Entries from blogs tagged with “Unsolved”

Whining About Disclaimer Does Slattery No Good

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2008/Jul/18/slattery2.jpgI really like Jim Slattery. I hope he defeats Sen. Pat Roberts in the U.S. Senate race.And given the negative tone-so early-by Robert's latest ad, Kansas senior Senator must be a little bit concerned.But for the Kansas Democratic Party to file a complaint about it with the Federal Election Commission?Come on, Jim. This is politics. It's not touch football. Robert's ad, while not particularly flattering, isn't defamatory and appears based on facts. Jim was a lobbyist.The KDP thinks the disclaimer isn't clear enough. I don't know how much clearer you can get than "I'm Pat Roberts and I approve of this message" at the top of the TV ad.I don't think it helps Slattery's image as a fighter and an agent of change if he cries foul when his opponent hits him with a tough ad. Jim, suck it up and respond. Talk about what you did as a lobbyist. Talk about what you did as a U.S. Representative. More importantly, talk about what you'll do as U.S. Senator.Running off to tattle to mom that Pat was mean to you isn't the right message to send the voters.Here's the ad. Draw your own conclusions.To read more on Kansas politics, go to Kansas Watch at http://kswatch.squarespace.com


Lynn Jenkins’ New TV Ad Distilled

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2008/Jul/17/headerImg1.jpgHere's Republican Second District House Candidate Lynn Jenkin's new TV ad distilled to its essence:Washington bad, taxes bad, I'm a CPA, illegal immigrants bad, I'm a CPA, taxes bad, I'm a CPA, vote for me!Or as cartoonist Gary Larson might have put it, "Lynn Jenkins blah blah blah, Lynn Jenkins blah blah blah."Read more about Kansas politics, go to Kansas Watch at http://kswatch.squarespace.com


The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

Mothers Day, like so many of our holidays, is rooted in ancient times. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans celebrated motherhood by honoring their goddesses. In Medieval times, in the British Isles, goddesses were replaced by "Mother" Church.Mother's Day was introduced from Europe by Julia Ward Howe, best known for her lyrics in the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Howe suggested that June 2nd be a day of peace in honor of mothers in the United States. In 1870 she wrote A Mother's Day Proclamation, urging mothers in America and around the world to work towards peaceful co-existence.In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother's Day a national holiday to be celebrated the second Sunday in May. In contrast to the commercialized holiday it has become, it was to be a day in which Americans flew the flag to honor mothers whose sons had died in war.In her book, "We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For," Alice Walker talks about the Swa people of the Amazon. In their culture, men and women are equal but different. It is the man's job to hunt, to cut down trees, and to make war when necessary. Women take care of the home the garden and the children, but their most important job is to "tell the men when to stop."Walker says, "When the Swa are brought to this culture they observe:that the men have cut down so many trees and built so many excessively tall buildings that the forest itself is dying; they have built roads without end and killed animals without number. 'When, ask the Swa, are the women going to say stop?'" My young friend Natalie became a mother on Wednesday. I am going to give her a book that my daughter reads to my grandson. The book is "Potatoes, Potatoes" by Anita Lobel and is a story about two brothers who go to war for opposing armies. After battling in their mother's beloved potato garden with near disastrous consequences, she finds a clever way "to say stop." The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men - from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


