Commentary

Wed
27
Dec

This is the Bill of Rights

Editor’s Note — On Dec. 15, 1791, the new United States of America ratified the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, confirming the fundamental rights of its citizens.

By Doug Anstaett
Special to the I-R

When someone mentions the name George Mason, the first thought that may come to mind is: “Oh, yes, they have a great basketball team.”

That’s true, but basketball is not the reason George Mason should be remembered by most Americans. His contribution to our nation is much more important.

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Wed
20
Dec

A Christmas reunion

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
The Way West

Isom Prentice “Print” Olive left Mississippi in 1844 on the back of Tawny, a buckskin mare headed for Texas. He was 3 years old. Tawny was tied to the back of the wagon beside two milk cows. The pace was slow and his father saw an opportunity to teach his son “to ride a bit.” At that very moment sister Betty recognized the flicker of a new light in her little brother’s eyes.

Print watched vaqueros pass by with droves of cattle and practiced their moves in the saddle. Within days the tether was let loose from the wagon and Print was up front, riding alongside the oxen, urging them onward in imitation of his father, with shouts and calls universal to all who handle cattle.

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Wed
20
Dec

Do not be fooled thrice

Jerry Marsh
Political Bites

Cliché: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

What about fool me thrice? Fool me once in 2010 with the election of Sam Brownback governor of Kansas. Fool me twice in 2014 with the re-election of Sam Brownback as governor of Kansas.

Kansas voters are staring straight down the barrel of “fool me thrice” with the choice of Kris Kobach for Governor of Kansas in 2018. I know that the election is a long way off and that he has not been nominated. But hey, it is never too soon to recognize a threat and better to deal with a threat sooner rather than later.

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Wed
29
Nov

Tale of two countries

Josh Hoxie
Others Say

Charles Dickens opened A Tale of Two Cities, perhaps his most famous tome, with the now iconic line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

The book is set in London and Paris during the late 1700s, the lead up to the French Revolution.

While revolution appears unlikely in the near term, we can draw some lessons from this tumultuous era to understand the growing economic divide in the United States today.

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Wed
29
Nov

WE THE PEOPLE

Jerry Marsh
Political Bites

The Preamble of the U.S. Constitution begins, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union ...” Many people take those words to mean that the will of the people should prevail in any political or governmental dispute. The Preamble concludes with the following: “do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” There exists a tension between these two passages that people often overlook, the tension between people and states.

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Tue
21
Nov

Killing Charles Dow

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

Wakarusa Creek is fed by several branches that drain the rolling landscape beginning about 10 miles southwest of Topeka. The creek flows to the east for approximately 80 miles, passing just south of Lawrence before emptying into the Kansas River a mile east of the town of Eudora.

With the opening of Kansas Territory to settlement, the Wakarusa valley, with good timber and flowing water, drew families early. The proximity to Lawrence initially drew Free State settlers, however, pro-slavery partisans from Missouri followed, taking claims as well. Their opposing political views were so polarized that the two factions found no common ground.

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Tue
21
Nov

Hometown Help

By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING
Ellsworth County I-R

Ron Svaty visited the I-R office the other day.

Svaty, a long-time Ellsworth attorney, recently retired as a district judge. His time since he left the bench has been spent helping with his nephew’s election campaign.

Josh Svaty, 37, is a Democratic candidate for Kansas governor.

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Wed
15
Nov

Ride a fast horse

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
The Way West

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 1892, dawned as a cold fall day in Ford County, Kan. Farmers were planting wheat in spite of ruinous prices for the abundance they had grown the previous season. East of Dodge City, in Spearville, Kan., most everyone was driven indoors except those who needed to be out of doors. Even so, three riders did not go unnoticed as they confidently rode in from the north around 2 p.m.

Like sports cars of today, one could not fail to notice the horses the strangers were riding. The first was described as a “rangy sorrel thoroughbred animal”. The remaining two horses, a bay and a dun, also “showed evidence of running stock”. The three riders leisurely pulled up and dismounted in the street. Two of the men handed their reins to their comrade and briskly walked away.

Wed
15
Nov

Schools take priority

Davis Merritt
Others Say

The Kansas Policy Institute, Charles Koch’s state lobbying arm, has issued its marching orders to legislators as they prep for perhaps the toughest and most significant session in the state’s history.

Unfortunately, if predictably, the command is, “To the rear, march.”

Legislators who will convene in January are already working on a response to the Kansas Supreme Court’s October order requiring a substantial increase in public school funding.

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Wed
08
Nov

A look at real tax reform

Olivia Alperstein
Others Say

No matter our politics, most Americans have a beef with taxes. And it’s no wonder.

Working class Americans pay a much greater share of their income than the wealthiest Americans, who get away with exploiting tax loopholes and paying less than their fair share to support public projects and government programs.

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