Letters to the Editor

Hateful voices

January 5, 2011


To the editor:

There are ideologues and misinformed voices on both sides of the South Lawrence Trafficway debate. However, any objective review of the “comments” posted to your Dec. 31 story about our appeal of Judge Vratil’s trafficway ruling will confirm one fact. The bigots and bullies were overwhelmingly represented in the “build it!” camp.

One anonymous blowhard called for my employers to fire me. Another, user name “DOC1,” wanted my home address and later suggested that baseball bats should be used on those of us who continue to oppose paving the wetlands! Others couldn’t wait to see protesters mashed under bulldozers.

Far too many posted blatantly racist comments that were not removed. Several posts insinuated that the only spiritual connections Native Americans have in the wetlands come after consuming alcohol there. Such narrowmindedness has no place in our local newspaper, whether online or in print. I read repeatedly, to the point of disgust, that every aspect of Native American concerns about the SLT had been fabricated because they and their supporters “hate progress.” The SLT should be renamed the Glenn Beck Beltway. It certainly epito-mizes Beck’s worldview.

Those nitwits online don’t reflect the majority here. Unfortunately, ignorance of Haskell’s history and its relationship to these wetlands is a product of how the Journal-World consistently frames the trafficway story to favor proponents. The “reporting” of how this SLT plan would really impact these wetlands has been particularly one-sided. Lawrence is not Fox News territory.


Paul R Getto 7 years, 5 months ago

Good points. It's obvious this controversy will continue. If there was a real need for a 'bypass' around Lawrence, they would have built it years ago, connecting K-10 to the Turnpike by going north east of Lawrence. The existing 'bypass' is just a development scheme. You go Haskell!

Ralph Reed 7 years, 5 months ago

Well said Paul.

@Mike - Good letter. Your comments could apply to any subject "discussed" on the LJW forums. Another reason for non-anonymity and taking personal responsibility for what is said here.

Take a look below, few of the posters take responsibility for what they say.

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 5 months ago

And what would it be handy for otherwise? Only people in Topeka at the farthest west side of town who are traveling to JoCo would benefit from a bypass. Everyone else who commutes to JoCo would still need to take 23rd to K10.

earline james 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm old and my memory may be going, but I remember those of us opposed to the SLT turning out in droves and voting this down - overwhelming. I was suprised "they" kept trying to get around the voters and build it anyway. Is there a way to check that in archives, or something?

independent_rebel 7 years, 5 months ago

Wrong. My memory is not going, and we the people of Lawrence voted to approve the building of the trafficway long ago, and, might I add, more overwhelmingly than those who voted to keep the empTy sucking money.

Build it now.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

If sot is right, and it was approved by a 55-45 vote, that's considerably less "overwhelmingly" than the t vote, which was approved by 70%.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 5 months ago

To summarize Mike's LTE," "everyone" who "disagrees" with "me" is "stupid" and "racist"."

ivalueamerica 7 years, 5 months ago

you could summarize it like that, but you would be telling a bold faced lie.

He was very specific in referring to racist comments, therefore it was NOT everyone who disagreed with his point, but that there were many who used racist rhetoric.

I realize you do not mind racists as long as they agree with you, but personally, even if I agreed with them on some common issue , I will still denounce them.

I see that is a value you do not share.

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

I don't mind racists, period. I don't mind anyone holding any opinion since opinions fail to infringe on the rights if others.

One might say I'm utterly open minded. I see that is a value you do not share.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

I agree, and don't like any sort of "thought police" ideas.

But, unfortunately, folks who hold racist ideas often act on them in ways that are harmful to others.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 5 months ago

Racist people, by definition, put Americans in classes, and that is un Constitutional.

All men are created equal, that is a basic right of any American citizen and those who do not support and uphold that are traitors to the Constitution and by definition, bad Americans.

You are not free to be a racist...it is not a thought, it is a way of treating certain people as less than you.

It shows itself in employment, service, opportunity and limits opportunity for Life, Liberty and the persuit of happiness.

A value you seem to not find as important as I do.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

If someone believes that blacks, or women, or any other group is inferior without acting in such a way as to harm others, I think they have the right to believe that.

I'm uncomfortable with the idea that everybody has to believe the same thing.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 5 months ago

It is a fantasy to think racist people do not act on their racism.

Racism is a behaviour, not a school of thought.

It is a sociopathic mental health problem, not an idea

This is not thought police, it is a basic human principle and American value, that we are all equal.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

According to a quick google search, Wikipedia says racism is a belief that certain genetic characteristics, ... and that certain races are inherently superior.

According to Webster's:

"a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race"

There is nothing about behavior in those definitions - nor is it defined as sociopathic.

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

Are Americans with sociopathic mental health problems as equal as mentally intact and benevolent persons such as yourself?

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

"put Americans in classes, and that is un Constitutional."

LOL. Just where does the constitution mention classes? Better yet, where does it compel me to not utterly hate anyone I choose?

"You are not free to be a racist"

Until we are canada, I am.

"it is not a thought"

So as long as I don't interfere with someone's "employment, service, opportunity and limits opportunity for Life, Liberty and the persuit of happiness" I can think what I want of them, refer to them using whatever epithets I choose and not speak to them because they are different color and not be a racist?

Your value is fail.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

No, if you believe they are inferior by virtue of their race, you are in fact racist.

You may have the right to be that, as long as you don't hurt anybody.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 5 months ago

all mean are created equal.

Read it some time.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

"We hold these truths to be self evident: That all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"

Apologies for any errors if they exist - I didn't look it up.

Would you suggest that all Americans must be held strictly to this belief? If so, then atheists would be in big trouble.

Also, the phrase itself is a statement of belief, not of fact, or of a provable hypothesis - in reality, people are quite different from each other in many ways, and the existence of a Creator is debatable, and the "rights" spoken of are not found in nature.

So the whole thing is a sort of statement of faith.

It would have been much simpler and clearer, in my view, if they had simply said "We want to create a society that treats people as equals, and ensures them certain rights".

ivalueamerica 7 years, 5 months ago

I am quite sure you believe you can rewrite the Constitution much better than they did..

but that only makes you a fool.

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

"all mean are created equal."

Sure. But that says nothing about who you allowed to hate nor does it address what those men become.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Any substantive response?

Do you think atheists should be required to believe the whole thing, and lose their right to their beliefs?

Any disagreement that the phrase is a religiously based one, and a statement of faith, rather than of fact?

Or do you just want to call me names?

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

I don't understand your point.

I can believe that black people are inferior without ever harming anybody. If I don't own a business, I can't discriminate in hiring, for example.

If I'm not a landlord, I can't discriminate in choosing tenants.


Beliefs are beliefs, and actions are actions - I think that in a free society, people have the freedom to their beliefs, as long as their actions don't harm anybody.

For example, I think that religious folks are free to believe that homosexuality is a sin, and that homosexuals are going to hell when they die. If they beat somebody up because they're gay, or deny them housing, etc. it's a different story.

