DougCounty (Ken Lassman)


Comment history

Opinion: Facts essential to useful discourse

Factual distortions are part and parcel of partisan politics and this has always been the case. The issue for me is: who is being served by those distortions? If the politician is doing this for personal gain, then it is unethical. The same can be said if the distortion is resulting in personal gain for the few at the expense of the many. It seems to me that both are occurring in both parties today to an extent that would have been shocking from the perspective of the average politician of several decades ago.

It seems to me that a major source of these unethical distortions is the nature of campaign financing, where huge sums of money are laid at the feet of the politician and either threatened to be pulled out from under their feet at the next election if they don't continue to toe the line and parrot the prescribed distortions, or alternatively, those moneys will be spent in a smear campaign against that politician under the guise of "free speech" if that politician veers away from the "message."

I think this is extortion plain and simple, under the guise of "free speech," that is a particularly vicious hybrid between the two types of unethical behavior: it both benefits the individual politician so they can finance their next election at the expense of the truth, and it also benefits the few at the expense of the many. I'm skeptical of the ability of most politicians to be able to act in a way that will break this double barrelled threat to democracy, and yet what is our alternative to returning to a more ethical political playing field? The other two branches of government, the executive and judicial branches hold little hope of creating the leverage that we need to break this up; I think it would take leadership from all 3, something that is not currently present.

April 26, 2015 at 7:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: A better future

I think you under a major illusion about how "greens" work, and "reds" too, if you think Mikhail Gorbachev is a leader of either. A cursory glance at his Wikipedia article shows that Russians don't consider him to be a leader in the communist party, and while he has supported things like the UN-sponsored Earth Charter, I don't know anyone in any of the wide spectrum of organizations that support "green" initiatives who take marching orders from him.

Even his support of the Earth Charter is pretty limited, as he is not on their Council, not on their Advisory Board and their country affiliates, but just one of 23 members of the Commission, which from what I can tell is a figurehead position.

To summarize, saying that the theoretical "leaders" of the "greens" and "reds" have "identical goals" is actually meaningless gibberish.

April 25, 2015 at 11:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: A better future

"Greens" range from apolitical to uber-political, and within the political sector, you can find paleoconservative libertarians and anarchists, from log cabin republicans to progressive democrats, from socialists to communists. So if you can find more than a coincidence WITHIN the green movement, then I'm sure you can find more than a coincidence BETWEEN what you term "reds" and "greens." What that "more" means is not much, in my estimation.

April 24, 2015 at 5:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: A better future

One deflection triggers another, Kevin. Glad you noticed. I take no more stock in my examples of a "heck of a coincidence" than I do in yours. They are all up there dancing on the head of a pin--let me know how many you can count.

April 24, 2015 at 8:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas officials report fewer earthquakes, but can't yet say why

Science takes a bit longer than 3 weeks to come to a conclusion, which seems appropriate to me. Also at play is the nature of the limitation: how much can be injected and not trigger a seismic event? Looks like we're on the right track, but the devil's in the details. It may be that there is no safe amount, or it might be 50% of the volume that they were doing before the limits were set in place, or it might vary according to the geological formations in question. Let science do its job, please. I think it's great that the seismic activity is dropping off so quickly but there is still a lot to be learned.

April 23, 2015 at 12:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas officials report fewer earthquakes, but can't yet say why

Actually, the Kansas is the state that is limiting waste injection wells and is reporting the preliminary encouraging drop in seismic activities, while Oklahoma is behind the curve and has not yet taken such actions. Both states have recognized waste injection wells as the probable cause of the quakes.

April 23, 2015 at 12:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Ill-informed point

The water shortage is directly related to the vanishing amount of snow pack in the mountains, which is increasingly common due to the climate change that is occurring due to excessive carbon emissions that are occurring to human activity. Therefore, the discussion about using carbon-rich coal or low/no carbon wind and solar and energy efficiency has a direct impact on how much water is available to take that shower and flush that toilet. Do you see the connection, now?

April 22, 2015 at 6:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: A better future

A most interesting opinion piece, David, distinguished by not having a single scientifically verifiable fact in it. If you ever want to learn what the scientific community is actually saying, check out the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change materials available for free at or check out any of your favorite myths at to see why they don't hold any credence upon closer scrutiny.

April 22, 2015 at 6:24 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: A better future

Did I just feel an incredible blast of hot air?

April 22, 2015 at 6:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: A better future

Didn't you get your economic stimulus check that went out to every taxpayer? The IRS has a mechanism to pretty much track down everyone quite effectively, thank you, and the proposal is to use this mechanism for the rebate.

I agree with you that market forces should be used whenever possible to create incremental changes in our energy grid and this is precisely how the carbon fee and dividend would work since it rebates it back into the pocketbook of the consumer to use as they see fit. British Columbia has used this system and it has resulted in a greater reduction in carbon emissions than Canada as a whole while maintaining a vibrant economy.

April 21, 2015 at 3:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )