Wednesday, 3/14/12, Public Square

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62 responses to “Wednesday, 3/14/12, Public Square

  1. Do you know what I read this morning?

    Encyclopedia Britannica, after 244 years, is giving in to online competition and going out of print.

    :-(

    • I’m not surprised. Times have changed. The cost of printing has continued to increase over the years. We had an ancient set of encyclopedias when I was growing up, and I usually ended up having to go to the library for something more current…and even the ones there weren’t always up to date. Or what I needed was checked out! Not good for someone who waited until the last minute to write that paper.

      Information is available online, and teachers are discovering that it’s almost impossible to limit research to one online source. Then, too, there are some sources that may not be reliable, but the same could be said for some non-encyclopedia books. There are pros and cons to everything, and we have to work on those as time goes on.

      • What will a library look like in the future?

        Some things are harder for me to give up than others, no matter the good reasons.

      • There will be books for a long, long time. Not only books already printed, but those yet to come. Really. While ebooks are gaining in popularity and bookstores are closing, people still buy more real books. The hope is that now that the huge bookstores are closing, more smaller, independently owned bookstores may open. And there are still a lot of used bookstores, especially in this city. In fact, a new one just opened in Delano.

        I was reading the stats about who reads ebooks, and the numbers still haven’t even reached half. Not everyone is reading them, but the numbers are growing. Because of the lower prices, people are buying more books, and in this economy, that’s a good thing.

        Libraries already offer ebook lending, although the ones I’ve looked at are not only checked out but have a waiting list. There’s only a small percentage of titles available electronically.

        The subject is still being debated, and here’s one of the latest articles doing just that. :)

        http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/14/do-e-books-impair-memory/

      • My shelf space is running low. I have boxes and boxes of books, some just given to me by friends and friends of friends. I’m having to go through them and toss the ones that aren’t in good shape, and the rest will be given for the Art & Book Fair. (I need to get that done!) When I dragged my feet on getting an ereader, then finally decided to do it, GREEN was what won me over in the end. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever buy another book, because I will. But now I’ll be buying books that I’ll never consider giving or throwing away. And I’ll probably have it in electronic form, too.

        I love my Kindle. I kick myself for not getting one sooner. I can carry around over 100 books, ready to read at any moment. I take it with me when I go early to pick up the g-kids at school and nearly always read something for those 20 minutes. And I don’t have to decide what I’m going to read ahead of time. That’s the best part. LOL I can let it read to ME, too. My kids never have to wonder what to give me for Christmas or any other time. I get gift cards to buy books!

        There are still those negatives, and many of them are for the authors, but time will hopefully take care of some of them.

  2. The frothy mixture wins in the South again, but is still far behind in delegate count. And once again the number of voters was down. Not too many people seem very interested.

    What a conundrum!

    I’m sure someone will step in at some point — late August convention — and tell them all who they should vote for in November. Who will wake up Gingrich to tell him the news?

    • I’ve still heard there’s a big possibility of a brokered convention.

      Interesting times.

      • Sarah Palin seems to be one of those who is hoping for a brokered convention. She said that she would never close a door……and she plans to be there at the convention.

        From that, I assume she will be packing the Crown Jewels for her coronation.

  3. I just read in the paper that the House has passed a bill to cut income taxes and abolish sales tax on most food items. While that sounds good at first, I’m a bit concerned that this isn’t going to help those who need the most help right now. While some people don’t understand the reasoning for taxes, I do. What I see coming is that things the middle and low income people in this state rely on to live will soon be gone. I have no doubt that education funds will continue to be slashed. I don’t think these Republicans understand public anything and why so many ‘publics’ were begun, especially public education, which they’ve managed to ruin over the years.

  4. In keeping with the topic picture – Where was this feigned outrage of attack on religious liberty when several states passed mandates for equitable health care coverage – which made birth control coverage mandated?

