Category Archives: Kansas

David Koch is steaming

The Koch Brothers have been bankrolling the Far Right for decades, including Tea Party and anti-science front groups. Now that the monster they’ve created is burning books and slandering Muslim Americans, they’re not so keen on taking credit.

“It’s hateful. It’s ludicrous. And it’s plain wrong,” says David Koch as he begins the defense of he and his brother against recent articles that have said the two men are spending a fortune to secretly fund an anti-Obama insurgency.

Read more here.

5 Comments

Filed under hate groups, Kansas, libertarians, Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans, Tea Party Movement, Wingnuts!

The Tea Parties’ Billionaire Backers

The Koch Brothers -- Charles and David

The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, both lifelong libertarians, have given more than $100 million to rightwing causes, funding so many campaigns against Obama administration policies that their ideological framework has become known as the Kochtopus. The Kochs, who run the Kansas-based company Koch Industries—which maintains oil refineries in Alaska and owns Brawny paper towels, Stainmaster carpet, Dixie cups, and Lycra, among other products—have given to other causes, including $100 million to the Lincoln Center and $20 million to the American Museum of Natural History. But their political causes in particular have gotten the most attention. As Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity, told The New Yorker, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”

Read more in The New Yorker article titled, “Covert Operations — The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

fnord

47 Comments

Filed under Kansas, libertarians, Political Reform, Radical Rightwing groups, Republicans, Tea Party Movement, Wingnuts!

Are Wichita drivers really the worst?

It has been said, many times, sometimes at great volume, that Wichita drivers are the worst on the planet. There are days that I tend to agree.

I took a short trip down Seneca to 31st Street a short time ago, within the last hour or so. During that two mile drive, I twice had to slam on my brakes to avoid vehicles pulling out in from of me, one of which was a large truck. On two more occasions during the same drive, I observed people putting on their turn signals – in the middle of the turn they were making. I once watched a man texting as he drove. He was riding a motorcycle.

If it isn’t the high speed lunatics, it’s the “how slow can you go” morons.

Obviously, there are tragic results to bad driving, but I would rather not dwell on that, nor the obvious problem of impaired drivers. We have enough simpletons on the roads to make a simple trip to the grocery store into an adventure, with throwing those topics into the mix.

As many of you know, I rode motorcycles for many a year. As a confirmed biker, I rapidly learn from the beginning that a cyclist’s only friend on the road is himself. The “other guy” ain’t gonna look out for you, so you damned well better look out for yourself.

Many long-term bikers, myself included, develop a sixth sense of self-preservation and to use a motorcycle’s inherent superior braking, acceleration and maneuverability to keep themselves alive with the shiny side up.

Unfortunately, most folks don’t drive like a seasoned motorcyclist, they drive with little understanding of “defensive driving” and awareness of the potential consequences of even a momentary lack of attention.

If I could just teach Wichita drivers a few things they would be:

Traffic signs and signals are not “suggestions.”

It really isn’t a crime to use your turn signals.

The speed limit is the “maximum” allowed, not the “minimum.”

Store parking lots are not the place to practice your bumper car skills.

Wichita drivers may not truly be the worst on the planet – Chicago drivers hold that “honor” – but they are truly bad.

So what is it with Wichita drivers?


William Stephenson Clark

36 Comments

Filed under Kansas, Psychological Disorders

Wichita in the news

What makes it more special?  We’re not being made fun of!

If you spend a couple of days exploring Wichita, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll run into the Berlin Wall.

As I prepared for a short stay there, I learned that at least two substantial slabs of the Cold War relic are prominently displayed in and near the city.

Continue reading here.

fnord

3 Comments

Filed under Kansas

Anyone Else Sick of the Wink Hartman Campaign Ads?

Anyone else getting really sick of the Willis “Wink” Hartman campaign commericials.  They spread the most vile misinformation.  If Obama would get off the backs of small busniness, our country would flurish.  Men with business experience should run the government.  Women and sissy men should be excluded from the process!

