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Posts tagged with Dist

Undecided - Which Presidential Candidate?

Who should I vote for as the next President of the United States?

The campaign season has been so short. There have been very few advertisements explaining positions. The news outlets have barely covered the Presidential Campaign.

SNL's Undecided Voter

SNL's Undecided Voter by Benjamin Roberts

Romney

Obama



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Reply 14 comments from Steven Gaudreau Tange Ronaldo Ignacio Snap_pop_no_crackle Benjamin Roberts Beatrice Bearded_gnome Agnostick Rockchalker52 Roedapple and 1 others

Talking Trash - Lawrence Style



Trash talk in Lawrence, Kansas

Trash talk in Lawrence, Kansas by Benjamin Roberts



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Reply 3 comments from Roedapple Snap_pop_no_crackle Benjamin Roberts Ladyj

Kobach - The Truth Please

Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal-World opinion writer, borrowed from the lefts' daily speaking points to write the article, "Kobach likens same-sex unions to drug abuse."

Rothschild links his story to what appears to be an "NBC Style" edited video of Kris Kobach speaking at the Republican National Convention's Platform Committee meeting. This is the flawed video:

Please take note that Kobach's comments were missing from the 7-second to the 13-second mark; additionally the first 6 seconds of his remarks were not included either.

The Video Quote

"(missing/edited-out) …. Especially the last sentence. As long …. (missing/edited-out) …. Well, our government routinely judges situations where you might regard people completely affecting themselves, like, for example, the use of controlled substances, like, for example, polygamy that is voluntarily entered into. We condemn those activities even though they are not hurting other people, at least directly. So this is worded way too broadly for inclusion in the platform.”

The Missing Quotes

Kobach began, “Kris Kobach from Kansas. I think the wording; I oppose this amendment. I think the wording is too broad..."

Kobach then gave the direct quote from the amendment that he opposed, citing the last sentence, "As long as there are no infringements on the rights of others, It is not the role of government to judge."

All Together Now

Kris Kobach from Kansas. I think the wording... I oppose this amendment, I think the wording is too broad. Especially the last sentence: ‘As long as there are no infringements on the rights of others, It is not the role of government to judge.’ Well, our government routinely judges situations where you might regard people completely affecting themselves like, for example, the use of controlled substances, like, for example, polygamy that is voluntarily entered into. We condemn those activities even though they’re not hurting other people, at least directly.”

Two critical, contextual pieces of information are thus missing from Rothschild's reporting. First, there is Kobach's 6 seconds of remarks, his preamble, as it were. Second, is the context of his remarks derived from the amendment; remarks regarding a broad based amendment to the platform - not remarks specific to same-sex marriage. Granted the amendment dealt with same-sex marriage; however, Kobach's remarks were specific to what he believed to be an overly broad amendment.

The Truth Please

Kobach, no doubt, is against same-sex marriage. However, to state that he "likens same-sex unions to drug abuse," or, that, "Kobach equated same-sex relationships with drug abuse and polygamy," at best is disingenuous and the result of poor research and reporting. Journal-World readers deserve better than rehashed disinformation from left-wing political blogs rewritten as news. Journal-World readers deserve higher journalistic standards than to use an Obama donation website as the sole reference for news. An Obama donation website? Yes, here is a screenshot of the current home page of the ThinkProgress.com website:

ThinkProgress - A Rothschild news source.

ThinkProgress - A Rothschild news source. by Benjamin Roberts

Correction

Oh, wait. It's not ThinkProgress.com it's ThinkProgress.org. Here is a screenshot of their home page:

ThinkProgress.org is the actual reference for Rothschild's news article.

ThinkProgress.org is the actual reference for Rothschild's news article. by Benjamin Roberts



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Reply 20 comments from Agnostick Benjamin Roberts Tange Fossick Autie Sparko Class Clown Jafs Tamerafda Glenn Reed and 1 others

Google - Dead and Buried at Oak Hill Cemetery

There is an interesting story, Man of an uncertain age: Legend of 125-year-old sparks curiosity, in the Lawrence Journal-World. After reading the story, I used Google Street View to see if I could explore Oak Hill Cemetery. The street view ended a short way into the cemetery. However, Google watermarked the view in an odd place.

After making several attempts to post the picture as a comment to the story - and the new comment system failing to post it - I decided to share the picture here. It is not necessarily blog-worthy, however, it is an interesting quirk.



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Sound Off: Answers to Most City Questions

I tried posting this comment several times to the Sound Off question, "Who is responsible for mowing the new grass median strips between Sixth Street and Peterson Road on Kasold?" The comment would not post; nor, could I use the "Blog about this" button. Thus, I created this blog.

