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Archive for Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lawrence has genius for unreality

November 4, 2007

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A bumper sticker I saw the other day arrested my attention. It read: "Lawrence: an island of reality - surrounded by Kansas." The implication, laden with heavy irony, was that the rest of Kansas is unreal. My first reaction was that it all depends on what you mean by "real." According to Bishop Berkeley, we can't be sure there's any reality outside of our hermetically sealed minds. But then, Samuel Johnson kicked a stone and proclaimed, "Thus I refute Berkeley."

I have kicked many a stone in the hinterlands of Kansas and can attest to their reality. I have been to Cawker City, observed the largest ball of twine and can report that it is not an empty chamber of commerce boast. I have eaten chicken fried steaks in far-flung Kansas towns and suffered indigestion that was real - real with a vengeance. I have driven past malodorous stock yards in Kansas whose actuality was beyond dispute. So I contest the assertion that Lawrence has a monopoly on reality in the state.

I suspect, of course, that the bumper sticker was really political in intent, a restatement of the time-worn claim that Lawrence is "an island of blue in a sea of red." Its subtext, no doubt, was the conceit that Lawrence is an island of intelligence and culture, surrounded by a sea of stupidity.

Again, I protest. I have met a number of flesh and blood Kansans outside of Lawrence who were sentient beings, capable of rational discourse. I encountered one in the western portion of the state who could chew gum and pat his tummy at the same time. I could name a handful of far flung Kansans whom you wouldn't call philistines or simpletons. Enough said. If you turned me loose in Lawrence like Diogenes with his lantern I bet I could discover a few citizens who were not lining up for a MacArthur "genius" grant

The truth is that we all like to think that we're special just because we live here rather than there. Like members of those tribes who refer to themselves as "the people," we discount the rest of humanity as nonentities or creatures belonging to a different species. The famous Steinberg drawing applies to Lawrence as well as New York City: Reality stops at the city limits. Beyond, there be dragons, chimeras, whirlpools, right wing Christian fundamentalists, Flat Earth anti-Darwinians. The bumper sticker expressed a universal prejudice: "we" are normal, superior. People who are different from "us" are aberrations.

For example: I read about a group of Iraqi soldiers who tore a live rabbit to pieces. The leader bit out the heart with a yell, "then passed around the blood-soaked remains to his comrades, each of whom took a bite. The group also bit the heads off frogs." According to the article, chewing on live animals is a traditional display of ferocity in Iraq. For the soldiers, it was as normal as opening a box of Cheerios is to us.

Since moving away from Lawrence five years ago and observing it from afar, I've come to the nearly opposite conclusion from the bumper sticker. Lawrence reminds me of T.S. Eliot's description of London: "Unreal city." When I visit Lawrence, I sometimes have to pinch myself. The people on the street look exotic by rural standards. It's Halloween every day. People in Lawrence are wound up about everything, from roundabouts to breastfeeding in public. Remember the "Hate Wall" that students broke down with sledge hammers and the proposed ordinance prohibiting balloon displays by auto dealerships as "dangerous distractions?" The word that comes to mind is "unreal." Of course, I mean unreal in the best sense of the word. Unreal as a refuge from the stifling norm, unreal as a liberation from the tedious burdens of common sense.

A former mayor of Lawrence once proclaimed International Dadaism Month to celebrate "nonsense, chance and randomness." He thought there was value in reminding people that "reason and anti-reason, sense and nonsense, design and chance, consciousness and unconsciousness, belong together as necessary parts of a whole." That perfectly expressed the spirit of Lawrence.

The late William Burroughs - an heir of the aesthetics of Dadaism - didn't settle in Lawrence because it was a paragon of middle class values, a great place to raise kids, an island of reality. The practitioner of shotgun art and cut and paste literature moved to Lawrence because it transcends reality.

A young woman recently stopped by the Lawrence police claimed she was not driving a car but "a private vessel on a religious mission." She and her companion - J.M. Sovereign: Godsent - claimed that the United States is not a country but a foreign corporation that has invaded America. They served the officer a "Sovereign Civilian Police Observation Task Force" card, obliging him to pay a $15,000 gold fee for each question he asked. Perfect! Lawrence! Unreal!

When I think of Lawrence's spectral bus line with its single passenger, its truncated circumferential trafficway, its woolgatherers, conspiracy theorists, latter day Druids, double-chinned hippies and prophets of doom (for whom the end of the world seems to be an exciting prospect), I celebrate its genius for the unreal. Lawrence, I hail thee. Long may you pursue the elusive butterflies of utopia and Platonic apparitions. Thus, I refute the malicious bumper sticker.

What's the matter with Kansas? The same stuff that's the matter with everywhere else. Kansas is imperfect. Kansans can be petty. Some of us are indolent. Sometimes we argue without listening. Occasionally, our politicians have bad ideas. Kansas probably has the same ratio of jerks to decent human beings as any other state.

But cosmopolitans who quote Dorothy's line, "Toto, We're not in Kansas any more," perversely misinterpret it as a harkening back to reality, a summons to "Wake up and smell the coffee." They err in debunking the state as a holding pen for rubes. They forget that Dorothy was speaking of the Land of Oz, not itself a paragon of reality, intelligence, or civilization, a place of witches, flying monkeys and fake wizards. On the other hand, Dorothy was addressing a dog, not exactly a sign of rationality, either.

Comments

Ragingbear 7 years, 1 month ago

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Jerry Stubbs 7 years, 1 month ago

Some of the people Mr Gurley mentions are not even from Lawrence, in fact Mr Gurley is not from Lawrence, so why do we have his drivel in our newspaper? What is the point of this article? Is it for our benefit? Are we supposed to go to our room for an hour? I won't subscribe to this paper any more as long as this a_e writes for it.

monkeyhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

Seems Mr. Gurley has touched a nerve. Some don't want to see the reality of their "reality". Guess they don't get out much.

Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 1 month ago

OK, this is well-written and entertaining. I dispute many of the writer's conclusions, but agree with one: That Lawrence suffers from something called "civic pride." On the national level, it's called patriotism. In either case, it's collective self worship.

I can think of nowhere else in Kansas where I'd like to live. For this Kansan, the choice is not between Lawrence and, say, Olathe. Or Garden City.

Instead, it's Lawrence or New York. Lawrence or Paris.

So while this city does not have a monopoly on reality in the state, it does have a world-class collection of oddballs, artists, musicians, craft-and-tradespeople, naturalists, academics, students and radicals. That is undoubtedly unique to Kansas.

So I say -- while the reality composed of the intersection of these people is no more legitimate than that of other Kansas cities -- it is certainly preferable.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 1 month ago

Having grown up in a semi-rural small city and having lived in many cities in the USA, large and small, it is my observation that Lawrence more resembles the norm of US culture than does, say, Great Bend or Cawker City.

