Opinion - Columns

  • Columns | February 27, 2016

    China’s militarization bolsters its foreign policy

    In addition to defending the state, another primary purpose of a strong military is to back up a country’s foreign policy. A country should not send troops in to achieve every foreign policy goal. Yet every government wants to be able to threaten another

  • Columns | February 26, 2016

    A pattern Kansas should break

    The Kansas Legislature in 2015 passed a bill to allow the state to borrow $1 billion to reduce the unfunded liability of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, KPERS. The funds would pay down the state’s obligation, which was created over the years by consistently contributing

  • Columns | February 25, 2016

    Student achievement in crisis

    There are those who believe Kansas has a school funding crisis — even though spending exceeds $13,000 per student and continues to set records — but low student achievement is the real crisis. It’s a shame that so much attention is paid to money and so little

  • Columns | February 24, 2016

    Common Core must be evil…

    House bill 2676 is expected to come before the Kansas House this week for debate. If it passes, it will do away with anything related or aligned to Common Core standards. What does that really mean? Any current textbooks or pur-chased curriculum that aligns with Common

  • Columns | February 20, 2016

    Meeting can begin to close centuries-old rift

    My father used to say that if one lives long enough, one will see changes considered impossible earlier in life. Such a thing happened on Feb. 12, when Pope Francis met with Russian Patriarch Kirill at Jose Marti Airport in Havana, Cuba. The two talked privately

  • Columns | February 14, 2016

    As Germany goes, so goes the rest of Europe

    Germany has always been one of the most important and influential countries in Europe — for good or bad. Along with France, it occupies a key position in the European Community.  When the German economy improves and the country is politically stable, it is good

  • Columns | February 11, 2016

    Can we storm the court or not?

    Once again confusion and what would seem to be a lack of communication raise questions at Kansas State University. As it became apparent that KSU was going to win an exciting game over Oklahoma on Saturday, security police took to the basketball court. There most

  • Columns | February 06, 2016

    Toughness is a Russian trait, and Putin has it

    One of the most difficult things to instill in the minds of students and members of Congress alike is the importance of understanding Russian culture (one of toughness) if one hopes to deal with Russians at the official level. Americans have a tendency to assume

  • Columns | February 05, 2016

    Where are the agents of change?

    Thomas Frank’s “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” is now 12 years old.  Much of the book’s fevered language still seems extreme, yet right now much of what Frank implied and described has become reality or is well on its way.  So

  • Columns | January 30, 2016

    North Korea knows the value of U.S. hostages

    One of the things I am most grateful for is that in my 23 years in the U.S. Department of State, I was never ordered to deal with North Korea. Then again, I am not a specialist on Asia. Nevertheless, North Korea is an important


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