The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 25, 2006 · Page 4
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 4

Hays, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Page 4
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A4 THE HAYS DAILY NEWS OPINION SUNDAY, JUNE 25,2006 Editorial Smell reduction KSU ag research center making progress on source of complaint T hat the operating permit for the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center in Hays was renewed recently was not surprising. The process generally is rubber- stamped. But this year's renewal received extra scrutiny because formal complaints about the ag center's odor had been filed with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. And KDHE granted a three-year permit instead of the usual five years, with the understanding that the center will be monitored on its approach to the smell. The center is not waiting to implement new practices. In fact, the ag center already is taking an aggressive approach under the leadership of new head Bob Gillen. Smell-reducing efforts such as more regular cleaning of the pens, reshaping of the pens, different locations for the manure piles and testing the drying ca- pability of fly ash already are in place, with perhaps more to come. The efforts are paying off. City Commissioner Kent Steward said: "I'm blown away by what Bob Gillen and (beef cattle scientist) John Jaeger are doing. Since they started doing all the things, I don't think odor has been a problem." He's right. It simply does not smell like it used to In Hays. And while there has not been much rain this spring and summer to test the center's efforts, the difference has been noticeable. And appreciated. Justifiable arguments that are made regarding the inevitability of such smell aside, residents and business people throughout the downtown area are breathing a little easier on this issue. If these results continue, we see no reason for the city to pursue action of any kind to curtail the offending odor. The capable staff at the ag research center appears to have the proverbial "smell of money" under control. We look forward to their continued success. Editorial by Patrick Lowry 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. Online Opinion Poll This week's question: Do you agree with the Wild West Festival committee's decision to use armbands this year for all events instead of the usual single ticket? / Yes, it will make it simpler. / No, who wants to wear it for multiple days? / It really doesn't make any difference. / No opinion Last week's question: How should public schools teach sex education? / Abstinence only until marriage. — 35 votes (15.8%) / Abstinence along with birth control and preventing sexually transmitted diseases. — 178 votes (80.5%) / No sex education in the schools at all. — 7 votes (3.2%) / No opinion — 1 vote (0.5%) To vote, go to (Please cast vote by 2 p.m. Friday.) Reader Forum Withdrawal from Iraq now would mean more complications The get out of Iraq now people are overlooking some basic facts in their hurry to get us to pull out of that country ASAP. The first is that we have made a commitment there simply by going in. Remember that almost all of our representatives voted in favor of war. That "the wool was pulled over their eyes" is no excuse. We voted them in as free agents to do their own thinking on our behalf. So, they did that. Also, we are fighting a war for the right to continue a way of life that we hold dear. That we have young men and women who are willing to give their lives for freedom and democracy should speak volumes, even when we're not reading clearly or listening closely. (Is idealism only for the young?) Mistakes have been made all along in the conduct of the war, including the stated rationale for getting into it in the first place. Reporting on it has been spotty, and the assurances of our leader(s) don't always seem to ring true. War in a democracy seldom is popular — our civil war was the most unpopular war we ever had. As with the civil war, our reasoning about the war has changed as it has developed. This doesn't make the rationale for being there entirely invalid, however. Other than the stake we have in the Middle East for protecting the free world's petroleum supplies, which is paramount, there-are other-weighty considerations. If the medieval, theocratic mind set which prevails in the Middle East were to conquer the world, where would our freedoms go? This is tyranny. Freedom and tyranny can't coexist. What about the (potential) freedom of oppressed people in other countries where they can't protect themselves? Are we just to close our eyes, go our own way and let the entire world go to rack and ruin otherwise? Simply wishing war away, which is what most pacifists seem to think will work, never has worked nor will it ever. Wisdom and warring are hard to combine, but the attempt to do so must be made. Probably no one has managed that well yet. So, should we not try? And should we not retry, if we fail at first? It's not true that nobody likes war. Dictators and tyrants love war. It's how they succeed. How they don't succeed is when free men stand up to them, willing to give their lives so that these bad men can't succeed. If free men won't, then they will succeed. We should not confuse basic motivations and actions, which are valid, with