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There's Got to Be a Better Way

SALINA, Kan. - I didn't watch the recent Republican candidates' presidential debate in Las Vegas. Call it my personal protest against the ad nauseam campaigning of our present day. A local radio announcer summed it up well the following morning when he asked, "And the election is when?"

Of course I'm not a Republican primary voter. But surely I'm not the only one who feels there's got to be a better way to elect our President and conduct our politics than the current perpetual campaign.

At present states are jockeying to move up their Presidential nominating processes. The way things are going we might even end up with a caucus or primary in December of 2011. Such an occurrence would put even Santa in a foul mood.

Small Town Post Offices Under Fire

"This is about dismantling the Postal Service, getting rid of unions, privatization, and selling post office buildings to developers." - Grey Brechin. Living New Deal Project. Univ. of Calif. Berkley.

BOGUE, Kan. - On the surface, the effort to close small post offices and cut wages and jobs may seem justifiable. Email has dramatically reduced the sale of postage stamps, and the private companies FedEx and UPS are delivering packages door to door.

But, if you dig a little deeper, you find the politics ...

What Being Progressive Means to Me

HAYS, Kan. - Aside from the conservative and liberal talking-head pundits and their familiar yelling matches so prevalent on cable news channels, millions of everyday Americans believe that our elected officials, our economic leaders, and especially our newspapers and television news channels are out-of-sync with American values. Who are these millions of everyday citizens?

Many are compassionate Americans whose values are in the so-called middle and/or leaning to the near left or far left. Many of these passionate, active and optimistic citizens describe themselves as progressive thinkers, progressive doers, progressive writers or progressive voters.

Are moderates and progressives the same then? Often times yes, but not necessarily. Are liberals and progressives the same? Maybe, frequently, and probably, but still not quite the same.

Share Robert Reich's comments

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Demagogues through history have known that big lies, repeated often enough, start being believed -- unless they're rebutted. These seven economic whoppers are just plain wrong. Make sure you know the truth - and spread it on. (The Seven Biggest Economic Lies, Robert Reich)

BOGUE, Kan. - The Occupy protesters are sometimes faulted for being "unfocused" -- meaning, I suppose that there are a variety of concerns -- thus far not sufficiently sewn together.

But I'd say the economic disparity between the rich and the rest of us -- now greater than at any time since the Great Depression and which has been widening since the "government is the problem" heyday of Grandpa Ronnie -- is the common denominator. If you agree with what Reich is saying, I hope you'll spread the word. Without a doubt, the banksters and corporate fat cats are nervous now, and will do all they can to discredit, disrupt, and dismantle any informed citizen activism threatening their power and greed. Part of that effort is to lie often and eagerly.

Reich will dismantle their propaganda ....

U.S. Not Moving Towards Socialism

SALINA, Kan. - Recently I came across a quote by a Republican politician who was lamenting the success of Democrats in a recent election. He said, "I don't know what caused it ... voters must be tending more towards Socialism or something."

At first glance the remark sounds like a contemporary one about President Barack Obama and his political allies. But it actually came from the November 5, 1958 edition of my hometown newspaper. That particular year Democrats won three of the then six congressional seats in Kansas, elected a Democratic governor and gained fourteen seats in the Kansas Legislature.

The more things change the more they stay the same. Hardly a week goes by these days without a commentator, either professional or one on the street, issuing dire warnings about how President Obama has us on the path towards Socialism. If history has anything to teach us that complaint is becoming passé.

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.

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 Politics: September 2011. The next archive is Politics: November 2011.

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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 Politics: October 2011 section.

The previous archive is Politics: September 2011. The next archive is Politics: November 2011.

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

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