Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on freeloaders, abortion, GOP hypocrisy, Obamacare, slots at dog track, school bus drivers, comics

Who are the real freeloaders?

Working at a local food bank warehouse last week, I heard the radio playing the same ad I had been seeing and hearing all week. It was about how Obamacare is hurting the American people.

As I put a jar of peanut butter into each sack going by on the conveyor, I reflected on the philosophy of the Koch brothers. By providing entitlements such as subsidized medical care and food stamps, we supposedly are hurting the very people we think we are helping. We are encouraging them not to work and telling them it is OK to live on the dole.

When I finished my shift, I saw the people lined up, waiting for a sack of groceries. I wondered: Who are the freeloaders? Are some more deserving than others?

The Koch bothers inherited a lot of money. With that much wealth to start with, is it really that difficult to get richer the way the rules are written? They have plenty of people working hard to help them in hopes of picking up the crumbs that fall from the table. Meanwhile, they can be free to exercise power and influence, free to decide what are the interests and the needs of the powerless.

The favored few are devoting more and more time and money trying to get us to keep on believing. If enough of us believe the system is good and just, the wealthy can continue to exercise the power while the rest worry about who among us is freeloading.

GEORGE DYCK

North Newton

Not extremist

What’s so bad about restricting abortions?

Through the media, one would think pro-lifers are extremists for trying to place restrictions on abortion. But what are these “restrictive laws” that have passed in recent years in Kansas, some of which remain enjoined because of abortion industry lawsuits? Here are the highlights:

Requiring doctors to have hospital privileges within 30 miles of an abortion clinic. Requiring parents to be notified and to consent before a surgical abortion can be performed on their minor daughter. Requiring doctors to explain the procedure and the complications associated with abortion. Restricting abortions after the fetus can feel pain. Eliminating taxpayer-funded abortions. Requiring abortion facilities to be as clean as other surgical centers. Requiring abortionists to show the sonogram to the woman if she asks to see it. Prohibiting sex-selection abortions.

These laws came about because the abortion industry did not naturally abide by them, despite its claim to have made abortion legal in order to make it “safe.” Clinics run by abortion doctors Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia and Krishna Rajanna in Kansas City, Kan., have exposed the underbelly of the abortion industry.

DAVID GITTRICH

State development director

Kansans for Life

Wichita

GOP hypocrisy

It is hard to believe we’re already past the midpoint of January and already the “small government” cabal in Congress is wallowing in its own hypocrisy.

One House Republican wants to put his “small government” philosophy to work by injecting that big, bad federal government even further into women’s health care by seeking to use IRS audits of tax returns of women already victimized by rape should they claim the costs of an abortion as a tax deduction. He apparently wants to make sure they get further abuse.

And don’t forget about states like Kansas, where “small government” Republicans annually work to further inject their white, male, religiously driven propensities into complicating women’s reproductive health by interfering with free enterprise with roadblocks for women who want their health insurance to cover the possibility of a necessary abortion.

In the new federal spending bill recently passed, the “small government” Republicans insisted on increasing the Pentagon budget beyond the Pentagon’s requested level. GOP lawmakers also insisted on rolling back a Bush administration decision – not an Obama administration move – to consolidate the State Department’s offices in Rome and at the Vatican, a budget move hailed at the time as a way to save millions.

So much for Republicans’ bleating about budget deficits and their mythological devotion to “responsible spending.” They can make no credible claim to “small government” and “fiscal responsibility” when they work to politically terrorize women and borrow money from China to score points toward their re-election.

DAVE HIGDON

Wichita

Leave dogs out

How ironic that the same day there was a front-page article on gamblers griping that slots don’t pay off enough (Jan. 8 Eagle), those wanting to reopen the crumbling, closed dog track were among speakers at a local legislative forum. If Wichita Greyhound Park owner Phil Ruffin wants to open a nationwide chain of slot machine emporiums, I’d have no problem. However, when the so-called sport of dog racing is resumed in Sedgwick County for no other reason but to front an attached casino full of slots, I will speak out on behalf of the dogs that cannot.

These dogs are born and bred for short racing lives if they have talent, and can be discarded or put down if not. Many animal shelters are overwhelmed now.

Fill in the whole track with a concrete floor and put 10,000 slot machines there, but leave the dogs out.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the biggest slot proponents are of the same political persuasion as those marching and picketing against fast-food and giant retailers. They allege the proprietors of those places are greedy and exploit low-wage workers, yet they grovel at the prospect a super-wealthy track owner’s proposal to create a bunch of lower-skill, part-time jobs. Seems sort of strange to me.

And spoiler alert for gamblers: A new slot machine joint doesn’t mean you’ll win any more often.

ELIZABETH ROWE

Wichita

Empty words

Obamacare is a flagrant, in-your-face violation of the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Health care is not a constitutionally defined power, and President Obama knows it.

America’s greatest and most frightening problem is that the majority of elected and appointed politicians are openly hostile to the Constitution and its restraints on power. The oath of office that members of Congress took to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” were empty words out of empty heads. Bipartisan oath-breaking is the reason the debt is a staggering $18 trillion, 7,000 troops died in a decadelong Middle East conflict, the dollar is virtually worthless, much of manufacturing has left for communist China and Mexico via free trade, and, of course, we have Obamacare.

God help us.

JAMES MCNULTY

Wichita

Bad bus drivers

Driving around Wichita in the early morning and late afternoon, one gets the idea that some people have trouble driving. That extends to school bus drivers, who we would like to think are taking every precaution to keep our kids safe.

Just the other day I witnessed multiple buses whose drivers were speeding, driving recklessly and even failing to use turn signals correctly.

Considering that the vast majority of public school students and their parents don’t have many alternatives in regard to school choices and transportation, it’s all the more important for the school districts to hire people who will uphold minimum standards of safety and professionalism. Until that happens, incidents like the one in which the Douglass bus overturned in December may continue to put the welfare of our children and motorists at risk.

NICK ERCOLANI

Bel Aire

Terrible comics

We know this is not important, but why did The Eagle stop publishing “Hagar the Horrible”? If you need more space, remove “Judge Parker.” The new “comics” are terrible.

JANE and ROBERT STAYTON

Wellington

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