Local Columns

Opinion: Where’s the beef in voter fraud claims?

I recently wrote a column discussing how baseless claims of widespread and systematic voter fraud hurt democracy in Kansas. Readers statewide sent me thoughtful feedback. Some was positive, like the Republican county clerk who thanked me for defending local election officials. I want to ...

Opinion: History won’t pardon the inciter-in-chief

On Jan. 19 and 20, the inciter-in-chief pardoned 74 people. Many were his clones: swindlers, crooks, grifters and liars. But America won’t pardon him. Not for inciting an insurrection to overturn the constitutional certification of the presidential election. And not for the destruction and ...

Opinion: Why is it so easy to push cities around?

Despite elections and trials and pandemics, some things don’t seem to ever change. The national government pushes around state governments, with mixed amounts of success, and state governments push around city governments, usually with near-total success. It’s consistent. In the former ...

Opinion: Conspiracy theories are hurting Kansas

Conspiracy theories have taken root in Kansas. Reporter Jim McLean discovered this while visiting the town of Protection, Kan., recently for a story. In 1957, this Comanche County community became the first town in the U.S. to be fully vaccinated against polio. Back then, vaccinations were a ...

Opinion: Kansas higher ed meets the pandemic

I arrived in Kansas in 1979, having gone to college and grad school and then taught in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, states with a single land-grant flagship university. Kansas, I observed, had a much smaller population but two major universities (the University of Kansas and ...

Opinion: Can civics education be revived?

The events of 2020 make it clear that violence, racism, vocal extremism and political polarization have risen to a breaking point. There are multiple currents of people moving within the American public who simply don’t understand the basics of civil society and democratic ...