From my television, I see reservoirs dry in California one moment and other areas of the country inundated with water the next. Throughout history, wars have been fought over fresh water.
Today, “water hackers” divert water from streams and rivers.
The Jordan River in the Middle East essentially runs dry by the time it reaches the Dead Sea.
Never miss a local story.
Israel, Jordan and Lebanon are among the few countries that continually battle over the Jordan River. Farmers in the Dakotas divert water from the Missouri River before it reaches places to the south.
It’s not a far-flung observation to see that Australia, an island, is solely dependent upon rainfall to replenish its water supply.
Fresh water is the major issue in the world today and will continue to be in the future.
Technology allows us to transfer electricity from its source to users over great distances.
There is all this political talk of the Keystone XL Pipeline to transport oil and yet very little discussion of transcontinental pipelines for the transportation of water.
There are many predictors of the future, scientific and otherwise, who believe the next world war, if it’s to be, will be fought over fresh water.
Electric car appeal
The concerns many have about the limited range for most battery-powered vehicles can be well-founded, depending on driving needs.
May I suggest that the Chevy Volt does a good job of addressing that issue.
It has very limited battery range, but the auxillary gas motor automatically cuts in and thrives quite well in the normal internal combustion engine regime, getting about 40 miles per gallon in my experience. I’ve been driving mine for about three years, and I find that engineering to be top-notch.
I can’t wait to upgrade to the 2016 model.
My biggest complaint is that there isn’t a battery-powered pickup truck available. As soon as one of those hits the market, I aim to be first in line to get one.
By the way, as I see it one of the biggest obstacles to ownership of an electric vehicle is that so many people do not have a garage to park in with a convenient charging facility. For those who must park outside, this can be a show stopper.
Now that the City Council in Kansas City voted last month to raise the minimum wage, I trust that we will see a comparable increase in job performance and customer service.
For several years I had the total pleasure and distinct privilege of having Saturday lunches with Mr. Bob Sigman and several other friends spent in discussing current events. Occasionally, political talks could become heated — accompanied by an increase in decibels as arguments weakened. But never did Bob Sigman need additional volume to support a position.
His Aug. 16 obituary cited his “way of being persuasive without being offensive,” and that attribute was driven by his being a total gentleman with rare good manners.
Seven of us recently raised glasses in a toast to him. His absence was palpable.
I am a minority in the Kansas City area, namely a white male moderate Republican. I read most of Lewis Diuguid’s columns. Some amuse. Some educate.
Some are of no interest, but many irritate. Many lack relevant facts, and all are slanted to the very liberal point of view.
His last three columns were about a trip he took to Cuba. He wrote of the happy, well-educated, friendly families he spoke to.
Either he did not visit any of the thousands of political prisoners and their families or he did not share their thoughts with us. I wonder how happy and satisfied they are with their government.
Was Diuguid prevented from talking to them or did he even ask to?
Sources I have seen say most Cubans are taught to read from pro-communist books, and if Diuguid were a resident of Cuba he could not publish anti-government views as he frequently does here.
If he did, he would soon join the other Cuban dissenters in their jail cells.
Muted rules, laws
When did we lose the fear of consequences?
Growing up we all knew that acting up in school warranted a visit to the principal or worse — a letter from school. If truancy and curfew were tested, it was just a matter of time before being caught and suffering the consequences.
Sneaking a girlfriend into your dorm room was a sure way to be expelled. Flunking out of college was a sure bet to get you drafted into the military during the Vietnam War.
Rules of the road were rules instead of suggestions, which they seem to be now considering the way some people drive. Contracts were ironclad instead of meaningless words on a paper.
Today we have been emboldened with the power of challenging every situation we find ourselves in, blurring the lines of what we used to think were the consequences if we got caught. We idolize the rule-breakers with songs and movies.
We martyr the rule-breakers who have died. We denounce the systems that are in charge of maintaining the rules and laws.
So, my question is, if rules and laws and the subsequent penalties are meaningless, then what will the future be?
Livability.com has developed a list of the Top 10 College Towns. Three of the region’s college towns made the list.
That’s a feather in the area’s cap. Livability lists Manhattan, Kan., No. 1 followed by Columbia, Mo., at No. 3 and Lincoln, Neb., at No. 9.
Here’s to the great college atmosphere in this part of the country.
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” —Groucho Marx
It’s evident that the federal Highway Trust Fund is in trouble, and Congress is looking everywhere and diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
If members of Congress went to school and learned mathematics they would know that by applying the inflation rate the gas tax (18.4 cents a gallon) in 1994 equates to 30 cents a gallon in 2014. With the consumer price index average annual inflation rate of 2.27 percent, Congress would have to raise the tax 2.27 percent each year to stay even with inflation.
The reluctance of Congress to raise the gas tax, based on the government’s own statistics, is proof positive that Groucho is correct. Too bad outside interests (lobbyists) prevent our elected officials from keeping up with the times and using their math skills.
The trouble has been staring members of Congress in the face for the past six years, and all they can do is try to apply the wrong remedy while the truth in numbers is staring them in the face.
They’ll just kick the can down the road and wait for the next deadline so they can again apply their cockamamie wisdom.
Charles K. Baber
Village of Loch Lloyd
Essential seat belts
A recent evening news story showed a Philadelphia school bus driver falling out of her seat and desperately trying to regain control of her careening bus full of children. It is a prime example of why the most important seat belt in any vehicle is the driver’s.
If a driver loses his position at the controls, there is little chance of his regaining control or managing a good outcome. You can’t drive from the floor. Ask any race car driver.
I’ve never heard any advocate of seat-belt use point out this important fact as paramount in the argument for everyone wearing seat belts. Obviously there are many other good reasons and no viable counter arguments.
I know the importance of staying in the driver’s seat. I’ve experienced it on the road and on the track.