Legislature driven by special interests
Kansans have long been proud of their state. Generations have committed to making it a place where all could thrive.
Today, too many in our Legislature are driven by special interests. They have adopted a careless tax policy that has put our state treasury in jeopardy and threatens much of what Kansans hold dear. Their solution is to steal from our highways and public employees to fund the deficit they have created.
They do not value our public schools and have little regard for the poor and disabled. Their efforts to undermine the Kansas Supreme Court, and its duty to defend the people and the Constitution, are alarming.
We have a fight on our hands, a fight to protect our families and hometowns.
Our elected legislators must protect our quality public schools and the children who are our future. They must support public services, such as road repairs and social programs that assist those at risk. Jobs must be created to provide working Kansans and their families with food, clothing and shelter.
Legislators must put the needs of hardworking Kansans first. Until they do, the fight is ours.
Shelley Addis, Derby
Don’t just complain
If you believe Facebook, political activity is at an all-time high. To those online political strategists upset about Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or Gov. Sam Brownback, or any election or candidate, I have an incomplete list of questions:
How many phone calls have you made to potential voters, soliciting their support?
How many potential voters’ doors have you knocked on, soliciting support?
How many letters to the editor have you written, advocating your positions to a mass audience?
If you have a particular issue you want addressed, how many times have you visited with, called or e-mailed your member of Congress, state senator or state representative? (Can you name all three?)
How much time have you committed to volunteer for a local election?
Do you know the process to get registered to vote? Are you registered? Are your friends and family registered?
If you’re able to donate money, have you donated money to candidates or causes you support?
Complaining on Facebook or on comment sections is as easy as it is useless. Effective political activism is much, much harder.
Chris Pumpelly, Wichita
Visit air museum
The Eagle recently reported that the Kansas Aviation Museum is struggling financially (“Air museum board discussed bankruptcy, selling artifacts,” Feb. 25 Eagle). How is that possible?
We claim to be the Air Capital of the World, yet our aviation museum is losing money? That museum should be packed every day.
I always hear people saying there is nothing to do here. Well, a visit to the museum is something to do. When you have friends and relatives who come and visit, take them out there and show them how proud you are to have a museum like that.
I love airplanes, and anybody who loves planes should visit. I have been out there a number of times and enjoyed it a lot. So stop by one day. I am sure you will love it, too.
Alex Ray Jr., Wichita
Look around. See much water?
Rain has eluded us for some time now. That is a concern. The greater concern is how we react to this. It’s time to conserve.
We can wait until saving measures are imposed upon us or we can do the right thing and begin where it really matters – at home. Cut down on usage. You don’t need the greenest yard or shiniest car. We don’t need private pools or hot tubs. Our city doesn’t need green golf courses or public fountains.
There are countless things we don’t need. We do, however, need potable water to live, and it’s disappearing.
There are townships in Kansas where the streams and lakes have been gone for several years, and we are heading the same way.
We must have water in order to live. So must every other species on this planet. We are wasting it at a staggering rate. Do you wish to bathe or cook or clean your homes? Do you want to have energy, which is completely dependent upon water? Want good health care?
Consider what you want and what you need. There is a huge difference. Conserve now, before it’s too late.
Douglas Simpson, Wichita
Don’t blame guns
A 14-year-old Canadian girl went on a stabbing spree on Feb. 23 at Dunbarton High School in Pickering, Ontario. Eight students were hurt in the attack. This happened two days before the shooting in Hesston.
I see what happened in Hesston as a terrible thing, but it was not the gun that was the cause.
The stabbing was the second this month in Canada. I saw one little article about it in another newspaper. If a shooting happens, it gets a big story. But people don’t claim we should ban knives.
We should put the blame where it belongs. We should help people.
Sam Burchfield, Wichita
Gun bill insane
Though examples of the Brownback administration’s disregard for “the will of the people” are endless, nothing brought it home like the concealed guns on campus bill.
There was no public outcry, no flood of e-mails touting the advantages of welcoming untrained, unlicensed gun-toting students on our campuses. Instead, hundreds of protests from professors, concerned citizens, law enforcement and students, citing their knowledge of drinking, drugs and suicide among their contemporaries, fell on deaf ears.
These pleas for sanity were superseded by the National Rifle Association, with its lobbying, campaign money and need to open a new gun market.
Unimportant were the inevitable costs. How much tuition money will be lost when parents send their kids to private or out-of-state schools? How much will universities spend on security while more important needs (professors, building maintenance, updated technology) go unfulfilled? How many new hires will bypass Kansas in favor of gun-free campuses? How many – God forbid – tragedies will we read about?
Beyond finding a deal on hearing aids for the self-serving “servants of the people” who passed this bill, I have no idea how to get them to listen to anyone without big money.
Lynn Stephan, Wichita
President Obama is planning a trip to Cuba later this month. It seems he wants to be remembered as the U.S. president who re-established relations with the Castro brothers and the first sitting U.S. president to visit the island in 88 years.
I was in favor of Obama’s moves toward Cuba when he first announced them in 2014. This is not a popular position among Cuban Americans in general, but I thought it was the right step to bring more freedom to the Cuban people.
Unfortunately, after Obama’s announcement, the opposite has occurred. The number of arrests has increased, and there is no sign of any positive political changes in Cuba.
Americans are traveling to Cuba, but it is likely that most of them choose to ignore the plight of the Cuban population. Going to Cuba has become a fad for many, as if visiting oppressed people is somehow stylish. And while tourists make plans to visit, the flow of Cubans exiting the island continues.
I will continue to support friendly relations, but the president’s trip will only legitimize the Castros’ 57-year-old dictatorship. Obama should wait until human-rights violations are no longer an issue.
Gus Campuzano, Wichita
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