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New coalition pushing to relax Kansas liquor laws

What makes y'all think wine in the grocery store will be *cheaper*? Whenever I've lived anywhere that booze was sold in the grocery and convenience stores, it's been more expensive there, just like the other non-food items.

That said, the existing law protects small businesses, and Kansas has done more than enough to mess things up for small businesses, family farms, and local industry without compounding the errors. Leave the law as it is, or if there *must* be change, restrict it to beer and wine. In Texas, it's hard liquor only in the liquor stores, but beer and wine are available pretty much everywhere, and it seems like a good balance. I will admit to a certain bias on this one, because while I lived in Lawrence I got to be friends with one of the liquor store owners, and he's a nice guy so I don't want to see his business hurt.

By the way, we finally got Boulevard down here. Between that and the difference in our respective weather reports, I have to say Texas is really the place to be, at least in January.

January 27, 2011 at 5:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Best Of Lawrence goes gluten free, vegan and vegetarian

True, but celiac disease is the new 'lactose intolerant', I think. Waaaaay more people being diagnosed with it than makes sense.

"Oh, you have an unspecified set of ailments that are partially digestive in nature, unconnected to one another, seemingly inexplicable, and have not responded to any other treatments. I think you have Celiac disease, which I cannot run a conclusive test for and which I will continue to treat you for in the absence of any positive indications that you've got it. You'll need to cut out just about everything you eat now and become obsessed with reading labels."

Everyone I know who's been diagnosed celiac in the last few years (most of them by an 'elimination diagnosis' in which the doctor can't *confirm* celiac but has eliminated every other possible illness) has become an obsessive label reader, cut down on processed foods, increased their consumption of vegetables, and decreased their sodium and sugar intake. OF COURSE if you do those things you feel better, and if a large part of your diet previously consisted of processed high-carb and fatty foods, you'll get healthier. They didn't have a disease, they were just eating like Americans.

All this just provides people who chose to go 'gluten-free' (when they could have become just as healthy by moderately cutting back on processed foods) with ammunition to insist that yes, it really was celiac disease, because the treatment had an effect. This, in turn, fuels the idea that there's some sort of celiac epidemic going on out there, when really we all just need to eat more real food and less processed junk.

The very small percentage of people among those diagnosed who actually *have* celiac disease are an incredible minority in a group of people mostly benefiting from 'treatment' that would better be called 'getting a balanced diet.' The celiacs are benefitting from the crowd in an increased availability of gluten-free options.

I love the gluten-free fad, myself, becase it means that until the processed foods market catches up with the fad, there are a lot more options out there for "meat+veggies without heavy sauces" and I like to eat like that. Unfortunately, it means that as they come up with more processed gluten-free alternatives, the people who *aren't* really gluten-intolerant will be right back where they started with a high-fat, high-sugar, salty diet, and the people with actual celiac will find that the current ease with which they can get gluten-free products vanishes as quickly as it arose.

January 18, 2011 at 5:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas Senate committee considering whether to levy 'soda tax'

So, uh, if the federal government got into this 'soda tax' business instead of just state government, could that lead to a situation where soda drinkers were being taxed to provide the same tax dollars that pay for the very corn subsidies that make HFCS so cheap?

And is that ironic, or just sad?

March 15, 2010 at 5:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

'Covenant marriages' draw opposition

It'd do a lot more to preserve marriage in any state if couples had to get that year of counseling before the wedding, not the divorce. You shouldn't be allowed to get married until you've proven that you can reasonably discuss:

1. Who will be responsible for the household bookkeeping and making sure the bills get paid.
2. Retirement funding plans.
3. If you will have children, how many, and when. (also, if there will be kids, who will stay home with them for how long)
4. What (if any) religious traditions will be practiced in the household.
5. Whether you'll fully commingle funds or maintain separate accounts.
6. Where you'll go for major holidays.
7. How much alone time is too much.
8. The maximum length of time any friend or family member will be invited to stay.
9. How household chores will be divided up.
10. Who is responsible for cleaning up after the pet(s).

Because honestly, barring abuse and infidelity, every relationship breakup I've ever seen comes down to people not having the same expectations about things on that list...

And of all of them, #1 and #7 have tanked the most relationships.

March 15, 2010 at 4:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Taliban kill young couple for eloping

The Taliban represent Islam about as well as Timothy McVeigh represented Christianity.

