Shopping bag ban
We started spending the winters in Brownsville, Texas, a couple years ago. The first time I went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, I noticed people taking the items that had been rung up by the cashier and putting them back in their baskets without bagging them (12-9, A1, “Ban the bag? Idea is in the wind”).
Although I thought this was odd, it didn’t dawn on me why they were doing that until I got home and noticed a $1 charge (for a bag) on my sales slip. I don’t think the clerk said anything about it, but on subsequent visits to that store the clerks asked whether I wanted my purchases in a bag.
It didn’t take too many trips for me to remember to bring my reuseable totes or to take my purchases to the car without being bagged.
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I don’t know whether this is a state of Texas thing or Wal-Mart being responsible, but there certainly is a lot less trash floating around in the ditches along roadways in south Texas.
Banning those plastic bags, or at least trying to fund the cleanup in this manner, in my opinion is a no-brainier. On the flip side, there are the bag companies and their employees to consider.
I watched the morning news recently and was really impressed. Facebook is now worth $400 billion.
Then, I was really deflated when I realized that the president gives away that much with a mere stroke of the pen.
Sprint’s sales pitch
How nice of Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure to cut the cellphone bills of customers he lures from other communications companies (12-6, A12, “CEO makes pitch in person”).
What about loyal customers who have been with Sprint for 20 years? Are there any incentives for us to stay?
I have one suggestion. How about a month when we pay only half of our bills? As they often say, “What have you done for us lately?”
Gail Collins column
I found the Dec. 7 Gail Collins commentary, “Just when we thought Congress had hit bottom,” both informative and timely.
The floundering on tax legislation she describes particularly hurts seniors taking mandatory withdrawals from their IRAs, or Individual Retirement Accounts.
Many seniors no longer have sufficient deductions to warrant itemizing on their tax returns and cannot get tax credit for charitable contributions. In prior years, the government addressed this problem, creating a tax provision to solve it.
The IRA provider would cut two checks, one to you and one to the charity. On your tax form covering that year, you would list only the amount of the check cut to you as the taxable income, getting a resulting tax savings without itemization.
Because mandatory withdrawals are made to individuals throughout the year, this tax provision needs to be in effect and known to IRA recipients and providing companies before Jan.1 of that year.
To wait until December and make it retroactive makes it impossible to meet the requirements of the new tax provision.
The previous regulation required a single check to be cut for you, none to charity.
No tax credit for the charity can be made.
Thus the floundering by Congress now reflects congressional stupidity.
Bike paths in KC
Please build bike paths everywhere in Kansas City. The nation would take notice.
A local representative of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has said that 40 percent of gun sales are without background checks.
I am quite sure he was told this by his headquarters. I am also quite sure he is wrong.
The claim comes from a study done some 20 years ago, before federal law required background checks.
Background checks are required today, even at gun shows. Anyone who has been to a gun show has seen dealers calling in background checks.
There is a new way to assess political candidates. We vote against the ones who are enthusiastic patsies for an organization that distributes outdated, inaccurate and patently false information.
Kevin L. Jamison
Attorney at Law
Dear young wife
I saw your husband buying your Christmas gift. He and his buddy went out on their lunch hour. He nudged the big vacuum cleaner box along in the checkout line.
“This will be great,” he said. “I’ve seen her having to go over and over the same spot with the old one. This goes around and under everything, so no more moving furniture.”
Odds are, you won’t be excited about this gift. It’s not jewelry. It’s not romantic and glamorous. I hope, when you open your present, you will recognize the love behind it.
As you grow older, you will realize romance and glamor are only part of the love that makes a lasting marriage.
Love is there when someone is with you in the night caring for a sick child, laughing with you over the comics at the breakfast table, encouraging you after a difficult day at work, standing beside you at your father’s funeral.
Open your gift with gratitude. It means your efforts have been noticed and appreciated.
You have someone who wants to make your life easier.
Every time you use your new vacuum cleaner, know that you are loved.
Assault on Christmas
This year’s war on Christmas is upon us. Every year, radical secularists and their lawyers descend on our school and government officials to bully them into erasing every single vestige of Christmas from public life.
They’re inspired by the relentless anti-religious efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union. It is hard to imagine any organization that is more determined to shake America from its Judeo-Christian moorings and underpinnings.
Despite proclaiming itself a “guardian of liberty,” the ACLU and its allies have waged a war against America’s core values, including our celebration of Christmas as a national holiday and a part of our heritage.
Most of America remains unaware of the ACLU’s and the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s intense anti-Christian stances.
These organizations cloak their bullying in the guise of “defending liberty.” Courts have found in favor of Judeo-Christian plaintiffs in the vast majority of cases, but those aforementioned deceptive organizations continue to push the envelope.
Be proactive and diligent at this time of year; don’t be deceived.
There seems to be a move to legalize marijuana in the United States. It started with one, and then two, and then four states that have legalized recreational use of this narcotic.
This is a probable important subject for the 2016 presidential election.
From opinions I have read and occasional discussions, it seems that many seem to think, Well, why not legalize marijuana? Well, let’s see whether there are reasons why not.
Marijuana is a drug that will induce sleep and relieve pain. Why is marijuana not advocated for over-the-counter consumption?
We are being brainwashed into believing marijuana consumption is OK because a product that causes confusion, indifference and euphoria makes people easier to manipulate and control than if they retained all their faculties.
So, who’s behind this? It must be people who want control.
Can you spell big government?