Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Policy: March 2011


COUNCIL GROVE, Kan. - I wrote the following piece six years ago in response to an election outcome. I chose to include it this month because it seems once again to fit the context of our times - relegating a group to second-class status through the instrument of government. The piece is bad polemics but good therapy for the writer. It was published in The Council Grove Republican. Here it is:

I've been doing some serious soul-searching during the last few days as to the error of my ways. This inner journey -- intense, agonizing, and profound -- was prompted by the recent passage [April 5, 2005] of the Kansas Marriage Amendment. Seventy percent of Kansans and 77.25 percent of the citizens of Morris County voted to add to the state constitution a ban of gay marriages and civil unions. And, yes, I admit it, I was one of the 438 unenlightened out of the 1925 in Morris County to vote NO on this measure.

TOPEKA, Kan. - In response to yesterday's posting on the efforts by the telecom industry in Kansas to undo the Kan-ed program, I received the following statement from Bradley S. Williams, M.S., CIO & Executive Director of Kan-ed. It outlines well the programs and services provided by Kan-ed to the people of Kansas:

I am reaching out to you directly today because Cox Communications (Wichita), who is a Kan-ed Authorized Provider, has elected to lobby against Kan-ed members and their funding. Cox Communications has asked House Speaker Mike O'Neal (R-Hutchinson) to introduce House Bill 2390 to eliminate Kan-ed effective July 1, 2011. The Speaker of the House indicated yesterday he is supportive of the bill and we also know that Representative Joe McLeland (R-Wichita), is also pushing to dismantle Kan-ed as he has done every year since Kan-ed inception.

If Cox and the Speaker are successful with HB 2390, then all Kan-ed connections and services will go away. That includes all network and video connections, Renovo Video scheduler, licenses, and servers, MCU, Kan-edLiveTutor.com (homework Kansas), Empowered Desktop and LS test builder, EMResource (hospitals ER database) and E-rate support just to name a few... all gone.

student-laptop.jpgTOPEKA, Kan. - Last week, on March 14th, at the request of the Speaker of the House Mike O'Neal (R-Hutchinson), the chair of the Kansas House Appropriations Committee, Marc Rhodes (R-Newton), introduced HB 2390 that would abolish Kan-Ed and transfer all remaining assets to the state's general fund effective July 1 of this year. Internet access would continued to be administered by the Kansas Universal Service Fund, that is overseen by the Kansas Corporation Commission, but other services provide by Kan-Ed would expire.

Kan-Ed was created by the Kansas Legislature in 2001 and administered through the Kansas Board of Regents. The purpose of the program is to expand the collaboration capabilities of Kan-Ed's member institutions: K-12 schools, higher education, libraries and hospitals through the use of technology.

As such, it provides services including hospital ER databases, provides libraries, schools and hospitals with affordable and high-speed Internet connectivity, the ELMeR videoconferencing network, research databases (including all K-12 databases and Heritage Quest), Kan-Ed Live Tutor (Homework Kansas), and more.

welcome-to-kansas.jpgTOPEKA, Kan. - This afternoon, Thursday 17 March, in Topeka the House Judiciary Committee is once again going to take up another xenophobic law that the right-wing extremist Kris Kobach is trying to force on the state of Kansas.

Today the Judiciary Committee Chair, the right-wing extremist Rep. Lance Kinzer, is going to force a vote on Kobach's anti-immigration bill HB 2372. Modeled on the now notorious Arizona legislation that Kobach authored, should this legislation pass, Kansas will face spending millions of taxpayer dollars defending legislation that is nothing more than the race laws passed by Nazi Germany.

While I am a fourth generation Kansan, born and raised in Marshall county, from 1982 - 1998 I lived and worked in Italy. The first four years I lived in Italy, I did so as an undocumented worker. Thus I know well what it means to be an immigrant and why HB 2372 is a morally corrupted piece of legislation.

unemployment2.jpgEditor's Note: This is the 4th column written by this author for her series, "Decreasing the Deficit." The first three include: The Truth Behind Entitlements, The Defense Budget, and, Earmarks, Pork and the Golden Fleecing of America.

WICHITA, Kan. - Listen, my children, and you shall hear about what really constitutes a fair taxation system. To be simplistic, it is a system that involves taxing those whose income is larger than they need to provide for themselves and those for whom they legally are bound to provide. Such a system leaves those who live under the poverty standard untaxed allowing them to get on their feet financially, at which time they too would enter the tax rolls.

In the United States today, in fact since about 1986, the disparity between middle and upper income earners has grown. Today the middle income is being crushed into the poverty level. Anyone who tells you differently is lying to you and if you accept their untruths, you, gullible American that you are, are accepting the blarney they are trying to cram down your throat.

Who Is Responsible?

COLBY, Kan. - I just read a long article in the New York Times (pg. A1 3-13-11 by Danny Hakim) about the horrible state of affairs in our system of taking care of the elderly, physically handicapped, and mentally impaired. Regardless of your religious identity (or non), partisan politics, liberal, conservative, etc. etc., it has to make you ashamed to be a part of the society that allows the most vulnerable of our minorities to be subjected to such abuse and neglect.

Too much government, not enough government, organized worker unions, professional employees and management; all have been blamed by each other. The truth is: it's us, you and me, that must shoulder the shame and blame. We are the ones who establish the morals, ethics, and culture of our communities.

LAWRENCE, Kan. - With the sudden onslaught of political attacks on the arts, women's rights, unions, children, schools, gays, the poor and the elderly, both nationally and in right here in Kansas, it's hard for a progressive to know what to do.

Which protest do I attend? Which causes do I have time to support, even though I'd like to support them all? Where do I send my hard earned money? And for we writers: Which editorial do I write?

Where do I even start?!?

WICHITA, Kan. - Politico's Simmi Aujla reported in December that Hal Rogers (R-KY) was elected to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Rogers has been named the Prince of Pork for his co-opting millions of taxpayer dollars for his own district's projects. In total Rogers has taken U S taxpayers in the amount of $246 million in earmarks over the past two years. One of Rogers' earmarks passed millions in our money to a reservation in Namibia for the preservation of cheetahs for whom his daughter works.

In January Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) castigated President Obama for pledging to veto any earmarks that came across his desk as part of another bill. Reid waved a small copy of the Constitution and declared, "I'm going to fight as hard as I can against President Obama on these earmarks."

That was after Reid decided to abandon a 1,924-page catchall spending measure laced with home state pet projects, or earmarks.

We have more! This page only lists entries in a particular month. We encourage you to look back through our archives in this same category.

The previous archive is Policy: February 2011. The next archive is Policy: April 2011.

If you want to browse other topics, you can also check our Table of Contents. The most current posts can always be found on our Front Page.


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This is an archive page containing all of the stories posted to Kansas Free Press in one particular topic in a particular month. These stories were published in the Policy: March 2011 section.

The previous archive is Policy: February 2011. The next archive is Policy: April 2011.

The most current posts can always be found on our Front Page.

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