And, just for the record, I don't personally believe that certain groups are inferior - I just don't like any sort of "thought police" perspectives wherein it's not ok for people to believe what they believe.

Jeanette Kekahbah 7 years, 5 months ago

Is it equally ok if others hate you based on YOUR ethnicity, gender, class, nationality, religion, voting record, home address, dietary intake or preference for toilet tissue?

And in the "action-less" hate, which you deem harmless, how do you really know it does not become acted upon by someone else at some time?

Would what you think is ok today be so tomorrow if in that day harm came to one you loved?

How would you feel knowing you had the chance to speak out against the bigotry that was the root cause of violence inflicted upon your child, mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, friend, etc., but instead you sanctioned it?

I assure you, I do not like infringements on personal anything. Just today I watched 16 minutes of video footage of a friend threatened with violence and arrested by Virginia police for nothing more than being a minority without ID in the passenger seat of a vehicle pulled over for speeding - if you want to see the police state this country is in fact becoming, contact me privately and I'll figure out how you can view the video yourself. It's VERY uncool.

That said, beliefs are NOT thoughts...if we all simply beLIEved less and THOUGHT more, the world would be a better place.

Fred Phelps - doesn't "beat up" anybody or deny them housing, but does or does he not cause harm? Absolutely he does.

And to threaten to visit Mike Caron, Bob Eye, me, you or even Phelps with a baseball bat, well, sorry, I'm not cool with that.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Check the definitions I posted above - the definitions of racism don't include hatred.

If somebody believes that I, by virtue of being Jewish, am inferior, that's their business. Acting on that belief is a very different thing.

Fred Phelps acts in such a way as to harm others, as his speech can be viewed as conduct, and should be, in my opinion.

So would you like to deny religious belief as well, and require that religious folks think instead?

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

"And in the "action-less" hate, which you deem harmless, how do you really know it does not become acted upon by someone else at some time? "

Prior restraint has been deemed unconstitutional. In America, we punish actions, not thoughts.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Many people have many beliefs, many of which have little to no impact on the way they live their lives.

I don't suggest anybody should strive for that.

My only suggestion is that we stop creating a group of beliefs which are acceptable, and calling beliefs outside that group unacceptable.

Let people believe whatever they want.

kansastruthteller 7 years, 5 months ago

It is interesting that one would write to complain about bullying and yet fill their letter with name-calling and many derogatory comments about those that share a different view point. And, I do not understand why the writer decided to drag Glenn Beck into the debate. Beck, while you may disagree with his political and world views, does not promote hate or bigotry. To suggest that he does displays an obvious bias and desperate need to sensationalize the argument in some failed attempt to distract readers from the main point.

Please try to do better with future letters.

independent_rebel 7 years, 5 months ago

That is because he is a typical liberal. It's okay for them to name call and label, but they do not accept anyone else to do the same.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 5 months ago

Calling a racist a racist is not a name, it is an observation

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

When you label people other than racists with different words based on something you don't hold in common with them, is that also an observation?

LOL. Your logic fails at every turn because you base it entirely on putrid self-righteousness.

beebo 7 years, 5 months ago

Bwahahaha.......before the Beck link, his argument was halfway cogent.....but that was just plain weird.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

Actually, it was very accurate. Beck is notorious for "connecting the dots" using exaggeration, mis/disinformation and even outright lies. The pave-it-over crowd uses similar tactics.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes indeed. But once something really struck a nerve, and I was not super-duper well-behaved. I lost my temper, and had my posting removed.

Instead of what I did say, I should have said, "oh, never mind."

OutlawJHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

The Baker "wetlands" was farmland and used for farming years ago. It became wetlands becasue of man, not because of some natural mystyical phenomenom (newsflash: the Baker Wetlands is not one of the seven natural wonders of the world). It is time for man to now change its use again...or at least some of it to a highway. It was early man's larger brain and ability to reason that seperated him from other primates. It is time to continue man's progress in Lawrence by finishing the highway. Those against this man-made progress need to climb back into trees so they can be with other primates not capable of higher thought and reasoning.

funkdog1 7 years, 5 months ago

Guess what? Before the wetlands was farmland it was ... WETLAND. They removed most of the wetland from around New Orleans and guess what happens? It floods! Isn't it amazing how Mother Nature so often knows better than "human ingenuity"?

kernal 7 years, 5 months ago

Michael Caron, President of Save the Wakarusa Wetlands. And, likely commentor on that story?

kernal 7 years, 5 months ago

Michael Caron, President of Save the Wakarusa Wetlands. And, likely commentor on that story?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

And the haters return, slobbering hate and bigotry like Pavlov's dog.

grimpeur 7 years, 5 months ago

Mike, most of the posters in here aren't in on either side of the debate, because they can't hear what anybody else is saying and because the important debate isn't going on in here anyway. Doesn't stop a lot of folks from imagining it is, though.

This forum exists for little more than allowing people to 1) express their real (and, yes, often ugly, crass or stupid) selves without any responsibility, and 2) avoid doing the mental work of defending or truly discussing their positions face-to-face, let alone considering other points of view held by real people. So referring to it as any type of barometer of the public discourse going on elsewhere is pointless, worrying about it even less so.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes grimpeur, you're correct when you say "most of the posters in here". But, every once in a while there are a few intelligent and well thought out comments, so sometimes this forum is worth at least skimming through when you've got nothing better to do. Or maybe, this is a good place to practice your writing skills.

And with your comment "without any responsibility", you are right on the button because most posters are anonymous.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

Democrats are not immune to wanting to satisfy their narrow self-interests, no matter the cost to others.

cowboy 7 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Caron , YOUR letter is filled with anger ! While the discourse here can get a bit rough at times the opinions are as valid as yours. The continuous legal wrangling and complete lack of any compromise from the " savers " puts you in a position to be seen in a negative light. Are you really doing anyone any good at this point ?

There are some 300 acres being converted to wetlands as we speak to mitigate any impact that it may have on wildlife. The save argument grows weaker by the day. Having lived in the gulf coast roads thru wetlands are common , impact little.

One has to wonder what could be if there was compromise that would better the futures of Haskelites. Perhaps a number of scholastic endowments for gifted native students to pursue grad level programs , perhaps a world class environmental lab located in the wetlands new or old. Tradeoffs , sellout , maybe a bit of both but the end result would be benefits for Haskell students now and long into the future. Your personal crusade has in fact brought negative light on Haskell with many in this community. The Pacific NW has learned how to work together in dealing with devo on native grounds by having archaeologists on site during any excavation and stopping work if any sites are found , working with tribes and gov't , developers to work thru and at times cancel projects. It's time for some compromise and finding a way to benefit all.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

You call for "compromise," but from the get-go, the location of the SLT through the Haskell wetlands was an edict from movers and shakers looking for ways to increase the value of their investments and development schemes, with no intentions or attempts to consult with Haskell on whether or not it was acceptable to them.

Sure, the state has thrown a few million tax dollars at restoring other sections of the once extensive network of Wakarusa Valley wetlands, but those are not the Haskell Wetlands, and as such, are not a compromise, but rather a bribe to Baker.

