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Letter: Academic issue

"Speech does have consequences"

Of course it does. I personally think Guth is a jerk, a hyper-emotional moonbat who truly wishes maximum heartbreak on his political opponents. He really believes the NRA is responsible for every mentally ill veteran who goes berserk. As a dues-paying member of the NRA, I pity his self-deceit, even as I smirk at his simpleton antics. His ignorance does not offend me. It makes me laugh and reminds me why I pay my $25 every year.

But his expression of his opinion does not give carte blanche to politicians to use his words for their own gain. Nor should it give fainting-couch conservatives, pretending to be offended, a chance to morally preen before the microphones. Nor does it demand a state-funded college to weigh in on the "issue." There is no issue: there is merely an opinion that does not concern the college any more than it concerns his church, his country club, or his health spa.

The guy proved himself a drama queen, but his opinion is between himself and the Twitstains who value it. It has no more to do with his job than if he had opined about rutabagas or the New York Yankees. His NRA-registered students should mock him, maybe even wearing empty holsters to class, and other Twitter users should pour derision and mockery upon him 10' deep. Let him drown beneath the scorn of those who understand better than he, which is just about everyone.

But just because words have consequences, that does not mean that politicians need to take it upon themselves to provide those consequences. Let them deal with the things they were elected to deal with.

Those things do not, and should never, include monitoring the opinions of state employees.

October 2, 2013 at 12:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Dole Institute exercise reveals trade-offs in federal budget cutting

"Remember both parties voted for those wars."

I don't think it's a partisan issue at all; it's rather one of a lack of imagination. We have budgeted ourselves into a corner - and yet we do not even imagine a solution outside politically-accepted bounds. The "soft on defense" Dems would cut defense 10%, the "America, F-Yeah" GOP would not cut a penny. Neither imagines an option that does not include fighting 2 1/2 (non-essential) wars at the same time.

Therein lies the problem. We all know our current fiscal path is unsustainable, and defense, while not the whole problem, is part of it. The Dems mean to solve it by changing marginal rates on the rich, the GOP means to solve it by making marginal changes to domestic programs. Neither solves the problem, which is that we have overpromised across the board by an order of magnitude.

So the fact that we cannot even imagine a 50% cut in defense, which still leaves us outspending our nearest competitor by 2-1 under any scenario, is merely indicative of our inflexible and ultimately catastrophic ignoring of simple mathematics.

We cannot afford to run the world, and it does not conform to our wishes even when we spend every dollar we can. So we will either voluntarily and I hope rationally reduce defense (offense) spending, or we will do so in the midst of a fiscal catastrophe. But we will do it, because what cannot be sustained will not be.

October 2, 2013 at 12:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kobach promotes Voter Registration Kit on National Voter Registration Day; doesn't mention problem of voters in 'suspense'

And hacks use it to report not-news that didn't happen and that add nothing to the public's knowledge.

October 2, 2013 at 12:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kobach promotes Voter Registration Kit on National Voter Registration Day; doesn't mention problem of voters in 'suspense'

"Nobody said Kobach had to check on the software every, hour"

No, but apparently he must every press release. That's fine, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and all that. So I await with bated breath the Rothschild story that notes that Obama, though he mentioned ACA today, did not mention the computer problems that accompanied its rollout, denying millions the opportunity to enroll. Waiting...waiting...

October 2, 2013 at midnight ( | suggest removal )

Anthropology Department opposes leave for Guth

You must have missed the word 'licensed' in my prior comment, which in Kansas presumes that those who would carry have passed training standards and background checks; in fact, it presumes exactly what you're arguing. The right to defend oneself in Kansas is limited by law, though not necessarily by reason.

Now, while I apply the first amendment in the same way I apply the second - very literally, meaning that Professor Guth should receive exactly ZERO sanction from KU for his free speech - I wonder if you apply the second in the same way you apply the first.

So tell us: is your right to free speech an unlimited pass to speak whatever you want?

September 27, 2013 at 10:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Anthropology Department opposes leave for Guth

The Anthropology Department at Kansas University issued a statement on Friday criticizing school officials for denying faculty and students the right to carry their licensed, concealed weapons on campus following the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., last week that left 13 dead.

