Banking on green
I’m writing to applaud Kansas City Power & Light’s recent decisions to install 1,000 charging sites for electric vehicles in Kansas City, to close three coal-burning power plants and to convert to renewable wind energy.
The charging sites will encourage people to buy hybrid and electric cars, and replacing coal with wind energy will reduce burning fossil fuels, which increase global warming.
For citizens concerned about clean air, clean water and a healthy environment, such actions are most welcome. There are signs of a shift in public opinion regarding the reality, causes and effects of climate change.
The Citizens Climate Lobby advocates a Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal of increased fees on oil and gas to be paid as dividends to citizens as an incentive to purchase clean energy for home, vehicles and mass transportation.
Recently, some conservatives have supported similar ideas for increased taxes on oil and gas.
Unfortunately, in recent years conservatives have been mainly concerned about conserving the wealth of the top 1 percent. Perhaps the time has come when thoughtful conservatives remember that “conservative” and “conservation” share the same root word and embrace the important task of conservation and stewardship of the Earth’s natural resources.
“I’m honored!” The public is certain to hear this proclamation at the start of every political victory speech. Sadly, too often, the sense of honor on Election Day has not translated into honorable behavior while in office.
Over the past 20 years, beginning with a different intern scandal, those elected have determined to hold themselves to nothing more than a legal standard. As disgusting and dishonest behavior has come to light, too many politicians excuse their actions, clinging to the rule of law.
Honorable men and women hold themselves to the highest possible standard. The law is only the starting point of such behavior.
It has often been said that a true indication of a man is how he behaves when others aren’t looking (or the law is unclear). Our elected officials must hold themselves to a higher standard. The public demands it.
In Missouri, that means ending the practice of leaving office to immediately become a lobbyist. Fundraising should cease while votes are being cast. Representatives and senators should use the state provided daily allowance for all meals. This would be but a start.
Recently, we’ve heard some say “let him without sin, cast the first stone.” The speaker has asked forgiveness, and to forgive is an honorable act, not required by law. Being human, we are all bound to fall. There is no dishonor in recognizing our fallen state. It’s what we do next that determines if we are in fact “truly honored.”
The Kansas Legislature is facing a huge quandary — how to fill the more than $400 million hole created by the tax cuts championed by the governor and passed by the Legislature. All the proposals discussed have involved increasing taxes or fees.
The proposed 5-cents-a-gallon gasoline increase is beyond reprehensible considering millions of dollars have been taken from the transportation fund.
Suggestions have been made to increase the state sales tax. One senator wants to increase it to 7.5 percent, another to 6.5 percent. These senators would generously reduce the state sales tax on groceries to 6.15 or 5.9 percent to compensate.
Kansas doesn’t have a tax break on groceries now, and the food tax credit for low-income families was repealed when the state income tax rates were cut.
Other suggestions are tax increases on liquor, cigarettes and property as well as increased fees on motor vehicles and, of course, decreasing most personal tax deductions, including the home mortgage deduction.
All these proposals disproportionately affect those on the lower end of the economic scale. Gov. Sam Brownback’s “real live experiment” is hurting Kansans.
What hypocrites we have in the Missouri legislature (5-14, A1, “Lawmakers in Jefferson City stunned by scandal”).
Elected officials were sent to Jefferson City to do the work of the people. Instead of trying to help fellow Missourians, all this married, now-former Republican leader John Diehl did was chase after a 19-year-old college student on our dime.
The Republican House speaker and his cohorts should look into a mirror and see who the real deadbeats are in this state.
This is the same bunch wanting to cut government assistance for the needy and jobless benefits for the unemployed and take away workers’ union rights. Taking away a woman’s right to choose is also one of this legislature’s priorities.
I wonder had there been a little Diehl baby on the way from the former speaker’s girlfriend whether he still would oppose a woman’s right to choose?
When will Missourians wake up to these bums who have taken over our state?
Our part-time employees in Jefferson City must have lots of time on their hands, even while traveling on trade missions to Germany. Former House speaker John Diehl had time to “stay in touch” with a girl almost fresh out of high school.
All this while taking care of his family and holding down a job at a law firm.
Golly gee, what a family-values guy.
These outrageous hypocrites are telling poor people not to buy chips or seafood (such as a can of tuna) with government money. If you get sick, too bad if you are poor because you need to just get a job.
Can’t tax the job creators because they provide the campaign contributions. If you are a woman, don’t worry your pretty little head about an unwanted pregnancy or birth control.
Don’t agree with us? We will start a whisper campaign against you. Labor unions? Nah, can’t stand those.
These self-serving, self-righteous, family-values legislators are over the top. Sexy test messages between a 49-year-old married man with kids and a teenager are wrong on so many levels.
Hopefully, the voters in Missouri will wake up and quit electing these bozos.
Yes, we are indeed off course, apparently lost in uncharted territory. The caretakers and overlords of all our hard work from the last hundred years have spent or spoiled society’s payout; only crumbs and trash are left.
We can indeed have a nation of diverse cultures that displays the very best that we are capable of — from magnificent children to skilled creators throughout sparkling cities and on to a well-read populace that has opportunities for reflective leisure and hobbies of our choice.
Park those tanks. Let’s sing in the park. It’s time for a renaissance.
I was included in an Honor Flight earlier this month that took 90 veterans and escorts called Guardians to Washington, D.C., to tour the monuments to the Armed Forces.
These GIs were ages 85 to 95, and quite a number were in wheelchairs. We were treated with great kindness and respect for doing our duty for our country.
As we walked the hallowed grounds in Washington, we were greeted with smiles of thanks and handshakes by many hundreds of bright-faced high schoolers, willing to show their desire to be good citizens rather than be the way our media seem to want to cast them today — too much bad, not enough good.
That renewed my hopes for the future of our country.
After our return flight home, we walked into Kansas City International Airport and were overwhelmed by a crowd of upwards of 1,000 people, young and old, waiting to greet us and again shake our hands to thank us on behalf of our beloved country.
It was humbling and made me think that we can again become that shining city on a hill.
God bless America, and God bless our kids.