Get tough on coal
We are Kansans speaking on behalf of more than 60 clergy members from many religious traditions.
We raise our voices for new standards to put stricter limits on pollution from power plants. We call for this because of the threat posed to all of God’s creation by human-induced climate change.
The cost of inaction is already apparent. Children, the elderly and the poor are the most vulnerable to climate-related health effects, including heat stress, air pollution, extreme weather events and disease.
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The Environmental Protection Agency recently released a draft of the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from already existing power plants — the largest source of carbon pollution. We support that initiative.
Working together, we can meet these standards through common-sense solutions like increasing energy efficiency, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, modernizing and retooling our power plants, retiring the dirtiest and oldest plants, and spurring innovation that would create green jobs in Kansas.
As people of faith, we believe it is our moral responsibility to care for all that has been entrusted to us. That is why we join together with millions of Americans in support of strong carbon limits for power plants.
Rabbi Moti Rieber
Power & Light,
Rev. John Martin
Right to farm truth
As small farmers who produce vegetables without any chemicals and eggs from free-ranging chickens, my wife and I do not think we are threatened by undue regulations.
The proponents of the so-called “right to farm” should be honest about their intentions and correctly call that amendment “right to farm as we deem fit.”
That would include the right to use any amount of chemicals and to treat animals any way they want. Mr. Blake Hurst, in his June 28 column, “Protect farmers with Amendment 1,” euphemistically calls this “using the latest technology.”
He defends a kind of agriculture that has not benefited farmers or the rural population much and has led to many health problems of the population in general.
Anybody who is against the continued degradation of the land and the ongoing exploitation of people and animals should understand that we need a change in our agricultural practices.
By the way, a more natural way of growing our food does not lead to peasants with hoes.
Iraq questions remain
As a person who enjoys reading history, I was very impressed with Dennis Cross’ review summary of books about World War I (6-29, D6, “WWI on all fronts”).
I have always begged to get answers to big questions. Why did World War I have to happen? Why did the Great Depression have to happen?
And now my current question is: Why did we have to go to war in Iraq?
We know that then-Vice President Dick Cheney was part of a group called Project for a New American Century several years before the presidential election of 2000. He tried to convince President Bill Clinton to invade.
Why did then-Sen. Hillary Clinton vote to go to war?
When will some reporter or historian ask former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and others the most important question? Why? Why won’t any reporter ask the question?
Maybe Mr. Cross can establish himself in history by telling the American people why.
James S. Tira
Improving VA care
We are learning of the Department of Veterans Affairs failures. There is no question that the system is as sluggish a bureaucracy as there ever was.
The best and surest way to ensure that veterans are getting good medical care is to give each veteran a medical insurance card such as Blue Cross Blue Shield or Medicare. Veterans could take that insurance to any doctor of their choosing.
Veterans would not stand in scheduled lines as I have seen at the area VA medical center. Treatment would be prompt and effective.
How can you wait days, weeks or months for an appointment when you have a respiratory illness, an infection or other sudden medical event. Long-distance travel for medical care would cease.
The VA and all of its employees would dissolve, people could go into private industry and the sluggish medical treatment would move up to speed.
William A. Ingram
Amanda Blackhorse, as pointed out in a June 26 Sam Mellinger column, “Nickname fight on the KC horizon,” leads an effort to change the nicknames of professional sports teams such as the Redskins and the Chiefs.
Ms. Blackhorse indicates the point of the movement is that she and other Native Americans are offended by the stereotypical use of the nicknames, while graciously conceding that she does not consider fans of these teams to be racists.
The movement is gaining traction in our politically correct and hypersensitive culture. Congress and the trademark office are getting involved.
I understand a moral cause, and feeling good about oneself can be valuable. I do wonder, though, whether the status and humanity of the contemporary native citizens they are so concerned with will be much improved by changing the names of sports teams.
I’d like to suggest that Ms. Blackhorse and the National Congress of American Indians focus their energy and talents on education, skills training and job placement for their people.
The dignity derived from realizing their personal potential and improving their standard of living through decent jobs is a much more important factor for those who seek control of their identity and humanity.
Hobby Lobby case
Considering the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, we should probably never be surprised by any decision in which five old men provide us with another indication that they care nothing for the reproductive rights of the women of this country.
The decision, with its ill-considered assertion that corporations are entitled to their own kind of discrimination as long as it results from “sincerely held” religious beliefs, is not only a horrible result in this case but also opens a Pandora’s box of other potential issues, which this nation will have to face for years to come.
The ruling seems to permit a CEO having any sort of radical religious belief to use this decision to trample on the rights of his or her employees out of spite or malice, or merely to save a buck, by refusing to pay for some medical procedure that runs contrary to his or her religion.
What a shame that our justices are appointed for life and that they can perpetuate their own discrimination against women or other minorities with impunity.
Do-gooders go wild
I see the do-gooders are at it again. On TV they don’t want you shaking hands with your physicians because it may spread germs.
And now, after all these years, they want the Washington Redskins to change their name because “Redskins” is offensive to them. Then wouldn’t the Kansas City Chiefs also fit into that category?
Here are a few categories they can work on:
Would the Oakland Raiders’ name remind them of William Quantrill, whose raiders burned and killed people in Lawrence?
How about the Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers? People who brew beer might be offended.
What is the world coming to?
Howard C. Warner
The immigration laws in the United States aren’t broken. If people are here illegally and get caught, they should be deported back to where they came from.
What’s broken is the enforcement, and President Barack Obama is the one who broke it.