A descent into ignorance
A descent into ignorance is ordained by the Sedgwick County Commission’s elimination of funding to evaluate the effectiveness of public health programs (“County passes 2016 budget,” Aug. 13 Eagle). Without sufficient information, we simply will not be able to adequately determine effectiveness.
Into this knowledge vacuum will spring opinionated justifications based on a skewed view of what government should do to nurture its community. This will not be surprising, as already seen in the labeling of research projections of potential escalating deaths as irresponsible, and the ignorance of psychological research that has demonstrated medical education programs can have a positive impact on adherence to a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, it is interesting that three men on the commission vetoed funding for cervical and breast cancer screening – three men.
At a time when Kansas is lagging the nation in growing jobs (our governor’s failed, destructive tax experiment), the majority on the County Commission, by their decisions, will make us more unhealthy and unattractive – their view of government.
CHARLES A. GAYNOR
I recently heard a National Public Radio report about how people move from one area of the country to another because of amenities. Low taxes were not mentioned.
People who live in high-cost areas move themselves and their work to other areas because of lower costs of housing, good schools, good restaurants, good arts and entertainment sectors – things that make each day less hectic and more satisfying.
The segment mentioned that alumni of two Montana universities who live out of state were being invited to come home. I have heard other stories of cities and states making strategic investments in amenities and infrastructure to attract new residents.
I have not read or heard of any similar growth from shrinking government or lowering taxes. I don’t know how long we have to follow a strategy that has been proved to be a failure before we wise up.
What is freedom?
“Freedom” is one of the most sacred words in American life. It is guaranteed in our Constitution in many forms, but just what does it mean?
After some careful thought, one could realize it means different things to different people. The recent article about several dozen really wealthy people pledging money to fat-cat political groups to assure “freedom” is certainly one way to look at it.
My definition of freedom is a bit different: I should be free from the bondage that really rich people have over the masses of our country. I should be free from profit-at-any-cost ideology on which most really rich people run their corporations. I should be free of lies we see, hear and read about products and services that do not perform as promised. I should be free to pray for a strong government to control the whims of a very few people in our country.
To my amazement, we have many wannabe rich folks who buy everything they are fed from the very rich and call the rest of us socialist because we don’t believe much of the promises we hear about a good life coming from capitalism.
Most federal tax dollars are spent (or lost) in these categories: wars and defense, social services, interest on the national debt, and giveaways (bailouts and financial favors, pork-barrel spending, foreign aid and tax breaks). Not much is being spent for government-funded research.
The emphasis on research by the generation that put men on the moon resulted in space program spin-offs that provided benefits far into the future, such as CAT scanners. Everything from satellites to solar panels was invented or improved thanks to government-funded research.
Today, NASA is operating on a fraction of a penny of the federal tax dollar. Yet it is exploring the outer reaches of our solar system with the resulting scientific benefits. I wonder what it could accomplish with a whole penny.
Earth’s resources are rapidly being used up, and the Earth is becoming less hospitable to a growing world population. With these and other ominous happenings, you would think that we would rearrange our priorities so that federal- and state-funded research would be increased 10 times or more.
But it’s not happening.
There is a difference in the emotions inside a building and the emotions outside on the sidewalk and in the street.
Inside any Planned Parenthood clinic or women’s health clinic, physicians, nurses and aides provide a compassionate reception for a rape-induced pregnant woman, understanding counsel for a woman with an unwanted pregnancy or a woman with a damaged fetus. Care, consideration and the best of medical services would be provided.
Outside, on the sidewalk and in the street, different emotions reign. There appears to be much anger because Planned Parenthood and women’s health clinics exist. Religious invective often flows, denouncing any who would consider terminating a pregnancy, let alone preventing a pregnancy. Frustration is expressed because of belief differences over conception and fetal values.
Those who formulated the Constitution knew from history that every person has their own understanding of life and life’s purposes. They believed the state should have very limited powers involving itself in any belief system. They believed every person has the right to live and express their own concepts within the limits of community well-being.
Not a debate
I have long been intrigued by the ongoing, sometimes acrimonious debate between creationists (intelligent design) and evolutionists. So when I learned about the book “Why Evolution Is True,” I was eager to read it. It turned out to be a real eye-opener.
The further I got into it, the more it slowly dawned on me that what we call a debate is really no debate at all, because the two sides are talking about two entirely different things. Creationists discuss the original creation of life, while evolutionists deliberately avoid that subject and discuss species that already exist, with no attempt to explain their origin.
The truth is finally out on Page 170 when the author states that a better title for Charles Darwin’s book “The Origin of the Species” would have been “The Origin of Adaptations.” A typical example of what the author purports as proof of evolution is the adaptation of field mice over time.
I cannot accept the notion, embraced by any of the various evolutionary theories, that all life on Earth has descended from a single cell, the origin of which is not explained. But I have no problem accepting the premise that life was created by a superior power that created our incomprehensible universe that is still expanding at the speed of light.
Apparently Angie Elliott of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce believes as I do (“Wave the Wichita flag to show pride in our city,” July 16 Business Today). But I’ll take it a step further and ask that all business owners, especially the downtown businesses, show pride in their business and our city by utilizing the unused flagpoles on their buildings for the intended use.
The American flag with the associated Wichita flag below it would look good. Local building and business owners who fly the flags should be applauded, and those who do not should be encouraged to do so. If all buildings did this when they were open for business, Wichita could become known as the “Flag City,” and her citizens would benefit from the pride the act engenders.
I recall many more American flags were flown downtown in the 1950s than are today. Because of the resurgence in downtown Wichita, it seems fitting that this simple act of patriotism and pride accompany the growth.
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