Commentary

Wed
03
Jan

Kinch West: Desperado

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

Perry Kincheon West led a harrowing life at the head of a band of Missouri Bushwhackers during the Civil War. In the end his struggle to hold onto a doomed way of life left him virtually homeless.

Like so many of his comrades “Kinch” West drifted into Arkansas before moving on to Texas to begin again. Too many years of living from the spoils of war had molded the man into a desperate character. Civilization had passed him by.

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Wed
03
Jan

Happy New Year

Jerry Marsh
Political Bites

The year began with the inauspicious inauguration of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States. Americans wanted a non-traditional president and they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams with a man all but void of any knowledge of or consideration for the history, traditions, and responsibilities of the office.

•••

The year began auspiciously for Kansas government with the swearing in of a group of legislators willing to roll back the failed fiscal policies of Gov. Brownback. While they did a good job, much work remains. Six years of misguided fiscal policy cannot be repaired in a single legislative session. Voters will need to keep that reality firmly in mind with the upcoming Kansas gubernatorial election.

Wed
27
Dec

Winter range in Buffalo Land

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
The Way West

As Theodore Davis once wrote, “... the chill, keen winds of the Plains begin their frosty song, ‘More hair, more hair.’ It is late into fall and nature is preparing for the deep freeze of winter. The animal that has become known in modern times as “bison” prepares by growing a thick coat of hair. I prefer to call them “buffalo” as they were called by the plainsmen of the Old West. After all, who has ever heard of Bison Bill?

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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