Letters to the editor on legislating basketball, price of war, city buses, political deception, AFP propaganda, religion in laws
02/09/2013 12:00 AM
02/08/2013 5:28 PM
Don’t stop with laws on KU, WSU games
State Sen. Michael O’Donnell, R-Wichita, is really onto something. We need to get college athletics organized, and the best way would be for the state government to pass a few overdue laws. Not only should Wichita State University and the University of Kansas play, but we shouldn’t leave out Friends University and Newman University. And why do we let the University of Phoenix get by without any team at all?
There is a contradiction in using “winning freedom” to justify our wars. Wars decrease freedom. Examples: illegal drone assassinations, secret torture interrogations, unreported atrocities of killing civilians, revenge attacks on our embassies, costly homeland security, “necessary” violations of our Constitution, concealed surveillance, taxes for higher defense costs.
It is reported that we lost more active-duty members last year to suicide than to enemy fire. If that is true, was it in part because fighting for “freedom” forced youths to be what they hoped they would never be, killers of innocent people?
To be free to be in relationships, free of survival fears, free to care about others is a gift that isn’t obtained by violence. Real freedom is obtained by refusing violence and by a commitment to respect and care for others, as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated.
A more honest reason to justify our wars would not be “freedom” but “markets” or “dominance.”
Switch to natural gas
Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer says that it is time to replace the old city buses. Maybe now would be a good time to go to compressed natural gas engines. Start cleaning up the air pollution and save money on fuel.
I would like to propose an additional clause to a letter writer’s commonsense proposal of a 28th Amendment (Jan. 30 Letters to the Editor): “All forms of deception should be adjudicated as serious crimes deserving prison sentences.”
Deception is intent to mislead. Politicians should be terrified at even the slightest suggestion that they intentionally misled their constituents.
Consider these deceptions currently practiced explicitly with impunity:• A lie is a statement or viewpoint expressed with the purpose to deceive. Its intent is to achieve a goal that would not be achieved if the true facts were made known.
• Spin and propaganda, both lies of omission and closely related, express viewpoints biased in their interpretation of the facts or emphasize only one side of an argument as opposed to impartially providing all details of an issue. Their intent is to achieve a goal (such as to influence public opinion in a desired way) that would not be achieved if all the related facts were also expressed.
I can think of no other proviso that, if properly enforced, would do more to restore honest government.
Those of us who follow politics closely know that Americans for Prosperity is just a front organization for the Koch brothers. It is really insulting to me that The Eagle allowed this right-wing subversive think tank to spew its propaganda (“State shouldn’t expand Medicaid,” Feb. 7 Opinion). AFP has the unmitigated gall to argue that the poorest of the poor in this state should suffer because Medicaid is “broken” and, therefore, should not be expanded.
I kept reading the commentary even though I was getting ill, hoping to read about AFP’s version of how the state should be handling the medical treatment for the poor. Of course, nothing was offered by AFP to replace Medicaid.
Religion in laws
“Religious slap” (Jan. 11 Letters to the Editor) stated that the First Amendment forbids government from forcing religion on others. It also said that Gov. Sam Brownback forced his Christian beliefs on us with his “Day of Restoration” declaration.
Brownback did not impose any penalty or try to pass any laws against anyone who did not join him.
The fact remains that the U.S. government and state laws do enforce some Christian religion on us for a better society and protection. Several of the Ten Commandments – which were given to Moses about 1300 B.C. and were strongly embraced by Christians 2,000 years ago – are punishable as misdemeanors or felonies in state and federal courts.
Our government and society also have pretty much adopted the practice of no work on Sundays (another commandment) or on Christian holidays. If I personally did not want such Christian holidays and practices in my life, I would work on every such day and get away from our laws of Christian background by moving to an uninhabited island.
ARLEN E. FREUND
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