Front Page » Monthly Archives » Archives: October 2011


Get A Job, Losers!

WICHITA, Kan. - Over 100 citizens from the Wichita metro area and people throughout Kansas met in Chisholm Creek Park to exercise their freedom of speech by protesting KOCH Industries on October 29th, 2011.

This historic rally and march was organized by a new grassroots group called "Kansans United in Voice & Spirit " with the goal of bringing together, "Concerned citizens of Kansas united to support, advocate for and protect valuable state services, programs and policies." Founders Tamara Werth and Cyrstal McComas, want to preserve such communist inspired programs like public education, Medicaid and assisting abused and neglected children. They understand that further cuts by the Kansas State Legislature and Governor Brownback will decimate the lives of Kansans just barely holding on.

The mobilization weekend events were part of a state wide grassroots effort beginning first in Kansas City then followed by a meeting in Lawrence, Kansas. People in attendance listened to speakers discuss how radical changes already in the works could drastically alter the quality of life for vulnerable Kansans and the middle class.

Begin Again: 150 Poets Reading Tour

WICHITA, Kan. - Beginning the first week in November, Kansas poets and those with ties to Kansas will begin a twenty-city reading tour to commemorate the publication of Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, published by Woodley Press.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Poet Laureate of Kansas, organized the book publication and the reading tour, and will attend several readings. This project, which celebrates the Kansas Sesquicentennial, started in April, National Poetry Month, with poets submitting work that related to Kansas.

Information about the twenty-city reading tour is available on the poet laureate web site. Two reading events, one at Eighth Day Books and one at Watermark Bookstore and Café, will kick off the tour in Wichita. A reading in Manhattan is set for Nov. 4, and one in Lawrence will take place on Nov. 6.

There's Got to Be a Better Way

SALINA, Kan. - I didn't watch the recent Republican candidates' presidential debate in Las Vegas. Call it my personal protest against the ad nauseam campaigning of our present day. A local radio announcer summed it up well the following morning when he asked, "And the election is when?"

Of course I'm not a Republican primary voter. But surely I'm not the only one who feels there's got to be a better way to elect our President and conduct our politics than the current perpetual campaign.

At present states are jockeying to move up their Presidential nominating processes. The way things are going we might even end up with a caucus or primary in December of 2011. Such an occurrence would put even Santa in a foul mood.

Small Town Post Offices Under Fire

"This is about dismantling the Postal Service, getting rid of unions, privatization, and selling post office buildings to developers." - Grey Brechin. Living New Deal Project. Univ. of Calif. Berkley.

BOGUE, Kan. - On the surface, the effort to close small post offices and cut wages and jobs may seem justifiable. Email has dramatically reduced the sale of postage stamps, and the private companies FedEx and UPS are delivering packages door to door.

But, if you dig a little deeper, you find the politics ...

TOPEKA, Kan. - Kansas women are truly "going through hell" living, working and coping with the repercussions of Brownback's chosen policies, but we must keep going! NOW is not the time to give up!

The grassroots response and outcry surrounding the recent domestic violence debacle in Topeka reminds us of the power that we hold. Women's rights advocates and supporters are capable of changing public policy. This is possible in our local communities and at the state level. We must be diligent, ever watchful and forceful in our response to injustice.

What Being Progressive Means to Me

HAYS, Kan. - Aside from the conservative and liberal talking-head pundits and their familiar yelling matches so prevalent on cable news channels, millions of everyday Americans believe that our elected officials, our economic leaders, and especially our newspapers and television news channels are out-of-sync with American values. Who are these millions of everyday citizens?

Many are compassionate Americans whose values are in the so-called middle and/or leaning to the near left or far left. Many of these passionate, active and optimistic citizens describe themselves as progressive thinkers, progressive doers, progressive writers or progressive voters.

Are moderates and progressives the same then? Often times yes, but not necessarily. Are liberals and progressives the same? Maybe, frequently, and probably, but still not quite the same.

WICHITA, Kan. - It was a rainy Saturday in Wichita on October 8, but there was still a decent turnout for the Occupy Wichita (OW) event on E. Douglass. There were about 50 to 80 people there. Perhaps a little more than the previous Sunday. The crowd fell short of the 500 that some of the OW activists were hoping for. But it was a spirited gathering. It didn't seem to be just the same people as on Sunday. For one thing, there were a number of union folks present, from the SEIU, IAM, APWU, IBEW, and Teamsters. I also talked, as well as members of Move-on, Wichita Democratic Socialists, Sunflower Community Action, and the Tequila Party.

There is a nightly gathering around 4:30 - 5 pm at the Chester Lewis Reflection Park Square, on E Douglas between Broadway and Market.

A bigger rally is planned for Saturday October 15 at noon on the theme of "jobs, not cuts." If NYC Mayor Bloomberg follows through with plans to disperse Occupy Wall Street on Friday, there could be an even bigger turnout.

Share Robert Reich's comments

economy.gif

Demagogues through history have known that big lies, repeated often enough, start being believed -- unless they're rebutted. These seven economic whoppers are just plain wrong. Make sure you know the truth - and spread it on. (The Seven Biggest Economic Lies, Robert Reich)

BOGUE, Kan. - The Occupy protesters are sometimes faulted for being "unfocused" -- meaning, I suppose that there are a variety of concerns -- thus far not sufficiently sewn together.

