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Letters to the editor on wind subsidy, political books, Johnson’s words

  • Published Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, at 11 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

Pompeo correct on wind subsidies

It is no surprise to me that Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, is being targeted by the wind industry for supporting an end to its handout. If your only chance for survival is to soak the taxpayers because you can’t figure out how to competitively produce electricity any other way, what choice do you have but to demonize levelheaded congressmen who try to represent all of their constituents fairly?

Why are taxpayers being forced to pay the bill for expensive, uncompetitive power?

The electric utilities admit that wind, solar and other kinds of green energy force electricity costs to go up. It makes no sense that we as a nation are continuing to pay for them when it is clear they can’t compete in the free market on their own after 20 years of subsidies. The wind industry won’t develop market-based technology that can compete with other power-generating technology until it is forced to. Until then, we are throwing good money after bad with no end in sight.

We deserve affordable electricity, and it shouldn’t matter where it comes from – coal, nuclear, wherever. But don’t tell me that spending billions in subsidies on wind and mandating its use is good energy policy. It’s just absurd, and I’m proud of Pompeo for standing up to these special interests.

DAN UNRUH

Wichita

New metaphors

I’d love for folks to read two books that were released this election year.

“Don’t Buy It,” by Anat Shenker-Osorio, examines the conceptual metaphors we use to discuss the economy. She advocates using the metaphor “the economy is a constructed object.” If we discuss the economy as a bus, then it makes sense to choose a caring and safe driver who makes sure everyone is on board before moving forward. This metaphor reflects actual aspects of the economy, namely that it was created by people, that it goes off track without competent guidance, and that it requires continual maintenance.

George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling also deal with metaphor in “The Little Blue Book.” They argue for values such as compassion, freedom and equality. For instance, President Obama should defend his Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act based on freedom, they argue, because “when health insurance plans deny you care when you need it, they deny you liberty.”

The authors also point out that we have a moral duty to shift our subsidies from dirty old polluting energy to eternal, clean and free energy. Energy from tar-sand oil, gas, coal and nuclear puts poisons in our air, water, soil and bodies, while energy from the sun, wind, water and soil keeps our bodies and planet pure.

GRADY KALLENBACH

Wichita

Heed words

As we continue in this election season, let us heed the words of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s address to Congress in November 1963:

“We have differences; but now, as in the past, we can derive from those differences strength, not weakness, wisdom, not despair. Both as a people and a government, we can unite upon a program, a program which is wise and just, enlightened and constructive.…

“Let us meet in action, in tolerance, and in mutual understanding. John Kennedy’s death commands what his life conveyed – that America must move forward. The time has come for Americans of all races and creeds and political beliefs to understand and to respect one another. So let us put an end to the teaching and the preaching of hate and evil and violence. Let us turn away from the fanatics of the far left and the far right, from the apostles of bitterness and bigotry, from those defiant of law, and those who pour venom into our nation’s bloodstream.…

“Let us unite in those familiar and cherished words: ‘America, America, God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good With brotherhood, From sea to shining sea.’”

JOHN G. GILLIAND

Wichita

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