Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss a peaceful event, misinterpreting nationalism and fake meat

Devilish dilemma

An interesting saying: “If you dance with the devil, then you haven’t got a clue, for you think you’ll change the devil, but the devil changes you.”

Steve Duggan


Mournful event

We live in the diabolical shadow of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings 74 years ago on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945. These attacks are innately an American problem, unleashing the first nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Grave questions of morality, necessity and wisdom have been raised about the bombings.

It is for us Americans to say we are sorry and this should never happen again.

Today, weapons far more powerful than those exploded on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are being made at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Kansas City National Security Campus, which makes or procures most of the non-nuclear parts of U.S. nuclear weapons. Our current president has stated on three occasions — in regard to North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan — that he could obliterate those countries but does not wish to do so.

It is our duty to raise these grave issues of global extinction so we do not repeat them. Join us at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Loose Park lagoon at 53rd Street and Wornall Road for our Hiroshima-Nagasaki Remembrance, sponsored by PeaceWorks Kansas City.

Henry Stoever

Overland Park

Meat meet muster?

Terms used to label plant-based and lab-grown meat may be confusing to some people, and the debate about their use continues. (July 29, 7A, “Not a tough question: Fake meat isn’t meat”) Consumers who want ritually slaughtered meat, such as kosher and halal, may have yet another perspective on lab-grown meat.

For example, halal slaughter involves meeting certain religious requirements, whereas lab-grown meat is cultured from cells that are sometimes derived from animal sources — no animal slaughter is involved. As such, halal certification organizations may find that animal-based cultured meat does not meet the religious dietary requirements.

I retired from the federal civil service after serving 29 years with the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the agency that regulates the meat industry. I make these observations:

▪ Unless a clear distinction is maintained between conventional and lab-grown meat, it could affect the export of halal meat and poultry to Muslim-majority countries.

▪ Lab-grown meat should be clearly identified on the product label so that consumers can make an informed decision at the grocery store.

▪ The shape of the inspection seal for lab-grown meat should be different from the circular seal currently used on conventional meat and poultry products.

Mohammad Abdullah

Lee’s Summit

Freedom to me

There are varying definitions of nationalism. For example, Encyclopedia Britannica’s reads: “Nationalism, translated into world politics, implies the identification of the state or nation with the people — or at least the desirability of determining the extent of the state according to ethnographic principles.”

Lexico.com, from Dictionary.com and Oxford University Press, defines the term as “identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.”

In his Tuesday column, “The new rage for nationalism ignores what makes us the USA,” (7A) Bret Stephens makes a poorly reasoned argument that nationalism, pushed to its most extreme, restricts the freedom and opinions of a nation’s citizens.

The above two definitions of nationalism show a version of the concept that is a far cry from Stephens’ attempt to argue that we should not support our great country.

To my mind, nationalism is the unified support of the nation in spite of our differences as they relate to religion, politics and immigration, not to their detriment, as Stephens stated.

Freedom and an environment that cultivates entrepreneurialism are what the citizens of the United States have used to become the envy of the world.

Jim Heumann


Heed our heritage

President Donald Trump went to the Turning Point USA Teen Student Action Summit last week in Washington, D.C., where he attacked “anti-American” Democrats. He has taken an oath to defend the Constitution. It appears he has not even read it.

He told the naive and impressionable conservative teenagers that, according to Article II of the Constitution, “I can do whatever I want.” They cheered. He effectively said he is a dictator, and they cheered.

I do not know which is worse: Trump’s delusions of dictatorial power or a politically active future generation’s lack of understanding of our government.

America needs voices like The Kansas City Star to check Trump’s anti-American delusion.

Martin Walsh

Glendale, Missouri

Whose corner?

It was fitting when MSNBC host and former Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “Moscow Mitch,” because he was keeping House election security legislation from coming to the Senate floor to prevent interference in our elections by Russia or any other country, for that matter.

McConnell is favoring party and self-interest over country out of fear — fear of President Donald Trump’s disapproval, possible retaliation by being primaried, since he is up for reelection in 2020, and in particular fear that the overseas shipping business owned by the family of his wife Elaine Chao (Trump’s transportation secretary), which does extensive business with China, is being adversely affected by Trump’s erratic foreign policy and tariffs with that country.

McConnell blocking election security bills and holding a Supreme Court seat open for a year until President Barack Obama was out of office was unconscionable. These are prime examples of why people are so disappointed in our government and their representation. McConnell’s actions seem to prove he is a Trump puppet — a Republican Party partisan over his country and a Russian asset who should be voted out of office.

The solution to foreign interference in our elections is a simple one: Go back to paper ballots exclusively. We vote in November and candidates don’t take office until January, leaving plenty of time to count the votes and validate the office.

Robert Miller

Overland Park