Letters to the Editor

Slash and Burn

June 4, 2011


To the editor:

Our meretricious Gov. Brownback has taken the Republican “weed-whacker” approach in his “slash and burn” technique to get attention and eliminate programs using his line-item veto, including $689,000 funding for the Kansas Arts Commission.

Brownback claims he is just trying to balance the budget without raising taxes. (Hello, tea party!) Perhaps Brownback’s new job description is: “It’s all about me now, baby, for one day, I shall run for president of the United States!”

On the dome of the state Capitol, dwells a statue of a 22-foot almost naked guy, “Ad Astra,” shooting an arrow at the sky. He weighs over two tons and is much too heavy for the dome. Someone suggested a fiberglass copy as a solution … but, oh no … too practical! Ten years later, he is still up there, and the dome is still surrounded by scaffolding and cranes. Today, the finished work is estimated to be $340 million (originally projected at $90 million) with no firm completion date. Brownback wants to save money in the arts? Well, bringing down Ad Astra might be a start, or is it too hard to see the forest for the trees of construction?

Kansas has a $493 million shortfall. Take away this $340 million tribute to our illustrious, progressive Kansas government in Topeka and we would probably not have a governor whacking and attacking the arts and social programs of Kansas. It’s akin to what Quantrill did to Lawrence back in 1863: “Slash and burn, baby!”


Mike1949 6 years, 11 months ago

Welcome to the Republican destruction of the United States, ONE STATE AT A TIME!

Don't believe me, turn of what Fox calls a news program (in reality a propaganda program) and just read the majority of the papers every day!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 11 months ago

Brownback takes his orders from people like Koch money,Wal-Mart money,Kansas Chamber of NOT Commerce money. All three are essentially PAC sources for neoconservative christian fundamentalist thinkers.

Koch money stinks but so does Walton/Wal-Mart family money and the Kansas Chamber money is stinky too.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 11 months ago

Speaking of "meretricious," is the letter writer implying that the cost of the statue is $340 million? That number is, of course, the projected cost of the entire renovation, which was begun years before Governor Brownback began serving his current term.

It seems to me that the operative word for this letter isn't "meretricious," but "mendacious."

Flap Doodle 6 years, 11 months ago

"...neoconservative christian fundamentalist..." sighting! It's the phrase that pays.

Corey Williams 6 years, 11 months ago

Neocons are fine, even cons. It's when they bring god into the picture that all rational debate is rendered meaningless.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

many feel the downfall of this nation began in the middle 1960s, and oddly after a president challenged citizens to do more for our country.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 11 months ago

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." -Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence

Jimo 6 years, 11 months ago

What's the need you have to post a fake quotation?

"I am a most happy man. For I have shoveled trillions of the middle classes wealth into the maw of my billionaire friends."--George W. Bush, after signing into law his nation-bankrupting tax cuts.

See: anyone can do it.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 11 months ago

I did not realize the quote was in error...

Two separate portions of the quote appear in The New Freedom: A Call for the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People," published in 1913. "The New Freedom" is a distillation of campaign speeches Wilson made while running for President in 1911.

On page 185 there is the following section:

A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men who, even if their action be honest and intended for the public interest, are necessarily concentrated upon the great undertakings in which their own money is involved and who necessarily, by very reason of their own limitations, chill and check and destroy genuine economic freedom.

And on page 201:

We are at the parting of the ways. We have, not one or two or three, but many, established and formidable monopolies in the United States. We have, not one or two, but many, fields of endeavor into which it is difficult, if not impossible, for the independent man to enter. We have restricted credit, we have restricted opportunity, we have controlled development, and we have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world -- no longer a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 11 months ago

The quote may not be accurate, but, you see, it is not a complete fabrication as your GeeDub quote is...

Ralph Reed 6 years, 11 months ago

@Larry. I agree with Jimo. References I've found indicate the quote was cobbled together from quotes found in Wilson's book "The New Freedom", which itself is cobbled together from speeches Wilson made in 1911, before the Federal Reserve was established.

@Jimo. I know I've seen your GW quote before. Are you sure it's fake?

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 11 months ago

I apologize for posting the misleading pseudo-quote. I did not realize that was the case. Generally, I try to participate in these discussions using fact coupled with crazy.

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

That's a pretty superficial analysis and conclusion.

Too bad.

I guess making "liberals" upset is the foundation of your political views.

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

Your increasingly vitriolic partisan views are misguided, in my view.

Both sides have, and will continue, to use events for political gain, and to spin things in order to make them look good and the other "side" bad.

I don't need you to have any "empathy" for the liberal view, but I would have hoped that you'd base your own on something more than simple opposition based on a slanted view that "liberals are bad, conservatives are good".

It appears that I will be disappointed.

beatrice 6 years, 11 months ago

Interesting view BAA. What most Americans found reprehensible about the act of gunning down of Congress woman Giffords was the fact that Congress woman Giffords had been gunned down.

Keep believing you are in a battle between right and wrong, left and right, blue and red, ... whatever against whatever. You are so blinded by what politicians are telling you to be upset about that you couldn't even recognize that it was a good thing that Osama bin Laden had been killed! To you, it was bad because President Obama was the one who gave the order.

You are far from a traditional American. Most Americans don't hate other Americans the way you obviously do. I think it it time you try being born American yet again, because this time around you don't seem to really have caught on to what it means to even be American.

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

Thank you.

