Ronald Reagan, Postal Service, hookah bars

10/11/2013 6:07 PM

10/11/2013 6:07 PM

Reagan’s legacy

If Ronald Reagan were alive today, he would be a welcome member of the conservative Republican Party.

He believed in a hand up, not a handout. He believed in limited government. He believed in a strong defense.

He believed in personal responsibility. He believed in the greatness of this country. He believed in liberty. He believed in the Constitution.

These and many others are what he would share with conservatives and tea party members. Many of those who champion Ronald Reagan today tried to diminish and destroy him while he was alive.

Robert Langton

Mission Postal Service woes

Perfunctory apologies and woeful pledges by local (and national) U.S. Postal Service officials cannot hide the fact that the service stinks.

An item worth about $200 and sent priority mail was recently delivered to me — by a stranger who lives two blocks away. The large box, clearly addressed to me, had been left on this stranger’s doorstep by an inept postal carrier. Thank you stranger for your kindness.

Shame on the folks at the U.S. Postal Service. It’s no wonder more of us choose to have our mail delivered to UPS mailboxes and prefer to mail packages at smaller out-of-town post offices where the clerks are eager to please and come with smiles on their faces.

It’s time to completely privatize the U.S. Postal Service.

Bob Tobia

Kansas City Syria’s president

Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Hitler of this century.

Richard Huff

Overland Park Confusing bills

Like all of us, I receive numerous bills from utilities, banks and businesses that have enclosures — more often than I’d like — with a heading saying something like “understanding your statement.” This is followed by a page or two of claptrap.

For the sake of clarity, however, please note that the “claptrap” would make perfect sense if the heading read, “Why you can’t understand your statement.”

Steve Irwin

Kansas City Protect vulnerable

We have huge and growing inequalities in income and wealth, nationally and globally. It’s difficult if not impossible to find any social problem that is not exacerbated by this trend.

It’s not an overstatement to say that it’s the biggest threat to world peace. It creates distrust at a time when trust is critical.

Our most pressing problems cannot be solved without some level of trust. Markets quite naturally increase inequality because of the advantage given to those who have high levels of wealth and/or income.

Markets must be regulated to protect those who are vulnerable. Remember, markets are blind; they have no mercy. We must show mercy by regulating the forces of the market. Markets make good servants but terrible masters.

Ken Gates

Overland Park Hookah bar harm

I am all for cultural experiences, but something less harmful would be more welcome than hookah bars (10-8, D1, “Smokin’ city”). Daily use is estimated to be equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes a day, and the practice targets the younger generation.

Two daunting facts exist from the U.S. Surgeon General report on youth and tobacco:

• The younger a person starts using tobacco, the more likely that person will be addicted.

• Every person who dies from smoking-related causes is replaced by two new, young smokers.

Hookah use is linked to cancers, heart disease and other health risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says: Hookah use carries similar health risks as cigarettes. It is not safer. Secondhand smoke from hookahs poses a serious risk for nonsmokers because it contains tobacco smoke and heat source smoke (charcoal).

Cultural experience (tisk). The rise of hookah bars is a tactic of the tobacco industry to hook new users and sell more products by developing trendy, candy-flavored products, which feed into the above points.

One hookah bar owner in the story proudly said, “It’s never going to die.” But facts show the customers might.

Be safe and try a less harmful cultural experience.

Linda J. De Coursey

Topeka Same-sex marriage

This whole gay marriage thing is out to lunch. Having a tuna sandwich isn’t the same as having a husband (man) and a wife (woman) to raise children.

It’s unfortunate some people can’t stomach that notion. And to the people who don’t know me, don’t judge me by my letter.

I love you, too. I can love you but not like what you’re doing. So give me a break.

Theresa Lipski

Kansas City Support Obamacare

October is the start of something really big — Obamacare. Republicans are working overtime to derail the health-care plan they were for, before they were against it. Here are the facts:

• Obamacare will not use tax dollars to fund abortions.

• Obamacare will not lead to a government takeover of health care.

• Obamacare will help bring down the cost of health care.

• Businesses will not suffer under Obamacare.

• Employers will not stop offering insurance to their workers.

• Obamacare’s individual-responsibility requirement is constitutional.

You should know that seniors are paying less for prescription drugs because Obamacare is closing the “doughnut hole.” More than 105 million Americans no longer have a lifetime cap on coverage.

Insurance companies have to justify raising rates, and states can reject unreasonable premium increases. New tools to combat fraud have recovered more than $10 billion in the past three years.

More Americans now have access to free preventive services. More than 3 million of our young adults are able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan up to the age of 26.

Why would anyone oppose a law that helps so many?

Bernadine Kline

Liberty Destructive game

Imagine if Republicans in Congress had spent as much time creating the jobs they have promised since 2010 as they have trying to defund Obamacare. Now Republicans have shut down the government over the issue, and they say it is the president’s fault.

This isn’t governing; this is Republicans playing politics simply to save their jobs. Since the president was elected in 2008, absolutely everything has been his fault, and Republicans have said no to every proposal to move this country forward.

A jobs bill? No. They won’t even bring it up for a vote. The Fair Pay Act? No. The Violence Against Women Act? No.

The list goes on and on. Bills Republicans once drafted but the president is for? No.

Compromise with Democrats? No. Republican legislators do not compromise.

This is a very sad game they are playing with the economy and people’s lives and, in my opinion, they don’t seem to care. This country is slowly recovering, but Republicans want to end that as well.

It seems like a game to them. It isn’t for me.

Karen Lane

Overland Park Questionable trust

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, all Americans should be alarmed that the federal government is using its agencies as weapons against its citizens. Recently it was the Internal Revenue Service targeting tea party groups, and then there was the National Security Agency spying on Americans.

Now government officials are spitefully fencing off open-air monuments and many parks around the country, which require minimal if any federal presence. National park employees are essentially groundskeepers and caretakers of these properties for their rightful owners, the American people.

By unnecessarily closing these to their owners, the servants have become the masters, which is one of the key elements of President Barack Obama’s campaign vow to “fundamentally transform America.” Are you willing to trust these people with ownership of your health care?

Larry Seitter

Olathe

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