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INSIGHT KANSAS: Building a competitive opposition party »

flentje CROP

Democrats were swept for the most part in midterm elections, both nationally and across Kansas, but Kansas Democrats have a few openings on which to build a competitive opposition party. Election results were not unexpected as the party of the president consistently loses ground in midterm elections, and these losses are heightened in a president’s […]

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BOOK REVIEW: ‘What If?’ »


What If? by Randall Munroe Randall Munroe left NASA in 2005 to start up his hugely popular site XKCD, which offers a witty take on the world of science and geeks. It’s had over a billion page hits to date. A year ago Munroe set up a new section – What If – where he […]

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Torturing Obama’s legacy »

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer and public speaker.

An old bumper sticker offered a stinging response to the Bush-Cheney regime’s enthusiasm for waterboarding: “Impeach Bush,” it urged. “Torture Cheney.” Bush and Cheney escaped unscathed. The Senate has just released an astonishing report detailing the depths of their depravity, but neither is likely to end up before a judge. Yet stunningly, there’s a new […]

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RX farmers »

John Schlageck writes for the Kansas Farm Bureau.

File this under the heading of, who would have ever thunk it? What I’m referring to is the notion that today’s farmers need a prescription and a degree in chemistry to apply herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers to their land in order to grow and produce the food we eat every day. About this time, you’re […]

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Tell me it isn’t so »

Les Knoll crop

For weeks leading up to the midterm Nov. 4 election, I had the sense that the Democrat vs. Republican coverage in my Hays Daily newspaper was somewhat lopsided. Those who know me, know I feel strongly that there is bias in most media. The bias, I feel, leans very strongly to the left, to the […]

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Getting in the holiday spirit with some favorite Christmas flicks »

Gerstner James crop

The holidays are a busy time. Oddly, this past week marked an uncommon break in the holiday movie release schedule. With that in mind, not to mention the lack of a new film to review, I thought I would spend this article discussing my favorite holiday movies. The most unique holiday movie tradition I have […]

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HAWVER: Time for the ‘taking things away’ legislative session? »


Already, there is a gnawing back-of-the-mind feeling that this may be the first Legislature we’ve seen in recent memory that has been elected to take things away from the people they represent. That puts a whole new face on the Legislature which generally people elect in hopes that their state government is going to do […]

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Racing to Lake Wobegone »


Lake Wobegone is the fictitious place where “all children are above average” in Garrison Keillor’s radio narratives. Educators now speak of the “Lake Wobegone Effect” as a combination of grade inflation and content deflation that drives down the value of a high school diploma or a college degree. However, that academic erosion is picking up […]

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EXPLORING KANSAS OUTDOORS: Don’t wake a sleeping skunk »


Every kid who’s ever set a trap has caught a skunk at one time or another, or in my case, often. Trapping without ever catching a skunk would be like a dog never peeing on a tire; it ain’t gonna’ happen! I work in maintenance at a large retirement/nursing home and have lost count of […]

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INSIGHT KANSAS: Do Kansas voters even care? »

Peterson IK CROP

About those 858,000 registered voters who didn’t get to the polls on Nov. 4 … Secretary of State Kris Kobach had opportunity last week to once again tout the effects of his secure voting project while noting that the 50.8% voting turnout was above his originally projected flat 50%. In passing, he took a dig […]

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Core freedoms are put to use — and put to the test »

Gene Policinski is senior vice president of the First Amendment Center

Our First Amendment freedoms have been put to use — and put to the test — in recent days. In the U.S. Supreme Court chambers in Washington, D.C., an angry ex-husband sought to overturn his conviction for for making threats over the Internet, claiming the violence-laced language and the vile visions he conjured up on […]

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Movies, cookies and Spitzbuben at the Kansas Room »

Lucia Bain is Kansas Room librarian at Hays Public Library.

December is chock-full of holiday traditions. It seems every family has their own special way to celebrate. Some people drive around to look at Christmas lights, some people head to McDonald’s for a McRib or an eggnog shake, while others may light an advent wreath or Menorah. This is my third December at the library […]

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Making sure crime doesn’t pay »

Grissom crop

Crime doesn’t pay – at least it shouldn’t. That’s one reason the men and women of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas worked hard in FY 2014 to collect more than $11.4 million in criminal and civil actions. That’s money we actually collected during the year. Of that total, about $5 million was collected in […]

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