And as we all know, your objections to Haskell's objections are every bit as NIMBY as you accuse them of being.

cowboy 7 years, 5 months ago

Bozo , who are these movers and shakers that are going to make all this money on this land ? Bring the names forward please . Most all of the landowners out there are long termers , the land can be sold at anytime for big dollars in a heartbeat. Why , because its beautiful ground and fairly large parcels. I have no dog in this race anymore but the argument for arguments sake is a tired one.

Liberty275 7 years, 5 months ago

Further, the SLT is going to bypass many businesses owned by the "movers and shakers" costing their enterprises exposure and customers. I can't possibly see how having people driving by at 70 mph on an expressway thousands of feet removed from a store is more beneficial than having the same drivers pass directly in front on the stores on a 45 mph road.

If anything, the SLT is going to hurt business in the vicinity at the expense of making travel between east and west lawrence safer and faster.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

The land speculation and development were primarily done to the west of Iowa Street. But in order for that part of the SLT to be built, the movers and shakers saw the Haskell Wetlands as the easiest route to complete the highway they needed to feed their speculation and development.

But, of course, they didn't consult anyone else. Movers and shakers don't need to consult anyone, especially not Haskell, whose property has always been seen as a repository of land to be used for their purposes, whenever they see fit.

So the completed SLT could very easily be moved south of the river. But that would set a bad precedent of movers and shakers having to consult others before using public money and public resources to promote their interests. And that's where we are today.

cowboy 7 years, 5 months ago

Where is all this development you cite ? From the Lecompton exit to Iowa is a commercially and mostly a residential barren stretch of roadway. There is no development south of the roadway , the constructed portion or the proposed portion.

Your argument has absolutely no evidence of fact.

You full of it Bozo.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

"The wetlands weren't wet in 1950, and the Indians didn't have any spiritual connection with that land in 1950."

And you know this how?

independent_rebel 7 years, 5 months ago

I'll tell you how I know it. My father in law helped farm that land back then, and I, as a child, lived in Indian Hills just to the northwest of the wetlands. Weused to sneak over from Broken Arrow Park and play hide and seek with my friends in what is now the wetlands.

Funny, not one Native American was ever seen in those fields back then from anyone I've ever talked to about this issue. Not one tree-hugger, either. Nothing until Agnes-T-Frog came along.

My Native American friends never mentioned anything about the importance of anything near the wetlands with the exception of the grounds where they would hold pow-wows, directly east of Broken Arrow School but far north of 31st Street.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

"Weused to sneak over from Broken Arrow Park and play hide and seek with my friends in what is now the wetlands."

You mean the park that also used to be part of the wetlands, and also used to be part of the Haskell campus, but was given away to facilitate the needs of white developers?

As for the rest of your post. I couldn't care less about how you want to portray what Haskell, or Native Americans, feel about the wetlands. They are capable of speaking for themselves, and what they say is in direct contradiction to your self-serving version.

50YearResident 7 years, 5 months ago

And the TeePee was built after the SLT was Aapproved to be built. The TeePee was a deversion by Haskel Students to help kill the SLT.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

That's a wholly worthless link. There is no controversy over whether these wetlands have at times been drained in mostly futile attempts to farm them. And there is also no controversy over the fact that this parcel of land is part of a 17,000 acre network of wetlands all along the Wakarusa Valley. (unless you call ignorant posters making ignorant claims to the contrary a "controversy.")

But it's absolutely absurd for Solomon to nominate himself as a spokesmen for Haskell, and proceed to contradict what they themselves say about how they perceive this parcel of land.

KayCee 7 years, 5 months ago

Because some of us are old enough to have been here. I remember the first time comming through there on my way to the Douglas County Fair and wondering '"where did all the 'swamp' come from?"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

All that really says is that you aren't old enough to have seen the various states this property has been put through over the last century or so, and that you're too lazy to inform yourself of anything but your narrow subjective experience.

KayCee 7 years, 5 months ago

You said the link above was worthless, and yet it showed 'various states the propeerty had been through'. Can't have it both ways sonny. I'm probably more informed that most of the 'kids' that post on LJW.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

What's your point? Yes, these wetlands have at times been drained in the past century, as I acknowledged. But they were wetlands for thousands of years before they were failed farmland for a few decades, and now they are wetlands again.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 5 months ago

There was also a vote in the City Commission when Jo Anderson was mayor (1994-1995). She was the tie-breaking vote and voted her conscience, against the SLT. I've always applauded her for having the courage to do that even though it cost her in the next election - the developers voted her out.

ksriver2010 7 years, 5 months ago

Interesting - The letter to the editor is from the pres of the Save the Wetlands, but nowhere does it say that in the letter. Why? Because to point that out would invalidate most of the statements he makes as being biased I have lived in Lawrence for about six months. I am relatively new to the conversation. Some of the people commenting on here don't even live in Lawrence. But no matter. This bypass should have been moved except both sides have dug into their positions - some of the Save the Wetlands crew have been using it as an ideological badge of honor, that to be in Lawrence and be part of the left-leaning culture, you have to agree with their position. Otherwise, as Mike Caron says above (and he is not the only one saying this), you are a Glenn Beck-FoxNews-loving bigot. The city, on the other hand, has scoped out and planned the property values of where the bypass will go, and have promised choice plots to developers (as seen by the school plans recently). My point of view is that I don't like having to drive down Iowa and then 23rd street when I could be taking a bypass. I don't care where the bypass is, just get it done already. If it will be bogged down for another three years why not just move it? Move the wetlands or move the bypass. Why is this a big deal? But don't preach to me that I am not a legit Larryville resident if I don't lay down in front of a bulldozer.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

"My point of view is that I don't like having to drive down Iowa and then 23rd street when I could be taking a bypass."

In other words, your only real concern is satisfying your own self-interest, even if it comes at Haskell's expense.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

I neither worship government, nor view it as the root of all evil, as you do.

Government is a tool. As with all tools, it can be misused, and this is a prime example of that.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

Aside from being apples and oranges, it's not different at all.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

Your concern for the poor, abused wealthy is quite touching. I really feel sorry for the long soup lines they have to endure just to get something to eat because of the "abuses of the majority."

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 5 months ago

I think Haskell will be well compensated $$$ wise.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

Haskell has already refused a bribe. They want their property, not a highway through what they consider sacred ground.

ksriver2010 7 years, 5 months ago

Everyone has their own point of view and is pursuing their self interest. The city, the Indians, the protesters, and Mike Caron. The Save the Wetlands group says it is a "moral issue" and on their website use stories of little Cherokee children being slaughtered as propaganda. Come on... My point is "why is this a big deal?" If it is such a big deal and indeed a moral issue, then move it south and be done with it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

" If it is such a big deal and indeed a moral issue, then move it south and be done with it."

