Tax shopping bags
I’d be fine with banning those single-use plastic grocery bags, but taxing them makes more sense to me (12-9, A1, “Ban the bag? Idea is in the wind”). However, a nickel a bag isn’t going to affect the behavior of more than a few skinflints.
I say tax the bags at least a dollar each. That would change behavior in quite a few people, significantly reducing this ubiquitous nuisance.
A high bag tax also could generate real revenue for the city, because this is America, and some people will pay almost anything for convenience. Perhaps there would be enough revenue to pay for meaningful litter removal.
Kansas City, Kan.
I read in C.W. Gusewelle’s reflective Dec. 7 column, “Courtesy dissolves in heavy traffic,” of his observation of a “mighty river” of vehicles on the urban interstate. Could this great energy stream be harnessed?
I have long thought that this flow of vehicles could forcefully power turbines to produce electricity — somewhat similar to power generation behind dams. I am aware of the physical law of equilibrium concerning energy creation, which requires this theory to be futuristic. The power-generating stream of cars would need to be very fuel efficient.
There is a mighty force here to be used.
I am a carpenter and have never said, “I need an engineer,” but this would need one. I do know there is energy at the tire-asphalt mesh as well as a wind force created.
The location of the turbine would be critical and complex. Are there any traffic engineers or electrical engineers out there who care?
Police body cameras
Although I appreciated the insight and information provided in the Dec. 7 article, “Cameras clarify, complicate,” about body cameras and police forces, it seems that the article neglected one of the biggest issues affecting our society.
Protests are being held all over the nation to talk about not only racial inequality but also the distrust of police departments. On the surface, body cameras seem like they would increase trust in the police. However, that is not so.
The article stated that police officers could turn off their cameras. This provides police officers with even more power.
Officers would then have the choice to record only encounters that would put them in a good light.
In the case of Eric Garner, the incident was captured on video, but that did not help the victim’s family.
This is the type of institutional problem that should be addressed, but it isn’t.
If the public doesn’t think the police force is trustworthy, this issue will never be solved.
It also frustrates me that the story focused only on officers and a camera vendor.
This issue is intricately linked with public perception of the police force, and yet the public’s voice has been ignored in this article.
Just read the Dec. 7 article, “Athletic league puts the focus on food,” about the Police Athletic League feeding hungry children. As a licensed social worker, I am a mandated reporter, and I know police officers are as well.
I certainly hope that the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division was contacted regarding the youth who had gone without food for three days.
It’s great that the Police Athletic League is feeding the hungry children who come to them for athletic activities, but they also have a mandate to report suspected child neglect. There was no mention of that in the article.
And if jobs in the United States have slipped so low that they are not paying enough for low-wage earners to feed their minor children, sometimes for three days at a time, that should be cause for all of us to rise up and work for immediate change.
North Kansas City
Police station names
OK. Let’s have a popularity contest to name all the other police stations (12-7, A4, “KC to ponder police station naming”). Surely the East Patrol residents don’t think they should be singled out for special treatment.
It’s past the time to complain about Democrats losing the majority of elections nationwide.
We’ve heard that the November elections were about the repudiation of President Barack Obama’s failed policies. I think a lot of it has to do with the cowardly Democrats distancing themselves from Obama.
The economy is in much better condition from what he inherited.
The nation’s gross domestic product, unemployment, stock market and the price of oil are all much more favorable in 2014 than in 2008. And Democrats ran away from all that.
And, although the Republicans stymied every attempt at meaningful legislation, I don’t see the Democrats having any courage to block anything the Republicans want to do.
I’m hopeful that the Republicans can solve their internal party problems long enough to work with Obama for the next two years. That probably won’t happen.
Expect more voting restrictions.
Expect stagnant job growth and wages.
Expect more privatization of as many agencies as possible.
Democrats need to concentrate on winning majorities again in 2020, not 2016.
A win in 2020 would mean the Democrats could gerrymander the districts back in favor of the electorate and not a single party, and get back on track
So President Barack Obama has signed an agreement in which China could if taken to the extreme build all the coal-powered plants it wants and increase its carbon emissions all it wants for the next 16 years while the U.S. agrees to reduce emissions between 26 and 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 (which no one knows how it could be accomplished without crippling our economy).
What a deal.
It just highlights the fact that the entire global warming-climate change push has nothing to do with actually lowering emissions but is about money and control.
It also has nothing to do with science. If it did, climate scientists who keep predicting global temperature increases would simply admit their models are all wrong. But they can’t, of course, or all their climate-change money would dry up.
While shopping at Wal-Mart recently, getting ready for out-of-town guests, I made a horrible mistake. I loaded several bags into my car and was thinking of my next stop and what I needed to get.
As I was driving, I reached for my purse to get my phone and make a call. To my horror, I couldn’t find my purse.
All of a sudden, I realized I had left it in the cart at Wal-Mart.
I raced back to the store and parked right where I left my cart.
I raced in the store with all kinds of fears bringing me to tears. My credit cards, debit card and more than $80 in cash, plus my cellphone — all gone.
As I hurried to customer service, distraught, two wonderful ladies from the store grabbed me and asked me whether I had lost something.
I told them my purse. They asked me what color it was, and I told them.
Some good angel had found it in the cart, brought it into the store and turned it in unopened.
Everything was intact.
I can’t begin to thank that person enough. Giant thank you.
Linda L. Smith