Places like Great bend and Cawker City tend to be insulated and isolated. Because of the homogeneity of people and ideas, folks in these rural areas are able to hold onto thoughts, actions, and beliefs that would not be tenable in the "real world".

I therefore disagree with the thesis of Gurley. Lawrence, in the sense that it resembles minstream USA more than Cawker City, is more "real" than such places.

Ragingbear 7 years, 1 month ago

Who's been eating my carrots? Those carrots were for Robot Thanksgiving!

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

The "socialism" thing from Lawrence critics is always baffling. Last time I checked, the city didn't own, nor was it trying to buy, any of the factories in town...

Here's the thing that a lot of people in Lawrence do understand about government and the economy, through: it has a vitally important role to play in keeping the worst impulses of raw capitalism in check. The economy of this nation would be radically smaller and the middle class non-existent if America had followed the advice of the "captains of industry" every time Progressives made a push for change in the last 100 years. Most of the south and middle west would still be without electricity, reliable drinking water and transportation infrastructure today - after all, leading economic minds 75 years ago claimed that if private industry saw no need to do it, why should government wastefully spend money on it?

Oh yeah, I'll take fat-but-brilliant Ted Kennedy and Michael Moore over skinny but bat-sh!t crazy Ann Coulter any day. And the reason Olathe and the rest of JoCo can afford the things it needs (schools, roads, libraries) is because it sponges the stuff it wants (professional sports, live entertainment, non-washed-up 70's-sitcom-actor-dinner theater, concert venues, good museums) from KCMO.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 1 month ago

robophobia! and so early in the morning!

bearded_gnome 7 years, 1 month ago

When I think of Lawrence's spectral bus line with its single passenger, its truncated circumferential trafficway, its woolgatherers, conspiracy theorists, latter day Druids, double-chinned hippies and prophets of doom (for whom the end of the world seems to be an exciting prospect), I celebrate its genius for the unreal. Lawrence, I hail thee. Long may you pursue the elusive butterflies of utopia and Platonic apparitions. Thus, I refute the malicious bumper sticker.

... and often they post on the ljw award winning comment boards.

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

"Lawrence, New York or Paris," I nearly spit coffee all over the keyboard! "[O]ddballs, artists, musicians, craft-and-tradespeople, naturalists, academics, students and radicals", ok, I'll give you that. But "World Class," you must be joking, right?

The problem with most Lawrencians, they have a distorted sense of reality. Living in Kansas and being bombarded with all the ignorant stereotypical media images perpetuated in New York and Los Angeles, they are driven by this horrible sense of inadequacy and overcompensate. They imagine they are really somewhere else! When somebody points out the obvious, Lawrence is in Kansas, it immediately triggers a defensiveness that almost inevitably leads to a string expletives about Kansans. This kind of self hate is quite insidious, powerful and destructive. By buying into the stereotypes they perpetuate them in others and worse, themselves.

While I can forgive 'tude' of all the college kids from Chicago, it is unforgivable in our City's "leadership." For example, all the money we spent on outside experts (read people who don't live in Kansas) to tell us how they do things in Portland or Boulder sent a clear signal that they believe Lawrence is just not smart enough to solve its' own problems or to find its' own way. It was patronizing and disgusting and got us nowhere. We are poorer as a community for it and I don't mean just financially.

Lawrencians are more self conscious than a debutante with a pimple in the middle of her forehead and just as moody and delusional. My advice to both is the same. "You're not a fairy princess and you live in Kansas. It is not that bad honey, get over it and yourself."

jonas 7 years, 1 month ago

This made me giggle.

From the article: "People in Lawrence are wound up about everything, from roundabouts to breastfeeding in public."

From the commentary: "Some of the people Mr Gurley mentions are not even from Lawrence, in fact Mr Gurley is not from Lawrence, so why do we have his drivel in our newspaper? What is the point of this article? Is it for our benefit? Are we supposed to go to our room for an hour? I won't subscribe to this paper any more as long as this a_e writes for it."

QED?

Crispian Paul 7 years, 1 month ago

powershopper says "I now visit Lawrence as an outsider and always feel a certain amount of pity for those who are still there, still waiting tables at Freestate Brewery, who consider clothes at Hobb's as fashion forward, and consider the Eldridge to be a fancy hotel."

I still live here after ten years. I don't wait tables (in fact I am a social worker in Johnson and Miami Counties). I can't afford clothes at Hobb's and I've never stayed at the Eldridge. I'm not sure how fancy it is or isn't. Although the bar does seem to exude "old world" dining rooms.

"I now live in a large, sophisticated East Coast city. A city that truly is a city of the arts and truly is culturally diverse. Since I have left I have developed a sense of awareness and humility, found great professional and personal success, associated with people of "true" importance and power, and traveled the world."

The sense of humility you say you have found seems to run contradictory to about everything else in this paragraph. For one thing, if you are humble, you shouldn't have to tell people how humble you are. If you are humble, you don't consider people of more or "truer" importance or power based on where they live, sophisticated or not. Every person, regardless of where they live, are from or what they do, have something to contribute to the discourse and balance of the world. Bragging of your great personal and professional success and your world travels does not equal humility.

Now I love other parts of the world and there are definitely things that are keeping me in this town (such as having a terminally ill father two hours away). I grew up in a neighborhood being one of a few people of my race on my block or the blocks around it, so I suppose I can say I have experience with other cultures.

Point is this.....stating you are humble before making a round of condesending and denigrating remarks about people outside of your circle of people of "true" importance and power and outside of your "sophisticated East Coast City" does not lead me to believe that you are exactly eating humble pie on the regular.

kansas778 7 years, 1 month ago

The whole "sophisticated East Coast city" that is "truly a city of the arts and truly is culturally diverse" has little to do with most people's everyday life. If you live in New York are you talking with authors and artists everyday, or walking by movie shoots and hanging out with Jerry Seinfeld? No, your everday life is exactly the same, just with more traffic. And being cultrally diverse means you need a translator when you go to McDonalds.