Here is a list of phone numbers and e-forms to report various problems to the city:

Abandoned Vehicles
(785) 832-7509

Backflow Test Report
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-7800

Barking Dog
(785) 832-7509

Code Enforcement
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-3111

Report a Damaged Curb
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-3111

Report a Damaged Sidewalk
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-3125

Dilapidated House
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-7700

Graffiti
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-5354

Hazardous Parking
(785) 832-7509

Overhanging Trees and Shrubs
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-7979

Potholes
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-3456

Request GIS Data Sets
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-3325

Stray Dog
(785) 832-7509

Stormwater Blockage
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-3143

Street Lights Not Working
Submit Online Form
(800) 544-4857

Broken Traffic/Street Signs and Signals
(785) 832-7509

Weeds
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-7700

Water Service
Establish: Submit Online Form
transfer: Submit Online Form
stop services: Submit Online Form
(785) 832-7878

Water Taste/Odor/Appearance
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-7800

Website Help
Submit Online Form
(785) 832-7800

Emergencies: Police, Fire and Ambulance:
911

Water Main Break:
(785) 832-7800

Source: City of Lawrence Request Page



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Soda Jerk - Supersized Unintended Consequences

Soda Jerk: Noun. - someone who works at a soda fountain.

In most cases this definition would be ample and accurate. However, the term has now been bestowed upon the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. In Bloomberg's case the honorary title must be separated into its two components: Soda (a sweet drink consisting of soda water, flavoring, and often ice cream) and Jerk (an annoyingly stupid or foolish person).

Bloomberg has decided to combat obesity. His first major target is sugary drinks. His weapon of choice is government regulation of drink sizes. The mayor's website, MikeBloomberg.com, explains under its banner Combating Obesity, "The NYC Department of Health is continuing its efforts to combat this epidemic by seeking to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks in containers of more than 16 fluid ounces at restaurants and food carts."

It is tempting to address the overreaching hand of government, big brother, or the nanny state. However, those issues, and the relevant arguments of freedom and constitutional rights, will be ignored by Bloomberg. New York City will eventually adopt his proposal. For reasons incomprehensible to those outside of New York, New Yorkers appear to be willing participants of government intrusion. Ergo (a conjunction to replace "therefore" and sounds cool), the discussion will focus on the resulting catastrophes or unintended consequences of the pending legislation.

Unintended consequences are results of actions that were unexpected, undesired, and usually un-thought of by those proposing an action. They may be obvious to others, yet will be largely ignored by those seeking a particular action or outcome. Let's look at a few examples of unintended consequences.

San Francisco legislated the now all-too-well-known low-flush toilet. Hoping to conserve water, the city leaders missed an unintended consequence. Because of the lower water usage, there is now more sludge in their sewage plants. This has resulted in obnoxious odors and over $100 million in sewer upgrades.

Water districts throughout the nation have asked patrons to lower their usage. However, where conservation, or forced rationing, has been taken seriously there has been a significant unintended consequence: lower income for municipalities. Irate customers tend to be another unintended consequence of lower water usage because water districts simply raise rates to compensate for lower usage. Dam if you do; Dam if you don't. (A little water district humor there.)

Here are a few others before moving along:

  • Voluntary and mandated reductions in nicotine and tar have created greater health risks for those that choose to smoke.
  • A ban on the use of DDT has led to an increase in fatal malaria outbreaks.
  • Some believe that the use of corn to produce ethanol as an alternative fuel source has reduced the world's grain supply and increased the cost of food. The change in land use has also been credited with increasing greenhouse gases.
  • Georgia's new immigration law - written to decrease illiegal workers in Georgia - has created a shortage of agriculture workers.

Unintended Consequences of the Big Gulp Soda Jerk

First, there is no reason to believe that those wishing to drink massive quantities of sugary drinks will be hindered by Bloomberg's proposed ban. Many will likely double-down on the largest quantity available - the 16 ounce. In some cases, this will cause an increase in consumption for those currently buying 20 or 24 ounce drinks. Some will switch to diet soda which is now thought to create long term weight gain. The unintended consequence? The number of obese New York residents will continue to grow.

The ban will have the unintended consequence of negatively effecting the environment. As stated above, it is likely that some consumers will just buy two smaller sodas. The environmental impact of producing twice as many 16 ounce bottles, cups, and other containers will be significant. More paper (tree harvesting) and more plastics (increasing fossil fuel refining) will be required to meet the increased demand for smaller servings. Pollution from the increased need for transportation of raw materials, final product, and disposing of end product will be significant. Years down the road a study will measure this increase in tons of pollutants expelled into the air.

The increased usage of a slightly smaller container - a container that requires almost the same resources as its larger cousin to produce will have another unintended consequence. The ban will provide greater quantities of recyclable and disposable containers. This net effect of New York City increasing its trash output would be difficult to measure since they are kind enough to ship trash by several methods to multiple destinations. Virginia is just one of many destinations.

