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Local Columns

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.
Opinion: Rhythms of nature reassuring
September 7, 2014
Two spiders have hung their webs just beyond my kitchen window, one directly in front of the other, between a juniper tree and a bird feeder. You’d think that with the vast outdoors available, they would have staked out individual, exclusive territories. But what do I know about the ways of spiders?
Saturday Column: U.S. can’t ignore threat posed by illegal immigration
September 5, 2014
It’s ironic that, at a time when this country’s senior military leaders talk about the growing and imminent danger of terrorists, when ISIS forces boast about flying their flags in Washington, when European leaders make it clear they are alarmed about the spread of terrorism and the advances made by ISIS, when al-Qaida leaders boast of new units in India, and when there is growing concern about American ISIS fighters returning to the U.S., our borders with Mexico in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California remain an open sieve with thousands of undocumented workers and “children” moving into our country every day.
Your turn: Expectations guide police plans
August 31, 2014
One of the tasks of a leader of any organization is to look at how prepared it is to accomplish the mission expected of it. As a Lawrence resident for 29 years and a member of the Lawrence Police Department for 23 of those, I have an appreciation for what I believe is the expectation of police in Lawrence. The culmination of historical input of residents, city leaders and officers who have gone before us makes us all shareholders in the definition of this expectation.
Opinion: Aging population needs more doctors
August 30, 2014
All of us are getting older, but those of us at the bottom of the actuarial tables face particular challenges. Most of us lead full lives but we worry about our increasing ailments. We also worry that small aches are preludes to something more serious.
Opinion: Appeasement won’t stop evil
August 27, 2014
The beheading of James Foley by members of the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is just one more in a long series of savage and barbarous acts by what should be categorized as an international criminal group. Unfortunately the reign of terror that these murderers have perpetrated upon thousands of men and women in Syria and parts of Iraq has not lessened and will not lessen until they have either killed every single human being opposed to their ideas and dominance or they are simply wiped off the face of the earth.
Saturday Column: Changes in Lawrence attitude aren’t for the better
August 23, 2014
Some years ago, Lawrence was the envy of most every Kansas community along with many of the cities that were home to Big 8 Conference universities.
Your turn: Police review should precede new facility
August 20, 2014
Does Lawrence have a disquieting crime problem? It certainly seems that way. Instead of building a $28 million police facility with a shiny bronze plaque memorializing the city fathers, we ought first to determine why our policing strategies aren’t working very well.
Your turn: Local cyclist remembered fondly
August 18, 2014
When Cal Melick was killed on his bicycle last Wednesday, the pulse of the cycling community stopped. When it restarted, it was at a different beat, a sudden dissonant harmonic, missing that fundamental undertone that kept the order of things in the right key. There is no making sense of it. At least not with reason, which has no power to explain or soothe the madness in the random. 
Saturday Column: GOP splits threaten Brownback re-election bid
August 16, 2014
The Kansas gubernatorial election is less than three months away, and traditional Kansas Republicans should be frustrated and alarmed at the findings of the recent statewide poll showing Lawrence attorney and Democrat Paul Davis enjoying a surprising lead over Gov. Sam Brownback.
Opinion: Campaign ads miss mark
August 13, 2014
Now that the primaries are over and the “real” election season is about to begin, I have been thinking about what aspects of the primary campaigns I found most irritating and bizarre. As I think about the political advertising to which we have all been subjected over the past few months — and how much more we will have to suffer in the next few — I think that two things in particular are worth noting.
Opinion: Report reveals higher ed bias
August 5, 2014
A recent report from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania sheds important and disturbing new light on racial and gender inequality in higher education.

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