Of course powershopper fails to mention all the extra crime, traffic, and cost of living you get in those "sophisticated East Coast cities."

jonas 7 years, 1 month ago

"powershopper (Anonymous) says:

Whoa, Crispian! I sense a little bit of hostility. All I was trying to say it that Lawrence sucks. Sorry you took it so personally"

Except that, to some of us, it really doesn't suck that much. And I think you were trying to say a TAD more than just that in the first place. At any rate, how did you expect people to take what you posted? Go up to any person in the street, say hello, and then tell them "I used to be just like you, an ignorant buffoon who thought he was all great, then I moved away and realized I was just an ignorant buffoon like you, except now I've discovered humility, and realized that it's the people that I'm around now who are all great, and not ignorant buffoons, like you." Try that four times, and let us now how those people reacted to it.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 1 month ago

And the name "powershopper" says it all. Obviously an over comsumer who hated that Lawrence doesn't have a mall. Sorry, you're childhood was so deprived. Name brands are god.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 1 month ago

Isn't it funny that powershopper still checks into LJWorld.com, even though he/she hates Lawrence. It's Sunday, shouldn't you be curled up reading the NY Times, like all the other cultural people who only live on the East Coast? Do us a favor, and never come back, even for a visit. Thank you.

kansas778 7 years, 1 month ago

Sigmund (Anonymous) says:

"Lawrence: an island of neo-socialism - surrounded by everything it wants but can't afford. New libraries, good roads, affordable housing, public transportation, good schools, budget surpluses, great dining and theater, active night life, and high paying jobs with health care coverage. Too bad its all in Johnson County."


I think "hit the nail on the head" is the apt phrase here.

imastinker 7 years, 1 month ago

I think many of you missed the meaning of the whole article. He was saying that lawrence isn't as enlightened as many pople think it is. There are plenty of intelligent people in the state that don't vote republican, that drive pickup trucks, and listen to country music.

Lawrence seems to think that it is better than the rest of the state. This can be seen by it's role in the power plant, by the snobbiness of those at the university, and those "as bigoted as you think" bumper stickers. There's a reason that KU only draws students from the cities in Kansas, while rural kids go to Manhattan. I didn't fit in here with my pickup truck, and neither do those kids. It's not accepting to people like me. I was treated as stupider than other people because I didn't allow my professors to indoctrinate me about liberal agendas (though not for lack of trying). I did drive a pickup truck and wore blue jeans all year long (and never flip flops) and I never fit in here.

Lawrence is truly just Johnson County west. The only difference is that it's halloween all year long.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, smartshopper, I shop at Lasting Impressions. I brag about how much I saved on an outfit, not how much I've spent on it. Guess what, the east coast, west coast and the middle of the country have in common. They all can't stand snobs who are full of themselves. Please run off and shop now. If you hate Lawrence don't be so interested in it.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

We all have our fantasy Kansas, mine is it is a lot of people trying to make a life for themselves and often a family, it could be better, it could be worse. It is pretty (to me). Gurley's has empty buses, mine finally has a long need public transportation system, which is getting people to jobs, the store and even out for a little fun. I try to mind my own business, Tolerance might be just not nosing and crabbing about someone else's life while not paying attention to your own. I like art, music, kids, downtown, flowers and old architecture. My dislikes are people who want me not only like sports but to support the collegiate sports business, When I see kids running their circles around their mom, i just miss those days. It is a lot more fun to explain to kids what DADA art is than explain why the crab next door wants them to play inside and not hoot and holler. One is fun and expressive, the other dried up and repressive. Don't like that someone else's Kansas isn't your fantasy, too bad, don't tell them to move, Suck it up.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for reminding me what is important Pace. Sorry smartshopper for being rude. I need to get off this computer now, and go back to my life.

igby 7 years, 1 month ago

Yep! I road the T a few times, never again. I'll walk before I ride the bus. Took it from south Iowa to Down Town. Dropped my car at the shop. Did'nt want to wait for their driver to get back. Walked to Iowa and caught the T. When we stopped on 27th street a gang of thugs got on at RedBud Lane, seven I believe. A crew of semi-homeless crackheads. Their conversation was about drugs and crime. Them planning crime of course. Stealing from and robbing someone was their plan. They all had code names kind of like these threads. Two of the women had shingles all over their face and mouth. I was gasping for a breath of freash air. Wow! freedom is not riding the T. One girl kept giving me a funny look like she was thinking I was a cop or something. Then it got quite and they started whispering about me and another rider. On the street you can get away from people like this, on the bus your trapped.

jonas 7 years, 1 month ago

"The great thing about the East coast is that people aren't wrapped up in some illusionary self-importance and could care less about what people think about where they live."

Yes, I was just noticing that such appeared to be the case. . . .

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 1 month ago

Powers hopper has a point. Lawrence does suck. Compared to larger cities, there is a paucity of culture, diversity, intellect, good food, etc. Plus, it is in Kansas, probably the biggest drawback Lawrence has.

On the other hand, Lawrence has decent food and culture and there are some reasonably intelligent and moderate people living here. Plus, you can't beat the traffic and the ease of living here (compared to Chicago, Boston, and NYC).

There is that question of being in Kansas, however...

Apparently powers hopper is saying "Nice place to be from, but I wouldn't want to live there...".

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 1 month ago

Before all of the "Kansas-love it or leave it" comments, all I have to say is: I would if I could (leave it, that is, not love it).

Redneckgal 7 years, 1 month ago

imastinker (Anonymous) says:

I think many of you missed the meaning of the whole article. He was saying that lawrence isn't as enlightened as many pople think it is. There are plenty of intelligent people in the state that don't vote republican, that drive pickup trucks, and listen to country music.


Amen imastinker!! My daughter tried KU for one semester. We are a family that does drive pick-ups, listen to country music and we like our wrangler jeans. and get this-we vote democratic about 80% of the time!! can ya believe it? Neither could most people at KU. My girl is probably just as 'blue' as anyone at KU could desire-but she didn't look and act the part and thus never did fit in. She ended up going to Manhatten and felt much more welcome and at home even though her political views ran differently then a lot of her classmates. So don't talk to me about conservative snobs-libreal ones are just as bad if not worse.

Amy Heeter 7 years, 1 month ago

powershopper (Anonymous) says:

dorothyhr - Yes, I can afford to shop. A luxury I discovered when I moved away from Lawrence: 4 November 2007 at 11:35 a.m.

Suggest removal

Permalink dorothyhr (Anonymous) says:

Isn't it funny that powershopper still checks into LJWorld.com, even though he/she hates Lawrence

Yes indeed and even funnier how dorothyhr posts on and reads the LJW even though she admittedly lives outside of the community. Begging the question why she cares about anything that goes on here at all.

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

As the author of the bumper sticker, allow me to correct Mr. Gurley. It is "LAWRENCE: 27 square miles of reality surrounded by Kansas"

I'd been kicking it around with friends for years, joking about just making it into a one-off t-shirt for myself mostly. For me, it was about the fact that, even while we have our differences (over economic policy, growth, etc) we all cringe when we see some legislator from Hugoton telling us that the science is uncertain on global warming, or a school board member from Hutchinson saying that a century of research about evolution is atheist window dressing, or a sanctimonious minister from Wichita thundering that his interpretation of a book that is a translation of a translation of a translation of a translation tells him with certainty that banning an entire segment of the population's desire to marry must be codified in the state constitution.

