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Current Events, Kansas, Politics

Budgeting for (by) Dummies

To this point, I haven’t said a whole lot about problems the legislature has been having struggling with our budget. There are a lot of voices in that chorus already anyway, and I don’t have too much to contribute that hasn’t been said. Though, I will say at least a couple things that I do think need said, if only to drive the issues home.

This starts with Furlough Friday. Which was, and now isn’t. The legislature avoided furloughs by… saying there won’t be furloughs. Let me be clear, I hate seeing my friends put into a tough position because of a furlough. BUT, that process is in place for a reason. It’s the line in the sand that forces our representatives to do their job in a timely manner. By lifting that threat, even temporarily, that’s a gift more for them than the workers. Keep in mind, while the bill authorized the employees to work, it does not authorize them to be paid. Because they can’t do that without the budget. So, they basically just told state workers to keep doing what they’re doing, for free, and they’ll get checks in the mail to them for that when they get around to it. And if those workers happen to be part of the university system, they can’t even openly discuss their concerns without fear for their jobs now, thanks, again, to the Kansas Legislature: Continue reading

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Current Events, Kansas, Politics

Hey look, we made Doonesbury!

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Kansas, Politics

Well, if there’s one thing we can count on here in Kansas, apparently it’s that if we have a problem in the state, we can just hide from it and it’ll go away. How do we fix problems if the legislature won’t even talk about them? I thought we elected leaders, not ostriches.

“The intention was to get the bill into conference so that Senate and House negotiators could work on crafting a final fix to the state’s $400 million budget hole.” Kansas House votes not to hold debate on tax plan; The Wichita Eagle

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Lawrence Sucks

This is just a fantastic example of someone with a lot of passion, and no charisma. When I talk to people with opposing views, one of the most important things I stress is that to be an effective communicator, you have to win the hearts and minds of the people who disagree with you. Insulting them, and going off half-cocked makes you look like the idiot, and just energizes the opposition with something to fight against. You win more bees with honey and all that. So, how many people’s minds do you think this guy (or gal) changed?

Current Events, Kansas

Lawrence Sucks (Apparently)

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Current Events, Kansas

Lessons in Leadership

By this point, most folks have heard the tale of the waitress who refused a tip from the supreme leader governor this past week. She took her final day on the job as on opportunity to spoon feed a bit of criticism to Brownback via a tool she had at her disposal. The media has, of course, ran with this as if she’d flung a pie into his face. She’s been the target of praise, and a pretty fair amount of rebuke. Then something caught my eye.

boss-vs-leader-2For the most part, I didn’t think this issue worth talking about, since the governor brings criticism on himself pretty willfully – until today. And I’m not going to talk about school funding or education or taxes or any of that. No, what I’m going to talk about is leadership. I have very strong views on this subject, because real leadership I think is one of the lacking qualities across the board in our government. I’m reminded of the image to the right in the matter.

Continue reading

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Culture, Issues, Kansas

At that event Banda’s son apparently contradicted some of the claims made about marijuana. The school then contacted the child protection agency, which then contacted the police. State seizes 11-year-old, arrests his mother after he defends medical marijuana during a school presentation; The Washington Post

The lesson? Don’t challenge authority, stay in line, do what you’re told. Never question what you’re told. Otherwise, the school can have your kid taken away. Doctors can basically prescribe and treat patients with everything from basically heroin, to cocaine, and amphetamines. But don’t you dare consider therapeutic applications for marijuana.

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Kansas, Politics

“This is about gaining confidence in the results as reported. You’ve got to have a post-election audit to know the error rate and to have confidence in the final results. And we don’t have this in this county,” Clarkson said. “They’ve never looked at those paper tapes and compared them to the tabulated results that the software provides.”
Kobach on Sedgwick County election lawsuit: Time is past, votes are sealed; The Wichita Eagle

All election results should be subject to scrutiny at any time. This is why I believe so firmly in a voting system that operates like the bitcoin blockchain, allowing each vote to have a transaction on the chain that is anonymous, but verifiable against the integrity of the data as a whole. Any election can be verified by anyone with the tools and understanding of how the blockchain works.

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My husband is blind and uses Uber. We sent an email to KS Representatives as there's a vote today that would make Uber operations illegal in the state. This was Rep. John Bradford's response. - ImgurI can’t confirm with absolute certainty that this was a true exchange, so keep that in mind when reading it. The law in question is SB117. For what it’s worth, Rep. Bradford is on Twitter.

EDIT: Here’s the discussion on the issue taking place at Reddit.

 

Kansas, Politics

Ladies and Gentlemen, Kansas Legislators

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