I drive by the Hartman arena more than I would like.  They always have Cox, etc. ads running on their signboards.  The wind machine runs almost never.

Surely, Kansans can do better than this!  See this Link. 

iggydonnelly

17 Comments

Filed under Kansas

Happy Birthday to this Blog: 03-21-10 Marks One Year

According to fnord, the first year of this blog will be marked on 03-21-10.  It has been a great year and I thank you all for your help.  We’ve seen friends, interlopers, and others visit us.  We have prevailed as sane individuals and I expect we will continue to do so.  A big thank you for your generous help!

12 Comments

Filed under Kansas, Secularism

The Kansas definition of “Conservative”

bk_frank_kansas_lg[1]In this fine book, Thomas Frank goes to lengths to figure our what being a “conservative” means in Kansas.  His main premise is that due to social conservative attitudes in Kansas, our voters get convinced to support the Republican party, even though this is in conflict with our economic interests.

I believe that when Kansans are calling themselves “conservative” they are not usually thinking of Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck.  But, if I’m correct, what exactly do they have in mind?  Please help bloggers…

45 Comments

Filed under Kansas

The Biggest Hole in My Pocket

Like many of you, my personal health insurance is going up in November by a factor of over twenty-five percent. I’m caught in the aging baby boomer dilemma of needing to keep myself covered, because at my age, I’m just a walking pre-existing condition.  But I have to wonder how long I can continue paying almost half of my income for health insurance.  And all the while, a hell of a lot of the remaining half needs to be dedicated in reserve for taxes, including taxes that are health care related.

I’ve been thinking lately that while most people say they are “worth more dead than alive” as a joke, for me, it’s rapidly becoming a reality. I wonder if I’m not better off just dropping my health insurance now and facing the future without it.  I mean, why pay another year of half my income when the health insurance companies tell us it’s going to get worse, not better, before I reach Medicare age?  If I’m going to be forced, because of cost, to drop it next year, is it really worth it to continue it this year?  I could maybe hold on and hold my nose and write the obscene checks for another year if I thought health care reform was going to help people like me.  But it doesn’t sound like anything being considered on Capital Hill is going to help self-insured people like me, and even if it did, it won’t take effect for another four years.  And now they’re talking about mandatory insurance? Does anyone up there realize that’s like a mandated tax of at least fifty percent of my income? Does anyone care? Continue reading

38 Comments

Filed under Healthcare, Kansas, Original writings

Janus Lives!

I’ve been thinking I should write something regarding the insane debate around health care reform. I’ve been reluctant to do so because I guess I’ve lost hope that any meaningful reform will happen. Surely no sane person believes that the health insurance industry will allow their puppets in congress, on both sides of the aisle, to pass anything that would help consumers and simultaneously reduce their profits. Given the powers and pocketbooks of big insurance and big pharma, anything that finally receives the blessing of both congress and the White House will be nothing more than the Health Insurance Relief and Protection Act of 2009.

But one thing I am willing to write about, at great personal peril, is that it is obvious to me Janus is alive and well and living in conservative western Kansas. Janus, you may remember from your last mythology class, is one of the Roman gods. According to Wikipedia “Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. He is most often depicted as having two faces or heads, facing in opposite directions.”

I think it is the two-faced nature of Janus that reminds me most of the western Kansas version of the health care debate, which, at its core, is really a debate about government spending and government programs. We are a particularly conflicted people when it comes to deciding if government money is good or bad. We can’t seem to make up our minds if government intervention is something we desire, or something we loathe. It’s confusing to me.

On one hand, western Kansas votes consistently to send conservative Republicans to Washington. The people who win the overwhelming majority of our votes say they are against bigger government, they believe with a religious fervor that government spending is bad and should be reduced, and they almost all scream like wounded banshees whenever the dreaded “R” word (regulation) is mentioned. In our neck of the woods, we like guys who have a particular distaste for anything Fox News might label as “socialism,” or “big government.”