Yes, Mr. Gurley, I too have met some wonderful liberals in Liberal and progressives in Phillipsburg. I travelled the state extensively during a time working for a political campaign in the distant past, and contiue to make day trips and weekend getaways with my family to lots of favorite nooks and crannies of this beautiful state. But a quick look at the electoral map after the gay marriage ban vote in 2004 is instructive. One county, and one county only defeated the measure - and it was a crushing defeat. Why, in the 21st century, do we have to have a debate about whether your religious beliefs don't end at the door to my home (much less at the door of YOUR home). I mean, really, the architects of this nation pretty much settled that when they wrote the manual two hundred and twenty years ago, right?

So yes, Mr. Gurley, Lawrence is something of an oasis. A place where we take for granted that the world is a sphere billions of years old (and we don't get ridiculed for being bright enough to know that it is). A place that lets peole be who they are, without fear. A place like none other in Kansas. And while we go at each other about an awful lot of issues, they tend to be (with a few notable exceptions) about things that, well...matter. Arguments that are in essence, about how can we make things better, and who gets to have a say in the process. As harsh as they can be at times, they are always because people care so much about Lawrence, and are all deathly afraid of seeing it fade into mediocrity. We are all trying to find the right way to move Lawrence forward, not have pointless fights over things that have been settled in the rest of the civilized world for decades.

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

So that's what I felt the slogan meant to me. But the reason I decided to make a bumper sticker out of it is because, as I told more and more people about it, it became clear that the phrase was something of a mirror for what an individual's own perspective about Lawrence is - good or bad. Some saw the political and cultural connotations, others saw arrogance and attitude, and in others (like Mr. Gurley) you could hear the twinge of jealousy in their counter-sanctimony (after all, do people statewide debate the merits or shortcomings of Baldwin? Other than when discussing commute times?)

Really, Mr. Gurly, that's the reason the the slogan resonated with you. Because, unlike anywhere else in Kansas, you can't stop thinking about Lawrence.

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and don't forget - the sticker is only available at Third Planet in beautiful Downtown Lawrence. Support local businesses and get 'em while they're hot!

Dwight_Schrute 7 years, 1 month ago

This is perhaps one of the funniest, most accurate, and best written pieces I have EVER read in this paper.

Dwight_Schrute 7 years, 1 month ago

DotsLines said ..."Lawrence is what it is - a relatively small city, comparable to other college towns its size."...

What the...? What does that even mean? Nevermind...it would take her 4 pages to answer...

camper 7 years, 1 month ago

I shop at the Dollar General on 6th street. I got a great shirt for under 5 bucks. I'm proud of it.

kansas778 7 years, 1 month ago

Powershopper, thanks for your "sophisticated" answer. Lawrence may suck, but not as bad as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, or DC (never been to New York, but I'm sure it sucks too). You are a perfect example of the "humble" morons who live on the East Coast who talk about how great the culture and diversity is, but really have no frickin' clue what that even means. I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and it's exactly the same as living in Lawrence, just more traffic, everything costs more, and there's more murders to report on the evening news.

Guess what folks, going to the grocery store, watching TV, going to school, making dinner, hanging out with friends, surfing the internet, all exactly the same on the East Coast as Lawrence, Kansas. Don't listen to this stuck-up moron, he just wants to feel like he's better than someone, probably because he's a nobody.

Amy Heeter 7 years, 1 month ago

Bargains are where you find them. Lawrence isn't doing anything other towns aren't doing when they grow. Call it a community maturation process. I find it funny the people of Lawrence want so much but do not like to make the consessions needed to promote their wants. Things stay the same and change all at the same time. I miss some of the shops that were once here but welcome others that are new. Why would anyone want to live in a time warp living such a mundane existence.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years, 1 month ago

artichokeheart You have me confused with someone else. I have lived in Lawrence for almost 18 years, minus 6 months in Costa Rica, and 1 year in Missouri. I vote in every election (dems and repubs.), ride the T whenever I can (I commute), graduated from KU, go to the concerts in the park, watch the downtown movies, attend every parade, married an LHS alum, raised an LHS alum, go to Haskell Powwows and art show, love the Lied center, know my neighbors by name and will retire here in about 10 years or less. I just came from La Parilla, and picked up some yummy incense at the Third Planet. Then I cruised by Store 70 Dillons (23rd for those who have never worked there), so I could get stuff to make Pan de Muerto for my students. The last 2 days I went to Witchita to the Kansas World Languages Association's conference, and almost drove off the road looking at the intense colors of the prairie grasses in the Flint Hills. My real name is Dorothy, not just a hide away name like most everyone else on this forum. And there is no place like home. Adiós

Hoots 7 years, 1 month ago

In short very well written. I enjoyed every word. This put a smile on my face. Now, go outside and take in this amazing day...we don't have many to throw away from now until spring.

kansas778 7 years, 1 month ago

That means a lot coming from a nobody...

lunacydetector 7 years, 1 month ago

i guess the truth hurts for a lot of you. how many extra bong hits will it take for some of you to calm down?

:)

"Lawrence's spectral bus line with its single passenger"

every day IS halloween.....

"the proposed ordinance prohibiting balloon displays by auto dealerships as "dangerous distractions?" - proposed? i thought this one was in the books.

i am going to save this article.

good thing george doesn't live in lawrence anymore....he'd most likely get his house, car or mailbox vandalized by some 'open minded' individuals who make the rest of us hide behind anonymous postings on the internet for that very reason.

my crystal ball sees many "letter's to the editor" in the coming days from some of our enlightened kooky friends.

jonas 7 years, 1 month ago

Your crystal ball's accuracy has been highly questionable in the past.

Amy Heeter 7 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

igby 7 years, 1 month ago

Country Music is retarded, I gess thats what people like about it. Lol.

Dwight_Schrute 7 years, 1 month ago

Most normal people don't have a life span long enough to read your ENTIRE posts Dotty. It doesn't really matter what community you are talking about...your sentence of comparison makes no sense...but I didnt' expect you to see that. Just go back to your couch and think some more pleasant thoughts.

kansas778 7 years, 1 month ago

Dwight_Schrute (Anonymous) says:

"It doesn't really matter what community you are talking about:your sentence of comparison makes no sense:but I didnt' expect you to see that. "


You're 100% wrong here Dwight, you need to read the sentence comma to comma. Each clause makes sense, and so does the sentence. You would be right if the comma was taken out of the sentence, but you are not reading it close enough.

kugrad 7 years, 1 month ago

If Kansas "probably has the same ratio of jerks to decent human beings as any other state," then why did he bother to write this article? Lawrence has the same ratio as the rest of the state. If one thinks it is "Halloween everyday" in Lawrence, you have to wonder how accurate one's reality meter really is.

