Opinion

Opinion

Scared Kansans?

April 22, 2012

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To the editor:

I was surprised to read the Brownback statement in the April 12 paper: “The public is scared now. They are scared for the future of their country.” How could Sam grow up in Kansas and not know that you can’t scare Kansans? He must not have met my father or others of his generation who persevered through the Depression and the Dust Bowl. As for my generation, we’re nobody’s fool. Brownback’s tactic — if you scare people enough you can get them to do anything — is embarrassingly transparent.

Fortunately, we see legislators pushing back, including within the Republican Party, saying, “Not so fast!” Maybe we shouldn’t erode our tax base, or further cripple our schools or shortchange our public servants. Maybe we shouldn’t cut services for the elderly and the most vulnerable. Maybe it is in the interest of our state to encourage the arts and promote creativity in our young. At a minimum, our representatives are saying, if you’re going to make sweeping changes, don’t rush, let’s think it through.

In the next two years, Brownback may discover that Kansans are not such an easy mark. Kansans are wonderfully fearless, practical and stubborn. We tend to believe in a couple other adages. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”

Comments

pace 2 years, 12 months ago

I really hated Brownback saw us Americans as scared, I hated he thought that is what we are. I felt ashamed and offended, but I thought It was just an anomaly. I am not a coward. Like my parent, grandparents and theirs, I find life hard work and worth it.

tomatogrower 2 years, 12 months ago

Oh, FHNC, then you would have to come out of your bunker. You would look pretty weird completely covered in aluminum.

ivalueamerica 2 years, 12 months ago

and your fear is what defines you as a failure. You fear people who do not agree with you or believe what you believe. That, by definition, makes your understanding of your duties of citizenship of this great country failed.

This nation is strong because of diversity, because of more than one view point or opinion. A strong American can argue but can also listen and try to understand. A weak American, such as yourself, can only be afraid of that which he or she does not understand.

I worry for the future of our country sometimes, not from Al Quada, not from Communism or socialism, but from weak failed Americans such as yourself who have lost sight of what it means to be in a country such as our.

Kookamooka 2 years, 12 months ago

I wonder if he is just "transferring" his fear onto us. Every time I hear him talk he sounds like a crazy person.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 12 months ago

Governor Brownback is right. Many Americans are scared right now, and if they aren't they should be. Barack Obama has racked up over $5 trillion of debt, more than all of his predecessors combined. We're on the precipice of going the way of the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) through irresponsible deficit spending, which must be stopped at the ballot box this November by ridding ourselves of Obama and as many other liberal Democrats as we can.

What is perhaps even scarier than the irresponsibility of Obama and his ilk, however, is the fact that this letter writer doesn't even get what Brownback (and many others) have been saying. Uninformed, naive, gullible voters like the letter writer are the ones who put Obama into office in the first place.

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 12 months ago

If you have a brain in your head, you should fear Brownback and his repressive narcissism. Uniformed, naive, gullible voters such as yourself are the ones who are the party of fear. Obama will be reelected because people are tired of the hate mongering, fearful right.

DeckDoctors 2 years, 12 months ago

Really? Insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Socialism has failed everywhere it was tried and yet jkilgore wants to try it one more time- insane. 72% of the people in the U.S. agree Obama has us on the WRONG track for economic recovery, so sorry Libs BO will NOT be re-elected.

deec 2 years, 12 months ago

"The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says people in Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands are the most content with their lives. The three ranked first, second and third, respectively, in the OECD's rankings of "life satisfaction," or happiness. There are myriad reasons, of course, for happiness: health, welfare, prosperity, leisure time, strong family, social connections and so on. But there is another common denominator among this group of happy people: taxes. Northern Europeans pay some of the highest taxes in the world. Danes pay about two-thirds of their income in taxes. Why be so happy about that? It all comes down to what you get in return. Read the link for more information on what they get for their taxes