Ya, that'll be the day.

September 27, 2013 at 8:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Dole Institute exercise reveals trade-offs in federal budget cutting

"I know Lind - I have been laughing at him for twenty years."

Very well. I note, however, that we have spent a couple trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan and what we have to show for it is two stateless regions and a whole lot of Americans with titanium legs. Oh, and Al Queda. Laugh all you want, his 4GW theory has been a far better predictor of the actual outcome than anything coming from the State Department the entire time.

"Please provide support for your assertion that we would still have the biggest and most expensive military in the world."

It's not like support is that hard to find. An 80% reduction from $700b is, what? $140b/yr? China is the next highest defense spender behind us <a href='http://www.globalfirepower.com/defense-spending-budget.asp'>at $129b</a>. So we will still have the most expensive military.

Now, how about the biggest? Well, is it more expensive to build or maintain? It's more expensive to build, no? That means that we can afford to maintain more than China, since they are building. We have 11 carriers groups, they have I believe a single carrier and one they are building. For the same amount of money as they spend we can still have more military, because we don't need to build it. We will not have 11 carrier groups, but we will still have more than China for roughly the same money.

"we can do as you suggest and we will have a constabulary force."

That is precisely the point. For all geopolitical intents and purposes we are an island - neither Mexico nor Canada is a threat to us and no nation in the world has the troops or the transports to invade us across the water, "Red Dawn" notwithstanding. So all we need for real, actual defense is enough military to keep the shores swept free. We need a constabulary force.

All the rest, all of it, is offense, not defense. If we want to strike Syria for what its government allegedly did inside its borders, we may be morally justified, but we cannot possibly call it defense. It's not.

September 27, 2013 at 8:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Dole Institute exercise reveals trade-offs in federal budget cutting

"If 20% from Defense is not enough what is?"

50%, for starters, then ratcheting up to 80%. $100 billion dollars a year will still leave us with the biggest and most expensive military in the world. Granted, it won't allow us to start a new war every 48 months, but that's not a bug, it's a feature. One example of how this might come about is William S. Lind's <a href='http://www.antiwar.com/lind/?articleid=3955'>defensive grand strategy</a>.

The fact that cutting - any cutting - is not even a choice just shows how narrowly Americans view our precarious budget situation. This is especially true for those Americans who are supposed to be making these choices. Our inflexible - and therefore brittle - approach is going to make it that much harder on us the next time something really, really big breaks. And I don't mean Syria. I mean the dollar.

September 26, 2013 at 3:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kobach promotes Voter Registration Kit on National Voter Registration Day; doesn't mention problem of voters in 'suspense'

Yes, if there's a problem with the system, fix it. Kobach, as SecState, may even have a moral imperative to see that the software people at the DMV get their code fixed. As a software professional, I can tell you that having him walking the halls checking on it every hour - as some seem to expect - will not speed the process.

But I mention the Emporia paper for one reason. The inclusion of the un-mention in this article is not as objective an item as Chootspa makes it. Professionals leave it in, professionals leave it out. It is a subjective decision.

Emporia wrote a story based on the press release. LJW used a story based on the press release to illustrate what the reporter thinks is a shortcoming or exclusion in that press release, a software issue in a separate part of state government that, while highly embarrassing (else it would not be so gleefully embraced here), affects .1% of voters and is not logically related to the contents of the press release.

If the issue is excluded from the next press release on Kansas government IT issues, I'll agree with Chootspa. Until then, I'll continue to slice Mr. Rothschild's articles into news and opinion. I read the news, and it only takes about 1/2 the time as before.

September 26, 2013 at 2:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kobach promotes Voter Registration Kit on National Voter Registration Day; doesn't mention problem of voters in 'suspense'

Lol. Someone ought to tell the Emporia Gazette, who managed to get through the entire story without mentioning the problems a single time. Their editors are really down on the job. Someone needs to tell them that not mentioning a problem in every press release is 'ignoring' it.

Did you read the press release? If so, would you explain to us exactly where it might have fit into the information being presented?

September 26, 2013 at 2:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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