The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 23, 2006 · Page 6
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 6

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A6 THE HAYS DAILY NEWS OPINION FRIDAY, JUNE 23,2006 Editorial Oops, she did it again State ethics commission fines O'Connor $5,000 for violating campaign law K nsas law is unambiguous con- erning when candidates for tatewide office can — and cannot — solicit campaign contributions from lobbyists. You can't do it while the Legislature is in session. Yet Sen. Kay O'Connor, R-Olathe, was fined for the second time in less than a year for doing just that. On Thursday, the Governmental Ethics Commission fined O'Connor $5,000 — 10 months after she was fined $3,000 for the same offense. That a state senator would not pay attention to statutes designed to remove unethical practices from the legislative process is bad enough. But O'Connor is running for secretary of state, a position that oversees elections and appoints one of the board members to the Governmental Ethics Commission. In her defense, O'Connor said a fundraising letter she sent to lobbyists a month before this year's session was over was not "intentional, willful or malicious." She did, however, agree to admit that her office was in violation of state law. Last year, she claimed the investigation and resulting fine from the Ethics Commission to be politically motivated. Because Thursday's $5,000 fine is the maximum allowable for such an indiscretion, O'Connor said she had been "denied justice." We recommend that the good senator lie in the bed she's made. Those who seek and hold public office are accountable to the constituents they serve. Office-holders are held to an even higher standard of conduct when it comes to any ethical situation — real or perceived. That O'Connor would attempt to diminish or brush aside such a transgression is outrageous. We would expect better from a candidate for secretary of state. But what we have come to expect from Kay O'Connor is outrageous. This is the same woman who suggested in the not- so-distant past that women in general weren't suited for holding public office. Nothing could be further from the truth. Women are just as suited for office as men. It is the individual who displays her own suitability to hold office — or not. And it is the voting public that determines whether that suitability actually has been displayed. We would offer that O'Connor remember that effective check-and-balance as she gears up for her primary battle against incumbent Ron Thornburgh on Aug. 1. Editorial by Patrick Lowry plowry & daily news, net The editorials represent the opinion and institutional voice of The Hays Daily News but are signed by the author for the reader's information. Guest editorials are from other newspapers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Hays Daily News. Other content on this page represents the views of the signed columnist, cartoonist or letter-writer. The Opinion Page is intended to be a community forum. Guest editorials and syndicated columnists are selected to present a variety of opinion. Interstate system important The American Interstate system has been called the eighth wonder of the world, a linear economy-on-wheels and the most ambitious public works project since the Roman Empire. Those are grandiose descriptions, but considering how it has transformed our lives, they might not be overstatements. One would be hard pressed to think of another development iri ; the United . • States in the past 50.years that has had a greater effect on American society or our economy. It's likely that most people take the interstate for granted, giving it the same consideration they would a sewer or water system. They expect those services to be there, and they've come to depend on the interstate in a way that makes it almost invisible to them. It was after World War I that America began to seriously consider a national highway system. In 1919, then Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower was part of the U.S. Army's motor convoy assigned to gauge the challenges of moving an Army across the United States. The road and bridge system couldn't handle the heavy military equipment, and the trip took 62 days. In the late 1930s, national leaders began to consider the feasibility of building a series of interregional highways across the country. President Eisenhower, having experienced the 1919 convoy and having seen the efficiency of the German autobahn for moving armies, signed legislation 50 years ago this month authorizing the in- COMMENTARY terstate system. As the interstate was built into the re- ; markable system it is today, Americans had greater choices about where they lived, worked, shopped and spent their leisure time. Travel times were reduced, saving both time and money. Businesses adopted more cost-efficient logistics practices. The multiple lanes, separation from other roads, gentler curves and paved shoulders made travel safer and saved thousands of lives. The nation wisely invested in the system, and now that investment must be protected. Hurricane Katrina tragically showed us that we cannot wait until our infrastructure fails, disrupting our personal and economic lives, to appreciate its importance. "As long as the interstate is the highway supporting our society, economy and national security," wrote Dan McNichol in his book, "The Roads That Built America: The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System," "it will forever need to be the beneficiary of our attention and investment." I couldn't agree more. Deb Miller is secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation. Reader Forum City's dog-at-large ordinance