Letters to the Editor

Letters on Kansas nightmare, governor’s priorities, Islamic Society of Wichita, unqualified presidents

Are you complicit in Kansas nightmare?

Are you disheartened by what the Republican-dominated Legislature and this governor are doing to our state? Are you tired of seeing our state as the butt of jokes around the country because of the “Kansas experiment”?

I would suggest that you look at legislation being passed in this session and ask yourself: Whom does this benefit? What is the problem they are trying to solve? Why are they trying to impeach Kansas Supreme Court justices? Are you pleased by what they are doing about school funding? How pleased are you that they keep reverting to the Bank of KDOT (Kansas Department of Transportation) to pay our bills, rather than rescinding those impractical tax cuts they made?

Then ask yourself these questions: Am I complicit in this nightmare we call our state government in Kansas? Did I contribute to this mess with the lawmaker I sent to the Legislature from my district? Did I seriously examine the candidate’s past record, or just vote on the basis of party affiliation?

Going forward, I suggest the following: Check how each person voted this session, check what issues he or she is tackling, and ask yourself whether they are relevant. Then ask that all-important question: Would I vote for this person again?

Your answer will come in the next election cycle. Vote as though the state of our state is important to you.

Elvira Crocker, Wichita

Governor’s priorities

I will certainly rest easy tonight knowing that, rather than dealing with the petty problems of budget deficits, underfunded educational facilities, decaying infrastructure, waiting lists for government services, insufficient numbers of Highway Patrol officers and correctional facility workers, and slow economic growth, Gov. Sam Brownback has decided to tackle the incredibly important problem of transgender birth certificates.

Making it more difficult, if not impossible, for them to change said certificates will undoubtedly make the lives of all Kansas residents immeasurably better and will, no doubt, provide another “shot of adrenaline” to our faltering economy.

Thanks, Governor. You never fail to amaze.

Jack E. Niblack, Wichita

Can’t admit mistake

I am a business owner of more than 31 years and a lifelong Republican who voted twice for Sam Brownback for governor. But I’m concerned about the decisions made by the governor and the Legislature.

Because of the 2012 state income tax cuts to pass-through businesses, monthly budget projections are rarely met. The state has resorted to taking money from the Kansas Department of Transportation to pay regular bills. I guess highway maintenance is not that important.

The governor and Legislature continued the statewide sales tax rate when it was scheduled to be lowered, and then increased it. They have delayed payments to the state pension plan, even after state employees were asked to contribute more money into their own fund. They passed block grant funding for schools with no concern for increased costs that schools can’t control. And they are increasing vehicle registration fees and “sin” taxes.

I’ve heard economist Art Laffer claim that businesses will hire people when states eliminate their income taxes. But if I don’t need more employees, I’m not going to hire them, even with the tax savings.

The egos of Brownback and many in the Legislature are so big that they cannot admit they were wrong in eliminating the state income tax on pass-through businesses. It was not killing me to pay my share.

Roger L. Gillispie, Newton

Proud of Pompeo

As a Muslim and someone who has dedicated my life to reform in the Islamic faith, I am proud of Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, calling for the Islamic Society of Wichita to cancel its fundraiser with Hamas enthusiast Sheikh Monzer Taleb.

Taleb’s associations garnered him status as an unindicted “co-conspirator” in the largest terrorist financing case since Sept. 11. A videotape shows Taleb singing proudly in public of his admiration for a terrorist group: “I am from Hamas … she is the one which marches with the light of Muhammad … towards jihad.”

If we Muslims are serious about preventing future Islamist terrorist attacks and at all serious about eradicating the root cause of extremism – Islamist ideology – from our mosques and organizations in the United States, groups such as the Islamic Society of Wichita must be held accountable and exercise better judgment. It should refuse to host hateful Islamists such as Taleb.

The society, like all American Muslim leaders, needs to lead with moral clarity. When it is exposed for inviting radical imams, it should honestly own up to its poor judgment, refrain from blaming others and stop playing the victim.

We have seen the disastrous consequences in Europe when groups pursue alternative strategies, and that must not happen in the United States.

M. Zuhdi Jasser, Phoenix

President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy

Pompeo got it wrong

We know that Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, supports the Second Amendment, given that he didn’t condemn a hate group threatening an armed protest at the Islamic Society of Wichita recently. Too bad he has forgotten the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Instead, he thought to make political hay out of suppressing religious freedom.

Previous letters have pointed out that the event at the Islamic Society included a speaker with potential but unfounded ties to a group of terrorists. The only terrorists likely to have been at the event would have been those in the hate group Pompeo encouraged with his uninformed public call for canceling a fundraiser for local Muslims to continue their community service and charitable acts.

As a fellow veteran, I call on our congressman to learn more about our local Islamic community. It includes my neighbor, my wife’s doctor, local businesspeople and the man who mentored my son into his current career in the software industry, among others. I am not a Muslim, but I took the time to learn about this religion and found many good people.

Sorry, Congressman – you got this one wrong.

Floyd Saunders, Newton

Unqualified presidents

I have heard a lot lately about presidential candidates not being qualified for the office.

But a couple of decades ago we had a president who let the Glass-Steagall Act be gutted, which led to the housing bubble. Then he pushed through NAFTA, which caused job losses. Then he praised China wanting to join the World Trade Organization.

Then we had a president who also praised China joining the WTO. He gave tax cuts to the wealthy so they could create jobs, which they did – only in China. He got us into an endless war in which we got nothing in return for our investment of blood and treasure.

Then we got a president who promised hope and change. He did get us out of Iraq, but only to be sucked back in. Before that, he borrowed more money from the Chinese for a failed stimulus plan. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin took over part of Eastern Europe, and ISIS filled the void in Syria and Iraq. This all happened while the American middle class saw its wages flatline and our trade deficit and national debt soar.

These three men failed to understand that if you let the rest of the world take advantage of us, it will oblige.

So as far as having a president who is not qualified for the job, it would just be more of the same.

Mike Hubbell, Kingman

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