Pipeline support is shortsighted
The Eagle editorial board recently admonished the Legislature that climate change is real, and that science should guide lawmakers and not ideological passions (Feb. 7 Eagle Editorial). It also editorialized in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline, citing the jobs created and the fact that the dirty tar sands will be exported somewhere (Feb. 4 Eagle Editorial) – no matter that this ugly scar runs right across the Flint Hills of Kansas, and no matter that this vile stuff is dug industrially out of now fractured and destroyed pristine bog-prairie in northern Alberta, that the “jobs” advertised are fewer than claimed and temporary, that the gunk will be refined for export to South America and Asia, and no matter that the profits will accrue to fat cats in Canada, boardrooms on Wall Street and tycoons in Asia.
What matters is the board’s shortsightedness. The anthropologist Paul Bohannan wrote: “Any people not willing to reconsider old ideas as they step into new contexts may be doomed to live in a fatal cultural dead end.” Mega-growth, fossil-fuel-based, profit-crazy Western progress is one of those cultural dead ends in the new context of increased atmospheric levels of human-caused carbon dioxide, major weather change, extinction of species, hyper-drought and water shortages.
Perhaps the editorial board will reconsider its support for the pipeline. Before doing so, the board should Google the tar sands and see what that prairie now looks like, followed by a close Google look at a winter day in Beijing.
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Bad job on snow
I can honestly say I’ve never seen more incompetence shown by a city’s snow-removal crews than by those of the city of Wichita. Their ingenious answer? Throw more and more salt and sand on the streets. The problem? Temperatures stayed in the 20s, and salt isn’t as effective unless there are warmer temperatures and ample sunlight. To top it off, through sheer volume of traffic (and time), some of the streets actually did “break through” and create a slush about three days later, but not a truck was to be found.
Then after snow No. 2 this week, what did I find? More trucks with blades up, putting down sand but not removing snow. I actually saw two city snowplow crews sitting and blocking traffic out on Webb Road.
This is dangerous, incompetent and embarrassing. And the buck stops with the mayor. City government is failing at the most rudimentary level of government – keeping the streets clean and safe for the citizens to travel to and from home.
The much-publicized House Bill 2453, touted by its authors as a “religious freedom” act, motivated us to do something we should do more often – actually read and respond to a legislative proposal. Our clear conclusion is that this bill is a misguided and thinly veiled attempt to demonize the gay community.
Contrary to statements by some proponents of the bill, its opening paragraph makes clear that it is, most certainly, all about sexual orientation. A proposal that allows, let alone fosters, discrimination should never even find its way into a committee room of our Legislature. Wrapping this effort in the cloak of “religious freedom” is simply insulting to those whose religious beliefs emphasize the importance of loving, supporting and doing good to all people.
House Bill 2453 provides legal protection for acts of bigotry, hatred and disrespect. We Kansans are better than this.
BILL and PAM DELANEY
Kansas legislators want to make it more difficult to divorce (“Kansas bill would end ‘no-fault’ divorces,” Feb. 8 Eagle). Will this drive many people to “live in sin”?
They also want to make it possible for anyone to refuse service for anyone who is homosexual (Feb. 7 Eagle). Will that include emergency room services?
Last, they want drunks to carry firearms (“Gun debate includes drinking and carrying,” Feb. 8 Local & State).
What is wrong with these people?
The spin that was put on the recent Congressional Budget Office report by the Democrats is amazing.
President Obama’s State of the Union speech was more about pursuing income equality and closing the income gap than anything else. This is going to be the theme for the remaining years of the Obama presidency. But the spin now on Obamacare is that people are going to get an enhanced value of life by being able to decide to work fewer hours, spend more time at home with their families, and pursue their dreams.
Now let’s see – they have been working 40 or more hours per week. Because of this, they will not get a subsidy for their health insurance through HealthCare.gov. So they will take a cutback of their hours, which will result in less income, so they can get a subsidy for their health insurance and stay at home more. Won’t that lock a big segment of our population into even less income? Oh, and who is going to finance that “pursue their dreams” thing – a bank?