Don’t take so long to execute killers
Why are the mass murderers of Tucson, Fort Hood, Aurora, etc., still alive today and enjoying their ill-gotten fame and free publicity while costing us millions of dollars?
I appreciate that our judicial system is slow and ponderous – to make sure that no innocent is convicted. This is right. But in cases where the suspects are caught in the process and on the scene of their crime, what is there to prove? Their guilt is self-evident.
A summary court judgment the next day followed by a hanging the next day would discourage many who just seek the fame and publicity.
Ban assault weapons
The events of Colorado make it clear that assault weapons must be banned on a federal level. These weapons have no place in a civilized society.
Regarding “Bishops confused” (July 21 Letters to the Editor): Catholic objections about the Affordable Care Act regarding religious liberty remain considerably more straightforward and legitimate than the letter writer recognized.
Catholic hospitals certainly are religious institutions, operating as part of the church’s vast network of organizations dedicated to fulfilling the Corporal Works of Mercy. These hospitals, along with other charities, exist specifically to observe Christ’s own mandate to aid “the least among you.” With this in mind, such organizations don’t qualify as “secular activities.” Regarding secular employees’ rights, no one possesses the right to free products for personal use, forcibly paid for by others against their conscience.
The writer’s second argument is irrelevant. Individuals who are dependent on birth control will encounter organizations that exist primarily to give away free or nearly free birth control. These individuals don’t require the church’s assistance to obtain contraceptives. The church professes that artificial contraception is never morally permissible. Reading the Catechism and papal encyclicals about contraception, such as Humanae Vitae, clearly reveals why.
Church doctrine results from the compilation of Christ’s teachings and natural law, not public opinion. The popularity of something never governs its moral acceptability.
Laity know better
As a “boots-on-the-ground Catholic,” I wish to add to the excellent letter “Bishops confused” (July 21 Letters to the Editor): The bishops do not speak for us laity. Millions of us believe that contraception is a moral decision that should be made by individuals in accordance with our consciences.
Primacy of Conscience, defined by Vatican II, empowers the laity and demands we follow our consciences – right or wrong. Vatican II shifted hierarchical power and control from the hierarchy to the laity. Those in the hierarchy haven’t recovered.
Our bishops’ insistence on eliminating access to contraception does not reflect the views of millions of U.S. Catholics. Furthermore, the bishops are well aware that for most Catholics, contraception is off the “intrinsic evil” litany of sins. Tubal ligations as well as vasectomies are on the increase.
We are compelled by our tradition to work toward justice and equality and to create a society in which women and men are treated with the same dignity and respect and all are granted the same opportunity. We must continue to trust women and men to make decisions that are best for them and their families. If you want to know what Catholics think about contraception, ask us – not the bishops.
MARY McDONOUGH HARREN
I had the pleasure of working with Jeff Longwell when he served on the Maize school board. Longwell was a wonderful advocate for children, and one of his many strengths was his willingness to listen to many viewpoints and work toward common goals to achieve them.
I have watched his dedication and work for the past several years on the Wichita City Council and was pleased with his resolve to find consensus on many difficult issues. He is now running for a seat on the Sedgwick County Commission, and I would ask for your vote for Longwell in the upcoming election.
Dedicated, a consensus builder and a wonderful family man, Longwell would be an exceptional addition to the County Commission. A vote for Jeff Longwell would be a positive move toward a better future for Sedgwick County.
As a Sedgwick County commissioner, Karl Peterjohn has worked to keep taxes low for all businesses and citizens, while his opponent voted to give special tax breaks to the well-connected. Peterjohn has worked to maintain local control of the Sedgwick County planning process, while his opponent approved a federal planning grant. Peterjohn knows that cronyism and big-government planning schemes are the problem, not the solution.
Ward a leader
We deserve leaders with a plan to create jobs. Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, is one of these leaders.
Ward understands that an educated workforce is the cornerstone to a strong economy. He led the fight to restore millions of dollars in funding to our local schools in the past legislative session. He also was part of a group of legislators who drafted a new law improving technical education and job training in Kansas.
Ward knows that huge tax cuts for the wealthy will result in higher property taxes and more cuts to our schools. We all should know that this is an economic disaster. I am voting for Jim Ward for my state representative in the new District 86.
Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, sent a campaign message that claimed, “I am the state representative for the new 86th” District.
That statement is not true. Rep. Judith Loganbill, D-Wichita, is the representative for the current District 86. Ward is the representative for the current District 88. Both of them are competing in the Aug. 7 primary to represent the new District 86.
Most of the current District 86 is included in the new District 86. Loganbill has a far stronger claim than Ward to represent that district.
JAMES C. JUHNKE
As an attorney for many years, I knew J. Patrick Walters when he practiced law. He was an excellent attorney. He is now a Sedgwick County District Court judge, and during his term he has been dedicated to making the right decisions in every case set before him, based on justice and the law of the case.
Walters deserves your votes. Returning him to the bench is in the best public interest. He certainly has my vote.
DONALD E. LAMBDIN
Bad track record
Our elected officials need to understand what ethical rules they are obligated to follow. Michael O’Donnell has a track record of failures to abide by the law as a candidate and as an elected official.
He was forced off the ballot for the Wichita City Council in March 2007 when he was found to not be living in the place he claimed as his residence. After he was elected to the council in 2011, he was caught sending improper fundraising e-mails for a state senator from his official computer. In March 2012, the state ethics commission thought this was a serious enough violation to fine O’Donnell $500. O’Donnell initially claimed that his violation and the ensuing charges were a “silly mistake” and a “political hit job.”
It may be that O’Donnell really didn’t understand that he shouldn’t have sent those e-mails or claimed he lived in one place when he slept in another. But we don’t need someone in the state Senate who can’t run for or serve on the City Council without ethics violations.
DELPHINE A. SMITH
Vote for Dahl
Dave Dahl and I first met when we both coached youth sports. We developed a friendship because of our beliefs about the importance of young people and because our values are so similar.
Dahl then started doing legal work for Don Klausmeyer Construction Co., and we have always been very pleased with his advice, demeanor, work ethic and results. Although I would hate to lose him as our attorney, we would all benefit from having him serve as one of our judges.
As a friend and concerned citizen, I highly recommend that you vote for Dave Dahl for Sedgwick County District Court judge.
I knew Marc Bennett and several of his family members when he was still in law school. Since his whole family is full of excellent people, I guessed that Bennett would make an excellent attorney. I was right.
I have seen him in action a few times. He is highly intelligent, skilled and ethical. Elect him. You will be glad you did.
There are two candidates who esspecially deserve our votes in the Aug. 7 primary because of their exceptional experience and records of public service.
They are state Rep. John Grange, R-El Dorado, and Butler County Clerk Ron Roberts.
Grange, a candidate for the state Senate, served his country for nine years in the U.S. Army, including in combat in Vietnam. He is a successful business owner who understands the need in Kansas for jobs in both industry and agriculture, and what it takes to get them. His elections to four terms in the House, to the El Dorado school board, as a trustee of Butler Community College, and selection as a leader and officer in civic and church activities attest to his ability.
The Republican Party would do well to keep Grange in public service as a member of the Senate.
Roberts served four years as a Butler County commissioner and is in his third term as clerk. The clerk’s position requires knowledge and a dedicated work ethic that Roberts provides. Butler County voters would do well to keep his experience and capabilities working for them.