Commissioners now health experts?
Some years ago I spent 10 years as a member of what was then the Wichita-Sedgwick County Board of Health. The board was composed of professionals from various health disciplines, and the Department of Public Health was headed by a physician with an advanced degree in public health who worked closely with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and, on occasion, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Contrast that with today. The Sedgwick County Commission acts as its own board of health. The new majority on the commission opposes federal accreditation of our local health department and supports legislation prohibiting health departments in Kansas from relinquishing control of their standards to anyone but the Legislature (“Board’s new majority reverses decisions,” Jan. 22 Eagle).
In the health sciences, standards are set by professional organizations and accreditation by the licensing board or agency overseeing that profession. Are we to expect politicians at the county and state levels to now be making those decisions about our public health?
This is another strange episode in the devolution of Kansas, and an inauspicious start for the majority on the County Commission.
WILLIAM C. SKAER
I appreciate the idea of freedom of speech; however, I do feel that many are not knowledgeable enough to speak their mind in an educated manner. Filmmaker Michael Moore, actor Seth Rogen and talk-show host Bill Maher are three celebrity examples of this.
“American Sniper” is an average movie about an exceptional military man. Chris Kyle, and his performance as a sniper, was merely one example of what is needed in warfare to protect American men and women with boots on the ground fighting in war situations.
Snipers are talented, stealthy, aggressive and creative individuals who perform a needed task on the field of war. Without these snipers, many more of our troops would die on the battlefields.
I despise war. War is ugly – especially when we as a country send our valuable young men and women into unwarranted and needless war situations.
What needs to be considered much more than the integrity of the sniper is the integrity of those leaders who send our talented and valuable men and women in the military to the Middle East.
Military men and women know what they sign up for. But to needlessly send them to slaughter and to be slaughtered is such a senseless and improper mentality in this day and age.
I recently helped a person fill out his 2014 income tax forms. Here is the reason the U.S. government and state government are broke:
This person had a total of $2,586 withheld for federal income taxes and $627 for state income taxes. After completion of his tax returns, this person will receive a refund from the federal government of $5,549 and a refund from the state of $776. That’s a total of $3,213 withheld and a refund of $6,325.
I cannot see why anyone should receive a refund for more than he had withheld. I pay in taxes every year, then the government turns around and gives it to people who do not pay any taxes at all. What is wrong with this picture?
Negate tax cuts
If Gov. Sam Brownback really wants to fix his foul-up, he should negate his tax cuts. Slowing down this idea (which never made sense) and raising sin taxes is no answer. Just imagine what Brownback would do if given a country to run instead of a state.
KEVIN D. PLESS
More gun laws?
Another proposed gun law, Senate Bill 45, would allow Kansans to carry a concealed weapon without having to go through the process of obtaining a permit (Jan. 22 Eagle).
One of its sponsors, Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, says it will not lead to increased gun violence. Incredibly, he said that should someone give you an argument, just whip out the gun and that alone should settle things.
Kansans, though, should be asking: Why do they keep passing more gun laws? It is already legal to carry guns openly in public, so why another law? And why aren’t people roundly touting guns in public since that law was enacted last year?
The answer is because of the stigma that all guns have, and this fact irritates many gun enthusiasts. So they just keep passing more laws, hoping that someday people will feel more comfortable with guns and start doing what the law allows.
Perhaps American right-wingers will succeed in changing people’s attitudes about guns if they just keep trying.
I have a close friend who chose an abortion because the fetus had an undeveloped brain and was severely deformed. Thank goodness she had an ob-gyn, pastor and husband to help her through her decision without interference from the state or federal government – especially from a government that is turning its back more and more on vulnerable children and the poor.
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