I concur.

ksriver2010 7 years, 5 months ago

Ah, but there is where the logic falls apart. All parties involved do not see it as a "moral" issue. And a "moral" issue has to have a shared frame of reference, like a scripture or an organized religion. There is no shared reference in this situation. Other than the borderline religiosity of environmentalism. In addition, they say that it is historic Haskell land. So is most of SE Lawrence. If this was a field that a Lowe's or a school was to be built upon (no wetlands) most environmentalists would not be on board, and would certainly not be on the side of the Native Americans.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Why do you think that about "environmentalists"?

Most environmentally concerned people I know are generally concerned about sprawl, building new and large developments, etc. regardless of whether they're built on Native American land.

If it was a nice field that Lowe's wanted to build on, many would be opposed to that as well.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

That's not true at all. The bus system won in a landslide. Not to mention the library bond issue.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

And the county was taken to court over the misleading wording of that ballot measure. Eventually, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that even though the wording was quite misleading, the county was within its rights to produce a misleading ballot measure.

A stupid ruling, to be sure, but the fact remains that the outcome was highly flawed, and certainly doesn't indicate any landslide in favor of this particular route, or any route at all.

independent_rebel 7 years, 5 months ago

Or, in your close-minded opinion, if a left-wing idea wins the vote everything is groovy. If not, well, the outcome is flawed, and the wording misleading or biased. You know what? Sometimes you libbies lose. The problem is you can't accept it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

And that's really what this all boils down to. For folks like you, It really doesn't matter if paving over the Haskell Wetlands is wrong (and it is.) What matters to you is that you win, or more importantly, that Injunz and "hippies" lose.

Peacemaker452 7 years, 5 months ago

Let me fix that for you:

“And that’s really what this boils down to. If you don’t agree with my opinion on a controversial topic, no matter what your reasons for disagreeing, you must be a racist and a bigot.”

But wait, doesn't that, by definition, make you a bigot?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 5 months ago

" no matter what your reasons for disagreeing,"

Interesting that you don't list your reasons for disagreeing.

Peacemaker452 7 years, 5 months ago

Bozo, I thought it was obvious that I was commenting on your habit of vilifying others who do not share your beliefs, not about my feelings on the SLT. I don’t live in Lawrence and the SLT will not change my commute at all so I really don’t have an opinion. In general, especially after living around the Indian Reservations in Southern California, I don’t put much stock in the “sacred connection” a lot of tribes talk about. BUT, I have not interacted with local Indians so I don’t pretend to speak for them or about them on any issue.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow, that was 20 years ago. That $4 million in bonds would be something like $16 million in today's dollars. Please excuse me if my estimate is a little low.

LadyJ 7 years, 5 months ago

Snicker, snicker :) I know it is an old nickname but visions of ladies underwear flying out of windows popped into my head.

gbulldog 7 years, 5 months ago

I am bored with the horse pucky arguments over the K10 bypass going through the wetlands. The bypass through the wetlands is holding up this important project. Why not reroute K10 south of Lawrence, thus making it easier to connect the new rail distribution center and Baldwin City to Topeka. A better idea may be to improve 56 and make it 4 lanes from Olatha to 75. Think of the economic possibilites for the area between Olatha and US 75. Plus no turnpike tolls to pay. This would significantly reduce traffic in Lawrence, and allow the citizens of Lawrence to commune with nature in peace and liberlism.

middleagedinthemidwest 7 years, 5 months ago

It'll never happen, gbulldog, because it makes too much sense, and would benefit everyone.

deec 7 years, 5 months ago

I drove as both a pizza delivery person and a cab driver in Lawrence. I only drove on 23rd if I was going to a destination on 23rd. There are dozens of routes across Lawrence. To go to the KC metro, for example, you can get on I-70 at the far west or Iowa exits and go south on the Eudora, K7, 435 or 635 exits. Problem solved. Can I have my $188 million now?

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Understanding this issue in context means looking at the history of the way that we treated the native population when we first came here, and for many years afterwards.

We won the war, it is true, but it also true that when something begins in violence, the effects of that continue over time in a variety of ways.

Making fun of native Americans for their beliefs, or minimizing them, fits neatly into the history of mistreatment. Also, comments about alcohol use are particularly absurd, since if we hadn't conquered and abused that population, it's unlikely alcohol use would be an issue.

middleagedinthemidwest 7 years, 5 months ago

Drunken Indians is a stupid stereotype anyway. I am Native American, and have 3 to 4 beers a year, so we are not all drunks. Check the statistics and see how many drunk driving incidents in Lawrence are caused by Indians. It will be pretty low. I have been in 2 car accidents in Lawrence, and it has been a wealthy, white KU student that has hit me both times.

50YearResident 7 years, 5 months ago

This morning, 1/5/11, I traveled the western portion of the SLT, the part that has been compleated for a number of years, and the time was approximately 10:00 AM. I saw a group of wild turkeys walking in a grain field and about 50 geese overhead looking to land in the marshy area on the north side. I was behind a large truck while driving in my passenger car and neither group of wildlife were disturbed by the traffic.

So,Mike, why do you think the Eastern leg is going to cause so much havic?

Clark Coan 7 years, 5 months ago

The State Highways Commission issued a 1971 map showing the bypass going south of the Wakarusa River. The traffic engineers considered this the best route then. So, why did they change their minds? Because of political pressure exerted by the developers, bankers and the Chambercrats who would reap a greater financial reward from a route closer in.

grimpeur 7 years, 5 months ago


The road belongs, and will always belong, south of the Wak. What has ever been the rationale for moving the planned road from SOR to 32nd? Ah, there is none.

That's why none has ever been given.

true_patriot 7 years, 5 months ago

Exactly. To build it at the proposed alignment is absurd at this point - it wouldn't be a by-pass at all. I'm sure in 10 years it'd be inside city limits. We need to lead the target and build the thing south of the river and make a real by-pass that'll be functional for decades, not just a few years.

cowboy 7 years, 5 months ago

Excellent post 50 year resident ! My point exactly . Hysterical arguments by the savers not based on any facts but screamed loudly.

ralphralph 7 years, 5 months ago

I reject, out of hand, the concept of "Native American concerns". Those who lived in this area previously didn't have exclusive claim to it any more than those who live here now ... and what claim they did have resulted from having taken the land from someone else, directly or indirectly, just as they claim it was taken from them (an example where that might be more clearly seen might is the Black Hills ... just how did the Sioux come to "own" those Hills before the "white man" took them? Ask some Cheyenne or Blackfeet or Crow).

The whole "Native American" thing is bogus and is over. We are all humans and we are all brothers and sisters. It matters not the color of our skin, the name of our god, or the direction from which we wandered into these parts. Let's not persist in throwing up barriers to our good relations as humans, especially not when those barriers are thrown up for the sake of political expediency or some self-aggrandizing sense of entitlement.

