DougCounty (Ken Lassman)


Comment history

Opinion: Trump’s risky decision on North Korea

The fantasy of Trump is beyond entertaining, going straight past guffawing and head scratching to jaw dropping concern. Will someone shake this guy, look him straight in the eyes and tell him that this is not reality TV? I honestly think that if the media would go along with it, he would add a dramatic sound track to moments like announcing the withdrawal from the summit. Maybe throw in a camera zoom in to add an additional level of drama.

Is there any more doubt that this guy is crazy? And the only fox in this scenario is his favorite commercial news source which he pays more attention to than US intelligence agencies.

May 25, 2018 at 6:52 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: The 3 hardest words: ‘I was wrong’

I have a wish, Gary, that some day you will actually stop cutting and pasting propaganda and look deeper at the issues. Your post is just the latest example. Instead of your conservative blog paste, why not look at the actual study? It's a free download from the National Academies of Sciences available here:

At 121 pages, it is way more in-depth than your 7 bullet points, which are misleading at best, manipulative at worst. If you just read the title, you could have figured out that the purpose of this publication is to provide an overview of the nature of the research gaps that had been created by the 18 year hiatus in CDC funded studies so priorities could be set for the best way to fill in those gaps and move ahead. In other words, this is a survey of what is missing in the body of research and what needs to be done to get a better handle on the issue of gun violence.

Your pasted "bullet points" (some pun, no?) are outright misunderstandings or misrepresentations of this very point. For instance

-the study points out how there is not even an agreement on how to define "self defense" and "deterrance," so how can you even collect meaningful statistics on whether an armed citizen is safer than an unarmed citizen?

- the defensive uses of guns was brought up as an example of how little we know, since the estimate of their use ranges all the way from 108,000 (not your bullet point's 300,000) to over 3 million. In other words, we just don't have good numbers and really need to do a lot better job getting a better estimate.

Citing the 2013 study for mass shooting trends is a sad understatement of the problem, which has been only growing since then. For a more recent update, I recommend the Washington Post overview here:

The 4th point is beyond a generalization to the point of meaningless. The whole idea of more research, once again, is to put a finer point on what works and what doesn't work. This is the point that the CDC is trying to make as to why the 18 year hiatus was a huge mistake and how it's past time to make up for lost ground. The exact same message can be made about points 5 and 6.

Suicides are indeed a huge problem. This is a common understanding that nobody is trying to cover up, Gary. The CDC was merely pointing out that we need better information on what measures are the most effective at reducing the role of guns in suicides.

So thanks for making my point, Gary. I hope that you will spend some time perusing the document and maybe you'll come to the same conclusion as the study: it's time to make up for lost time, and the results will be of benefit to all, regardless of where your position is. It will reduce the amount of stupid and ineffective measures that all sides have proposed to boot.

May 24, 2018 at 10:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: The 3 hardest words: ‘I was wrong’

I blame the NRA for not engaging in a reasonable discussion of gun violence as part of a larger discussion about violence here in the US. I blame the NRA for resisting using federal funds for doing GOOD research on gun violence as a means to identify and track what works and what doesn't work in our communities regarding reducing gun violence. The CDC has a good track record of reducing other health risks, including other forms of violence, but has been kept out of the gun violence arena by folks like the NRA for purely political reasons.

I also blame the NRA for resisting and being a primary reason that our country does not have a functional system of universal background checks. I laud the NRA for promoting gun safety but and for promoting enforcing laws already on the books. I don't expect that they will ever get behind banning any kind of guns or gun accessories, which I can accept because they are beholden to their monied benefactors who make such merchandise. But their vision of an American where there are plenty of firearms around every corner as a means to stop the bad buy is dangerous, simplistic and nothing that most citizens want. So I blame the NRA for taking an extreme position and refusing to take leadership in a discussion about gun violence that is so desperately needed to reduce the suffering that is taking place in way too many of our communities.

May 24, 2018 at 7:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Views From Kansas: Kobach wrong on education

Let me see.... I am externalizing the blame, while you are blaming "the Liberal." Really? At least I have some testable correlates in the community that can be monitored for verifiability of a community's health and how it correlates to school performance. What does your "Liberal" explanation provide that is testable? A DNA test? Then what? Send all those with a certain genetic profile to concentration camps? Come on, Bob: where's the beef?

May 23, 2018 at 12:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Views From Kansas: Kobach wrong on education

Schools are a reflection of the health of the community, just like growing a garden is a reflection of the health of the soil. If you want to improve your garden's productivity, you have to improve the fertility of the soil, which unfortunately is easier to do than improving the health of the communities with schools that underperform. But there is one certainty: Kobach's plan ignores this underlying truth and is guaranteed to not only fail our public school system but also fail the communities that have those schools.

The criteria used by educational mandates and the school districts who are suing the state for more money are on the right track, partly because they address the motivations for improved performance more realistically. It's time Mr. Kobach put aside his ideologically based platitudes and went back to school.

May 23, 2018 at 6:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Let’s talk about plastic bags

Nice editorial that summarizes the issues pretty well. Upon reflection of the widespread environmental impacts of this cheap, utilitarian but pervasive blight producer, I expect that most Lawrencians will come around to supporting this effort. Using a canvas grocery bag 131 times is definitely not a problem, or a paper bag more than 3 times for that matter.

May 23, 2018 at 6:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Court rejects Kobach's contempt appeal as premature

It's a case of premature gesticulation

May 22, 2018 at 6:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Christianity without a hint of Jesus

Whiff is the right word here: your neo-eugenics genetic deterministic dogma really stinks, Bob. Your stance is way worse than promoting Christian tolerance like Pitts is promoting: and you have the choice to stop droning your one note song too.

May 20, 2018 at 7:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Water vision

I completely agree with Allyn here. This is a foundational concern for our state perhaps even more important to our state's economy than roads. Additionally, it impacts our commitment to our future as much as well funded schools, impacts the environmental health of our state and is a critical bulwark defense against the coming droughts that will become more and more common and severe in coming decades.

I for one will be bringing up this critical issue in any forum that I attend leading up to this fall's elections.

May 20, 2018 at 7:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Mural debate veers off course

Why didn't you include the virtual depiction of the Library WITH the mural superimposed:

Frankly, I think that the architectural objections are way overplayed here: the splash of color at the base of the main structure works beautifully. It is a kind of play on the structure of a book, reflecting that the real meaning is sandwiched between the covers. Furthermore, the addition of the mural in my mind is a kind of public stamp of approval of the renovation, which, after all was funded through a public vote to raise taxes for the project.

It will draw people to that corner of the library, which would otherwise just be a drab concrete wall. What's there not to like architecturally? If architecture is about creating a space for the mind and spirit, not just a structure to live/work in, then this strengthens, not hinders the library's purpose. Come on, Library Foundation, if you got behind this, there would not be a controversy.

May 20, 2018 at 7:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )