Front Page » Monthly Archives » Archives: May 2011

WICHITA, Kan. - I was at work when my mother called me to tell me that someone had shot Dr. Tiller. That call momentarily paralyzed me with a peculiar shock. I knew this tragedy was a possibility, but I never fathomed it would become a reality. As I put down the phone, my young co-worker asked what was wrong. I told her the horrifying news about George Tiller. She asked me who he was, and I told her that he was the abortion doctor in Wichita.

Healthy Living

coal.jpgGREAT BEND, Kan. - The Holcomb Power Plant has been a source of debate in the State as of late. We already know the basics of this plant, an average of 10 % of the energy would be used in the State of Kansas, with the rest going out of State (Colorado, ect). Which means, we would benefit little and be stuck with the clean up cost.

The Kingston Plant in Tennessee is an example of worst case scenario coming to life. People who live in the area are still suffering complications. Family's are unable to sell their homes because of a toxic sludge that overtook the area when the plant exploded, children are unable to play in their backyards without protective suits because of the complications. View Picture's and Video's here

ABC News also did a special on it about a year ago, the information was overwhelming.

After attending a meeting of the Grassroots Environmental Action Team (GREAT) last week and receiving the following print out from the group, I found it important to share. The information is in depth and to be honest, alarming. Please read on for more information. The following is the letter in its entirety...

Kansas Women's Rights Done Wrong

SALINA, Kan. - I will never understand why the women of Kansas (and sympathetic men) don't simply revolt -- or at least vote smarter.

When a drumbeat of letters to the editor oppose abortion.  When most of those letter-writers are men. When women's private lives seem incessantly dragged into the public square.  Why no revolt?

A more direct manifestation of men's apparent urge to control women's lives is seen in this year's tsunami of anti-abortion legislation.  

A 72% male legislature (Kansas now has 46 women among 165 lawmakers, or 28 percent, down from 50 before our last election.), cheered on by a male anti-choice governor, thus has diverted attention from a wholesale gutting of public education and infrastructure.    Of course, gender does not automatically predict attitude, but such statistics at least indicate a strong trend line.

The last I heard, no one has sought an abortion who wasn't a woman, and pregnant.  

kansas-state-capitol-3.jpgWICHITA, Kan. - As reported here in the Kansas Free Press by Kari Rinker, Rep.Pete DeGraaf, (R-Mulvane) made the shocking comment that women better pony up and take out special rape coverage from their insurance providers. Or, just like the careless motorist who has a flat on the side of the road without a spare, women will regret their lack of planning ahead. Unless of course, they have a burning desire to give birth to the rapist's child which DeGraaf apparently heartedly endorses for women, especially his wife and daughter. What a guy!

Of course, the reason women are going to need to buy a "spare" to their original insurance coverage is all due to DeGraaf and his esteem colleagues who want to prohibit insurance companies from covering the cost of abortions in their regular healthcare coverage - even when those pregnancies are the result of rape .

As an associate pastor and Christian financial counselor one might assume that Rep. Pete DeGraaf would exhibit compassion for any woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, especially as a result of rape. Surely this financial planner for God would understand the financial difficulties and instability an unplanned pregnancy and violent assault would have upon a woman's life and see the wisdom of insurance coverage that would include rape.

Kansans Are Tired!

TOPEKA, Kan. - Kansas NOW is "TIRED" of legislators, who in efforts to pass their moral agenda, ignore the horrifying reality of crimes such as rape.

In a recent House debate, Representative Pete DeGraaf (R- Mulvane) told women that they should plan ahead for pregnancies that they can't control. Representative Barbara Bollier (R - Mission Hills) pointed out that the insurance restrictions on abortion that were being debated did not make exceptions for unintended pregnancies (such as those resulting from rape or incest), and the two exchanged the following remarks:

Rep. Pete DeGraaf replied, "We do need to plan ahead, don't we, in life?"

Bollier asked him, "And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with pregnancy?"

DeGraaf then responded, "I have a spare tire on my car."

Dispatch from Reading

READING, Kan. - Following up on last night's trip to Reading to check on a client, I accompanied my neighbors, Clyde and Carolyn, in a return visit this afternoon. For those who want to help, check in with the Highway Patrol who are monitoring Interstate 170 both east and west of town. They provided us with a piece of paper that asked for your name and which resident you were intending to assist. The police also ask that you provide a phone number (but I couldn't get cell service anyway) and leave by 6 pm.

