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Now That’s Rural: Basil Dannebohm »

Ron Wilson crop

By RON WILSON Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development “When you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you try to remember good moments. For me, those were in Ellinwood.” That statement is from a young professional who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but has found a rewarding life back home in rural Kansas. J. Basil […]

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INSIGHT KANSAS: Kansas turns south »


I arrived in Kansas 35 years ago, happy to be offered a job at KU, but having little sense of the state that would become my home.  My political science colleague, friend, and ultimately co-editor of 15 books, Al Cigler, acidly alerted me to former Democratic Governor Bob Docking’s fiscal words to live by: “Austere […]

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Discussion may ease transfer of family heirlooms »

Linda Beech

Deciding who gets Grandma’s pie plate or Dad’s collection of fishing gear may seem minor and easy as family decisions go. In reality, decisions about personal belongings can be extremely difficult and become major challenges for families to face. These belongings may or may not have financial value, but they often have a great deal […]

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A review of ‘gratitude’ »


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d write something a bit different today, in lieu of the usual book review. Each of us can find much for which to be grateful, and this is the time of year to remember those things. I’ve shared some of my own personal moments of gratitude, along with […]

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In public schools, when should holy days become holidays? »


The school board in Montgomery County, Maryland ignited a national debate earlier this month by voting to eliminate the names of Christian and Jewish religious holidays on the school calendar — while still planning to close schools on those days. The board’s action was in response to the local Muslim community’s longstanding request to add […]

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‘Mockingjay – Part 1′ is passable but unnecessary »

Gerstner James crop

The biggest problem with “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” is that it should not be a film. Here are the lengths of the final books of well-known Young Adult novels: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” -197,651 words, “Breaking Dawn” from the “Twilight” series – 192,196 words, and “Mockingjay” the concluding novel of […]

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MORAN: Giving thanks for blessings as Kansans, Americans »


By U.S. Sen. JERRY MORAN, R-Kan. As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving this week, families and friends come together to reflect, give thanks and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast. However, millions – in fact, one in six Americans – struggle each day to even get enough food to eat. The unfortunate reality is that food insecurity exists […]

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Spring elections: Fixing a problem that’s really not »


What’s wrong with this sentence?: Voter turnout at spring elections for school boards and local government offices is too low, less than turnout at fall elections for state and national government offices, and that’s a problem the Legislature can fix. The grammar is fine. What’s wrong with the sentence is that, while grammatically good, it […]

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Short-term government, long-term problems »


The current immigration hissy fit reminds me of two seventh-grade boys arguing, red-faced, nose-to-nose over some dispute on a ball field. I taught seventh-graders once. Their level of maturity was actually greater than what we are seeing in the Halls of Congress. Similar to kids on a ball field, politicians on both sides are taking […]

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EXPLORING: Soup, stew or creation? »


A couple years ago after catching my last bobcat of the trapping season, I laid it on the pickup tailgate and marveled at the magnificent creature it was. First the eyes, eyes that could probably spot a scurrying mouse at 100 yards. Then the ears, each tipped with a tiny tuft of fur, they’re wondrous […]

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Nope, most Americans are not stupid! »

Les Knoll crop

I write in the hopes of changing minds about politics.My entire professional career has been in education at the high school and higher education levels.Call my writings teachable moments. That being said, you can bet, as I speak, my many diehard liberal naysayers are having a meltdown without even hearing what I have to say. […]

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INSIGHT KANSAS: Analyzing an election full of surprises »

Rackaway, Chap crop2

Sometimes our biggest mistakes teach the greatest lessons. Pundits, pollsters, and reporters in Kansas all learned an important lesson about our state’s electorate in 2014. August’s primary elections strongly suggested an electorate in an angry mood, ready to boot incumbent candidates. An unknown gubernatorial candidate who spent pennies on the dollar took 37% of the […]

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Free Speech can be shield or a sword, as Cosby furor shows »

Gene Policinski is senior vice president of the First Amendment Center

Bill Cosby’s career has been deeply rooted in the possibilities and protections provided by freedom of speech. The legendary comedian and actor’s career began with landmark comedy routines in which he tackled sensitive racial subjects. He was the first African American male with a starring role on TV, in the 1960s series “I Spy.” The […]

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