Letters to the Editor

Letter: Biased view

December 5, 2013


To the editor:

How fortunate that a spokesman for the local idle rich writes readable pieces for the Journal-World. George Gurley on “fracking” in North Dakota (Dec. 1) is a case in point, although it presents a keen observer’s vision blurred by cataracts of political bias.

His “notes of a hunter” (see Turgenev) are hunky-dory until he opines “the regulatory hand of a government that is hostile to fossil fuels” and “these modern pioneers” are destined to join Kit Carson, Winfield Scott and George Custer as American folk heroes.

The devastation left by our “self-reliant” oil and gas barons on George’s route to the last holdout of a once endless pheasant population is not a price we must pay for economic progress and restoration of the frontier spirit. It rather means that the bosses of today’s roughnecks maintain the momentum of rapacious global mining that leads to earth’s destruction.

George’s description of the “inferno” caused by “garish flames” consuming the upper plains is worthy of Dante’s Inferno. So, too, the destruction of Pompei in AD 79 by molten lava erupting from Vesuvius, if seen from a hunting helicopter, would have been both “appalling and exhilarating.”

Awaiting Gurley’s deft pen is a vivid portrayal of the Flint Hills on fire as seen by a prairie chicken, or North Dakota’s black gold rush from the perspective of a pheasant that I hope he keeps on hunting as long as able. The rest is silence.


Dean Bevan 4 months, 2 weeks ago

This from our local importer of Soviets during the 80s (travel paid by the Soviet Writers Union).
If he says so himself (and he does), their visits "emboldened them at home in their efforts to make the Soviet Union a more livable place for writers and peopled in the other creative and performing arts." Yes, Gerald, we noticed how livable the Soviet Union became, thanks to your program (paid for by our state and federal governments). And Mr. Mikkelson, as a professor of (currently) "Russian, Eastern European & Eurasian Studies," is clearly an expert on petroleum extraction and prairie ecology.


Richard Heckler 4 months, 2 weeks ago

And the economic rape and destruction that "oil boom town"economies leave behind will likely become the responsibility of the USA taxpayers. The oil industry has a poor history of managing the cost of economic destruction associated with zillions of $$$$$ in profit which history has documented with ghost towns.

Nobody wants to talk about the inevitable and most certainly the oil industry does not want anyone to remember oil drilling ghost towns that became home to real estate vacancies galore. Many in the state of Kansas.

The massive numbers of unemployed are on the horizon indicates Fracking is not a long term self sustaining economic investment for the many.


Elston Gunn 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with Bob. This letter is rambling, full of confusing quotes, and has no point. However, the "local idle rich" includes more than a few retired KU professors


Ron Holzwarth 4 months, 2 weeks ago

"the last holdout of a once endless pheasant population"

That's interesting. Did you know that the Pheasant is an invasive species that is not native to North or South America? Pheasants were introduced here from Asia. I think it would be better to save your concerns for native species.

Of course, it's too late to worry about the Passenger Pigeon, which is believed to have become extinct when Martha, thought to be the world's last Passenger Pigeon, died on September 1, 1914, at the Cincinnati Zoo.

About Pheasants, from Wiki: "The best-known is the Common Pheasant, which is widespread throughout the world in introduced feral populations and in farm operations."

"The Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), is a bird in the pheasant family (Phasianidae). It is native to Asia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird."

About pheasants in Kansas:


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