Thursday, December 08, 2005

Booze and Totoville - on Sunday Part 2

Our illustrious Kansas legislature has done it again.

Some time ago, because of a loophole in Kansas law, various cities passed local ordinances permitting alcoholic beverage sales on Sundays. Good move by the cities, because the state restriction was founded on religious reasons which were wrong.

Now, what has happened? The state legislature has rewritten the statutes and it is now easier for retail merchants to sell liquor on Sundays. Good move.

Now for the bad news. Under the new state law the sale of alcoholic beverages is still prohibited on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Whoa..........what is this crap? Why outlaw alcoholic sales on those days? Do I smell a religious influence here? Why not ban sales on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, or during Ramadan?

Needless tosay, I personally am not happy with this situation.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

One Republican's Misgivings

In 1968 I had the opportunity to vote in my first Pesidential election. I voted for Nixon. Every year since then I have voted for the Republican candidate for President. Ironically though, I very seldom voted a straight party ticket. Most recently, I voted for the Democratic candidate for Attorney General of Kansas and for the Democratic incumbent in my Congressional district.

As I look back to the 2000 election I can say that I feel Bush was the man to have around post 9/11. I do not think Gore could have handled it properly. Now we come to the current Presidential term. On an international basis, I still like Bush.

But domestically, I am starting to have misgivings. Every citizen has a cause or some causes that are "hot" buttons. For some it is economics, for others it is education, for others it is crime, ad infinitum.

For me it is the personal freedoms granted to us by our Constitution and kept in place by the sacrifices of millions of men and women over the centuries. Slowly our personal freedoms are being eroded. What is worse, is that a highly active group of religious zealots, supporters of and supported by, our current Chief Executive are attempting to inflict their beliefs on our nation as a whole. I find these people to be repugnant.

Would Kerry have been a better President? I don't know. For various reasons, which I will not enumerate here, I personally am not fond of the man, and that opinion has not changed. Actually, I think our choices for the top leadership position of this country have been pretty bad. We really have not had much to choose from.

I could go on and on about my current misgivings, but do not want to turn this into a novel.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Connie Morris - Out of control fanatic

Earlier today I sent an email to Connie Morris, the Kansas Board of Education member that is a driving force to teach "Intelligent Design" in Kansas public schools. Please see my posting of 5/5/05 entitled "Reverse Evolution".

I received an "auto responder" reply from Connie Morris.

Here is what transpired:

My email:

Dear Mrs Morris,

Suffice it to say that I totally disagee with your views with regards to the teaching of evolution in science classes, and your desire to insert "Intelligent Design".
This is nothing more than an attempt to interject a religious philosophy into the public school classrooms.

Maybe you need to take American History 101 again............and realize that this country was founded by individuals who were escaping religious persecution. When one religious group attempts to force their views on society as a whole they are definitely forgetting the Constitutional rights of all.

I posted some of these thoughts on my on line blog on 5/5/05 and am quoting them below.

(I then proceeded to quote the 5/5/05 post)

Her auto-responder reply:

Thank you for emailing! Please know that I make a sincere effort to read every correspondence that comes my way, however it has become impossible to personally respond to every contact. I deeply appreciate your support and the valuable information that you may provide. Input from each and every individual is important. PS: The KSBE is NOT seeking to implement Religion in public schools. My hope is to simply encourage criticisms of Evolution-as the evidence to do so abounds. Be well! -Connie Morris


If Mrs Morris' auto-responder is not a classic example of double speak, then nothing is.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Booze and Totoville - on Sunday

Here is a little background. Up until recently state law prohibited the sale of liquor on Sundays. Under certain conditions individual municipalities could overrule that and permit the sale within the limits of their city/county. Various cities in Kansas (particularly those near the Missouri state line) have opted to do just that. Seems like all Kansas residents had to do if they wanted to purchase liquor on Sunday was hop across the line and do that. In the KC metro area, that is as easy as running out for a container of milk. Lots of money was going out of state.

Now the powers that be in Kansas have modified the state law and made it easier for liquor to be sold on Sunday.

But they put one clause in that law that bothers me. They have made it illegal to sell liquor on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Why? Let the store owners decide if they want to be open those days.

Or, why not add other days to the list?

1. How about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and even Channukah?

2. How about Memorial Day? Forget the BBQ and beer and remember what that day is all about. Might even cut down on alcohol related fatalities on the highways.

Cell Phones and Driving

Looks like the City of Chicago is going to be the latest city to ban the use of cell phones while driving. There will be some exceptions. Among those would be the use of hands free devices and emergency calls.

