Local Columns

Saturday Column: Brownback strengths include agriculture, education
October 17, 2014
It’s clear Gov. Sam Brownback is engaged in a tough political race for re-election to another four years in the governor’s office. It’s also clear that governors in most states have faced severe challenges the past four years as the nation’s economy has been on a roller coaster. Aside from a few states and a few governors, states and their governors have had to figure out how to meet their states’ needs in an uncertain economic climate. Hopefully, brighter days are ahead, but there is no guarantee, although those challenging incumbent governors are having a field day finding fault with incumbents, pledging to deliver almost magical turnarounds in state economies, employment numbers, job creation and funding for a variety of important programs.
Opinion: U.S. must prepare for Ebola
October 15, 2014
The current news about the Ebola virus coming to the United States has a great many people worried. I am one of them. I want to make clear, however, that I am not particularly worried that Ebola, at least in its present form, poses a real danger of a massive pandemic. I am not worried that Ebola may spread and become a major national health emergency.
Your turn: KU athletic venues need handrails
October 13, 2014
I’m concerned that Kansas University is not sensitive to all their fans and alumni. Specifically, there are no center railings in the walkways down to seats in either Allen Fieldhouse or Memorial Stadium.
Saturday Column: Kansas voters must consider candidates’ Obama ties
October 10, 2014
Kansas voters, beware! Several days ago, President Obama made it perfectly clear what the upcoming elections throughout the country are all about. He told an audience that, although he is not going to be on the Nov. 4 ballot, all of his policies clearly are on the ballot, “every single one of them.”
Opinion: Talk not always so cheap
October 4, 2014
Once upon a time, people got rich by making stuff — cars, railroads, skyscrapers. Even silly stuff such as Silly Putty, the Hula Hoop, the Pocket Fisherman, the Inside-the-Egg-Scrambler still had the hallmark of being “stuff.” But today, it’s enough to have an idea, the more inane the better. All it takes is to come up with some idiotic “app” and the money starts pouring in. No need for an assembly line. All it takes is a room filled with nerds.
Saturday Column: Regents need better information on universities
October 3, 2014
When will past and present members of the Kansas Board of Regents and those in the governor’s office acknowledge there is no way for them to really know what is going on at the six university campuses they are supposed to oversee?
Opinion: Jewish holidays spur reflection
October 1, 2014
This weekend marks the end of the Jewish “High Holy Days” of Rosh Hashanah  and Yom Kippur, the holiest days in the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah is the holiday that marks the new year in the Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur is the day on which Jews must acknowledge and atone for their sins of the year just passed. It is the time when all Jews focus themselves on God and on the lives they have led for the past year. It is a time for prayer and a time of remembrance. It is a time for taking stock of one’s life, for recognizing one’s failures and for setting one’s aspirations for the coming year.
Your turn: Baseball still America’s pastime
September 28, 2014
Major League Baseball posted its 11th consecutive year of record industry revenues with an all-time high exceeding $8 billion in 2013. And now some within the game believe that MLB will reach $10 billion in 2014.
Saturday Column: Shifting political waters challenge state incumbents
September 27, 2014
The state of politics in Kansas today is interesting, if not shocking. History shows that, over the years, Kansas has been one of the most consistently Republican states in the nation: Republican governors, Republican senators, Republican U.S. House members and a Republican-controlled state Legislature.
Your Turn: Business dean responds to student concerns
September 24, 2014
As a Jayhawk alumna, I am very proud of our rich tradition of idealism and activism and applaud all students who stay engaged in critical conversations. As dean, I would like to clarify a few points in response to the article written by Students for a Sustainable Future in Lawrence Journal-World’s Your Turn column (Sept. 21).
Your turn: Schools, society must confront racism
September 23, 2014
The vandalism that recently occurred at Lawrence High School is a clear reminder that racism still exists across our nation, in our state and even in our hometown. While the Lawrence Police Department quickly apprehended five high school seniors suspected of committing this crime, this incident should not be ignored or quickly forgotten by our community. To simply dismiss this act as “a high school prank taken too far” is to willfully ignore the word of choice used in the graffiti on the field: “N–-rs.”
Your turn: Koch ties to KU concern students
September 21, 2014
School is difficult enough without having to weed through corporate bias. As Gov. Sam Brownback and the state legislature incrementally cut education funding, they are opening the door for donors with specific agendas to purchase influence at Kansas University. Enter the Koch brothers.
Saturday Column: KU struggles to establish winning football program
September 19, 2014
It’s anyone’s guess who will win this afternoon’s football game between Kansas University and Central Michigan. So far, the Jayhawks’ performance has been a tremendous disappointment, winning one and losing one, with today’s game a toss-up. Really, it doesn’t matter that much who wins because it’s likely the Jayhawks will be heavy underdogs for the rest of the season when they face much stronger Big 12 Conference teams. Unfortunately, this football season is a fairly accurate reflection of the past five Jayhawk football seasons.
Saturday Column: Transparency crucial on private military operations
September 12, 2014
President Obama announced this week he intends to intensify this country’s military actions against ISIS terrorist forces but with no U.S. boots “on the ground.”
Opinion: Column starts the conversation
September 10, 2014
This fall marks the 20th year I have been writing this column. Obviously a great deal has happened during those 20 years. When I began writing this column I was the newly appointed dean of the law school at Kansas University, I was 32 years old and my idea in offering to write the column was that it would be a public service to give my views on legal matters through the column.