Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss Syria action, Scott Pruitt and obeying orders from police

Syria so different?

The hypocrisy of America bombing Syria for gassing its own people indicates a need for introspection about the intentions and behavior of our own government.

The American government is guilty of doing and denying mustard gas experiments on 60,000 Americans during World War II. It is guilty of using Agent Orange and napalm in Vietnam and trying to deny the health problems these chemical weapons continue to cause to multiple generations of Americans and Vietnamese.

In Missouri, peaceful protesters have been drenched in tear gas. The Pentagon has considered using chemicals that would blister the lungs of American protesters because these chemicals would not leave external evidence of abuse. Also, our Air Force has advocated microwaving American citizens for crowd control.

There is no denying that our government is willing to cook and burn us. Who is going to protect us? This is not the time to be complacent.

And, no, I don’t think President Donald Trump is capable of introspection.

Wendy Sime

Prairie Village

A different honor

I recommend that the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain be renamed for Martin Luther King Jr. It would help keep King’s dream alive because the fountain (when turned on) is itself very much alive. Mill Creek Park, where it is located, is also a place for peaceful protest and the free exchange of ideas.

The change might also help turn a chapter in Kansas City history from racial segregation and Jim Crow to a new and more integrated future.

J.C. Nichols himself might approve.

Gordon Risk

Kansas City

Help children

An 8-month-old little boy couldn’t roll or sit. He was deemed a “late bloomer.” Parents continued looking for the answer. A girl in the foster system, who at 3 years old never walked, lost her ability to crawl or sit.

Both of these children were found to have spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA. If it had been identified at birth, their outcomes would have been different. They could have retained and possibly gained skills. Early treatments could have prolonged their lives.

SMA affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat or breathe. It is the leading genetic cause of death in infants and toddlers. But its diagnosis is often missed. This leads to delays in treatment and wasted money, as symptoms mistaken for other diseases spur unnecessary testing.

A new gene therapy medication can help slow, stop or possibly reverse the symptoms of SMA, but early diagnosis is a must. This could be done if the Department of Health and Human Services would mandate national universal newborn SMA screening.

Tell your legislators to save our babies and support universal screening.

Thuy-Tien Dang

Kansas City

Healthy future

Not a day goes by without media coverage of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and the ethics scandals in which he is embroiled, such as the news about an aide being put on leave after questioning the administrator’s spending.

But while investigations into his alleged misdeeds are under way, it’s critical that we not lose sight of the very real reason Pruitt keeps parents like me awake at night. Pruitt is wreaking havoc on the rules that protect our children’s health and safety. And it’s the long-term consequences of his numerous regulatory rollbacks, and how they will affect our children throughout their lives, that are the greatest scandal of all.

That fact is not lost on the more than a million moms — and dads — who form Moms Clean Air Force, an organization to which I proudly belong.

By suspending rules that protect our air, water and climate, Pruitt has outdone himself as someone whose deregulatory agenda is vehemently opposed by all parents who want their kids to reach adulthood and beyond in good health.

Now is the time for all parents to speak up, because there’s no time to lose in protecting our children from the major health threats of pollution and climate change.

Kay Mills

Springfield, Mo.

Police shootings

It is so sad to hear the news of young people being shot by police.

A wise policeman told my grandsons 10 years ago: “If you are ever in a situation — innocent or guilty — where the police approach you, you should stop, turn to face them, and follow their instructions. It could save your life.”

Events these days too often show people running away from police officers.

Let’s get the word out: Stop, face and live.

Judy Allen