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Posts tagged with Kansas Politics

Islamic Terrorism forces Censorship in United States

A Muslim group has threatened South Park creators for insulting Muhammad by casting him in a bear suit.



UPDATE July 21, 2010 - Alleged Terrorist Arrested

Reuters: Man behind "South Park" threat arrested. Zachary Adam Chesser has been arrested on charges of providing material support to an extremist group.


I am not a fan of Comedy Central's animated situation comedy South Park; I just do not find it entertaining. In fact, when I have tried to watch it I usually end up changing the channel. The show is vulgar and full of innuendos. However, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the content of this show. Moreover, it is not subject to Federal Communication Commission regulations since it is not a network broadcast show. Of course, Comedy Central can choose to censor any material it carries; however, they usually do not.

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Never the less, when a radical "Muslim group warns 'South Park' creators of death", Comedy Central did choose to censor an episode of South Park; they have even removed the episode clips from their website. RevolutionMuslim.com threatened Trey Parker and Matt Stone with assassination, showing a gruesome picture of Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was shot and stabbed to death in 2004 by an Islamic fanatic. The Muslim group made the threat because Parker and Stone had insulted Muhammad by casting him in a bear suit.

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Comedy Central has not seen fit to censor the show when it has insulted other religious leaders, political leaders, or protected groups. However, they did react to terrorism. The radical Islamic terrorist simply made a threat and Comedy Central surrendered.

Radical Islamic Terrorist: 1, The First Amendment and American Freedom: Ø


UPDATE: 04/23/2010 The following is taken in whole from this Hollywood Reporter story.

'Muhammad' now a dirty word on 'South Park'

Now "South Park" can't even say the words "Prophet Muhammad."

After last week's episode of the Comedy Central series sparked a threat (and yes, it was certainly a threat) from a radical Islamic website, the network has cracked-down-for-their-own-good on creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone during last night's continuation of the show's storyline.

For those who missed the drama, the show's 200th episode last week mocked the one "celebrity" that the series has been largely unable to depict, the Prophet Muhammad, who was hidden from view in a bear costume. A U.S.-based website RevolutionMuslim.com then warned Parker and Stone they could end up like Theo Van Gogh (the Dutch filmmaker who was murdered by Muslim extremists after depicting Muhammad on his show) and even posted the address of the show's production office. The site has since been shut down.

Last night, "South Park" continued the controversial Muhammad storyline, but with a key difference: every instance of the words "Prophet Muhammad" was bleeped out, making the episode practically incomprehensible, especially to anybody who missed the previous week.

The character of Muhammad was once again also hidden from view, covered by a large block labeled "censored."

A Comedy Central spokesperson confirmed it was the network's decision to bleep the words.

The Muhammad content is also not available on the South Park Studios website.

A message on the site states: "We do not have network approval to stream our original version of the show. We will bring you a version of [episode] 201 as soon as we can."

Ironically, "South Park" apparently shows an image of the Prophet Muhammad briefly in its opening credits that has gone largely unnoticed.

UPDATE: Parker and Stone comment on "South Park" censorship: In the 14 years we've been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn't stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn't some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We'll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we'll see what happens to it.

This CNN video investigates the South Park episode and Revolution Muslim's threats.

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Fun Pictures of Recent Comment

This is a compilation of pictures that I have used as commentary.

UPDATE - July 21, 2010 - This blog will be updated regularly as photo opportunities present themselves. What is a photo opportunity? That is when I want to make a comment with a picture, but don't want to write a new blog. This update also includes a format change. The pictures will now be the link to the back story - just click on the link to go to the story or comment that the picture represents.


Click on the links to go directly to the picture; click on any picture to go to its background story.

Quick Links:


15 Minute parking Meters

School Board Collage

Dino's Dome Home

SHOUT TAX

Also see: "The Oread hotel falls victim to vandals".

KTAG Checkered Flag

SHOUT TAILGATING

Also see: "The Oread hotel falls victim to vandals".

