John Carlin: Starting the day after the election (November 6, 2014) I heard concerns, primarily from Republicans, that something was wrong, that there were too many complaints coming from voters who left the voting place less than confident that their votes were going to be accurately counted. Often the specific case was when they voted for Governor, clicking the Davis button then reviewing their ballot before submitting, it showed they had voted to re-elect Governor Brownback. They obviously corrected the mistake, feeling confident it wasn’t their error. I also picked up some of this here in Riley County but assumed that maybe this was driven more by disappointment than an actual issue. As the days and months passed, I continued to hear concerns that the numbers just didn’t add up, that something was wrong, and again, this was coming from individuals who I highly respect.
Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder has made the national news twice. First, he went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee two years ago, and second, he's the one who slipped Wall Street bailout language into the recent government spending bill.
Yoder took (Citicorp executives') language and rolled it into an amendment to a spending bill in a House subcommittee meeting. It got swept into the year-end spending package because it "was within the scope of negotiations" on it, according to an Appropriations Committee aide.
Said one commenter: "Didn't Kansas recently reelect every member of the GOP that bankrupted their state, and turned them into a national laughingstock?"
Why, yes. Yes they did. They re-elected Sam Brownback as governor, and Virginia-resident, Pat Roberts, as senator. Those two hotly-contested races may have enabled Cong. Yoder to slip under peoples' radar, however unlikely it may seem that people could forget about a skinny-dipping congressman from KC
Kansas Adjutant General Joe Nickell created this "sunflower flag" in 1953. This "state banner" may be used along with, or instead of, the current state flag, and, in my view, should be.
The official state flag is the standard and unimaginative "state-seal-on-a-field-of-blue." Several states have something like it.
Unfortunately, the features of the seal are indistinct at any distance beyond about ten feet. In fact, back in the 60's, the Kansas State Legislature felt compelled to add the word "Kansas" to the flag so that people would know what it was.
This flag would work much better. It's simpler, prettier, hipper--almost hypnotic in its power to evoke the majesty of the high plains, strengthen the spirit, and call forth our higher virtues. World class artists couldn't produce something this cool. Plus, if your glasses aren't adjusted quite properly, the sunflower petals seem to move on you, suggesting dynamism and energy.
Joe Nickell was Adjutant General from 1951 to 1972. Nickell Barracks in Salina and the Nickell Memorial Armory in Topeka are named for him. He also served in the State Legislature. The sunflower patch is worn on Kansas National Guard uniforms to this day, and the banner is sometimes used at National Guard ceremonies. The original banner--the future state flag, one hopes!--is on display in the Governor's office.
Honor a great soldier and patriot! Honor a great state with a great flag!
Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, ally of the Koch brothers, is doing all he can to get a Democrat on the ballot for the US Senate race in Kansas. The Democratic candidate, Chad Taylor, withdrew from the contest in order to give independent, Greg Orman, a better chance to defeat the Virginian incumbent, Pat Roberts.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled against Kobach last Thursday, saying that if Taylor has decided he doesn't want to run for the US Senate, Kobach can't make him. Said the Court: “The Secretary of State thus has no discretion to refuse to remove Chadwick J. Taylor’s name from the ballot." (Chadwick? We had a candidate named Chadwick?)
The Roberts campaign released a statement that springs to the defense of the state's Democrats. “The Kansas Supreme Court deliberately, and for political purposes, disenfranchised over 65,000 voters,” said Roberts spokesman Corry Bliss. “Liberal activist Supreme Court justices have decided that if you voted in the Democrat primary on August 5th, your vote does not matter, your voice does not matter,” his statement said.
It's heartwarming, in this time of fierce partisanship, to see the nation's most Republican Secretary of State and Kansas' Virginia Republican Senator, sticking up for the downtrodden, i.e. Kansas Democrats, as they are being oppressed by "liberal activist justices."
If Kobach ultimately should force the Democrats to put someone on the ballot, former Kansas Democratic Party State Chairman, John T. Bird of Hays, suggests his party nominate a Democrat named Pat Roberts. Amateur researchers have located at least two Democrats named Pat Roberts in the State of Kansas.
Image: Virginia resident, Pat Roberts, currently serving as United States Senator from Kansas.
