Letters to the Editor

A little fun?

August 25, 2012


To the editor:

Like many Kansans, I was shocked that Kevin Yoder, a Republican congressman, would take off his clothes under the stars and jump with wild abandon into the Sea of Galilee. I didn’t think our Republican lawmakers were into that kind of thing. You know, that “joy” and “happiness” thing.

After all, Sam Brownback seems to have a one-man vendetta against most things that make life on earth a pleasant experience: public arts, a well-educated populace, access to affordable health care and reproductive freedom. Kris Kobach probably hasn’t done much skinny-dipping lately; he’s been too busy disenfranchising traditionally Democratic-leaning voters and writing other states’ immigration laws.

Maybe these men aren’t bad people; maybe they’re just depressed. Maybe the terrible laws they make are just a sublimation of their unfulfilled desire for exuberance and fun. A good ‘ol naked dive into holy waters every so often might do Republican statesmen, and Kansas, some good.


riverdrifter 5 years, 9 months ago

"A good ‘ol naked dive into holy waters every so often might do Republican statesmen, and Kansas, some good."

A juke is a juke. Next.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 9 months ago

Maybe it's because of people who confuse a "free society" with "I've got mine".

Liberty275 5 years, 9 months ago

"Maybe it's because of people who confuse a "free society" with "I've got mine"."

Actually. it's more along the lines of "I have to work today and I want to keep the most I can out of the money I will earn"

I guess you have to earn money to care whether it gets taken from you to pay for other people's stuff.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 years, 9 months ago

Most people don't operate that way. The decisions they about others and themselves are driven less by economics than by a set of biases (or prejudices.)

P Allen Macfarlane 5 years, 9 months ago

Define free society. Last time I looked, we were free to discriminate against any body with a sexual orientation different from ours as long as that discrimination could be covered up and not obvious. Get real!

tomatogrower 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh great. First we're envious and now we have no self esteem. I'm devastated, I tell you. devastated.

Actually, I'm laughing my head off at the arrogance of good ole Liberty. It must be wonderful to know all and to be all.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Liberty_One chose to make himself and his character the subject of discussion by posting what he did on this forum. Then he objects to "personal attacks." But of course, as every reader of these forums has observed, Liberty_One has absolutely no qualms about attacking others personally. In just the past 8 days, he called me sarcastically "genius" and derisively "a child" and "ignoramus" among a whole slew of insults. Not content with just doing so in person, he sent this email to my private account:

Private email from Liberty_One, August 18, 2012 Hello,

The user Liberty_One sent the following message to you via LJWorld.com:


Well, I proved to you that I know what I'm talking about when it comes to US history and the post office. I've done this many, many times to people on here. I state a fact, you guys act as if I'm just making it up, then I prove it with multiple sources. I have never been proven a liar with this kind of stuff, yet you guys keep acting like I'm making it all up. I've spent years studying US history. I know my stuff and can prove everything I say. Maybe you think my theories about WHY things happened are wrong, but I know WHAT happened far better than you or anyone else here and I'm sick of being questioned by ignoramuses when I've proven it over and over again.

You don't know what you're talking about. You're a child compared to me. Learn. Your. Place.

[end of Liberty_One's email] Well, he doesn't lack in self-confidence or self-esteem. Maybe to excess.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

This is getting old, voevoda. Please stop. This just makes you as petty and childish as Liberty_One.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

If you would like to defend me and the others who are attacked, katara, I would welcome it. But I do think that I should point out that I have responded in this way to LO only since he sent me the email quoted above.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

You do realize that when you respond to LO, you are talking to an individual who has posted about how much he hated Lawrence and the people in it, yet chooses to come back to the hometown online newspaper to troll folks?

He does not post about how great things are where he located now. He just is here to troll people such as you and you are falling for it over and over. You are giving him power over your reactions and you are allowing him to push your buttons. His actions are not the actions of a happy person.

Let him claim victory on his posts. Who cares? You aren't losing anything because of it. He can declare himself Emperor of the Internet all he wants but everyone else knows that this self-proclaimed Emperor has no clothes.