Oread's Obama Is A Fraud

Perkin's KU Mile High Club

Arensberg Shoes Gas Leak

Fraser Hall Flag Poles

The Eldridge Expansion

Schlitz Beer

Laird's Target Off the Mark

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Guess That Online Editor’s Nickname

Join in the fun as online users attempt to guess the embarrassing nickname of the new online editor, Whitney Mathews. Read the history of how this blog transitioned to such a high calling.

"UPDATE: July 8, 2010" Blog renamed from "Name That Online Editor" to "Guess That Online Editor's Nickname." This blog started out chronicling the various names that users were, in jest, giving to Whitney. However, somewhere along the line it was discovered that Whitney's mother has a pet nickname for Whitney. A nickname that she once used in front of our new online editor's friends. Whitney stated that, "You will never know that name." Thus, the challenge is on and the game has changed. When asked if she would admit to it when it is discovered, Whitney replied, "Of course I will." Ergo - Game On!

Be sure to read Whitney's Ode To Lenexa in the comment section below.


Whitney Mathews was recently named as the new online editor of LJWorld, replacing Jonathan Kealing. Kealing has become the assistant director of media strategy. This past week Mathews found out why she is should be paid the big bucks.



Sometimes blogs and comments can take on a life of their own. That was the case with the TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) - Un-Disappeardeded Blog. Whitney played the good sport as several users assigned her new names. This is one of those things that will stick to you, Whitney. Below is a summary of all of the names that Whitney was given on that blog. Actually, it is a list of all of the names that did not violate the Terms of Service and get removed.

Whitney was the target of a lot of teasing; teasing that was manifested by giving her a new name every time she was referenced in a comment. Whitney's good nature might have been put to the test. According to Ben Smith, the World Company Social Media Manager, Whitney took him to task for misspelling her last name. Smith writes about this in the blog entry, Way to go Whitney! "I survived her wrath after inadvertently misspelling her name," the wordsmith, Smith wrote. "Believe me, I will never forget, 'one t in Mathews,''' he lamented. Now, in all fairness, these words were most likely meant in jest since they were firmly nested in a blog entry lauding and praising Ms. Mathews (with one "T"). In truth, the teasing was the result of a user inadvertently referring to Whitney as Lindsey. From there, it was all downhill.


Name That New Online Editor Entries:

  1. Whitney
  2. Lindsey
  3. Britney
  4. Courtney
  5. Mackenzie
  6. Ekatarina
  7. Kacie
  8. Marcy
  9. Marcia
  10. Jenny
  11. Madison
  12. Maddie
  13. Karli
  14. Shirley
  15. Madeline
  16. Candi
  17. Stacy
  18. Natasha
  19. Whitley
  20. Brianna
  21. Winnie
  22. Leslie
  23. Sally
  24. Rachel
  25. Allison


Whitney has had quite an initiation into her new role. One could say that it was "Trial By Fire."


Congratulations on the new job and surviving this group, Ashley.

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Sales Tax Signs - Buyer Beware

Tax Sign

Suggested signs for those business that choose to tax their customers for the privilege of shopping in their special tax district.


We have all seen the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) signs displayed on commercial buildings. These signs are placed in prominent locations that warn firefighters of potential dangers and risks due to items stored in that building. The signs allow the firefighters to make informed decisions and places the firefighter in control of choosing the best method to fight a commercial fire. This is a valuable tool for our fire department.

The City of Lawrence has recently approved special taxing districts that allow a hidden sales tax to be collected from consumers. This tax is used to reimburse developers for costs incurred in developing a location. It may even extend to the retailer being reimbursed for actual operating costs. Regardless of the reason, the tax is undisclosed to consumers until a purchase has been made. Then, if the consumer happens to look at their receipt, and, if they know the government entities' tax rate, they may discover the hidden tax.

The citizens of Lawrence expressed a concern to the City Commissioners and asked that these retailers be required to post a notice of the sales tax. The Commissioners are now considering an ordinance that will require all businesses to post their tax rates. With that in mind, here is the Did I Say That's "NFPA" Sales Tax sign.

