Pruitt, Trump favor profits over the environment

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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

To date there are something like 15 congressional investigations into the conduct of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Yet he remains in office to blow up the remnants of our environment. What’s wrong with this picture?

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For one thing, Donald Trump can be seen in the background smilingly approving of Pruitt’s actions.

Along with business interests, who have the ear and pocketbook of our leader, Trump and his conservative supporters are apparently content with Pruitt’s systematic destruction of EPA.

For them the quality of the air that we breathe and the water that we drink is secondary to the profits that can be gained through deregulation.

And while Wall Street has generally agreed, I ask: Who is looking out for my grandchildren’s future?

Bob Ory, Elgin

Judges are following the law

I write to clarify a few things for Sun-Times readers who are probably confused by the front page and story that appeared Sunday, “Number of longer sentences in Cook County under new get-tough gun law? Zero.

The story addresses a new law, reporting that the aim is “simple” in that “Repeat gun offenders in Illinois would face tougher sentences.”

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

The answer to why there haven’t been any longer sentences yet is even simpler. In the short time of the first four months of the law’s effect that the newspaper reviewed, the reporters found no repeat gun offenders who have faced sentencing to spark the use of the new law.

Sun-Times readers were left with the false perception that the judges who issue the sentences are not following the new “get-tough” law.

At a time when many entities are trying to figure out how to reduce and respond to crimes that involve guns, the presentation and execution of this story only breeds confusion and unfair negativity against our system of justice.

The public should rest assured that our judges apply the laws of Illinois to the cases before them. The story cited no instance in which a judge failed to do that.

Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge,

Circuit Court of Cook County

Consider alternatives to war

Recently, I was listening to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on ABC News This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Sen. Graham gave the North Koreans an ultimatum stating that they have only two options — peace or war. He urged Democrats to support a Congressional War Authorization that President Trump could use if the North Koreans do not accept American demands for total denuclearization.

Sen. Graham made the demands before the Singapore summit began. Hasn’t Graham considered other alternatives, such as peaceful coexistence, containment, negotiated settlement, or the art of compromise? Did the United States make such demands on China and Pakistan when they became nuclear powers?

I am a retired Army veteran. I served with the 3rd Infantry Division. I am reading Audie Murphy’s book, “To Hell and Back.” Murphy describes the horrors of war. Political leaders should exercise extreme caution before they lead their nation to war. There should be a thorough debate in both houses of Congress before any president is given a war authorization.

Peter V. Grafner, Edgebrook

More proposed changes

It looks like political hopefuls Paul Vallas and former Gov. Pat Quinn want to limit Mayor Rahm Emanuel to two terms as mayor of Chicago, and they already have half of the signatures needed to put this referendum on the ballot.

As long as a change is in the air how about adding three more referendum items; a two-term limit (eight years) for aldermen, reducing the number of our wards to about 25 and no pensions?

I think this would put our city in a better position to function properly and more efficiently.

Donald J. Lazo, Gage Park

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