Continue as you wish but continuing to reply in the manner that you are currently doing to LO just makes you as petty and foolish as him.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Katara, I realize that Liberty_One is doing exactly as you say. He isn't pushing my buttons. (That's why my responses are calm and measured, unlike his.) I ignorec his gibes for a long time, in accordance with the adage "Don't argue with an idiot; people might not know the difference." But then he took them off the Internet and into my private email account in an attempt to intimidate me outside the of public forum. I decided to take the advice in an article about bullying in the schools, published at the same time, and stand up to him, not to defend myself but to aver publicly that his conduct is disgraceful. You are welcome to take a different approach, Katara.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

You are giving him exactly what he wants - attention. For some, negative attention is better than no attention. The solution in dealing with those folks is the same solution in eliminating a negative behavior in a small child. Ignore the insults and jibes and reward the positive behavior. When LO discusses an issue in a calm and respectful manner, then engage in discussion with him. Once he makes the decision to engage in the negative behavior, cease all responses.

This is not the same as bullying in the school and please don't compare it as such. You both are anonymous and it has no impact on your personal life. He can't do anything else but insult your anonymous username anonymously on the internet. Even if he chose to send you a nastygram via the PM system on LJW, you have the option of not reading it. Did you think he was going to contact you in a positive way given his interaction with you on the forum?

We all know his conduct sucks. Haven't you noticed that fewer and fewer people respond to his posts? He gets most of his interactions by responding to their posts.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't post the link because the email is enough to illustrate your behavior. Most people are wondering how you can brag about being a bully, Liberty_One. People who have logic and evidence on their side have no reason to try to intimidate others into silence.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Liberty_One, when you start treating other people respectfully, stop putting them down and insulting them because they challenge your positions, and stop trying to intimidate them into silence, then you will earn my respect. But I still won't agree with your stance on most issues.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

Certainly, most Libertarians I've met seem to believe they'd do quite well personally in an unregulated free market economy.

Whether or not that's true, of course, is open to debate.

I wonder if they'd still support the idea if they thought they'd do badly.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

I've asked you to stop responding to my posts.

Continuing to do so is a violation of the TOS on this site.

Alex Parker 5 years, 9 months ago

Please don't respond to a user's posts if that user has asked you not to. I have asked you several times about this.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but LO has a track record of demanding that others not respond to his posts, and then ignoring his own request to begin harassing those very same posters. (He's done this to me.)

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

You're missing the fact that the TOS (terms of service) for this site include not responding to a user's posts if they ask you to stop, as Alex mentions above.

I don't particularly care about his political views, but he has managed to insult me personally, and that's something I don't accept.

This isn't a "public" forum, and everybody doesn't have the right to respond to anyone.

If you are unclear about the TOS, I'd suggest discussing them with the forum moderators.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

It's not "public" - we're posting on the ljworld's site, which is a private business.

I agree, there should be concrete consequences, and have suggested that to the moderators numerous times, but they don't seem interested in that.

Personally, I think it's a good rule if they're not going to ban people, so that we can maintain a certain level of civility on here.

Somebody could do what you suggest, but most people who post on here want a conversation, so they probably wouldn't do that, I would think.

And, of course, you're welcome :-)

Alex Parker 5 years, 9 months ago

From the user policy: (R)espect others wishes. If someone asks you not to contact them or engage them, you should leave them alone.


Alex Parker 5 years, 9 months ago

That's been a long-standing rule, which you have invoked many times. I have explained every decision to you. I'm sorry you feel you aren't treated you fairly. I disagree. In the year or so I have been here, you have left more than 2,000 comments, nearly 20 percent of your all-time total. I have removed a grand total of 127 of your comments, a miniscule percentage of what you have left.

When you have complained to me about someone replying to your posts after you've asked them not to, I have asked again on your behalf.

You continue to criticize me and others on this forum, but are upset when others disagree with you or call you out on things. I will continue to treat you as I do with other users: fairly, with a mind toward the TOS and an understanding of your past behavior.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

This is why I suggest that there be some concrete consequences for these kinds of violations.

After, say, 20 posts have been removed for violating the TOS, the poster gets banned.

I think we'd see a great improvement in the quality of posts, either because people clean up their act, or because they're gone.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

It was a little provocative, and I shouldn't have done it.

But, I didn't start the diversion either - and I'm not sure what I said was "negative" - it's just an observation and a question.

