Council’s job is to oversee spending
The Wichita City Council adopted a draft plan to implement a 1-cent sales tax increase that would be used in part to fund a $90 million economic development fund. According to the supporters who spoke before the council, the funds would be controlled by a brand-new commission composed of three businesspeople and two City Council members.
We already have a seven-member board with responsibility for approving and monitoring the expenditure of tax dollars and economic development programs. It’s called the Wichita City Council. I voted for my council member, and the mayor, to make good decisions on how my tax dollars are spent.
If council members want to pass off their duties to another unelected commission, they should resign so we can elect some city officials who want to do their job.
ALFRED P. BESSER Jr.
The latest news about Kansas tax shortfalls (May 31 Eagle) and Gov. Sam Brownback’s excuses for them point to fundamental issues with his leadership, which must be taken into account by prospective voters.
Part of Brownback’s image is his contempt for the Obama administration and his disregard for its authority over budgetary issues (such as health care). However, if the decisions made in Washington, D.C., affect the state to the extent that the budget is laid waste, then he is effectively impotent in the face of President Obama’s authority and unable to extract Kansas from the federal octopus, despite all rhetoric to the contrary. If this is true, then he has shown himself to lack the qualities necessary for independent governance.
However, if the revenue shortfalls are due to poor calculations, then it indicates his weak grasp of budgetary basics, and his gambling of his constituents’ services on discredited economic theories indicates his credulity and shortsightedness. If this is true, then he has shown himself to lack the qualities necessary for competent governance.
So the choice boils down to whether Brownback is impotent or incompetent; one of these two options, however unpleasant, must be true. Thus, Brownback supporters must decide which is most palatable.
RYAN T. JACKSON
Protect from tyranny
A letter writer stated that the Second Amendment was about establishing “an armed militia to protect a new nation” (“Speak truth about 2nd Amendment,” June 3 Letters to the Editor). Though that may have been an added benefit, it was not the purpose of the amendment.
The Second Amendment was created to protect the citizens of this new country from tyranny. The founders feared that a European-style dictatorship would attempt to take over the nation. An armed populace was considered to be the best defense against such an attempt, and it was through individual gun ownership that a “well regulated militia” was to be established.
To strip people today of their Second Amendment rights is to invite the very tyranny, from the very source, that the Founding Fathers were trying to prevent.
The 21st-century interpretation of the Second Amendment should be the same as it was when it was written, to protect the American people against tyranny from within and without. All of the other noise today about “stand your ground,” concealed and open carry, and other 20th- and 21st-century issues are creations of modern times. While some of today’s issues may need to be readdressed or modified, the basic and true premise of the Second Amendment should remain in place with the population retaining the right to keep and bear arms without undue interference or restriction from any government agency.
ROBERT S. KAILER
Call to action
Though I regularly read the letters to the editor, they rarely motivate me as a call to action. The most notable exception to this was a letter containing the writer’s interpretation of the Second Amendment (June 3 Letters to the Editor).
The letter was a well-written opinion masquerading as fact. In fact, the premise of the piece is effortlessly refuted by simply reading what the writers of the Constitution had to say about arms and the militia specifically. I suspect the author didn’t include that since it doesn’t coincide with his vision of a disarmed society. Of course, that disarmed society would benefit assailants at the cost of many defenseless citizens.
Indeed, the letter was a call to action. The National Rifle Association is now processing my membership application, and I am pleased that it will use my membership fees to educate the public and our lawmakers.
Which is it?
Regarding “Scientists: Ice sheet has begun irreversible melting” (May 13 Eagle): We should remember that only 40 years ago climatologists were claiming that we were entering a disastrous ice age. Since then, they have reversed themselves and made numerous solemn warnings about how we must take drastic action to prevent destruction from global warming. But, once again, some climatologists are claiming that we are in the early stages of an ice age.
As a self-certified climate authority, I predict that a thousand years from now the entire Northern Hemisphere will be covered with ice while the Southern Hemisphere will be burned up and devoid of all life.