Staff Soapbox

Freedom: fewer laws, not more

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??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.

Sheddings books reflect new outlook

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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.

Money means control in wind issue

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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.

Rational discussion a logical choice

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Another holiday season has passed already, with all its joys and the usual fuss and bother over how it?s celebrated.

Not that I want to rush my way through another year?2008 passed quickly enough, thank you very much?but I?m looking forward to seeing what 2009 will bring. It?s a combination of genuine anticipation and morbid curiosity over what new ways people will find to either celebrate life or attempt to ruin it for others?or both.

I watched on the Web, both in blog posts and video clips, the unfolding of the controversy that occurred in Olympia, Wash., over holiday displays. For me, that whole mess just underscores my feeling that such displays should only be allowed on private property?residences, businesses and organizations such as churches?in the interest of fairness to everyone.

Is there money for a tutu bailout?

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I lost my box.

But there?s nothing too lost about thinking outside a box when you can sit on a rock on the lot behind the Free Press office dreaming of daffodils. Sometimes losing something is good, and sometimes it?s bad.

It keeps Todd Jost wondering about what you might do next, and the fear of being put in another one of my columns led Andy Kraus to consider leaving town to build a bridge in Greenwood County.

So, nothing is too lost except for poor Lost Springs. A community building advisory team came through from Kansas State University a couple of weeks ago. They recommended tearing down half the buildings in Lost Springs as eyesores, and severely dressing up of those that are left. That would make it the nearly lost Lost Springs?at least until the Santa Fe Trail tourist trade booms just a little more.