    This happened several years ago – under George W. Bush years . Not every state has done this – I think Kansas did not – but where was their outrage at that time?

    This is all political point scoring – they think they have something on Obama.

    I think it’s going to backfire – BIG TIME

    • The Affordable Care Act — the law of the land — says insurance policies will cover preventative care at no additional cost. Pay the premiums and those health-care costs are covered. Contraception is preventative care.

      Isn’t it March the Supreme Court hears the case with regard to the mandate that everyone be covered?

      • Even without the Affordable Care Act – their argument is that religious liberty is being violated by making them offer birth control (which is against their religion).

        So, even with or without the co-pay – their argument is moot – especially in those states that mandated equitable health care coverage.

        This is why I think this current outrage is nothing more than Republicans and Pro Life people getting together and making a big stink because they think this is going to be Obama’s Waterloo.

        And let’s not forget – Sen. Jim DeMint was the first Republican that stated publicly that health care would be Obama’s Waterloo.

      • As we have seen from the backlash – Republicans have seriously underestimated women – again.

        First it was Susan G. Komen fiasco.
        Then this birth control issue
        Then Rush Limbaugh’s big mouth

        Republicans seem to never learn to not mess with women

      • Everything is against someone’s religion. The subject is standards of doing business in the health care industry.

        The Affordable Care Act will help a lot of people who aren’t rich. Although the republicans get money from the rich and protect those rich people against all odds to keep the revenue coming, they need to figure out where votes come from to remain viable.

      • You’re correct that everything is against someone’s religion – Maybe I feel my religious liberty is being assaulted because my health insurance premiums should not go towards the health coverage that provides erectile dysfunction pills or those penis pumps.

        But I don’t hear any outrage from these men about paying for those things.

        But, as you said, the issue should be about preventive health care coverage and birth control is preventive.

        What is preventive about those little blue pills and some pump ?

      • I have noticed their big heads don’t work as well if their little heads aren’t tended to.

      • One factor that Obama has brought out in all this hullabaloo over birth control is the fact that when the Churches go outside of their own church – in cases where they own hospitals or universities in which the general public works – then that is why they should be subjected to the same rules as everyone else in the country.

        It’s two different things in telling a church they have to offer birth control to their church employees but when they employ non-church people in one of their non-church businesses – they should follow the same rules.

        And that is what the real issue is – but these folks are trying to make it a religious liberty issue, which I feel is where the political point scoring tactic is being used.

        Let’s not forget – the same folks routinely question Obama’s Christian faith and some just come out and say Obama is a Muslim. So when they can use the argument that Obama is declaring war on their religious liberty – that can spread fear among those folks who think Obama is ‘not one of them’ and is a Muslim trying to take over the country.

        And that – IMHO – is the crux of the prolem.

      • Do you remember when Colin Powell so eloquently asked why it would matter if Obama was Muslim? He emphasized that he isn’t but asked us to think about the fact that a person’s personal religious beliefs were just that — personal, and that separation of church and state is a constitutional requirement.

        I wish I felt today’s zealots running for office on the promises of overturning Roe v. Wade, making it illegal for gays to marry and actually revoking the legality of those previously married, teaching church doctrines such as “creationism,” and openly discriminating against religions and minorities outside what they consider acceptable, would leave their religious beliefs in their personal lives. But when they campaign on making changes to our Constitution based on religious principals why would we think that?

      • I do remember Colin Powell when he said that – and he was 100% correct – IMHO.

        Religious zealots come in all sizes, shapes, colors and religions. Unfortunately, there will always be zealots in this world.

        I had a friend visit me the other day and she started talking about these Muslim terrorists. I stopped her and said – not all Muslims are terrorists just like all Christians are not like these Rabid Religious Right Republicans, who I consider to be war mongerers when they openly talk about wanting to bomb Iran.

