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The Kansas Free Press is honored to occasionally publish illustrations created by our friend, Angelo Lopez, a regular contributor to KFP's sister publication, Everyday Citizen. Turn this page if you'd like to read Angelo's very interesting essay about his inspiration for drawing this cartoon.

SALINA, Kan. - President Obama and Speaker Boehner have both made their cases on deficit reduction to the American people. And it's no secret who's willing to compromise and who isn't. But worth pondering was Obama's provocative question, "When did compromise become a dirty word in Washington?"

Nearly every poll in sight shows that a solid majority of Americans, including a majority of Republicans surveyed, want a compromise to the debt solution that includes both significant spending cuts and revenue increases. In short, Americans want real solutions, not ideological posturing. But there's a disconnect between citizens and their elected representatives. And it begs the question, why?

Time For a Shot At Change

WICHITA, Kan. - The Kansas Tequila Party inaugural event in Wichita will take place on July 29th, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. (CST) at Nomar Plaza, 204 E. 21st Street.

We will be rallying and registering new Hispanic voters at our registration booth. We will have speakers and entertainment available where our speakers will be discussing the unifying issue to Latinos from all political backgrounds -- the immigration issue.

Tea Party politician Kansas Representative Virgil Peck stated earlier this year that a way to handle the illegal immigration issue is to "shoot immigrants like feral hogs".

Our rally will be a rallying point and a rally cry against the bigotry facing the fastest growing population in the nation.

WICHITA, Kan. - I was 19 when the original Summer of Mercy descended upon Wichita. I had moved to Wichita that very month from a small Kansas town. While I was busy trying to navigate the 'big city' and find my way back and forth from my waitressing job without getting lost, one landmark that I quickly came to rely upon was Dr. Tiller's clinic. I had to drive by it every day and it was impossible to miss with masses of people that were in front of it.

My small town upbringing had not given me cause to ever really think about abortion. I dare say that I hadn't even really formulated a view one-way or the other on the issue. Seeing those shouting people, what struck me most was the mob scene that they created. I knew I didn't like bullies and these people were most certainly bullying the women that entered that clinic.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The Johnson County NAACP is bringing together local politicians and activists to address some of the political and social issues at the forefront of society.

Host of KCUR's Central Standard show, Jabulani Leffall, will moderate "The NAACP in the 21st Century: A Diverse Perspective."

This forum will give community leaders an opportunity to critically explore current issues. It will be held from 1 to 3 PM on Saturday, July 30th at the West Wyandotte Branch of the Kansas City Kansas Public Library (1737 N 82nd Street, KCK).

Kenny Johnston

"Gov. Brownback and his extreme Republican allies have told us time and time again that fiscal responsibility has been missing from Topeka. They've said state spending has run amok and their devastating cuts to schools, senior services and the vulnerable are necessary.

"Now, because they've been focusing on extreme social issues like illegally defunding Planned Parenthood, the state is facing a lawsuit. Guess what a lawsuit means?"

COLBY, Kan. - Governor Brownback is a real politician with no limits to what and where he goes with his conservative right wing lunacy.

For KFP readers who aren't on the Kansas Democrats mailing list, I'm posting the following letter recently sent by Kenny Johnston, executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party ...

TOPEKA, Kan. - flag-1.jpgJoin us August 6 as we STAND UNITED in a Celebration of Fairness, Equality, Patriotism, and Freedom for ALL!

UNITED WE STAND in our opposition to the Brownback administration's devastating policies that damage the quality of life of all Kansans.

UNITED WE STAND against policies aimed at forcing narrow, ideological extremism upon all Kansans.

UNITED WE STAND for equality, for jobs, for healthcare, and for quality education.

UNITED WE STAND to remind Governor Brownback that dissent is patriotic.

Why a Need for Vengeance?

SALINA, Kan. - On July 7, 2011 the state of Texas executed Humberto Leal for the 1994 rape and murder of Adria Sauceda.

Leal was a Mexican citizen, although he had lived in the United States from a young age. The Mexican government joined other groups and individuals in pleading for his life be spared by Texas governor Rick Perry, but to no avail.

