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The cartoon is not has nothing to do with mocking victims and victims' families. This is an insightful mocking of those who claim that there is no other option to addressing this issue than "thoughts and prayers". It is a mocking of the idea that gun control is too political a topic to discuss so soon after a mass shooting. Mr. Swartzendruber, I disagree with you that this cartoon is exploiting victims. It only pokes fun at the tenacious impotence of those who oppose any move, no matter how mild or sensible, toward limits on assault weapons. And with mass shootings happening so frequently, it's really not realistic to wait until a reasonable amount of time has passed before pushing for concrete change that might actually help (as opposed to just thoughts and prayers).
Posted 17 November 2017, 12:12 p.m.
This is an effort to rehab Kansas Athletics reputation after they were such terrible weasels when they took away legacy season tickets and bumped ticket prices into the stratosphere. 20 free tickets is a tiny drop in the bucket. It does not help restore any of the tradition that Kansas Athletics stomped on when they pushed out season ticket holders and took away many decent student seats. This very small bit of philanthropy theater should not be rewarded with goodwill to the corrupt greed heads who run Kansas Athletics.
Posted 17 November 2017, 10:57 a.m.
The part at the end of the article is very telling about the social worker obtaining a court order to prevent the father from taking about the details of his sons case. It indicates the courts help to enforce this culture of secrecy. And a culture of secrecy in government inevitably becomes a means to avoid accountability and cut corners. It seems like DCF is more focused on preventing transparency than they are on helping children. Phyllis Gilmore's "retirement" should not be construed as a concrete indicator of a positive change. Once a culture of secrecy takes hold, (as it seems to throughout much of Kansas government) it takes more than the removal of a few instigators to fix it. It takes public admission of the cancer created by such secrecy. It takes oversight and concrete plans to enforce openness. It takes leadership committed to laying bare all the embarrassing details of past missteps. It takes a commitment to run a government that does not tolerate hiding anything. We are about as far away from that right now as one can get.
Posted 14 November 2017, 12:28 p.m.
It seems like the use of the term "behavioral health" is more a product of the clinical approach to diagnosis and treatment. I believe that in the United States especially, mental health professionals diagnose and treat mental illness almost exclusively at the behavioral level. They seek primarily to achieve an outcome of behavior which will be judged acceptable. And while that is certainly an important component to existence with society, focus on this as a primary goal makes treatment more about achieving outcomes for those around a mentally ill person than for the patient. I think the point in the letter is a valid one, but I think the problem with the use of this term is more a systemic problem within the mental health industry than it is a social issue. Nonetheless a good distinction to keep in mind.
Posted 11 November 2017, 3:11 p.m.
Steve, I think that the conclusion that the electorate cannot be trusted even if the corruption and perversion of the current campaign finance system is reformed is an assumption without sufficient evidence. The manipulation of voters in the current system is so egregious and pervasive that I contend it is virtually impossible to predict whether voters would begin to act in their own informed self interest after a few election cycles of fairly run publicly financed elections. I would like to think the results would be very positive. And I strongly believe we should try that before trying any of this "foundation is broken" nonsense.
Posted 10 November 2017, 2:30 p.m.
I'm sure you are correct Steve, but I think this position may disqualify Barnett in the eyes of the vocal and bigoted group making up an apparently large enough segment of Kansas Republicans that they are pandered to by most Republican candidates. If there is one thing that group can't seem to tolerate, it's tolerance. I am glad to see someone who claims to be a Republican take such a forward thinking position(relative to his fellow candidates). But let's not give Barnett too much credit. He is basically shifting to a morally reasonable stance because he is seeing the tide start to shift. And we should not wear ourselves out patting someone on the back for what should be common decency.
Posted 9 November 2017, 7:48 p.m.
We returned to the distribution method previously observed. The Legislature did not fund it at the same level per student as before. And it was not good enough for the Court. The issue for the Legislature right now is not the "liberals", it's the Supreme Court. The Legislature doesn't think they have to bother making excuses for betraying the voters, but when they repeatedly flaunt the Court, they have to hire some high dollar lawyers to help them put on a dog and pony show.
Posted 8 November 2017, 1:59 p.m.
The thing is, Jeremy, the Legislature was working from a funding model that everyone seems to agree would satisfy the Court before Brownie and the "radical" conservatives in the Legislature decided to gut education funding earlier in Brownie's tenure. So, the Legislature has a model of a reasonable funding level. It exists. But rather than return to that model, the jackals continue to propose ridiculously under funded plans. And, to your "clever" point about school district lawyers, the districts get to be heroes by virtue of their fighting on behalf of children's opportunity for adequately funded education and based on the fact that their position that the Legislature was illegally starving them out was vindicated repeatedly by the Kansas Supreme Court. It's not rocket science.
Posted 8 November 2017, 8:24 a.m.
Again, Bob, it's not that huge amounts of cash will guarantee superior results, but significant under-funding will guarantee failure. The Court has ruled that the state's current funding level is so woefully inadequate that is unconstitutionally low. They have determined that the system cannot function properly at current funding levels. Let's get them back to a constitutional bare minimum and then debate whether more money will help. Or, if the Court doesn't have the stones to actually enforce their findings, we can let the Legislature spend our money on lawyers and let our children suffer. But the jackals in the Legislature are continuing to prove what evil, stupid, greedy animals they are.
Posted 7 November 2017, 6:16 p.m.
Wow, what a bunch of pernicious weasels. They would rather spend our money on figuring out how to avoid funding schools than taking responsibility and spend the money on our children. It takes a certain kind of selfish, tone-deaf ideological myopia to buy into this kind of stupidity. I do hope voters are keeping score. We, as a state, elected these weasels, so we bear responsibility. But we also have the power to go to the polls for the next election, and remember this kind of world class idiocy. For all this talk of draining the swamp on the national level, it seems Kansas has its own swamp problem right here in Topeka. And our level of hypocrisy, corruption and good old boy shenanigans is every bit as horrible as it is in DC.
Posted 7 November 2017, 5:01 p.m.
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