“Thriving Norway Provides an Economics Lesson” view link With a quirky contrariness as deeply etched in the national character as the fjords carved into its rugged landscape, Norway has thrived by going its own way. When others splurged, it saved. When others sought to limit the role of government, Norway strengthened its cradle-to-grave welfare state. And in the midst of the worst global downturn since the Depression, Norway’s economy grew last year by just under 3 percent. The government enjoys a budget surplus of 11 percent and its ledger is entirely free of debt." http://www.eons.com/groups/topic/1652945-Successful-Socialism-thriving-countries

tomatogrower 2 years, 12 months ago

Get out of your bunker and get to work. There are a lot of jobs out there if you get off your behind. Obama hasn't come for your guns and ammo. Obama hasn't done anything to hurt you. Obama has rallied some people to start bringing jobs back to the US. Unemployment is slowly dropping. The stock market is back up. Maybe if you didn't spend so much time on the computer, you wouldn't be so paranoid. I'm sick of wimpy scardey cats. Man up, boy.

tomatogrower 2 years, 12 months ago

My comment was for Cato, the not so elder.

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 12 months ago

cato_the_elder
George Bush was overheard saying "It's all my fault, but thanks for blaming the black guy"

George Bush's 4 unpaid initiatives; Afghan War Iraq War Medicare Part D
Bush Tax Cuts. Pay Down the Debt.

Why does the twitter account @DemocratsDGofKS keeps getting hacked by gop teaparty watchdog groups?

md 2 years, 12 months ago

give me a source for the statement bush made

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

Obama was overheard saying he will be more flexible if he gets re-elected. Will he have lost more spine ? The world is laughing at America but November the joke is over.

pace 2 years, 12 months ago

Only the very stupid thinks being reelected president of the United States would not help his position and flexibility in handling world affairs. The very stupid. If you want to hate President Obama , go ahead, hang on to false hype and to sound very stupid is your right. Just because I think most Americans aren't scared bunnies and as a people have courage and the capacity to think certainly doesn't mean all of you have to live up to it. Of course some of you live in terror and retreat to hate. I hope as more people are educated and learn they have some charge of their own life, and responsibility for how they live, less will live in fear and hate. We need to change Congress, I think the 2008 election showed we wanted to shake that house, sadly we were peddled a batch of teanuts which made it worse. We need to kick our addiction to ads and peddled goods. Elect decent people, with courage to ask the best of us, not to appeal to the worst fears.

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

"I think the 2008 election showed we wanted to shake that house, sadly we were peddled a batch of teanuts which made it worse."

Actually 2010 should have been your wake up call. A sign of what's ahead

cato_the_elder 2 years, 12 months ago

A tax cut is never "unpaid." The idea that that a tax reduction "costs" anything is one of the cornerstones of leftist brainwashing that has been going on for decades. This grossly fallacious notion presupposes that government has an inherent right to as much of our money as it wants.

It's akin to what happens when Democrats propose a 10% increase in spending, while Republicans propose a 5% increase in the same spending. Liberal Democrats invariably label the 5% increase a "cut" in spending, when no such spending has even been approved. It's going on right now with Paul Ryan's budget, and is equally fallacious with the bogus "unpaid tax cut" mantra one hears all the time from the Left.

Liberty275 2 years, 12 months ago

How did seemingly intelligent people like Americans get tricked into thinking that way? It's such a backwards way of thinking, it's hard to believe anyone could be tricked into thinking in such a manner.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 12 months ago

And you clearly failed to grasp the meaning of what I said, undoubtedly as the result of the leftist brainwashing you've received. What you posted wasn't responsive at all to the point I was making, although I'm sure you don't understand that.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 12 months ago

I said nothing about "tax cuts paying for themselves." Your liberal knee just jerked. Here's what I said:

"A tax cut is never 'unpaid.' The idea that that a tax reduction 'costs' anything is one of the cornerstones of leftist brainwashing that has been going on for decades. This grossly fallacious notion presupposes that government has an inherent right to as much of our money as it wants."

You obviously don't understand my point. When liberals talk about tax reductions "costing" money, that presupposes, a fortiori, that government is entitled to all of our money, a portion of which we are being allowed to retain. In the minds of liberal Democrats, if we are allowed to retain more through a reduction in tax rates, then being able to keep what we believe was ours in the first place somehow constitutes stealing from government.

Government has no inherent right to tax free citizens unless those citizens agree to it. It's the right of those citizens to determine what their taxes should be. If they decide to reduce their level of taxation, they are only electing to keep more of what is theirs instead of sending it to Washington.