See above for my other thoughts on the TOS.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Ludwig von Mises, the author of the doctrine of this type of "laissez-faire" "liberalism" (to use Mises' own term), recognized himself that his system would result only in the most people having the most material goods, and that was not necessarily the goal a society ought to aim for. He realized that for his system to work would still be an underclass of people who did not benefit from that system. These include able-bodied unemployed persons, because unless capitalists can replace workers easily, labor costs become prohibitively expensive and capitalists can't accumulate great wealth. By "interventionism" Mises meant what we call fascism--he was writing in the 1920s--not the mixed private/public economy that we have in the US today. Economic data accumulated since Mises formulated his theories has demostrated to be false his postulate that all government involvement in the economy must have negative consequences.
Most so-called "Libertarians" in the US today aren't really advocates of Mises' outdated economic theories, though. Instead, they have embraced the anarcho-capitalist (called "libertarian") notions of Murray Rothbard, who combined the communist ideas of his youth with the economic theories of his graduate-school mentor, Mises. As a result, contemporary American "Libertarian" ideas owe more to Marxist conceptions than to American democratic traditions.
Like Marxists, 1. They claim that the economic structure of society dictates its political system. 2. They set up dubious propositions concerning how the economy operates as eternal natural laws. 3. They trust that adherence to your chosen economic system will bring about a utopia, in which people will enjoy unimagined prosperity and only friendly competition. 4. They are materialist, thinking that all that matters in human existence is material—things that people can have for their use. 5. They see government as the source of oppression and hope for its disappearance. 6. They see some people as deserving of wealth and attribute all virtue to them, while deriding others as parasites who deserve nothing. 7. They advocate depriving persons from “bad” economic groups (that is, those who have taken government subsidies in the past) of their civil rights.

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Can't refute, so just engage in put-downs?

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Please explain, then the "bravo." You meant it as an honest term of praise? And not as a put-down?

voevoda 5 years, 9 months ago

Try reading things about Rothbard and not just by him. Preferably the work of objective scholars, not Rothbard's acolytes. That's what I've done.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

jafs, I'm sorry to butt into this, but if you are going to make a comment about Libertarians that follows one of LO's posts and then ask "I wonder if they'd still...," then you shouldn't be surprised if LO responds. If you truly want to avoid any and all conversation with LO, then don't rebut his comments and don't respond to ANY of his comments, including his direct responses to your comments. Ignoring his posts will go a long way to achieving your goal.

Might I recommend that you attempt conversation, and then when you believe it goes too far, simply stop.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 9 months ago

This is what's wrong with the whole concept of the "shunning" rule. Once someone has officially shunned you, does that mean you have to avoid commenting on that thread altogether? And if so, and that poster is a prolific one, doesn't that essentially mean that you're locked out of forum altogether? Or is it just a race to see who can comment on an article first, thereby claiming it as their own?

And what if a poster has a habit of shunning those people who disagree with him, but then continues to reply to their posts, quite often in an insulting manner-- how should that be dealt with?

Paul R Getto 5 years, 9 months ago

Gimme that old time religion, Bozo. Perhaps the new high priests are the webmasters who can excommunicate the heretics.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

You're probably right - I shouldn't have commented that way. But his behavior has gone so far over the line with me, and not just once, that I'm not interested in direct conversation with him any more.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

Then don't behave in a passive-aggressive manner to him and expect him not to respond. Honestly, that was a pretty passive-aggressive post about the libertarians.

You are in control of your reactions to him and others on this forum. Why allow him the power to dictate your reactions to you? It is what he is doing when you allow him to push your buttons.

As I said to voevoda, this is an individual who was so unhappy with Lawrence & its people that he posted how he couldn't get away fast enough yet he returns back to the thing he hates. How sad is that?

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree it was a bit provocative.

And, I already said I shouldn't have commented that way.

Also, I think you're right - I think he's a very miserable person in a variety of ways - that usually lead me to cut him a bit of slack, but after a few times of directly and aggressively insulting me, my tolerance for that sort of behavior evaporated.

jafs 5 years, 9 months ago

I already said I shouldn't have done that.

And, I agree - he seems rather miserable, which led me to give him a bit of slack, but after numerous direct and nasty insults from him, my tolerance for that evaporated.

