Kansas wind or Wyoming coal?
In 2012, we spent $570 million buying coal for Kansas power plants, according to a Union of Concerned Scientists report. Wyoming alone took $555 million out of our economy. That’s about $197 from each of us, one of the highest per-capita interstate transfers of wealth for coal in the nation.
Kansans’ money should stay in Kansas. If we start using our abundant wind and sunshine for a greater portion of our energy, it will. Each new wind turbine keeps more of your electric bill in Kansas. It goes to service crews and landowners, and it funds school districts at home, not in Wyoming.
Yet out-of-state industry has once again found Kansas legislators in Topeka and Washington, D.C., willing to undo the Kansas renewable energy standard and the renewable production tax credit. Why? Both bills sparked growth in Kansas’ electrical capacity and reduced spending on out-of-state coal. And unlike coal and natural gas, wind energy does not compete with our farms, manufacturers and cities for water resources. If these bills aren’t renewed, we’ll be writing bigger and bigger checks to Wyoming instead of cashing them at home.
Pay attention to what happens with these laws. The people we elected are about to show us whose economy they serve: ours or Wyoming’s.
The recent sonogram presentation in the Legislature was a good analogy for the anti-choice attitude toward women (Jan. 23 Local & State). In the pictures of the presentation, a pregnant woman disappears behind a curtain, while the fetus is clearly evident on the computer monitor.
When anti-choice advocates talk about criminalizing abortion and closing abortion clinics, their only goal is to make sure women carry their pregnancies to term. They never acknowledge that women have good reasons for seeking abortions as well as the moral power to make that decision. Anti-choice zealots do not acknowledge that making access to abortion difficult often results in harming women. Criminalizing abortion and creating onerous restrictions will not end abortion. It will only put women in the same danger they were in before Roe v. Wade.
No matter what anti-choice zealots say, abortion clinics staffed by doctors and other qualified medical personnel are safe places for women to exercise their freedom of choice. Making women disappear behind the curtain will not keep women safe.
I think considering abortion to be a medical specialty is akin to comparing the doctors at Auschwitz to the Mayo brothers (“Laws marginalize,” Jan 24 Letters to the Editor).
Every other month I make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It has medical specialists. They treat children rather than terminate them. Julie Burkhart, director of South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, should consider a donation to their cause.
A letter from a retired Episcopal priest was a breath of fresh air (“Stop forcing faith on others,” Jan. 22 Letters to the Editor).
I stopped going to church years ago because of my disgust with the growth of the us-versus-them brand of Christianity that tries to proselytize all Americans into the same cookie-cutter mold of thinking. I’d like to remind those people that there is a significant number of us out here who prefer to practice our personal beliefs, spirituality and intellectual decision-making in privacy rather than in public. I continue to believe that our wise forefathers had that in mind when they drafted the Constitution, which advocates freedom of religion and sets it apart from our lives as public citizens.
Please also remember that we were blessed with brains capable of original thought, rather than a sole reliance on instinct and imitation. If we weren’t designed to think for ourselves, why would we have these complex brains rather than the simple ones of rabbits or lemmings?
Close Vatican bank
Vatican Monsignor Nunzio Scarano was arrested last week, suspected of money laundering. He was already on trial for allegedly plotting to smuggle 20 million euros from Switzerland. Police seized Scarano’s luxurious apartment, which was filled with gilt-framed oil paintings and other treasures.
The Vatican bank has been the center of controversy for many decades. I think it is time to close it forever.
To his credit, Pope Francis sacked nearly all the cardinals associated with overseeing the operations of the Vatican bank. That was a good first step. However, in my view, the Vatican bank is beyond redemption.
The Vatican should not have a veil over funds by having its own bank. Fiscal transparency is essential. Consequently, the Vatican should use conventional banks with standard accounting practices that can be subject to routine audit and verified for legality as well as accuracy. The Vatican bank should be closed to end this sad cycle of scandals.
JAMES A. MARPLES
Will be missed
Judy Rinehart was a teacher at St. Jude Catholic School. She taught there for 40 years. She passed away last week and will be missed terribly. She touched countless lives of young children and parents alike. She represents everything that is right in today’s world.