Of course there will be at least one positive unintended consequence. The cost of two or more smaller sugary drinks will exceed that of the supersize drink. This will increase the sales taxes collected by New York City and State.

That's all. Now go away - down below here - and talk amongst yourselves.



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Guns and Commas - Getting The Second Amendment Right

A recent Lawrence Journal-World article, "National group seeks repeal of ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in Kansas," brought about many comments regarding the Second Amendment to the United States' Constitution. There appears to be two prominent, and distinct, interpretations to "Article The Fourth" (aka: Amendment the Second in The Bill of Rights).

Some interpret the amendment as a clear right for citizens and states to form and maintain a militia (a body of citizens organized for military service). Further, this school of thought allows for members, and only the members, of a duly formed militia to own weapons that are necessary for service in the militia.

Others interpret the second amendment as a clear right for militias to be formed and armed. Further, this school believes that individuals outside of the militia (read as "any and all citizens") also have the right to bear arms.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The reason for this difference in interpretations is two-fold. First, ideology causes many to forgo logic, state their biased preference, and then document their foregone conclusion. Second, some fail to apply the rules of punctuation to the amendment. And, simply put, one punctuation mark - and its proper application - resolves the issue of gun ownership rights and gun control. That punctuation mark is the comma.

A comma is a "a punctuation mark, used especially as a mark of separation within the sentence." There are at least 21 rules that govern the use of commas. Two of these rules can be applied to the sentence structure of the second amendment. Why these two? Simply because the other 19 rules can be eliminated as non-applicable.

The first comma, and a dual-purpose second comma, separates the non-essential clause "being necessary to the security of a free State." This is considered non-essential since the first statement, "A well regulated Militia," is sufficiently identified. In other words, the separated non-essential clause could be eliminated without changing the meaning of the statement - it only defines or explains the subject.

The second comma, although lending support to separating the non-essential clause, has now become the dreaded "comma splice" that is used in place of the conjunction "and." If not for the need of the comma to help separate the non-essential clause, the word "and" could have been used. How do we know that the second comma has the power of "and?" Simply remove the explanatory non-essential clause. What is left is this:

A well regulated Militia, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

After removing the non-essential clause it is easy to see that the remaining comma must have the power of "and" for no other word or interpretation would make sense. For example, "A well regulated Militia (of/or/but) the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed," is nonsensical. Yet, "A well regulated Militia and the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed," makes grammatical sense.

A well regulated Militia and the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

That's all I have to say 'bout that.

Now, talk among yourselves.



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LJW Online Users Crossword

Presented for your entertainment - a crossword puzzle. This puzzle contains some online users' names. Spaces, underscores, hyphens, etc., have been eliminated. For example: L_J_World would be ljworld. Print this out, or copy and paste it to a Word or editing program. Or, just solve the clues. Have fun.

If you get stuck, post a question/comment, and ... maybe ... you will get another hint.

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Snow Sledding In Lawrence

A recent Lawrence.com article, "Sled Lawrence: A primer to the best sledding spots in town (even if there's no snow)," by Liz Weslander listed several cool locations that are the hot spots for snow sledding in Lawrence. A similar review of sledding spots can be found in "Lawrence Kids."

Below is a low-resolution map and legend of the recommended sledding hills. Clicking on the map will link you to a larger, interactive version of the map.

Here is hoping for some sledding snow; but, not too much. Happy sledding! I'll see you on one of the hills come first snow.



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Library Expansion Approval - A Rented Vote?

The Lawrence Journal-World reported Lawrence voters approve $18 million library expansion. The final results showed voters approving the measure with a 55% affirmative vote.

Prior to the election, another blogger speculated that an election of this type was skewed by renters because the result might be Free Lunches for Renters. The blog and comments made rational observations of how renters might affect the outcome of an election that did not seem to impose a direct tax upon the renter.

Now the election is over; the results have been tabulated. Let's take an anecdotal look at the outcome of the election. More specifically, lets look at precinct results; and, (here is the anecdotal part) rental property within the City of Lawrence. Up front, this is admittedly non-scientific - it is simply a visual.

The first map shows each precinct in Lawrence and the election results of the precincts.

This screen shot was taken from an online website, MyApartmentMap, that brokers rental properties. The website seems to have a fairly complete listing of rentals in the area; however, it may or may not, be representative of actual rental properties in the city. So, until a better source is available, let's use this one. It provides a starting point, at least.

Finally, the second map has been superimposed over the first map.

This is simply a picture of rental properties and voting summaries. As they say at the library, "It could be worth checking out."

That is all. Carry on.



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