Add Koch to Kansas
I would like to introduce legislation changing the name of our state of Kansas to something more appropriate. The runners-up were Koch Dakota, Kochorado and Kochiana.
But my favorite, and the name that flowed so well, is Kochamo. I thought we should name our state after the true leaders and most powerful people in Kansas.
Because the top spot on the list is occupied by the Koch brothers, this chore is a no-brainer.
The Koch brothers are so influential that Gov. Sam Brownback is reducing their income tax by eight digits or more and forcing those of us who no longer have any discretionary income to fill the void.
You see, most wealthy folks do not want to pay income taxes. They want to push for a user tax instead.
Because they have hundreds of millions of dollars they will not spend, everything they dont spend is tax-free. Wow, thats a great gig if you can get it.
Shopping at Wal-Mart
I have stopped shopping at Wal-Mart as a result of my awareness of its mistreatment of workers.
The company-store mentality puts associates on a vicious cycle of low wages, lack of benefits and positions that will not offer a 40-hour-a-week job, hurting not only the employees but our communities.
As a large employer, Wal-Mart enjoys government subsidies that come out of our pockets.
Wal-Mart further punishes its workers when they stand up and question their employers methods by harassing employees, cutting their hours to almost nonexistence or firing them.
The short-term benefits you think you receive from low prices for foreign products come back to haunt us in the long term.
KC utility bills bite
My latest Kansas City Water Services Department bill had a charge noted as annual water primacy. I was wondering what this was for and called the city.
It seems this is a state add-on for clean water. It seems like a hidden tax to me straight from Jefferson City.
Next on the Kansas City Power & Light Co. bill there is now a charge of DSIM (demand side investment mechanism). It is described as a charge to recover the costs associated with energy efficiency and demand-response programs as well as to provide incentives for the company when it meets or exceeds performance goals.
We use less power, and Kansas City Power & Light makes more money. It sounds like a rate increase straight out of Jefferson City.
Our federal politicians are doing their utmost to flatten our wallets, and now the state government is going to give them a hand.
Midwest Voices column
Cindy Frewen Wuellner's March 30 Midwest Voices column, Finding our future via Internet, on the Google Internet experiment suggests that fast Internet access could transform Kansas City into something it is not.
However, the George Kessler city of parks and boulevards she mentions is crumbling while major money is slated to be spent on a light rail run already dubbed The Barmobile and a new airport to replace the one everybody likes.
Meanwhile, the ancient sewer system leaks so badly that it has turned the city into a giant septic system beyond repair.
Its hard to see how improved Internet speed is going to save the city.
Recently, Ive read and heard complaints that they are taking away our freedoms. Now, I finally know who they are.
They are Missouri legislators, who want to deny voters the freedom to initiate legislation through the petition process, a right fundamental to democracy.
These legislators want to amend the state Constitution to prevent Missourians from initiating legislation concerning animal welfare.
Would Missourians allow legislators to amend their Constitution to prevent petitions about health care, labor unions or education?
Why then would they allow an amendment prohibiting ballot initiatives about animal welfare?
When I lived in Missouri, I worked to get Proposition B on the ballot for voters to consider in the general election. It passed.
Because of the petition process, the Canine Cruelty Prevention Act resulted.
Because of the petition process, dogs condemned to live their lives in puppy mills no longer spent all day on wire floors in cages too small to allow them to stand up or turn around.
Because of the petition process, these dogs are entitled to daily food and water and annual vet care.
Please call and write your Missouri representative or senator now, asking him/her to reject HJR 11 and SJR 22.
Keep freedom alive.
Obama unfit leader
Recently Ive seen where some people suggest that President Barack Obamas failed record is because Congress and the Republicans are blocking his agenda. Well, as a transplant to Kansas from Illinois, I have seen Obamas work firsthand.
As a senator, this man stood for virtually nothing, voted present many times on major issues, but most importantly he has never won any election on his own ideas or platform.
Mr. Obamas only tactic is to destroy the opponents character, and he never lets the truth get in the way.
I only ask people who say the Republicans are the problem to do a little research on how Illinois is doing with the Obama-style government.
I can tell you there is an unsustainable debt, incredibly high tax rates, one of the highest murder rates in the U.S., high unemployment and a high poverty rate.
These conditions are getting worse, not better.
Real leaders make tough decisions and are honest with the people.
While President Obama is incapable of this, the House Republicans are, and that is our only hope.
Members of Congress as a whole, in my estimation, have lost their ability to see what their role is in representing their state and governing the country. They take an oath to uphold the state and federal constitutions and to protect and uphold the laws of the land, and then pull a Benedict Arnold and sell their souls to the highest bidder (Grover Norquist/Koch brothers).
The art of being a leader is using the art of compromise to achieve what is the best course for the people who elect members of Congress. It seems the lawmakers spend their time thumping their chests like little Caesars, declaring what good things they have done in the name of their constituents, when in fact the only thing they have done is nothing.
The first thing that should have been done at the onset of the sequestering is to cut their salaries in half. That would be a great start to get something done.
Remember this the next election cycle starting with 2014.
Don Rinck Sr.
Walls fail in purpose
Why do we persist in teaching history when people, especially politicians, continually prove that we dont learn anything by studying history? Consider walls for example.
During the Ming Dynasty, the Chinese built the Great Wall. It didnt work. In the second century AD, the Roman emperor Hadrian built a wall across Britanny to keep out the Celts. It didnt work.
After World War I, the ingenious French built the infamous Maginot Line to keep out the Germans. It didnt work.
During World War II, the Nazis built the supposedly impregnable Atlantic Wall, but the Allies landed at Normandy and were on their way to Berlin. It didnt work.
In 1961, the Soviets built the Berlin Wall to separate East and West. It didnt work.
Most recently, the intellectual brain trust we call Congress has been enamored with the idea of erecting a wall on the border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants. Guess what?
It isnt working. It would appear that our elected officials in Washington havent learned anything from history. Then again, there are a lot of things that they dont understand.
William S. Eickhorst