DougCounty (Ken Lassman)

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Letter to the editor: In defense of Trump

I have two words for you, Scott: Paul Manafort.

March 24, 2017 at 8:26 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Arts deserve support

The hard times I was referring to is the state of the arts, Bob. Many rural communities cancelled festivals, exhibits, community theater and other arts related events that simply couldn't continue without some infusion of funds from the Arts Commission, and the predicted private donations never materialized. Those types of events DO generate quite a bit of local economic activity, with arts investment dollars getting a very good return economically, plus help strengthen sense of community and lifetime memories in ways that are very analogous to small town sports.

March 23, 2017 at 10:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Arts deserve support

I can't believe you are saying this after the hard times in our state that was triggered by the elimination of the Kansas Arts Commission. The so-called private contributions that were supposed to materialize never happened and state funding has continued to dwindle, reducing federal matching funds even further. Arts have a powerful multiplying effect in the same way as funding for roads, water and other infrastructure, and to say we need to pay more attention to military readiness instead of the arts and CPB is a false equivalence if there ever was one. By such reasoning, you should give the money you were planning to spend on re-roofing your house to the military.

March 23, 2017 at 3:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Chance for Trump?

That would make him a linotype
(old printer's joke)

March 22, 2017 at 1:16 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Presidential standards

Alas, he has good company in the legislative pretenders. The Republicans seem hell-bent on creating partisan solutions where they can muster enough support within their own ranks to squeak out ill-conceived legislation that requires no support from the opposing party, in much the same way that the Democrats did with Obamacare. We saw that this gave the Republicans free-rein to do all it could do to ensure the demise of Obamacare instead of joining hands with their Democratic brethren to make it work, and I expect no less in reverse if the Republicans manage to push through a Democrat-free Healthcare Plan.

So we see a president who was articulate vs one who doesn't read books. We see a community organizer well versed in the art of building coalitions vs. the wheeler-dealer type who is more of a strong-arm guy. And on and on; yet our outcomes remain the same: policies are written that fall well short of the needs of our country and finger pointing that has developed into a fine art perhaps never seen before.

So I totally agree with the writer, just as others would have written a letter about Obama's shortcomings and had folks line up behind that. But while a good president is essential, it is not adequate by itself. Until we get a legislature and a campaign finance system that is beholden to our country's populace instead of the monied few, it won't matter much, I'm afraid.

March 22, 2017 at 7:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Bill would put State Library under Legislature's control

This article really did not explain why Hensley wants to do this. Does it save money? Does it streamline a bureaucracy that has grown too much recently? Does it provide opportunities to improve its services? Is there something wrong with the current governing board? And on the other hand, are there potentially negative consequences such as reduced services to the other libraries across the state? Change for change sake doesn't make sense, but without listing the consequences, that's pretty much what this sounds like.

March 22, 2017 at 6:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Safety plan

Brock, I don't think you understand what research on gun violence would be designed to investigate. Of course, poverty with no economic opportunities to reverse that is a volatile playground for gun violence, but there are plenty of other places around the world where those two things exist that have way lower rates, while other places with plenty of economic opportunity can have very high rates of gun violence, too.

Resarch on gun violence would likely be much more focused and applied in nature. As I mentioned earlier, there seems to be a pattern in gun violence proliferation in many communities that are very similar to epidemiological outbreaks of infectious diseases, and what research that has been done indicates that there may be ways to disrupt the spread of that violence once it occurs, mimicking other disease-stopping measures.

Research can put a much finer point on which preventative measures work and which don't. How important is access to guns? How about extended magazine clips or kinds of guns? How effective is arming everyone in reducing gun violence? Well designed research on such questions would bear much fruitful information. I think that most Americans are ready to hear the answers to such research in our shared quest to reduce the rates of gun violence, whether it be in the streets of Chicago, for suicides, for terrorist attacks, for it all. It can help us develop evidence-based policies, i.e. that includes research as an important consideration when we look at all of the tradeoffs.

March 22, 2017 at 6:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Safety plan

It's the Center for Disease Control, NIH and other federal agencies who would disburse the funds to established researchers with a track record of impartiality and expertise; the AMA just thinks it's a good idea. I would hope you do too.

March 21, 2017 at 4:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Chance for Trump?

Trump has come out in favor of defacto funding of Planned Parenthood, so don't play like it's Congress not Trump. And if this happens, it is a whole host of women's health care issues that will be shortchanged even if abortion services would continue. If you no longer have contraceptive access, if sex education and pregnancy prevention is no longer available, if emergency contraception is no longer available, if STD, breast exams, pap smears and pregnancy tests are no longer available, women's control over their bodies are directly affected.

And there are many areas where Planned Parenthood clinics are where no alternative services exist. The Guttmacher Institute found out that in the 491 counties where there are currently Planned Parenthood clinics, 103 of them have no other clinics where low-income patients can gain access to affordable contraceptive services.

I really think this is a last gasp of the right to try to play the abortion card since more and more pregnancies are averted/terminated (depending on your perspective) through the use of emergency contraception/morning after pills. In fact this accounts for almost half of the decline in the number of abortions. Expect that percentage to rise in the future, not fall.

March 21, 2017 at 3:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Chance for Trump?

No. Trump has explicitly said that he would propose defunding Planned Parenthood unless they gave up providing abortion services as part of their services. This is despite that service being funded without any government funding, and Planned Parenthood has come out saying that they refuse to eliminate that part of their services, so Trump will support defunding. And yes, technically speaking, it IS up to the House and Senate to take the Trump proposal, amend it as they see fit, then send it to Trump for his signature. But the Planned Parenthood issue has been explicitly stated by Trump so it would be disingenuous to say it was the legislative branches that drafted it.

March 21, 2017 at 1:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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