milking dollars for no reason If you've lived in this wonderful city for any period of time, you probably are aware of the strict dog-leash laws our police force has taken over. Say you are out of town for a week and your dogs get out of your backyard due to extenuating circumstances. Your dogs will be impounded at the rate of $20 each per night at the Humane Society. A typical civilized boarding house here in town will charge you no more than $8 a day to keep your dog. In order to get your dogs back, you have to go to the police department and pay a hefty dog-at-large fine (double that fine if the pets are not registered with the city) and the boarding fees before you can retrieve your animals. For two dogs, you are looking at costs well over $300. If you cannot afford to pay the tickets, they will issue a warrant for your arrest through the municipal court. Because of this rip-off, a number of people have been forced to "surrender" their pet over to the humane society for a cost of $25. At the same time the humane society claims they are so limited on space. Why do you suppose that is? People who go there to adopt a pet have to pay an arm and a leg just to acquire one, and there is a good chance it's the same pet you might have had to surrender. This is just one example I, and many people alike who have lived here for over 20 years are finding out, it really doesn't pay to be a part of a community that is determined to turn your hard-earned tax dollars against you over such petty issues as these. Instead of having police officers at every street corner ready to nab an innocent citizen's family pet, why can't they spend our tax dollars on being determined to finding more meth labs and monitoring loiterers at the public library so our children have save structured environments? Just because of one "vicious dog" incident that happened a year ago, some hot shot on the police force decides to make criminals out of all pet owners whose animal happens to get out of the yard. R. Sander 407 W. 15th Kansas Stale IDE e-mail adirmsm District 1 Janet Waugh JWaughl052(« aol.com District 2 Sue Gamble MSGamble@swbell.net District 3 John W. Bacon jwmsbacon@aol.com District 4 Bill Wagnon bill.wagnon@wa8hburn.edu District 5 Connie Morris conniemorrisZO10@yahoo.com District 6 Kathy Martin martinkathy@yaboo.com District 7 Kenneth Willard kwillard@cox.net District 8 Carol Rupe carolrupe@hotmall.com District 9 Iris Van Meter vanmeter@terraworld.net District 10 Steve E. Abrams sabraias@bit.net Which fest are you referring to? Public speaking is never easy. Even the most accomplished orator encounters butterflies beforehand — and during as well if they're of the nervous variety. Extemporaneous diatribes generally are the most entertaining, yet scripted words can have their moments as well. Consider the luncheon I attended Thursday in Phillipsburg. The Kansas Department of Commerce had gathered representatives of 40-some northwest Kansas businesses to honor them for their entrepreneurial success and their involvement in the community. AH part of Kansas Business Appreciation Month. The KDOC staffer assigned to read the names of the awardees faced a daunting task. The young Missourian had to enunciate common Kansas names such as Schult, Kiser, Schamber, Carrico, WaKeeney and Natoma. No problems. He didn't pfumble too much with Pfannenstiel, either. But when Midwest Deutsche Oktober- fest came out as Midwest Douche Okto- berfest, the audience erupted. The poor guy turned red as a beet. The laughter wouldn't have been louder had somebody thrown a pie in his face. Call us easily amused, but I'll guarantee this is one story that will stick with Caleb his entire career. • • • Had Caleb hailed from Hays, I bet he'd still be confused about remembering the difference between the Midwest Deutsche Oktoberfest and the Oktober- fest held in conjunction with Fort Hays Patrick Lowry COMMENTARY State University's homecoming weekend festivities. He would not be the only one. Both fests are in September, feature good beer, have polka dancers and draw great crowds. I used to distinguish them by remembering which one Jeremy Dannebohm helped out. Now he's crossed the dike and is helping Francis Schippers instead of Leo Dorzweiler. Now I just remind myself of the real- estate agent credo: Location, location, location. The Volga German Society's Ok- toberfest is south of the dike; Midwest Deutsche's is north of the dike — all the way out to the Ellis County Fairgrounds. That dike appears relatively unimposing, but represents a gulf as wide as the plains themselves. • • • I met Mark Lowry while inside the beautiful Huck Boyd Community Center on Thursday. No, not my youngest brother, although I did see him in Chicago on Sunday and then Kansas City on Monday. Of course, he flew between the cities while yours truly (still observing my protest of high gas prices) drove, but that's a story for a different time. This Mark Lowry owns Your Insurance Corner in Stockton. His was one of the many deserving companies honored at the program. I mention him merely because he has a great name. Most Lowrys throw an "e" into the surname — either before or after the "r". We're not related, but I know he's got to be a great guy simply because he knows how to spell. And that goes for his father, Max, as well. If you're interested in knowing which companies were honored by KDOC, . check out Sunday's business page. • • • I remember mentioning how much times have changed regarding attitudes about bikers. In particular, the roar of 1,000-plus Harley riders in Hays a couple of weeks ago. What I didn't know was that many of the chaps-clad bunch took a side trip j while in Ellis County called the "Kraut Route." I would've guessed