It’s rare when I agree with Davis Merritt. But this time he hit gold with his March 27 column, “Rethinking internet giants’ free pass.”
I remember in the mid-1990s when sweet talking, glib Al Gore, wearing the vice president’s hat, went around the country trying to sell anyone who would listen to his spiel on how the new internet should have no restrictions. It was all about jump starting and free enterprise and encouraging competition and rapid growth and a thousand other really great-sounding things.
The only problem is we are humans and we all come with flaws. One of these is greed, another is low or no morals. There are others, but these two have predictably melded together in a number of individuals and companies to produce outcomes that were predicted in the 1990s but were ignored by Congress in their rush to satisfy just about everyone.
Because of this, we now have a truly unfettered internet with no legal restraints and entities who stand behind the First Amendment whenever someone yells foul. It’s about time Congress defines the rules instead of letting the industry run roughshod over our morals with their greed.
Bill Leistiko, Wichita
Look up there at South Dakota
The Kansas Supreme Court would do well to compare Kansas with South Dakota as it deliberates the elusive public school finance issue. Should the justices do so, most may well conclude with a common question: What’s the matter with Kansas?
Kansas has a state income tax applicable at rates of 3.1, 5.25 or 5.7 percent. South Dakota has no state income tax.
Kansas’ average effective property tax rate is 1.4 percent, with Wichita/Sedgwick County’s average at 1.31 percent. South Dakota’s average effective property tax rate is 1.36 percent with Sioux Falls/Minnehaha County’s average 1.42 percent.
In national rankings per the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress Report, Kansas ranks No. 21 for eighth-grade math and South Dakota is No. 19. For eighth-grade reading, Kansas ranks No. 27 and South Dakota No. 22.
From U.S. Census Bureau data, 2015 total public school expenditure per Kansas student was $10,040 and per South Dakota student it was $8,937. What is it the Kansas public school bureaucracy cannot do with the resources it has that the South Dakota public school bureaucracy can?
Ron A. Hoffman, Rose Hill
Best way to battle measles
Once an eliminated disease from the United States, measles is making a comeback. In our home state of Kansas, 13 cases of measles have been confirmed.
As a registered nurse here in Wichita and a mother of a son who is just now able to receive his first dose of the MMR vaccine, I urge everyone to vaccinate their children. I urge those who do oppose vaccines to do their research from credible sources.
The MMR vaccine is proven to be effective and is very safe. We are seeing these outbreaks of a disease that was once eradicated because people are refusing to vaccinate their children and there are children who are too young to receive their vaccines.
When measles get into communities with groups of unvaccinated people, outbreaks are more likely to occur, making it difficult to control the spread of disease. By not vaccinating against measles, you are helping our state and country become vulnerable to having the virus re-establish itself and become an endemic.
So please, for the sake of our community and nation’s health, vaccinate your children.
Julie Hayes, Augusta
More questions in Finch death
I want to commend you for your continued questioning surrounding the death of Andrew Finch. One angle I would like you to explore is the operating procedures for all personnel to follow the directions of the on-scene police commander.
In order for citizens to have confidence in police operations, a few questions need to be answered:
What are the operational procedures ensuring one person is in command of the incident? Who was in charge of the scene that evening? Who was the commander? What were the directions given to all on-scene personnel by the on-scene commander? Is there a requirement for the incident commander to issue a shoot order (green light) for a sniper to discharge a weapon?
I hope you can get answers to these questions in order to ensure dynamic incident scenes are properly managed and not a fire-at-will situation by anyone on scene.
Larry Mullikin, Wichita
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