And, please flag any comments that you think should be removed - it helps keep the atmosphere better on here.

It's better than "responding in kind".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

"I once defended my country with an M-16 in the steamy rice paddies and jungles of a far off foreign country and was spat upon for doing so."

First of all, you weren't defending this country. There was no threat to this country of any sort, regardless of what you believed at the time. If you still choose to delude yourself, please learn to keep it to yourself.

Also, it's been shown that the "spitting on returning soldiers" is an urban legend. Few if any instances of it have been documented and verified. Are you saying someone actually spit on you? If so, when and where?

jafs 6 years, 11 months ago

Come on, that's a bit much.

He believed he was defending this country, even if you (and I) think that wasn't really the case in Vietnam.

And, whether or not he was actually spit on, returning vets from Vietnam were treated rather badly by those who opposed the war.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Some of us do hope the best for our nation. I really came close to voting for Obama due to the refreshing nature of his campaigning. Change, yes once in a while is a good thing.

Of course what changed was a financial correction in the world economy. The U.S. reminds me of the Soviet in the 70s-80s now. No matter what way USSR leadership tried, it was apparent they could not keep up financially. After a time the Soviet began cutting essential programs. Rather than face another bloody revolution the USSR simply gave up, communism failed.

After decade after decade of increasing economies we now have hit what many never thought we could. We hit our financial limits. Unlike the Soviet I do think we can make it. Only if we cut waste, become more prudent spending tax dollars, and come to universal agreement we are in serious trouble.

I think it's bizarre for instance we are giving China billions in financial aid. Billions. Just think if instead of just one billion in financial aid to France for example was simply gifted to Kansas. If so, much of what we all argue about would become moot. The savings here at home just from waste is incredible.

Do we need to study the sex habits of wild pigs? Do we need a Lawrence Welk museum? Do we need 3/4 billion dollar jet tankers? Do we need to be the police of the world? Do we need a new fleet of Coast Guard fast cruisers?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

"I think it's bizarre for instance we are giving China billions in financial aid. Billions."

Aid? Is that what you call interest we pay on the IOU's they buy from us? Or the manufactured goods we used to make that we now buy from them? (This is what we really got from deregulation and tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires over the last 30 years.)

Scott Morgan 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes I agree Bozo, but we still give away real money in foreign aid to China.

beatrice 6 years, 11 months ago

"dumbacrap states" --

Gee, that was intelligent -- and it shines such a positive light on conservativism.

However, aren't the "dumbacrap states" the same states that give more in federal taxes than they receive so many "red" states like Kansas can receive more from the feds than they pay in? Maybe you shouldn't be so quick to bite the hand that feeds you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 11 months ago

"f you think Kansas is on the wrong track look at the mess Illinois, California, New York "

You left out Texas, who along with Kansas, is relatively speaking in just as bad a shape as the three states you mentioned.

Kookamooka 6 years, 11 months ago

I like to call him a "cut and run" republican but I think I like "slash and burn" better.

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

That naked statue was ordered 10 years ago. Who was governor then? It was none other than Obama's favorite Queen of Darkness, Secretary of Health and Human Services, unaccountable arbiter of one sixth of our economy, Kathleen "Soap on a Rope" Sebelius.

beatrice 6 years, 11 months ago

If Obama doesn't get to claim the bad economy that crashed just prior to his taking office on Bush, then why does Brownback get to blaim the sculpture and the current problems caused by it on Sebelius?

Also, I was under the belief that Republicans thought Hillary was the Queen of Darkness. When did they make the designation change? Was it after the realization of what happened under their premature "anybody but Hillary" campaign? Or is it like a deck of pinochle cards and there are several Queens?

usnsnp 6 years, 11 months ago

Lets do away with income tax in Kansas, go to what Texas does, property tax which is on the average 2 to 3 times higher than in Kansas, and the there is the School Tax. Of course in Kansas they would make sure that people that have houses worth over $250,000 would get a brake. Good luck Kansas in the future you will need it.

BlackVelvet 6 years, 11 months ago

What is so darned tiring is the fact that if a Dem was in office instead of Brownback, the conservative crowd would be throwing insults and BS all over the place. It matters not who is in office, those on "the other side of the aisle" will always make up lies/call names/etc etc. They're both equally bad.

What we need is a different political party. A party of honesty. A party w/o special interests, who looks out for the good of plain old Americans.

But that won't ever happen. It makes too much sense.

Ralph Reed 6 years, 11 months ago

Why not the Bull Moose Party?

I just hope you're not suggesting the Teabaggers.

Jan Rolls 6 years, 11 months ago

Sam has about as much chance of becoming president as trump and palin. How many of you medicare advantage supporters know that it pays for membership in private fitness clubs? I am sure only those with it know that fact.

nativeson 6 years, 11 months ago

It is unfortunate that the dialog at the state and federal level is partisan. There is plenty of blame to go around between both parties placing state and federal budgets in dire straits. The fact is that Governor Brownback is straddling the canyon between a small Democrat group and a very conservative Republican group that did not support the budget passed.

The Governor did not support repeal of the T-Works sales tax that will help pay for road infrastructure for the next 10 years. This was a big push from the right. I do not think there was any chance of a tax increase passing this legislature.

It makes good TV news to point fingers in either direction, but at the end of the segment we are stilled faced as a nation with entitlement programs that the nation is unable to afford now or in the future. The quicker we wake up to this fact, the better.

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