Placement of the new signs could be directly on a building so as to be seen as entering the building.

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A smaller store could opt for the free-standing poster sign at the point of entry.

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Signs should be highly visible and warn consumers of the full cost of potential purchases. This will allow the consumer to make an informed decision and places the consumer in control of choosing the best place to make their purchases.


UPDATE - June 24, 2010

A user, jackson5, recommended a special sign for The Oread. The Oread received a "double blessing" of special tax districting since it was also a TIF recipient. The percentages may be off, but here is the special sign for that special development known as The Oread.

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Extreme Politics - The Radical Right and Loony Left

Radical right, loony left. Right winger, left winger. Right wing extremist, left wing extremist. Nazi, zealot, American terrorist, American taliban, Un-American, traitor, and even snolly-gusters. Snolly-gusters? Yes, according to journalist Bob Schieffer, Harry Truman referred to Republicans as "a bunch of snolly-gusters". Mudslinging and name calling is as old as politics. Can anything be done to lesson some of the rhetoric?

Let's begin with a definition of extreme. I like Merriam-Webster for definitions:

Extreme - 1 b: going to great or exaggerated lengths; 3: situated at the farthest possible point from a center.

Thus, an extreme position is the one that is furthest from the center, norm, median, or average. An extremist is the person who takes, or occupies, that position. By definition, no political party can fully occupy the extreme position; it can only be occupied by a select group that have exaggerated ideals.

First, a review of what the political spectrum is would be in order.

Due to the well established two-party political system, many in the United States see political positions as a point on a line:

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Unfortunately, it is this view that leads to much of the name calling in politics. This limited view forces far more people into two categories, thus increasing the number of people that must appear to be extremists.

One solution is to recognize that political positions actually tend to fall more accurately in to one of four political camps; a centrist, or moderate, could be considered a subset of any or all of these:

With the realization that the political continuum is not a straight line, or even a circle, but rather a multidimensional continuum, comes the understanding that not as many individuals can be extremists.

Here is an illustration, using 25 dots (political viewpoints) per quadrant (placed with no representative meaning):

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Here, the 100 viewpoints are on one straight line:

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This congestion of view points creates an erroneous perception that there are many extremists; when, in fact, the amount of extremists is rather limited. This is due, in part, to the fact that we like to place everything into segments. When you look at the last fourth of each line (imaginary or real) on both charts you will notice that the "extremists" in the four separated camps total 12; while those forced onto the straight-line easily double that number. Perception can appear to be reality.

What is it that places a person, by perception if not in reality, in the far extremes of the political spectrum? I believe there are two causes: Single-issue politics and Convictions. Exasperating this is the fact that the second usually drives the first.

Conviction refers to the depth of belief that someone has regarding an issue. Some have said that a conviction is that which you are willing to die for to uphold. For example, many men and women of our country have demonstrated their conviction in the belief of freedom by making the ultimate sacrifice defending the United States. Another example of a right (conviction) to die for is seen in the mis-attributed quote of Voltaire, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Convictions can lead people to concentrate only on one area of politics. Current political examples of high profile single-issues include: abortions, guns, and health care. Social Security, energy, environment, and economical interests are sometimes benefactors of single-issue politics. Single-issue politics can also include special interests such as farm subsidy, finance, or transportation. Regardless of the issue, it can skew the political horizon.

A single-issue voter that is driven by conviction may tend to espouse their views from an emotional, rather than an intellectual, position. Those driven by emotion sometimes vacate their intellectual arguments and appear to be an extremist decrying a heartfelt, yet oft misguided, position. Knowing the reason that many veer into emotional arguments should result in an opponent being less aggressive for two reasons. First, tolerance and compassion should come into play. Second, their is no logical argument that can overcome an emotional argument.

Finally, extreme politics would seem less extreme if those claiming to be tolerant - were tolerant. And, if those claiming to be compassionately conservative - were compassionate and conservative.

