Letters to the Editor

Letters on transgender birth certificate, education, Trump, EU, time zones

Policy change on birth certificates is mean

The state of Kansas has decided that it will be one of just four backward states in our nation to disallow transgender people who have had sex reassignment surgery to change the designation of their sex on their birth certificate (“Proposal would prevent transgender people from altering birth certificates,” May 13 Eagle). Current regulations allow this change, but Kansas, having nothing better to do than pry into other people’s private business, has decided to go against this regulation. Why?

Eileen Hawley, spokeswoman for Gov. Sam Brownback, said in a statement: “Birth certificates are intended to be an official record of birth including all relevant, accurate information about that birth. The Kansas statute allows only minor corrections to birth certificates and changing the sex designation is not a minor change.”

When my husband adopted my daughter after we were married, we were able to have her original birth certificate changed, removing the name of her birth father and changing it to the name of my husband, her newly adoptive father. Her new birth certificate had the same doctor’s signature and looked exactly like the original. The only difference was that her father’s name had been changed. That sounds like a big change in a birth certificate to me. Yet this was allowed.

It seems to me that this new regulation is nothing but just plain mean-spiritedness, an attempt to persecute and treat differently those whom some refuse to understand and accept. And it is reprehensible.

Leigh Carlson Burgess, Wichita

Education legacy

When we think about it, the best legacy we can leave our children is a first-class education. We send our children out into a competitive world where knowing how is more important than any other consideration.

A first-class education gives a child self-esteem. We’ve heard our parents and grandparents say, “A good education is something they can’t take away from you.”

So why doesn’t Gov. Sam Brownback adequately fund education?

A first-class education is priceless to our children, and no amount of pious thriftiness on the part of Brownback and his fellow bean counters and penny-pinchers will ever make it palatable for us to shortchange our children.

Brownback says we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. His solution to our “spending problem” is to make educational cripples of the most precious things we have. We need fairness in our tax code and to have the more affluent return to contributing more to making Kansas a better place to raise children.

Charles Watson, Wellington

Didn’t endorse Trump

I spent a lot of time trying to put my thoughts into words about the now inevitable Trump versus Clinton election. I mean, gosh, could this have gone worse?

I have nothing particularly eloquent or thought-provoking to say. However, I will say that I am so proud of Kansas for being one of the states that overwhelmingly rejected Donald Trump. I know that in November, no matter which liberal candidate gets elected to the presidency, I will be proud that Kansas did not endorse Trump in its caucuses.

Caleb J. Howell, Derby

More perfect EU

While President Obama was visiting the United Kingdom recently, he commented on the U.K. referendum to leave the European Union. It is none of my business, but I would like to give my 2 cents’ worth.

The EU is like the Articles of Confederation, which loosely bound sovereign states together. It works just as poorly. Either the countries of Europe should have a convention and agree to give up their sovereignty and form a more perfect union, or they should go their own way. They need a common constitution that binds them together and a list of rights guaranteed to citizens.

The EU should have a common currency, a common defense and common legal system with a common legal language. This is the only way it can become a real force in the world. If we had remained 13 colonies, we would not have had the ability to be the force in the world that we have been.

Mike Hubbell, Kingman

End time zones

The 24 global time zones serve no useful purpose and only cause confusion. It is only natural to assume that time zone boundaries are straight lines from north to south along meridians. Instead, some borders are so cockeyed that a person could well imagine that they were hastily sketched on a globe by an inebriated mapmaker. Four of the seven western Kansas counties on the same meridian along the Colorado border are in the Mountain zone.

With all timepieces throughout the world set to the same time, an eight-hour flight departing at 10:00 would arrive at 18:00, regardless of the flight’s direction, with no need for the passengers to reset their watches. An Olympic event scheduled at a certain time would require no time adjustments, regardless of a viewer’s location. It would not take long for us to adjust to a noon hour from 16:00 to 17:00 with the sun directly overhead.

And while we are at it, the switch-over would be an opportune time to end the misnamed and annoying daylight saving time.

David Gudeman, Wichita

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