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« December 2011 | Main | February 2012 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » January 2012

By Ken Poland on January 27, 2012

What is your opinion of the promise to rush into Cuba, as soon as Castro 'kicks the bucket', and establish a democracy? I guess the leading Republican contenders for the presidency don't realize the failure of establishing democracy, U.S. style, in Viet Nam and Iraq.

I'm not an expert on the state of the Cuban people, but it seems to me they are better off under Castro's rule than they were under the U.S. backed dictator that Castro overthrew. This, in spite of the embargo and isolationism imposed on Cuba by the U.S.

Perhaps we should let the Cuban people decide their own political system. It appears that some Eastern European countries were fairly successful in establishing themselves, after the fall of the U.S.S.R., without direct interference or aid from the U.S.

By Stuart Elliott on January 16, 2012

With the second anniversary of the Citizens United decision approaching, this song written by Barbara Joye and performed by Atlanta singer Anita Paycheck is right on.

By Bob Hooper on January 15, 2012

In his speech last December at Osawatomie KS High School, President Obama cited Theodore Roosevelt's remarks there a century earlier.


Republican President Theodore Roosevelt served from 1901 to 1909. In 1912, representing the Bull Moose Party, he lost to Woodrow Wilson--the only time a 3rd Party candidate has finished as high as second. Every place I looked, Theodore Roosevelt ranks in the top 10 US Presidents, and in none lower than 6th.

In 2010, 238 participating presidential scholars at Siena College Research Institute concluded: "Teddy Roosevelt had, more than any other president, the 'right stuff,' and tops the collective ranking of a cluster of personal qualities including imagination, integrity, intelligence, luck, background and being willing to take risks." He is one of the four U.S. Presidents honored on Mt. Rushmore.

Roosevelt was an environmentalist. He led in establishing 5 national parks, 18 national monuments, and 150 National Forests. I have little doubt as President today he would work with climate scientists to deal with the reality of global warming. As governor of Kansas, he would demand something beyond pious rhetoric to end mining of the Ogallala. But...

Read more from this post here ...

By Diane Wahto on January 15, 2012

My history as a peace activist started in the late ‘60s when I took part in a five-mile march against the Vietnam War. My history with Stieg Larsson’s character, Lizbeth Salander, dates from January 2010, when my daughter-in-law sent me The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first book in the Girl series. I devoured that book. I mourned when I heard that Larsson had died of a heart attack at the too-young age of 49. He left behind a fourth manuscript, which is now tied up in litigation between his partner of many years and his birth family.

Since my first encounter with Lizbeth Salander, I’ve read the second and third books in the series, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. The plot of each book carries forward the story of Swedish magazine editor Mikael Blomkvist and Salander. The mystery of Lizbeth’s life unfolds with the plot twists and turns of the books.

Read more from this post here ...

By Randy Leer on January 14, 2012

There is an issue that is greatly neglected in America. It only receives mention in the press once something tragic has happened, and even then it fades from discussion quickly.

According to estimates by the World Health Organization, the total number of years lost to illness, disability, or premature death within the United States and Canada are caused more by Neuropsychiatric Disorders than any other group.

More than likely, every one of you either has a Mental Health Condition or knows someone who does.

Read more from this post here ...

By Randy Leer on January 14, 2012

I keep seeing and hearing people argue about those Marines who desecrated the dead bodies of Taliban fighters and whether they are subject to the judgment and standards of those who do not or have not served. People argue as if their service some how excuses them from responsibility for committing an atrocity. I think there is a clear need for us all to step back from this issue and look at it objectively.

Certainly, we are proud of our men and women in uniform.

Certainly, we know that war is a terrible and ugly thing that brings out both the best and the worst in people.

Certainly, war distorts one's world view when that is what they are surrounded with for a long period of time.

Certainly, these few do not represent the U.S. Armed Services as a whole.

However, if we are going to bestow upon these men and women the honors of being leaders, of being some of the best that our nation has to offer, of carrying out the will of this nation in the missions of defense and humanity then we must also hold them to those standards.

