Archive for Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Letters to the editor: Safety of turnpike connector; The origins of freedom

March 29, 2006

Safety of turnpike connector

To the editor:

A group of County Road 1 residents and many other Leavenworth County taxpayers are attempting to halt the turnpike interchange until such time as all necessary road and bridge construction from Eudora to Tonganoxie has been completed.

We want the county commissioners to understand that safety is the primary issue. How the overtaxed citizens will pay for the entire project is the next question.

The commissioners say we voted for the interchange when the sales tax issue passed in April 2005. Our understanding was that all of Leavenworth County would benefit from this tax, with many road improvements, bridge repairs and new maintenance equipment, etc. -- not for the sole purpose of an entrance to the turnpike. How can the use of the sales tax be justified to the other county residents?

We have not seen engineering or environmental impact studies or true estimated cost figures. As it stands now, only the bit of County Road 1 north of the proposed turnpike interchange is to be upgraded.

County Road 1 south of the turnpike to Eudora has more residences, a railroad crossing and a bridge over the river. Most of these homes along this road are near the existing road. These residents will face more traffic and increased safety concerns if the project is not done properly.

For safety's sake, the entire project should be completed before an exchange is built.

We know the exchange will be built, but please not until all of County Road 1 has been upgraded. Do it right or not at all.

You don't have to live on County Road 1 to be affected by this action.

Inform our county commissioners of your views.

Roger and Phyllis Shilling,

Tonganoxie.

The origins of freedom

To the editor:

John Stuart Mill once penned, "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

Admiral Jeremiah Denton said, "It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."

Benjamin Franklin eloquently framed his musings regarding freedom with these words, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Some have twisted this phrase recently to support the mindless notion that electronic surveillance should be discontinued, citing the loss of freedom that results from its presence. That argument begs this question: Why is someone's "right" or "freedom" to plan taking the lives of other human beings?

I submit that when people or a group of people conspire to take the lives of others, they deserve to be stopped by whatever means possible. I am quite certain that when Mr. Franklin chose the term "essential liberty," he had in mind such freedoms as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" -- not terroristic murder. Freedom to murder doesn't exist in a normal mind.

Wayne Boyd,

Leavenworth.

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