Letters to the editor on anti-gay bill, clown school, death penalty, Finney, Shockers
02/28/2014 12:00 AM
02/27/2014 5:17 PM
Don’t resurrect House Bill 2453
Reading the wording of House Bill 2453, the Religious Freedom Act, it becomes apparent that what we were being told and what was being sold were two different things. We were told it was to protect cake makers. But what was refusal of employment, counseling and social services doing in the bill? It wasn’t even hidden in the fine print.
We’re Kansans. If people try to sell something when the wording says something else, we have the common sense to dig our heels in, regardless of what product they’re selling.
That a national interest group could introduce this bill and have it get through the House on such a flimsy premise should make us worry about what else has gotten through the filters without our notice or that of our representatives.
Let the bill rot. It was a good intention with terrible execution. We can revisit the issue if the laws in place prove to be insufficient.
Kansas is where my roots are. We are home to some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets, wheat fields and gigantic fields of sunflowers. Even the storms have a beauty in them.
Now look at us. We are laughed at by the entire country. The clowns have taken over. “Let’s discriminate against gays.” “Why don’t we discriminate against surrogate mothers also?” “Oh, let’s deny evolution but make two dinosaurs our state fossil.” “Let’s pass a law that says parents can spank their children so hard it leaves bruises and marks on them.”
I have an idea for a new way Kansas can bring in money. Topeka can be home to one of the most renowned clown schools in the world. We have all it takes. Gov. Sam Brownback can head it up, and all of his puppets can be teachers. The principal can be Fred Phelps, because I’m quite sure he would like to spank the pupils if they are acting out. The home office can be the Capitol building.
We are already the laughingstock of the country. Why not make money off of it?
End death penalty
The death penalty should be abolished. Since we started using DNA testing in 1989, 18 death row inmates have been exonerated, having had their wrongful convictions overturned. More than 200 other inmates who were not facing the death penalty have been released from prison under similar circumstances. Tens of thousands of suspects who were arrested but not convicted have been exonerated.
We have no way of measuring how many wrongly convicted people we lawfully executed before 1989.
All too often, people are convicted of serious crimes based on false eyewitness testimony, coerced false confessions and other dubious practices by prosecutors around the nation. If we stop incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders, there will be plenty of money and prison space to house murderers.
Proud of Finney
Rep. Gail Finney, D-Wichita, has taken plenty of heat over the past week for her “spanking bill,” particularly from national media that are looking for the next big story but know little to nothing about Wichita or Kansas.
Since becoming the state representative for the College Hill area after redistricting in June 2012, Finney has proved to be an incredibly responsive, caring and effective public servant for our neighborhood and our district in Topeka. I don’t always agree with her, but I always know that she’s going to explain and defend her position in a timely fashion.
When I wrote Finney about her most recent legislation, she called me within hours to explain the legislation and her motivation for introducing it. Though I’m still reluctant to endorse the legislation, I will continue to support Finney because she is responsive and represents the incredibly diverse viewpoints and socioeconomic backgrounds of our district better than anybody else can or will in Topeka. She doesn’t get caught up in the political gamesmanship and partisan bickering that run rampant in Topeka.
I’m proud to say Finney is my representative in Topeka.
After the full-page poster came out in The Eagle when the Wichita State University Shockers reached 19-0, my sweetheart asked me where he should display it. Realizing he was serious, I decided to tape it (with masking tape) on the right side of the arch in between the dining room and the living room/man cave. I could deal with that.
All of these games later, the whole arch now has posters, and we have started on the back side. It looks awesome. Who knew?
There are many great things in our city. This basketball program is truly one of the best, and it warms my heart to see the community rally.
This team and its coaches represent what most of us aspire to – playing each game with your all, knowing your opponents and recognizing obstacles they may present, focusing on the now while keeping the future in check, working as a team, and knowing at the end of each game that you have much to learn and a lot of which to be proud.