I find it curious that the United States, which seems to be trying desperately to prevent immigration from the south — often these immigrants are fleeing political persecution — has the temerity to admonish countries such as Thailand and Malaysia for trying desperately to prevent immigration from the south of people fleeing persecution from Myanmar (Burma) and nations in Africa.
Of course, this is a country that could proclaim with no hint of irony that “all men are created equal” at the same time that many Americans, including the author of those words, owned slaves.
The U.S. has a long and rich history of such contradictions between what it says and what it does.
Another word for such contradictions is hypocrisy.
Hillary Clinton’s tears
The best thing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton can do is actually to weep on stage in full public view.
One absurdity in U.S. politics is that presidents may not cry.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem’s ruin. Gen. Ulysses Grant wept. President Ronald Reagan wept. Queen Elizabeth I wept upon seeing the Spanish armada out at sea en route to invade. Then she dried her face and ordered her admirals to set fire to a forest of ships.
Men and women have tears, and we cannot deal with gender until we at least try to see what emotion means to men or to women.
Since 2005, Kansas City’s AirFixture has been exporting its products around the globe, with huge sales in China, Kuwait and Egypt. Last year, company executives realized that to boost overseas sales, they’d need to mitigate the risk of non-payment from foreign buyers.
So they approached the Export-Import Bank, a specialty bank chartered by Congress to facilitate trade, for credit insurance.
Export-Import Bank came through, as it has for other American companies looking to increase their sales abroad since 1934.
But the bank is set to close next week. With legislation already introduced, Congress — especially Kansas’ representatives — must act to reauthorize the bank.
Local jobs depend on it. Here in Kansas, the Export-Import Bank has worked with 73 companies over the past seven years.
These are firms that might otherwise have had to turn down the opportunity to sell in foreign markets.
Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran realize the value of the Export-Import Bank and have supported its reauthorization, as has Congressman Kevin Yoder.
Congress needs to vote now and keep the Export-Import Bank.
President and Owner
McGinty Machine Co.
Freedom to express
It is said that to maintain peace and harmony among family and friends, for heaven’s sake, do not discuss politics or religion.
Why is a political opinion or religious belief judged to be right or wrong for one or the other?
This ideology dictates love between family members and friends to be conditional.
My God tells me that love should be unconditional.
Why can’t civilized folks agree to disagree, respect one another’s opinions and beliefs, and carry on with life? Isn’t freedom to express oneself what America is all about?
Confederate flag sales
If stores aren’t going to sell the Confederate flag anymore, how will we know who the buffoons are?
Post office banks
I strongly support basic banking services at post offices nationwide. Postal banking has the potential to be transformative for consumers and would help support the Postal Service. It is a win-win proposition.
The post office, with a mission of universal public service, would provide a new kind of banking experience. The Postal Service would offer consumers easy-to-understand, affordable services.
This would stand in stark contrast to the deceptive sales practices and sky-high fees of current providers. With locations in every community across the country, the post office would be accessible for all Americans to obtain basic financial services.
The provision of basic financial services is a model that works. It is routine at post offices around the world.
Enhancing and expanding financial services from check-cashing to small-dollar loans would serve the public and bolster the U.S. Postal Service.
David N. Carey
As the rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami and a member of the Clergy Caucus of the Metropolitan Organization for Racial and Economic Equity and the Worker Rights Board, I applaud the commitment of the mayor and City Council to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City.
Our tradition teaches that all workers should be treated with dignity and that a wage sufficient for workers to make a living for themselves and their families should never be denied or withheld.
According to Maimonides, Jewish law dictates that giving to the needy is not enough. Each of us is compelled to help those in need become self-sufficient. It does no good to employ workers and then refuse to pay them a living wage in order to become self-sufficient.
By increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, our city leaders would begin the process that ultimately would lead to a living wage — a wage that allows workers to support themselves and their families. I urge support for an increase in the minimum wage and thank the mayor and City Council for their important work for our city on this vital issue of human dignity.
Rabbi Doug Alpert
Poor voter turnout
I was born at the end of the Great Depression, at the start of Hitler’s quest to build a German empire. When World War II started, the whole nation was unified.
At home, people made many sacrifices to support the war effort. Many worked to build military equipment. The government drafted young men to fight in that war; it was not an all-volunteer military.
On the home front, goods were rationed and people donated things that could be used in the war effort. My mother saved cooking grease and sent it to school with me. Two of my brothers, a brother-in-law and several of my cousins served in the military during that war.
In some way, everyone was involved in the effort.
Thinking back to those days, I am dismayed by Americans who do not take time to vote. Kansas City had a light turnout in the June 23 election. In Greenwood in April, only about 10 percent of the residents turned out to vote. Around 500 people actually cared enough to vote for city leaders.
People fought and sacrificed to preserve our freedoms. Is it too much to ask for people to take the time to vote?
Gene W. DeVaux
End gun violence
Since the Charleston, S.C., shooting on June 17, I have heard many anguished voices of despair saying it was madness, the killer was an awful human being, who would do such an act of violence, what can we do to move on? I have a few ideas:
▪ Make the Confederate flag illegal in any context.
▪ Ban all gun and knife shows.
▪ Put a 50 percent surcharge on any gun purchase and a 75 percent surcharge on any ammunition purchase.
▪ Require any person buying a gun to complete a notarized background check and institute a 10-day waiting period.
▪ Ban all assault rifles.
▪ Pursue and bring to justice the many official and unofficial white supremacist groups across this country with the same energy and financial commitment as we have used in the useless wars of the past dozen years in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I end with a paraphrase from Congressman James E. Clyburn of South Carolina: The people devoted to ill will make much better use of their time than the folks devoted to goodwill.
Our society is leaning toward the savagery which, at one time, was thought to be a generation away.
Rev. Michael Poage