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Letters to the Editor

Cynical view?

May 29, 2008

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To the editor:

The Republican legislative leadership recently ignored other vital issues while trying twice to push through bills designed to allow the construction of coal-fired power plants in western Kansas and, just for good measure, to strip the Secretary of Health and Environment of the responsibility to protect the environment from air pollution. Gov. Sebelius wisely and courageously vetoed both measures.

In his Saturday Column, Mr. Simons showed a degree of cynicism unusual even for a professional newspaper person. He suggested that her actions were intended just to impress "Democratic big wigs" in Washington in order to get her a Cabinet post or even a place as running mate for Sen. Obama. He barely acknowledged that she might simply have been acting to protect the Earth and future generations from the dumping of millions of tons of additional CO2.

Was he actually not being cynical at all? Was he just trying to obscure the crucial environmental issues by suggesting crass political motives? Is he willing to distort facts just to support profits for out-of-state corporations? Will the rhetorical questions ever end?

P.S. I was pleased to read Tuesday's editorial calling for thoughtful, nonpartisan energy planning based on science rather than rhetoric.

Joe Douglas,

Lawrence

Comments

davidnta 6 years, 4 months ago

CTE- We are so in the hole in how much we owe, we have no choice, but to raise taxes in order to pay for the mistakes made by the Bush Administration. I know everybody is for a low and fair tax, but that is simply not possible.

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jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

What on earth do these rants about taxes have to do with the environment??

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Rex Russell 6 years, 4 months ago

CTE- Thin skinned this morning, aren't we. First lets separate personal attack from partisan thinking. The former isn't intententional, but the latter is defininely dead on. As far as "ad hom" goes, I'll take that as a compliment from an expert on the subject. I will admit to getting frustrated with the usual quality of postings on the LJW. The norm is rhetoric above substance. It's not a personnal attack, you just normaly fit the bill. Governor S. was correct in the denial of the permits. If this was energy for the purpose of use for Kansans, the pollution would balance it out. A definite upside with a corresponding downside. You can make a case for it. This is not the case however, and the downsides out weigh the good side. Elevate your arguements, subtract the rhetoric, a stick to the subject.

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dirkleisure 6 years, 4 months ago

Exactly - you are making it up.

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Douglas, if you actually believe that Governor Sebelius was acting "to protect the earth and future generations" to the exclusion of her national political aims, then you are naive. She grew up in Ohio, where her father, John J. Gilligan, was once governor. She has praised her father for imposing a state income tax on Ohioans, a tax which is presently one of the most oppressive in the nation and has a lot more to do with Ohio's economic problems than NAFTA. When she said recently that she was proudest of her father for pushing through a burdensome tax on his fellow citizens when she could have praised him for the Silver Star he won at Okinawa, she revealed openly what is most important to her - taking money from fellow citizens through taxation, which is not consistent with the views of most Kansans. It is, however, consistent with the views of Senator Obama, whom she vigorously supports.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

Interesting, sort of, screed, but what's your point?

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Rex Russell 6 years, 4 months ago

I ment perls of wizdum on the subject.

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jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

The governor's decision to support the KDHE's denial of permits for coal plants supports that organization in doing it's job - protecting the health and environment in Kansas (hence the name).Perhaps the most disturbing part of the legislation pushed by Neufeld, etc. was the attempt to prevent KDHE from being able to fulfill it's legitimate function.This is in line with much of the recent activity of the executive branch.

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dirkleisure 6 years, 4 months ago

cato - "When she said recently that she was proudest of her father for pushing through a burdensome tax on his fellow citizens when she could have praised him for the Silver Star he won at Okinawa,"Source? Additionally, what defines "recently" in your world, since you posted this same rant in March?

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

"Defense mechanisms?" What do you call your ad hominem, libelous personal attacks upon my character?

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

And I guarantee you that you would not have the guts to tell me that in person.