There is no natural law or legislative enactment that renders any level of taxation fixed in stone. Whatever the level of federal taxation was prior to the enactment of the "Bush tax cuts" is irrelevant. Government has no inherent right to any of its citizens' money. It can only receive what its citizens determine that it is to receive.

cato_the_elder 2 years, 12 months ago

You still don't get it, and given your leftist views it's doubtful that you ever will. However, since you correctly described our form of government as a democratic republic rather than a "democracy," as political liberals almost always incorrectly do, there may still be some hope for you. A pleasant surprise indeed.

Liberty275 2 years, 12 months ago

Because twitter needs better security? The Tea Party people are dumb, but smart enough to do a little hacking? They don't like @democratdgoks and pay someone in China $2 to hack the account? Pick a reason.

If I were on the left, I wouldn't really make a big deal of this because most of hacktivists ardently dislike conservatives and captalism and have taken down many high-profile right wing and corporate sites.

rtwngr 2 years, 12 months ago

Obama has been overheard saying lots of crap. He should be thrown out of office on his a$$ after the next general election. You people just don't get it. We have turned into an entitlement society. Barack Obama wants me to be more concerned with how Mitt Romney made his money rather than how Obama spends mine.

tomatogrower 2 years, 12 months ago

If our country is so awful and repressive, how did Romney make so much money? That's what confuses me. You have people like the Kochs telling you that the reason you don't have as much money as they do is because of the federal government. Under our "repressive" government they took their considerable inheritance (which you probably don't have, or never will) and turned it into a conglomerate of many businesses. Yes, they were smart, but they also started with more advantages than most people do.
People like Bill Gates started with little or nothing, and because of his and other's smarts made it big. I don't see that any of them have been held back by our government. In fact, the Kochs and others transport their goods over roads built by the "evil" government.
Let's fact it rtwhiner. You don't have the ambition or the right ideas to make it big like these guys did. That's the real truth, and you buy into the myth that it's the government that keeps you from living like the 1%.

tomatogrower 2 years, 12 months ago

Yet, why do they want to change the system that allowed them to do be so successful? I have a hard time seeing that the federal government has prevented them from being successful. They should be lauding our system, not trying to bring it down with their nasty astro turf political groups and buying politicians. Put that money to do some good work in the world, instead of creating and fermenting radicals.

deec 2 years, 12 months ago

It simplifies getting rich when you are crooks who steal oil from indigenous people and ignore environmental laws. Buying politicians certainly greases the moneymaking wheels. Trading with banned governments helps, too. I wonder why all the so-called patriots and christian warriors aren't howling for the Kochs to be tried for treason? After all, they are trading with the muslim enemy state of Iran. Perhaps because their true allegiance is to Greed, not god.

geekin_topekan 2 years, 12 months ago

Whatever happened to that cat named Marion?

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

" if you scare people enough you can get them to do anything — is embarrassingly transparent."

Brownback merely borrowed a page ripped straight out of the Obama playbook. Our clueless leader governs ( for lack of a better word ) the country by fear, impending doom and gloom, and the sky is falling mentality. The fear is another 4 years of this walking disaster in the White House.

Kansas are not the only ones who should be scared by inept " leadership ? "

tomatogrower 2 years, 12 months ago

Ummm, he campaigned on hope, not fear. Weren't you paying attention. Hello. Wake up.

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

Ran on hope last time. Forced to run on fear this time because he can't run on his record. Wake up

tomatogrower 2 years, 12 months ago

What kind of fear has he been selling lately? And I don't turn off the TV when he is on.

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

I like that "selling lately" Let's see.

Unconstitutional healthcare is a good standard

Failed stimulus(s) Had to have those to create jobs - right

Two of his biggest debacles, to date

tomatogrower 2 years, 12 months ago

Health care for all? ooooo I'm scared. Teachers kept jobs? Highway workers making a living? Ack! GM is strong again? I'm hiding under my bed!

I see a lot of jobs in the paper and hiring signs on doors. I see people shopping in stores. I see some soldiers getting the help they need after fighting wars even though "patriotic" Tea Party people do not want to pay for the wars. I see more money getting spent on our country and our people, not the middle east. Build a bridge here, happy people. Build a bridge in Afghanistan, they blow it up. Sorry, my life is getting better. If your's isn't maybe you should get off the computer and get a job.

