citizen1 (David Reynolds)

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Letter: Free speech

Really William, "slippery slope"? A threat to what learning environment? There were no reported threats. No bad behavior was reported. The only thing that was reported was a confederate flag was brought to a parking lot at school.

We are 150 years since the civil war & 50 years since the riots of the 60's, have we not grown in psychological strength?

When I was growing up I lived with the KKK, in their white sheets, burning crosses on Saturday nights on the Esplanade in Leavenworth. Today I am no more intimidated by the site of their white sheet robes than I am of any other common thing.

By banning/censorship we do not gain in strength. We do not grow as a society. We do not learn to move beyond the bad events in our history.

The more we cower at symbols the weaker we become. By cowering the bully is in control.

By having the psychological strength to ignore the bullying act, by fighting back with our determination to resist such acts we overcome the bully and we put away our fears.

We grow in strength and prove we are the better person and society is the better for it.

February 3, 2016 at 10:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawmakers question legality of KU, Brownback administration real estate deals

Before you all demean the Legislature with your remarks you should remember one & only one thing. The legislature controls many of the purse strings at KU & KU has to do business with them every year. What goes around comes around!

There is an old saying: "Never bite the hand that feeds you"!

February 3, 2016 at 9:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Free speech

Nancy your statement: "some flags have a history that means that their display can be equated with threat and harassment. The Confederate flag and the Nazi flag fall into that category.", only has meaning relative to an individuals' perspective. The confederate flag to Negros, Nazi flag to Jews, American flag to Middle easterners & Mexicans, etc.

I take great umbrance with your statement that "no right is absolute". You are incorrect on that point. As an example where are the limits on free speech stated in the constitution?

So the question I asked remains: What do we do with the boy & his American flag t-shirt & any displays of the American flag within the school?

February 2, 2016 at 4:36 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Free speech

William where do we draw the line on censorship?

I pose the following real world situation. The US Constitution guarantees free speech, it doesn't grant a right to Not Be Offended nor does it say there are Limits To The Location where the speech may be spoken. It also does not grant a Right To Be Heard, even though words are spoken. Thus a young man walks into school with an American Flag on his T-Shirt and a Mexican boy, or Iranian, or Palestinian, takes offense to it what do we do? Throughout the middle east the American flag is burned almost daily combined with the words "death to America". Some Mexicans take offense at Americans demanding a stop to illegal immigration.

So what do we do? Do we take the American flag out of inside the school, the parking lot? Do we relegate the American Flag to the curb in the street because we are afraid we might offend someone?

As I said above where is our teaching moment? Where do we start to change hearts & minds? It seems to me if every objection is granted we are left with a question of how do we learn, how does society live & function if we live in fear that a persons next action will offend someone?

February 2, 2016 at 3:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Free speech

Dorothy I respect your right to free speech. While reviewing your comments about the boy I find your comments are full of assumptions, innuendo, and irrational conclusions.

You have absolutely no idea what the young man's "INTENT" was/is. Unless you know his intent you can not make ANY accurate conclusion regarding his motives, state of mind, nor if he is or is not a racist, etc.

February 2, 2016 at 1:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Free speech

According to Amendment 1, Article 1 of the US Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Notice that no where in that amendment does it grant a right to Not Be Offended nor does it say there are Limits To The Location where the speech may be spoken. It also does not grant a Right To Be Heard, even though words are spoken.

Now certainly with any freedom comes Personal Responsibility.

By banning the Confederate Flag are we yielding to the "Political Correctness Movement" trying to, in the minds of a few, purify society?

In response to an earlier LJ World article regarding the banning of the Confederate Flag I wrote the following. I include it here because I believe it also applies here.

I believe if we ban the confederate flag & other such symbols we miss a tremendous opportunity for a “Teaching Moment”.

The Confederate Flag, or any symbol, or words, are only racist if we allow them to be.

These symbols are part of our history and should not be lost. They should be used in a positive way (teaching moments in our schools) to show how far we as a society have come, versus serve as a reminder of how bad things were.

By banning these symbols and words, versus using them to teach history, we as a society lose. By teaching versus banning we over come fear, prejudice, break down barriers in society, and create understanding of the influences that have molded the different cultures in our society. In short we change behavior.

By banning versus teaching we also lose the ability to teach history correctly & how far, why, & how, historically, society has moved in the area of civil rights, so such things do not occur again. We lose the ability to inoculate society against history repeating itself. We lose the ability to strengthen the thinking of our young to not be susceptible to the intoxication of evil influences. In short we do not change behavior.

I remember how society in the free world reacted negatively to the book burnings in the past & the banishment of books in our schools for some politically correct esoteric reason. In those processes society lost the ability to teach.

By banning symbols we will have regressed, not moved forward.

February 2, 2016 at 10:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence high school students create petition to ban Confederate flag districtwide

I believe if we ban the confederate flag & other such symbols we miss a tremendous opportunity for a “Teaching Moment”.

The Confederate Flag, or any symbol, or words, are only racist if we allow them to be.

These symbols are part of our history and should not be lost. They should be used in a positive way (teaching moments in our schools) to show how far we as a society have come, versus serve as a reminder of how bad things were.

By banning these symbols and words, versus using them to teach history, we as a society lose. By teaching versus banning we over come fear, prejudice, break down barriers in society, and create understanding of the influences that have molded the different cultures in our society. In short we change behavior.