Dwight_Schrute 7 years, 1 month ago

Dot honey, what is it about your psychologist training that makes you so snide....Bitter, party of one, your table is ready.

Dwight_Schrute 7 years, 1 month ago

Nowhere did I ever say I didn't read the post. I did, however, indicate that they are too long for most normal people to read. I am so sad for you that you have so much anger. Sometimes brevity breeds clarity. Sending nice thoughts your way...sniff

Sigmund 7 years, 1 month ago

The problem with Lawrence is the Bumper Sticker mentality where a few clever words substitutes for meaningful analysis. It's hard to fit "Lawrence: an island of neo-socialism - surrounded by everything it wants but can't afford. New libraries, good roads, affordable housing, public transportation, good schools, budget surpluses, great dining and theater, active night life, and high paying jobs with health care coverage. Too bad its all in Johnson County." on bumper sticker small enough to fit on a Prius (if you tried the gas mileage would drop below a Hummer carrying Ted Kennedy and Michael Moore to the All You Can Eat China Buffet). And I fully admit my attempt isn't nearly so catchy. But at least it provides a little more insight into what passes for "reality" in Lawrence.

vinividivici 7 years, 1 month ago

I love Lawrence because I can shop at the Farmer's Market and get really tasty produce a homemade jellies that just don't compare to what I can buy at the grocery store. I love that I can go shopping for Christmas at the Bizarre Bazaar and it is more packed than Wal-mart on Christmas Eve. I love that I can walk downtown for lunch and ask a random person what they think of a restaurant and wind up having a 45 minute conversation about how much it sucks that they're tearing down the old Yellow Sub building at the top of the hill for an overbearing eyesore of an "improvement" plan. I love that we both remember each others name and favorite band next time we see each other. I love how different everyone can look and be in Lawrence and still get along. And I love that I was fortunate to meet some the happiest, most compassionate and open people I've ever met when I moved to Lawrence before I ever logged on to ljworld.com and heard some of the most discontent, cocky, and frequently mean spirited opinions of some of these posters.

I love the Lawrence Pride bumper stickers because the mass majority of Lawrence has a lot to be proud of in their acceptance and open arms to tolerance.....too bad more of them aren't posters on here. I'd be a lot more apt to log on here and read the comments more often, as opposed to when I'm bored and can't sleep.

Ah well. At least in reading some of these obnoxious comments I can remind myself how fortunate I am to be content with where I live.

See ya'll in a few months (when I forget why it is I stopped logging on. Somehow I always manage to convince myself that these posts aren't as ridiculous as I remember. And somehow they always seem worse.)

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 1 month ago

Ok.. hesitantly I will jump in here and probably get my head bit off, but I have lived in Lawrence nearly 40 years. I am a right wing conservative republican. I love living here. I love raising my family here. Yes Lawrence presents a challenge to me, because there is much that runs counter to things that I have been taught and believed all my life. But I still love this town and I love the wide variety of culture and belief that is here. When someone challenges by values or opinions, it makes me examine my thoughts and values. I think I know who I am and what I believe more firmly because I live in Lawrence than I would if I were living where everyone agreed with me. So for all of you posters who love Hillary, Obama, Ted Kennedy & Nancy Pelosi, I say thanks! And by the way... I still love GW.

staff04 7 years, 1 month ago

I apologize if it has been addressed already, but don't have time to read the entire thread.

How have you all let Gurley get away with citing that whacky girl and her Godsent boyfriend as an example of why Lawrence is "unreal?" I may be mistaken, but they weren't from Lawrence, where they? Wasn't it just a coincidence that they got picked up near Lawrence?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't you have to name whacky LAWRENCIANS (I'm not sayin' there ain't any) when using the example to boost your assertion that the town is unreal?

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, darn those journalist guys who force us to look at ourselves in a self-critical way, and think about who we are and are we who we want to be. Like this guy, (who ought to have been ridden out of the State on a rail for his audacity): http://www.emporia.com/waw/kansas.html. Nothing good can ever come of it, I say.

Although I DID think Gurley's use of the term "woolgatherers" was, well, literate.

Jackalope 7 years, 1 month ago

Well, written, Mr. Gurley, well written.

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

Ah, the old William Allen White chestnut. With all the rabble-rousing Grangers, populists and progressives running loose in Kansas at the end of the 19th century, the eastern moneymen were eager to hold up ol' Willy as a paragon of level-headed common sense on the gone-crazy plains.

Funny how all the things White and the power structure of the era held so dear - the gold standard, unregulated monopolies, no oversight of lending and securities institutions - were the very things that were keeping Kansas economically depressed.

Darn those progressives for taking my nickel today! All they ever do is grow the economy and come back to me with a dollar next week!

badger 7 years, 1 month ago

You know, sometimes I do miss Lawrence. There's a unique sense of community there that is kind of nice. Austin's just a little bit big to find the same thing. Also, not enough tomatoes at the farmers' market here. But it'll be 80 degrees later on today, so I think I'll live.

snazzo 7 years, 1 month ago

I must say, I love Lawrence, but mainly b/c it is not "the norm." I love how people can get away with living the way they wish, even if it is cracked-out, walking down 9th in all velvet and waving to everyone that passes by. However, I also find the same traits to be a little over the top - people who don't bathe, live in bars, and "play music" have this detestable tendency to hold themselves above everyone else, even though they're the ones that claim to know what its like to be "brought down." Its fine if that's your style, just don't act like the rest of us are scum. I also cannot stand the bumpersticker that reads: "Kansas, as bigoted as you think." I wholey agree that if you feel so strongly that way, you shouldn't be living here. Maybe its time to pick up your overly-judgemental, vintage, unwashed bags and move to a state that you "believe in." How is it overlooked that to post that on your Kansas state licensed car is to be a bigot? what morons.

badger 7 years, 1 month ago

One funny Lawrence story:

I have made a lot of friends in other parts of the country on message boards and whatnot. One evening, one of them called me to chat as I walked from my office over to the coffeeshop where I was meeting a friend. A few minutes into the conversation, he asked "Where are you again?" I said, "Downtown." He said, "Do you know everyone in town or something? In the last ten minutes you must've said 'Hello' or 'Hey' to a dozen people." Taken aback, I realized that the notion of saying 'hi' to a stranger on the street as you passed one another was so foreign to my East Coast-raised, West Coast dwelling friend that he automatically assumed I must be walking through a crowd of friends or running into people I knew.