But I'd say the economic disparity between the rich and the rest of us -- now greater than at any time since the Great Depression and which has been widening since the "government is the problem" heyday of Grandpa Ronnie -- is the common denominator. If you agree with what Reich is saying, I hope you'll spread the word. Without a doubt, the banksters and corporate fat cats are nervous now, and will do all they can to discredit, disrupt, and dismantle any informed citizen activism threatening their power and greed. Part of that effort is to lie often and eagerly.

Reich will dismantle their propaganda ....

It's a Beautiful World

COLBY, Kan. - Some of my friends here on KFP don't go to Everyday Citizen, so I thought I should share these thoughts with you. Most of my posts are political and argumentative, but there is more to me than that.

We've been enjoying beautiful moon lit nights, here in northwestern Kansas. It reminds me of songs: Roll Along Silvery Moon, The Moon Sees Me I See the Moon, and many others. You folks who live in cities or smog filled areas seldom get to enjoy such serene and beautiful moments. I'm living in the house I was born in, nearly 80 years ago. Our nearest neighbors are 3/4 mile away. Except for a little village of about 85 people down the road a few miles, we have less than a dozen neighbors within 6 or 8 miles. Isolation? No! Serenity and peacefulness? Yes!

Occupy Wichita October 2


WICHITA, Kan. - The Occupy Wall Street movement sparked by demonstrations on Wall Street has spread across the country, even to Kansas.

Here is a video from Wichita's first occupy moment on Sunday, October 2.

U.S. Not Moving Towards Socialism

SALINA, Kan. - Recently I came across a quote by a Republican politician who was lamenting the success of Democrats in a recent election. He said, "I don't know what caused it ... voters must be tending more towards Socialism or something."

At first glance the remark sounds like a contemporary one about President Barack Obama and his political allies. But it actually came from the November 5, 1958 edition of my hometown newspaper. That particular year Democrats won three of the then six congressional seats in Kansas, elected a Democratic governor and gained fourteen seats in the Kansas Legislature.

The more things change the more they stay the same. Hardly a week goes by these days without a commentator, either professional or one on the street, issuing dire warnings about how President Obama has us on the path towards Socialism. If history has anything to teach us that complaint is becoming passé.

Wall Street Woes (Part 2)

COLBY, Kan. - It takes radical demonstrations in the street, sometimes, to focus public attention on police brutality. It took radical demonstrations in the streets to bring the civil rights issues into public scrutiny in the late fifties and sixties of the 20th century. Those demonstrators didn't have the power to enact legislation or laws, but they had the power to wake up a nation to the inequities of our social structures.

Taken from an editorial published in the New York Times, Oct 8.

It is not the job of the protesters to draft legislation. That's the job of the nation's leaders, and if they had been doing it all along there might not be a need for these marches and rallies. Because they have not, the public airing of grievances is a legitimate and important end in itself. It is also the first line of defense against a return to the Wall Street ways that plunged the nation into an economic crisis from which it has yet to emerge.

Wall Street Woes

COLBY, Kan. - What is Occupy Wall Street all about? What are they protesting or supporting? How many of the participants have any idea of how to correct the inequities they are protesting? How many of the masses have the ability and fortitude to accept responsibility, if given the opportunity to manage their own financial affairs and daily work agenda and schedules?

I admire their willingness to face the elements and stand their ground in protest. I agree with them in their assessment of unfair rewards for individual contributions toward the success of the capitalistic system of commerce and manufacturing enterprises.

GREAT BEND, Kan. - Life can get boring if you are afraid of having character. Raising a little hell can keep your spirit in check with your mind. Experience breeds character.

Wall Street protests have been going on for several weeks. Scanning the pictures and crowds, I see many young people. Could it be the next generation is turning off their Facebook and getting involved? So much for tune in, turn on and drop out.

Many of these young people involved went to College with the expectation of a decent job. After they graduated they found they were taking jobs much below their pay grade with a looming college debt, waiting to fall atop them. Sixty-five percent of college grads have college debt when they graduate. Many of my friends depend on the good pay their parents make to help them make ends meet.

tim-huelskamp.jpgBOGUE, Kan. - Rep. Huelskamp claimed in his column last week that he's not playing politics. I'm waiting for his "I caught this really, really, really big fish" story.

"We can all agree," he says, that the Obama stimulus "did not work."

Well, it didn't fix the train wreck of 2008 when the unregulated and mis-regulated "free market" banksters went home with multi-million dollar bonuses (thanks to taxpayers). It didn't save us from ridiculous tax cuts for the rich.

It didn't recover the ongoing cost of two wars and several covert military operations. It didn't stop the relocation of jobs abroad. That much we grant, but ...

Occupy Kansas? Maybe

DODGE CITY, Kan. - Occupy Wall Street is now in its 8th day! It is finally happening -- a grassroots uprising! Where I live in Western Kansas, the deepest grassroots are of a prairie grass aptly called "buffalo grass." It takes its name from the fact that it was the major food source for the gigantic buffalo herds that once roamed this vast prairie. It is a short grass that only extends a very few inches above the ground, and sometimes seems to cling to the ground.

But, let me tell you, this is nourishing grass with roots so deep they have been known to extend more than twenty feet downward to reach the water source which is buried far down in this dry land. When the "dirty thirties" happened, it was because too many farmers had cut up this wonderful sod to raise crops instead. Without the grass and its deep roots, there was little to hold the land and the strong winds whipped much of it away.

I was born in Western Kansas and, like the guy in the song who was "born the next of kin to the wayward wind," i was born related to the family of the deep roots of buffalo grass. Perhaps that is why I was always skeptical of what others called a "grassroots" movement.

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About This Page

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

September 2011 is the previous archive and November 2011 is the next one.

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