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

Don't let me spoil your fantasy world. Live it baby

tomatogrower 2 years, 12 months ago

You just hide away in your bunker. The rest of us are having a good time.

Mike Ford 2 years, 12 months ago

fear......FDR stated to the US after the three stooges named Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, that "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". I wonder if the history deficient GOP people realize their unhinged capitalism led to "Black Friday" in 1929 and Bank Hollidays in the early 1930's with people running on banks to withdraw their monies. I read in a book I have on USVP Charles Curtis where he and Hoover tried to use fearmongering to say that only they could get the US out of that mess and yet they had a couple of years and did nothing playing the fear card to fend off FDR. Fear controls simple people just like religion does. Why does the GOP use fear and religion as political tools? because it works with the simpler people on here. You can't fool a minister's kid whose lived in parts of this country that function off of nothing but hailfire, brimstone, and fear (The South). Why does the GOP say no so often to Mr. Obama? they fear someone fixing their mess. Why does Paul Ryan sell the budget nonsense he does? because he feels compelled to drag people away from a solution as quickly as possible using fear. I've survived and paid off $14K in card debt in three years.....I've survived losing $200 a month off of my paycheck for a year now sticking to a budget I've had since 1992. How was this possible? I didn't buy into the paralyzing fear the GOP sells. Does the GOP have a positive message......no......does the GOP care about people..... no.....is ketchup a vegetable in a school lunch? no...the Reagan administration said yes....Did former Reagan cabinet member David Stockman call supply side trickle down economics lunacy on Maher and previously on radio? yes. Does one actually expect a greedy person to share more if given more to distribute by the GOP? let's ask Michael Milken.....let's ask Donald Trump....let's ask Neal Bush.....let's ask Charles Keating or Jack Abramov....how many more greedy republicans do you want me to list????

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

R.R. both terms. G.H.W.B both terms Clinton, entertaining and not too bad. G.W.B term 1 good. Been crap ever since

jafs 2 years, 12 months ago

RR tripled the national debt, and presided over a recession.

And we had another recession with GB1.

And of course the worst financial crash for quite a while under GB2.

Clinton, on the other hand, balanced the budget, and we had budget surpluses for the 2nd 4 years of his administration.

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

R.R got us through Caters economic disaster master of selective memory. G.B 1 small recession, he got us out of Clinton - no complaints W - not so much in term 2 Obama - 3 years of no progress

jafs 2 years, 12 months ago

I just used your presidents.

But, I find it fascinating that Reagan gets credit for "getting us through" problems he inherited, while Obama gets none of that.

And, many indicators show that the economy is in fact better now than when Obama took office.

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

You're kidding right ? Carter was a cluster^(&% of a President, nice guy but that's it. High unemployment Horrid foreign policy - Iran in particular Horrid economy - recession any of this sound familiar currently ??? The 80's economy in the Reagan era was unequaled possibly until Clinton

jafs 2 years, 12 months ago

What does your post have to do with mine?

I remember looking for a job in the 80's - it was hardly a booming economy.

And, how does a president who tripled the national debt get and maintain a reputation as fiscally conservative?

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

You either had a highly specialized field or your flat out lying

jafs 2 years, 12 months ago

Neither - I was taking a break from college.

I remember a publishing firm that seemed to be on the verge of closing, having laid off a number of people, and an advertising agency that couldn't pay us for a couple of weeks, in some difficult financial straits. There was also a neighborhood newspaper that barely held itself together. In fact, until I got a job at NYU, I didn't have a good stable job.

It was the early 80's, if that makes any difference.

And, I don't generally talk to people who call me names, so if you continue, I'll stop talking to you.

I notice, of course, that you seem to have moved into the realm of personal attacks and insults, always a sign that somebody can't deal with the substantive issues very well.

And, it would be "you're" not "your".

jafs 2 years, 12 months ago

And, I remember how many people applied for jobs as well - there were many applicants for jobs that weren't all that great.

Armstrong 2 years, 12 months ago

Up until '82 jobs were scarce, after that all you needed to do was have a pulse and you were hired

Mike Ford 2 years, 12 months ago

no....liberty....you defend crooks who've been called crooks since I took US History in high school and college in the 1980's. How do YOU turn US History on it's head and make abandoning farmers in the early 1920's, the Teapot Dome Scandal, and Laissez Faire economic policies and the opposition to US involvement which led to Germany being wrongly entirely blamed for WW I when it was Serbia and Austro-Hungary that started that war....better yet explain isolationism and Henry Cabot Lodge?

voevoda 2 years, 12 months ago

Compared to you, Liberty_One, everyone is a progressive. Fortunately.

camper 2 years, 12 months ago

"We have nothing to fear, but fear itself."

