We hear a lot of disdain from the left and the right for “the elites.” Who exactly are they?
Elites are those who have so much wealth, power and influence that they distort and corrupt people and institutions. Many people are not actually elites but benefit, usually through employment, from the status quo.
Therefore, it is far more than the wealthiest 1 percent who are less than enthusiastic about overturning the current political and economic order.
But things clearly cannot stay the same.
The level of inequality is grotesque and continually worsening. As long as the free market remains relatively unfettered, inequality will grow.
Market forces can serve human ends, but they cannot be allowed to supersede human needs or you will have a dreadful situation like what we are now experiencing.
What’s so dreadful? Mass starvation and suffering, terrorism, despoliation of the planet.
We can turn this around, but only if we seriously address inequality and the growing commercialization of all aspects of life through market forces.
Human needs must be paramount.
U.S. aid to Israel
I was dismayed to see The Star’s Aug. 22 editorial, “Tie U.S. aid for Israel to peace efforts.” Does anyone on the newspaper’s editorial staff really think the Palestinian Authority or Hamas is actually interested in a peace treaty with Israel?
Their leaders have declared time and again that they want Israel wiped off the face of the Earth. They have refused every peace proposal Israel has made over the years.
Have you forgotten the thousands of rockets Hamas has lobbed onto Israel? Do you remember that Israel is a first responder when disaster strikes, sending medical teams to the areas where people are dying?
For 68 years, the Arab world has devoted itself to the destruction of Israel. U.S president after U.S. president has attempted peace negotiations with Israel, to no avail.
And now The Star recommends strangling Israel by making U.S. aid contingent on a peace agreement. Et tu, Brute?
Trump’s tax returns
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump talks about income taxes and how he would simplify them. Isn’t it time for him to demonstrate his honesty and goodwill by showing us his returns for the past five years?
What does he have to hide? Has he paid his fair share?
Why isn’t the media asking? Let’s apply some pressure and get some answers.
Richard R. Berner
A citizen of the United States should not have to fear being shot. The right to live free of this fear is intrinsic, sacred and protected by citizens of a free country.
We are losing this right. Historically, we have had to fear only invasion from those who would shoot us.
Now we have to fear everyone except those we know best. Our freedom is disappearing as a result of lax gun laws.
We have become imprisoned by this fear. We are no longer free. We can no longer go every place without concern of being shot.
We cannot go out at any time without consideration of gun presence. We cannot participate in groups that we might otherwise enjoy without undue caution and fear.
Even our police have this fear. The present interpretation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing sale of weapons (and bullets) of war is endangering us all and destroying our freedom.
This is wrong. Gun laws need to be changed to stop this nonsense. No one is safe.
There is overwhelming support for this action from everyone except our lawmakers, it seems. I guess we need to change our lawmakers.
Hugh J. Taylor
New Star editor
I am delighted to see The Star make an attempt to professionalize its editorial board by hiring Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer Colleen McCain Nelson (8-24, A1, “Pulitzer winner to head editorial board”).
Over the last few years, the editorial board of The Star has degenerated into a partisan sounding board that lacks journalistic credibility. When only one of 10 letters to the editor reflects a conservative view, you know something is askew.
Ms. Nelson said she wants to provide readers with a constructive editorial voice that is “intellectually consistent but not partisan” and that still can be unpredictable.
I can hardly wait.