        The problem is not the fact we are different religions – it is the fact that zealots on both ends of the spectrum take their religious beliefs and try to make everyone else adhere to them. There is no justification for killing and terrorism – and using the Bible or the Quran as their weapon is not the answer.

        She had to agree with me – but I think some Americans are unable to think of Christians as being religious zealots and terrorists themselves.

        Maybe that attitude is changing since the real possibility of Santorum in the White House is being thrust into the faces of average Americans who seem to be somewhere in the political center. Some of right of center, some are left of center but that center section is huge – IMHO

    • prairie pond

      Indy, I hope you are right. From your lips to goddess’ ears. But my number one political axiom is “Never underestimate the stupidity of American voters.” Then multiply that stupidity exponentially, and you have Kansas voters. Multiply the exponential number by 10, and you have WESTERN Kansas voters.

      Iggy and I had many, many conversations about this, and always agreed to disagree. He always believed in the goodness of people, and that eventually, voters would let the good in them shine through.

      Me? Not so much. I think you can never underestimate the stupidity of voters. And I’m 12-3 in managing campaigns. The three losses were not because I overestimated their intelligence. They were because I underestimated the voter stupidity. Including those particular candidates :)

      Yeah. I’m only slightly bitter…

      I miss Iggy.

      • prairie pond

        Actually, I guess I’m 13-3 if you count an issue, not a position, campaign I managed a few years ago. We won. But I still lost my job. Bitterness, thy name is Prairie Pond!

  5. Romney says he will get rid of Planned Parenthood if he is president -along with other groups.

    I noticed Romney mentioned he would get rid of the subsidy for Amtrak but did I miss the part where Romeny would get rid of the subsidies to the oil companies?

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/13/when-romney-says-get-rid-of-planned-parenthood-he-means/

    • Sad, because we need as much mass transit as possible in this country, especially long distance. It’s ridiculous that the smaller countries have rail travel, yet the bigger ones don’t. I have a friend who doesn’t like to fly. She loves taking the train from IL, where she lives, to Seattle, where her son and g-kids live. I’d like to do that, but trying to get somewhere from here is almost as bad as trying to find a direct flight to anywhere.

      • Remember the states that refused that high-speed rail stimulus money? I know Gov Rick Scott of Florida refused it and some other Republican governor refused the money.

        What is their problem? If there was a mass transit system that actually serviced Wichita and surrounding areas – just imagine how much gas we could save – not to mention the less pollution.

        And then maybe some idiot in a QuikTrip with dirt-covered windows would have not backed into my car……LOL

      • Is Newton still the closest place to catch a train? I’ve never taken a long-distance train ride. I think that would be something interesting to put on my To Do List.

      • The last time I looked…and it wasn’t that long ago…Newton is it. And from what I could tell, most of those trains run at 3 a.m. None go south. That’s why there’s been noise made about extending the rail system through OKC to Dallas. From there it goes west and east. Makes a heckuva lot of sense to do something.

        There are 6 Amtrak stations listed on the website. Dodge City, Garden City, Hutch, Lawrence, Topeka, and Newton. None of them go south. None go straight north. Most go west or northeast.

        http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?c=Page&pagename=am%2FLayout&p=1237405732511&cid=1237608344114

        fnord, my dream is to visit the east coast and see the cities that helped create and then shape this country. I’d start at Boston, then take the train south to NYC, Philly, and then final in DC. It’s a trip I’d like to share with my youngest, who’s never had much of a chance to travel and loves the National Treasure movies. :) What history we could see!

      • Yes, Newton is where you catch the train. And it only goes north I think. Don’t hold me to this, I don’t know for sure. Hubby and I think we’d like to take a train across Canada some day. Shoot. We have so much planned for after he retires. Sadly, we’re getting old and some of those plans may remain plans that we dust off and talk about. That’s okay! Dreams are fun, and as long as we can separate them from reality we think we’re doing fine.

      • Half the fun of a trip is dreaming about it – huh?

