County moving in right direction
I, for one, am glad the Sedgwick County Commission is moving away from being “a progressive, high-quality county” (“Expect better from commissioners,” May 28 Letters to the Editor). I’m grateful that Commissioner Jim Howell is siding with Karl Peterjohn and Richard Ranzau. If being an ultraconservative means spending what money you have wisely and not spending more money than you have available, then count me in.
The letter writer said Commissioners Dave Unruh and Tim Norton must be disheartened to see many of the great things they helped put in place for the county now being dismantled. That prompts the question: What great things? What I see are two guys who have never met a taxpayer dollar they weren’t willing to spend or a progressive idea they wouldn’t support.
Don’t get me wrong – there are legitimate functions the County Commission should be performing. But funding the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition isn’t one of them, and the impact of opting out will be negligible.
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As for the writer’s claim that Howell, Peterjohn and Ranzau aren’t listening to the people: Well, I think they are. I’ve not spoken to anyone who’s really upset by what they’re doing.
JERRY W. DAVIDSON
I don’t always agree with Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton. But those opposed to the purchase and remodel of the former IRS building for county business need a lesson in building-square-foot, present-day costs.
The remodel should commence without any further delay. The inexcusable inconvenience of the Murdock Street tag office should be a long-standing embarrassment to the county treasurer and County Commission. All on the commission and the treasurer need to get on with the IRS building project. The citizens deserve better, and have for a long, long time.
As a general rule these days, we elect people whose only purpose is to obstruct rather than construct for the good of the citizens. This includes every tier of government. The United States of America seems to be anything but united.
“Senate rejects bill modifying tax exemption for businesses” (May 28 Eagle) shocked me with a description of extreme behavior in the Kansas Senate.
Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, put a trash can on his desk during a Senate debate to ridicule a colleague’s proposed compromise on the budget problem. He said that taxation was an act of “thieves” committing legal plunder.
Wild words and antics like that polarize the discussion and have worsened the shameful impasse in the Legislature. The not-at-all-mysterious budget deficit created by our governor and big-money influences already has betrayed basic Kansas values of common sense and equal opportunity. Now we’re embarrassed by behavior of lawmakers who choose confrontation rather than cooperation.
Running a state requires the oil of civility and knowledge of alternatives in use around the country. We’ll only get this by electing informed, stable and visionary leaders and by un-electing those who accept money to introduce bills written by the American Legislative Exchange Council and buy into other well-funded channels of Koch Industries’ extremism.
If you agree, sign the petition I’ve started at petitions.moveon.org/sign/alert-kansas-lawmakers.
After Sept. 11, 2001, some were puzzled by what had occurred. Envy seemed too superficial a reason, and a summary of American policy toward the Middle East was advanced.
After the marathon bombing in Boston, some were also puzzled. A few innocent people were killed and injured, and we saw their videos because their lives are important. Was it caused by two young men with an evil streak?
On the other hand, after Sept. 11 the United States invaded an innocent Iraq under false pretenses, decimated the country and killed many thousands of innocent civilians. In addition, tens of thousands were killed in Afghanistan, in the longest war in U.S. history. We did not see their videos, because Iraqi and Afghan lives are not important. Muslims in both countries view themselves as innocent victims of our aggression. Why would we not expect retaliation?
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be executed for his part in the Boston bombing. The Iraqis and Afghans are still waiting for justice.
Meanwhile, our drones and helicopters are keeping this deadly circle of violence going.
Go against tide
Whether a person wants to make a better life for himself has no bearing on his eligibility for immigration. Immigration is not a right conferred by the Constitution but has been determined historically by Congress based on a need for workers. We don’t need more workers. We do need better education and opportunity for the citizens we have.
Immigration has been politicized from every angle. Wall Street wants open borders so that wages will continue to fall. Liberals want amnesty so they can get votes, and most Republicans have capitulated, because they are afraid of losing to liberals. It takes courage to go against the tide.
In 2016 I plan to vote for the presidential candidate who is committed to doing what is right for the American people – whose views most closely match mine on immigration, trade and the environment – be it Democrat Bernie Sanders or Republican Rick Santorum.
MARY KATHRYN VERNON
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