P.S. - I love you.

middleagedinthemidwest 7 years, 5 months ago

That's easy to say when you're not Native. Some years back the Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma was trying to start a casino out at the Woodlands. It would make sense and would have bailed out the Woodlands financially. The Sac & Fox Tribes, who already have a casino didn't want the competition and pressured the governor to deny it. Then, the tribe from Oklahoma, who is only in Oklahoma because the government laid claim to the land the tribe developed (now known as Kansas City, where did you think the name Wyandotte County came from?) and said here, you can have this dead, barren ground to live on. When the Wyandottes tried to lay claim to land by the airport, Sibelius told them to give up their claim forever and there would be land made available by the racetrack. So, they did, and guess what. That land was offered to the Sac & Fox! Her reasoning was because the Wyandottes weren't "Kansas" Indians. What a crock! Guess what! At one time, most of the land that is now downtown Lawrence was owned by a Wyandotte Indian.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow. This one is strongly held by some. I am going to tread where heroes shrink to go. For the record, I would benefit from the SLT if it is built in the next year or so. After that???

As I understand the opponents there are at least three significant issues.

  1. The wetlands
  2. Native American Interests
  3. Need

Now my understanding is that we are in the closing stages of a federally mandated process to address environmental impacts of a proposed government infrastructure program – the SLT. The initial EIS prepared by the state of Kansas was challenged in court and determined to be deficient with respect to the first two of the above. The state of Kansas amended the EIS to include mitigation of the loss of wetlands and a new alignment to in part address the Haskell matter. The amended EIS has been reviewed by a court of record and determined to be sufficient. That determination is being challenged.

To me it sounds as if the concerns expressed in this thread are being addressed. When the EIS process was established it was never intended to be a blank veto on infrastructure programs. It was intended to allow all concerned to express their issues and for those issues to be weighed by competent authority. That appears to be what is happening.

With respect to 3 above, I suggest that need is not confined to citizens of Lawrence and they in turn are not the sole arbiters. The SLT is part of a regional transportation initiative affecting Johnson, Shawnee and Douglas counties directly and adjacent counties peripherally. One could argue that even the southern environs of KC are involved. The state has determined the regional need. We in Lawrence can certainly challenge it but we are but one voice in a choir.

I am not sure yelling at each other is of much use. I do not see any evil here. I do see legitimate issues being worked by a process designed to do exactly that. May the court of appeals rule!

What am I missing?

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 5 months ago

His first sentence was great and then he blew it. Anyone who advocates for the SLT (a road deemed "racist" by some) is automatically a racist or - as bozo constantly reminds everyone - selfish. Even the LTE can't get through a letter without engaging in the same behavior about which he complains. I would venture to guess if one actually polled on the issue that support or opposition for the SLT is probably not the domain of any one political ideology. No doubt one could find plenty of support for the SLT among "liberals" and "conservatives."

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

Some of the comments made on the other thread were out and out racist. It doesn't make your position look good when racists are defending your position. My mother always said I would be judged by the people I hang out with. If you wish to hang out and and defend these creeps, then don't whine if people lump you into the same category. It was a well written letter until the writer lumped in the extreme conservatives. I'm not real sure if this is a conservative/liberal issue. Although more liberals are conservationists, than conservatives.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 5 months ago

There is a problem with that logic because one then judges each side of a debate by its least coherent members. There are some members of the left that want to obstruct the SLT with whom I sure many other SLT opponents do not want to be lumped.

Further, there are anti-SLT posters that hold that the road itself - or wanting to build it - is an inherently racist proposition. The logic is that if one wishes the SLT completed, one must be racist. This is - at best - unhelpful.

tomatogrower 7 years, 5 months ago

Why didn't they go south of the Wakarusa. They whined that they couldn't afford a bridge across the river. By now they could have built 20 bridges across the river. Why are they so adamant about building it through the wetlands? And why haven't they put a traffic light at Louisiana and 31st? So people will complain and want the bypass that they probably won't use anyway?

Mike Ford 7 years, 5 months ago

ralphralph, the area from Lawrence south was the domain of the Kaw and Osage Nations until 1825 when the Kaw treatied the area between Topeka and Jeff City MO and the Osage treatied the area south of here away for passage on the Santa Fe trail. The federal government used this area as a dumping ground for the Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Lenape, Shawnee, Odawa, Peoria, Miami, two bands of Sac and Fox, Iowa, Wyandotte, Seneca, Oneida, Stockbridge, Munsee, and Chippewa peoples. Boarding schools were always built near reservations. Prior to boarding schools, the government turned churches loose on unsuspecting tribes. The Catholics went to the Miami, Peoria, Potawatomi, and Kickapoo, the Methodists went to the Wyandotte, Shawnee, and Kaw people, the Baptists went to the Potawatomi, Odawa, and Lenape, and the Moravians or Bretherens went to the Munsee and Chippewa peoples. Nevermind the separation of church and state. The denominations were the pawns of the US government in destroying indigenous cultures and denigrating indigenous religions, a movement that takes place everytime the clowns come out on these postings.

Mike Ford 7 years, 5 months ago

furthermore, once the model of Indian boarding schools was put forth by Colonel Richard Pratt and Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania in 1879, other schools across this country proliferated. Haskell, Genoa, Flandreau, Pipestone, Toledo, Chilocco, Riverside, Chemawa, Intermountain, the lists goes on. Indian children were taken by force in the middle of the night by US Indian School agents and held at boarding schools to prevent their parents from teaching these kids their cultures. Tribal languages and cultures were banned by federal laws governing boarding schools in 1886, In the book, "They call it Prairie Light" about the Chilocco Indian School south of Ark City, KS, the students escaped to the far reaches of that campus to speak their languages and recite cultural practices. The same escape to preserve identity in the face of punishing christian school officials happened at Haskell in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The kids back then were shamed and punished for their cultures. It's not like when I count in Choctaw at my job now. The job of these schools as stated at Carlisie School was to kill the Indian and save the man. I'm glad to say they didn't kill the Indian in me. I'm not ashamed to be Choctaw. I announce it loudly. All of the posters who support this road never seem to get the history of what their country did to indigenous peoples as recently as the early 20th century here and as recently as the 1970's and 1980's in Canada. Lakota children at Episcopal boarding schools were emotionally and sexually tortured at church schools in the Dakotas. The wetlands are a sacred site 'because zealous christians bent on the eradication and americanization of Indian children drove the students to go there to worship traditionally

middleagedinthemidwest 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you, Tuschkahouma, for getting that point across. My grandfather and his brothers were forced into Haskell during that time, and ran away repeatedly so they could be themselves, Native American.

Mike Ford 7 years, 5 months ago

The wetlands are a burial area because this country subscribed to the racist concepts of eugenics and phrenology and thought indigenous people to be less than human, Underfunded schools where Indian children died by the hundreds of treatable diseases and malnourishment and homesickness. I regularly talk to an 87 year old Munsee/Brothertown elder who was taken as a 7 year old from her parents and shuttled from Genoa School in Nebraska to Wyandotte School in Oklahoma and finally to Haskell where she was dismissed in 1937 for going awol from campus. She didn't see her parents on a regular basis from 1930 to 1937. The government's plan was to isolate and eradicate our cultures. With that generation, the government kind of succeeded. In closing I've read about how there are random burials at the Genoa campus historical site in Genoa, Nebraska. If one can get away with dumping deceased students that were seen as savages by that generation, it happened here. In spite of being confronted by boundless ignorance as Mr. Caron and others have, I speak of a history I've learned from listening to elders somehting the EIS people never really bothered to do. I've read Education for Extinction, Boarding School Seasons, They Call it Prairie Light, and many other sources dealing with the harshness of early 20th century Indian boarding schools. If any of the denialists ever went to the Lawrence Public Library, Half Price Books, or the Ku Union Bookstore and read an of these books, I'd hope the ignorance would pass...but then again, ignorance is bliss for some people. For those of you who will call these posts cut and pasting, I wrote them verbatim from thought. It's called studying researching and learning.

