KCI not in top 10
I recently received the latest issue of a major travel magazine that included rankings of airports across the country. I was interested in seeing how our “convenient” Kansas City International Airport ranked.
Ratings were based on location/access, restaurants/food, check-in/security, shopping, design and flight delays. Within these separate rankings, where did KCI land? It didn’t. It didn’t even make the overall top 10 on the list.
But that’s not surprising given that the design for KCI doesn’t address the need for passenger convenience in the areas of restrooms, food choices or even security.
Some costs associated with a one-terminal design would be recouped with reductions in duplicated services and consolidated security, not to mention the potential for reduced fees for airlines because they are paying less for security.
Nothing but a new terminal will give Kansas City a chance to shine with the other airports.
Although it seemed as if the passage of immigration reform would require a miracle a few years ago, the tide is turning. One reason for this has been the role of evangelicals who believe in the God-given dignity of every person. They have a deep concern for keeping families together.
What may have started as silent prayer is now a prayer that has been given a voice as pastors and faith leaders are coming together and speaking out. With our representatives in Washington, I and many others in our community are praying that Rep. Kevin Yoder and his colleagues will support a common-sense, compassionate reform of our immigration laws.
It is time to act, and the message evangelicals want our elected leaders to hear is we support you as you act upon the urgency to pass comprehensive legislation.
Rev. Jason Schoff
Early Christmas ads
When businesses begin Christmas ad campaigns on July 5, do you suppose some store executive will say, “You know, this year I think we actually started too soon!”? Nah.
Keep KCI as is
Recently, Kansas City Councilmen Bill Skaggs said, “Everyone recognizes we need a new airport.” He is not telling the truth.
J.D. Powers called Kansas City International Airport the best midsize airport in America in 2010. Also, U.S. News & World Report listed it as the third best based on its Airport Misery Index in 2008.
Mayor Sly James and Skaggs, who are public servants, do not care what these rating agencies say; they just want to spend money. KCI was opened in 1972, and it may come as news to the mayor, but many citizens live in houses older than that.
Should we also follow the government’s lead and tear down our homes because they are no longer brand new? These politicians, with many friends in the construction industry, will certainly make many of their friends rich off a new airport terminal.
The current government does not like the citizens or care what we think, nor do they care about our money, which they are wasting while ruining the one thing that people in Kansas city say they appreciate, KCI.
A lot of people are saying they are fed up with Washington, D.C. At All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church on a recent Sunday, the sermon was titled “The Leaders We Deserve.”
As that idea applies to our national leadership, it is a message we Americans need to hear. Nothing will change until:
• We no longer see any group as “them.”
• We are willing to admit that our personal desire may not always be best for everyone.
• We recognize that the common good may require something of us.
• We no longer cling to the attitude that “winning is the only thing.”
• We can move from debate to dialogue.
Until then, we will continue to elect people who look just like us — and those are the leaders we deserve.
Fight global warming
Global warming is not only real, it is dangerous.
The loss of plant and animal species, deadly heat waves, drought and severe storms are all predicted consequences of global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
I am the son of three generations of Kansas farmers, and my parents and grandparents worked to give me what they believed would be a better future. Yet I am deeply apprehensive about the climate changes projected for future generations.
This summer, the United Church of Christ acknowledged that the stewardship of God’s creation requires an urgent response to climate change. The church with more than a million members and a history dating to 1620 was the first American religious denomination to divest its pension funds and investments from fossil-fuel companies.
Meanwhile, Kansas legislators should introduce bills imposing a carbon tax and dividend. This would immediately begin to shift the U.S. toward renewable energy.
Citizens Climate Lobby is advocating for a federal revenue-neutral carbon tax on fossil fuels that reflects their true costs to society.
The carbon tax would help shift our economy toward a balanced energy production and would encourage efficiency and alternative technologies that don’t burn carbon.
I want to say a few words in favor of regulations.
Our free-enterprise economy, which I support enthusiastically, has flaws that can be fatal. One of them is the tendency to slide into monopolies — banks that are too big to fail, automobile manufacturers, meat packers, the stock market and oil trusts of the 1920s.
The feds have had to act, with regulations.
Another flaw is shortsighted product pricing.
Take coal producers. If they were to include the costs of pollution and global climate change, we wouldn’t be able to afford coal as a fuel.
Or consider paper companies that destroy rivers, or used to, before regulations stopped that.
Free-enterprise theory assumes a world of buyers savvy enough to make the choices that are the best for them. In today’s complex markets, with millions of choices, that is impossible.
Hence, regulations: truth in advertising and lending laws, inspectors in meat-packing plants, strict controls on pharmaceuticals, expiration dates on milk bottles. Our free-enterprise economy has as many Achilles’ heels as a gimpy centipede. Only a partnership between it and regulations can keep it running.
The big secret that they (our political parties and the powerful special-interest groups that own them and control our country) don’t want us to know is that all we have to do to stop the overspending in Washington, D.C., and reduce the size of government is to elect senators and representatives who are willing to vote no on appropriations bills.
In reality, each law on the books must be approved by both houses of Congress. If no money is appropriated to enforce a law, it might as well not even exist.
Our president has taken it upon himself to suspend enforcement of some immigration laws that he finds politically damaging to him as well as parts of his new health-care system that he has not been able to get ready.
But the Congress has the real power (and the responsibility) to much more specifically define what money is to be used for and to vote yes on only those appropriations that accomplish that end.