Letters to the editor on health care, abortion, prairie chickens, Obamanomics, money in politics, KPI, best teacher
04/06/2014 12:00 AM
04/04/2014 6:55 PM
Health care not GOP’s problem
I would like for someone to explain how a pro-life governor and Legislature can refuse to give health care to thousands of people in Kansas who work hard but simply do not make enough money to afford health care. These officials effectively are condemning many of these Kansans to an early death through lack of health care that we are already paying for.
Why? The answer is simple, and coldhearted: politics.
Our governor wants to run for president, and legislators are afraid they will look like they are supporting President Obama and will not be re-elected.
They restrict abortion, but if a woman is among the working poor and is sick or needs medical care, as far as they are concerned that is not their problem.
Fact: Kansas has one of the worst infant-mortality rates in the United States. The way we are heading, that can only get worse.
An article recognizing the first anniversary of the local abortion clinic stated that it had seen 1,500 patients and performed 1,200 abortions since opening a year ago (April 3 Eagle). Let’s put this in perspective.
A Better Choice sees an average of 200 clients per week. So it passes the 1,500 mark in seven or eight weeks, and there are four pregnancy centers in Wichita, so the total is far greater and does not include the pregnancy centers in adjoining cities.
Nobody flies in to assist these women, and they don’t have to come from a four- or five-state area. Local providers – doctors, nurses, counselors, sonogram technicians and volunteers – guide women with unplanned pregnancies to motherhood. In addition to pregnancy centers, caring organizations such as Gerard House, the Sarah’s Hope Foundation, Feminists for Life, and Pure and Simple all provide information or services with empathy, compassion and love. These organizations need our support to continue their work, as the information and services they provide are free and confidential without regard to race, color, ethnicity, nationality or religion.
How sad I was to read a headline about South Wind Women’s Center, which performed 1,200 abortions in its first year (April 3 Eagle). Is that really the message we want America to know? Thankfully, there was also a refreshing story in that day’s paper about how Wesley Medical Center’s renovated women’s care units are ready to serve moms and babies. One story celebrated taking lives, and the other celebrated protecting lives.
Thank you, Wesley and all the other hospitals and clinics that protect life.
Money to burn?
Gov. Sam Brownback says that Kansas stands ready to challenge the lesser prairie chicken ruling in court (“Lesser prairie chickens placed on threatened species list,” March 28 Eagle). Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s No. 1 priority is lawsuits against federal voting rights. Kansas must have money to burn.
The word “economics” comes from two Greek words that combine to mean “household management.” Historically in America, the term has implied that no single person or power is capable of managing or dictating the dynamic myriad of interrelationships and multilateral dependencies on which our everyday lives are based and to which we owe any prosperity we have experienced as individuals and as a nation. The American way has been for the government to sponsor individual freedom and justice, then trust the economic results to the “invisible hand” that works through free men and free trade to promote mutual benefit.
But President Obama has changed that. He has personally ushered us into a new age where he, using the executive powers of the federal government, has usurped the power to determine the results of our actions. In so doing, he has found it necessary to strip us of more and more of our freedoms. He is attempting to manage America in everything he can, from drone kills and medical care to private communications and wage levels. No other politician in the history of the republic has taken so many brazen and determined steps so fast.
It is fair to brand his kind of totalitarian takeover as “Obamanomics,” which simply means “management by Obama.” Although the Republicans will try to use this historic overreaching to bring the Democrats down, they have very little to offer as an alternative in the way of a monetarily sound and fiscally responsible federal government.
Elected by money
The Founding Fathers were very intelligent in establishing a democratic constitution and government that for more than two centuries has been fair to citizens. Of course, to ensure fairness, 10 amendments were ratified at the same time as the Constitution, and in the past 225 years, 27 additional amendments have also been ratified by the requisite number of states.
The Founding Fathers should have provided, or Congress should provide, two additional amendments. One would prevent a federal candidate from being elected essentially by money, and another would prevent gerrymandering, which prevents a fair election.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent judgment will still allow a candidate to be elected by money, which results in a good candidate being defeated by not having money.
I received a solicitation for contributions from Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita – a cover letter for a pitch by Kansas Policy Institute president Dave Trabert.
Pompeo brags about his membership on the KPI (formerly the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy) board before his Koch-anointed election to the 4th Congressional District.
Trabert complains about “unions” picketing the KPI annual dinner. Actually, though there were union members there, a wide coalition of citizens with diverse interests had coalesced to picket, disturbed by the Koch brothers’ success in their perversion of democracy. (It has just gotten worse, thanks to the McCutcheon decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.)
Trabert’s plea enumerates the KPI “success” in the destruction of K-12 education and a variety of other state programs via testimony and (bogus) studies, which are never called what they are: lobbying. If they had been, the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status Trabert touts would be in jeopardy.
Nowhere in those nine pages is there a word about Charles Koch himself. An inadvertent omission, I’m sure.
I would like to honor a debt. The debt is long outstanding.
In 1962-63, I attended Eugene Field Elementary School in Wichita. In the late summer of 1962, I had an injury that forced my hospitalization for 10 days. During that stay I received a plant wishing quick recovery from Billie Fullerton. I had never met her, but soon came to know her as my second-grade teacher.
Fullerton saw me not as the underachieving boy in patched-up jeans, but as a possibility, and perhaps a challenge. She was full of encouragement and lit a fire within me to read that has not been extinguished to this day. She deftly pushed when I resisted and always offered truth. I fell in love with learning in her hands, and she is to this day a hero.
I believe I have lived a fortunate life to this point. I have tried to honor the gifts Fullerton offered to me, by passing them to my children and others I have had the privilege to teach. My family left Wichita in 1964, and I have never returned for more than two days. But Fullerton has never left my heart of thanks.
I can see her now – young, kind, always interested and tireless. I had great professors in college, but I never had a better teacher than Miss Fullerton.