the shortcomings, and even the atrocities and profiteering, that unavoidably accompany war. Yes, these can diminish our faith in the undertaking, even when it is just. But these considerations shouldn't cloud our thinking so that we don't see what really is at stake. GaryJ. Whitesell 213 W. 21st Where to write President George W. Bush, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: (202) 456-2461. President Bush can be reached at pres or Vice President Dick Cheney can be reached at vice.president(«; U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, 109 Hart Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-4774. mail_pat.html U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, 303 Hart Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-6521. brownback.sen U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, 1st District, 1519 Longworth Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-2715. Hays constituent office, (785) 628-6401. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Capitol, 300 S.W. 10th Ave., Ste. 2125, Topeka, KS 66612-1590. (877) 579-6757. WWW.ks Reading religion between the lines I browsed through the book store at the National Cathedral during a recent family visit, and my eye came to rest on a provocative title: "God's Politics." The sub-title was even more provocative: "Why the Right gets it wrong and the Left doesn't get It." So I bought the book. Let me explain that I and my wife, Ruth, occasionally visit the National Cathedral, which stands upon an eminence in the District of Columbia, because two of our grandsons attend the nearby private school, St. Albans, which is associated with the cathedral. As for the book, I was intrigued by its title. I have had little patience with some people's assumption that their religious beliefs, which they mix with politics, are the only true beliefs, and that God Is on the side of their candidates. In this, as in many things, Abraham Lincoln was correct. He was asked during the terrible Civil War years whether he thought God was on his side. Lincoln's reply went something like this: "I'm more concerned about whether I'm on God's side." So I read evangelist Jim Wallls' new book, "God's Politics," with interest. I found such an important message that I urge all of you to read the book and to think seriously about its message. Wallls, by the way, is a nationally renowned preacher and faith-based activist. He also edits Sojourners magazine. Wallis points out that the Religious Right opposed abortion and gay marriage as if they were the only moral issues in America. He also opposes abortion and gay marriage but he led a campaign titled "God is not a Republican. Or a Democrat." This campaign stressed these points: • "We believe that poverty, caring for LOCAL VOICES the poor and vulnerable, is a religious issue." • "We believe that the environment, caring for God's earth, is a religious issue." • "We believe that war, and our call to be peacemakers is a religious issue." • "We believe that truth-telling is a religious issue." • "We believe that human rights, respecting the image of God in every person, is a religious issue." • "We believe that our response to terrorism is a religious issue." Before the latest presidential election, and after stating those principles, Wallis' group added: "We admonish both parties and candidates to avoid the exploitation of religion or our congregations for partisan political purposes." In his book, Wallis urges Christians to "take back the faith." He thinks our faith has been co-opted by the Right, and dismissed by the Left. He asks this question: "How did the faith of Jesus Christ come to be known as pro-rich, pro-war and only pro-American?" Both the Right and the Left are wrong, in Wallis' view. "It is indeed time to take back our faith," he stresses. But from whom? This is a confusing area, but these are high on his list: • "From the religious right-wingers who claim to know God's political views on every issue, then ignore the subjects that God seems to care the most about." • "From television preachers whose extravagant lifestyles and crass fund-raising tactics embarrass more Christians than they know." • "From liberal secularists who want to banish faith from public life and deny spiritual values to the soul of politics." • "And from politicians who love to say how religious they are but utterly fail to apply the values of faith to their public leadership and political policies." Wallis strongly believes that moral values should be debated in American politics. But he asks: "Will Values be used as wedges to further divide us or bridges to bring us together to find common ground by moving to higher ground?" He points out that government budgets are moral documents because they reveal our nation's true priorities. There's much food for thought in this book, and America would be a better place if every citizen read it (and thought about it, and even prayed about it). What can faith do? Wallis answers: "We remember that faith hates violence and tries to reduce it and exerts a fundamental presumption against war, instead of justifying it in God's name. We see that faith creates community from racial, class and gender divisions and prefers international community over nationalist religion, and we see that 'God Bless America' is found nowhere in the Bible." It should go without saying that