Updated 8:32 pm: OK, it seems I was mistaken about volunteers being able to just drive to Reading and check in with the cops. Mike Dorse,y who's in charge of the Lyon County Community Organization Active in Disaster, indicates that all volunteers need to check in at the Lyon County Extension Center (that's on west Highway 50) at 9:00 am to board buses to Reading. He says that if anyone goes in alone then they will be turned away.

Most of the town has been effected.

Sam Brownback's WWII Values

I think we as a country are just going to have to go back to really saying, 'OK what got us to where we are? Hard work, ingenuity, education, strong families, commitments, character.' (Gov. Sam Brownback in a speech to the Wichita Rotary Club)

WICHITA, Kan. - Gov. Sam Brownback spoke to the Rotary Club in Wichita on April 17, 2011, telling attendees that Americans should return to WWII values to get us out of our economic crisis. An excerpt of his speech appeared in the April 18, 2011, issue of the Wichita Eagle. "This is not something new to us. We know what these values are," he added. "I think we just kind of got away from it, in investing more in interesting instruments to change and trade money, rather than focus on how do I make something. We're going to have to start making more things." (Kansas Needs WWII Values)

It's not clear what Gov. Brownback means when he says, "We're going to have to start making things." He does mention that Kansas is prime territory for wind farms and for manufacturing the turbines necessary to create electricity.

Gates Has Served Our Nation Well

SALINA, Kan. - Recently, in between the outing of "First Farce," Donald Trump and the successful mission that killed Osama bin Laden was a little-commented upon announcement regarding the shake-up of President Obama's national security team. The changes are being set in motion by the upcoming retirement of Defense Secretary Robert Gates. When the widely-respected Gates steps this down this summer the nation will lose one of its exemplary public servants.

Bob Gates is that rare breed in Washington - someone who has reached a level of respect that transcends partisan politics, an individual held in high esteem for many reasons, primarily his reputation for professional competence. And although some will regard his career as a bit tainted due to questions about how much he knew about the Iran-Contra affair, his tenure as Defense Secretary has been widely admired.

A native of Wichita, Kansas, Gates came to government service via an academic career that culminated in his receipt of a PhD from Georgetown in Russian and Soviet history.

WICHITA, Kan. - State legislatures all over America are bravely protecting women from those wily abortion doctors duping young women into having abortions.

Yes, multiple restrictive laws are on the books to make sure unsuspecting women are "informed" about what happens when they have an abortion because if there is one thing women do not understand, it's how to make their own reproductive choices. Thank goodness the state is so accommodating.

It seems to me we have left out one very important element in making sure women are informed about their medical choices. I believe new legislation should be proposed banning physicians from assisting in the delivery of a potential baby until the woman has been "informed" of all the medical and mental health dangers to her life if she continues with a live birth.

If Kansas legislators are so concerned about women making informed choices, shouldn't they support legislation that would mandate all OB-GYN doctors inform their patients that pregnancy is one the most dangerous medical risks a women can make? And, if these OB-GYN doctors do not cover all the health risks that come with pregnancy and a live birth, they should be fined and have their practices shut down by the State. Sound unreasonable? Perhaps not.

WICHITA, Kan. - Kevin Hall's recent article (Politics and public opinion aside, Americans are under-taxed) fails to emphasize the main thinking point for American taxpayers.

It is not that we are over-taxed or under-taxed. It is that the disparity between 94% of the taxpayers and the upper 6% is growing wildly. Conservatives from Tea-Partiers to Republicans to conservative Democrats have ignored that principal for almost a decade; in fact, they are doing their best to increase the disproportion in the distribution of wealth.

At this time, 51% of Americans do not pay any federal income taxes. Everyone should be pleased. Right? The percentage tax rate though for the uppermost taxpayers has dropped from a high rate of 34% to about 24% and the Republicans have sworn to give the wealthy more.

The wealthiest corporations are running record profits. Exxon made another 11 million dollar profit while the gas prices are going up supposedly in response to the Libyan crisis. However, Republicans are screaming that entitlements are to blame for the increasing deficits.

So let's (they say) gouge the heck out of programs for the poor and middle class.