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 5 months ago

My father was a post WWII Czech refugee and a poli sci professor. In the 60s, he taught in Aberdeen,SD. After a lecture about the treatment of Native Americans by the US Gov, he was not only escorted from the campus, but from the town, by the National Guard.

Nearly thirty years later, my Dad received a call from the college telling them that his case had been reviewed and it was determined that he had been ill-treated. They gave him pay for the rest of his contract (with inflation) and wanted to name the library they were building after him, with "freedom" after his name.

He declined.

To tell the story of our nation has been and will continue to be considered radical. It may be difficult to accept that America was built on the graves and the backs of people who played no part in the myth of America the Free, the Land of Opportunity.

We must never forget this nor allow our children to do so.

grimpeur 7 years, 5 months ago

Noun: "Say, adjective, what happened to the cookies I left over by the direct object?"

Adjective: "Verbatim."

allamerican4ever 7 years, 5 months ago

ok fo the tree huggers those swamp lands arent natural. so my question is who put the frogs there? wasnt indians wasnt city hall right now theyre not where they belong. when the ole boy was farming the land before it got flodded by dams he wasnt raising frogs. if the bypass never goes on we paid for a bridge over 59 hiway for nothing. so if all tree huggers put a pond in the back yard and take 10 frogs they have new homes again. how much more money you people gonna milk from the tax payer for a frog you cant even eat.

BigPrune 7 years, 5 months ago

I remember when the first leg of the SLT was constructed and the Earth Nazis destroyed a bulldozer by dumping sugar in its fuel tank. Then the construction company had to hire armed guards to protect the road grading equipment.

Carol Bowen 7 years, 5 months ago

Take note that this LTE is about civility. But since almost everyone else has digressed, let me say that whatever conditions happened in 1985 and whatever actions transpired since then are no longer relevant. We should be looking at our transportation needs now and in the future. The past is gone. It's a shame that the SLT has become such a bitter topic.So, instead of planning for the future, I agree with MODERATE George, just let the process take its course. Let the bitterness and vindictiveness go.

I partially disagree with MODERATE George on #3 - Need. if I were a long distance driver, I would not want to bother with local traffic. The farther out the bypass, the better. If we build through the wetlands, where would Lawrence allow quick shops, restaurants and hotels and all the other stops a traveler would need? If the bypass is built farther south, development could grow around it.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago


I am not defending the chosen alignment only trying to expand horizons about who is a party to this issue.

That said, I suspect development along this thing on the near alignment would probably be little effected by it. Infrastructure is already here at hand to the proposed alignment and the road would not really increase access except on the eastern end where the city already planned to have development.

The far alignment might have just the reverse consequences as it opens a relative pristine area to new homes and businesses that would, benefit from the road enabling quick assess to parts of Lawrence.

Mike Ford 7 years, 5 months ago

grimpeur, nothing learned huh? quips leave a lot of empty space don't they?

Danimal 7 years, 5 months ago

I've always thought the SLT needs to be built. The 31st or 32nd street alignments just make sense. Especially now that the expansion of US 59 is almost done it would be nice to have a four lane limited access way to get around Lawrence. I never cease to be chagrined by how a few self-righteous folks can crow about saving the wetlands, while the wetlands are being more than doubled in size as a part of the SLT project.

Don't get me wrong, I've hugged a few trees and I love nature. However, the environmental impact over the last few decades of not having the SLT has been far greater than simply building it and impacting a couple dozen acres of wetland ever would've been. Cars and trucks cruising by on the highway would've produced much lower emissions and consumed much less fuel than they have been (and will continue to) grinding it out in start-and-stop traffic on 23rd.

JackMcKee 7 years, 5 months ago

This editorial makes about as much sense as the increasingly long list of losing court cases the anti-SLT people have filed. Mike you've fought a good fight, but it's over. The road needs to be built and it's going to be built. Save some dignity and give up.

Mike Ford 7 years, 5 months ago

McKEE, realize the history you ignored above and stop looking for the strawman to call a wacko environmentalist and admit th history that you and many other people have denied. Also, read Ross V. Federal Higway Administration, oh that's right we won, and the Rosses are plaintiffs again. This time Indians all over this country won't have their voices denied by some rigged EIS study that I witnessed a decade ago.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

Ok, Once more into this morass. There is a lot of talk about the perceived truly horrid way this country treated our pre European population. It may not be quite as bad as advertised but it is certainly not something of which to be proud.

Why does that have anything to do with the SLT? Just about every place in our country has some historic aspect related to some and or all of us. Despite a book and strongly held arguments, I see no special historic interest to our first nation’s population along the planned SLT alignment. Many places have far greater.

Does the actions of my great grandfather (who was in Germany) justify providing our first nations population special rights in considering planned activity by the rest of the society? Should the establishment of any such consideration be limited to those espousing it as seemingly argued here? Sorry – I do not buy it.

I guess that makes me racist. So be it. I would caution, however, in a society ruled by the majority (most of the time) it may not be a good idea to portray increasing numbers of the majority as “racist” – might just backfire.

Personally, I will fall back on the courts to rule on whether the normal decision process has adequately considered the arguments offered.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

The reason our conquering and decimation of the Native population is related to this issue is that Native Americans are saying that land is important to them. Thus the whole thing has historical resonance, since one of the things European settlers did was to take a lot of land away from them, often breaking promises that had been made.

Your paragraph about Germany is incomprehensible - what are you trying to say? If Germany was creating a separate space for Jewish people to live, don't you think there would be a justifiable amount of fear and upset among the Jewish population, given the history there?