By banning versus teaching we also lose the ability to teach history correctly & how far, why, & how, historically, society has moved in the area of civil rights, so such things do not occur again. We lose the ability to inoculate society against history repeating itself. We lose the ability to strengthen the thinking of our young to not be susceptible to the intoxication of evil influences. In short we do not change behavior.

I remember how society in the free world reacted negatively to the book burnings in the past & the banishment of books in our schools for some politically correct esoteric reason. In those processes society lost the ability to teach.

By banning symbols we will have regressed, not moved forward.

January 30, 2016 at 2:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Wrong focus

Patrick, I understand your concern , but how is the Trump situation different from how the press helps other candidates get elected, the most recent being President Obama?

The situation is Trump is a celebrity...celebrity sells media! The media is going where the money is, and the money is with Trump. Until Trump became a candidate the media was prominently focused on Hillary. Interesting there were no complaints when that was occurring. Now Hillary is damaged goods.

The most interesting aspect of this situation is Trump is breaking all the rules of a candidate. Historically candidates knuckled under the demands of the media. In so doing the media enjoyed their dominance of control over the election process & influenced the thinking of the citizens.

Trump is proving he can defy conventional wisdom of allowing the media to set the agenda & process. This frustrates the heck out of the media & the establishment oligarchs. It also breaks the backs of the control of the media & establishment. What Trump is doing is monumental in that regard. No one else has been able to break the vicious grip the media & establishment has over the election process & the thinking of we citizens.

This is showing he can be very effective in dealing with extremely difficult situations encountered by a President. Especially when the "difficult Situation" is one out to destroy you. This to should be taken as a positive.

Trump is introducing "chaos" into the media. With chaos comes frustration & unpredictability by all involved. In this case the media. The more Trump wins this situation the better for you & I.

You should be enjoying what Trump is doing. The more he is successful the more liberated the electorate is to think for themselves and thus make their own decision about who they will vote for without suffering the undo influence of the media & the establishment.

Currently the media is trying to influence your thinking by demeaning Trump's actions. Making him appear as a "loose canon or some kind of Ogre". This demeaning of Trump is the media's over reaction to Trump defying them. Personally I think it is at once funny and a happy sign that we, the citizens, have an opportunity to see the media's & establishment's control over us broken.

Enjoy the process...you benefit.

January 30, 2016 at 1:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Godly parents

There has been a very large secular movement in the USA for decades. Thus it is interesting to hear those opposed to religion try to denigrate religion and it’s ideas.

But faith is just a belief in something. By definition we are all religious in some form, those not believing in any organized church fall into the category of Atheists. They of course will claim otherwise. But non-belief in a God is atheism, because they have faith that there is no God.

There are no perfect families regardless of the family construct. So pounding on Carl is pointless. Just make your point and move on.

But before you go here is something to think about: One of the most famous atheists, Jeffrey Dahmer, said: “if a person doesn’t think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges?”.

Interesting.

So the next time the secular/atheist folks wish to attack a person professing their religion you might think about that.

One last thought: Somewhere in the bible it says: He who is without sin cast the first stone”.

January 23, 2016 at 9:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Your Turn: City earns anti-development reputation

Turning down the K-Ten Crossing ranks among the worst decisions any Lawrence City Commission has ever made. I will change that comment only when I am provided with sound economic & business reasons by the city commission.

One excuse offered by a commissioner was something to the effect "the city isn't ready to cross the SLT". I would wonder why?

I understand the city sewer is already extended beyond the SLT south. The rest of the city utilities should have gone south of the SLT when the south leg was extended. If they didn't that would be a very bad & costly decision. My understanding is the city utilities went west across the SLT when the 15th street interchange was installed.

The city misled the developers of K-Ten Crossing for years during this process by not directly advising the developers, the city was not going to approve the development regardless. The developers operated in "good faith" the city "did not". The city owes them a formal apology and/reconsideration.

The city commission says they want development at Mercato. Well, Mercato does not yet have the correct "selection criteria for a successful retail development" sought by retail developers. Retail developers’ best chance of success is to go into high traffic locations where there is existing retail development & there are enough roof tops to support their business type. In that way there is a natural draw to there stores. Mercato currently does not offer that criteria for success. If the city wants retail to go to Mercato then the city needs to be flexible & offer something in return.

Some in Lawrence bemoan the fact that there are vacancies in existing commercial and retail sites in various parts of the city. They try to use this as an excuse to not allow more new when there is available old. This is a terrible reason to deny new commercial & retail businesses in other locations. There are a number of very good reasons why those spaces are vacant.

The two primary reasons businesses leave a space is because they either ceased to exist or moved to a site where their business will grow. A current example is “M” Street Interiors. They are moving from Massachusetts street to Wakarusa & 6th St.

If too many spaces are open in an area and it is getting blighted then the city (planners & commissioners) should be contacting & working with developers for ideas on “Repurposing” the property.

But that is the problem in Lawrence. The City Commission & Planners so try to “Micro-Manage” development that they discourage economic growth in Lawrence. They use Horizon 20-20 as a club versus an opportunity. Those seeking to control development for some esoteric reason have & continue to ruin Lawrences’ Image with the external development community. Every “NO” is a lost opportunity for employment gains, lowering property taxes and funding for the arts & entertainment we so love in Lawrence.

January 14, 2016 at 8:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )