Recently, I was a defendant in a traffic-violation case in the Olathe court. A lawyer friend warned me that a defendant didn’t stand a chance there.
He was absolutely right. It was a throwback to the kangaroo courts of the past. These were essentially courts where the defendant has already been deemed guilty and has little opportunity to defend himself.
I’m old enough to recall dirt streets and hitching posts in downtown Olathe. With all the progress in Olathe, some attention needs to be given to updating the judicial system.
Clean Water Act
No one disagrees that clean water — and a healthy Missouri River — is fundamentally important. Without a clean and vibrant Missouri River, communities supported by agriculture would suffer and generations of Missourians would lose out on recreational opportunities like fishing and boating.
That’s why it’s so disappointing that the U.S. House of Representatives voted, yet again, to block the restoration of Clean Water Act safeguards that help keep the river clean.
These protections for seasonal streams and wetlands that feed the river and other major waterways were put in doubt by two polluter-supported Supreme Court decisions, and polluters’ political allies in the U.S. House included a “dirty water” provision in a water-related spending bill that makes sure these critical Clean Water Act safeguards don’t ever return.
I’m thankful that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver rejected polluters’ influence and voted against this “dirty water” attack. I urge Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt to hold the line in defense of the Missouri River so that the Clean Water Act’s goal of making all our waters safe for drinking, swimming and fishing may one day become a reality.
Global warming fix
Some link global warming to the EF-5 tornadoes that hit Moore, Okla., and Joplin, Mo. The most common cause of global warming is increased carbon dioxide gas levels in the atmosphere.
The increasing CO2, which humans can do something about, is caused by burning fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal). America can convert agricultural, human, animal and solid waste into ethanol to use in place of the fossil fuel distillates.
Only 20 percent of the world’s waste would be needed to make enough ethanol for all of its transportation needs.
Two companies, Novozymes and Celanese, have processes that can convert waste into ethanol at the same cost as refining gasoline from oil. Their ethanol would have zero net CO2 emissions, and it can be used as E85 fuel.
Auto companies can build more flex-fuel vehicles to burn E85.
The International Energy Agency’s scientists estimate that a fourfold increase in worldwide ethanol production would reduce atmospheric CO2 levels by 50 percent by 2050. This is “combustion recycling.”
Gregory Howard Gebhart
Webster Groves, Mo.
Slow ‘Show-Me State’
I hate to say it, but I’m getting better client service from a state I don’t live in.
I’ve been fighting with an automobile finance company for more than two years. My car loan was paid off in January 2011, but I still do not have the title.
I’ve sent letters to Citizens, with copies going to the Missouri attorney general’s office. All I’ve gotten from the attorney general was a complaint form for dealing with fraud. That’s not the problem.
On July 8, I sent a letter to the attorneys general for both Missouri and Rhode Island, where Citizens is based. Because I sent them priority mail, they both arrived July 10.
I’ve already received a reply from Rhode Island, dated the same day that office received my letter. Officials said they couldn’t help me but forwarded my complaint to an agency that could, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They also gave me phone numbers, one for them and one for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to call if I had any questions.
Why couldn’t Missouri do that? And both offices are run by Democrats.
Missouri just needs to get on the ball.
Sour Chiefs fans
I was raised in Kansas City and moved to Oregon 26 years ago. My family still lives in Kansas City.
Every fall I make sure that my visit coincides with a Kansas City Chiefs game so I can attend. The last few years have been appalling.
I am not talking about the team. I am talking about Kansas City fans.
Chiefs fans have embarrassed themselves, in my opinion, by leaving Arrowhead Stadium half-empty game after game.
We don’t have an NFL team in Oregon. Maybe y’all just don’t know how lucky you are to have this opportunity to see professional football games, regardless of who wins or loses.
I got to see the Super Bowl champion Ravens play in KC last October. What a treat.
Last year, I saw planes over Arrowhead demanding a new quarterback and head coach. You got your coach and an excellent quarterback.
If Arrowhead is not sold out this year, Kansas City fans are the losers, not the team.
I will fly in from Oregon to be there.
Bad sports behavior
As a former college athlete, a retired teacher and a coach and sports official of many years, I consider myself a sports fanatic. But as I watch sports on television, especially basketball, I am appalled by the lack of self-control shown.
If we were cursed, the proper penalty was applied and the offender was ejected — not just from the playing area but the arena.
Now it seems that the coaches also get away with any kind of behavior that they prefer.
I am a Boy Scout in Troop 418, and I just wanted to express my concern about the government taking away financial aid for members of the military wanting to further their education.
I’m expressing my concern for this because I may be enlisting soon, and this has made me rethink that decision.
My wife and I were scheduled for a cruise in February. We went to our Northland bank to purchase travelers checks.
The teller said that the bank no longer handled those and directed us to purchase two bank gift cards. We were unable to use either card on our journey because neither the ship nor the countries we visited accepted the cards.
After the trip, we returned to the bank to cash the cards. They said it would take four to six weeks..
I received payment for one card on May 3. I was told it takes 20 working days for delivery and called again on May 23, June 5, and July 2.
No call. I went to the local bank, and the bank manager called the credit card company, and after being on hold for 30 minutes, she was told the check would arrive by Aug. 5.
Thus far, no results.