Public education worthy of support
In the current realm of politics in our state, there is plenty to be alarmed about. But it all pales in comparison with the virulent attack on our educators, our schools and, in the end, our children.
Our state legislators are the main villains here, but we all bear blame for electing these folks to office. They are marching to the drumbeat of wealthy but anonymously funded groups.
In the global economy we all face, perhaps nothing is more important than our children’s education. I believe we all know this. But the expense of paying their share of public education is apparently a bridge too far for the funders of the current regimen in Topeka, whose attention and loyalty are now owned by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity, the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Kansas Policy Institute.
Our governor and his supporters in the Legislature are doing everything they can to silence any opposition from teachers and are willing to change the state constitution to get their way. This attack on public education needs to be answered by citizens who feel that public education is worthy of our support and not something to be turned into a scapegoat.
MICHAEL G. NICHOLS
No common sense
Last week the U.S. House of Representatives overruled the U.S. Postal Service’s decision to eliminate Saturday mail delivery and save the taxpayers $2 billion per year. This is a clear indication that the people running our government have little or no business or common sense.
Saving $2 billion per year on something that just about everyone can do without is a no-brainer. If individuals desire Saturday delivery, charge them extra for that service. It is no wonder we have such little faith in the ability of our leaders to make the right decisions.
JOHN M. DOMBO
Equality for all
I am an ordained minister who recently had the privilege to perform a wedding ceremony for two friends. However, this particular marriage was a little more complicated.
My friends and I had to travel to Iowa to obtain their marriage license. Then in the atrium of the county courthouse in Council Bluffs, I performed a brief wedding ceremony. After this civil ceremony we returned to Kansas, where a wonderful formal church wedding was held that same evening. It was a beautiful day in their lives, and the first time I had performed an official wedding for a same-sex couple.
My friends are good men who happen to have been born with a different sexual orientation than other people. And they simply seek to have the same rights that heterosexual people enjoy. They want the equal right to inheritance and the right to be involved in medical and end-of-life decisions for each other, among many other things.
Hearts and minds are changing, and slowly states are embracing equality. I believe this is a good and positive step for the future of freedom, equality and marriage in our society. My prayer is that Kansas will not run far behind the rest of the country in embracing equality for all our citizens.
LEIGH CARLSON BURGESS
I feel a bit uneasy about casting stones, but perhaps it is time to do just that. The almost absolute secrecy the Catholic cardinals imposed on their election of the new pope was ridiculous. This tradition is outdated and harmful. It seems a mindset meant to cover up, and covering up is the last thing this church needs.
I know this is a small thing, an almost meaningless thing, but it seems to be a part of the whole. It seems to be just another way to make sure the “skeletons in the closet” stay hidden. This is a tradition that ought to be changed.
Every day I read the letters to the editor in this paper. Sometimes I shake my head in bewilderment, and other times I just laugh at the unfiltered, unvetted regurgitation from Fox News, Breitbart, the Drudge Report and whatever angry, ranting right-wing pundit the letter writers happened to see.
Neither I nor a majority of the country sees this Barack Obama they are all yelling and writing letters about – this Kenyan-born, Muslim, socialist, America-hating, palling-around-with-terrorists Obama who wants to take our freedoms and destroy our country.
The Dow Jones industrial average has increased 80 percent since Obama came into office. Corporate profits are at an all-time high, and unemployment is below what it was when Obama took office and is heading down. Government has reduced its workforce by 500,000 since Obama took office, and the deficit is getting smaller. Drone strikes on terrorists have increased so much that a senator gave a speech on the Senate floor worried Obama might use them on people who attend tea party meetings and speak out against the president – in a word, “paranoid.”
If the right would focus more on actually helping the economy instead of tilting at an imaginary villain and manufacturing fiscal crises, think of how much more our economy would be growing.
Symphony at best
I found David Baxter’s positive observations regarding the Wichita Symphony Orchestra’s weekend performances to be quite appropriate (March 11 Eagle). What was not mentioned was that Andrea Banke’s performance of the Mozart Oboe Concerto in C Major was enhanced by the two cadenzas, which she wrote. They were as challenging as the Mozart score, if not more so, and toward the close of the second cadenza she included a delightful quote from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” Beautifully done.