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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.

This Is the State That Jack Built

DODGE CITY, Kan. - Do you remember the nursery rhyme of your childhood: "This is the house that Jack built?" It went on to explain how everything was all connected and caused the next step to happen, closing with the final phrase, "This is the dog that bit the cat that chased the mouse that ate the cheese that lay in the house that Jack built."

Well, I guess that almost explains how our house in Kansas got built (the Kansas House of Representatives, that is).

If you read No Requiem for the Useless earlier this week, you know my view of how the Federal Reserve segment of our national structure operates to manipulate the financial management of this country. As the nursery rhyme suggests, there is a next step; the corporations take the dollars so generously given by taxpayers by making sure they don't lose the companies don't lose those through taxes. So, "This is the corporation that pays no income tax to the federal government." Fill in almost any name here -- like GE who didn't pay any income tax last year on its $14 billion profit and yet filed for a $3.2 rebate.

Here I must mention that on March 1st this year, the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut $600 million from the IRS budget for the remainder of 2011, and more in 2012. They, of course, want to cut IRS expenses. Never mind that for every dollar spent by the IRS for audits, liens, and seizing property from tax cheats, we get ten dollars. That's a pretty good rate of return, I think. But it also means corporations have to spend more to hide corporate cheating.

No Requiem for the Useless

man-counting-money-300px-best-size.gifDODGE CITY, Kan. - Let me make this very clear. I am not planning to memorialize somebody or something I never believed in at all. I will not praise "Old Middle of the Road." I never liked him anyway. I am glad if he is really as dead as they say he is.

"Good Riddance!" I say. Our wise Texan friend, Jim Hightower, always says there is nothing in the middle of the road except yellow stripes and dead armadillos anyway. Nevertheless, if one more person tells me that what we need nowadays is more central thinking, less radical left or radical right, I may scream.

What I believe we need is a stronger voice that shouts loudly of the causes we espouse on behalf of people! The center has been so thoroughly moved to the right that anything not spoken with high regard for corporations is now considered "left-wing." It is time to bring back the debate so once again OUR voices can be heard.

The majority of our people apparently believe the lie that this nation is broke; that we have no money. Therefore, we must make slashing cuts in all our "entitlement" programs.

This nation is not broke! Our money is simply in the wrong place - in the pockets of corporations and their billionaire CEOs. Can we prove it? Of course we can. If we read and share the information that is plentiful from dedicated research. Here is my first case in point...

Tragedy in Tucson


Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, a Navy
pilot and veteran of Desert Storm; Kelly is an astronaut and
also the only active duty spouse of any member of Congress
DODGE CITY, Kan. - Earlier this week, U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords read from the First Amendment to the Constitution, including the statement that Americans shall have the right to assemble peaceably.

She read it at the microphone in the well of the U.S. House of Representatives. Reading the Constitution aloud was a highly-touted gimmick of Republicans to make the point that THEY believed in the Constitution as the law of the land. Tonight Congresswoman Giffords lies in a Tucson hospital fighting for her life after being shot in the head at close range while holding a "peaceable assembly" for her constituents to hear a report on her activities in the Capitol on their behalf. What irony!

In case you are interested in more irony: shortly before Giffords' election last October, she was "targeted" by Sarah Palin as one of twenty vulnerable Democratic representatives who Republicans could and should beat. In order to show it graphically, Ms. Palin put out a map, with a dot on the place on the map to show the district that each candidate represented. Inside each dot was a cross-hair, like on a gun sight. Three of those were in Arizona. One was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' district.

DODGE CITY, Kan. - We do, indeed, have some outstanding candidates on the political scene in Kansas. I cast my advance ballot yesterday for Democrats Tom Holland, Lisa Johnston, Alan Jilka, Dennis McKinney, Chris Biggs, Steve Six, and Republicans Sandy Praeger and Sally Cauble. I admire their courage, leadership, and willingness to serve. Nevertheless, I have been reluctant to write this year.

