GOP piece was propaganda
The commentary by Kansas Republican Party chairman Kelly Arnold was nothing other than a propaganda piece for the governor of our state (“Brownback, GOP put Kansas back in game,” April 16 Opinion).
Here is the summary: Before Sam Brownback’s election, everything was bad. (No mention that the poor statistics stated were the result of the worst recession since the Great Depression.) Everything after his election is just hunky-dory. (No mention that the stated improvements are the result of the nation slowly recovering from said recession.)
I will grant Arnold that the state government grew fat during the housing bubble, as did many states and reckless individuals. But his statistic about 15,000 new small-business fillings occurring in 2012 didn’t note that most of these were by individuals who will hire no employees and are just taking advantage of Brownback’s giveaway tax breaks to the wealthy.
We will see in a few years how the governor’s policies truly affect our state, but we all know now that his actions are being paid for by the poor and middle class for the benefit of the rich.
Won’t roll over
If the government passed a law saying, “You don’t need cellphones; turn them in,” would you blindly turn them in? Or if the government said the same thing about microwaves, computers, SUVs, your house, etc., would you just roll over and do it because officials said so?
There are so many things we don’t “need” but have anyway. I certainly don’t need a military “look-alike” weapon (sometimes wrongly called an assault weapon), but who are you to say I can’t have one if I choose to get one? It’s locked up when not in use, and as long as I own it, it will never be used illegally.
If you want to take something from me, then you should forfeit something of yours at my choosing. If you don’t want this type of gun, don’t buy one. But do not tell me I can’t have one.
Not our enemy
Friends University’s jazz band went to Cuba in December to participate in an international competition, accompanied by a group of adults from the Wichita community. They were welcomed and had a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, keeping Cuba on the terrorist list makes it very hard for Americans to experience this beautiful country and its caring people, just 90 miles off our coast.
We have maintained an embargo on trade and contact with Cuba since its 1959 revolution overthrew the criminal Batista administration, which had worked closely with the Mafia. It is time to end this policy that has kept people from getting to know one another and kept Cuba from purchasing U.S. exports that its people need. End the embargo and take Cuba off the terrorist list.
Cubans are not our enemy, and more than 50 years of denying us access to trade and travel with Cuba has not succeeded in changing its government. It is a stupid policy.
GRETCHEN C. EICK
Ready to read
We have read many letters to the editor and articles regarding holding back students who can’t read. Many interesting points have been made.
As a person with great-grandchildren, I have seen many children in my years. Several were held back before starting kindergarten, and some were held back in first grade. As far as I could see, these were good decisions, and the children were much better students than they otherwise would have been.
Primarily, it was a matter of maturity. If a little one is not ready to learn at age 6, he may be totally ready at age 7. The calendar should not decide if a child is ready; the behavior of the child can be a much better indicator. If a child is mature enough to be ready to read, he likely will be ready for everything else at school.
There would be far less stigma if held back in first grade than third. But if a child gets stuck, he should be rescued. He should not have to fall behind every year and struggle. If the child would benefit by being held back, it might be the best thing that ever happened to him.
Brain, Blue Room
Good grief. I’ve got to stop reading the Opinion Line. Every time I do read it, my head explodes.
A recent contributor (April 8) questioned the audacity of our president in proposing to allocate money toward medical research in mapping the brain. How can he cut White House tours one day, the contributor wondered, then the next day dare to suggest dollars should be spent in exploring the brain?
Of course, everyone knows tours of the White House are more important than discovering the causes of and cures for diseases and damage done to the human brain.
Alzheimer’s research? Getting at the root of cognitive, motor and visual disorders? How can you even compare such a trivial use of funds with getting to see the Blue Room?