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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Saturday, January 23rd, Manhattan-Ogden NEA will host a Legislative Forum at The Little Apple Brewing Company in Westloop. The event will begin at 4:00 pm, and each legislator will have about 5 minutes to speak. Then, the discussion will be open for questions from attendees.

A Merry Christmas to All

MANHATTAN, Kan. - One of my favorite of all holiday traditions is Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol. I know I am not alone since, at one point, circulation of this little tale was second only to the Bible. Dicken's life was almost as fascinating as his literature, and unfortunately, often as sad. According to Kathryn Harrison, who wrote "Father Christmas," for The New York Times Review of Books,

"What is true is that Christmas, more than any other holiday, offered a means for the adult Dickens to redeem the despair and terrors of his childhood. In 1824, after a series of financial embarrassments drove his family to exchange what he remembered as a pleasant country existence for a 'mean, small tenement' in London, the 12-year-old Dickens, his schooling interrupted - ended, for all he knew - was sent to work 10-hour days at a shoe blacking factory in a quixotic attempt to remedy his family's insolvency. Not even a week later, his father was incarcerated in the infamous Marshalsea prison for a failure to pay a small debt to a baker. At this, Dickens' 'grief and humiliation' overwhelmed him so thoroughly that it retained the power to overshadow his adult accomplishments, calling him to 'wander desolately back' to the scene of his mortification. And because Dickens' tribulations were not particular to him but emblematic of the Industrial Revolution - armies of neglected, unschooled children forced into labor - the concerns that inform his fiction were shared by millions of potential readers. ..."
Dicken's redemption becomes our joy and a cornerstone of popular culture, but it also becomes a nice reminder that it is not a crime to be poor. Criminalizing poverty is particularly devastating to children.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - In Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream, Leonard Zeskind provides a thorough and detailed, 542-page, historical account of the mainstreamers and vanguardists that make up the racist movement. Like Zeskind himself, a Kansas City native, many of the key players in this movement hail from our Midwestern state. Several key events surrounding these movements also happened in Kansas.

The 1982 Self-Reliance and Survival Expo is one of those Kansas events. In this setting, Christian Identity groups and Survivalists came together in Kansas City. Gun and knife shows are a tradition in the Midwest and South. This show welcomed survivalists, as well as a group called the Covenant the Sword and the Arm of the Lord (CSA). What could the CSA offer audiences at the Kansas City Self-Reliance and Survival Expo? "For a fee, white (Christian) men could shoot machine guns at pop-up figures, knock down doors, and battle around mock buildings while tires burned to simulate urban riots" (61). Hardly the self-defense tactics typically touted at gun and knife shows.

Likewise, the Midwestern farm crisis provided fertile ground for The Posse Comitatus in the 1980's. This group was considered mainstream enough to have their own time on Kansas airwaves. "Gale joined Wickstrom in this crusade, and taped 'sermons' by the two Posse leaders were regularly broadcast on a Dodge City, Kansas radio station in 1982" (74). With an audience of listeners, no wonder Kansas was the site for a Posse Comitatus training assembly. "That same year Gale and Wickstrom organized a paramilitary training session on a farm near Weskan, Kansas, just across the border from Colorado" (74).

Want to read more posts by Claudean McKellips? We surely have more! By default, this page only lists some of the recent stories by this writer. Most of the stories that our authors post are very timeless and relevant, regardless of when their articles are originally published. We encourage you to look back through all of the archives for Claudean McKellips. The archives for this author are listed left sidebar on this page.

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This is the main archives page for Claudean McKellips. To learn more about this author, you can also read a short biography of Claudean McKellips here.

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