An agreement for a nuclear-free zone throughout the Middle East might mitigate the current controversy regarding a treaty with Iran.
Many years ago, the United States and Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But Israel is still not a signatory.
Moreover, Israel reportedly has at least 200 active nuclear weapons at a remote spot called Dimona, and this undoubtedly is the backdrop for the current hubbub.
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Perhaps a nuclear-free zone in the entire Middle East could indeed offer a mutually satisfactory solution and create a more sustainable nuclear accord for all the parties involved.
Aid for Nepal
Nepal suffered a disastrous earthquake last month. As usual, the small democratic state of Israel was one of the first to supply significant aid and material to a nation in need.
Where is the aid from the wealthy Middle East states that demonize Israel?
Herbert J. Waxman, M.D.
As a non-Roman Catholic, my point of view may not count for much among the faithful people who were shepherded by Bishop Robert Finn, but the church does not exist in a vacuum.
Bishop Finn has been described as a holy man, and although many of his flock are disappointed by his resignation, he has no one but himself to blame.
I do not understand how one man, no matter how holy he may be, can set himself up as judge, jury and decider and expect the flock to follow him. The modern Roman Catholic has not surrendered his conscience and must exercise judgment in matters of faith and morality.
Today’s world is much more complex than when we were hopeful to live peacefully and have enough to feed our family. At the risk of misquoting Karen Armstrong, the power of religion is not about the powerful.
Before Bishop Finn arrived on the scene, there was a spirit of ecumenical cooperation in the city, and this was lost right after his arrival. When one man sets himself up as the sole arbiter of all things spiritual, he is at risk of losing his way.
One day while I was working in my church’s food pantry, a woman asked whether we had any burn ointment. We didn’t.
She then showed me the dressing on a burn on her abdomen that was soaked with drainage. She said that she couldn’t afford to see a doctor because she had no health insurance.
Such is the plight of more than 300,000 Missourians trapped in the Medicaid gap.
This must be changed. Are our legislators working for our people of Missouri, or for the misery of our people?
We will be watching.
Mary Ann Stark
I recently found the column on your website, “Leftward-tilting letters to the editor” from earlier this month. To find it, just Google the words in the quotes above.
In this column, the public editor answers the question, “Why are there more letters to the editor from people on the left?”
Briefly, the answer was that “the department gets more letters from liberals — period.” He also offers advice to conservatives on how to write acceptable letters.
I have a better solution.
Why doesn’t The Star do what all good liberals do?
▪ Enact an outreach program to get more conservatives to participate.
▪ Institute a training program for conservatives to write better and more letters. Let’s call it ConRite. Of course, this should be federally funded.
▪ Quotas should immediately be enacted to ensure equality of opinions.
▪ Government regulators are needed, some in the newsrooms. Let’s call this new department the Letter Protection Agency, or LPA.
▪ A Letter to the Editor Fairness Doctrine should be passed by Congress to lock up those who do not comply to these new regulations.
Don’t like these ideas? Isn’t this the way liberals normally handle these problems?
The Republicans need to understand that because of their hatred for the president, they are implementing protocols and tactics that set precedents that will affect governance of this country no matter who is in the White House or who has the majority in Congress.
The example of obstructionist methods they used are already being turned around to make minority leaders Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi far more powerful than they would have been otherwise.
House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sets the precedent of allowing foreign heads of state to make campaign speeches before Congress for the purpose of influencing not only elections in their homelands but also to influence U.S. policy.
Finally, the seditious letter of 47 senators to Iran may very well cause irreparable damage to the constitutionally obligated ability of now and future presidents to negotiate agreements and treaties with foreign entities.
The GOP along with all of us may find the ramifications of their actions hard to deal with and difficult to correct.
Bike for Peace
Last month, I rode with a Bike for Peace delegation from Washington, D.C., to New York City for the opening of the United Nations’ Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. In cities along the way, we met with students and mayors stressing the need to get rid of nuclear weapons before weapons get rid of us.
We also explained that a new nuclear arms race is starting. The U.S. plans on spending $1 trillion over the next 30 years to modernize all nuclear weapons and build new nuclear weapons factories, at almost twice the rate of Cold War spending.
Modernization usually means something positive and benign, but new “smart” nuclear weapons — smaller, more accurate, with new capabilities — are being proposed and so are more likely to be used. These weapons will last 75 years, while the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty says we are to get rid of them.
President Barack Obama should take action now to reduce nuclear dangers by deciding that the current U.S. nuclear arsenal is modern enough and that there is no need to spend additional billions of dollars to replace every part of it — or any part of it.
Kansas City, Kan.
Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansas Legislature: The U.S. and state constitutions do not mandate ignorance. What’s next? Issuing guns?
Kansas wind power
The Elk River Wind Farm, a 150-megawatt facility on the Ferrell Ranch, produces enough energy to power upward of 60,000 residences.
Construction of the wind farm brought up to 200 jobs with eight full-time, permanent positions in the community. Additionally, the pilot agreement provides a total payment of $2.25 million ($150,000 per year) to Butler County in the first 15 years of the project’s term.
The wind industry provides economic benefits for Kansas, creating thousands of jobs with billions of dollars invested in our economy.
For ranchers and farmers, wind provides a steady income in times of economic insecurity. The landowner payments I receive from the Elk River Wind farm have helped me to survive the prolonged drought of recent years.
Kansas has the second-best wind potential in the United States. We should use this resource to grow rural economies and support agricultural producers.
The highly successful Renewable Portfolio Standards have attracted business development. Analysts estimate he wind industry in Kansas has the potential to be a $100 billion business.
The Renewable Portfolio Standards don’t cost taxpayers anything. Why the Legislature would even consider repealing such an effective business-development policy is beyond me.
The Renewable Portfolio Standards are good for Kansas. Please encourage your representative to support them.