DougCounty (Ken Lassman)


Comment history

How Lawrence, area schools are preparing for Monday's solar eclipse

Well, gee, that's what teachers are for, isn't it? A little "one strike and you're outta here" ought to keep little Johnny in line, and if it doesn't he'll be a fine example that the teacher really meant it to everyone else.

August 18, 2017 at 7:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Combative Trump insists anew: Blame both sides for violence

Oh, you mean that since many people brought semi-automatic weapons, many with expanded magazines, instead of fully automatic weapons, that everyone was so much safer???

August 17, 2017 at 7:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Standing up against racism

Thank you, JW for also taking a stand, and doing so eloquently and unambiguously. It's good to see you characterizing as "poppycock" President Trump's statement regarding those who marched side by side with the armed and violent white supremacists as "fine people." The translation of the Dutch-based word "poppycock" is "soft dung," by the way. Soft indeed!

August 17, 2017 at 6:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

After 22 water main breaks, city finds 13 miles of pipeline were improperly installed

George Williams, who by practically all accounts was a masterful Director of Public Works:


Sounds like as usual, it's more complicated than it looks. Chances are the lining was added as soon as the evidence started coming in that it was needed.

August 16, 2017 at 9:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Solar eclipse guide: Where to watch, how to watch, and why it's such a big deal

Yep, Bill, I still kick myself a little for not going up there to see it considering it was on my birthday in 1979. There was another one in 1970 along the east coast, especially Florida, that I missed out on too.

NASA has a cool eclipse website where you can plug in your coordinates and see when the last/next total eclipse is where you live, and you indeed get a good sense that way how rare a total eclipse is at any given point on the earth.

For instance, when I plugged in Lawrence's coordinates, the last total eclipse visible in town (or before the town existed in this instance) was 1806--a really nice 4 minute long total eclipse. And I wouldn't exactly contact your friends and relatives to reserve a hotel room here for the next one, since you'll have to wait until 2672 for the Lawrence skies to darken for the next total eclipse inside the city limits. Note that it doesn't count this year's eclipse as a total one from here either, since totality is an hour or so to the north. So I got curious about upcoming ones closest to Lawrence and came up with the following:

April 2024: total eclipse in Arkansas

August 2045: total eclipse in southwest Kansas and Oklahoma

May 2078: Louisiana

Sept. 2099 in Wisconsin and Minnesota

So this next week's eclipse looks pretty darn convenient if you place it in that context. Of course if you really want the convenience of staying in town to watch a total eclipse, the one in 2672 is going to be followed by a SECOND total eclipse in 2681: BOTH visible right here in LFK!

August 13, 2017 at 7:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Officials fear Kobach's voting fraud panel could create an easy target for hackers

Actually the article is about the security weakness and vulnerability of the system being set up to monitor the pseudo-problem of voter fraud: nice try yourself.

Which is why I brought up the issue of voter participation nation-wide, not locally, tho the issue manifests locally, too, of course. If you had read my comments more closely you would have seen that they refer to the national issue, not the local manifestation of that issue. And here's how it relates to the voter fraud issue: if there was a much bigger fraction of eligible voters who actually registered, and then voted, then the numbers you brought up in your pseudo-research would be much less relevant because if you add in the almost 100 million extra legitimate votes into the election, the numbers you quoted would not nearly have the impact. So the real way to reduce the impact of voter fraud is by getting more eligible voters to vote, not less. All that less does is make elections easier to manipulate.

August 10, 2017 at 6:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Officials fear Kobach's voting fraud panel could create an easy target for hackers

Sam, Sam, Sam. Are you purposefully throwing out diversionary "research" to intentionally throw people off the real issue, which is low eligible voter turnout? I honestly think the Kobach and Trump approach has been consistent with the long-term goal of the GOP: reduce participation by as much as you can, because that makes it easier to control the outcome of an election. Some of the biggest names in the party got their start running voter suppression campaigns, and Mr. Kobach seems intent on following that path to national recognition.

Here are some numbers to consider: there are approximately 218.9 million citizens who are eligible to vote, and only 146.3 million are even registered. That's 72.6 million folks who are not participating at all. If you include those registered but still didn't vote, that number rises to almost 100 million voters who didn't participate in 2016's elections. Those numbers make the supposedly "scientific" projections of your study fade away in relative insignificance, even if they were true, which is definitely questionable according to many.

The US is a sad 27th in the percentage of eligible voters who don't register or vote when compared to other countries. See the Pew Research study for more details:

That, in a nutshell is the issue, and if there are problems with our registration and participation, these are issues that we need to be addressing with clear, sound solutions, not the anecdotal-ridden scare tactics that are all too often used to justify voter suppression. Isn't it interesting that the focus of many of these efforts at detecting voter fraud takes place in places where a swung election could make a big difference at the national level or in close races? Why could that be???

Until a more coordinated effort is made to get better registration numbers and participation, I refuse to see Kobach and his ilk as anything other than voter suppression, plain and simple.

August 10, 2017 at 1:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Officials fear Kobach's voting fraud panel could create an easy target for hackers

In today's world of 10% primary turnout and bumping 60% of registered voters and huge numbers not even bothering to register, let alone vote, this is not the issue, Richard. Seems to me the low turnouts and poor registration makes it easier to manipulate elections with stupid witch hunts looking for boogeymen fraudulent voting schemes that are primarily voter suppression in practice.

The best insurance against voter fraud is very high registration rates of legitimate voters, along with high participation in the election. The goal of reliable registration and participation should be the goal of any legitimate Secretary of State as well as any federal investigations about our elections.

August 10, 2017 at 7:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

When do moviegoers become pilgrims?

Seems closely related to history buffs doing civil war and other re-enactments, visiting the pyramids or Machu Picchu, or heck Disney Land for that matter. Seems like the whole effort to make Bleeding Kansas a destination is an effort to pull in some of that same kind of attention, don't you think?

Personally, as far as participating in such primal activities, while I have nothing against going to such places, I prefer going out of my way to witness natural goings-on like the Sandhill crane migration, or the upcoming total solar eclipse or the Perseid meteor shower, all of which humans have been witnessing for thousands and thousands of years. This connects me not only to my ancestors but to the rest of life on Earth and processes in the universe that are older than humanity has been around.

August 6, 2017 at 7:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: ‘Voter fraud’ crusade terribly flawed

And, as I have stated before: the goal of our Secretary of State office should have as its top priority getting full participation of its eligible citizens to be registered to vote, and once registered, to get out and actually cast a ballot. An increase in participation by eligible citizens is perhaps the most effective way of preventing outcomes of elections being skewed by "voter fraud" of any flavor.

As such, neither our current Secretary of State nor the Election Integrity Commission represent the rights of Kansas/American citizens and encourage citizens to exercise those responsibilities.

August 5, 2017 at 9:48 a.m. ( | suggest removal )