Monday, April 23, 2007

Pflumm Pforgets His Place

Let's look at the background. A few weeks ago the City Council unanimously authorized the mayor to form a task force to study the issue of a smoking ban. Ideally the task force would hold meetings, research information and obtain input from the public (residents and business owners/managers of Shawnee)
That sounds like the democratic process at work.

Now, what happened at this evening's council meeting? Well it appears that Dan Pflumm decided he didn't need input from the citizens of Shawnee. He whips out a copy of the City of Overland Park's smoking ordinance and wants the City Council of Shawnee to adopt it. And to top it off, he has an accomplice in this travesty. Yep, his good buddy, Kevin Straub seemed to support this action.

Needless to say other councli members were curious as to how they could vote to approve something they haven't studied. But more importantly, most of them wanted to know how they could vote on an ordinance without the input of the citizens of Shawnee.

Well, it seems like Pflumm feels that they have already provided input. He brings up Johnson County's recent "survey' about smoking. Neil Sawyer, to his credit, tried to explain that surveys can be manipulated. Pflumm let's that one go by saying that the survey company has been around for quite awhile. Sawyer then indicates (tongue in cheek I think) that that could be one of the reasons. Let's give Mr Pflumm a lesson in Public Surveys 101. They CAN be manipulated. The key elements are what the questions are, how they are worded and the restricted answer choices made available.

Now I am sure that there are some in Shawnee who wish he would have been successful. But I ask, would they like it if an ordinance was adopted that they were against, without allowing them to provide input?

This action of Pflumm's was a blatant attempt to ignore the rights of the people to participate in their government. He can try all he wants to wiggle out of it, but he can't. Is this what the voters in Ward 1 want of their elected representative? Someone who attempts to usurp their rights.

Fortunately for the citizens of Shawnee there were enough members of the City Council who still feel that the people have the right to provide input.

My opinion: These two are very dangerous individuals, in that they have no regard for the rights of the people.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Duke Lacrosse Players

Has anybody heard anything about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson issuing apologies to these young men?

Just curious.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Presidential Politics - Too Much Too Soon

Let's see, it is what, 9 or 10 months before the first primaries and caucuses? Definitely nineteen (19) months before the election. and what has been going on? Folks have announced their candidacies months ago. For some it will be almost two years between announcement and the election.

That is a little too much, at least for me. But, what really ticks me off is that some of these individuals are elected officials. By campaigning for the presidential nomination, some of them are ignoring the responsibilities of their elected offices. Especially those that are either US Representatives or US Senators. What that means is that they are campaigning on our dime and not giving their full attention to what we, their employers, elected them to do.

How many "civilian" companies would put up with the absenteeism that some of these individuals display?

My solution: A federal law, that if you are a serving member of the the US Congress (either house) and announce for the presidency, that you must, at that time resign your position. Let's get someone into the office who is willing to work for the constituency.

Let the states handle the situation for sitting governors.

Check this one out

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Brown Shirt Award

Periodically I will be giving out the "Brown Shirt Award".

This will be given to the person, who, in my opinion, most exemplifies by their actions, or words, that they are desirous of restricting and/or curtailing individual civil rights and liberties.

Phill Kline - Out of Control

Has anyone read this article?

I don't even have the stomach to explain it.

This man is out of control. Last November the citizens of Kansas told this individual to take a hike as the State Attorney General. When the vote resuslts were broken down by county, the citizens of Johnson County spoke very loudly that they did not want him to continue to serve.

Sooooooooooooo, what happened? The man who defeated him was the then Johnson County DA Paul Morrison, whose office was now open. Since Mr Morrison had originally been elected to the DA's post as a Republican, then the county committee reps would elect his replacement until the next general election.

Here's the juicy part.............these irresponsible jerks gave Kline the job. A man that the citizens overwhelmingly said they did not want in office.

Now he goes and pulls a stunt as indicated in the linked article.

Almost makes me ashamed to admit that I am a registered Republican.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Response to Editorial in The Shawnee Dispatch

The editor of the Shawnee Dispatch has outdone himself this time. In his campaign to champion a smoking ban he now purports to defend the health of workers,

For the record, since I had a letter recently published in the Dispatch on another subject, it was too soon for me to respond there. The editor has been advised of this article and is invited to comment here.

Golly gee willikers, will the trash talk never end? First, let's look at restaurants and bars that do permit smoking in Shawnee. How many of those employees that Mr. Beal wants to protect are smokers themselves? Now, let’s look at "office" type businesses. Well, another golly gee willikers goes to Mr. Beal. Let's put the "office" workers into two categories. Category A will be single company offices. Oh, let's say like Bayer on Shawnee Mission Parkway. And yes, there are other smaller companies that would fall into this category. Category B will be multi-company office buildings, like the one that houses the Shawnee Dispatch.

Now Mr. Beal, how many category A businesses already have their own smoking/non-smoking policies in effect? How many employees in these companies are subjected to unwanted secondhand smoke? Give me those numbers. Those are "hard" stats, based on facts, not mathematical models subject to interpretation.

Let us now move on to the category B businesses. Same info please Mr Beal. In the City of Shawnee how many of these businesses subject their non-smoking employees to secondhand smoke? Is it possible that you would find that companies are already taking care of most of this on their own?

And yes Mr Beal, it is about the rights of the business owner to run his or her business. And, the customers of that business will dictate the policy of the business by their activity at the "cash register".

While we are talking about secondhand smoke, why don't we talk about automobile emissions. You know Mr. Beal, all that gunk and junk that gets tossed into the air by cars, trucks, buses, etc. And what about in cities like Shawnee that have a per capita income above the national average and have a high ratio of SUVs? You know, those gas guzzling, emission belching monstrosities that are exempt from the Clean Air Act. What do those emissions do to our lungs?
Is it possible that many of the medical problems blamed on secondhand smoke are really caused by vehicle emissions? Or would you rather not touch that? But I do think about that every time I see those members of the SMNW track or is it cross country team jogging along Quivira Rd. You know, working up a sweat, and their lungs acting like big vacuums just pulling in all of those emissions. Just a thought. :-)

At this time I won't even mention that beautiful smell in the air in the winter of all those wood burning fireplaces. Actually it is nice, but what are they putting into our lungs? And wouldn’t that be worse inside those residences?

But, the really, really big question is........................WHAT NEXT?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

DeSoto USD 232 is Saved

The results are in. Don Clark won reelection in the Position 7 At Large seat over Kevin Straub 56.33% to 43.52%

Personally, I feel the voters there made a wise decision.