About streetcars in Kansas City returning, I remember well the former streetcars in Kansas City. People refused to ride them because they did not like riding across town seated next to a wino, and the automobile was much more convenient.
I’m having deja vu all over again.
Worried about presidential, or executive branch, tyranny with executive orders around things such as immigration or Obamacare?
If so, you should probably read the declassified Senate study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program released to the public last month.
It’s a horrifying catalog of the crimes committed on our behalf by our CIA and its outsourced contractors resulting from a presidential executive order.
Lest you think these folks had gone rogue and were caught up in our collective fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by al-Qaida, the evidence suggests quite a different scenario.
Specifically, the CIA’s own inspector general reported the following on Page 4: “One interrogator told another detainee that he would never go to court because we can never let the world know what I have done to you.”
Presidential executive orders authorizing the ineffective interrogation technique of torture — even against non-citizen enemies — are the kind of executive action we should fear more than giving our citizens health care or undocumented immigrants a shot at the peace and prosperity of the American dream.
Guns, child deaths
Last week, another child was shot and killed by a sibling, all because an adult was negligent in securing his gun (1-21, A6, “Toddler shooting under review”).
When I called the Nodaway County sheriff’s office, I asked why this was considered to be an “accident.” I was told it was a “unique” situation. I replied that it is always a unique situation.
It is our feeling that these unique situations will continue until there are consequences. At the very least, the irresponsible gun owners should be charged with negligent homicide and face incarceration.
We can hear the outrage now, but it is the only way to force adults with children in the home to make absolutely sure all guns are secured.
Otherwise, children will continue to die and family members will face lifetimes of guilt.
All of this is because adults don’t have enough sense to do everything in their power to keep their children safe from unsecured guns.
Judy and Harry Beyer
In the Jan. 21 As I See It column, “Misconception of Islam is huge,” Donna Ziegenhorn states, “My Muslim friends cringe when an extremist act of terror is committed in the name of Islam.”
This is the problem.
They should be screaming out against the terrorists who are abusing a great religion, not cringing like a coward.
China, U.S. deal
President Barack Obama is very concerned about climate change and wrote letters to President Xi Jinping of China asking for both countries to cut polluting emissions.
A historic climate agreement was announced Nov. 12 in Beijing by Obama and Xi. It took much work by White House counselor John Podesta and the State Department’s Todd Stern to pull this off, as reported by Rolling Stone magazine.
In October, China pledged to cap carbon emissions by 2030 and said the country would work to reach this cap earlier. In addition China “set an internal goal of generating 20 percent of their nation’s power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.”
This would be like building the equivalent of the entire U.S. electrical system in the next 16 years and doing it with wind, solar and nuclear power plants.
The U.S. agreed to cut 26 to 28 percent greenhouse-gas emissions by 2025.
“In one move, Obama and Xi broke the logjam of climate politics,” said Jairam Ramesh, longtime climate negotiator from India.
Mary Helen Korbelik
By proposing to transfer highway funds and raise liquor and cigarette taxes, our governor is admitting and demonstrating that he cannot find and cut as much unnecessary spending as so many in his party keep claiming exists (1-17, A1, “Plan includes tax increases”).
I keep hoping he will address the issue of what is a “fair” tax, and perhaps, too, the taxpayers’ responsibility to pay for the governmental services we want and often insist on.
So far, his plan has resulted in continued excessive sales taxes and increased local property taxes. Neither will encourage anyone to move here.
Tax reductions could be legislated to take effect after surpluses occur, and surpluses could be refunded. This has been done within living memory.
But let us, the taxpayers and citizens, accept our responsibility to ourselves and to each other to pay — as we are able — for the services we want and need.
The protests against racial profiling have made me wonder what the solution could possibly be. I think the only thing that would significantly help is a better economic system.
Consider just one example.
Wal-Mart makes a profit of billions of dollars a year, going mostly to stockholders who are already well-to-do. At the same time, employees of Wal-Mart are so underpaid that, according to a report by Americans for Tax Fairness, they receive $6.2 billion in government assistance such as food stamps each year.
Why does the government pay this?
Because Wal-Mart won’t. Can somebody tell me why the U.S. Treasury does not sue Wal-Mart for the $6.2 billion each year?
If the Americans who work for hugely profitable businesses would get a livable wage, there would be far less poverty and far less crime. I so wish the young people of this country would protest on the streets about this problem.
William E. Williams
Kansas City, Kan.
Political silver lining
At first, I was upset and disgusted that every Snidely Whiplash (the archenemy of Dudley Do-Right in the tongue-in-cheek “Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties” old animated television series) in our country had won re-election.
I’m over it now and happy to know that I will have so much material for humorous remarks.
The most famous liberal of all time was and is Jesus Christ.
Was Jesus a racist? No.
Was Jesus homophobic? No.
Did Jesus look down on the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged? No.
I am a liberal and proud of it. One of the best descriptions of what a liberal is was delivered many years ago by late President John F. Kennedy in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage.”
Kennedy wrote: “If by a ‘Liberal’ they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a ‘Liberal,’ then I’m proud to say I’m a ‘Liberal.’”
I would rather go through this life with an open, progressive, liberal mind than to go through life with a mind that appears to be perpetually closed.
Did you know that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month?
Cervical cancer is one of the most curable cancers there is, if and when it is detected in its early stages.
Please take the time to make an appointment with your doctor for an annual checkup. Maybe remind your daughters, granddaughters, nieces or girlfriends to do the same.
An ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure when dealing with this awful disease.