Blogging the Capitol

Do you ever wonder if government really works for you? If so, you're not alone. According to the web site Government is Good, "only 29% of Americans trust the government to do what is right always or most of the time. But, writes Amy J. Douglas, project founder and Professor of Politics at Mount Holyoke College, "Beneath the surface lurks surprisingly strong public support for the public sector." For instance, when asked specific questions about issues like automobile safety and healthcare, Americans value government regulations. Many of us take government for granted until it affects us in a negative way. I have been reasonably interested in government on a national level but didn't pay much attention to what was happening in Topeka until the Legislature voted to put the "Marriage Amendment" on the ballot. That political maneuver and the hateful environment that ensued, affected my family personally. I felt so jilted by my government. First, because it happened so quickly that I didn't have a chance to advocate for my family member. And secondly, in spite of fear mongering by lawmakers and others, marriage wasn't even on the radar screen of gays and lesbians I am acquainted with.Once I decided to pay attention to the Kansas Legislature, I found it wasn't that easy to get the information I wanted. Until, that is, I started reading the Lawrence Journal World on a regular basis. So when I saw that LJW was taking applications for the Citizens Journalism Academy, I applied. Now I am attempting to quell the "political junkie" in me by blogging the Capitol.I met LJW correspondent, Scott Rothschild, at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning for a briefing of the days agenda and a tour of the Capitol. Next, I got a press pass and access to the internet, then off to a committee hearing on taxes. Among those testifying in front of the committee, was the mother of an adopted child with special needs who was formerly a ward of the state. Testifying is what you do in order to advocate for or against an issue coming up for vote. In order to testify, you are required to notify the committee assistant 24 hours in advance of the meeting. You also must have thirty copies of your testimony to hand to committee members.After the committee meeting, I headed for the House Chamber for the morning session. After the morning prayer and pledge of allegiance, the House took final action on several bills. All passed easily including a bill that contains new provisions to Kansas abortion law which would presumably create obstacles for women seeking safe and legal abortion services. I left the House Chamber to sounds of cheers reverberating through the rotunda from the first floor. I only paused a moment before hurrying down two huge flights of stairs and into a crowd of about two hundred people. The group, Sunflower Community Action, a grassroots organization that advocates for low income families, had come from Wichita to visit their State Representative. The Senate session got off to a bit of a slow start:blah, blah, blah tax exemptions:blah, blah, blah tax exemptions. Then, discussions about drug courts, board of healing arts licensure, driver improvement programs and noise abatement for motor boats.The session ended with a thoughtful and at times passionate debate about healthcare reform. Senators spoke of the more than 300,000 Kansans without health insurance and the negative effects to individuals and families. Over objections to her proposal to expand SCHIP, Senator Wagel recommended a study - of the study done by the Kansas Health Policy.Senator Barnett said he prefers premium assistance, calling it "market based" but said the money isn't there. Democrats just wanted to do something and expressed concerns that others were engaging in election year politics. In the end, the Republican led Senate prevailed and healthcare reform was put on the back burner...again. .


On The Fence

It is Monday before Super Tuesday and I'm waffling. Me an admitted feminist! It's not that I don't think that Hillary is right for the job. In spite of the rhetoric from those who oppose her; she is qualified and ready to lead. And I believe that we desperately need a woman president. Not just to break the glass ceiling. I believe we need more women in power to balance out the confrontational nature of our current male leaders.So why am I waffling? I am inspired by Obama's ability to engage young voters. The enthusiasm of these young people gives me hope that America can be great again. For the first time in awhile I feel good about handing over the reigns to the younger generation.Lately it seemed that people had forgotten that our government is of the people, for the people, by the people. Obama seems to embrace this. Perhaps that is why so many youth and others are becoming engaged in the political process this election.What do you think?


The Moment of Truth - Fox’s new show

The Fox channel had its debut showing of "The Moment of Truth" Weds. evening following American Idol.

The show works something like this: pick a contestant and ask them fifty personal questions behind the scenes to get to know them and their vices and flaws.

Next, hook them up to a lie detector test in front of an audience, their spouse, their friends, and even their employer. Then comes the fun part as the contestant is asked the first six questions, which answered truthfully puts 10,000 dollars in their pocket.

It isn't as easy as it sounds, however, because some of the questions are down right demented! Some random questions from last night's show were

:"Are you addicted to gambling?"

"Are you currently a member of the hair club for men?"

"As a personal trainer, have you touched a female client more than was required of you?"

"Have you used the internet to flirt with other women?"

"Have you stolen a peek at another man's privates during a shower?"

"Have you had a sexual fantasy during mass?"

"Have you gone through a co-workers belongings without their knowledge?"

"Have you delayed having children because you don't think your spouse is your lifelong partner?"

The friends/spouse/employers have one out - they can push a large button that is centered between them (one time only) if they do not want to hear the person answer the question that was asked. The problem with that is it will be replaced with another question and the other question just might be worse then the first.

After the initial six questions, that can earn the contestant 10,000 if answered correctly, the next five questions, if answered truthfully, can get the contestant up to the 25,000 dollar mark. The higher you go, the harder and more revealing the question. Answer all 21 questions truthfully and you have $500,000 in your pocket. You may not have a job to go back to, your wife, husband, and friends have probably abandoned you, but you decide how important money really is in your life.

