Ecosystems continually change, and all organisms continually adapt to maintain equilibrium. When a particular species is no longer able to adapt, it becomes extinct.
Enter homo sapiens. They have the unique ability among all organisms on planet Earth to force the ecosystem to adapt.
Unfortunately, this ability is matched with a very limited understanding of long-term effects, which in some instances can be catastrophic. Prudence thus dictates that we wield our power with extreme caution.
Survival of the redbelly snake may have little long-term effect on the environment. Unfortunately, we just don’t know.
Despite this ignorance, the Kansas wildlife commission, over the objection of scientists, removed the redbelly snake from its list of protected species, citing the cost to development in Johnson County.
Three actual development projects were cited in the decision. All three petitioned the wildlife commission and the Legislature for relief.
The costs of these lobbying efforts were not disclosed but could easily have exceeded the costs of compliance, which ranged from one- to three-tenths of 1 percent of the totals.
The benefits of compliance? Potentially priceless.
Paul L. Schenk
There is no way to restore our world or any hope to. We are watching our land being destroyed by wars and lawmakers’ greed.
For years, our lawmakers have worked for the big-oil and big-money groups. Because they took God and Jesus out of public schools, our ability to teach those things to our children has diminished.
Crime seems to be the only thing on people’s minds now.
We need to build more prisons and courthouses. They help the big-money group destroy our world.
Our planet is being damaged, with corporations cutting down all the trees. That affects our air quality.
Big-money interests dam all of our big water ways, and that’s another problem some areas have — water restrictions.
Only the honest, practical citizen can see what is going on.
Watching all of these floods, earthquakes, fires and every kind of disaster, we know only one controls our destiny. The power higher than any lawmaker’s is about to put an end to the rich man’s greed.
Some of us know God and Jesus are still the boss.
William Leroy Elwood
Concerns of faith
Nowadays, identifying myself as a Muslim American triggers a direct connection to the Islamic State; the connotation is embedded in its name.
To me and to all the other Muslim-American circles I interact with, the Islamic State does not represent the same Islamic teachings and principles that we were brought up to believe in and to adhere to. Also, it is not the same Islam we practice or preach to our children and families.
Obviously, a minority of others may disagree with my position, but I’m open to dialogue. Others may tie the ugliness of the Islamic State to several political causes or to retributions for other injustices in that part of our global village.
However, wrong deeds can never be justified by even more awful deeds.
History proved to us we will never have a world free of oppression, and we as Americans need to understand the aspirations of others to freedom and democracy. Hence, we need to orient ourselves with brewing conflicts and let our elected officials know of our position on these matters.
We mustn’t allow these conflicts the chance to flourish because we cannot afford to be silent or passive constituents any longer.
Bullies on Kemper
I appreciate your editorial board’s efforts to get the City Council to carefully and impartially evaluate options for Kemper Arena (11-6, Editorial “American Royal tosses a high hard one”). However, I am dismayed that you published commentaries promoting the demolition of Kemper by the parties who stand to gain financially from that action.
First, there was Terry Dunn’s Aug. 13 As I See It column, “A smart plan for the West Bottoms.” Dunn is president and CEO of JE Dunn Construction Group.
Then on Nov. 17 there was an As I See It column from Mariner Kemper, “Our commitment is real.” Kemper is chairman and CEO of UMB Financial Corp. and chairman of the American Royal Association.
I also think you should call out the American Royal board members for what they are: bullies. Rich bullies. They first scare off the opposition by threatening a lawsuit and then try to extort money from taxpayers by threatening to move to Kansas.
Then they dummy up figures to try to trick the City Council into believing that spending more money saves money. What baloney.
These acts should have been enough for the City Council to tell them to get lost.
Tragic drinking story
What a tragic story (11-14, A4, “Man must pay nearly $300,000 in death of woman”). The article mentions that both attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
It’s sad that they chose not to use the Alcoholics Anonymous program tools and follow the suggestions of attending 90 meetings in 90 days without drinking between meetings. Alcoholics Anonymous works for many people who choose to keep doing the next right thing and don’t pick up drinking.
A Democrat and a Republican are walking down a road when they encounter a man holding a sign asking for food.
The man says that because of trickle-down economics, the deregulation of banking and Wall Street, which led to the financial collapse, and the transfer of manufacturing to China and Mexico, he had lost his good union job and pension and is now on the street.
The Democrat buys a beef sandwich and the Republican a piece of cake, and they give them to the man.
The Democrat encounters the man the next morning. The man thanks the Democrat for the sandwich and asks where the Republican is. The Democrat replies that the Republican is at a golf junket sponsored by Koch Industries and Goldman Sachs, but that he sends his regards.
Gun, voting laws
Both voting rights and gun rights are delineated in the U.S. Constitution, although gun rights were an afterthought. With laws that have been passed, both require that someone be a U.S. citizen more than 18 years old and not have been convicted of a felony.
But voting is strictly regulated, with the burden of proof on the person who wants to cast a ballot. One must prove eligibility both when registering to vote and when casting a vote.
Buying firearms is a right that is not always subject to background checks, and buying ammunition requires no background check at all.
I have a modest proposal — subject would-be gun owners to the same regulatory stringency as would-be voters.
How did the government get the idea that people have to have car insurance? My idea is that you don’t have to start paying until you have a need for insurance and you pay forever, instead of the way it is now.
Government shouldn’t be involved in insurance. I should be able to get my car license without proof of insurance.
Insurance lobbyists must carry an awful lot of influence.
It seems to me that insurance companies never use their money for payments. When they start into their money, they ask for rate increases or spread out to other zones so all pay.
Kansas City, Kan.
Star movie reviews
I am delighted to again find movie reviews under the byline of Robert Butler. Hooray!
LETTERS OF THANKS
Feeling thankful? Send letters of thanks for Thanksgiving publication by Friday. The letters will brighten everyone's Thanksgiving Day. Give it a try.