        Canada sounds nice – I loved Canada during the summer when we visited. But I don’t think I could take that much cold and ice during their winters.

      • My husband was born in Germany. He was adopted when he was 7 months old. He has his birth certificate and adoption papers with all the pertinent information. We have always talked about going to Germany and visiting those places.

        Hell – if Santorum gets into the White House – we might just choose to move to Germany and be done with it. LOL

      • I have taken the train from Boston to DC. It was an overnight trip. We traveled through all those places but were attempting sleep. Getting off at each of those stops would be so interesting! We left Boston about 10 p.m. and arrived DC around 7 a.m. I’d do it again!

      • prairie pond

        “Canada sounds nice – I loved Canada during the summer when we visited. But I don’t think I could take that much cold and ice during their winters.”

        I agree on all counts, Indy.

        And if little ricky is preznit, I probably won’t have any choices other than incarceration vs. deportation. Because, ya know, he just isn’t going to stand for queers and women to be full citizens.

  6. I’e noticed something lately on television – maybe somebody knows the answer to this question.

    When I’ve seen views of the White House, I am seeing people dressed in black on top of the White House.

    Are these Secret Service people and are they sharpshooters in case there is anything about to happen?

    I’ve only noticed this in the past month or so. I noticed it again today when watching a few minutes of the ceremony welcoming the Prime Minister Cameron from the UK.

    • My oldest grandson and I were walking in DC and caught a glimpse of a heavily armed man dressed all in black on the White House grounds. Just a glimpse. We both asked one another, “Did you see that?” Then we both tried to see where he had gone to no avail. This was more than 10 years ago. Maybe today they don’t try to stay out of sight?

      • From what I remember, the security was increased shortly after 9/11. Remember the barricades? I think they’re still there. I could be wrong. My oldest was in DC in Dec. 1997, and those weren’t there.

      • The biggest difference I found in visiting DC pre and post 911 was at the museums that make up the Smithsonian. Before 911 you walked the mall between museums, entered and departed leisurely… After 911 you couldn’t enter without going through metal detectors, having your purse, back-pack… searched. Went from what seemed like no security to lots!

      • However, you could travel the subway system with no worry of security, no worry about what you were carrying on and off… And, the subway system goes under the buildings where you had to stop to be searched.

      • I was in DC in 2000, but I didn’t get to do much sight-seeing. The Mall was it, and although I saw the museums, I didn’t go inside. Next time I’ll plan better, but I was there for a conference. Since then, I’ve learned to see the sights of wherever I go. Too bad I haven’t been able to do that for a while.

      • The Metro was great when I was there. There was a station–actually an enclosed elevator–at the bottom of the hill where our hotel was located. On my own and by myself (gasp), I got in, got on the “train” and rode directly to the Washington Monument. Or pretty much, anyway. It’s the first thing I saw in front of me when I came up from the stairs. A few days later, a group of us rode the above ground metro back to the hotel from another hotel where we’d attended a big, fancy party. It was after midnight, we were in evening wear, and it had rained earlier. We climbed on, feeling a bit silly in our fancy clothes, but two ladies asked us where we’d been and were very nice.

        I just wish I’d seen more while I was there, but at least I have some great pictures.

    • Yes, but Congress doesn’t USE PP. ;)

      • I bet Congress would use PP if they gave away free little blue pills….

      • Why would they? American tax dollars buy them exemplary health care at any place of their choosing. They wouldn’t want to inadvertently be forced to rub shoulders with every-day people.

      • But Bill O’Reilly used the excuse that any woman can get birth control pills at any Planned Parenthood agency.

        So his argument is – birth control is available for free so why should ‘they’ have to pay for it?

        Bill-O is a buffoon, I know, but his argument seems to be the prevailing thought of the current GOP clown car.

    • clarification: I used the word ‘they’ as in Republicans bitching about ‘their’ money.