Again, a legislative body reacts to a politically correct bunch of bovine scatology. Appease the cry babies with a new law targeted at one group. Wake up folks..........most states already have laws on the books pertaining to either inattentive and/or careless and reckless driving.

What totally thoroughly pisses me off is what about the other causes of inattention which are just as if not more responsible for vehicle accidents?

Things like:

1. The gal driving with the visor mirror down applying make up. Sometimes even using both hands. Must be steering with her knees.

2. Munching on that greasy, sauce oozing burger. Spill some of that sauce on one's self and see how quickly they lose attention.

3. Drinking and driving...........and not booze. Without a straw, that head gets tilted back and the old eyeballs are staring at the roof of the car............not on the road.

4. Reaching behind (and looking in the back) to calm down the antics of those sweet little toddlers, that are too young to understand that it is important to behave while mommy or daddy is driving.

5. Ever see somebody read a newspaper or a book while they are driving?

6. What about those nifty new GPS systems in cars? If a driver is reading that cute little map or the directions he/she is not paying attention to the road.

7. How about playing around with the radio? Changing a CD/tape?

Anyway, it seems like there is a movement around to single out cell phone users. What a crock.

For the record, I do use my cell phone when driving...........with a hands free device.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Reverse Evolution

Today, the Kansas State Board of Education is about to prove that evolution works in reverse.

They are holding hearings to determine whether or not the science curriculum needs to be changed. What are they considering? Whether or not to teach "Intelligent Design" as an opposing viewpoint to evolution. Intelligent design is nothing more than a fancy way of saying "Creationism".

By doing this they are about to prove that reverse evolution does exist. Why? Because they are about to make monkies of the citizens of the State of Kansas, that is why.

There is an element in this state that wants to force their religious views on the entire state. Don't they realize that freedom of religion applies to all? Including maybe some who do not recognize religion.

Religion belongs in the home and the various houses of worship. No single group has a right to force their religious views on others. And it definitely does not belong in public schools.

Let the science teachers teach science, and let the clergy teach religion.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Handguns in Totoville

Well, it looks like our governor finally grew a set.

Totoville, (aka the State of Kansas) has a hodgepodge of laws governing the transportation of handguns. State law was, in many cases, cast aside for more restrictive county and/or city laws.

What could be legal in one city could get you thrown in jail in another city. What a mess, especially if one did a substantial amount of travel within the state.

Now we have a new state law, which permits carrying a handgun in your vehicle, provided it is cased and unloaded. This law takes effect July 1, 2005 and has an additional provision that no local ordnance can be more restrictive.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Orange Barrel Fever

Spring is knocking on the door, and the number of orange barrels and cones will be increasing.

Fortunately for us, because of a mild winter, some road repairs were continued through the winter months.

Now, that brings up one of my favorite rants: Those immature, asinine, hypocritical idiots who complain about the traffice slow downs caused by the construction and repairs. Hey, these are the same dummies who complain that the roads need repair, narrow roads need to be widened, etc etc etc. Do these idiots expect some "highway construction fairy" to wave their magic wand and miraculously the repairs happen overnight?

Yes, the orange barrels cause slow downs. What are the alternatives? Increased road deterioration, antiquated road designs, potential for accidents.

Come on folks.........wake up..smell the thankful that the various agencies involved are doing these repairs.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Politically Correct Criminal Databases

Most folks already know about the sexual predator databases. The ones that the various states place on-line so an individual can find out if they have any persons convicted of sex crimes living nearby.

We also know that it is up to the convicted felon to keep his/her address current for these databases. Some do, some don't. Needless to say, the ones who don't, if they are found out, will have penalties to pay............if they are found out.

The problem I have with these databases is why only have them for sexual predators? Why? Because it is politically correct.

Let's try this scenario. Bob and Tim are next door neighbors. They get into an argument over some bushes that separate their properties. The argument gets heated. Bob picks up a shovel and proceeds to bash Tim's head in. Bob is in trouble. Deep trouble. Bob is going to jail. Most likely on a manslaughter charge. Eventually Bob is released from prison, and it is very likely that he will not be moving back to his old neigborhood. Now, would you want a neighbor living next door to you who has a propensity towards violence? One who might bash your head in over an argument about yard maintenance or snow removal?

There is no database and requirement to register to find out about Bob. So you won't know if Bob moves next to you, or two houses away or around the corner.