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Perkins The Victim

Lew Perkins claims that he is the victim.

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There is no reason to doubt him! Is there?

Visit my other Photo OP-ED, Lew Perkins' Pink Slip.

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Lew Perkins Accepts “TicketGate” Responsibility

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LHS Graduation - “Parents of Calvin, Please Be Sitted”

Where to start, that is the question. I guess with this. Congratulations Class of 2010; we are proud of you!

Lawrence High School (LHS) held its first graduation ceremony in its new multibillion dollar athletic stadium. The ceremony was spectacular. There is room for improvement though; LHS will hopefully make a few changes before the next class graduates.

For the past 900 years LHS has held its graduation ceremonies at Kansas University's Memorial Stadium. This year, the class of 2010 had the privilege of being the first class to walk the track at LHS's Most Memorable Stadium. With over 1000 graduating classes behind them you would think that the combined 1.3 million years of experience that LHS administration has would have been sufficient to make the transition to the new $3.5 billion convertible dome stadium at LHS; it was not. It was an unmitigated disaster for parents, family, and friends. Well, maybe not disaster, but I like putting the words unmitigated and disaster in the same sentence.

What? Why is the title of this blog, "LHS Graduation - Parents of Calvin please be sitted"? Simply put, that headline says it all. You will see in a minute. Now, quit interrupting.

The lack of planning was evident in the fact that the school's officials - all 63 of the Principals, Associate Principals, Assistant Principals, Assistant-Assistant Principals, Principals in Training, and Principals in Fact - forgot that parents like to attend and actually SEE their offspring graduate. The past 935 graduations held at Memorial Stadium took parent and student seating into consideration. Parents sat on the spacious end-field seating with a great view of their young adults. Sunday's ceremony placed the graduates in the main bleachers and left parents scrambling for seats; with over half the attendees having to sit several miles away on the other side of the field. Granted, Memorial has the U-shaped bowl seating; whereas, LHS only has the $5.3 billion hard concrete bleacher style seating. However, this should not have stopped the 82 administrators from asking the two custodians at LHS to set up folding concrete chairs in the middle of the field for the graduates so as to allow viewing of one's offspring from both sides of the stadium. Some parents, the one's with smart kids - the kids that told their parents to arrive the day before and camp out to get a good seat (not my kid, obviously or I wouldn't be whining now) - had good seats on either side of the graduates. The rest of us - those who arrived only a few hours early for a good seat - had to sit on the far side of the $6.1 billion Most Memorable Stadium.

From the far side of the stadium parents were treated to the backsides of all of the speakers. This was difficult. We are used to hearing some of the administrators talk out of their backsides. However, when heard over the public address system, and with only their backsides to look at, new meaning was given to the term. Which brings us to the second point.

The President of the School Board gave a short presentation. His son, one of the 2010 graduates, asked dad to do three things: be brief, be normal, and to not mention his name. Calvin, I am sorry that your dad was not able to meet that condition. I am fairly certain that I would not do that to my son; nor, would I ever do it to the President of the School Board's son. So, once again, Calvin, I offer my sympathy. We know Calvin's dad had a good seat - I spent most of the graduation with Scott Morgan's seat staring at me from across the field. At least I think it was Morgan's seat, it was difficult to see from a vantage point in the next county. My guess is that Kathleen Morgan also had a good seat. I hope Scott used his influence rather than her having to camp out for three nights to get a good seat. Congratulations, Calvin.

Jan Leonard (aka. Ms. Gentry), emceed the events of the day. This was Jan's last LHS graduation ceremony as one of the 93 assistant principals; she will be retiring at the end of this school year. Congratulations, Jan! However, Jan closes the loop on our headline and closes out her decades of high school attendance with her now famous words, "You may be sitted!"

I do sincerely wish all LHS (and that other high school across town) graduates the best life has to offer. Congratulations Class of 2010. Also, I extend a sincere thank you and congratulations to Jan Leonard for her hard work and retirement. My condolences to Calvin; you can pick your friends, but you are stuck with your relatives.

