Kansas moderates must get involved
As Kansas lurches ever closer to a conservative utopia where all taxes are considered theft and no public spending is ever essential, its residents need to come to grips with the ramifications.
Apparently, the majority is quite happy to live in a place without socialist trappings like libraries, parks and fire stations, and where all public schools are replaced with charter schools. This is a place where business interests are the only interests, so regulations that protect the air and water are for pansy liberal states, and worker protections are eliminated because they might dissuade the job creators from uprooting their plants in some other state to relocate here.
The only job of government is to entice these job creators with publicly funded bribes and the promise of no taxes. Those of us who might really miss things like the Sedgwick County Zoo, museums and well-maintained roads are told we should “vote with our feet” by leaving the state.
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That is an increasingly tempting solution, but perhaps before that exodus is complete there will still be enough moderates in the state to ask for a different direction. If you are a moderate, please get involved. Talk to your representatives, vote in primaries and think about running for office yourself.
Call to action
If you care about individuals in Kansas with developmental disabilities, you had better make yourself heard by your legislators now. We are not even 90 days into KanCare, and state officials already are trying to change the things that last year they promised wouldn’t change.
Last year we were told the Kansas Developmental Disabilities Reform Act would not be changed, that our community developmental disability organizations would continue to function as they do now, and that our residents with developmental disabilities would be able to keep their targeted case managers. But Senate Substitute for House Bill 2155 has been proposed to change all that, and is scheduled to be voted on Monday.
These are the first steps toward giving the managed-care organizations the power to control what support services people qualify for and to dictate our choices for case management. The administration promised services for these individuals would not be cut, yet this begins the process of giving the managed-care organizations the power to do just that by under-identifying their needs.
Tell your legislators that it is unacceptable and irresponsible to hurt these individuals by jeopardizing the support services that allow them to live in our communities with the same basic quality of life that we all need. Tell them to carve long-term developmental disability services out of KanCare and to leave intact the protections the reform act provided.
Whether or not the average person realizes it, the world conditions today are caused by a struggle between the forces of evil and the forces of right. Every day God’s people are thrust into the fiery furnace, where fiery trials of persecution play upon them and the rules of God, tested since the foundation of the Earth, are tested again.
It is not easy for the Christian to work under conditions that exist in a number of businesses today. It is not possible for the Christian to go his way, day after day, without open conflict or evil darts that try our soul. Conflict exists in the community, in the school, government and other institutions.
Choices made by these organizations raise a society whose literature and conferences are swelled with recommended cures for the ills of the world. Politicians scour for answers. The evidence of past generations brings us to the conclusions recorded in God’s Holy word, which if rightly applied would heal every hurt in the world.
The wrong answers, though repeated and even believed over and over again, will not end the struggle. God is good to forgive and a reckless society can be rebuilt. Victory awaits those who are steadfast in facing the foes of right.
Pope Francis is the Spirit breath of fresh air that will blow through Catholic parishes and institutions as well as the whole Christian community on Earth. May a prayer attributed to St. Francis take hold with all people who live in the community created by Jesus, “Lord, make us instruments of your peace.”
The selection of a new pope has particular power and resonance in our community, where we are blessed with a vital Roman Catholic community, robust parochial schools, a compassionate and collaborative Catholic Charities, a dynamic university and thousands of devoted parishioners.
A special “high five” goes out to our Latino brothers and sisters, whose brother Jorge is now Pope Francis. May the message of peace and inner transformation bring blessing to the whole Roman Catholic community across the world and across our community. May all people of faith join in celebrating with the Catholic community its new leader, and may all people join with Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church in doing justice and walking humbly with our God.
A water-reclamation facility is a viable option to aid our water-shortage problem at a quarter of the cost of drilling deeper for more water. Cities all over the U.S. are cleaning and reusing water for irrigation, firefighting, industry, etc.
Lawrence, San Francisco, Tucson and Tallahassee, Fla., are among those recycling their water on-site rather than sending it down the river and then looking for more.
On March 14 I went on a motorcycle ride. I was with three dozen friends from the American Legion and VFW rider groups. We were riding to a funeral home to celebrate the life of a veteran.
I always find these rides emotional, but this one was different. We had about a 3-mile ride through downtown Wichita to get to the funeral home. On each of our bikes we flew a large American flag. We rode two by two. As we took a main drag toward downtown, all the cars coming our way on the other side of the road stopped as we passed – a ragtag group in black leathers with no police escort or cars in the group, and the oncoming drivers still stopped to let those flags pass.
That’s not the best part. As we neared Broadway, ready to make a turn, there was an old stooped man on the corner. Just as we got to where he was standing, he straightened up and saluted until the last bike went by.
As we continued to the home, I was thinking about all the nonsense in Washington and even our own Capitol. The Republicans ragging on the Democrats and the Democrats ragging on the Republicans – so many people having something bad to say about something or someone. After seeing all those cars stop and that old man come to attention and salute those flags, all I can say is: The heck with politics and hooray for Americans.
My husband and I came to Wichita to retire four years ago from western Kansas. One of the reasons we enjoy Wichita has been the wonderful fine arts programs. We were so saddened to hear that the Wichita Wind Ensemble would be disbanding (March 16 Local & State). It was such a fine group – equal to the Wichita Symphony Orchestra in talent and enjoyment.
It is such a shame that this community cannot support and fund a wonderful group like this. I know there are other forms of entertainment, but to cut funding for the arts is a crime. Our children gained a lot more lasting value from their music classes and programs than the sports they played in.
Letters to the editor about the April 2 election must be received at The Eagle by 3 p.m. Thursday to be considered for publication.