Begin to work toward 2020
In drafting, arguing for and ultimately passing the Constitution with its Bill of Rights – which are so essential to every individual’s freedom and the rights of their respective states to best govern the local endeavors, hopes and aspirations of citizens – the Founders purposefully limited the powers of the president for a very good reason.
They understood the day might come when only reckless, dubious and corruptible self-aggrandizers would vie for the office. So much unrestrained power in the hands of such conniving, unethical and disreputable persons would, they understood, mark a most disturbing moment in American history with respect to the efficacy of representative democracy.
All American voters worthy of perpetuating the Republic and restoring their power over a ruling and ever-surging collective of centralized and self-serving authoritarians should begin to stake their claim for a renewal of the Constitution’s principles and begin carrying it forward earnestly with unrelenting and uncompromising resoluteness to the year 2020.
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Never again in the lifetime of the Republic shall there be, nor should there ever be, the likes of a Hillary Clinton and a Donald Trump.
Ron A. Hoffman, Rose Hill
Race to remember
I will always remember the 2016 presidential election in which the KKK, the KGB and the FBI all supported the same candidate. Also memorable: Innocent until proven guilty, unless someone in the FBI doesn’t like you.
Marcia Dietrich, Wichita
Don’t repeal ACA
The Affordable Care Act was a topic of debate during the presidential campaign. The situation is similar to what happened to Social Security in 1936.
One of the arguments for repealing the ACA is increasing cost. But almost everything costs more with the passage of time. Why single out health care? Increases in health care costs often are due to inflation and the invention of new costly machines. Moreover, new machines can lead to new procedures.
Numerous attempts to repeal the ACA have been more for public relation purposes and had no hope of success. There have not been enough votes to override the veto by the president.
Many laws are amended later, in the light of experience. Instead of amending the ACA, the U.S. House adopted the goal to repeal and replace. But to replace with what?
In 1936, an attempt to repeal Social Security did not succeed. I wonder why some want to repeat that experience with the ACA, and repent later.
Prem N. Bajaj, Wichita
Peace not realistic
So President Obama is agitating for yet another make-believe peace conference to resolve the persistent differences between Israel and Palestine. Apparently he is not cognizant of the charter of Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Palestine. It states that Israel will exist “until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” It also states that “initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.”
Little wonder that Obama’s latest proposal was over the objections of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I wouldn’t want to participate in any negotiation that is preordained to fail.
As the old adage says, “Hope springs eternal.” But it is not always realistic.
David Gudeman, Wichita
Lost our senses
My doctor is part of one of the large health care systems in Wichita. Being over 65 years old, I have an annual wellness check in which a nurse does screening for dementia, depression, etc. There is also an assessment of risks of injury in the home due to falls, fire and other home hazards. The questions asked are not in any way related to Medicare coverage or requirements.
I noticed that there were no questions about firearms. When I asked the nurse why that was so, she told me that there used to be a question asking whether there are firearms in the home and whether they are kept unloaded and locked up.
The nurse told me that they dropped the question because so many patients became irate and abusive, assuming that the question was part of a government effort to infringe on their Second Amendment rights.
It is appalling that the National Rifle Association and its enablers, including our entire Kansas congressional delegation, have stoked the irrational fears and biases of so many people that health care providers are intimidated from asking reasonable questions geared to the welfare of their patients.
Have we completely lost our senses about guns?
Carl Caton, Wichita
Public health vital
Nov. 21 is National Public Health Day. This year’s theme is “public health is your health.”
Public health initiatives are important to economic development efforts in our community. There are many examples of incredible work that has been accomplished by our public health professionals to make our community healthier.
A few examples include the creation of the Wichita Bicycle Master Plan and the Wichita Pedestrian Master Plan, the formation of the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board, and support of the Wichita Clean Air Ordinance and continued work for its expansion to include electronic cigarettes.
We need to recognize the substantial role a healthy and vibrant community plays in economic development. These initiatives assist in providing a healthy workforce for business.
Thank our community’s public health professionals. They make our community a better place to live, learn, work and play.
Cindy Claycomb, Wichita
Ban the bag
I support Ban the Bag Wichita, because plastic bags offer only short-term convenience that can have enormous long-term costs.
Single-use bags require nonrenewable resources (oil and gas refinery byproducts) to manufacture, cause visual pollution on the landscape, and clog drains and sewers, increasing local flooding when water cannot run off.
It requires 2.2 billion pounds of fossil fuel and 3.9 billion gallons of fresh water to produce the 100 billion plastic bags used in the United States each year. Retailers spend $4 billion per year on disposable bags, with consumers paying higher prices to offset that cost.
Plastic bags pose a hazard for all creatures. Birds and marine animals get tangled in them, and pelicans have been known to suffocate swallowing them in the same gulp with fish. There is now more plastic in our oceans than plankton – 46,000 pieces floating in each per square mile of ocean, adversely affecting 267 species of marine life.
The single most effective thing each of us can do is to use sturdy reusable bags made from natural fibers that will last for years. I shop several times daily and am able to use my backpack.
Howard Crise, North Newton
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