Letters to the Editor

Pollution, Iran conflict, government shutdown

Curbing pollution

Kansas Interfaith Power Light and member congregations across the state support the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for carbon pollution safeguards on new power plants.

We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to protect the health of all people, preserve creation and leave a safe climate for future generations. The new rules are an important step in cutting carbon pollution and improving air quality nationwide.

Kansas Interfaith Power Light aims to fulfill the call from God to be stewards of creation and will be championing the EPA’s action in houses of worship across Kansas.

Power plants emit 40 percent of carbon pollution in the country, posing a major threat to creation and the welfare of humankind. Yet there are no limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

Just as the EPA has enforced safeguards to protect our health from arsenic, mercury and lead, it can and must protect our health and take action on dangerous carbon pollution.

A strong standard for carbon pollution from new power plants, coupled with an upcoming standard for existing power plants, represents a historic effort to address the nation’s largest cause of global climate-changing pollution, and we applaud the EPA for its work.

Rabbi Moti Rieber Overland Park U.S.-Iran conflict

For almost 35 years since the Iranian revolution, “death to America” has been a popular slogan in Iran, and many Americans wonder why.

The declassification of CIA files revealed the CIA’s role in the 1953 ouster of democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and is testimony to the inconsistency of U.S. foreign policy.

We claim our support for domestically elected governments as long as it’s in America’s best interest. By our actions, we had been maintaining oppressive leadership.

The tensions appear to be easing. But people in countries like Iran don’t forget the foreign interference.

Based on the oppression suffered by Iranians for 35 years and a lack of apology for our actions, it would be appropriate to establish a memorial to Mossadegh in Kansas City to reflect our community’s interest for peaceful global resolution.

Manny Pedram Kansas City Abouhalkah’s column

I disagree with Yael Abouhalkah’s Oct. 17 column, “Don’t burden one county with costly research tax.”

We Americans have been outsourcing the cost of almost everything for years now because we hate taxes. It is my opinion that when citizens outsource what should be taxpayers’ responsibility, we no longer have personal interest in what is happening in our community.

This could be part of what is dividing us because the wealthy and their foundations that fund citizen obligations can dictate all kinds of community activities.

If we as citizens have skin in the game, our tax money, we should be more interested in how our world works. These research programs will bring prestige and enrichment to our community.

Our community buys into your community rather than just Facebooking your opinion. Own some of it.

Deanna Schmidt Overland Park Shutdown no game

The Oct. 17 front page story, “Both Houses pass agreement,” had the following quotes: House Speaker John Boehner said: “We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win.”

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Charlie Dent said, “It’s not a win for anyone, particularly the institution of Congress or the president, for that matter.”

So despite their disclaimers, some of the actors (players) did consider this disaster a game. Shame on them.

Dent sounds as if only the Congress and the president were particularly affected and didn’t “win.” How about the thousands of people who lost wages and the many institutions of the federal government that were defunded? How about the investors and poor people who depend on the federal government for all kinds of support?

And that’s not mentioning the ripple effect everywhere or the reputation of our country.

Byron A. Stewart Jr. Independence Don’t pay Congress

Members of Congress should relinquish their pay any time they cause a government shutdown such as the one this month that the Republicans in the House are responsible for. There are 435 members of the House and 100 Senate members who are paid by taxpayers. The members of Congress are paid $174,000 annually, which figures to $3,346.15 per week.

Multiply that by 535 members of the House and Senate and then times the more than two weeks that the government was shut down, and the people of our country would have saved more than $3.5 million. If Congress raises havoc with the people’s government, they do not deserve to be paid.

Terrance R. Hawbaker Atchison, Kan. World’s limitations

It seems every day I see more greed and less respect in the world. Anyone should know the creator of it can see all the killing of everything.

Has man become lost? Isn’t there some way we can stop all of this destruction?

Who knows what the world’s people in power will do next?

This problem we have is power and greed in the money group of lawyers, union brotherhoods and governments all around the world. I guess they are so out of control they can’t see what they are doing.

This beautiful world can’t tolerate much more greed and arrogance.

Something has to give.

William Leroy Elwood Osceola, Mo. ‘Far wrong’ party

The government shutdown surely proves once and for all that America’s greatest enemy is not North Korea, creeping secularism or even al-Qaida but rather the blithering politicians of the far-wrong wing of the Republican Party and the greedy billionaires who fund them.

People who vote Republican at this point in history are quite literally going against the best interests of this nation and everything about the United States. It’s all about what is fair, decent, caring and rational.

For shame.

Steve Beach, Ph.D. Kansas City Volunteer frustrations

Being volunteers of Court Appointed Special Advocates, our job is to represent the children in court. We try to get the best places for the children to stay before and after the court has decided to remove them from their homes.

I can tell you that this is the most heart-wrenching experience you will ever be involved in. After 31 years being sober in Alcoholics Anonymous and seeing all the homes wrecked because of alcohol and drugs, I thought I could handle being a CASA volunteer.

We try to put the children with grandparents or other relatives. That is the best place sometimes but not always.

Foster care or adoption are other options. We don’t like splitting up the children, either.

If you listen in court when the judge questions the caseworkers, the system has every means of support for the parents to get their act together, such as drug treatment, parenting classes, mandatory drug testing, job training, anger control and every social program the state has to offer.

Few take advantage, even when the judge orders them to do so or lose their children.

Some just don’t care.

Joseph T. Purcell Kansas City Wild animal safety

The story of Ella the deer is heartbreaking. It teaches us an important lesson. Ella was not tamed on purpose, but being tame probably caused her death.

It is not good for wild animals to be tamed. They almost all end up dead.

Humans are not their friends. There will always be some jerk who thinks it’s funny to kill a tame animal.

Or there will be some government official who thinks it is his duty to kill the tame animal simply because it is against the law to keep wild animals as pets. Note the Wisconsin authorities who stormed an animal shelter dressed like a SWAT team and were armed to the teeth to kill a little fawn who was staying there overnight.

The fawn was a health threat. Talk about government stupidity at its worst.

Let the wild things stay wild. They are much safer that way.

Mary Hartman Kansas City