We can all choose what we will and will not accept from others, and I choose not to accept insults - I work rather hard to keep conversations civil, and require that people who want to talk with me do the same.

Ragingbear 5 years, 9 months ago

No, they are bad people. Bad people do bad things deliberately. Brownback deliberately makes laws to screw people, and our little skinny dipper deliberately stripped nude and took a swim in a country where such behavior could get you stoned, castrated, or both.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

I've noticed that too.

I've also noticed that those who seek to control others generally can't control themselves or their own lives, so feel that the only way to have control is to control others.

Abdu Omar 5 years, 9 months ago

What Yoder did was foolish and without concern for the sensitivity of the people, just like what he and Brownback do for this state. I am not surprised that this happened as I can see what is happening around us here in Kansas. Let them do as they please, we see their true colors and we will elect someone else in November.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

The letter writer does make a good point. However, I still think they're bad people. Bad and depressed aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. In fact, being a bad person might just make you depressed.

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

Can we please just have an ignore or hide button? It would save all this nonsense about "don't respond to my posts."

verity 5 years, 9 months ago

This has nothing to do with freedom of speech and you know that.

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

Nobody's saying you can't think and say whatever you want. I am under no obligation to read your opinions,particularly when they are rarely supported by reality and facts.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 9 months ago

Reality and facts confuse me. Are you sure they're necessary?

majorfunding 5 years, 9 months ago

To Rockchalk 177;

That is just silly. But is also very sad, and actually dangerous. It is sad because you believe it, and more sad because such beliefs can only exist in a world which never observes real live through a clear lens..then that ignorance is passed to other people too lazy or in capable of knowing the truth, then passed along into fields of ignorance never being corrected. Those masses become powerful enough to harm the innocent.

Hey, wanna have some fun? Do a bit of research and apply whatever truth you find, to those strings of ignorance passing through your world. It should be fun to watch the disruption cause ripples in that ignorance.

Wow, through just a bit work, you might plant seed which can grow enough to disarm entire strings of dangerous ignorance. You might even save a life. COOL, EH?

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

You and several other posters are always on the Lib trashing kick. What nasty things are you going to have to say to those you call Libs if you ever figure out that some of those Libs are really conservatives just fed up with the modern Republican party as well as the garbage you post?

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

I've been pointing that out for quite some time. An ignore or hide button would save a moderator lots of time, Alex.

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

It would save users lots of time, too. Instead of scrolling past the wailings of the undead, they'd just be hidden.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

If Biden had said it while naked in front of co-workers and their spouses while at a "holy" destination, then yes, I would be just as shocked.

Bill Maher is a crass comic and Palin is a politician who has said some pretty horrible things and told some amazingly blatant lies about others. Maher was not just talking about an ordinary citizen the way Limbaugh did. I don't see too many Republicans denying his support.

Or is this just partisan outrage on your part.

beatrice 5 years, 9 months ago

Um ... rc, the #10 movie this past week made $3.4 million. A movie not making more than $1 million is not the number one movie no matter how much you wish it were true.

In its first week, The Expendables 2 made $28.5 million. http://www.the-movie-times.com/thrsdir/TopTen.mv

Why are you making stuff up?

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 9 months ago


Shameful that what Yoder is known for is his naked dip in the Sea of Gallilee. He hasn't done anything in Congress, so it is no surprise I guess.

Embarrassing that Johnson County voters sent him to Washington DC as their representative.

JackMcKee 5 years, 9 months ago

Kevin just thinks he's better than everyone else. He's only interested in Kansas because he can't get elected in any other state in the country. He's still light years better than Lynn Jenkins. I'm starting to think that a trained monkey could represent Kansas.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 9 months ago

Too bad Yoder can't make the news by his (lack of) accomplishments in Congress.

If there wasn't news about this incident, there would be no news about Mediyoder at all.

deec 5 years, 9 months ago

At the rate things are going on here, I wouldn't be surprised if the LJW pulls the plug on the whole darn thing again soon.

Katara 5 years, 9 months ago

Won't happen. Drama generates clicks.

jfs1047 5 years, 9 months ago

I enjoyed the letter to the editor. Seemed very factual to me according to what I read in the Lawrence Journal-World.

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