The civil war came six years early in Kansas. From the mid-1850's until the start of the war, Kansas was roiled by brutality from both pro-slavery guerrillas, sometimes known as "border ruffians" from Missouri, and anti-slavery guerrillas as well, such as John Brown. The state became known as "bleeding Kansas."
No one is quite sure of the first use of the word "jayhawk." Whatever its provenance, in the 1850's, the term "jayhawk" became associated with the struggle against slavery.
After the outbreak of the civil war in 1861, one of the anti-slavery guerrillas, Charles "Doc" Jennison, received a command in the newly-formed Kansas militia. He later became colonel of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry which soon became known as the “Independent Mounted Kansas Jayhawkers.” (An 18 year old William Cody, later known as "Buffalo Bill," was one of its first recruits.)
These "jayhawkers" were involved in several skirmishes and raids in western Missouri in the early days of the war. Jennison had the policy that anyone not supporting the union cause would have their property confiscated--and that's if they were lucky.
Jennison's troops were not always careful to distinguish between those who were pro-slavery and and those who were against it. Put another way, their looting was sometimes indiscriminate. This looting came to be called "jayhawking."
Under pressure from the highest ranks of the Army, Major General David Hunter issued General Orders No. 17 in the Department of Kansas on February 5, 1862, declaring marital law in Missouri.
“... the crime of jayhawking shall be put down with a strong hand and by summary process, and for this purpose the trial of all prisoners charged with armed depredations against property or assaults upon life will be conducted before the military commissions ...”
Not everyone, however, considered "jayhawking" in negative terms. In the fall of 1861, for example, Kansas newspaperman, John Speer, encountered wagons of African-Americans on their way from Missouri to free-state stronghold, Lawrence, Kansas. Speer asked if they were runaway slaves and an elderly woman replied they had been taken by “De blessed Kansas Jayhawkers. Dey Jayhawked us!”
Jennison resigned his commission in May, 1862. The following year, pro-slavery guerrilla, William Quantrill, and his raiders sacked the town of Lawrence. Kansas Governor Thomas Carney called on Jennison to raise a regiment of cavalry to protect the border. This regiment became known as the Kansas 15th.
After the war, Jennison was elected to two terms in the Kansas House of Representatives. In 1871, he was elected to the State Senate.
Image: Charles "Doc" Jennison, leader of the Mounted Kansas Jayhawkers
By a vote of 72-42, the Kansas House of Representatives has taken a stand in favor of "religious freedom" by denying same-sex couples their rights under the law. The bill would deny services, including unemployment benefits and foster care, to same-sex couples. (The bill offers no exemption from taxation for same-sex couples, however.)
State Rep. Charles Macheers (R), one of the bill’s staunchest advocates, argued that the provision was designed to prevent discrimination against religious individuals during a speech on the House floor Tuesday.
The bill enables "religious individuals" to continue to discriminate against gays because...because...because...freedom! Yeah, that's the ticket! The freedom to harrass homosexuals must not be infringed upon!
Why does one have the feeling that these people are about a notch from trying to reinstate slavery?
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) has not lived in the sunflower state for many, many years. He lists an address in Dodge City, but I'm not sure that anyone has ever been able to find it.
Roberts went to Washington way back in the 1970's as a congressional aide to Cong. Keith Sebelius (R-KS). When Sebelius chose not to run for re-election in 1980, Roberts stepped in, won his election, and served in the House of Representatives until running for the Senate in 1996.
Earlier this week, he called on Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, to step down from her post. Kathleen is married to Gary Sebelius, son of Keith, the mentor of Pat Roberts.
Some times, you just have somebody's number. Roy Williams is now 0-3 against Bill Self. In their first meeting as head coaches of the two perennial basketball powers, the 2008 quarterfinals, the Jayhawks thumped the Tarheels badly. This is the game commentator Billy Packer proclaimed "game over" when KU led 40-12 in the first half.
Last year, the Jayhawks put on a late surge to beat North Carolina in the regional finals, 80-67. I remember thinking at the time that the closing five minutes of that game may have been the best Kansas played all year.
This year, North Carolina failed to put Kansas away in the first half when the Jayhawks were flailing around and throwing the ball to just about everybody except each other. Senior Forward Travis Releford stepped up with some big baskets, which, coupled with Jeff Withey's dominance down low on both ends of the court, quickly erased their 9 point half-time deficit, and keyed KU's second-half dominance.