There are many stories that need to be written in this time frame just prior to an "off-year" election. I have tried to help with the election by manning the local Democratic headquarters, making phone calls, putting out yard signs, donating dollars, making speeches for candidates, and finally casting my ballot. I suspect many who read this have done likewise.

So, why do I hesitate to write about this year's election activities. Why, indeed?

Enough of the Tea Parties!

tea.jpgDODGE CITY, Kan. - How long do we have to keep listening politely while our friends and neighbors get fooled into believing the gibberish they are fed by Fox News? The biggest stockholder of News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, is Rupert Murdoch, the official owner. The second largest is Walid bin Talil, a practicing Muslim. Yet, Fox News, through its various hired commentators (think Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, etc.) continues to spew forth hatred, saying our president, Barack Obama, is a Muslim. If their company's ownership is shared by a Muslim, do they really care about Obama's religion? Or do they just want to raise an issue to tear down this administration? It's pretty obvious they want to inflame and cause emotional turmoil. They want people to be frightened, angry, and bewildered, so they can be duped into believing what Fox puts out.

Safety Net Clinic Wins Grant

DODGE CITY, Kan. - Joy and great satisfaction were evident in the room when Bill Hammond announced that Dodge City's Oral Health Coalition had been awarded a $50,000 grant for their Oral Health Safety Net Clinic for it's first year of operation, and another $25,00 for year two. The award was the result of an application to the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund to help start a clinic which would function as an aid to those Southwest Kansans who are not able to access dental services that they desperately need.

DODGE CITY, Kan. - I was moved to write this article after reading the fascinating one concerning third trimester abortions and the flood of comments that followed. It made me think that there are many facts still not revealed about what happens in these cases. My knowledge comes from the time I visited Dr. Tiller's clinic as a new State Representative in the Kansas House. We had been invited, if we were interested in coming to Wichita, to learn what really happens there. I sent in my RSVP and arrived at the gate to present my ID. Dr. Tiller had been shot in the arm previously, so there was, already, a tall fence--a barricade, really, around the clinic. I drove my car to the gate and the guard at the gate allowed me to drive into the compound. There were protesters across the street, holding signs.

The World According to Maisie

DODGE CITY, Kan. - Christmas has come and gone, so I'd planned to write a few of my thoughts concerning the world situation when I received a phone call from my elderly friend, Maisie.

She's a character, and since she and her husband, Herb, were getting ready to drive into town, I suggested they stop by my house for a cup of coffee before starting their Saturday shopping. They come in from the farm every Saturday and buy what they need to last them until the next Saturday. As Herb says, "After sixty-plus years, we mostly just do what we always did; that way we don't have to waste no time thinkin' up what to do next."

What Do You Read?

DODGE CITY, Kan. - Did you ever wonder what shapes people's opinions about their country, their politics, or their world? I suspect that, for most of us, the answer is, "It's what we watch, listen to, and read." For others, it may be simply whatever their parents, family, or friends believe. For those with the latter choice, one probably can't do much to change their outlook. For the others, it might be interesting just to ask people you meet, "What do you watch, listen to, and read?" I'd be interested in what is read, watched, etc. by the folks who read Kansas Free Press.

For openers, I'll tell you some of my choices. On TV, I watch MSNBC, you know: Countdown, Rachel Maddow, etc. Of course they "lean left" (only I call it "practice progressive thinking"), but I get so fed up with the so-called liberal media, which it is NOT. I listen to NPR with All Things Considered to get the real news and I like to watch The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on Public TV.

Want to read more posts by Ethel Peterson? 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 Ethel Peterson. The archives for this author are listed left sidebar on this page.

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About This Page

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

Just a few of the most current posts by Ethel Peterson are excerpted in the center of this page. However, we have links to this author's complete archives, listed below.

Archives for Ethel Peterson

This list shows all of the stories ever published in the Kansas Free Press by Ethel Peterson, organized by date:

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