Trusting what you’re reading
On Dec. 3, The Eagle ran McClatchy senior editor Anders Gyllenhaal’s Op-Ed “How to know if you can trust what you’re reading” regarding fake news. Anyone who has ever read George Orwell’s “1984” knows that truth in media is an indispensable element to any free society.
Those who would cross that sacrosanct moral line to engage in one-sided polarization for political gain should be treated no different than someone who yells “Fire” in a crowded theater, which is treated as a criminal act, not free speech.
I am beginning to think that in order to balance the need for income with the loss of print news, the news media should be required to have two sets of news outlets. Those who do real news, and those who do entertainment news strictly for profit.
Current journalistic integrity also greatly suffers from its lack of open debate in matters of important public policy issues. There needs to be an industry-wide, universally agreed-upon disclaimer that will level the playing field and allow all news organizations to print unpopular opinions without worrying about boycotts.
John Williamson, Wichita
Don’t let democracy collapse
Our democracy is collapsing, one big hunk at a time. We are losing our freedom fast because of the blurred separation between the three branches of government, the elimination of so many diplomats and diplomatic solutions for our disagreements between nations, and attempts at silencing the press.
I hear people say, “Oh, I just don’t watch the news.” It seems critical to me that we fight against what is going on in plain view. Our country is a government of the people and each of us need to be doing anything and everything possible to preserve our way of life.
I thank God for all the people who are sacrificing their time and resources, and for leaders steadfast in their beliefs. For example, James Comey said his favorite Bible verse is Amos 5:24: “But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” That is very comforting.
Jo Saille Carmichael,
Wrong side of nature
First, President Trump attempts to legalize ivory sales in the U.S. from elephant hunts. (By the way, he has not yet definitively ruled against it.) Then the Senate opens the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to drilling into their tax plan. Now, the president drastically reduces two national monuments by about 2 million acres with more monuments in the pipeline for review.
This is not about handing rights back to the people the way talking heads try to explain. This is about giving handouts to a few privileged people and developers to reap profit. And when it comes to animals, air, water and land, they are worthless if they don’t make money.
This is the ugly face of conservatism, completely devoid of a sense of conservation. More than lower taxes, more than enabling the American dream, more than increasing freedom, the conservative legacy will be a total ransack of our natural heritage.
Michael Jensen, Wichita
Into the nuances of sexual harrassment
I hope we eventually can elevate the conversation about sexual harassment to helping men actually understand why it’s bad, what it looks like and why it is so wrong.
I also think we need to make sure we help all women and men, all boys and girls, with knowing how to be assertive without being aggressive. But here’s the thing: Until women have equal power to men in personal, civic and business lives, it will be very difficult to change much. All women need to take responsibility for this by promoting and supporting women in those positions.
Those two things, power and support of those women, are the missing piece and why we haven’t made as much progress as we would have hoped in these last decades.
Gail Fisher, Wichita
Making sense of the tax bill
Recently I called Sen. Pat Roberts’ office to voice my opposition to the tax bill. I received a letter from his office thanking me for my comments about the environment. Is anyone home to the ordinary constituents?
First, Congress increases defense spending. Apparently, war is good and our most significant export. Next, they pass a tax cut for the wealthy that will cause a $1.5 trillion deficit in short order. (Did they see what this accomplished in Kansas?) Now it seems they are tossing a few glittery, temporary crumbs of tax relief for the rabble to keep us quiet while they plunge a knife into our back for a slow bleed.
Congress fails to remind us that in 2010 they passed legislation called PAYGO, which means the U.S. government needs to pay as it goes. If income does not match spending, then a sequester takes place, forcing across-the-board cuts to expenses in programs like Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, programs that help the least of these in our country and the ordinary citizen.
With a foreseeable deficit as the result of congressional profligacy, expect cuts in programs that improve our quality of life. Thank your Republican Congress.
Liz Carson, Wichita
Letters to the Editor
Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.
Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 330 N. Mead, Wichita, KS 67202
For more information, contact
Kirk Seminoff at 316-268-6278, firstname.lastname@example.org.