Letters to the Editor

Letters on Brownback debacle, Scalia, speed limit, Pilcher-Cook, elder abuse

When will Brownback debacle end?

I am still waiting for that “shot of adrenaline” to the Kansas economy promised by Gov. Sam Brownback. Most measures indicate the Kansas economy has not improved, because of the ill-advised business tax cuts.

Meanwhile, even though our state constitution says that state government must provide for our public schools, our Republican legislators continue to find ways around the constitution. They complain about “activist judges” playing politics. Isn’t the Kansas Supreme Court supposed to uphold the constitution? Now the legislators are talking about impeaching judges. This means replacing them with judges more sympathetic to their causes, one of which I believe is to privatize the schools.

In order to plug the gigantic hole in the budget, they take money from the state pension system and transportation fund. They also raise the sales tax and reduce exemptions on mortgage interest and medical expenses, which translates into a tax increase on those who cannot afford it.

Now we hear that Kansas is having trouble keeping state employees. The reason, according to Brownback, is that Kansas has such a strong economy that workers are going to the private sector. Or it could be President Obama’s fault.

If you really want to know who is calling the shots in Kansas and other states, do some research into ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.

When and where will this debacle end?

Helen Nachtigal, North Newton

Where is decency?

Though I didn’t agree with many of the opinions of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, I completely agreed with “Show more respect for Scalia” (Feb. 17 Now Consider This).

In spite of my disagreement with Scalia, I am stunned and flabbergasted by the speed with which politicians raced to talk about his replacement. We are supposed to be a cultured people. Where have basic decency and respect gone?

Not that I read all the papers and watched every news media, but I did not read or see many tributes to the justice. There was more news about the nomination than the person.

Scalia was controversial – many of the original thinkers are controversial – but he was a stalwart. The way the politicians and the media treated him was utterly disgraceful.

Mohan Kambampati, Wichita

Owed explanation

If the televised reports are accurate concerning the circumstances of the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, then President Obama, the Justice Department, the Secret Service, the FBI and the U.S. attorney general all owe the American people an explanation.

Hypothetically, given the stated circumstances of Scalia’s death, anyone wanting to commit murder can easily do so if their intended victim has any history of ill health and the death will simply be passed off as “natural causes.”

That would not be the case for the average American citizen, and it most certainly should not be the case in the death of a sitting Supreme Court justice when he’s found dead with a “pillow over his head.”

It is simply not acceptable.

Kevin Henderson, Halstead

Raise speed limit?

Oh, yeah, an 80 mph speed limit (Feb. 17 Eagle). That’ll really spur some economic development, plug the budget gap, fix the school finance issues and create a utopia in our time.

You know what? Just go full autobahn. Repeal the speed limit altogether. Maybe enact progressive speed-based tolls. That might actually accomplish something.

Alden Wilner, Wichita

Hear opposing views

Last fall, House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, removed a number of House members from the Health and Human Services Committee and the Education Committee, thus loading each with legislators more in line with his ideological views on KanCare expansion and school funding. Other than from the media, there was little if any outcry from peers in the Legislature regarding this purge.

Now, Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, has removed Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, a strong opponent of KanCare expansion, from her position as chairwoman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. A number of Senate and House Republicans now cry “foul” (Feb. 17 Eagle).

Whether you are for or against KanCare expansion, shouldn’t Kansans expect our legislators to hear opposing views and make decisions based on the facts presented? We deserve better.

David Sanford, Wichita

Elder abuse

An elderly friend of more than 20 years is in the hands of what appears to be a devious private home-care provider. My friend’s physical and mental well-being are not being properly cared for, her health is being neglected, and I’m afraid for her life.

My friend’s assets, which were supposed to be willed to several organizations in the area, are being depleted. She is not allowed to have visitors nor phone calls from her old-time friends.

I call this abuse and financial exploitation of the elderly.

I have contacted the elder abuse agencies, social service agencies and other agencies, which have not taken this matter seriously.

Why would an agency that is supposedly committed to protecting the well-being of the elderly allow this malice upon my elderly friend?

Linda Komornicki, Wichita

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