Letters to the Editor

December 20, 2012

Letters to the editor on compromise, Huelskamp, County Commission, theocracy, homeless, Kellogg driving

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, is being criticized for failing to compromise. But his sworn obligation is to represent the views of those who elected him, and I suspect that is just what he is doing.

Why it is harder to compromise

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, is being criticized for failing to compromise. But his sworn obligation is to represent the views of those who elected him, and I suspect that is just what he is doing.

The real question is why Huelskamp’s constituents are unwilling to compromise. Perhaps the answer lies in a statement attributed to C.S. Lewis: “Do not let us mistake necessary evils for good.” The alternatives before us are mostly evil, and the good that is capable of making them “necessary” is ambiguous at best.

Compromise is proving more difficult than any of the living can remember, with some even questioning the advisability of continuing the union in its current form. What changed? It may be that the “centralization” of government in America – begun during the Revolution, accelerated during the Civil War and hyper-driven in the 20th century – has finally gone too far and extinguished too many of the higher freedoms of the individual, municipality and state vital to the health of the ongoing American experiment. And that this has, in turn, made the need to compromise ever more frequent and more difficult.

Maybe it’s time to swing back the pendulum of centralized government and return some of those higher freedoms prior generations of Americans have compromised away. We might be amazed at how easy it is to compromise if we reserve it for dealing with truly “necessary” evils in pursuit of higher freedoms.



Huelskamp rigid

Though U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, characterizes himself as “consistent, principled and conservative,” those traits could be interpreted as rigid, self-righteous and selfish.

If one’s basic motive is the desire to feel righteous, one is not inclined to cooperate in an attempt to solve problems. That requires taking ideas from a multitude of sources to come to a working solution. A person who refuses to do that is useless on a problem-solving committee.



Crony county

The Sedgwick County Commission’s vote last week demonstrated once again that crony capitalism is alive and well in Wichita (“County’s vote denies TIF for Bowllagio,” Dec. 13 Eagle). County commissioners certainly have no reservations when voting for public funds in support of development projects in wealthy northeast Wichita. Heaven forbid that they would approve using public funds to fix long-standing drainage problems or to assist development in less-affluent neighborhoods. It’s a sad commentary indeed.



Keep religion out

It’s funny that so many Americans speak up about how wrong Egypt’s president is for attempting to force his religion into politics. Many of the same Americans are trying to do a similar thing here.

Whether it is Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto or whatever, a theocracy comes at the sacrifice of civil freedom for somebody. That is why our government was founded on a basis of separation of church and state.

Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. Your belief is fine for you. My belief is my belief. And nobody’s belief belongs in charge of any government.



Changing views

Regarding the clients of United Methodist Open Door who served the community by helping clean up the city (Nov. 27 Local & State): I could not think of a better way to help change residents’ views of the homeless. Unfortunately, many people think that the homeless have no motivation and are done trying to strive for better possibilities.

Growing up around Wichita, I spent a lot of time downtown. I remember even as a child seeing the less fortunate walking around.

I think Wichita has done a great job with the homeless. And I want to say “thank you” to those who participated in the cleanup day.



Kellogg rules

Finally – somebody talking sense about driving on Kellogg (“Kellogg science,” Dec. 9 Letters to the Editor).

I drove for a living for several years, and the training I received was this: In an urban setting (highway driving outside the city has different laws), the right lane is for ramp entrance and exits. When entering, you should bring up your speed to merge with the traffic. As soon as safely possible, use your turn signal and merge into the center lane. When exiting within the next mile or two, merge back into the right lane.

If you aren’t going to be exiting for several more miles, you should drive in the left lane until within a mile or so of your exit, then use your turn signal to merge first into the center lane, then into the right lane as soon as safely possible. The center and right lanes are both access lanes; the left lane is for cruising.

The speed limit on Kellogg is 60 mph, so as long as you’re going 60 and not exiting anytime soon, you belong in the left lane.

If my training was wrong or the rules of urban driving have changed, I’d like to hear it from a law enforcement official, not the speed demons who think they own the left lane.



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