Politics

You know, it’s simultaneously humorous and very scary to me how people view me in discussions. When engaging conservatives, I’m apparently anti-religion (I’m not), or communist (I’m definitely not), or just extreme-liberal (I’m most definitely not). Yet when I hold my liberal friends to the same standard of discussion, I’m “hurting the cause” or “not a real Democrat” (okay, this one might be true) or a conservative in disguise. I work really hard to always hear both sides of discussions, and make sure people consider contrary viewpoints, because contrary doesn’t mean the same thing as “wrong.” Understanding where people are coming from when they disagree with us is a core building block of communication and problem solving. And while we may FEEL strongly about our opinions, it’s important to remember that they aren’t rendered into facts through that process.

People, I’m in the middle. I’m more middle of the road than about anyone I’ve ever met. Sorta like an Independent Libertarian, maybe. And I hold everyone to the same standard. When I see folks using hyperbole or false equivalencies to try and make points (badly), I point it out. When I see people being uncivil to each other, I try to be their conscience. And yet, from the middle of the road, you can see just how badly polluted the gutters are. You can’t disagree with someone without being “the enemy,” and you can’t be “the enemy” without being labeled the polar opposite, regardless of the accuracy of that label.

It’s very sad, in the end, because it’s a bad commentary on how polarized we’ve become, and how unable we are to just sit down and fucking talk to each other like human beings. And it’s a god damned shame. The problem is heavily connected to social media, where Facebook, Twitter, and company allow us to enter echo-chambers – isolating us from dissent, and reassuring us of our “rightness” on issues. The reality is, we’re just blocking out the challenges of critical thinking and problem solving by ignoring opposing viewpoints because we’ve grown lazy. We’ve gone so far backwards.

Lost in the Gray

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Culture

So, I saw this today. So much sad. First, we get a film set in Kansas, but of course, it’s about a satanic, mass-murdering cult. So there’s that. But more than that, despite how easily it could have been managed, they filmed the damn thing in LOUISIANA. I know that’s not an uncommon thing for Hollywood, but seriously, how hard is it for our economic development groups to reach out to these people and get their money here? Kansas isn’t exactly an expensive place to operate, all you’d have to do is TRY.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Places_(2015_film)

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Because I know people will say it, “doing jackshit” doesn’t necessarily mean taking away people’s guns, or anything like that. “Doing jackshit” could mean admitting we don’t care about being better people, that we don’t work hard enough at teaching our children values and morals, that we simply don’t care enough. We don’t identify mental illness well enough, we don’t spend enough time on the good, and focus too hollowly on the bad. We don’t take bad events as opportunities to create good. We just use them to bring eyeballs to the TV and say “see how bad it is out there.” That’s not fucking good enough.

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Issues, Kansas

Flight of Fancy

Kansas was once again in the news for its recent introduction to the top ten list of states with outbound population according to the latest United Van Lines survey. Naturally, this is spun as bad news for the state’s administration, which is already facing income shortfalls, even after downward revisions of expectations. It’s also shown as proof that Brownback’s efforts are failing. Which might be true. This news shouldn’t, however, come as a surprise to anyone. The downward population trend was also reflected in recent census data which showed us at a net loss.

For the sake of responsibility, we should acknowledge that the UVL study does have some limitations. Obviously, it’s only datasource were people that chose to use one of their moving services, leaving out everyone that used a competitor or did it themselves. The hope is that their sample size was large enough that such limitations don’t outweigh the overall trend, which should show through the noise. All that said, I don’t find a lot of reason to otherwise doubt their results. UVL has been doing this survey since the 70s, if my memory recalls correctly. And there’s never been any significant criticism of their findings or methodology that I know of. (Do you know something I don’t? Be sure to mention it down below in the comments and link the source so I can take a look.)

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Our state senators went out, dug a grave, bought a casket, picked out a headstone, and now they’re cruising to the hospital with the top down to unplug us. Share to support your frustration with the unparalleled, unprecedented failure of the #ksleg113‬ day session.

Current Events, Kansas

SB270 Passes 21-19

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Brownback, Then and Now

Current Events, Kansas, Politics

Brownback, Then and Now

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Kansas, Politics

You know how everyone’s talking about this law Brownback signed that puts judiciary funding in jeopardy based on how they decide to rule? You know how pretty much everyone talking about it says it’s a bad idea (since, obviously, it is)?

Imagine for one second the name “Brownback” was replaced with “Obama” in that discussion. Could you imagine the pitchforks and torches conservatives would be marching into DC with? The ink wouldn’t even be dry on the paper.

So why is it okay for Brownback to do it here?

A Matter of Perspective

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