Commentary

Wed
18
Jul

Playing the hand dealt

John Schlageck
Insight

“Better than expected, but not what we’d hoped for.”

This is what I heard when I asked Kansas farmers about this year’s wheat harvest. Still, with the little moisture received during the growing season, the 2018 wheat crop panned out better than most Kansas farmers thought it would.

Steve Boor, Lincoln County farmer wrapped up harvest June 30, two weeks after he began.

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Wed
11
Jul

George Bayard’s wound

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

Second Lt. George Dashiell Bayard could hardly contain his excitement in a June 1, 1860, letter to his father.

Following a six-day trip from St. Louis, he had arrived at “Camp on the Pawnee Fork”, a tributary of the Arkansas River, (near present-day Larned, Kan.) for a military campaign against the Kiowas and Comanches.

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Wed
11
Jul

Make mine fresh picked

John Schlageck
Others Say

Going into the first week of July, most Kansans are experiencing the dog-days of summer — blistering heat, strong southerly winds and a few scattered showers. In most fields across our state, the corn crop is holding its own and the beans and milo are in “decent” shape as well.

Wheat harvest turned out better than most farmers expected but they know with the continued summer heat their Kansas row crops will need additional moisture during the next few months. Same for the pastures and ponds.

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Wed
04
Jul

Rule of the minority

Peter Certo
Others Say

The Supreme Court is a real piece of work. Over the last few days it’s been popping off far-right proclamations like a drunk uncle at Thanksgiving. Except this uncle gets to make the rules in your house, and he can stay there until he dies.

Over about 48 hours, the nation’s highest court gutted the ability of America’s public employee unions to fundraise. It ruled that a president can freely apply his well-documented anti- Muslim bigotry to U.S. immigration policy, as long as he says that’s not what he’s doing. And it upheld deeply gerrymandered congressional maps in North Carolina and Texas, which lower courts ruled were blatantly designed to make the votes of poor people and people of color count for less.

Wed
04
Jul

Close the rural broadband gap

Keli Habiger
Others Say

Nearly one-third of Kansas residents live in rural areas and may lack access to high speed Internet. Significantly slower Internet access in rural areas creates a rural/urban digital divide and without access to Internet, rural residents lose out on opportunities that urban residents take for granted. In an interconnected world, access to broadband is a necessity.

Rural Kansans have less access to technology that would allow them a greater ability to do business, access health care and education, and improve their agricultural industry. This means individuals in rural areas are unable to take full advantage of the economic and educational opportunities available to their urban counterparts.

Wed
27
Jun

Old Pioneer’s memory

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

Thomas Benton Murphy came west from his home near Pattonsburg, Mo., just after the Civil War.

He found work as a teamster for the military, witnessed the 1867 Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty, learned the ways of the native Plains Indians from men who had lived among them, and fought the Cheyenne and Sioux with Forsyth’s Scouts at Beecher Island and Gen. Sheridan’s Winter Campaign of 1868-69.

While camping on Bluff Creek in December 1870, Murphy crossed paths with Phil McClusky, an interpreter for the Comanche people at Medicine Lodge.

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Wed
27
Jun

Pride of the ‘socialist’

Jerry Marsh
Political Bites

I regularly exchange views on contemporary issues with friends. For the most part, we are a thick-skinned lot and the exchanges can border on rude and crude.

Recently, one called me a socialist, an intended insult directed at my views on issues. My first thought was to call him a fascist, but I thought again and took a gentler approach in my reply, which follows, albeit expanded somewhat and edited for public consumption:

I am proud to be a socialist if it means ...

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Wed
20
Jun

The Last Survivor

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

In his 85th year, Tom Murphy’s thoughts turned to times gone by.

He had seen and lived a life that few men in the year of 1929 had known. With that in mind his daughter, Dorothy Murphy, served as his secretary, recording his memories for future generations. A companion memoir was fittingly recorded by Tom’s wife, Nancy Jane and placed in a folder of family information. From the two documents, frontier Kansas lives once more as the Murphys lived it in the days of their youth.

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Wed
20
Jun

Decision hurts workers

By Alan S. Blinder
Special to the I-R

It has been a tough several decades for American labor, and now the Trump administration, Congress and the Supreme Court are all piling on. The latest blow was the high court’s 5-4 decision last month in Epic Systems v. Lewis.

The justices held that employers may use mandatory arbitration clauses to prevent workers from banding together to pursue their legal rights in a class-action suit against the company. The message was clear: Workers of the United States, don’t try to unite. You’re on your own.

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Wed
13
Jun

Pedro Vial, Trail Blazer

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

Pedro Vial wandered the plains long before well-known famous explorers made their reputations from the endless sea of grass. Vial was born in Lyons, France, in the approximate year of 1747. Little is known of his earliest years in North America. By the 1770s he had traversed the Missouri River, trapping and interacting with the native tribes that lived there.

His reputation reached all the way to Texas where in 1786 he was commissioned by Texas Gov. Domingo Cebello to blaze a trail from San Antonio to Santa Fe, N.M.

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