Mike Ford 7 years, 5 months ago

george lippincott's comments along with many others proves that this country's educational system is 100% successful in white-washing local, regional, and national atrocities in this country. I went to college to be a teacher many years ago. Had I been censored the way my late mother was as a teacher, my head would've exploded. To the point, starting 126 years ago, Indian children from many indigenous nations were brought by force to numerous US Government and Protestant-ran boarding schools to drill and beat the Indian out of these kids by any means possible. A lot of kids wound up in cemeteries like the expansive one at Carlisle Indian School in PA and the small one here at Haskell. Even more kids disappeared because of diseases, mistreatment, and malnourishment. The kids went to the wetlands where the unhinged christians couldn't reach them to worship their own religous beliefs. This fact makes the wetlands a sacred place to indigenous people....end of story. Kids were maltreated, died, and their bodies were dumped in the wetlands...end of story. This makes the wetlands a burial area for those kids who were seen as less than human and deserving of a proper burial. end of story. I work with an 87 year old Munsee/Brothertown woman whose ancestors were beaten to death at the Gnadenhutten Moravian Mission in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, by a settler miltia after these people converted to Christianity and took European surnames in 1782. she is a direct descendant of a person murdered there. Even after the fact, President Theodore Roosevelt called this act a travesty. There are hundreds of acts like this in the 234 year history of this country. My Choctaw ancestors aren't enrolled but at least they didn't walk across a frozen Mississippi River into Arkansas in 1832 to Indian Territory by force. We know atrocity. This land was settled by lands cleared after atrocities committed many times in the name of God starting with the burning of the Pequot people in the Mystic Connecticut swamp in 1637 done by settlers in the name of God. The road being proposed along 32nd street will be another atrocity, but in a land of historically dumb people, who cares...right??? whatever we learned in school was right..right???

Peacemaker452 7 years, 5 months ago

On a side note:

It seems a little strange that many of the same people who support your position on this issue also support the revisionist history that is taught in our fine government schools these days.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

The point JAFS is that most of us alive today are not party to what happened. Most of my ancestors were not even here. Demanding we accept guilt is - well - ridiculous. What that means is that I owe no special considerations to anybody for past actions by at best distant relatives.

I am really tired of collective guilt levied by some limited number of people whether directed at the many immigrant descendents or the people of Kansas. It is just stupid to call the vast majority names. If you want any agreement from me, you must demonstrate that I had some part in what happened not simply that I might have benefited from actions by others to which I was not a part. You learned the wrong lessons from the 60s!

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm not talking about guilt.

I had no direct involvement in slavery, the abuse and destruction of the native population, etc. either, and feel no personal guilt over it.

I do, on the other hand, feel a certain shame as an American about our history, and wouldn't want to continue various forms of abuse.

Thus, to me, it might make sense to be more sensitive to native American concerns and not simply dismiss them or ridicule them as many on here like to do.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

UNDERSTAND AND AGREE. Sensitive yes. Roll over - no! Just because I do not accept a veto on the road from TUCH does not mean I am insensitive.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

tuschkahouma (anonymous) says…

Ok. I neeed to be educated

I would submit that you have a very narrow view of our history. You also have a very self interested intrepretation of that view. I do not share it. From my standpoint it is you who needs to put things in perspective. I am not defending the many things doen to first nations people that were in retrospect evil but I am not willing to accept guilt for them nor make amends for what I did not do! Collective guilt has long been a no no in our society. Are we to start on that path now?

independent_rebel 7 years, 5 months ago

Strange how so many "progressives" pick and choose what they are progressive about.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

So you simply say "It wasn't me"?

And the folks who were abused and mistreated get nothing to make up for that treatment?

Where's the fairness there?

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 5 months ago

Serious question: at what point does blame stop? What is the statute of limitations? If there is blame, how does one rectify it? Past experience would suggest that blame is typically monetized in one way or another. If this is the case with Native Americans, how would one go about sorting out the monetization of blame and - one presumes - the finalization of blame? What would happen after that? It seems like it wouldn't be as easy as cutting a check to each person with Native American heritage if one tried to do a reasonable job of quantifying the problem.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

I don't know.

Rectifying it might mean monetary damages, or it might mean correcting the problems in a variety of ways. For example, it might mean offering help to the black community in rebuilding and strengthening itself, and making sure that vestigial racism is not institutionalized any more.

It's hard to quantify the destruction of a culture, or the imposition of slavery, but if we wanted to, I suppose we could come up with some sort of numbers.

After that, who knows what would happen? As I said, money alone won't rebuild the culture that has been destroyed, and the generational effects of that.

And, I don't blame myself, or you, or George - it's just that if we just say "It wasn't me", and the people who were guilty are dead, what about those who were hurt?

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

Not from me. Why should I pay for something I did not do??? The government and the people who committed all of the "evil" activity are now legacy to all of us to include the people to whom it was done. You have guilt - you pay. Not Me!!!

Our selective reading of history that retrospectively places all the blame on the "whites" is highly suspect. There is a simple point here. When you meet a superior force - don't provoke it whether that be the people of Kansas or the US Government.

You know I can tell you stories of the Irish, the Italians, the Catholics and so on who were abused by the system. If we are going to set right all the past wrongs we will in the end pay all to all. Why bother. Just try to do better in the future - like get along with people you do not agree with!!! Like maybe the rest of Kansas

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

It's not about guilt, certainly not personal guilt, for me.

And, we are all living with the effects of the past in a variety of ways now, and paying for it as well. For example, if you look at the black community, an overwhelming percentage of those incarcerated are black. Don't you think we're paying for that in court costs, guards, food, etc.?

Whether you think they're there because black people are committing more crime (very possibly due to generational effects of slavery and discrimination), or because our society is still discriminatory in some of it's laws and enforcement, either way it's connected to the past.

It's interesting to me that those who want to forget the past and just move one are usually in the group that has profited, or at the very least, not been hurt.

I take it from your posts that you are a white male in America.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

Guilty JAFS. I gather that your comment suggest that you see me as different?? Sounds pejorative. You have some problem with about half the population of the US??

Nice mix but very confusing.

Some wrongs are in our own time and space and we should address them. Of course, some wrongs are not accepted by all and the process of one group assigning guilt to another goes only so far when it is the majority to whom guilt is assigned. Burden is on you.

There is no such thing as collective guilt. Somebody did it and somebody should pay for it. After they die - well in our system it is over. There are some remedies in court but retrospectively addressing US government policy from 200 years ago might just not get much support. We have enough real problems now.

I remind you that in all of these cases the record is not as clean as you imply. WE spent 600,000 lives, 2 plus million injuries and untold treasure righting the wrong of slavery. Perhaps the society has paid for that challenge?

With our dear friends the Indians, the record is quite mixed. Money changed hands. Treaties were signed, amended, broken, resigned and what have you. I remind you that as long as we have "sovereign" Indian nations the well established and internationally accepted "right of conquest" applies - or perhaps we should give Kansas back to the Spanish/French/Mexicans/whoever.

I am just not buying in to this ill-informed retro history guilt trip. Ever!!!

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Again, it's not about guilt for me.

And I am also a white male in America - does that surprise you? Does the fact that I think it's important to remember our history, and make up for our mistakes, suggest to you that I am otherwise?

In your framework, perhaps the lives lost in the Civil War "pay" for the offense of slavery (how many of the 600,000 you mention were from the South?) - in mine, the question is whether the wrongs done to black people have been righted or not.

It's not about guilt and punishment for me - it's about repairing the damage that was done.

If you want to believe that "the right of conquest" makes everything ok, that's your right. I don't agree.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

JAFS et al. It really does not matter one wit whether anybody has been paid for whatever wrong the system inflicted upon him or her. It matter only that there is no one alive that did the inflicting. If you are not into collective guilt retroactively determined than just who do you think should pay - the innocent current citizens that had nothing to do with it??