Tom Miller 7 years, 1 month ago

"Lawrencians are more self conscious than a debutante with a pimple in the middle of her forehead and just as moody and delusional. My advice to both is the same. "You're not a fairy princess and you live in Kansas. It is not that bad honey, get over it and yourself." "

What a simply DELIGHTFUL turn of phrase!!! And, to find a true sense of state-wide self-loathing and self-imposed sense if in-born inadequacy, visit Arkansas...or Mississippi...or the Michigan U.P....

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

While city-owned, the hospital is an independent not-for-profit corporation that receives no tax support from the city or county. This might blow your mind, possesionannex, but some people have figured out that not everything can be solved by the "market", and found something of a middle path, where they operate in a market environment but use the money it generates to offset costs for the users and improve facilities and services, rather than just enrich a few out-of-town owners. Is it perfect? No. But it is working pretty well.

And a for-profit hospital? Remember Columbia? They saw Lawrence as easy pickings, to be gutted and left for dead like so many other community's hospitals. They and their unrealistic promises were wisely kept at bay by Lawrence's leaders until their frauds and scams were finally brought to light.

As for the arts center, come close, possesionannex - I have an incredible secret to reveal to you. The city owns the library, the fire department, the police department, the roads, the water lines - and not just here, but every community in Kansas is the same way!!!! Who knew Karl Marx was actually in charge of dear old Kansas. Imagine - if you have a fire, you have to call up a bureaucrat at some centralized (always centralized!) control center, and wait agonizing minutes for them to send help. If they would just privatize it, you would have dozens of companies begging you to subscribe to their firefighting service - which would be staffed and equipped at the absolute minumum to ensure profits are kept high! There would also be an ultra-efficient automated answering service if you need help! (Unless you are rich - then your account would qualify for "premium" service.) Lets start agitating to sell off city services today! What could possibly go wrong!

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

Actually, another hospital is free to build in Lawrence - as Columbia was beginning to do at Clinton Parkway and Kasold before its criminal fraud was exposed. What the city kept Columbia from doing was buying Lawrence Memorial - as any private owner is allowed to do. (Unless you think I should be allowed to purchase your house for the price I want to pay, simply because I really, really want it, and I don't believe you are maximizing its profitability.)

Remember the cornfield mall? The city was wise to look ahead and see that the short term gain for developers would be a long term loss for the city. And why is it so hard for you to understand that the city and its populace has a legitimate role to play in how land is used? Especially since the city will always be stuck with the long term infrastructure and service bills. due to the area's traffic handling ability, stormwater runoff capacity and other infrastructure issues, the city wanted to keep the commercial development at 6th and Wakarusa limited to the kinds of strip mall shops already on the other corners of the intersection. But when Wal-Mart started sniffing around, and the developer thought he could make another million or so for himself, then the legitimate city laws are ignored. The city specifically denied department stores from locating there - so Wal-Mart's lawyers say they are a variety store! (I'm sure if that had been banned, they would have called themselves a convenience store.)

The city has a role to play in the process. Over time, the citizens of Lawrence have, by their voting, shaped what the rules and regulations are. The "City" is not some shadowy cabal of lefty fellow travellers - it is the aggregate of decades of choices its citizens conciously made. (And most of the zoning laws have more in common with JoCo sensibilities than any hippie-approved vision anyway.)

Mackadoo 7 years, 1 month ago

"What do you do scenebooster? Are you a plumber or do you wait tables?"

I guess being a plumber isn't an important job to someone who thinks his/her bowel movements smell like roses...

staff04 7 years, 1 month ago

powershopper-

I live and work in DC too, and sophisticated it ain't. Oh wait...you didn't just move here, did you? It took me a couple of years before I realized the sophistication of what I had left behind too.

Mackadoo 7 years, 1 month ago

powershopper - Lucky guess.

I do find it funny you mention that in DC, "The restaurants are incredible," then continue to berate the people that actually wait tables in restaurants. The last time I visited DC (2006 - my fourth visit), the restaurants were all staffed with waiters.

On that same visit, I was bombarded by homeless people on every block, was given a stern "talking to" by a policeperson with nothing better to do than to check the backpacks of everyone walking within 100 feet of the Rayburn House office building, and thought I was going to be run over in the storm of drunk driving that occured at Adams Morgan on a Friday night at 10 p.m.

High class. Very sophisticated, indeed.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't find any city in the US as sophisticated, interesting and full of history and culture as the smallest burg in Mediterranean Europe. If you want thousands of years of tradition, truly beautiful and historical architecture and a world class cuisine to match, then you'd better leave the US and D.C., Seattle and San Francisco are not even in the running of great places to live.

I live in Lawrence and find it adequate, as far as any US city. Affordable and an easy lifestyle. But, if you want real culture, history and class, sorry, you'll have to leave the US.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 1 month ago

Windlass, if you're willing to live outside the US, you can find affordable seaside homes.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 1 month ago

ahhhh....the mermaids are posting again. Bathtub getting a little cramped?

Veritas 7 years, 1 month ago

HEY POWERSHOPPER! uh...both of my grandfathers held offices in the Pentagon...does that make me superior? DOES IT??

Veritas 7 years, 1 month ago

Well. At least I have some freakin' sweet vacation homes to visit whenever I'd like! And being the first grandchild on both sides means more $$$$ for me! How's your studio treating you?

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 1 month ago

From reading ;this thread, it would appear that a lot of Kansans just don't feel as cool as East Coast and West Coasters. Poor Lawrencians. Maybe therapy would help you.

Linda Aikins 7 years, 1 month ago

I truly despise posts that end up like this. What's wrong with all of you?

Veritas 7 years, 1 month ago

I don't know. I love Lawrence. I don't live there now but I still love it.

Veritas 7 years, 1 month ago

I'm not familiar with that area. I like the one in Florida, but not as much as the one in Maine.

erod0723 7 years, 1 month ago

Upon my first visit to the area, I was completely taken back. The architecture is amazing, there are more museums than just about any other city in the United States. Minorities have a fair shake at professional success. Nearly every culture in the world is represented. Education is paramount.

powercrapper, If education is so paramount, how do you explain the quality of public high schools in the DC area. Sure, there are some great private and international schools there, but the public school system has been nearly forgotten. Also, the DC area has one of the largest populations of poor minorities, specifically african americans. Basically, DC is a great city if you are white, in government, or completely full of yourself.

Veritas 7 years, 1 month ago

oh powershopper...I can imagine that living in a 500 sq. ft. apartment would make me talk crazy too. There there.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 1 month ago

powershopper (Anonymous) says: Tootsie - Just having fun:.and I still think Lawrence sucks!


Full as a Christmas Goose. And loving it.

