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Heaven Help Us

One of the ultra conservative Republican leaders in KS is encouraging Tim to run for U.S. Senate seat, against Roberts.

I'm not a great fan of Roberts, but he sure beats Tim!!!! At least he gets along with his fellow party senators and will attempt, once in awhile, to work with Dems.

Factions within either major political party can do more harm than good, if they are unwilling to accept negotiation or compromise. Usually it is based more on idealism than realism.

fanfaron: A boaster or a braggart

Our KS 1st District Representative is a good example. He boasts about his ability to refuse to cooperate, even with his own party.


Perhaps our good Representative Tim Huelscamp can help me. ???

What is a 'democracy'? I always thought democracy meant a system in which the majority ruled when properly motivated. 'Properly' is the key word and as you know we don't all have the same opinion on what 'proper' denotes. What are the driving forces that guide our 'representative' leaders that we send to Washington D. C. or any other governmental judicatories? Is it the egostical power? Is it ego that drives our Representative to declare he knows what is best for all? No discussion, no debate. Just demand a minority that are ultra conservative to demand all members of their party (which happens to be the majority in the Hourse) to comply with their demands. If the ultra conservatives don't favor the issue with a positive vote don't let the matter be voted on by the full house. The moderate Republicans and the Democrats might win. If you can't win, don't play! With that attitude you'll discover, in the end, that you missed out on a lot of games.

Kansas: A State of Woman Hate

With the passage of HB2253, the Kansas State Legislature proved itself to be among the most women-hating legislatures in America. Fortunately, Kansas lamakers have not gone as far as some other state legislatures, such as Arkansas, where lawmakers have banned abortion after the 12th week of pregnancy with few exceptions, or North Dakota, where lawmakers have put a "personhood amendment" on the ballot. If passed, this amendment would hold that "life" begins at fertilization, thus making all abortions in the state illegal. Also North Dakota now has the most restrictive abortion law in the nation, banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, and threatening to put doctors in jail, a direct challenge to the Supreme Court decision on Roe versus Wade.

HB2253 is bad enough, however. The seventy-page Kansas bill contains several provisions that affect only women, thus making the bill discriminatory. The bill contains language that defines life beginning at fertilization. As of now, this part of the bill has little power, as would be the case in the North Dakota "personhood amendment," because Roe v. Wade holds that abortion is legal with no restrictions in the first trimester of a pregnancy. Anyone who follows the trajectory of the Supreme Court, however, knows that the survival of Roe v. Wade is never guaranteed, as it depends on which president appoints justices and the attitudes those justices hold toward the Roe v. Wade decision.

Best seat in the house

David, it used to be that a $20 bill to the doorman would get you the best table or seat in the stadium. The stakes are a little higher now.

It takes a few thousand or even a million or two, but the system still works! You get what you pay for!

We have, "In God We Trust" engraved on our currency. The truth is that for a high percentage of people it's the "Almighty Dollar" that is trusted. Equal rights, privileges, level playing fields for business, etc. have been bought out with the "Almighty Dollar".

Unfit, Unfair

Last week's online Kansas City Star led with this headline: Unfit by any standards, legislators run amok."

The story began, "The Kansas Legislature has made many jaw-dropping moves these last few months, but a Senate vote this week leaves us especially agog. By a 25-14 vote, senators agreed to eliminate property taxes for many of the state's private gyms and health clubs."

Forget your workout at the local gym. Let's exercise our minds here. The trail to truth is full of crooks and snags, but together we can get there.

This exhibition of favoritism is worthy of outrage on its own merits. But with full knowledge of the Governor's dramatic giveaway of income taxes, the consequent impoverishment of the state, and the ensuing blow of the property tax hammer on all of us, this bill exempting a private enterprise, thus enriching them at our expense, is especially egregious.

As for the Senate, why would, and how could, they? As is evident elsewhere in state politics, $$ are involved--45 thousand of them, to be specific. Even more specifically, the $45,000 donated by Rodney Steven, part owner of Genesis Health Clubs, to Senate Republicans. His $$ influence was also evidenced in his and Genesis' home base, Wichita. He sought tax-free financing from the city for an expansion of his clubs in 2004, only to have the city back out of the deal. Steven filed a lawsuit over the perceived broken promise, but the city won.

That didn't stop his dogged determination to buy politicians, local or state. Steven and Genesis each gave maximum donations to Wichita Republican Sen. Michael O'Donnell, bolstering his campaign with $4,000 as he successfully unseated incumbent Republican Sen. Jean Schodorf (who has since left the Republican party) and beat Democrat Timothy Snow in the general election. Not content to stay local, he also sent maximum donations to Senate President Susan Wagle and Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce.

His thirst for special privilege was evidently not quenched by his liberation from state income taxes. The Governor's special tax program had already eliminated taxes on profits for 191,000 businesses, including several of Steven's Genesis Health Clubs.

Since then, in a supposed attempt to 'level the playing field,' Steven has sought to force the YMCA to pay tax or some payment in lieu of taxes. (Even though the Y, and other non-profits, make genuine efforts to make exercise affordable across a wide range of income levels.)

"Continuing to shrink the tax base in the face of severe spending cuts," said Steven in 2011, "really makes no sense." His efforts two years later make us doubt his sincerity. If actions speak louder than words, his more likely 2013 quote would be, "To hell with the tax base, we need our special privileges."

The property tax break will cost the state treasury an estimated $4 million. And that's not the half of it--well, a bit more than the half of it. The original proposal, rejected by the Senate, was for an additional $3.4 million in sales tax exemptions. It's like used-car dickering: Start with a really high price tag and make an outrageous cost more palatable. Except used-car for-profit rehabilitators are much more honest than Steven's used-body rehabilitation program, at state expense, i.e., at ours.

North Central Area Senators voting for it were Sens. Arpke, Bowers, and Ostmeyer. Senator Emler voted against it. We can't account for the other Senators' votes, but perhaps Senator Arpke's can be explained by his attitude toward corporations expressed in the recent legislative forum, to the effect that he thinks "corporations can do whatever they want with their money." And he seems eager to help them get more of ours to accomplish it.

Despite the Senate vote, it's not too late. SB72 has been referred to the House Taxation Committee. Contact your local representative and tell them such special breaks have no place in state policy.

Perhaps it's time for an Exodus from Genesis?

And as importantly, from the dogma that all private business is hallowed, and by definition provides much more efficient and superior service than publicly-funded entities--like community fitness centers and schools.

As for the Senate, as the Star article put it, "The new conservative majority has lost any standing to lecture Kansans about the need for fiscal responsibility."

If there is one thing America has plenty of, it's guns and ammo.

Americans have been stockpiling weapons for various reasons since 1776, but after Sandy Hook, there was new scrutiny over our obsession-yes obsession with guns.
The most popular reason for acquiring and adding to our fortress of guns is because someday, maybe even tomorrow, the United States government is going to become a tyrannical monster and confiscate our guns just like the Nazi's did and then march all over our freedoms until we become just like the former Soviet communist state: a shell of a nation driven by despair and poverty while the elites suck up all the goods for themselves.

That's right, our government that can't even put money and plans behind high speed rail across this nation, or stand up to the Tea Party goofballs,is going to take away our freedoms

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This is an archive page containing all stories published in Kansas Free Press in April 2013. These are listed from newest to oldest.

March 2013 is the previous archive and May 2013 is the next one.

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