Letters to the Editor

August 21, 2014

Letters on GOP delegation, Lehman, Stegall, gateway drugs, illegal immigration

I noticed the article about members of the Kansas congressional delegation supporting oil and gas companies, which want lower taxes and less regulation (“Kan. GOP lawmakers vow to look out for oil interests,” Aug. 19 Eagle). I think all that the GOP lawmakers are concerned about is the wealthy.

GOP lawmakers look out for wealthy

I noticed the article about members of the Kansas congressional delegation supporting oil and gas companies, which want lower taxes and less regulation (“Kan. GOP lawmakers vow to look out for oil interests,” Aug. 19 Eagle). I think all that the GOP lawmakers are concerned about is the wealthy.

Gov. Sam Brownback keeps talking about all the things that have happened since he took office. He doesn’t say anything about Boeing leaving Kansas.

Yes, the sun will shine in Kansas. Does that mean we are going to have another drought if Brownback gets re-elected?



Lehman honest

Recently we have read and listened to attacks on the honesty and integrity of Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman. I have observed Lehman conducting both the day-to-day running of her office and high-stressed days of elections, handling petitions and press relations. I believe that Lehman is one of the most honest and ethical people I have ever known.

Politics plays no role in how the election office is run. Lehman works tirelessly to ensure all people are able to vote, and all petitions are processed with an eye to citizens’ right to petition government.

Recently, I was a supervising judge of the primary election. We had some voters whose names were not in our poll book; they were just at the wrong polling site. Some were upset, saying they had voted at that site for many years. The recent redistricting changes also brought changes in some voting sites. Voters received notices of these changes.



Real gateways

I have never used marijuana and don’t recommend it, but I have never understood singling it out as a gateway drug.

I’m a retired clinical social worker who spent 35 years working with troubled individuals, families and children from all walks of life. Based on that experience, and my own family experiences, I see marijuana as just another step into the drug world. It often follows the step into the world of alcohol, which is a much more dangerous playground and gateway yet is basically ignored by society.

Many children open the first gate by getting into the adults’ stash of alcohol.

Also, think of the attitudinal gateways. Our society thinks we have to have many mind-altering substances to function. Some are not dangerous, but where do you draw the line? Having that coffee in the morning to get going. Popping a pill for every ache or pain or to go to sleep. Having a drink or smoke to settle down after work. Energy drinks to get through the day. Needing alcohol to have fun or be accepted by friends.

A percentage of the population is born with the propensity to become addicted to a substance. Our children are watching, and we show them many reasons to go through the gate.

We are ignoring the elephants in the living room and focusing on the mouse.



Packing courts

Kansans should expect Kansas Supreme Court justices to be impartial. Unfortunately, Caleb Stegall, one of three people recommended for the court, is just another well-connected, powerful man dedicated to using his religious beliefs to establish his own personal prejudices under the law.

Gov. Sam Brownback wants to pack the state courts with men and women who hold his extreme religious views. He doesn’t agree with the separation of church and state. In other words, Brownback thinks his religious faith should determine the laws over men and women in society.

The people of Kansas should reject such dangerous and unconstitutional ideas and oppose the appointment of judges obsessed with ruling against women’s reproductive health care based upon religious doctrines.

If an Islamic public servant were as vocal in oppressing the rights of women and inserting Islam into civic law, there would be a great outcry from the people. Kansans should be just as alarmed when Christian fundamentalists like Stegall and Brownback are dedicated to the same objective.

The integrity of the Kansas judicial system is at stake if Brownback selects such an obvious religious extremist and ideologue for the court.



Great Plains Chapter

Americans United for Separation of Church and State


No amnesty

There should be no amnesty for the up to 20 million illegal immigrants in this country. They are overloading our schools and hospitals, which we taxpayers pay for. What’s the matter with this country? We need to start deporting the illegal immigrants before it’s too late, if it’s not already.

We also need a city ordinance and a state law that revoke the business license of any company that employs an illegal immigrant and did not use E-Verify to check immigration status with the federal government. The companies know they are employing illegal immigrants. They want cheap labor, because that means more money for the companies.

If our local, state and national politicians – Democrat or Republican – don’t enforce our laws, vote them out of office. Also, boycott any business that employs illegal immigrants.

We need legal immigrants, not illegal ones.



Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

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For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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