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

The news article to which I referred appeared in a well-covered interview with the Governor published in major news outlets, I commented on it in early March, and I'm not going to waste my time on it. If you're that concerned about it, then find it yourself.

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RedwoodCoast 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe what we need is compassionate capitalism... oh, wait, I think that might be an oxymoron...

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

RR, taxes are used for many purposes that are reasonably necessary, such as the streets and highways that you described earlier. As I just stated, however, when the goal of those imposing taxes is not simply to provide basic governmental services but is instead to punish those who are successful in order to "redistribute" hard-earned wealth in whatever manner the taxing authorities see fit, then that goal is profoundly evil.

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

RR, you now tell us that you agree with the Governor's position on the western Kansas power plants for reasons you set forth. You still don't get it - because of her national political aspirations, she would have denied them if 100% of the power had gone in-state. This is well known in Topeka on both sides of the aisle, whether or not her supporters will admit it publicly.

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Rex Russell 6 years, 4 months ago

Cato-Let me ask it again. If all taxes are confiscatory, what are the reasons for taxation you agree with and what type of things your confiscated money goes to, do you disagree with? Is it welfare for the working poor? Tax breaks and incentives for oil companies? Pell grants for stundents? Roads,bridges? Would you do away with the income tax? Be specific and shoot me some pearls of wisdom.

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes, Bozo, some people are "motivated almost exclusively by self-interest and greed." In fact, some of them have moved to this community in recent years. However, Bozo, many people who are not motivated almost exclusively by self-interest and greed do in fact view governmental "redistribution of wealth" through confiscatory taxation as evil, and believe that those who advocate it are motivated almost exclusively by self-interest and greed.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

Taxation that's spent for the general good is not confiscatory, and limiting the extremes of wealth and poverty is clearly for the general good. Taxation that's used to promote and enrich very narrow interests is confiscatory. Unfortunately, ever since Reagan, Republicanism has come to mean almost exclusively the latter.

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dirkleisure 6 years, 4 months ago

cato_the_elder (Anonymous) says:And I guarantee you that you would not have the guts to tell me that in person.-----So, when you've been caught in a lie you threaten physical violence? Or do you have some malfeasant odor about you which limits a person's ability to converse in your presence?You've posted a ridiculous statement that obviously has no basis in fact and is something you have made up, likely from a related comment.Maybe if she becomes the veep nominee you can start an e-mail chain. Make sure to throw in there that she's a Muslim and refuses to wear a State of Kansas flag pin.

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Rex Russell 6 years, 4 months ago

CTE- We pay taxes in this democracy, both federal and state, to pay for defense,paved roads,building bridges, maintinance, etc. These things are for the common good of all. This is the business and purpose of government. To serve and protect it's citizens. Not all taxes are evil. The point is to do all these things efficiently and therefore tax the citizenry as little as possible. Don't paint all taxes with the same broad brush. I want to pay as little as I have to. I also enjoy driving on I-70 to Colorado without dodging potholes. Unlike driving east through Missouri and swerving to avoid them. Missouri and Kansas have different gas tax systems. These are some of your results. Your rabid dog, foaming at the mouth, partisan thinking always comes shining through.

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Rex Russell 6 years, 4 months ago

Personally, I don't believe that is true. Weighing the pros and cons, if all that power was devoted to Kansas (or as much as we need), therefore driving down our rates or at least stablizing them, that tips the balance politcally. Even if you subtact her personal feelings on global warming and pollution, reducing my electric bill is a political no-brainer. She would have to vote for it in spite of her personal issues. I don't care about her grand aspirations. I care about what the governor of Kansas does for me as a Kansan. I care as much about that as some care about who is lining the pockets and coffers of Kansas politicians cramming this bill down our throats. We had more important business to take care of this year in the Legislature than this 3 times.

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

RR, having read your posts today the most immediate pearl of wisdom that I can impart to you, and I say this altruistically, is to install spellcheck on your computer.