this to be a sampling of bierocks and dumplings washed down with Warsteiner. Not even close. It was a tour of churches in Hays, Pfeifer, Gorham and Victoria. The limestone landmarks are ' well-worth exploring. I took my mom and dad over to St. Fidelis just yesterday, which is when I noticed the biker story on the front page of The Register. Donet- ( ta Robben did a nice color feature about . area riders who grew up in the churches. It was headlined: "Nostalgic return." I think I would've gone with: "H.O.G. Heaven." Patrick Lowry is the executive editor of The Hays Daily News., plowry @'dallynews.net IN /IN THELM4& LPUKE DUBBHWC A look back at Marxism in the ILS, Karl Marx is the hero of some labor union leaders and civil rights organizations, including those who organized the recent protest against proposed immigration legislation. It's easy to be a Marxist if you haven't read his writings. Most people agree that Marx's predictions about capitalism turned out to be dead wrong. What most people don't know is that Marx was an out and out racist and anti- Semite. He didn't think much of Mexicans. Concerning the annexation of California after the Mexican-American War, Marx wrote: "Without violence nothing is ever accomplished in history." Then he asks, "Is it a misfortune that magnificent California was seized from the lazy Mexicans who did not know what to do with it?" Friedrich Engels, Marx's co-author of the "Manifesto of the Communist Party," added, "In America, we have witnessed the conquest of Mexico and have rejoiced at it. It is to the interest of its own development that Mexico will be placed under the tutelage of the United States." Much of Marx's ideas can be found in a book written by former communist Nathaniel Weyl, titled "Karl Marx, Racist" (1979). In a July 1862 letter to Engels, in reference to his socialist political competitor, Ferdinand Lassalle, Marx wrote,"... it is now completely clear to me that he, as is proved by his cranial formation and his hair, descends from the Negroes from Egypt, assuming that his mother or grandmother had not interbred with a nigger. Now this union of Judaism and Germanism with a basic Negro sub- A community is best served when residents are willing to discuss issues publicly. You can be part of the discussion by participating in the Reader Forum, Please limit your submissions to 600 words. They will be edited for length and clarity. They must be signed and in- Walter E. Williams ClMMENMRV stance must produce a peculiar product. The obtrusiveness of the fellow is also nigger-like." Engels shared much of Marx's racial philosophy. In 1887, Paul Lafargue, who was Marx's son-in-law, was a candidate for a council seat in a Paris district that contained a zoo. Engels claimed that Paul had "one eighth or one 12th nigger blood." In an April 1887 letter to Paul's wife, Engels wrote, "Being in his quality as a nigger, a degree nearer to the rest of the animal kingdom than the rest of us, he is undoubtedly the most appropriate representative of that district." Though few claim him as their own, such as leftists claim Karl Marx, Thomas Carlyle is another unappreciated historical figure. Carlyle is best known for giving economics the derogatory name "dismal science," an inversion of the phrase "gay science," which at the time (1849) referred to life-enhancing knowledge. Most people have incorrectly learned that the term "dismal science" had its origins in reference to Thomas Malthus' gloomy predictions that the global population would grow faster than food supplies, condemning mankind to perpetual poverty and starvation, My George Mason University colleague, Professor Davy Levy, and his Reader Forum policy elude a name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. We reserve the right not to print a submission. We do not accept for publication on the editorial page poems, consumer complaints, business testimonials or co-author, Sandra Peart, tell the true sto-i ry in their 2001 book, "The Secret Histo- I ry of the Dismal Science: Economics, i Religion and Race in the 19th Century." Carlyle first used the term "dismal i science" in his 1849 pamphlet titled "An \ Occasional Discourse on the Nigger 1 Question." He attacked the ideas of i Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and other free market, limited government econo- / mists for their belief in the fundamental:; equality of man and their anti-slavery i positions. The fact that economics assumes that people are all the same and are equally deserving of liberty was offensive to Carlyle and led him to call economics the dismal science. Carlyle argued that blacks were subhuman, "two-legged cattle," who needed the tute-, lage of whites wielding the "beneficent whip" if they were to contribute to the good of society. Carlyle was by no means alone in denouncing economics for its anti-slavery and pro-equality position. ' : No less a historical figure and a Christmastime favorite, Charles Dickens, author of "A Christmas Carol," " shared Carlyle's positions on pro-slavery and blacks as subhuman. Marx, Engels, Carlyle and Dickens all , share one belief prevalent throughout mankind's history down to today: the be-* lief that some people are endowed with superior intelligence and wisdom and they've been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the masses. Walter E. Williams Is the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., and a longtime syndicated columnist.' a ft i group letters. > Mail them to Reader Forum, The a Hays Daily News, 507 Main, Hays KS 67601 .You also can send them by e-mail^ at readerforum@dallynew8.net. i Please Include an address and daytime '' telephone number. i

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