Yet, I do chastise LHS and ask them to get their - let's see, with Jan gone, that leaves 62 principals and 1 million years of combined service - get their act together before the next graduation. Put the graduates in the middle so everyone will have an equally poor view. Do the same with the stage and set it to face the graduates. Trust me, we would rather see the dignitaries' sides than their backsides.

"Parents of Calvin, please be sitted - in the good seats!"

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USD 497 Elementary School Task Force

The Lawrence Public Schools USD 497 Superintendent has appointed 19 members to the Lawrence Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force as reported in this Lawrence Journal World. Here is the official press release.


Where The Members Live or Work

This map plots the addresses of the 19 task force members and shows the elementary school boundary area in which they live. These are either home addresses, or associated school if address is unknown, for most members. One may be a business address, but would not affect the elementary school area of the member. Another is known to be a business address. One is unknown and credited to the District Administration office since the member is the President of the LEA.

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Schools Represented

Based upon the address of each member, this table shows the representation by elementary school.

Broken Arrow Ø
Cordley 2
Deerfieldtd> 1
Hillcrest 1
Kennedy 1
Langston Hughes 1
New York 2
Pinkney 1
Prairie Park 1
Quail Run 1
Schwegler 1
Sunflower 2
Sunset Hill 2
Wakarusa 1
Woodlawn 1
District Unknown 1

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Fred Phelps, Homosexual Haters, and False Fundamentals

The purpose of this writing is simply to expose the fallacy that is The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) and its founder Fred Phelps. Phelps and his family act in hateful ways and misuse the Word of God to justify their Pharisaical actions. The perverted Phelps claims a belief in the teachings of the Bible; yet, he purposely misleads his family, church, and the public as to the content of those teachings. Therefore, it is stipulated, for the sake of argument, that the Bible is the absolute authority pertaining to this discussion. Whether a reader agrees with the Bible, or not, is irrelevant to the Bible's ability to expose the heretical actions of Phelps and his misdirected congregation of sinners since it is used, by them, to justify their immoral actions.

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The mission of the Church is generally accepted by theologians as the command given by Jesus, to his disciples, in Matthew 28:19-20. That command, as found in the New International Version, states, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Phelps has made the mission of his congregation to preach hatred of homosexuals. Nowhere in the great commission does Jesus single out a particular sin. The reason? Jesus came to satisfy the penalty for all sin. In fact, the Phelps group even hold up signs proclaiming God's hatred of the world.

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God does not hate the world; nothing could be further from the truth. John declares, in the most famous of all Bible verses (John 3:16), "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." The radical and bigoted Phelps claims that not only does "God Hate the World," but that "God hates fags," He has no Biblical basis upon which to make either claim.

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Ultimately, the paradox presented by Phelps and his congregation is whether or not "God hates fags." The fact is, Phelps can provide no Scripture to support the false claim that provides the basis for most of the congregation's protests. Yes, the Bible does name homosexuality as sin. 1 Corinthians 6:8-10 groups homosexual offenders with idolaters. adulterers, drunks, and prostitutes. "Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." However, Paul goes on to explain that from any of these sins some "were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." That is to say, from a scriptural viewpoint, sin is sin. God does hate the sin. Genesis 19 details the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom (the root for the word sodomy) and its sister city were destroyed because God found no righteousness in the city. However, he gave the people the opportunity to repent because he loves the sinner.

Fred is wrong. God does not hate fags; he loves fags. Homosexuals, according to Phelps' Bible, are sinners that are loved by God. He loves them so much that he specifically named the sin as one for which Jesus died. stat tracker for tumblr



Let me reiterate, the purpose of this writing is to expose the reasons that Fred Phelps and the WBC are in error. To do so requires that WBC actions be repudiated by the Bible as it is their source of motivation. Those who disagree with the Bible may do so. However, this blog is not about the validity of the Bible, rather it is about the Bible's condemnation of Phelps and WBC.



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