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

possesionannex, you evidently decided not to read the entire article you cite about the hospital. Lawrence's municipal codes were clear: that a private hospital can be built in Lawrence. The city commision overstepped its bounds, and got smacked down as a result. Columbia offered a lose-lose deal to the city at the time: "sell us your hospital so we can mine it for money, or we will open up a new facility and use our deep pockets to bleed LMH dry by undercutting prices and stealing staff."

Had Columbia not been busted at the time, Lawrence likely would have no hospital right now. Columbia would have drained LMH's resources until it was forced to close. And once Columbia was forced to take all of the indigent, uninsured, and otherwise unable to pay patients as a result, its margins would thin to the point of not being profitable to go on. So it would have closed up shop, and told people to use facilities in KC or Topeka.

possesionannex, once you realize that the economy is enormously complex, freighted as it is with the rational and irrational desires and foibles of humanity, you will understand why relying on the "unfettered free market" alone is as effective as pixie dust at solving our economic issues. From the end of the civil war to the Great Depression, the American economy sputtered from one financial panic to the next, every ten to fifteen years. Only after the federal government began to take an active role in managing the broad economy both directly and indirectly (via open-ended research at universities, NASA, DoD, etc) did our nation's economy expand xponentially and cease to suffer the paralyzing financial panics on the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Wake up and smell the coffee: liberals are better for your wallet.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 1 month ago

powershopper (Anonymous) says: The great thing about the East coast is that people aren't wrapped up in some illusionary self-importance "

Except perhaps you.

Crispian Paul 7 years, 1 month ago

"powershopper (Anonymous) says:

possession - I know what a "wank" is you "wank". :):.Lawrence still sucks. lol"

Ahhh, the sounds of someone truly humble....laughing at your own lame jokes.

kansas778 7 years, 1 month ago

Powershopper lives in DC? No wonder he has tons of time to post, he must be on his laptop while he sits on I-66 for four hours a day. I went to DC for a week this summer, and I'd never want to live there. Work there? Sure, there are jobs there as the seat of our government that just don't exist anywhere else in the country, but I'd much rather live in Ashburn or Reston than in DC, as anyone with the money to do so is doing down there. Of course those places are probably too much like Olathe for Powershopper, he's got to be near the museums and crime of DC.

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

Wow. I always thought Liberals were pessimists, but good grief! I'm glad I have joy in my life.

So you concede my point and want to quibble about unrelated non-issues, then?

Linda Aikins 7 years, 1 month ago

"Their football team got 76 points hung on them!"

Aaah! Gootsie understand now! I apologize for thinking I have the worse life in the world....

staff04 7 years, 1 month ago

pshopper:

No, I do not. I've been here 5 years. Yes, there are more world-class museums here than there are in Lawrence. There are also about 6 million more people in the DC-Baltimore Corridor than there are in the Lawrence-KC corridor.

"The great thing about the East coast is that people aren't wrapped up in some illusionary self-importance."

Possibly the single most inaccurate statement (at least with regards to DC) that has ever been spoken. People in DC (and I mean to, in the clearest possible way, distinguish between those that are originally from this area and those that are not) are collectively the most phony bunch I have ever been around. If you want to talk about "unreality," this place is the epicenter for it. Don't get me wrong, I still love where I live and love taking advantage of the resources the city offers, but I'm definitely not going to sell it off as "sophisticated." Diverse, yes, but far from sophisticated.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 1 month ago

This message board is why I miss Lawrence. Maybe I will move back someday. But not to Lawrence, that would be too much. Just barely close enough to Lawrence that I can visit there once in awhile, partake of the insanity for a day and then go back to real life.

While college in itself is very unreal and the next step is so often called "the real world" it's not college that makes Lawrence so bizarre, it's actually you people. The people who are from Lawrence. I miss you guys. Houston has too much reality.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence, the town where bell bottoms never went out of style, then the rest of the world just caught up.

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

Actually, possesionannex, I have to leave now too, probably won't be able to be back on until tomorrow AM...I'll try to re-muster my righteous anger again at that time.

Tychoman 7 years, 1 month ago

For the record, the people that started that Godsent B.S. weren't actually from Lawrence, they were passing through. It figures someone who stereotypes the entire city (incorrectly) would also associate any nut passing through as one of the city's own.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 1 month ago

righty, there's a reason the girls are holding hands and it's not kumbya!


the godsend/laura west wackos were visiting someone here in lawrence...she was driving her "vessel" on a religious mission" here. so, they do have some kinda connection and laura's mother might live here judging by some posts possibly.


I disagree with the prevailing politics in this town, vehemently, but I love lawrence because of its size, friendliness, small-town diversity, and restaurants. I love the downtown and always take visitors there. of course, that last time, we were acosted by simon gilmore, and a homeless bumwoman/bumette panhandling.

what Mr. Gurly said was generally right on. and, there is much to appreciate about lawrence.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 1 month ago

I also will note with glee that poWersHOPPER's posts have been yanked earlier. what is the twisted psyche that has to expend so much psychic energy putting down where he/she/it came from, yet spends time on the comment board and reads the newspapter from that dreaded place. this poor poWersHOPPER obviously has serious issues and should seek professional counseling. most of the posts that got yanked consisted of him/her/it saying that we here, and our town, "suck." very adroit argumentation that!

note that his/her/its posts stopped at the end of the government work day...hmmm.

RiverCityConservative 7 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence was different in the late 70s and early 80s from what it is today--I think a lot changed with the Internet technology boom of the mid to late 1990s. Highway 10 is a corridor now, and lots of people commute from Lawrence to jobs in Johnson County, the most concentrated economic area in the entire United States. When I was at KU, the professors had time to interact with students outside of class. Potters Lake and the woods on the other side of the Campinele were and always remain beautiful places. The downtown area appears to be thriving, perhaps thanks to efforts by the local community in the 80s to hold off the arrival of malls. When I started as a freshman at KU, you could enroll (picking up cards for your classes in Allen Fieldhouse) for about $250 per semester and that included as many hours as you could manage to fit in. I'm not saying that was idyllic or anything, and I believe that many things have improved at KU, especially the fact that it is a place much more open to diversity than it would have been 25 years ago. Of course, Lawrence being the place where basketball was invented makes basketball culture a strong element, too. Again, the town has changed and grown, and the university is more sophisticated than it was 30 years ago. When I see someone with long white hair or realize that old friends and acquaintances are still helping to make the community churn and grow, it heartens me. When I hear a level of arrogance more befitting of NYC and eastern "civilization," I recognize Lawrence is a bit colder than it used to be, perhaps just around the edges. The Chancellor's job has gotten more complex than what it was when Archie Dykes signed my degree. It was an excellent education, and has served me in good stead in different settings. In those days, we were prepared to think for ourselves and I've noticed conformity is more the rule in a number of what are considered the elite universities of the U.S. I know KU is preparing students for a much more complicated world today. I trust they are not yet "world class" in the ways that stifle creativity and ingenuity--and "human-ness." Some of the comments on this board suggest a shift is in progress or has already occurred in the Lawrence/KU culture and ethos. I'll keep tuned because it is a place and institution very close to my heart.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 7 years, 1 month ago

Give to powershopper what is powershopper's. We are nothing and to nothing we shall return. There is no dust. There are no goods. We are only given this day and the opportunity to take its bread. And feed the birds, as we are only given to spend. Bread and love are never to be held in an account. Bank on the day that you have made. So it is written!~)

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

"God, why bother. Anyone who thinks competition in health care is bad needs a doctor."

possesionannex, I think you have that turned around. Since our method delivers less care at much higher cost than the places in the industrialized world that have single payer systems, we must be they ones who are off our rocker.

