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Gay-rights advocates observe Supreme Court proceedings with excitement, anxiety

If there's a slippery slope (which is a name for a logical fallacy), it doesn't begin with same-sex marriage. It begins with mixed-sex marriage. If a man and a woman can marry, then can two men or two women marry? "...[C]an a man marry more than one woman? Or more than one man?" And so on.

March 28, 2013 at 10:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

House approves bill requiring KU Medical Center to establish stem cell research center

This is nothing more than an attempt to enshrine in state statute a bias against embryonic stem cell research. It's well-charted territory; in fact, it's been the object of Sen. Pilcher-Cook's legislative agenda for nearly a decade.

Next up will be bills to ban embryonic stem cell research in Kansas and to prevent Kansans from receiving any therapy using embryonic stem cells. Pilcher-Cook has introduced such bills before, and this latest one is just groundwork for new ones.

March 26, 2013 at 8:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brownback administration pushes to repeal restrictions on corporate agriculture; opponents say family farms will suffer

Brownback's secretary of agriculture is a corporate-farm type. It's the only agriculture he knows. He worked for Cargill for 130 years or something like that.

The administration is looking forward to the day when western Kansas is nothing but 10,000-acre farms, each with two or three employees. And a few days after that, a desert.

March 8, 2013 at 3:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sweeping abortion bill approved by Kansas House committee

A large portion (half or more) of fertilized eggs never implant in a woman's uterus and thus result in no pregnancy. Presumably the state legislature will take some action to change this. For every child born in Kansas, at least one other "child" has "died" because of this basic biological fact, one that should alarm anyone who would give a fertilized egg the same ethical and legal status as a human being.

March 7, 2013 at 6:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Measure would start stem cell research center at KU Med

Sen. Pilcher-Cook has made it a personal crusade to ban embryonic stem cell research in Kansas -- and to make any therapies using such cells unavailable to Kansans. She tried bill after bill when she was a member of the Kansas House, and although she found supporters, none of the bills managed to make it past the moderate leadership of the Kansas Senate.

Last November's elections eliminated that roadblock to her ambition. And she's taken the smarter tack of proposing what seems on the face of it to be a constructive bill. But it's just a back door effort to write into state law restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. (Which, incidentally, doesn't involve cells taken from aborted fetuses; an aborted fetus has only adult stem cells, not embryonic ones.)

Kansas medical researchers should be free to pursue work involving both embryonic and adult stem cells in the search for cures. They don't need politicians setting their research agendas, and none of us needs to have scientific progress stalled by purely political maneuvering.

February 28, 2013 at 6:03 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

New bioscience chief concedes past problems at agency

About a fifth of the jobs the KBA has had a hand in creating during its eight years of operation were created during the past year.

February 5, 2013 at 5:35 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Statehouse Live: Bill to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented students introduced in committee

When will you learn our language? Punctuation. It's available to everyone.

January 29, 2013 at 6:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Note to court: Effect is a noun; affect is a verb ... except when they're not

I've known people who insisted that "data" be treated as a plural but that "database" be treated as a single word. These are conflicting positions because in American English, we make single-word compound nouns using singular head nouns. We have shoeboxes, for instance, not shoesboxes. We have toothbrushes, not teethbrushes. So if you insist on "data" as a plural, you have to accept "data base" as two words.

January 23, 2013 at 4:43 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Statehouse Live: State agriculture secretary calls for repeal of laws restricting corporate farms

Rodman's vision: Most of western Kansas is taken up by ten-thousand acre farms with two or three employees. A few towns survive -- Hays, probably, Garden City and Liberal, maybe -- but no more than are necessary to serve a decimated population. And out-of-state agriculture corporations thrive on revenue derived from Kansas operations. It is that kind of agriculture that he's secretary of.

January 15, 2013 at 6:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Should the city ticket property owners with snowy sidewalks?

The city needs a right-of-way to the land because it doesn't own the land. If it owned the land, it would need no right-of-way. Any improvements on the land -- like a sidewalk -- belong to the owner of the land, not the city. The owner should maintain those improvements, and keeping a sidewalk in functioning condition seems like a reasonable maintenance requirement.

January 11, 2013 at 9:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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