Kris Kobach Meets the Kochs

SALINA, Kan. - Alan Jilka, on these pages, has presented a sterling case for opposition to Kris Kobach. Wednesday, May 4th, at the state county clerks conference, some folks outside Salina's Ramada Inn created an outdoor 'free our voters,' anti-Kobach presence. Equally important, there was an indoor presence, up close and personal, for Kobach himself.

Besides a Kobachi presentation which gained applause only from one-third of the county clerks, his press conference found him face to face with Koch Bros. impersonators Gary Swartzendruber and Bob Homolka. Some pointed questions followed.

Kobach said they would be surprised at the grades he received at Harvard, but he did not indicate he would produce his Wisconsin birth certificate. When asked about E-Verifying cattle, immigrants, voters, and feral pigs, he demurred.

WICHITA, Kan. - The Pakistan army ordered a cut in U.S. military personnel within its borders on Thursday. This move by the Pakistani government seemed to be in reaction to the unilateral American commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Fine! Let's get all 257 of our United States troops out of Pakistan.

Then, let's take away the 2 billion in annual taxpayer funded foreign aid (or maybe only 1.7 billion, who's keeping track). According to Reuters, Pakistan is paying $900,000 to a Washington public relations firm to push Pakistan's defense of the bin Laden story - that none of their army, their police, their much vaunted ISI intelligence service had any idea that the huge installed-in-2005 luxurious facility nested in the suburb of Islamabad was hiding the most wanted man in the world. Even though Bin Laden's hideout was just 'down the street' from Pakistan's West Point.

Now, Pakistan's titular president has run off to France leaving the military in charge of the country.

jack-and-the-wall-street-giants.jpgWICHITA, Kan. - A friend of mine sent the following comment regarding the death of Osama bin Laden: "Can we now say 'mission accomplished?' He was killed in a walled compound near a Pakistan military base, and not in Afghanistan. It's time to end the expense, bring the kids home, and begin a peace time economy again."

I told my friend that I agree wholeheartedly that we should withdraw from Afghanistan.

However, I had to qualify my enthusiasm with an observation. Just as Eisenhower warned us against allowing the 'military industrial complex' to take over our government, the sad truth is - that's exactly what has taken place. The military industrial complex has, indeed, taken over our democratic processes on behalf of the oil / energy conglomerates, Wall Street and the banks. Sadly, I think it would be delusional to assume that those who really determine our foreign policies would ever give an inch in regard to their steady march toward world hegemony.

We must remember that candidate Obama's promise to "leave Iraq" turned out to be a decision that was "above the President's pay-grade."

people-voting.jpgTOPEKA, Kan. - On April 18th Governor Sam Brownback signed the SAFE Act, (Secure and Fair Elections Act) into law. Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who won an election last fall by creating the illusion of massive electoral irregularities, hailed the new law and said the changes will discourage fraud.

Since it will come as news to most Kansans that we had a voter fraud problem in our state, the story of this bill bears retelling.

Kris Kobach has made a living in recent years crusading against illegal immigration. He has authored parts of Arizona Law 1070 and numerous local ordinances targeting undocumented immigrants. Arizona and municipalities across the country have been forced to spend hundreds of thousands of tax dollars in legal fees defending these laws in court.

WICHITA, Kan. - And now where do we go after writing down our voting reminder for 2012. Let's see. Obama for President and no insulting conservatives for any office, anywhere.

President Obama had the courtesy to call former Presidents Bush and Clinton before the public announcement was made. President Obama gave credit to the American military and intelligence services for a job very well done. He credited Leon Panetta for taking the job of getting Bin Laden and pursuing it until it was done.

But have any Republicans given his administration anything but the tiniest bit of credit? They have been grudging in their respect. The American public must remember that in November 2012.

voting-at-general-election-small-size-300px.jpgHAYS, Kan. - There's something about a Republican that brings out my chatty side.

For instance, what started today as a quick check of the day's news ended up with my giving in to the temptation to post a comment on The Republican Lawyer Blog.

His entry was entitled Rasmussen: 82% Say a Photo ID Should be Needed to Vote.

Blogger Matt Seurmann ended with the question, "Why not just make it a requirement to vote?"

I felt compelled to answer in the following manner. Here's why not...

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This is an archive page containing all stories published in Kansas Free Press in May 2011. These are listed from newest to oldest.

April 2011 is the previous archive and June 2011 is the next one.

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