Letters to the editor on energy, destructive behaviors, compromise, Brubeck

12/11/2012 12:00 AM

12/10/2012 5:19 PM

Energy investments have paid off

The commentary by Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, “Wind subsidy distorts market, is welfare” (Dec. 2 Opinion), better represented the weakness of the Republican Party leadership in 2012 than anything else written.

Huelskamp referred to the investment by the Obama administration in electricity-producing wind farms, such as those that enhance the open space of the lands along I-70 in western Kansas, as “expensive ‘investments’ in the private sector that yield negative returns for taxpayers.”

It reflects his lack of knowledge about the government’s construction of power-producing dams all over the United States in the 1930s and the necessity of the government to build electric distribution systems for the delivery of that electricity to all of rural Americans who were not profit-producing customers for our present-day corporate electric companies. It was called the Rural Electrification Administration.

Without that government participation, the growth of the whole United States would have been slowed from a run with electricity to our large manufacturers for success in World War II to a shuffle so slow we could still be a second-rate power in the world. That’s what we were when Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito started their dictator-propelled control of the known civilized nations.

ROBERT M. GREEN

El Dorado

Energy not scarce

Regarding Edward Cross’ commentary “We no longer live in a world where energy is scarce” (Nov. 29 Business Today): Thanks to a couple of decades of technology – which brought horizontal drilling, fracking (which has been contaminated with created lies and misinformation), and rigs to drill in 10,000 feet of the oceans and then 20,000 more feet into the seabeds – Cross’ statements are the reality.

Fossil fuels, oil, natural gas and coal reserves will supply America with cheap, reliable energy to last 500 years. (So why is President Obama shutting down coal mines and attacking safe offshore drilling?) Add in nuclear energy, which also has been proved safely manageable, and the energy reserves begin to approach at least 1,000 years.

Canada’s Alberta tar sands are an area of some 60,000 square miles. Estimates of producible oil vary to as high as a trillion barrels of oil. (So why does Obama stop pipelines to safely move the crude oil?)

The article “Climate skeptics challenge energy laws” (Nov. 26 Eagle) showed the support of the states with energy laws nailed to alternate fuels of ethanol, wind, solar and biofuels – proved uneconomical, corrupted and a waste of tax dollars. It all goes back to the corruption of the United Nations having created the environmental movement with misinformation and lies, and sold with scare tactics.

TOBY ELSTER

Wichita

E-mail on target

New York Times columnist David Brooks’ commentary about an e-mail that a British man sent to his kids infuriated me more than any other column in The Eagle this year (“Punishing failure with criticism not effective,” Nov. 30 Opinion). His whole premise in large part is what is wrong with this country. People by and large fall into patterns of destructive behavior from which they choose not to escape.

Brooks wants to make excuses for these people. His answer is to maximize good behaviors and set goals and give rewards for good behavior. This would be fine for an 8-year-old, but the e-mail went to 30-somethings.

The father’s e-mail worked precisely for its intended goal: Don’t call me until you grow up and make something of yourself.

MIKE GRAY

Haysville

Make compromises

When my three teenage granddaughters argue ad nauseam, I tell them, “STS” (“stop that s---”). It’s time for Congress to “STS” and start doing what it was elected to do – work for the good of the country. That includes all members of Congress thinking for themselves and making compromises.

BETTY G. BLUNDON

Wichita

Lost a legend

The world lost a legend last week (“Dave Brubeck, 91, dies; legend helped define jazz,” Dec. 6 Eagle).

I had the privilege of interviewing Brubeck for a radio show I did a few years ago. He was, as you might imagine, very gracious.

His career had been long and well-documented, so I thought going in I knew all the answers to my questions. I was surprised when I asked about the Paul Desmond composition of “Take Five.” Brubeck turned serious and said, “It was a collaborative effort indeed, but I wrote that song, not Paul.” He told me Desmond had pulled a “fast one” and taken the credit – and I have to assume a good deal of the royalty fees over the years. “Take Five” went on to become a jazz standard and the best-selling jazz song of all time.

Brubeck went on to write “The Duke” and “In Your Own Sweet Way,” among other famous jazz standards. But he told me he was most proud of his classical and spiritual compositions, many written after he converted to Catholicism.

Through more than 60 years of recordings and performances all over the world, he created a body of outstanding work. I’ll treasure the time I had speaking with him, and the world will treasure his music for generations to come.

BARRY GASTON

Wichita

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