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« July 2013 | Main | September 2013 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » August 2013

By Diane Wahto on August 30, 2013

When I was a kid in Baxter Springs, Kansas, the city fathers decided to build a city swimming pool. It was a wonderful pool, large, filled with blue water, with concrete around the sides for us to sunbathe on, two diving boards, one low, one high, a shallow end and a deep end, and nice building housing the dressing rooms. In the summer, my friends and I would meet at the pool and spend whole afternoons there, talking, getting suntans, diving off the high board, and swimming. Every time I hear “One Enchanted Evening,” my thoughts go back to those days. That song would often drift out from the sound system as we swam or tanned. It was a promise of the possibilities of the love that awaited us as we grew older.

Little did I know that song was from South Pacific, a Broadway play that dealt in part with the racism that was so much a part of the culture of the ‘50s. My high school was integrated by necessity. I went to school with Black kids and Native American kids, and I never gave much thought to what life was like for them. I was a typical teenager, wrapped up in my own drama and didn’t care too much about what happened to other people.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ken Poland on August 19, 2013

The Donkey and the Elephant are symbols for our major political parties. Unfortunately, too many of the members of both parties act like animals with the instinct of survival of the fittest. Definition of ‘fit and proper’ is open to debate.

“Religious beliefs do not require a particular political affiliation, no matter what political pundits presume. Conflating the two issues does a disservice to the complexities of faith and conscience.”

I cannot claim the original construction of those two statements, but I certainly will endorse them. I have known some Democrats that I couldn’t understand their priorities nor their answers to perceived problems. I have known some Republicans that may have had very nearly the same priorities as mine, but they didn’t agree with me on public policy to address those priorities. We don’t all have exactly the same background and life experiences. We don’t all have the same religious or spiritual background. Unless we can have dialogue and consensus we flounder in a sea of turmoil. ‘Either/Or’ is not the answer. Neither is ‘All or Nothing’ the answer.

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By Ken Poland on August 14, 2013

They defend their errors as if they were defending their inheritance. -Edmund Burke, statesman and writer (1729-1797)

Edmund must have known a few politicians. We seem to have very few true statesmen and way too many opportunists. Neither of our major parties have a corner on opportunity and concealing the truth.

We hear an awful lot about 'entitlements' in a very negative way. Do our politicians think they are 'entitled'? Do our politicians play to their 'base' instead of the good for all? Is our political system subject to nepotism?

Religion and religious individuals are capable of defending their errors, instead of admitting mistakes and taking appropriate action to correct those errors and change their dogma. Are they afraid God will disinherit them and bless someone else?

At a very early age, I learned that it didn't pay to deny my errors and to blatently lie to my parents, when asked point blank if I had done something wrong. Dad called it consequences instead of punishment. I payed for my mistakes in various ways (quite often with a good paddling). How much better was it to learn from those paddlings instead of going through life and never understanding that wrong behaviour had consequences? I learned that praise and blessings were only deserved when I acted like I should and took responsibility for my mistakes.

By Bruce Fealk on August 11, 2013

I haven't contributed here for at least a couple years, but events happening in Madison, WI, where my two beautiful grandchildren live, compel me to write something about the really heartwarming Solidarity Sing Along.

When likely presidential candidate, Scott Walker, dropped the bomb, the revoking of collective bargaining rights for most public employees, thousands, then hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets and even occupied the Capitol for a couple weeks in 2011.

Then in March of 2011 a few people started what became the Solidarity Sing Along. Every day for more than two and a half hears the Sing Along takes place in the Capitol rotunda from 12-1 p.m. The Sing Along sings adapted union songs, folk songs, etc.

In June of this year a federal judge issued a temporary ruling on a case brought by one of the regular singers. The judge issued a temporary ruling until the full trial takes place in January 2014. As part of his ruling the just said that groups of 20 or more needed a permit to hold an event in the rotunda.

The Solidarity Sing Along takes the position that under the First Amendment, they don't need a permit to conduct the daily Sing Along.

About three weeks ago, the Capitol Police stepped up their intimidation of the Solidarity Sing Along (SSA) and started arresting people participating in the Sing Along, handcuffing and giving tickets to more than 200 people since the crackdown on the Sing Along began.

On Wednesday of this week, I was one of the 20 or so people that was handcuffed and given a ticket for unlawful assembly, which carries a fine of $200.50. The people that have received tickets have been going to court on every ticket and requesting jury trials.

On Tuesday of this past week, the Capitol Police started warning tourists,observers and even legislators that they could be arrested for even observing the Sing Along.

I captured on video an officer going from person to person warning them that if they continued to observe the Sing Along they were subject to arrest.

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't witnessed it with my own eyes.

By Ken Poland on August 6, 2013

Phewww! GrannyP and I woke up to a quiet and peaceful house, this morning. Two months worth of three g’grandkids (age 7-11) in the house, yard, shop, tractors, etc. has been exasperating at times. City kids, almost latch key existence and fending for themselves. Their parents do the best they can, but in today’s economy and job situation, it is hard. TV is a poor substitute for parental guidance and hands on participation with kids. G’pa thinks most of those ‘kid’s’ programs are designed to entertain way beyond the moral and practical judgement of the kids. Violence (supposedly comical) is predominate throughout. Vulgar body functions and noises, bullying, etc. are displayed as fun. Kids don’t read books and picture in their own minds the activities. Reality and their own dreams aren’t a part of growing up. ??? Am I old fashioned, or what?

What did those kids find to do out here in the middle of no where? No swimming pool, no fancy playground, no ice cream truck coming down the street. Ugh! Boredom! A set time for going to bed and early rising in the morning. You’re still tired? Get up anyway, a new day is here and there are things to do.

Read more from this post here ...

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