Sad to see moderate wing of GOP shrink
It has been disheartening to see the moderate wing of the Republican Party shrink before our very eyes. We only need to look at history to see that the moderate approach works. It worked for Abraham Lincoln; it worked for Theodore Roosevelt; and it worked for Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The loudmouthed right-wing talk show hosts and evangelical Christians have made the Republican Party a circus. Some might argue that the Republican Party never was a bastion of compassion.
Personally, I vote the issues, not the party. Unfortunately, decency is quickly proving to be a liability with present day Republicans.
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WSU budget math
As a high school math teacher, I am always on the lookout for the uses and abuses of statistics. The article “Bardo’s plans to improve WSU are interlocked” (Aug. 12 Eagle) provided a great example.
Wichita State University’s provost stated that state funding in 2013 was 23.6 percent of the university’s $282 million, whereas in 2005, state funding accounted for 37.3 percent of its $175 million budget. This sounds like state funding has been drastically cut over the past eight years. However, if we use our trusty calculator, we find that state funding was $65.3 million in 2005 and $66.6 million in 2013. Thus, state funding for WSU has actually increased slightly during that period.
It is true that this small increase does not keep up with inflation and increased enrollment, but the bigger issue is that state funding could never keep up with a university budget that grew by 61 percent in eight years.
The “innocuous reason” (Aug. 9 Opinion Line) federal agents raided two Gibson Guitar factories (and levied a $300,000 fine) was that Gibson illegally imported exotic woods from Madagascar and India that was unlawfully harvested. That is hardly “business as usual” for an American company.
An investigation over a year and a half was done. To avoid criminal charges, Gibson will pay a fine. There is nothing “innocuous” about it.
KEVIN D. PLESS
Need critical thinking
I disagree with “Many object” (Aug. 11 Letters to the Editor) and its analysis of Leonard Pitts’ commentary on the Texas GOP platform plank (Aug. 6 Opinion). Pitts did not promote disregarding religion or parental teachings. He took the Texas GOP platform to task for its belief that teaching critical thinking would do exactly what the letter writer interpreted.
Critical thinking is a requirement for science and mathematics and for solving many of today’s problems. Because Gov. Sam Brownback is an advocate of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and how he governs, I am concerned Brownback is on a similar path for Kansas. He and the Legislature are promoting early trade school training and more college graduation rates, but the only way to accomplish that is through improved K-12 education.
I have two relatives who have retired from the Texas education system. They are disgusted with Perry and the Texas Board of Education’s degrading the class requirements.
Pitts’ commentary is worth rereading and giving serious consideration to how you want to educate the children of Kansas in order to be competitive with other states and the world. Recent reports rank U.S. education about 20th in the world.
Don’t fear guns
I am amazed at the number of letters to the editor that ignore the fact that if a human is intent on doing harm to another, gun or no gun, he will do so. Guns are used more times to prevent tragedy than to perpetrate one. Also, the “fraidy cats” who freak when they see a “man with a gun” who is not a police officer should reflect on the reasonable conclusion that a criminal or crazy person is not going to display the tools of their trade.
Guns of war
I have no objections to guns for use in hunting, but why do people need guns like they use in war? This country has a big problem, and we need somebody to stand up for the people who don’t think we need machine guns to feel safe.
I recently saw the outstanding performance of “Next to Normal” at the Crown Uptown Theatre. The rock opera tells the story of how a family adjusts to mental illness. This is the Kansas premiere of the show and a very gutsy selection for dinner theater. It was worth it.
Congratulations to Crown’s new management for improving the quality of shows selected and the actors performing. Crown is truly a Wichita gem. Please support it