Letters to the editor on charity Atlas, Obama, Sowell, Rose Bowl anthem, New Year’s races

01/07/2014 5:10 PM

01/07/2014 5:10 PM

What if Atlas shrugged here?

Atlas, as defined by Bing Dictionary, is “a figure of a man used as support … either standing or kneeling.”

Recent Eagle articles on the Opportunity Project early education schools made me reflect on a twist of a question posed by Ayn Rand: What if Atlas shrugged in Sedgwick County?

Barry Downing and Russ Meyer are only two examples – though remarkable – of generous men in our community who step up every time. A favorite of mine is Bill Hanna. And Cecil McCurry.

I love Pope Francis. He has every ability to re-energize and evangelize in the spirit of Christ. But there are men and women in the pews every Sunday across denominations in Sedgwick County who are capitalists. And dedicated Christians.

If there was one lesson I learned during my time in the nonprofit fundraising world, it was this: There is a shocking amount of generosity and goodwill in the Wichita area – folks who write big checks. They can do more with their dollars than any bureaucrat in City Hall, Topeka or Washington, D.C. Times five.

Our government should encourage these folks to be able to do more with their resources, not less.



This kind of man

Regarding “What kind of man?” (Jan. 3 Letters to the Editor): What kind of man cares about the sick? Jesus healed the sick, Pope Francis ministers to the sick, and President Obama made health insurance available to more Americans.

What kind of man cares about the poor? Jesus walked with the poor; the pope said we should take better care of the poor, and that trickle-down economics and capitalism were harmful to the poor; Obama worked as a community organizer to help the poor better their lives. The president is also working to address the problem of income inequality in this country. The top 1 percent have seen their incomes skyrocket by 300 percent in the past 30 years while the middle- and lower-class wages have stagnated.

What kind of man speaks eloquently to the masses of compassion, equality and fairness, and warns us of the corruption and social injustice caused by the love of money? Jesus, the pope and Obama.

What kind of man is persecuted for these kinds of acts? Jesus and Obama. I guess the pope is also being persecuted by conservatives now for speaking out against the love of money and the denigration of the poor.



Know the source

If you don’t take the time to compare information sources, you might believe that syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell knows what he is talking about and is a credible source without an iron in the fire or an ax to grind (“What kind of man?” Jan. 3 Letters to the Editor). Sowell recently maintained that accepting the Affordable Care Act would make you a subject to the government, seeing it as “a historic crossroads that will determine what kind of people we are going to be, for this generation and generations yet unborn – citizens or subjects.” This ignores the fact that private insurance companies will be the underwriters, not the government.

Sowell, an economist, is frequently found far from his field of expertise. He spends time fearmongering in the area of immigration. One of his columns compared President Obama to Hitler and insinuated that Obama would confiscate the $20 billion that BP paid to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. Sowell wrote: “Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference.”

Certainly Sowell can write what he pleases, but it is important that readers understand his long-standing biases.



Anthem mockery

I felt it completely inappropriate to stand, face the flag or put my hand over my heart when that group of people from the film “20 Feet From Stardom” sang our national anthem at the Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. They made a complete mockery of the song. It was even hard to understand their words.

It was another insult to patriotism and an example of where the United States of America is going.



Fantastic races

I want to express my appreciation to the city for cooperating with the GoRun Wichita stores and Oz Endurance out of El Dorado on the “Hangover Half” series of races held at midnight on New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day morning.

Although coming into town to visit family, I planned the trip specifically around these races. I travel to many cities with strong running communities, and none of them hosted something as unique and exciting as this. It really made Wichita stand out.

It seemed to me that the after-dark running event went smoothly, but I am sure it was a very long night for the people involved who might have been missing the chance to celebrate in their own way that night. The half-marathon the next morning utilized city streets for most of the 13.1 miles, which meant the need for many law enforcement personnel directing traffic at intersections, etc.

Both events were fantastic, and made more so by the incredible support of the city and its employees. Everyone was most gracious.


Johnston, Iowa

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