Cloaking your barbaric, hateful acts in a religion doesn't make them any less *your* barbaric, hateful acts. The Taliban are brutes and bullies, vicious tyrants using Islam as a means to control a populace through fear and oppression. They are what the Westboro Baptists would be if they could get political power: dangerous, unbalanced, and convinced of their own morality.

I may not appreciate the US taking on the role of World Policeman, but I have a hard time opposing it if it means standing up to a Taliban or a Janjaweed.

April 15, 2009 at 10:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Moral costs

OK, LTE. I was with ya on the elimination of nukes. I was willing to concede that we can't really know whether dropping the bombs on Japan saved more lives than it cost, so I could live with you being on the other side of that argument.

But then you go off the rails and start talking about the UN as a sole world government with all the control of the nukes, and I'm done with you.

I don't want *anyone* to have nukes, anywhere. I think they're an inherently bad thing. But if anyone has them, I want my country to, because though I'd prefer a leveled and empty nuclear playing field, I won't accept one where we're not as well-equipped as the other teams. That's just stupidity. I could never support putting the control of the US' nukes in any hands but our own.

April 14, 2009 at 2:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Parents combat underage drinking

I think it's fine for parents to give their kids alcohol at home. My parents let me drink at home pretty much as long as I can remember. If there was wine on the dinner table, it was for everyone. If Dad had a beer or Mom had a rum and Coke, my sister and I were allowed to have sips, and by the time I was in high school the rule was, "If you want to have ONE drink, then you can, as long as you're not driving. No more than one, though." I never pushed the envelope, but I imagine that having more than one would have resulted in the loss of drinking privilege, and driving after drinking (whether I was legally impaired or not) would have resulted in the loss of access to the family car. I didn't press it because I *knew* I was being trusted and given a privilege I'd earned for responsibility.

I went off to college and skipped the binge drinking (I spent most of my time as designated driver), and still retain a pretty healthy attitude towards alcohol.

But what I can't tolerate is the parents who throw parties for other people's kids and provide alcohol so that they can be 'cool'. They tell themselves it's better for the kids to drink with adult supervision, but they don't have any right to make that choice for another person's child. Now, if the parents were friends and say having a barbecue together, and one parent said, "Your kid can have one of my beers if you allow it," and the other parent said, "Yeah, that's fine with me. Hey, Billy, Mr. Jones says it's all right if you have one of his beers," then that would be different. But this "I'm gonna be the party house for all my kid's friends" garbage needs to stop, and it needs to stop with heavy fines and criminal charges.

April 13, 2009 at 4:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

German model

Austin's got awesome single-stream recycling. Every homeowner gets two trash bins, a big one for recycling and one about half that size for trash. The recycling bin takes glass, all recyclable plastics, cardboard, paper, newspaper, and cans. The truck picks it up and takes it to the recycling facility, where people participating in various 'welfare to work' programs sort it. My apartment complex just put in several single-stream bins we can use; I just keep two trash cans, one for recyclables and one for other waste. I recycle about two-thirds of my trash, and give a lot of my vegetable waste to a friend who pays me back in compost for my patio garden.

For every bag of non-recyclable trash that doesn't fit in the half-size trash can, you have to buy a tag (just a few bucks, no major hardship if you're doing a major spring cleaning or something) or the trucks won't take it. As time goes on, the 'trash' can is expected to just keep getting smaller and the fees for extra trash will just keep getting higher, to pressure people into using the recycling.

A lot of people resisted the bin size changes, but it's amazing how well most people adjusted to it. My only real problem with it is that my 'trash' can fills up so slowly that I have to take the trash out before it's half-full or it starts to smell. I'm generating less than half a bag of trash each week.

April 13, 2009 at 4:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sexual assaults in Lawrence

Gosh, myopinionmatters, maybe the reason the woman is 'always' more believable than the man is that it's historically a lot more likely that a rape charge is true than that it's made up, and rape is common enough that it's not a particularly far-fetched notion someone might have experienced one.

If two partners are intoxicated, I'm willing to call it a mistake on both parts. But a sober person who knowingly sleeps with a seriously inebriated one is a rapist regardless of their respective genders.

March 2, 2009 at 2:11 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brewery celebrates 20th anniversary

*snif*

I miss Free State all the time. It's one of the few things Austin doesn't have, is a really first-rate brewery restaurant. We used to have the Bitter End, but it burned down the day after the first time I ate there (I had nothing to do with it!). There is no March Mustard Madness in Austin.

Congratulations to Free State on 20 great years and here's hoping they have at least 20 more!

February 17, 2009 at 1:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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