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dirkleisure 6 years, 4 months ago

Ah, the "socialist" label. More defense mechanisms.

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

Whatever malfeasant odor concerns you must have its origin in your own personality, which cannot accept the fact that I'm not about to spend my time, especially for someone of your ilk, tracking down a piece that I most certainly read in print earlier this year. I have never in my life previously been accused of lying about anything, but perhaps that's because for the most part I have been surrounded by honorable people whose first recourse when they read something they don't like is not to brand the author as a liar.

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

Bozo, all taxation is confiscatory. When its moves away from the "extremes" (your word) and is instead intended to target people who are nowhere near independently wealthy but are financially successful, and is done enviously out of greed in order to punish their success (the clearly stated goal of many socialists in this country and elsewhere), then it is indeed evil.

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

DL, glad to see that you've been able to take a break from offering your customers fries with their burgers on the day shift. For the source, you can check any Kansas news source appearing shortly prior to the time I made the posts to which you refer - she specifically stated that she was proudest of her father for pushing through a state income tax in Ohio, which had never previously had one, while he was serving as governor. It should be easy to find. As for "recently," considering the total span of time she has served as Governor/Obama supporter (and Insurance Commissioner before that), it qualifies as "recent" in my book.

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

So, rrussell, other than your ad hominem attack on me, what's your point? Virtually everyone agrees that some taxation is necessary, but some believe that taking money from productive citizens and "redistributing" it is the raison d'etre of government at all levels. Senator Obama appears to be one such person, and in light of her stated positions it's not surprising that Governor Sebelius strongly supports him.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

One of the anomalies of a capitalist system is that it concentrates wealth and if unchecked, it causes societies to devolve into feudalistic oligarchies. So one legitimate role for government is to make sure that all productive citizens get at least a weak approximation of their fair share. And most people don't believe that those who are incapable of being as productive as others should be sent into the wilderness to meet their fates. Many people who are motivated almost exclusively by self-interest and greed like to characterize that as "redistribution."

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dirkleisure 6 years, 4 months ago

Sir, my first, second, and third recourse were to ask you to back up your statement.Here's your trouble - I did look for it, mainly to correct your obvious misinterpretation. I have not found it.However, for the honorable person, it is up to him or her to back up his or her statements. Just because you say the sky is green does not mean I must go out and figure out why you said it.Honor, indeed. You have many defense mechanisms, first violence and then claiming superiority of character. What you do not have is the ability to back up your statements with fact. "Because I said so" does not cut it, especially among honorable people.

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dirkleisure 6 years, 4 months ago

Nope, not gonna cut it. You cited it, you source it. I say it doesn't exist.Source, please.

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Jim Phillips 6 years, 4 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: One of the anomalies of a capitalist system is that it concentrates wealth and if unchecked, it causes societies to devolve into feudalistic oligarchies. So one legitimate role for government is to make sure that all productive citizens get at least a weak approximation of their fair share. And most people don't believe that those who are incapable of being as productive as others should be sent into the wilderness to meet their fates. Many people who are motivated almost exclusively by self-interest and greed like to characterize that as "redistribution."So let me understand this, I work my backside off to make as much money as I want only to have the government take it away and give it to you while you sit around watching reruns of Gilligan's Island and I'm supposed to be happy about it? Is that the gist of your statement?

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cato_the_elder 6 years, 4 months ago

So the fact that you can't find a news article that I read earlier this year justifies your libeling me on multiple occasions in the manner you have? Do you not trust anyone? Or is it simply that I'm not one of your fellow socialists?

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Rex Russell 6 years, 4 months ago

Cato. "Virtually everyone agrees that some taxation is necessary" Which taxes that the government confiscates from you do you agree are necessary? Just out of curiosity. Be specific. Or are you not part of the virtually everyone?