Those of us who have volunteered to wear the uniforms of our nation have done far more than just sign a contract. We have stood and swore oaths to our God and to our Country.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on January 11, 2012

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about It's A Wonderful Life and it got me thinking about Frank Capra. Capra is one of my favorite filmmakers. His films are full of energy and fun, with appealing characters and good humor. When I watch these films, I feel proud of being an American. This was one of the intentions of Frank Capra. Capra made his best films during the Great Depression, during a time of great suffering for many Americans. He wanted his films to show empathy for these common Americans, and he wanted to give these Americans a sense of pride in themselves and their community. Capra and his screenwriters collaborated in films that explored the American Dream at a time when the American Dream had collapsed for many Americans. His movies became a social commentary on those economic and political forces that threatened our American ideals and told his audience to hold together as a community and to help each other.

Read more from this post here ...

By Diane Wahto on January 5, 2012

A family in our neighborhood is facing the New Year without the home they’ve lived in and paid the mortgage on for the past eleven years. This is the fifth family in the past three years to meet such a fate. The people in this neighborhood who lost their houses have jobs and are upstanding citizens just trying to get by.

We live in older neighborhood in Midtown Wichita. Our immediate area comprises a mix of houses, two-story four squares, bungalows, and mansions. In the last few years, five of our close neighbors have lost their houses to foreclosure. The first to go was a single woman who lived next door to us with her two dogs. She had a good job at a nursing home, but when she had to undergo heart surgery, she could no longer do the heavy work her job required. Not old enough for Social Security, she applied for Social Security disability benefits. I tried to find agencies in Wichita that would give her some aid so she could stay in her house. In the end, however, nothing worked out for her and she ended up moving in with her daughter.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ken Poland on January 2, 2012

We are ‘hell bent for election’. We don’t like welfare, so let’s go for serfdom? Are there no other choices?

The cries and pleading by the wealthy for tax relief is resounding across the political agenda of the Republican party. We must balance the budget, but in no way can it be shared by the wealthy. It must all come from the ‘government welfare’ being doled out to the lazy, inept, poor people. My goodness, some of those people aren’t paying any income tax at all! Never mind that they are not paying for medical attention, shelter, or food. Why not? Because they don’t have any money, that’s why! Oh yes, there are a few who just plain won’t work, regardless of the wages. Some are disabled. But the vast majority of those on welfare are, in fact, employed.. But, the wages are so low they can’t make ends meet. Why are the wages so low? It couldn’t possibly be because the employers want higher profits? But, they don’t want to pay any taxes to subsidize those lazy bums who are not willing to work for less than living wages. The truth is, right now, the middle class are paying a higher percent of their net incomes than the wealthy folks, and thus they are subsidizing the big companies and corporations. The big boys get high profits and the middle sized boys pay taxes to make up for the inadequate wages of the poor folks. So, who then should be paying more taxes? Well, I guess it must be the middle income folks, whoever they are. They can take care of themselves and maybe if they have a little compassion, they’ll help their less fortunate neighbors. But, let’s not narrow the chasm between the top 1% and the 99% below them.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on January 2, 2012

Christmas is not Christmas for me until I watch "It's A Wonderful Life" at least once during the holiday season. "It's A Wonderful Life" is one of the great heartwarming films that film director Frank Capra made during the 1930s and 1940s. This film, as is most of Frank Capra's films, is a paen to the spirit of altruism and community that Capra felt was at the heart of the American spirit. Capra though is not blind to the dark side of this American vision, as he also shows the cost of this altruistic philosophy on the main character of "It's A Wonderful Life", George Baily, on his unfulfilled personal dreams and the burdens and personal sacrifices of serving the community and fighting for the greater good. "It's A Wonderful Life" was made in 1946, when the United States went through a decade and a half period of economic depression and a world war. This period of economic suffering and world conflict has special relevance to the Occupy Wall Street movement, as these protests also reflect the worries of a country going through economic uncertainty at home and hostile forces abroad. "It's A Wonderful Life" is the last of Frank Capra's meditations on the American myth, and it has lessons that are relevant to the Occupy Wall Street movement today.

Read more from this post here ...

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