive. It took time, effort and resources to make the country united in fact. Germany has recovered and grown to be the major economic power of Europe.

Germany recently completed its federal elections, giving the CDU/CSU of Angela Merkel nearly 50 percent of the vote. Merkel’s challenge now is to create a coalition with other parties to govern the country. That will require negotiation and concessions by the parties involved.

The U.S. Congress should take a lesson from the Germans. This country deserves to have intelligent adult leadership that works across the aisle to meet the needs of the country.

It is time for moderates of both parties to say, “Enough is enough,” and join forces.

Roy Busdiecker

Overland Park Political shutdown

The GOP claims to offer compromise. Shutting down the government unless unrelated demands are met is not a compromise.

I’m tired of the lies and deception. We need more statesmen and fewer politicians.

Peter Anderson

Kansas City Questionable drug

Several things have come to light after the announcement that Smithfield Foods was being sold. The following may not be common knowledge.

Ractopamine is a drug used as a feed additive to promote leanness in market hogs. One brand of additive containing ractopamine is Paylean. Google Paylean and read it yourself.

Ractopamine has been implicated in making pigs more susceptible to stress from being handled, with behavioral and physiological changes, and in making them more aggressive.

This drug use was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999. Its use has been approved in more than 20 other countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Thailand. However, it is banned in more than 100 countries, including the European Union, China and Malaysia.

Writing in National Hog Farmer, economist Steve Meyer remarked, “Smithfield’s zeal for removing ractopamine from its company-owned farms has struck me as odd all spring.” My guess is Smithfield was making its product acceptable to the Chinese market.

Stanley Robinson

Princeton, Mo. Hartzler, Obamacare

In reply to Missouri’s 4th Congressional District Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s Sept. 30 commentary, “Ruining world’s best health care,” I have two questions:

• How did Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, become law without Republicans voting for it?

• What was the Republican plan for health care that would have been better?

Corky Lewis

Lee’s Summit Best health care?

Because Republican U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler thinks we have “the best health-care system in the world,” I have a bridge she might like to buy.

Donna Milstead

Independence Yoder’s wrong vote

Kansas 3rd District Rep. Kevin Yoder has failed another major test of his self-proclaimed bipartisan stance. His siding with the petulant, reactionary wing of his party to shut down the government again proves he’d rather seek safe haven with the tea party than chart the moderate course 3rd District voters expect of him.

Yoder didn’t have to go along with his cronies on the ultimatum the House sent to the Senate. He knows as well as anyone that the Affordable Care Act was going to be implemented regardless of Republican temper tantrums.

Instead, he fell into formation and voted for a bill that amounted to political extortion. If, as he claims, closing the government is simply unacceptable, the right thing to do would have been to decry and vote against the bill that forced the shutdown. Once again, he has attempted to be for and against something at the same time.

Neither Yoder nor the other House Republicans can have this both ways. The voters of the 3rd District, regardless of party, deserve far better, far braver representation than Yoder has exhibited, especially during this protracted game of political chicken.

Andy Sandler


Kansas 3rd District

Democratic Committee

Mission Anti-gun liberals

The constant call for more gun regulations is old news. Liberals have been calling for gun restrictions and taxes on guns and ammo since the 1960s.

There isn’t anything reasonable about their intentions. They intend on getting rid of the Second Amendment, guns and ammo.

It is why they demonize the National Rifle Association. The NRA is a rights organization, no different than the American Civil Liberties Union or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Liberals want the NRA gone. It’s in the way.

Past gun regulations did not reduce gun violence or access to guns. The opposite is true.

A study showed that from 1993 to 2011 firearm-related homicides declined. Non-fatal firearm crimes also dropped.

Criminals don’t like the idea of people defending themselves. Neither do liberals.

Of course, those statistics are ignored by the liberal media. They can’t let facts get in the way of misinformation, myths and personal agendas.

Frank Green

Kansas City Saggy pants unkempt

Like many adults, I don’t like the sagging-pants fad.

When I was young, the style was torn/ripped jeans and oversized overalls.

Young people will always be the same to be different. The more the reaction, the better it is. It’s inherent in the generation.

I’m sure there are more pressing issues for any city council than an attempt to dictate the fashion of the young. And young people will always be one step ahead.

Ginny Johnson

Kansas City Homeless in KC

Homelessness is a word that causes many to cringe. Panhandling and annoying drunks who won’t leave you alone are the first thoughts that come to most people’s minds.

Not all homeless are panhandling drunks, though. Some are your neighbors, friends, former coworkers and even your own family.

Homelessness is not a crime; it’s a condition of today’s economy.

I am no different than you, or am I? I had a good-paying job, an apartment and two kids. Then the company I worked for closed its doors and went bankrupt.

You see, homelessness is only a paycheck away for many Americans. So now I am homeless, without a job and no place to go.

Does that mean I, a taxpaying citizen, should be treated as a common criminal? Of course it doesn’t, but that is how we are treated — harassed by Kansas City’s finest, also known as uniformed police officers on a power trip.

Homelessness isn’t a crime; it’s a condition. So please, I beg you, join the movement to end homelessness. Be a solution. Contact your local shelter and find out what you can do to help.

Jeffery Poblocki

Kansas City Cellphone ban

If you have the privilege of strapping your children in a stroller and taking them for a walk, do not cheapen the experience by talking on your cellphone. Go ahead and take the phone, but just turn it off.

Most likely, you will have your children’s undivided attention. Their little minds are shaped by what you see and what you say. They will learn about doggies barking, bunnies in your path, cool breezes, leaves blowing, noisy cars, bicycles whizzing by and even the sweat on your brow as you push them.

Talk to them about everything. Even if they are too young to talk, they can hear you, and they are learning. They don’t want to hear about your day at work or the latest gossip. Save that for later. Seize the moment with your precious baby.

They grow up too fast. You will have plenty of time to talk on cellphones later when they are ignoring you while they talk to their friends.

Alison Balcom



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