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Torture report says little on Pat Roberts' role

Andy, I really don't want to get into it about Cuba, but I would like to reiterate that I don't think the Obama administrations position on torture has been very good either. And again, just because both political parties are culpable does not mean this issue should be ignored. On the contrary, the fact that both parties allowed this to happen is a strong argument that we need shed as much light as possible on this. There is more than enough shame to go around. It would be great to hear more voices from both sides condemning to practice and apologizing for their parts.

December 18, 2014 at 10:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Torture report says little on Pat Roberts' role

John, I'm not trying to blame only Republicans. Democrats are guilty of complicity or at the very least remaining silent as this whole nasty business went down. The Obama administration and the Obama Justice Dept have not condemned the torture as they should have. But just because those on both sides of the isle were complicit is not an excuse to sweep this under the rug. And insisting that torture is exclusively a legal term is just plain silly. Definitions of the word torture from all sources I could find (Merriam-Webster, Oxford English, etc.) do not outline any legal aspects to the word. And just because a government (ours or any other) refuses to admit that the intentional infliction of pain and suffering to captives is torture, that doesn't make it not torture. If you are going to resort to word games to try to minimize the scope of our atrocities, at least be clever about it.

December 18, 2014 at 8:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

One case at a time David. The Kochs have a track record of tying money to message at universities all over our nation. It's not my or anyone's responsibility to hold everyone's feet to the fire. The SSF is just asking if the Kochs are up to their usual tricks. That does not make the SSF responsible for the whole zoo. I does not make me responsible either. If someone else comes along later and wants to look into correspondence with other big donors, that request can be examined. It would be a separate issue.

December 17, 2014 at 8:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

Mr. Reynolds, you are still trying to make this about Art Hall. It's not. The request for the records is not a punitive move against Art Hall. It's an attempt to bring to light the nature and the extent of influence in research and/or curriculum that the Koch brothers have tied to their donations to KU. You keep trying to make this look like a personal attack on Art Hall that has no motive but to hurt him. I suspect you are doing this because your argument falls apart quickly if you focus on the real issue.

December 17, 2014 at 4:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: Students defend information request

The whole premise of responses here is an intentional misdirect. The implication of the inquiry is not primarily to vilify Art Hall. Hall is hiding behind the idea that this is a witch hunt directed against him. The point of the inquiry is transparency. Hall's claim that discussions he has with donors about conditions or guidance tied to the donations must remain secret to ensure "academic freedom" is ridiculous. The only really agenda here is to bring the details of the Kochs' relationship with KU to light. After the details are made clear, then the public can decide whether KU has acted in a way that promotes academic freedom. If the money has no strings or reasonable strings, then we can move on. If the money is buying significant influence on the direction of research and/or what is being taught, the public can then determine how much respect they have for KU and the KU School of Business. Hall trying to make this all about him is an attempt to change the argument.

December 17, 2014 at 12:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Torture report says little on Pat Roberts' role

A White House that is out of control (Bush Jr.), secret courts, secret Justice Dept memoranda and the complicity of other branches of government may offer some legal cover for those involved, but torture is more than just a technical legal term. Just because we failed to call it torture does not make it right. If we don't bring this all to light and label it accurately, we almost guarantee that it will be regarded as reasonable behavior by those on power and that it will happen again. If the political theater helps to cultivate a sense of shame in our collective, then at least it's a step in the right direction.

December 17, 2014 at 9:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Torture report says little on Pat Roberts' role

Steve, I would argue that the fact that stuff like this has happened in the past is not a good argument that we should overlook these actions and move on. I would argue that the fact that the US has overreacted in the past is a strong argument that we need to make this a big deal. We need to hold people accountable. We need to bring to light all the details of this sorted episode. The events of the past are strong evidence that without some kind of accountability, this kind of thing will happen again. Also, I don't see anyone apologizing for the torture outlined in the report. The CIA says they were just doing what they were told. Cheney says he would do it all over again. They all say it worked and it was important. There is no remorse. The President has not condemned to actions of the previous administration or the CIA. No one has expressed anything even vaguely resembling an apology. They have not even offered apologies to the falsely accused who were tortured as far as I can tell. Everyone in power still seems pretty proud of what we did. Roberts said he was proud of his part in it.

December 15, 2014 at 11:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Related concern

Mr. Upchurch, if you are concerned about China's influence on KU curriculum, I encourage you to look into it. This really should not interfere with an inquiry into the Koch brothers influence on what is being taught at the KU Business School. The fact that the Kochs have used donations to influence curriculum at other universities is relevant. I think, Mr. Upchurch, that your letter is designed a distraction from the issue at hand. The real story is about how the Kochs are able to dictate curriculum and then keep records exposing their influence from seeing the light of day. The real story here is about how money trumps academic integrity and legal authority in our current system. Your little China letter is just a red herring.

December 14, 2014 at 7:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Mayor wants to restart discussion about police headquarters project; City Commission rejects cell tower plan

Yes Carol, fire departments and police departments are different. But just saying "police departments function differently" misses the point. The point is that the current system is broken. Changing the system to move away from the separate, entitled, armed camp, protect our own at all cost mentality is important. So, saying we can't do this because that's not the way it's done is just arguing that the system needs to stay broken. If you have a better idea on how we might implement positive change, I'm all ears. I'd be more inclined to leave it to the pro's if they were willing to admit there is a problem.

December 11, 2014 at 8:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansas Gov. Brownback working on pension, school plans

Title of article should be "Kansas Gov. Brownback working on more ways to steal our money." His plans to take money away from public employees' retirements is just plain theft. There is no nuance here. It's taking money that was promised. At the very least, the Bible thumpers and traditional Republicans who voted Brownie back in should realize that it's wrong to steal money from retirement funds. It's dishonest and it's unfair and just plain mean.

December 10, 2014 at 4:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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