Insurance bad, marriage good?
It is more than reasonable people can get their minds around: Our governor turns down money to establish the affordable health insurance exchange, and then asks for money to get people married who don't want to get married ("State seeks $6.6 million federal grant for marriage," Aug. 16 Eagle).
I have racked my brain and I cannot recall a single instance of someone saying, "I'd like to get married but can't afford the license." But I can recall countless cases of people saying, "I need health insurance but can't afford it."
If people want to get married, they will get the license. And people who don't want to get married aren't going to get married if the marriage license is free instead of $85.50.
So much for the Republicans wanting government out of our lives. I mean, really — is there more need for government in our lives than deciding we should get married, whether we want to or not?
What's he thinking?
It's amazing that Gov. Sam Brownback doesn't think proper health care for Kansans merits accepting federal funds, while he attempts to meld rather than separate church and state ("State seeks $6.6 million federal grant for marriage," Aug. 16 Eagle). I suggest that he reread the U.S. Constitution, which was written in large part to protect citizens from the power of state-run religion.
Instead of turning back federal funding, Brownback should apply for funding that would help put people to work. For example, the more than $1 million in arts funding that he lost would have allowed arts groups — such as the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the Wichita Grand Opera and others — to apply for grants that would have resulted in more work for Kansans.
What's he thinking?
Regarding "Waivers are good step" (Aug. 14 Eagle Editorial): Waivers are needed because requiring all children to read at a proficient level is a "statistically impossible standard"? Really?
For eight years the Wichita school district, not just certain schools, has failed to meet the accountability requirements under the No Child Left Behind law. Our state could replace USD 259's superintendent and school board with a trustee to deal with our district's four-year corrective-action status. The federal government could require the state to do more than this if Kansas refuses to take corrective action against our district.
This continued failure without consequences raises a question: Is the largest district in the state too powerful to be held accountable under the No Child Left Behind law? Is the Wichita district really just a large ship, difficult to turn because of its size and sitting in the wrong ocean? Think about it: By moving 15 schools from Title I classification, the district removed several schools currently "on improvement" from further oversight under the NCLB law.
We cannot ignore that behind all the numbers are real children struggling to learn to read. Do we look into their faces and say, "Sorry, we just can't teach everyone?"
Paul speaks out
Can anyone explain to me why Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who placed a very close second to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., in the Iowa straw poll, is not rated as one of the top three GOP candidates for president in media reports? He seems to be the only politician who is speaking out against the United States' warring madness.
The Eagle's Aug. 16 front-page report on the cost of war should have given everyone pause, including our congressmen and president. The horrendous debt of our country will never be paid off unless we cut the outlandish and unreasonable amount we are spending on war. The politicians who talk about cutting the size of government are disingenuous in their rhetoric unless they include a desire to cut the size of the military. It seems as if our government wants to expand our military as the way to create more jobs.
I doubt that any president will be able to curb our war mentality, but it would be refreshing to have one who would think and talk like Paul.
Cal Thomas wrote: "Living within our means has been replaced with 'entitlement,' 'spreading the wealth around' and 'fairness'" ("America needs to learn how to 'do without,'" Aug. 10 Opinion). He then shared a quote from Ric Edelman, CEO of Edelman Financial Services, who said that the market's downturn "is a political reaction, not an economic reaction. . . . The 500 biggest companies in America are still sitting on $1 trillion in cash." Thomas ended his column with this stunning opinion: "Getting that $1 trillion off the sidelines will also require a different political reaction. That will come in fall 2012. . . ."
Unemployment is at more than 9 percent, and those left working often have to put in punishing overtime hours to keep up with the work. Yet corporate America feels entitled to hoard $1 trillion. Apparently, jobs for average Americans will come only if we bow to the sense of entitlement felt by people like Edelman to have the elected officials they want and can control.
Let the debate continue over entitlements of people on Social Security and those who have been thrown out of work by corporate America and must rely on meager unemployment benefits. But we also need to debate the entitlement attitudes of the elite among us.