The execution reminded me of a comment, or better yet a question that a Mexican friend put to me a few years back. This individual asked me bluntly, "Why does the United States still have the death penalty? How barbaric!"

And in fact the United States is one of a minority of countries in the world who still practice capital punishment.

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Earlier this week, over 600 Lawrence residents convened in a local church to voice their concerns about the pending closure of the local Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) office.

A sense of anger and anxiety filled the room as people wondered what would happen to their families, students, clients, or neighbors. All of the frustration and rage that resonated in the overflowing sanctuary seemed to stem from a community's deep compassion for its citizens.

Those in attendance claimed that among individuals directly affected by the closure of the SRS offices are employees who cannot afford to relocate, children, the disabled, law enforcement, battered women, the impoverished, and the elderly.

One woman in Lawrence said that she read comments from Brownback-appointed SRS Secretary, Robert Siedlecki. He had compared the difficult decision to close 9 SRS offices to deciding which child a family should sacrifice.

That woman, Kathleen McGee, faulted the Brownback-administration's analogy ...

brownback.jpgWICHITA, Kan. - Governor Sam Brownback has already used his administration to make Kansas one of the most social conservative in the nation. Kansas has become the first state to end public funding of the arts and has narrowly missed being the first state to do end abortions.

Now, Brownback is developing a plan to promote marriage. To head up this effort, Brownback has hired Robert Siedlecki. Ironically, Siedlicki is divorced, but he is an advocate of "faith-based" solutions and an opponent of gay marriage. And, he's from Florida, as if Kansas has a shortage of religious right activists.

Tim Carpenter reported recently some juicy details about a secret April meeting to design Brownback's marriage agenda. The Topeka Capital-Journal uncovered some through a Kansas Open Records request.

The Kansas government spent $13,000 to bring together 20 mostly far-right marriage "experts" for the closed door meeting.

WICHITA, Kan. - A couple of weeks ago asked to speak at The Kansas Equality Coalition's (KEC) Gay Pride Rally in Wichita. To quote my friend Thomas Witt, "There are too many LGBTQ Kansans who are against a woman's right to choose." Lt. Dan Choi was in attendance, as was Dr. Mila Means. These two profiles in courage stood side by side in open support of each others causes.

Kansas NOW and KEC have worked together on many issues involving equal rights. While I understand that every person has their own unique mixture of beliefs, regardless of gender or their sexual identity, I personally struggle for acceptance for the anti-choice gay viewpoint. We are fighting the same political demons, after all.

There may be a few legislators who "split their votes" between these causes, voting in support of gay rights, but not in support of women's reproductive rights. For the most part, however, both groups are thrown into the same pot of evil stew by the radical wing of the GOP. They are boiling us up, adding some salt and a little pepper and will chew us up with in the same bite, if given the opportunity.

Here is the text of my speech from the Wichita Pride Rally. Enjoy it with some crackers or a nice loaf of bread...

mike-pompeo.jpgEMPORIA, Kan. - Wichita Congressional Representative, Mike Pompeo, today proposed cutting 45 million dollars for alternative energy vehicle research (essentially rolling back spending to 2007 or 2008 budget levels depending on who's counting).

Mr. Pompeo believes the funds are part of President Obama's "liberal agenda" to have bureaucrats in Washington dictate the free market through the improper application of funding and tax credits.

Hmm, wonder what Mr. Pompeo would say about subsidies to the oil industry which most Republicans have refused to cut despite record profits amid very high costs to the consumer for gasoline...

man-reading-newspaper.jpgGREAT BEND, Kan. - Citizen journalism is as American as the First Amendment. It's the truest 'freedom of speech' since it is not sponsored by corporate donors.

Most commercial news sources today are beholden to their advertisers, be they local or corporate. It is tough to fight corruption when corruption is your main source of income. News channel's or newspapers are not the only way to get news nowadays.

Too often, also, commercial newspapers and other corporate sponsored news sources focus on federal level politics. Local politics are pushed aside. Writers on this and similar sites are providing valuable services as they provide articles that are usually of interest to the Kansas public. Kansas Free Press is a fantastic way for citizens to publish information that otherwise would be shelved by commercial media.

