Commentary

Wed
12
Jul

Brownback policies created need for tax increase this session

By Jerry Marsh

The attack on responsible Kansas fiscal policy is well under way. Voters will be bombarded over the next year and half regarding the “biggest tax increase in state history” and the “biggest budget increase in state history”. Gov. Brownback, his fiscal minions, and gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach will be leading the attack.

The tax and budget increases are large. I am not sure about the “largest in state history.” The attackers will not tell voters why the increases are large. Voters will need to recall living for five years under the fiscal mess brought on by Gov. Brownback and his ideological cronies and the damage Kansas suffered during those five years.

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Wed
05
Jul

Osborne County’s last fight

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray

History comes to me in a lot of different ways. Most of the stories that I tell are from larger stories that I have collected over the past 21 years, a few go back a lot farther. Sources come from books, magazines, newspapers, museum archives, internet pages, and personal interaction with interesting folks that I have had the good fortune to meet. I’ve gotten some really good tips from readers and if you haven’t seen your particular storyline yet, hang on! It’s in the works.

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Wed
05
Jul

Thinking of Washington

By Jerry Marsh

“Social media . . . It’s a medium Mr. Trump exploits brilliantly, ...” The preceding quote comes from an article referencing another in a long line of unseemly Tweets from our unseemly president.

I find it disturbing when political and social commentators attribute brilliance to our president’s inexcusable, boorish behavior. Such attribution serves to make his insults more acceptable and thus more imitable. The man needs to be called out for precisely what he is, a disgrace to the office of President of the United States. I take this idea directly from a Republican who urged as much in an appeal to her fellow Republicans.

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Wed
28
Jun

Foiled Vengeance

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray

Excitement ran high on the Delaware Reserve at Anderson’s Town July 24, 1833. Shawnuk, chief of the Delaware was preparing for war. Superintendent of Indian Affairs William Clark of Lewis & Clark fame, reported on the incident.

According to the report Shawnuk and 22 Delaware warriors left the town “on a War excursion against the Pawnees, to avenge the death of some Delawares killed by the Pawnees ...” Clark continued, “The party passed through the Kanza villages, the latter were to join them on the expedition.”

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Wed
28
Jun

Cuts target rural areas

By Ben Lilliston

How we spend our money says a lot about what we value — and what we can do without. The Trump administration’s proposed budget, which it submitted to Congress in May, sends the alarming message that it can do without much of rural America.

The surprisingly harsh budget would eviscerate important programs that support rural America, including programs that support rural businesses and cooperatives, housing, water infrastructure, and renewable energy. The size and scope of the cuts would be devastating.

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Wed
21
Jun

Freedom demands leaks

By Davis Merritt

One person’s leaker is another person’s whistle-blower is another person’s publicist is another person’s defender. One person’s traitor is another person’s patriot.

And they are all, at one time or another, what journalists consider confidential news sources. Because that’s the case, Americans’ freedoms are preserved at a level higher than any other peoples’ in the world.

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Wed
21
Jun

HARVEST SAFETY

By John Schlageck

Long hours, a flurry of activity, less-than-ideal weather conditions and work involving large machinery combine to make wheat harvest a potentially dangerous period.

To say farmers are busy during this time would be an understatement. Try to call one after 7 a.m. or before 10 p.m. and you’ll be wasting your time — they’re not home. They’re in the field or shop preparing for harvest.

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Wed
14
Jun

Still in the Cattle Business

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray

1884 was a tough year for the end of trail Kansas cattle towns. At the “Border Queen” of Caldwell, cattlemen were under pressure to abandon grazing lands leased from the Cherokee Nation.

The Boomer movement, led by David Payne, sought to open the leased lands for private ownership through homestead law. Lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. were slowly swaying political leaders against the Cherokee-Cowboy relationship. In response, the embattled Cowboys and Indians formed a unique bond, which in the words of the Cherokee Advocate combined to stand “squarely” together to defend one another’s rights against “the lawless class”.

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Wed
14
Jun

Saga of tax legislation

By Rep. Steven Johnson

The Kansas Legislature finally reached adjournment in the past week. The final votes were accompanied by some drama and speculation on what was behind the issues.

Smaller issues continued to move through the chambers all week. Monday was an intense day, starting at 8 a.m. in the House. Tax remained the key topic.

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Wed
07
Jun

A Dangerous Sport

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray

Emporia, Kan. was all abuzz Friday morning June 2, 1871. At 9 p.m. the previous evening Dr. Morris, Lyon County coroner, was summoned to the banks of the Cottonwood River southeast of town to hold an inquest over the body of a murdered man. Dr. Morris traveled to a popular campground about three quarters of a mile below Soden’s Mill.

W. T. Soden established the Emporia Water Mills, more familiarly known as Soden’s Mill, on the Cottonwood River immediately south of Emporia in 1860. The mill could produce 200 bushels of flour a day. The old main building was hand-built with timbers showing the scars of the craftsman’s axe, hewed from trees that had once graced the banks of the Cottonwood River.

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