And yes, I think the cost of the civil war cannot be discounted in the equation of your "guilt” trip. Yes, the numbers include the losses to the CSA. The war decided they were never anything else but Americans. I also remind you that few of the vast number of enlisted "rebs" had anything to do with slavery - they were drafted into an army by an alleged nation that was run by those benefiting from the "special institution".

Selective history to justify a position is basically despicable.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

I'll stop trying to explain my point.

You're stuck on not wanting to feel guilty.

If you want to try to think about it another way, just consider my question - have the wrongs that were done been made right?

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes JAFS, I do not understand when in fact I reject your argument that anybody alive owes anything to anybody for evils done 100--200 years ago.

How about you explain why they do??

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

Do you really think you can hear what I'm saying at all?

I'll try one more time, I guess.

Your whole framework is different from mine - yours focuses on guilt and punishment, which I've said numerous times are not what I'm interested in.

I'm interested in the fact that our country was founded in ways that harmed people, and the effects of that history have continued in a variety of ways up until now.

As a person who was lucky enough to be born white and male, I'm aware that this is nothing I've earned, and that our society is still not treating people equally.

As a compassionate person, I feel for the groups that were harmed, and as an American, I feel shame for those parts of our history.

I feel no personal guilt, or historical guilt for that matter, since my ancestors didn't do any of that stuff either.

The best thing, of course, would have been to act differently in the past and not create so much damage. Since we can't go back, why not focus some energy and resources on making things better for those that were harmed, especially since we're already paying for that anyway (see my previous posts about prisons, etc.)?

It is also entirely possible that you and I would not enjoy the preferred status and relatively easy lives we have without the original mistreatments - I just read that much of the labor used to build the White House was slave labor.

Interestingly, the younger generation of Germans (I take it you have some German ancestry) feels similarly to me regarding the Holocaust, although they bear no personal guilt.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago


Blame ends with those who committed the act or who weer party to it at the time.. Or maybe we should hang the Italians for the actions of the Romans

Mike Ford 7 years, 5 months ago

you live here in Lawrence because of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, that forced the Shawnee people to cede away 1.6 million of the 1.8 million acres that was their reservation from 1831 to 1867. The last 200,000 acres became Johnson County, Kansas, as the majority of the Loyal Shawnee people were moved to the area between Vinita and White Oak, Oklahoma, and they didn't have separate recognition from the Cherokee Nation of Okahoma from 1867 to 2000. You live here because the Shawnees were forced to cede the land away. Out of this 1.8 million acres of Shawnee land, only 110 acres of Shawnee reservation land exist as rez land east of De Soto, KS, where Jimmy Oyler has his Shawnee smoke shop. I hope you don't feel bad about being a beneficiary of stolen land. If it wasn't stolen you couldn't live here. It would still be Indian Country as it was from the 1830's to 1870's. Collective guilt and compensation can be part of a post Nazi Germany as my father witnessed at a Detriech Bonhoeffer theology seminar in Berlin in 2000 when Germans apologized to the other attendees at this conference for the atrocities of World War II Nazism, but it will probably never be part of a young historically uneducated and proudly denialistic country like the US. You have a hypocrite like Brownback backing an apology to Native Americans while clowns like Tom Coburn and other anti-Indian Republicans keep doing the anti-Indian state's rights stuff they've always done. In this country, the right hand never cares what the body it's attached to does. Keep believing in the denial, patriotism blinds people anyway...right????

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

And so what! The various immigrant populations in this country are here because similar things were done to them. First nations populations were no more singled out than any other group that fought the rest of us. Cooperate and graduate.

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

So if the majority wanted to take your land, and restrict your rights, you would just "cooperate"?

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

And I am here because I was born here and paid for the property I live on. If somebody stole it from somebody else go punish them. Trying to retrospectively attach ownership rights to hunter gather civilizations seems a stretch. Anybody got any paper to back up these claims - oh, they did not use any system to establish ownership of any specific thing. So I guess we go on your word that I owe soemthing to somebody because 200 years ago the US Government moved tribes form east of the Mississippi to here. Not hardly!

jafs 7 years, 5 months ago

That's a rather narrow lens you're using, it seems to me.

What about the fact that the government is still lying to native Americans, promising them land and then not delivering it, according to a poster?

The fact that our country was founded in violence and abuse has lingering historical effects, just as that is true of Israel.

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

Then punish those doing the current evil. Follow the good old American way - sue!

PowayBoyAtThePhog 7 years, 5 months ago

Haha I find it rather funny that people are complaining of "congestion" in Lawrence. I guess being born and raised in SoCal just gives me a different perspective. Oh yeah, and down with the man or whatever.........

whatadrag 7 years, 5 months ago

Moderate, some people can not be swayed with logic or reason. It sucks huh

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

Yep. I like punishment. Once upon a time, I taught geometry in high school. If we think about it, geometry is a study in logic. One uses logical steps to prove theorems. IMHO, it is the last course we offer to the average member of our population that makes an effort to instill a sense of logical thought. I guess it is not surprising that we do not always succeed.

There is no question that our society has committed many wrongs. My protagonists focus on that. They are having trouble, I think, in recognizing that I accept that but do not accept their next logical step that because there have been injustices in the past those of us who are not a party to them should pay. Kind of hard because it means injustice escapes consequences. Of course, in the real world, it does all the time.

Mike Ford 7 years, 5 months ago

referring to people as hunter gatherers doesn't sound racist at all. As recently as a decade ago, the Shawnee tribe of Oklahoma filed a claim on the former Sunflower Ammo Plant area. They had a legal right to do so as mentioned in the Federal Surplus Lands Act of 1949. This was the area where Shawnee chiefs Blackbob and Longtail led their people to as border ruffians harrassed the Shawnee Indians before and during the US Civil War. The Ho-Chunk or Winnebago Nation of Wisconsin , was allowed to claim former military land there but the Shawnees weren't allowed to do so here. The majority of the Loyal Shawnee people left this area in the 1860's. Jimmie Oyler and about 350 or so other Shawnees live in this area on land this is still considered reservation land by the US government from 1825, 1831, 1854, and 1867 treaties with the US Government. A US Supreme Court Case, BlueJacket V Johnson County Tax Commissioners from 1867, became known as the Kansas Indians Case of 1872 and established USC title 18 Section 1151, parts a, b, and c, or the legal prescription of what a reservation is. You try to distance yourself by saying this was a long time ago, It wasn't. You don't want to own your history, but we remember. How dare us remember? Kind of like the Pitts article on the Holocaust...how dare we remember.....

George Lippencott 7 years, 5 months ago

And of course you are the sole determiner of what is racist???

Clearly, you know the hsitory of what has been done to our first nations people - at least the population hereabouts. Is there only one side to this matter?

1872 is a long time ago and I was not here. How dare you try to stick me with something that happened 150 years ago. Remembering history (all of it) is a good thing. Using your version of it as a weapon against innocent people is not nice.

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