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To ‘get behind’ peace talks, we have to know what they are

South Korean activists participate in a rally to support of the U.S. and North Korea summit on June 9 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

In regard to the 6/18/2018 opinion piece: “Progressives should get behind Trump’s peace talks with N. Korea”: The issue is not about support. Talk is almost always a good thing, particularly in regard to diplomacy. In this case, though, the issue is about trust and transparency.

We already know that Trump automatically dismissed any diplomatic effort on the part of the Obama administration as “bad,” “weak,” “wrong,” and “not in America’s best interest.” Witness the Iran nuclear deal, Paris Climate Agreement, Trans Pacific Partnership, etc.

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In each of these agreements, each made with deliberate consultation of experts and allies, we knew exponentially more going in, during and after, than Trump offers now. There are absolutely no “details” to work with. Plus it is beyond dispute that Trump eschews any expertise outside his own “gut feeling,” as well as constantly lying, obfuscating, blaming others and never accepting responsibility for anything that does not go his way.

In a nutshell: We do not know what is really going on in these “peace talks” or what comes next. So exactly what are we “progressives” supposed to get behind?

Jef Block, Buffalo Grove

Sharp conflict

President Tweeter would have only white Anglo-Saxons admitted as immigrants to the United States. That is in sharp conflict with the message on the Statue of Liberty’s plaque:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

But don’t tell the prez. He probably would issue an executive order to have the plaque removed.

Dan McGuire, Bensenville

Media is complicit with Trump’s lies

This past week, of June 11-16, has deepened the nation’s divide between truth and mendacity, law and authoritarianism, love of country and love of self. Thankfully, we have always had a free press to help us hold individuals and groups accountable to truth, law, and love of country.

The biggest threat to these principles is not just the current elected leadership of our nation, but the unbelievable complicity of the Fourth Estate, knowingly or not, in spreading the constant and incipient lying of our leaders as fact. A major network reported on the president’s statement that his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, only worked for him for 49 days. They did not challenge this lie and indicate that in fact, Manafort headed the campaign for 144 days. The newscast thus became complicit in the falsehood!

A second example of this egregious support for deliberate lying is that for weeks the president has blamed the Democrats for a cruel law that separates children from parents at our nation’s borders, and indicates he is only implementing that law and that the Democrats can change it. It is all a bald-faced lie. But worse, too much of the mainstream media continues to repeat this calumny and has not sufficiently called out this falsehood as it is reported. To counter the lie in later articles and in editorials is too late. The reader/listener has absorbed the lie as reality. It is the height of Joseph Goebbels’ effective use of repetition.

It is one thing for right-wing fanatics to believe or dismiss these daily distortions from their “leader.” it is quite another for a rational, thinking citizen to be deceived by the very media that we have depended upon to support the truth, the rule of law and genuine love of country.

Rev. Martin Deppe, Ravenswood Manor

At fault

The entire U.S. Congress, Senate, and Justice Department is at fault for causing the possibility of deep-seated mental problems for the future of young immigrant children, by separating them from parents at such a young age. The stress of the separation, combined with no knowledge of when they will or will not be reunited with their loved ones, is going to be catastrophic for these young children. And we claim to be concerned with mental problems that many in this country already have. What we’re creating is an even bigger problem when these children become citizens with mental disabilities. Talk about people shooting and killing when their minds leave them, and you can see the future we’re creating.

This country now borders on total stupidity by allowing these atrocities to continue. The government officials we elected seem to only take action (or better still, no action) because it might affect their employment.

While I do pay their salaries (unfortunately), it’s a good thing I’m not their sole employer, because I’d fire the whole lot of them!

Edwina Jackson, Longwood Manor

CEO pay hurts worker wages

I’m a recently retired construction worker and I’m not puzzled at all by weak wage growth. When the CEOs of the corporate world are all making between 100 — 400 times what their hourly employees do, it’s no mystery or puzzle. What’s left for those who really do all the hard work is nothing but crumbs. Puzzle solved!

Michael O’Connor, New Lenox