Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on college costs, extremism, Kobach

Harder to afford college education

What would it take for a high school graduate with good study habits to be able to attend a college with the same cost as Wichita State University’s tuition and fees with no scholarships (June 20 Eagle)? If this student had a job that paid 20 percent more than minimum wage, and worked 30 hours per week year-round, that would pay for tuition and fees, books and supplies, gas and insurance for a vehicle to be driven for 25 miles per day, social life at $30 per week, and miscellaneous expenses at $29 per week. This would require a 30-hour workweek, 15 hours in classrooms and a minimum of 15 hours of study each week.

To make that four years of college possible, there would be other essentials to be provided by Mom and Dad, or someone: a car, room and board, clothes, computer and health care. So with help it’s doable, but the student must want it badly enough.

Our state legislators are making it more and more expensive to get a college education, which is increasingly vital to achieving or maintaining a middle-class life. It is likely to increase the cheap labor force for the job makers with no income tax.



Many forms

Leonard Pitts Jr.’s “Extremism comes in many colors” (July 1 Opinion) was long overdue and brought a smile to my face. Unfortunately, Bill, a reader who e-mailed Pitts, represents a startling number of close-minded individuals who have been running rampant in the years since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

As a subscriber to Islamophobia Today, I am all too familiar with the disheartening acts of my fellow Americans. Sadly, these acts grow out of thoughts similar to Bill’s. And these thoughts and actions are exactly the tools necessary for extremism to persist.

Bill was probably speaking out in fear. He doesn’t know anything about Islam, and he uses the actions of a few to judge and discriminate against many. Fear is a powerful force that can change an individual from a logical, accommodating human being to a foolish monster. Ethnocentrism, racism, fear and self-righteousness lay the seeds for extremism and set the stage for future terrorism.

We also should not forget that hate crimes are committed in the name of many things – God, Allah, money, greed, power, revenge, etc. The Ku Klux Klan used the Christian Bible as inspiration and encouragement for the crimes it committed. The Phelps group in Topeka also worships the Christian God. Extremism comes in many forms, colors, shapes, quantities and qualities. We should aim to fight all extremism through education and compassion.



Do job here

Instead of rebutting Kris Kobach’s comedy of spin regarding his recent defeats at the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court (June 29 Opinion), what we should be doing is asking ourselves a simple question: Why? Why are we talking about our secretary of state’s involvement in other state’s immigration policies? Why is the discussion not around his failed policies here at home?

The 2012 federal election in Sedgwick County saw long lines, problems with ID readers, rejected legal ballots, and delayed election results. These problems were no surprise, as they had also surfaced during the August primary election. What was our chief election officer doing between the primary and general election? He was doing national media interviews on other states’ immigration policies rather than contacting the Sedgwick County election commissioner.

We need a secretary of state who is interested in doing the job here at home, not grandstanding for a national following. I hope when voters line up to vote in 2014, they will remember the waste of time and money, and vote for a credible successor.