      As we all know, Republicans #1 concern is MONEY……

    • Fantastic stuff. #3 daughter called to tell youngest and I to take a look the other night. Venus and Jupiter were lined up horizontally. They kind of looked like 2 big eyes in the sky. :)

      I once saw what had to have been a comet on my way to pick up a daughter at a dance at school. It was huge, with a blue-white head and multi-colored tail. I looked for a mention of it the next day, but never found anything. It was absolutely breathtaking.

      The girls and I used to lay in the middle of the dirt road in front of our house and watch the meteor showers at night. I miss that kind of thing in the city. :(

      • My DIL told me she was out on her front porch very early on either Monday or yesterday morning. She likes to go out and drink her coffee during her quiet time before the family gets up and going.

        Anyway – she said she looked was looking up and then everything turned this beautiful color of blue. AT first she thought she was dreaming or maybe there really are space aliens – but then she heard later it was a meteor shower.

        Did anyone else experience this?

    • That sounds like something I would I say. ……ROFLMFAO

      Where did you find this?

    • One comment about this picture – Am I just not seeing it correctly or are any of these men wearing golden robes and wearing the gold bling jewerlry?

      They all look like just everyday folks to me …..nothing fancy and certainly not the VIP’s of their time – I reckon.

      Also – where is that fancy mega church building with the big golden cross outside?

      Can it be that Jesus did not need a huge building with all the trappings of a Las Vegas show with the lights and music?

      This is dripping with sarcasm/////

    • prairie pond

      O.M.G. Best. Post. Ever.

  7. I watched this guy on PBS channel this past weekend. Dr. Wayne Dyer is his name and he makes so much sense. This is a man who talks about the physical and spiritual side of life and how to have a meaningful and fulfilled life.

    He used the word ‘God’ in one statement and then he added – and God is whatever that means to you.

    I would like to see more people with this type of thinking. I am a Christian by choice because of the principles that Jesus taught – not because if I don’t believe in Jesus, God is going to throw me into the fires of Hell for eternity.

    I believe religion should bring comfort , strength and peace – not fear. Fear is used to gain and abuse power.

    http://www.drwaynedyer.com/

    • He’s pretty good. I’ve read several things he’s written and learned from them. He’s probably more spiritual than mainstream religious, which may be why he caught my attention. LOL

      The main thing is, most people believe in the same God/Being. I’ve heard the term the Source used. For some that source is God, for others it’s Allah or the FSM. :)

      • I have always found it interesting that the Founding Fathers used the word Creator which does not necessarily translate into the Christian God.

        For all these religious zealots yammering about America being a Christian nation – I just don’t see it – but I would see it that if I limited my definition of Creator to MY God and not the other guys’ god.

  8. prairie pond

    “I have always found it interesting that the Founding Fathers used the word Creator which does not necessarily translate into the Christian God.”

    That’s because most of them were deists.

    • Exactly. But just try to tell a Fundy Christian. ^^

      • prairie pond

        In Texas, we used to say “you can always tell a yankee but you can’t tell ‘em much.”

        I’d say “you can always tell a fundy but you can’t tell ‘em much.”

        I don’t even bother anymore…

      • I’m with you, Pond. Why bother? I accepted the futility and now try my best to avoid them completely.

  9. I haven’t had time to watch any but the first episode of the John Adams HBO series, but I saw a snippet of a later episode while passing through the room. (Don’t ask.) John and Ben Franklin were discussing the wording of the Declaration, and this one of the major things they talked about.

    If only the “Creator” would give me an extra 6-8 hours a day, I’m sure I could find a way to fill them. ;)

  10. Top 10 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Attacks on Women’s Rights

    The Right Wing decided it wanted to play Monday Morning Quarterback with my lady parts this year. Here are our Top 10 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Attacks on Women’s Rights (just in the last 6 months!)

    http://emilyslist.org/blog/Top_10_Terrible_Horrible_No_Good_Very_Bad_Attacks_on_Womens_Rights/