This show is destined to be a hit - audiences love to see people squirm in the hot seat, see their lives (and their friends and families lives) destroyed right in front of them - and the contestant most probably will end up leaving with nothing.

This reminded me of the games we played as teenagers: truth or dare and twenty questions.

Would you risk it all and tell the truth for $500,000?


Brother Can You Spare A Tax Cut?

Today's middle-class workers are experiencing, like never before, job instability related to international competition, technological advances and outsourcing of jobs to China and India. Yet, our belief in the American Dream spurs us to strive ever harder in the face of greater unemployment levels; rising healthcare and energy costs; and the current housing crisis.Until recently, our economy has experienced a rise in overall growth and productivity; some say due to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Many businesses have experienced record profits while the middle class worker has seen decreases in wages and skyrocketing healthcare and energy costs. For some of these workers, the promised trickle down effect has come too late. Recently, talk of a recession has the stock markets falling and Washington considering an economic stimulus package. That has lobbyists and special interest groups scrambling to grab a piece of the pie, while Democrats and Republicans fight over economic ideological differences. Back in the real world more and more Americans are falling below the poverty line and middle class workers, like the forgotten Everyman in E. Y. Harburg's "Brother Can You Spare A Dime," ponder:"They used to tell me I was building a dream,And so I followed the mob.When there was earth to plow or guns to bear,I was always there, right on the job.They used to tell me I was building a dream,With peace and glory ahead --Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?"


Why Obama Will Never Win

Obama may look like the winning horse leading the pack at the beginning of this year's Presidential race, but he won't be able to keep up the pace all the way to the finish line. He isn't seasoned. He isn't experienced.

Neither he or Edwards have the lineage behind them that would be required to go the distance.

Still, Obama is working the track and has picked his way from the back of the pack and moved into a key position to make a run for the final stretch. It hasn't been an easy task. He has been hit by dirt and mud as much as any of his opponents. He seems to be gaining speed. He is a full length ahead of Edwards and Edwards is a nose in front of Clinton.

I am glad I have my bet on Clinton though. She is saving herself for the finish line. She has great stamina, loves to be pushed for a grand finish and is well seasoned and confident. She stands head and shoulders above the competition because of her previous experiences in other races such as these - some of which she watched from the sidelines.

Obama has blinders on; he won't be able to see the filly passing him on the inside track until he begins to taste the dust that is stirred up as she leaves him far behind.

And she hasn't even begun to work up a lather.


The Milky Way Woman

I heard about the Milky Way Woman while attending Douglas County's first healing retreat for those people who had lost someone due to suicide.

I have been trying to put a spiritual perspective on my mother's suicide, when I was three, for most of my life. See my article: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/20/nov/loved_ones_gather_healing_retreat_wake_suicide

While at the retreat, I met a native American Indian woman who had recently lost her sister to suicide. She told me about the belief that the Lakota Indians have. They believe that the Milky Way is the crossroads between heaven and earth and that an old woman, the Milky Way Woman, stands guard at this crossroads. The Milky Way Woman decides when someone dies whether they go to heaven or are sent back to earth depending on how well they lived their life.

After some research, I discovered that several other Indian tribes have a similar belief, and some tribes believe that the light coming from the Milky Way is the campfires of souls as they make their journey to heaven.

The Lakota Indians have an extremely high rate of suicide among their young people.

I dedicate the following poem to the Lakota people, all of those who have lost someone to suicide, and to my mother, Peggy Miller Wiggins.

The Milky Way Woman 11-14-07

When I was three

And you sent me

Out to play in the

Snow while you

Put a bullet through

Your heart

I did not cry

I curled into a ball

And sucked my thumb

When Daddy came

That night and said

Look up into the

Sky and see your

Mommy's face In the stars

I did not look

I did not want

To see your face

So far away

And so small

But now I'm

Grown and have

Children of my own

I want to stand

On the edge

Of the Milky Way

With you, hand in hand

And when the

Milky Way Woman

Gives the command

You and I

Will take that

Leap together

Wait for me

Where do you believe souls go after they leave the physical body?

How is the soul separate from the spirit?

How is the mind separate from the soul?