The PC crowd (both citizens and legislators) find it necessary to publish the listings of sexual predators but not of murderers. Something does not make sense here. A rapist is not a very nice person, but neither is a murderer. What is the baseline used to determine that the public needs to know more about the location of rapists than of murderers? Can anyone quantify either action as being more terrible or more heinous than the other? The answer to that last question is no. Ask a rape victim. They will tell you how terrible the experience was. Ask the family of a murder victim how they feel. Or of an individual who is permanently maimed/disabled from a horrendous assault.

Personally, I feel that we have two choices here. Go to a Big Brother society and have databases readily accessible that list all criminals, or eliminate the ones we currently have.

For the record...........I don't like the Big Brother concept.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

What is the TSA thinking?

I really do not understand these fools. Recently the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) announced that lighters could no longer be brought on aircraft effective 4/14/05. But, you can still bring book matches on board.

But, if you want a real good laugh............knitting and crochet needles are still permitted as carry on items. That's right folks, those nice, long, rigid, pointed items.

And if you don't believe me, just go to the TSA's own web site at

Scroll down on that page to "English version prmitted/prohibited items" then check the section headed "Personal Items". That is where you will see the info.

This is so ridiculous, I can't even say anymore.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Let's raise taxes on alcohol

Why don't we raise taxes on alcohol in the same manner as we have on cigarettes?

Opponents of cigarette smoking cite various reasons for taxing them. Among these are the deaths of smokers and the corresponding health care costs. They also cite the health of non-smokers and their health care costs.

Well, what about alcohol?

How many people are killed each year in alcohol related accidents?
How many people are injured each year in alcohol related accidents?
What is the cost to the American public as a result of alcohol related accidents? Lost jobs? Lost wages? Lost business production? Property damage?

Now, let us move on to other problems associated with alcohol. We won't even touch on personal health costs. But what about domestic violence? How many individuals kill, or injure domestic partners while drunk? How many other crimes are committed while a person is drunk. How many other acts of violence (other than domestic) are committed as the result of alcohol consumption.

So, why isn't alcohol taxed at the same rate as cigarettes?

That is easy to answer. The liquor industry, restaurant associations, hotel/motel associations, tourist associations would be up in arms. And the politicians (the various state legislatures) do not have the intestinal fortitude (or the willingness to be on these groups "hit lists").

Can you imagine what would happen if a major convention hotel had to charge $10-$15 for a glass of beer? They would be up in arms. That is what would happen if those taxes were raised proportionately. They would scream that they could not attract convention and/or tourist business. Or if an individual took their partner out to dinner at a modest restaurant and had to pay $12 for a glass of wine? Or if that six pack of beer cost $18-$25? Wow, that would put a damper on Sunday afternoon TV viewing of football games.

Alcohol abuse costs this country tens of billions of dollars a year...........but so what? It's easier to pick on smokers.

For those politicians who claim they are concerned about people's health, go after cigarettes, but not after alcohol, are hypocrites of the first order.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Howard Dean

Most major media outlets seem to think that next Saturday, Howard Dean will be elected as Democratic National chair.

This makes me think, "what if?".

What if Dean had run against Bush? Would he have won? Would it have been an even closer election?

Dean did show a few things during the run up to the caucuses and primaries:
  • An ability to gnerate personal enthusiasm
  • An ability to make effective use of the internet
  • An ability to "click with" young voters

Hindsight may be 20/20.............but I think Bush would have had a tougher go of it if Dean had been the Democratic Party's nominee.

Cigarette Taxes in Kansas

As most folks who live in Kansas know, we pay a tremendous amount of taxes on cigarettes.
Naturally, the anti-smoking element thinks this is great.

In reality, smokers pay a disproportionate share of taxes to the state. About one year ago I emailed my state rep and suggested that additional items be taxed, at the same rate as cigarettes.

Just think about how much money the State of Kansas would get if:
  1. $50 designer jeans became $200 - $250
  2. $125 designer athletic shoes became $500 - $625
  3. $12 family pack of toilet tissue became $48 - $60
  4. $8 can of coffee became $32 - $40
  5. 75¢ candy bar became $3 - $3.75
  6. $4 pair of pantyhose became $16 - $20

Recently, the State of New Jersey imposed a 6% tax on elective cosmetic surgery. Their theory being that if someone can afford to pay for body enhancements (tummy tucks, liposuction, nose jobs, face lifts, breast augmentation) then these folks can pay an extra 6% to be used for state health programs. Cosmetic surgery that is needed as the result of injury or health matters (a person's face is shattered in an accident, a woman loses a breast to cancer, etc) are specifically exempted from the tax.

Now, the States of Washington and Illinois are considering the same tax.

I believe that the State of Kansas needs to consider going this route also.


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