the Bible teaches us to love one another, not to hate one another. But some religious people seem to have forgotten that. Barrel Miller lives near Downs in rural Osborne County and is the retired editor and publisher of the Smith County Pioneer. The Democrats' withdrawal conundrum The only thing more pathetic than the Democrats' floundering disunity on the war is their timing. They have renewed their demands for a precipitous withdrawal in Iraq at a tune when even they would be hard pressed to deny that the momentum has changed against the terrorists. Don't get me wrong. I think we have been winning all along in Iraq, despite the wall-to-wall negative coverage. But recent developments must surely give the naysayers pause as well. The death of Iraq terrorist chieftain Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a watershed event. That we were able to find this elusive leader in the Iraqi haystack was a remarkable achievement and one that signaled the fruits of a sustained intelligence effort. The event itself was monumental In that the primary leader of our enemy in Iraq was eliminated. But perhaps the most significant aspect of the event is that it led to a bonanza of intelligence discoveries that both shed light on the enemy's mindset and provided information that allowed us to conduct further highly-productive raids. Yet despite these developments, defeatist Democrats see only gloom and doom. American bombs killed al-Zarqawi on June 7. As of a week later, American and Iraqi forces had conducted 452 raids, killing 104 insurgents, capturing 759 "anti- Iraqi elements" and discovering 28 "significant" arms caches. Iraqi forces carried out 143 of the raids and joined with American forces on 255 others. Our forces found revealing documents in al-Zarqawi's hideout, including one that appeared to express al-Zarqawi's opinion that the insurgents were losing the war and steadily weakening. The document was a validation of the president's war plan from the very begin- 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- David Limbaugh COMMENTARY ning. Remember when he said we would fight the terrorists on multiple fronts, including diplomatic, financial, intelligence and military? Well, the document said the National Guard had succeeded in forming an enormous shield protecting American forces and substantially reducing their losses. It said the insurgency was being damaged by our military's program to train Iraqi security forces, our massive arrests and seizures of weapons, our tightening of their financial outlets and our creating of divisions among their ranks. In desperation, Zarqawi confessed that the terrorists' only hope to regain the upper hand and reverse "this crisis" was "to involve the U.S. forces in waging a war against another country or any hostile groups." Zarqawi thus acknowledged that his side is losing the war. But leave it to prominent Democrats like John Murtha and John Kerry to offer the beleaguered and now dead Zarqawi another out: withdrawal of American troops. It's as if they're saying to Zarqawi's ghost, "Don't worry, Abu Musab, we'll take care of this for you. There is another way. We can surrender." On "Meet the Press," Murtha, after saying that Bill Clinton made a correct decision to "change direction" when he had actually cut and run In Somalia, said (referring to Iraq), "There comes a time when you have to say to yourself, 'OK, we've done everything we could do, we 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 can't win this militarily' " Zarqawi must be rolling over in his grave — with posthumous joy Last November, when cut-and-run Democrats were making similar noises, Republicans called their bluff and scheduled a surprise vote on Murtha's motion to withdraw our troops. Caught with their pants down, Democrats folded. So long as there was no way to hold them accountable for their irresponsible demands for withdrawal, they would carp to their heart's content. But when Republicans forced a vote, only three Democrats voted to withdraw, and the measure went down in Ham ing defeat, 403 to 3. Fast forward back to the present, and we see history repeating itself with Republican congressmen, once again, challenging Democrats to put their money where their mouths are. Senate Republicans forced a vote on Sen. Kerry's withdrawal resolution, which was defeated 93 to 6. Now we see why Kerry has been so afraid to come out of the closet as an unambiguous antiwar advocate. House Democrats were a little bolder, which you might expect, given the ongoing disconnect between their policies and reality One hundred and fifty out of 192 Democrats refused to approve a resolution affirming that it was "not" in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary withdrawal (or redeployment) date. The resolution was approved 256 to 153. Again, history had repeated itself because last December, 108 congressional Democrats voted "no" and 32 voted "present" on a similar resolution. Please explain to me again that theory about Democrats regaining legislative control in November. David Limbaugh Is an author and political commentator. group letters. Mail them to Reader Forum, The Hays Daily News, 507 Main, Hays KS 67601 .You also can send them by e-mail at readerforum@dallynewi.oet. Please include an address and daytime telephone number. i

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