And yet, our Senators and Congressmen support bigger cash payments from the federal treasury for farm subsidies. They support the expansion of Medicare even though it’s the original socialized medicine. And while other conservative True Believers decry Social Security as Roosevelt’s Folly, our guys support the Social Security program at every opportunity. And clearly, voters out here agree with these stands even though they are in direct opposition to the philosophy of limited government and reduced federal spending.

Hello? Janus called, and he wants his two faces back….

Just for the record, I personally think Social Security, Medicare, and some farm subsidies are good things. But I also don’t see the boogey man under my bed every time someone mentions single payer and a public health insurance option during the health care debate.  I think that out here in the hinterlands, we may find out the hard way that it’s not possible to have our government cake and eat it too.

It seems the overriding idea in Kansas is that MY government payments are good things. Expanding MY government programs to make them bigger is a good thing. But still, we vote for people who agree with our opposing thought that bigger government is bad, and real health-care reform will raise Marx from the dead.

The piper will have to be paid in Kansas if federal spending is truly reduced. Kansas receives far more federal dollars than we pay into Washington’s coffers. That’s been true for over 25 years. And in rural states, especially those with aging voters and declining populations, we don’t have the votes to swim upstream against programs that benefit urban communities. If we raise too much of a fuss about spending on their programs, we might feel the backlash against “our” programs.

You see, we are not one America anymore. We’ve allowed ourselves to be polarized into “your” and “mine” camps. We no longer care what is good for the country, but instead, we focus only on what we perceive is good for “us” and we shrug our shoulders and let the devil take the hindmost where the welfare of others is concerned.

The day of reckoning is near. Kansans will have to resolve our collective schizophrenia about whether or not federal spending is good or bad. We will be forced to look at the contradiction in believing Medicare is good but other government health care programs are bad. And we have to know that voters in other states see our farm subsidies as just another welfare program while we believe they are good investments of taxpayer dollars. We can’t sustain this duality any longer and expect to be relevant in the national debate.

Like I said, two-faced Janus lives in western Kansas, but not likely for long. We will soon have to choose which of our faces is real, and which one is fake. I only hope we choose wisely.

PrairiePond

22 Comments

Filed under Community Organizing, Economics, Healthcare, History, Kansas, Political Reform

Armadillos in Kansas?

Armadillo[1][1]I hesitated to post this so soon aftwe fnord’s excellent Kennedy post [I will see if I can back date it], but on North Oliver a little south of 29th Street North, yesterday, I saw an Armadillo who had been on the unfortunate receiving end of some contact with a motor vehicle.  I had heard that Armadillos were showing up in Kansas, but this one was the first one I’d seen ino our state.

I wonder if them showing up here is in some way a reflection of global warming?  What do you bloggers think?

An interesting bit of trivia, all Armadillo litters of babies are made up identical quadruplets.  This is supposed to be some sort of selective advantage, though I am not recalling what that was.  Anyone else know?

A bit of advice I’ve heard: it is a good idea to not drive over an Armadillo if you can avoid it.  They jump up and can really wreak havic on a car’s undercarriage.

15 Comments

Filed under Climate Change, Kansas

Boo: More Scary Kansas

stull4Imagine waking up. You open your eyes, and it’s dark . . . so dark, no light filters in. You reach over to turn on the night light next to your bed, only to  find your movements restricted. You figure you’re just a bit tied up in the sheets, but further checking finds no sheets on you. You reach up and find the space above you stopped by something both soft and hard.  Hmmm . . . soft, like silk, and above that hard, like wood.

Okay, you say to yourself, this must be a dream — a nightmare, in fact. No way could you be trapped in something resembling a coffin. But fear starts creeping in. You struggle to move, and the struggling intensifies your fear; the more you try to move, the less movements you can make. Suddenly, you are finding it hard to breath. Panic sets in as you try to rip the casket apart, but the more you attack the coffin, the deeper the realization that you are buried, and all your struggles are for not.

