Commentary

Wed
23
Aug

Border war revenge

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray

At the close of the Civil War the only discernable difference between Missouri and Kansas along the border south of Kansas City was the scattered “blackened chimneys” of abandoned Missouri farms. Known as the “Burnt District”, the charred remains were the result of Brigadier General Thomas Ewing’s General Order Number 11, issued Aug. 25, 1863.

The series of events that led to the issuance of the order began in the opening days of the War Between the States. Early in 1861, as the inevitability of war loomed over the nation, southern states began to succeed from the Union.

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Wed
23
Aug

Invisible man creates life

By Sen. JEFF FLAKE
Special to the I-R

Someone recently said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.”

The man who said that never met Manuel Chaidez.

Manuel was just 16 when he made it from Sonora, Mexico, to the F-Bar, my family’s ranch outside the town of Snowflake, in Northern Arizona. I was just a kid, no more than 6 or so, and to me Manuel looked like a full-grown man. He wasn’t much more than a kid himself, of course, but he worked as if his family depended on him. They probably did. He couldn’t have worked harder if the ranch were his own.

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Wed
16
Aug

An old-fashioned distraction

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray

In the middle of winter, we all look forward to summer, forgetting just how oppressive summer heat can be. We look out the window at the swirling snowflakes and yearn for a glimpse of the sun.

However, days on end of the sun’s radiation tend to drive us inside to the comfort of air conditioning leaving us yearning for brisk fall weather with a chill in the air.

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Wed
16
Aug

Think before you send

By Linda Mowery-Denning

So far this week, I’ve written a check for the Independent-Reporter’s sponsorship of the Nicodemus Buffalo Soldiers for Ellsworth’s 150th birthday celebration, attended meetings of two local boards and volunteered the services of my staff for various community projects.

None of this makes me or the Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter special. Every business in Ellsworth County does as much — or in many cases more — to support our community.

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Wed
09
Aug

A tall tale from Kansas

By DUANE GOOSSEN

The recently overturned Kansas tax experiment was sold to Kansans with a tall tale: “Big income tax cuts bring economic prosperity without any pain.” Eventually most Kansans realized the story was false, and their legislators ended the experiment with a bipartisan veto override. Then, very quickly, a new story began to circulate: “The tax experiment failed because Kansas spends too much.”

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Wed
09
Aug

Beer and a reason to hope

By Jerry Marsh

I recently had occasion to visit a working man’s bar in Dorrance, Kan., one of those kinds of bars that I frequented frequently in my younger days. The proprietor had the TV behind the bar tuned to CNN (aka Fake News) and the “breaking news” was that newly appointed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci had resigned following a profane 10 day tenure, apparently his resignation (firing) came at the behest of newly appointed White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a four star Marine. If any readers have difficulty keeping pace with changes in White House staff, you are not alone.

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Wed
02
Aug

Buffalo Wranglers

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray

Joseph McCoy had tasted success when his “cattle depot” at Abilene, Kan., attracted 35,000 head of cattle in its first months of operation. That was 1867. Prospects for 1868 were promising indeed.

Eager cattle buyers filled Abilene’s only hotel, Drover’s Cottage, a full month before the cattle began to arrive in the spring of 1868. Cattlemen barely had time to locate their herds on the prairie before they were inundated with buyers. The 1868 cattle trade opened lively and at good prices.

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Wed
02
Aug

Safety in the Sun

By John Schlageck

My dermatologist recently shared with me a list of five ways to die on a golf course. The five ways include hit by a golf ball, run over by a golf cart, whacked by a golf club, struck by lightning and forgot your hat.

While none of these possibilities is pleasant to contemplate, the threat of skin cancer is real and should be considered carefully.

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Wed
19
Jul

Conflicting rumors

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray

When gold was discovered in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the western border of Kansas Territory was at the continental divide that separates the great watersheds that drain to the Pacific in the west and those that drain east, in this case eventually finding the sea at the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery of gold in 1858 stirred thousands of people to cross the plains in search of a better life in the Kansas gold fields.

Pikes Peak looming on the western horizon was the first sign of the mountains and spawned the slogan “Pikes Peak or Bust!”. It was painted on wagon covers and pledged in staging camps as wagon trains prepared to cross the sea of grass west of Missouri.

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Wed
19
Jul

Profits before patients

By LeeAnn Hall

Ask about health care at a summer cookout, and you’ll likely get an earful about how drug corporations are gouging us, leaving many families to choose between buying medications or putting food on the table.

Why? Because corporations put profits before patients.

Look at a corporation like Mylan, the maker of EpiPen, which raked in $480 million in profits last year and paid its chairman $97.6 million, all while raising the price of the medication to more than $600 per dose.

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