What Patriotism Means to Me

WICHITA, Kan. - With the 4th of July upon us, the question patriotism often comes up, to me patriotism is more than just wearing red white and blue, waving the flag, or shooting of fireworks, its more than that. I think the true meaning of what it means to patriotic is best exemplified in the words of Thomas Jefferson.

PhotobucketMANHATTAN, Kan. - The Monthly Film Series, sponsored by the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice, presents The Dark Side of Chocolate on Wednesday, July 13th at 6:30 pm at the Manhattan Public Library Auditorium. The public is invited to attend.

Film Synopsis: While we enjoy the sweet taste of chocolate, the reality is strikingly different for African children. Since the '90s numerous non-governmental organizations working in the Ivory Coast and Ghana have reported the use of children as slaves on cocoa plantations. The Ivory Coast alone produces about 43% of the world's cocoa beans. The simple truth is that all the heavily advertised chocolate, M&Ms, Hersey, Godiva, and Nestlé, is made by child slave laborers.

Estimates placed the number of cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast at approximately 600,000. The number of children working these farms is estimated as high as 15,000. Young boys from the age 12 to 16 are forced to work on cocoa farms in order to harvest the beans from which chocolate is made. Most boys that are forced to work on these farms come from Mali were slave trader agents hang around bus stations looking for children who are alone or begging for food.

The Kansas Free Press is honored to occasionally publish illustrations created by our friend, Angelo Lopez. He is a consummate artist, political cartoonist and muralist. Angelo also writes and is a regular contributor to KFP's sister publication, Everyday Citizen.

Turn this page if you'd like to read Angelo's very interesting essay about his inspiration for drawing this cartoon.

flag-house.jpgGREAT BEND, Kan. - How do you celebrate the 4th of July? Is being proud of your country an every day occurrence, or is it one day of waving a Chinese-made American flag?

Many of us can "talk the talk" when it comes to patriotism, but how many can "walk the walk"?

If you do walk, you will need comfortable American-made shoes to do it in.

I am getting ready for vacation to Yellowstone and need to purchase various items for the trip. I searched for only American-made items.

It was much easier than I thought to find great deals. Some American made items are much more expensive than the Chinese version. Some aren't. The items I found were more than affordably priced. I thought I would publish my findings for others to read.

Copyright, 2011, Antoine Doyen
Peggy Bowman / courtesy of Antoine Doyen, whose professional photos can be viewed here

WICHITA, Kan. - Given the dismal state of affairs in the state of Kansas, now would be a good time to revisit the early 1990s when Operation Rescue (OR), then under the direction of Randall Terry, caused no end of chaos here.

For those active in the Wichita pro-choice movement during the summer of 1991, reading Fetus Fanatics: Memoir: When Government Collaborates with Anti-Choice Zealots brings back the upheaval of that time with full emotional force. Peggy Bowman, calls her book, published in 2005, a memoir, which is apt, as the events and facts of that summer are filtered through her eyes.

While others who were active in the battle against the anti-choice onslaught may have differing perspectives, Bowman's account covers the important highlights of that summer. She also includes timelines, maps, and transcripts of court decisions to help readers keep track of the geography and chronology of events.

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Governor Sam Brownback sure seems to like Fridays. Whereas research shows that most Americans do the least amount of work on Fridays, Sam absolutely revels in them.

Some Kansans suspect that there's a pattern here; that the administration is making surprise cuts on late Friday afternoons to catch folks off guard before the weekend. Others maintain that's just conspiracy theory. Let's take a brief look at Sam's apparent affinity for the (ahem) "F-word."

Friday, January 21 - Announces a proposal to close the Kansas Neurological Institute, a facility that is home to approximately 157 developmentally disabled Kansans, by the year 2014, in order for the state to "save money". Opponents of this idea question how servicing disabled Kansans in their homes rather than at a centralized facility will indeed be cost-effective, not to mention that the four hundred and fifty employees at the KNI will lose their jobs.

Friday, March 11 - Announces that $50 million will be cut from public schools.

Friday, April 8 - Demands investigation of Kansas Bioscience Authority which ultimately leads to Thomas Thornton, president and CEO of the KBA, abruptly resigning on Friday, April 15.

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About This Page

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

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

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