But you continue, because inside every living thing is ingrained that most ancient of instincts: self-preservation. You feel your fingernails tear as you rip, punch and scream, all to no avail. In that moment just before you feel your essence slipping away, you find yourself slipping into total peace. There’s that light everybody talked about. Your moving towards it, as it gets brighter and brighter. You see the faces of your parents, long dead, reaching out for you. You smile and extend your hand to join them, when a voice in the background says, “‘Mornin’  mom. How ya want cher eggs?”

The picture is of the Stull Cemetery, and the old stone church that was mysteriously torn down on Friday, March 29, 2002. The owner of the property said he did not authorize its destruction, and no one has owned up to the deed. Stull Cemetery, located near the abandoned Town of Stull, has been said to be one of the Seven Gates of Hell. Rumors abound of how the devil appears there on the last night of winter, or the first night of spring, to honor a witch buried there.  Another rumor has it Pope John Paul II ordered his plane not to be flown in the area, so he wouldn’t have to fly over unholy ground. An old oak tree was felled years ago, as it was said to be the tree witches were hung from. Further info: Stull

9 Comments

Filed under Kansas, Kansas History

How Did We have the “Paranormal Casebook” end up linking to US? ? ?

paranormal_man_floating[1]

Kansas life can be very frightening.

Our political life can be even more extremely scary.     I would be willing to discuss this further in late October. 

How about you???

BOO!!!

13 Comments

Filed under Humor, Kansas

Newman. You’re invited to leave town…

TroyNewman2[1]It is interesting that Scott Roeder is saying that Operation Rescue took over $1,000 in donations from him.  Newman is denying finding Scott in their data-base.

I wonder if Troy Newman (pictured) will decide that now might be a good time for him to get out of Wichita.  What purpose does the scum have here now that Tiller is deceased?  Please join me in inviting Mr. Newman to leave Doodah, ASAP.  And, Troy, don’t let the door hit you in the ass as you go…

9 Comments

Filed under abortion, Crimes, hate groups, Kansas, Kansas History, Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Republicans, Wingnuts!

“The Unchilled Life”: “Living” sans A.C.

This NYTimes story reminded me of another Wichita writer, Gaylord Dold, who wrote a series of murder mysteries set in the 1950′s Wichita, KS.  He described the joys of living summers in Wichita without air conditioning.  This has been an unusually cool and damp summer here in the Air Capital of the World;  most summers by this time of the season, my grass is pretty brown and getting browner – not so much this year.

As the Times article points out, many are turning off their A.C.s due to economic hardship, but a subset of air conditioning spurner’s are doing so due to green living and health motivations.  One A.C. terminator states:

“It’s not like we’re health-nut crazies or a bunch of dirty hippies dancing naked around the fire. We’re all white-collar geeks living an exurban lifestyle. We just all share the philosophy of rolling with the seasons if you can.”

Other adherents to turning the A.C. off indicate that they lose weight during the summer by being outside more and eating less.

Sorry guys, this is not a trend that I am going to get excited about…

14 Comments

Filed under Economics, Healthcare, Kansas, The Economy, The Environment

Tiahrt Suggests Obama’s Mother Wanted an Abortion

Todd Tiahrt outdid himself on the floor of Congress yesterday.  He implied that Obama and Clarence Thomas’ mothers may have taken advantage of “free” government funded abortions.  Tiahrt’s comments were met with boos on the House floor.

Too bad we can’t throw shoes like they do in Iraq.

Use this link to demand an apology from Tiahrt.

Just in case you don’t believe that we have elected an idiot who would say things like this, check it out on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdKR159Fg0E&NR=1

Iggy Donnelly

24 Comments

Filed under abortion, Kansas, Obama, Radical Rightwing groups, taxes, Wingnuts!