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christy kennedy 6 years, 4 months ago

"Was he actually not being cynical at all?"Cynicism is the ruse used by those short on facts and reason to support their position. Misdirection and obfuscation may sway the gullible, but the most folks can distinguish between that and accurate information.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

"Unlike, say, Stalin's Russia, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Sung's North Korea, Mao's China, etc."Irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

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Charles L Bloss Jr 6 years, 4 months ago

Our democracy is living on borrowed time. We are being taxed out of everything we have worked for all our lives. Check out USAwakeup.org. Some idiot said today that al Qaeda is being crushed all over the world and soon will not be a threat. Oh how I wish that were true, but it assuredly is not. In order to help prevent the problems we are now facing, we need to be taxed less, not more. The recession that is starting is, in part, due to high taxes and high gas prices. We can do something about both if we get to work on it now! Thank you, Lynn

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Jim Phillips 6 years, 4 months ago

Bozo-What is it you're choosing to ignore? I see the point very clearly. If one were prone to assumptions, one might wonder how long you have been a recipient of the welfare state.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

"The point is what yiu endorse is pure socialism and we are not a socialist country-yet."Aside from your strawman assertions, where have I endorsed that?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

"I see the point very clearly. "Then perhaps you can actually explain it."If one were prone to assumptions, one might wonder how long you have been a recipient of the welfare state."I've never received a penny of welfare in my life. But I don't begrudge it to those who need it. Got any more assumptions?

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Jim Phillips 6 years, 4 months ago

Bozo-If I misunderstood what you wrote then I apologize. That was the impression I got when I read the post. Wasn't meaning to put words in your mouth.

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Jim Phillips 6 years, 4 months ago

The point is what yiu endorse is pure socialism and we are not a socialist country--yet. And I don't begrudge welfare to anyone who needs it either; "need" being the operative word. But if you agree with spreading the wealth, you can pay my share.

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bearded_gnome 6 years, 4 months ago

so,Dr. Douglas,apparently you believe I ought to pay much more for electricity. thanks. can I come and take your car, house, etc., sell them, then make up some of the loss? this thread has fallen off the tracks.even if over 80% of the electricity went out of state, you greeniewheenies, it would still keep our electric rates lower! our country, many decades ago, built a nation-wide grid system for distributing electricity, so the market is bigger than kansas. geeeeez, some people shouldn't be let outside with their marbles...or I guess they lost them already. *and boozo, your comment presupposes that the government can be trusted to decide what is fair income levels! so, you want government to decide how much you earn? great. you can have that. also if all your taxes add up to more than 50%, you're in a form of slavery, this time to the government.

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RobertMarble 6 years, 4 months ago

It's surprising to see some people in Lawrence who aren't interested in a marxist wonderland. There might be hope for that town yet.

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ralphralph 6 years, 4 months ago

Chatty Kathy = gone.(at least from public office in KS)

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

Bearded Gomer said, "and boozo, your comment presupposes that the government can be trusted to decide what is fair income levels! so, you want government to decide how much you earn? "Government is made up of people, just like businesses. If wage levels are solely up to the discretion of business owners, they will almost always tend to set wage levels that benefit them the most, and that is almost always as low as they can get by with, while government is much more likely to be a disinterested arbiter in determining that level-- certainly much more so than a business owner.Unless you work at minimum or "living" wage levels, the government isn't involved in determining what the majority of workers earn, and setting a minimum, survivable wage level really isn't that hard to determine.

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RobertMarble 6 years, 4 months ago

moral of the story: If you want more money, take the initiative to better yourself. Make yourself more marketable / employable. Enhance your skills, get some training, build experience...something...Improve yourself to elevate your position. It's a free country so take advantage of the opportunity; just don't expect it to fall into your lap. It may be an anachronistic concept to many, but you actually need to work for it. Another common misconception: The concept of a free country does NOT mean you get things handed to you for free. It means you've got the freedom to succeed and advance through your own merits. Conversely, it also means you have the freedom to fail, based on you lack of merit and / or work. Life's tough kiddos, might as well get used to the idea. Now step away from your computers & actually go earn a living.

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