Voting Rights Act still important
Andrew Young – former U.N. ambassador, close associate of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a principal drafter of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – weighed in recently on the U.S. Supreme Court case questioning the validity of Section 5 of the law.
“You think we wouldn’t be having this discussion 50 years later. People are making efforts to make it more difficult for citizens to vote at a time when we need more citizens voting,” he observed on the “Steve Malzberg Show.”
He went on to say that “if anything, the incidents of the last election and the voter suppression all across the country mean we really need to expand Section 5’s jurisdiction to include Ohio and some of the other states that were left out.” Young also stated that “there are pockets of prejudice in just about every state of the Union.”
I’m proud that Kansas didn’t have to be covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Perhaps this is a holdover from our pre-Civil War border wars and our successful but bloody efforts to keep Kansas a free state. The anti-slavery forces and slavery proponents waged bitter battles for the electoral process.
MARY McDONOUGH HARREN
Our three-branch government system was established to allow checks and balances. The proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit courts from making decisions about school funding would be contrary to that concept. In fact, the courts have made decisions on school funding because the Legislature hasn’t been doing its job.
Have the people who represent us forgotten who elected them and what their job is? They are pushing their own personal interests and the interests of their big contributors. Cutting school funding and support for cities and counties and the needy, etc., only hurts us, not them.
How about suspending lawmakers’ wages and expense reimbursements, having them pay for their health care, and suspending retirement checks for former elected and high-level appointed state officials until the legislators prove they can do their jobs? I guarantee you that if we don’t do our jobs, our employers will not keep us.
I don’t propose they carry the full burden of the state’s problems, just participate equally with the rest of us.
Threat to liberty
It appears the president is going to get radical, pushing the masses into a larger collective pool, according to a story in Sunday’s Washington Post. He said, “What I can’t do is force Congress to do the right thing.” Then he said, “The American people may have the capacity to do that.”
Just what is the “right thing”? Is it what we, as separate and distinct individuals, believe it to be and then, through persuasion and compromise, work toward with other individuals, to get a consensus that we may not like in total but all can agree upon? Or is it what President Obama believes it to be, and to heck with anyone else?
Before Obama can figure out the right thing to do in any given circumstance, he has to have some framework for thinking ethical conflicts through. There must be structure beyond the black-and-white question of “Is this right or not?” An understanding of and appreciation for moral relativism are what he lacks. That he believes he can be objectively right and others objectively wrong is why he will continue to be a clear and present danger to true free-market capitalism and individual liberty.
According to the Post, Obama will try to nationalize the 2014 congressional election. To pursue this as a presidential agenda demonstrates he is far more concerned with his legacy post-2016 than with guiding a representative democracy until then.
RON A. HOFFMAN
“Don’t censor” (March 3 Letters to the Editor) was well-expressed and to the point. I thought censoring scientific information went out several hundred years ago. The letter writer has more knowledge and experience in harnessing wind energy than any of our legislators. The bill in the Legislature that would prohibit the teaching of sustainable development in our state-supported schools, if it became law, would push Kansas schools further into the backwaters.
About 20 years ago, I went to Topeka to testify against a bill that would have required Kansas schools teaching evolution to state that it was an unproved theory. It also would have required equal time to teach creationism. I told the committee that I had hired more than 1,000 engineers and technicians from schools all over the United States in my 42-year career in general aviation. I also told the committee that I risked being laughed off the campus if I tried to convince scientific professionals to come to such a backward state.
If you think our young people should be taught science, please contact your state legislators. Ask them to vote against any measure that limits scientific input.
PAUL A. MILLER
Regarding “City might crack down on heavy water users” (Feb. 27 Eagle): Zoysia is the perfect grass choice for water restrictions and drought areas. Established zoysia lawns rarely need mowing or watering, even in summer.
WILLIAM T. DAVITT