Category: Staff Soapbox

Taking a novel plunge for literature

Last week, Shelley Plett wrote about NaNoWriMo, the contest in which one writes a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, specifically Nov. 1-30. I decided to do it. As of this moment, I have what I consider a comfortable start of several thousand words. However, they were written on a weekend day, with no other significant distractions, save writing this column. […]

Read more ›

Thoughts on the way we?re headed

Back in the mid-1960s, I was a kid headed off for college at Kansas State University. College is supposed to widen the horizons, and it began to broaden mine even when I retreated. I was longing for my farm life while having my perspectives thrashed by what was around me. I was still in my box, but had the lid […]

Read more ›

Nature?s defenses are beautiful to see

Imagine that you are walking along, and someone comes up behind you. They wrap their arms around you to carry you off. Almost without having to think about it, you arch your back a certain way and your ribs pierce the sides of your body, simultaneously impaling your attacker and dosing them with a strong poison. Although not something that […]

Read more ›

A few ideas on paying for a new jail

Marion County wants a new jail. If all of us don?t get a jail, it?s going to get ugly?kicking and screaming and blaming whose fault it was we didn?t build one. We want a new communications center with the jail, so the 911 dispatchers don?t suffer the discomforts of being in an outdated sweatshop next to the cells. The county […]

Read more ›

Freedom: fewer laws, not more

??The thing I treasure most in life cannot be taken away
There will never be a reason why I will surrender to your advice
To change myself, I?d rather die?.?

??Alive? by Disturbed

Freedom. The more of it a society has, the greater the potential for chaos, and the greater amount of responsibility that must be assumed by each and every citizen to prevent or contain the resulting chaos. Anyone notice what words weren?t there? I?ll give you a moment or two in case you missed it.

Read more ›

Depression can lead to good things

All of life?s troubles got to me the other day, and I started wishing I was a kid again. But when I stood on my box to look in the mirror, there I was, an old fellow with black circles around the eyes and lifetime wrinkles down the face. How depressing! I guess we?re all depressed, at least part of […]

Read more ›

Hey speedsters, where?s the fire?

I?ll be the first to admit it. I?m not a patient individual. In fact, I love the saying I found somewhere on the Web: ?Patience is a minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.? It?s something I exercise because I have no other choice that doesn?t result in something bad happening, not particularly because it?s something I enjoy. Because […]

Read more ›

Shall we hide or enjoy the fluttering?

Economic news and political actions of the past 60 days have me wondering if I should find a box to climb into so I can hide, or just sit and watch it all to enjoy the fluttering. Why, they?ve even coined a new word, ?Obamunism,? and promised a National Tea Party Day for April 15, when everybody is supposed to […]

Read more ›

Sheddings books reflect new outlook

I recently spent about a week cleaning my house and rearranging things in my closets and on my shelves to be more convenient to reach. It was a time to not merely clean house, but to rid myself of a few reminders of how I used to see the world.

I decided to donate some old books that I no longer wanted. I couldn?t bring myself to just throw them away, because I dearly love books. I boxed them up and took them with me when I left for work.

Read more ›

Money means control in wind issue

You?re going to wonder if the kid?s become a scrambled egg, but I hope you?ll keep on reading after you discover what I?m thinking about.

You see, I?m writing it for you. And, don?t take umbrage with me for calling myself a kid. I once was truly one, and still can hardly wait to see what I do when I grow up.

I?m sitting on a box thinking about wind turbines, pig farms, colonization, Alexander Hamil?ton, Thomas Jefferson?and I?m not even Don Quixote.

I got started on all this today by reading that the Kansas House, according to Marion County Planning Director Bobbi Strait, is considering a bill that would effectively strip counties and cities of their basic right to regulate land use within their jurisdictions.

She said it directly addresses the use of any wind turbine or other equipment used for wind power. The Kansas Association of Counties is testifying against this bill, No. 2043. They say it overrides local zoning regulations.

Read more ›