And since you think that LMH being a city owned not-for-profit makes it socialism, then I encourage you to write "I don't have to pay this because it is socialized medicine" across your next bill from LMH and sent it in and see how well that goes over.

Health care is not a market environment. I can't delay having gallstones like I can delay buying a plasma screen just because its not in my budget. You can't simply hang up a shingle and go in business because you think you can be a better podiatrist than the other one in town, like you can for a lawn care business. And when a doctor tells you she wants to run a series of expensive tests to make sure your daughter's cough isn't something potentially life-threatening, most people don't decide they'll just keep taking their chances, and if she dies, they'll just get another - like they might say, with a car. Healthcare just doesn't operate under normal market rules.

What are you afraid of, anyway? Long waits for specialists? Cumbersome paperwork? Unqualified beaucrats making decisions? Diminishing acess in rural areas? We've already got all of that with the for-profit system. Might as well make it cheaper and available to everyone

Here's a couple scenarios to mull over: Universal health care will bring an expansion of the economy and will help save families because: 1) Millions of Americans will take the risk to start their own businesses without having to worry about being crushed by health insurance premiums 2) Millions of households will be able to have one member stop working or work less, especially if their only reason for working was for benefits or money to pay premiums, (as is the case in many lower-income families) and instead they will be able to focus on raising their families, instead of turning that job over to strangers.

staff04 7 years, 1 month ago

This thread has officially jumped the shark.

etsi_truss 7 years, 1 month ago

"Lawrence: an island of reality - surrounded by Kansas." Probably on the bumper of the Sebelius band wagon Saturday

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

OK, this is officially boring. Obviously you don't dispute my assertions. And you know you can change doctors as you see fit in nearly all circumstances under nationalized health care systems around the industrialized world. I'm beginning to think that you've never actually had to deal with the American health care system, since you seem to think it runs so well. You've probably had great experiences with hospital and doctor visits, right? 'Cause you actually live in Canada, don't you?

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

Oh, and etsi_truss, its "Lawrence: 27 square miles of reality surrounded by Kansas"

I swear, "Right-winger" is such a misnomer - you guys never get anything right.

As long as you get this right though, I'll let it slide. The sticker is available only at Third Planet in beautiful downtown Lawrence. Support your local businesses!

sfjayhawk 7 years, 1 month ago

What is this dude smokin - and where do I get some!

RiverCityConservative .... Johnson County, the most concentrated economic area in the entire United States...

Johnson County - center of the global economy!

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

Pilgrim- Your company probably pays a private insurance firm more than $510 a month for the employer contribution portion of your health insurance, especially if you are on a family plan. So let's just change the name to a "tax", and let you keep the say, $250 a month you were contributing to the insurance plan.

Darn those progressives for increasing my take home pay!

And now we have everyone insured, for less than it cost to insure 80% of the population.

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

(Sigh)...sit down everyone. Class is about to begin.

"First, you're assuming that employers will just raise everyone's pay the amount they used to contribute in private health insurance premiums. Not likely."

How so? Say you are making a 50K a year in salary. That's not what your companny sees your costing them though, they see you as 50K plus "benefits" - i.e. heath care contribution, vacation, their side of exsisting payroll taxes. It's a paperwork shift for accounting. It makes no sense that they wouldn't make what is now a "gray" part of your salary into a black part if you are currently taking health care through your employer.

And don't forget, your contribution to a healthcare plan is part of your taxable income. Once it becomes a payroll tax, it lowers your overall taxable income, so there are savings for your hypothetical 100K household that change your equation as well.

As for the McDonald's worker's health care? Actually, we are paying for it right now - it's called Medicaid. Which would go away under single payer.

"...an awful lot of multiple-earner households have a big incentive to drop that second job and have someone stay home."

Isn't that what conservatives want? A return to the traditional family structure? I know a lot of people who are only working to maintain benefits, and after day care, commuting, etc., are factored, they barely have anything left over anyway, so is it any wonder they want to quit? And doesn't that free up a job for someone who wants it? Or perhaps you agree with Hillary that a village should raise a child.

Fritz 7 years, 1 month ago

cont.

"...A single taxpayer making $40K will pay more for his own health insurance than a family of 4 making $30K will pay for theirs. People who make more will pay more..."

So? You already pay more for the military, your fire and police protection, your transportation infrastructure, your assurance of clean food and water, and everything else that our society understands doesn't fit a "market" model. And health care certainly doesn't fit a market model.

When this nation understood that it could find a middle path between self-destructive, Great Depression-spawning laissez-faire capitalism and ingenuity-crushing communism, its economy took off to heights never seen in history. Staying on that path requires constant adjustment. Sometimes an industry (airlines, telecommunications) requires protection and regulation to help it get established and survive, and once mature it can leave them behind. It goes both ways.

And don't forget, a good chunk of your success is due to the civil society you have the priviledge of living in. It's like having two equally physically gifted sprinters, and giving one the best nutritionist, exercise physiologist, training equipment and environment to work with, and showing the other one the door. Those are the kind of advantages any American has over most of the rest of the world. And they cost money - small in comparason to what you are getting, and it only takes one visit to the Third World to realize how much you ARE being given, but they cost nonetheless. And the higher you advance here, the more you should give back to the system that allowed you to reach your maximum potential. Especially since the impact on your discretionary impact diminishes substantially as you go up the scale.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 1 month ago

in england, survival rates for prostate cancer are near half...HALF...what they are here in the u.s. in britain much of that has to do with access to specialists, diagnostic tests, etc.

I am alive today, at least three times over, because of this nation's health care system, and ready access to specialiasts and diagnostic tests. the last time it saved my life was just september. there were five specialists in three weeks plus my primary care physician.

those who wish to put in the hillarycare singlepayer government controlled system are saying by their support that they don't care who dies because of the waitinglists and limited access. oh, btw, I'm one of the poor, too. thanks.

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