Wichita Eagle opinion watch

Predictions of Downtown Wichita Arena’s Success are Premature

Several Wichita Eagle editorials in recent weeks have mentioned the success of the Intrust Arena being built in downtown Wichita. Success, I might ask, at doing what? The fact that the arena structure is rising is evidence of only the smallest measure of competence by Sedgwick County officials. Having entrusted them with some two hundred million dollars, it's the least we can expect. We won't know the success or failure of this arena for five to ten years.
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Wichita School Bond Issue Opponents: Driving What? And How?

In his Sunday Wichita Eagle column, Mark McCormick complains that the Wichita school bond issue opponents are a) cynical, b) short-sighted, c) myopic, d) forces pulling us backwards, e) frightening voters, f) spending too much at Starbucks, g) only saying "no," h) hiding their true agenda to replace public schools with vouchers, i) not honest advocates, j) meaning the school district no good, and k) meaning the students no good. I don't know if this is a complete list. Read the column at Naysayers shouldn't drive school bond debate and see for yourself. Like his colleague Bob Lutz, some people…
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Will Bob Lutz Follow Jeff Davis on the Wichita School Bond Issue?

When the USD 259 (Wichita, Kansas) school board voted on February 11, 2008 to hold a special bond issue election on May 6, board member Jeff Davis was the only dissenting vote. His reason, as reported in the Wichita Eagle, was that his district wasn't given equal consideration. His district wasn't getting its fair share. Somehow he got the message that his protest vote wasn't appreciated. Two weeks later he asked to have his vote changed. Now Wichita Eagle sports columnist Bob Lutz is considring a similar strategy. His column Adjustments to bond issue still tough sell goes so far…
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Sedgwick County Taxpayer Relief?

This was received from a friend, and was also printed in the Wichita Eagle. The writer accuses the Sedgwick County Commission of doing something "questionable." He is being much too kind to the commission with his choice of words. I read with great interest "Sedgwick County budget halts jail plans" (July 17 Eagle). What really caught my eye was the opening sentence, stating that this was a "move that would save taxpayers money." Why all of a sudden, after taking our tax money for two years for this purpose, did Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Tom Winters decide that we "can't…
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KEEP’s Goal is Predetermined and Ineffectual

Earlier this year, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius created the Kansas Energy and Environmental Policy Advisory Group, or KEEP. Its goal, as stated in the press release announcing its creation, is to "...explore opportunities in all sectors of our economy to accomplish the goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions..." Nancy Jackson of the Climate and Energy Project echoed these marching orders in her recent Wichita Eagle opinion piece. This predetermined goal, difficult as it will be to achieve, means nothing to the earth's climate. What Kansas could do, even if we took the most drastic measure possible, is canceled by…
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Government Art in Wichita

Do we really want government art in Wichita? David Boaz, in his recent book The Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, The Right and Threats to Our Liberties writes this in a chapter titled "The Separation of Art and State": It is precisely because art has power, because it deals with basic human truths, that it must be kept separate from government. Government, as I noted earlier, involves the organization of coercion. In a free society coercion should be reserved only for such essential functions of government as protecting rights and punishing criminals. People should not be forced to…
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Drug Runaround: Solved by Universal Health Care?

A letter writer in the July 12, 2008 Wichita Eagle has issues with his health insurance coverage, and wants us to discard our present system in favor of universal health care coverage. Mr. Ronald Voth of Halstead (a candidate for the Democratic party nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives for the fourth district of Kansas in 2006) criticizes the health insurance company he uses. He doesn't say how he obtained this coverage, but if he's like most Americans that don't receive their health care from the government, he and his family probably have an insurance policy selected and paid…
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Where’s Leadership on Oil Speculation?

In the July 12, 2008 Wichita Eagle, Kenneth James Crist of Wichita blames oil speculators for ruining the U.S. Economy, writing that politicians should "do something positive to halt the rampant speculation in the stock market and oil futures that is really driving these runaway prices. All it really amounts to is tremendous greed on the part of a few, at the expense of the many." I wish that Mr. Crist had read Futures Markets by the economist Walter E. Williams before writing this letter. In this article we learn this: The futures market, which takes into account both the…
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Wichita Old Town Theater’s Bill Warren: No Ideas?

Recently the Wichita City Council approved a no-interest and low-interest loan to Old Town Wichita theater owner Bill Warren and his partners. Citizen opinion in Wichita seems to be mostly outrage at this giveaway, and rightly so. See Wichita Old Town Warren Theater Public Hearing Remarks and Wichita and the Old Town Warren Theater Loan. Now, a post by Randy Scholfield on The Wichita Eagle Editorial Blog (Bill Warren wants your ideas!) comments on how Bill Warren wants Wichitans to send him ideas. According to the Wichita Eagle news story Warren wants filmgoers' ideas, "Warren, who typically plans his theaters…
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The Threat of Social Progressives

In the July 5, 2008 Wichita Eagle, a Mr. Chet Syres of Hutchinson contributes a letter promoting the virtues of liberalism, proponents of which he now wants us to call social progressives. I remind Mr. Syres that leftists stole the terms "liberal" and "progressive" from the classical liberals. From For A New Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard: One of the ways that the new statist intellectuals did their work was to change the meaning of old labels, and therefore to manipulate in the minds of the public the emotional connotations attached to such labels. For example, the laissez-faire libertarians had…
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