Front Page » Monthly Archives » Archives: October 2012


MCDOWELL CREEK, Kan. - I have been puzzled by the new Republican Party -- not the party of my father or grandfather, not the party of excellent local public servants such as Tom Moxley, Ben Bennett, Roger Reitz, Jeff Longbine, Rebecca Bossemeyer, or Florence Whitebread -- but the extreme right-wing party of Paul Ryan, Sam Brownback, and many members of the Tea Party. Their views seem illogical. After unregulated financial dealings brought down our economy in 2008, why make a fetish of the free market? Why talk as if everything government does is bad, despite obvious counter-examples (clean water, enforceable contracts) ? And why paste labels on Americans of modest means, when they clearly don't deserve it? Why call them the "47%" who "will never take responsibility or care for their lives," as Romney did at a private fundraiser, or the "30%" who are "Takers, not Makers," as Ryan did before a conservative group?

In search of a better understanding, I decided to learn more about the philosophy behind this trend. For years Paul Ryan has cited Ayn Rand as the thinker that inspired him to get into politics; he asks his staff to read her works. So off to the library I went and came home with a copy of The Fountainhead. I read all 700 pages of it. And lo and behold, there it was, in this novel written in the 1930s and published in 1943, a philosophical justification for the apparently counter-intuitive positions of today's right wing.

Churches Have Failed to Instill Values

COLBY, Kan. - Is it me, my computer, or the system? Hoop, you are right! All politics is local, or at least the politicians start out from local. The Koch brothers were little boys and grew up in a local community. They formed their values and chose their priorities with family and community involvement. We hear people talk about how politicians turn crooked when they get to Washington. Most likely they were that way before getting to Washington, they just didn't have as big a pie to grab. We get the rant from the Religious Right that government has taken God out of schools, legislation, etc. No! Government hasn't done that. The churches have failed to instill loyalty and values.

Patriot Majority USA has run two bus tours, one on the West Coast, and one in the eastern  half of the country. focused on the Koch Brothers and their Greed Agenda, which they push with hundreds of millions of dollars and through organizations they have established and funded such as Americans for Prosperity, American Legislative Exchange Council, and Freedomworks.
Ken Bernstein,  a recently retired National Board Certified Social known for his blogging as teacherken at Daily Kos reported on the trip. Here is his report from Kansas re-posted with permission from the Education Votes website:

When I say "we" it is because on Friday both buses, the one I was on in the East and the one that had been traveling the West, caught up with one another in Topeka, the state capitol, and then finished the tour at a union hall in Kansas City. Oh yes, and Bill Burke and some others first went to Wichita, to the headquarters of Koch Industries, founded by Fred C. Koch, father of the Koch Brothers Charles and David, who are the perpetrators of the Greed Agenda.

Tip O'Neill: 'All politics is local'

BOGUE, Kan. - Tip O'Neill's slogan may not apply to the extent it once did, given the deliberate infusion of national wedge issues into local politics, but it still applies.

One of the few races in western Kansas pits Allen Schmidt against Ralph Ostmeyer, both incumbents. Schmidt, redistricted into Ostmeyer's territory, will have to compete for votes. Ostmeyer is my good friend of many years, dating back to coaching days. He is a man of integrity. Schmidt I barely know, but he seems intelligent and principled.

On hot-button social issues, they are peas in the pod. Difference: Ralph, a little too accepting of Governor Brownback's fruitcake fiscal proposals which, if implemented, will result in elevated property and sales taxes. Schmidt, likelier to provide healthy resistance to that part of Brownback agenda. That's a big plus.

I wish we had learned more about John Miller of Norton. No, Miller isn't on the ballot but could be a write in. He lost big time in the partisan primary for Senate District 40 That's likely because he was scared to challenge the noisy radical right, who masquerade under the once-respectable label "conservative." Hence, Miller was vilified as a dratted moderate ... like Dwight Eisenhower, Bob Dole and Arlen Specter.

Not So Smart ALECs

SALINA, Kan. - A woman teacher in a different faith tradition has a challenging definition of a warrior, one well aligned with Jesus' teachings. Warriors are those who vow to take care of one another, even if that means "swimming out beyond our comfort zone." In this way, we can go "beyond enslavement to success and failure, praise and blame."

Present Kansas politics seem to allow precious little space for such noble warriorism. Rather, it seems devoted to a "winner take all" model.

Take former Senator Sam's approach to governing our state. Recently, he "invited" 18 (count 'em) lobbyist organizations to a Senate Contribution Soiree. Fourteen Senate candidates, all proven malleable to the Gov's agenda -- including all the extremists unseating moderate Republican Senators -- were its beneficiaries. The implication of his invitation, at $1000 per candidate, or a total cost of $14,000 for each lobbying organization, was to pony up or give up.

Kansas Media: Fair & Balanced?

COLBY, Kan. - The Salina Journal publishes articles written by a retired engineer, Lawrence Wetter. He wrote a long article explaining how the Republicans had given us so many great things, over the history of the Republican party. Of course he didn't mention that it was Abe Lincoln's Republican administration that riled the Southern Democrats to rise up in rebellion over federal mandates and regulations. He didn't explain that it was Teddy Roosevelt's Republican administration that pushed the anti trust laws - enforced by federal mandate - that broke up Standard Oil and a few other monopolies. He didn't attempt to explain how, or why, the 'great depression' besieged our nation after twelve uninterrupted years of rule by Republican administrations.

Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links below (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press:



About This Page

This is an archive page containing all stories published in Kansas Free Press in October 2012. These are listed from newest to oldest.

September 2012 is the previous archive and November 2012 is the next one.

Other Archives

Interested in other topics? You may wish to dig into our Table of Contents to find other sections and archives.

Do you want to explore pieces written by specific authors? You can find archives for KFP writers by reviewing our complete Directory of Authors and Writers here.

News and Opinion





Get Connected

See our FB page!
Subscribe for free!
[Feeds & Readers...]
Follow Kansas Free Press on Twitter, too!
Make Kansas Free Press your home page!

Journalists, sign in.

We're reader supported!

Whenever you use the specific links below to begin any of your online shopping, a portion of your sale goes directly towards the support of this site.

Tech Depot - An Office Depot Co.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links above (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press.

Thank you for your help!

Visit Our Friends!

Kansas Free Press began as a wish expressed by Kansan writers, many of whom write at Everyday Citizen, the widely acclaimed national site. We hope you will continue visiting EverydayCitizen.com, KFP's national birthplace. Many Kansas writers write there, too!

Notices & Policies

All of our Kansas Free Press journalists are delighted that you are here. We all hope that you come here often, sign in and leave us comments, and become an active part of our community. Welcome!

Our writers are credentialed after referral to, and approval by, the editor/publisher of KansasFreePress.com. If you are interested in writing with us, please feel free to let us know here. We are always looking for Kansans who want to write about Kansas!

All authors here retain their own copyrights for their original written works, original photographs and art works. They welcome others to copy, reference or quote from the content of their stories, provided that the reprints include obvious author and website attribution and links to the original page, in accordance with this publication's Creative Commons License.

Our editor primarily reviews stories for spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting and is not liable or responsible for the opinions expressed by individual authors. The opinions and accuracy of information in the individual stories on this site are the sole responsibility of each of the individual authors. For complete site policies, including privacy, see our Frequently Asked Questions. This site is designed, maintained, and owned by its publisher, Everyday Citizen Media. The Kansas Free Press, KansasFreePress.com, and Kansas Free Press are trademarked names.

© Copyright, 2008-2012, all rights reserved, unless otherwise specified, first by the respective author, and then by KFP's publisher and owner for any otherwise unreserved and all other content.