Letters to the editor on anti-worker agenda, preschool, abortion, KU-KSU headline

03/18/2013 7:12 PM

03/18/2013 7:12 PM

Legislature has anti-worker agenda

The Kansas legislators, under the watchful eye of Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, are lowering taxes on businesses and the wealthiest Kansans on the backs of the middle- and lower-class workers. They also are introducing bills that will let businesses withhold wages from employees for any reason. For example, a business will be allowed to loan employees money and withhold wages for the loan repayment with no limit on the amount of interest on the loan.

They also want to repeal the law that says the Kansas Department of Labor, at the request of an employee, can go after any employer who owes wages to an employee of less than $10,000. Yet they want to make it illegal for public employees to voluntarily have money withheld from their paychecks.

Legislators also want to change the way workers’ compensation and unemployment appeals judges are selected, so the employer will select the judges. And when an amendment hit the House floor to increase the minimum wage, the vote was 39 for and 82 against.

This is just a small sample of the anti-worker agenda of this administration. Kansas workers deserve better. Call the governor and tell him to veto any anti-labor bill or you will veto him in the 2014 election.


Executive vice president

Kansas AFL-CIO


Good investment

Sitting next to each other in a local kindergarten class, two girls have so much in common that one might mistake them for twins. Blessed with caring parents in stable homes and only a month apart in age, the girls have become close friends.

While observing an intern teach the class, I was struck by the difference in the girls’ levels of readiness for a language arts lesson. Later, the cooperating teacher confirmed to me that the girls were indeed performing at significantly different levels, not only in the basic subjects but also in social development.

I asked how soon the teacher noticed that one girl was so much better prepared. Her reply reinforced what I had observed so many times before: “I could see this the first week of the school year.” The teacher explained the disadvantage being experienced by the other girl: “She did not have the benefit of a school-year-long preschool experience.”

President Obama’s proposal that every child should be accorded a “quality preschool experience” will be supported by virtually every primary-level classroom teacher. This proposal for quality preschool learning opportunities for all children, regardless of the family’s ability to underwrite the expense, will prove to be one of the best investments in this country’s future that can be defined.



End abortion

According to the 2011 Kansas Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, over the previous 41 years Kansas was associated with the deaths of more than 418,000 unborn children. That was an annual average of more than 10,000 children, or about 28 per day.

Should the people of Kansas be allowed the privilege to speak with their votes on an amendment to end abortion in Kansas, or should they not be allowed that privilege?

Every day more Kansans grow weary of the incremental legislative approach. Our goal should not be to simply pass more protective pro-life laws with fewer exceptions over time. We have heard the testimonies and been well-educated as to the injustice and untenability of abortion.

What we need to do now is to stand against this evil in our state. The best way of doing that is to amend our state constitution to protect our unborn children. These children should be guaranteed the inalienable rights, equal protection and due process of the law that every born Kansan citizen benefits from. To do less is to treat the unborn as subhuman.



Respect privacy

“Dr. No Name” (March 13 Letters to the Editor) is a practicing physician who most likely prefers to remain unnamed until her job starts at the South Wind Women’s Center because of people who will harass her, her neighbors and her family. There is no shame in helping women who find themselves in a position they cannot continue. But there is fear after the past 25 to 30 years in Wichita.

The privacy between a woman and her ob-gyn is not unlike anyone else’s privacy with his or her doctor. The people who make it shameful are those who judge on things they know nothing about.

The people who stand on street corners and tell women lies about their pregnancies are the ones who should be ashamed. The ones who threaten with violence, with graphic photos outside homes and schools, are the ones who should be hiding like bugs under rocks. Let’s put all their names out there so we can protest at their homes, workplaces and churches.



No ‘charm’ for KSU

I found it laughable to see the headline “Third time’s a charm” (March 17 Sports), referring to the University of Kansas’ Big 12 Tournament championship win over Kansas State University. According to Macmillandictionary.com, “you say this when someone is successful the third time they try something, after they failed the first two times.” That means the headline would only have been appropriate if K-State had won.



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