The one thing that has always made the Repulican Party repulsive to me is there endless reserve of fear that they continue to spread and campaign on. When I look back at history, some of the most reprehensible players have been those practicioners of this sort of demagoguery. They usually turn out to be the evil ones to boot.

It seems like now we are going through some of the same ole stuff from the fifties. Instead of bunkers we have preppers. And as always we are afraid of the commies (moreso Socialism now). Sure there is healthy fear, but not the sort spewed by politicians.

Bob Dylan said it good in "Let Me Die in my Footsteps"

http://youtu.be/J9cg7HnubRE

pizzapete 2 years, 12 months ago

Or maybe Dylan's "Talkin' John Birch Paraniod Blues" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AylFqd...

I often forget how Reagan was such a stand up guy during the "Red" scare getting his fellow actors black listed for being more Socialist than Fascist. Is American Fascism still what defines the Replican party today?

Mike Ford 2 years, 12 months ago

tell my US Government and History teachers and the textbook for that matter that laissez faire was a myth? you're just a liberatarian mythlican yourself trying to turn history on it's head just like the gop.

Lawrence Morgan 2 years, 12 months ago

Thank you for your letter and for your putting it so well, Elizabeth Black!

Mike Ford 2 years, 12 months ago

those were the days before Truman integrated the military in 1948 and forced the Dixiecrat racist southerners to eventually become Republicans by 1980. Remember John Stennis, Orville Faubus, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, and George Wallace? nice to know the skeletons in the GOP closet can be identified by Democrats. Oh they were so tough....tough like my devil ex grandfather who was at Guadalcanal and came home with ptsd and spent the next 55 years wrecking his family and driving my grandmother and mother to death in a year and a half period. Oh yes....he was from that period of alleged toughness and went archie bunker the rest of his life on his family watching fox touting racist stuff to offend people....just like people on here.....and again what toughness were you talking about????

jhawkinsf 2 years, 12 months ago

tuschkahouma - from the sound of your post, your grandfather's ptsd has wreaked havoc in your family for going on generations now. And within your peoples, the actions of Europeans has done the same. Perhaps it's time you acquaint yourself with the notion of a statute of limitations. Or maybe some counseling to deal with your anger. Or something, or else I fear your will never have a nice day.
It's a beautiful day today. Bright sunshine with a gentle breeze. Go for a walk and see if you can muster a smile.

tbaker 2 years, 12 months ago

Cripple schools? Look at per-student spending over the last 40 years and chart that line against performance on standardized testing. Look at the percentage of 9th graders who actually graduate HS. We are spending more than we ever had on schools and the kids are quitting school and/or getting dumber in far greater percentages than we have ever seen.

Short change public servants? Compare salary and benefits of the average state or federal employee to the that of the private sector. Which sector of the economy has steadily hired and promoted their employees throughout the recession?

Erode the tax base? Compare what happened to the revenue collected per capita and the size of the "tax base" of states with high tax burdens to those with low tax burdens. Compare what has happened in California and Texas in the last 5 years.

Wise up Ms. Black. Despite it's frequent use here, demagoguery is not a substitute for the rational examination of the facts.

tomatogrower 2 years, 12 months ago

"Which sector of the economy has steadily hired and promoted their employees throughout the recession?"

You need to stop watching Fox and keep up with news. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/mar/14/osborne-austerity-270000-public-sector-jobs

California has always been pretty messed up, because too many people live there. I don't know who they'll bring in to clean up after the next Republican governor. Jerry Brown isn't getting any younger. But we aren't comparing Texas to California. This article is about Kansas. If you want to compare Kansas to Texas we are in better shape on unemployment. Our schools were properly funded until Brownback and his group came in. Why are they fixing something that has been working? So his rich buddies will have more money to buy another house? The only jobs they'll create are another servant staff for that new house.

tbaker 2 years, 12 months ago

California has too many people. Who knew?

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