Opinion - Columns

  • Columns | May 04, 2014

    Private meeting with future saint memorable

    During more than 20 years as a Foreign Service officer, I had the opportunity to meet a wide variety of individuals, from President Ronald Reagan to Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev. My work brought me into contact with secretaries of State and Defense as well senior military

  • Columns | May 02, 2014

    Medicare ‘wars’ confuse patrons

    The political wars between Democrats and Republicans over Medicare have raged since Medicare’s inception in 1965. Democrats crafted Medicare to become a single payer system administered by the federal government. Republicans, who opposed the original Medicare bill, preferred a plan adminis-tered by private insurance companies

  • Columns | May 02, 2014

    Give Kansans a utility bill break

    Every time you flip on a light switch, it costs more than it should. It’s been this way since 2009, when the Legislature and Gov. Mark Parkinson forced the state’s utility companies to obtain 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2020. They called

  • Columns | April 30, 2014

    Mental health challenges await

    On Thursday, April 24, Gov. Sam Brownback signed a proclamation declaring May as Mental Health Month in Kansas.  He released a statement through the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services saying, “We are here today to remind Kansans that mental illness is a common,

  • Columns | April 28, 2014

    An evening conversation: goodbye, pal

    Sc -- magazine mug.phatch

    There is another breakup coming in my life. Yep, another piece of technology — lifeblood and lifestyle of the 21st century — must endure a divorce for my own piece of mind. And to keep me from confusing my friends any further. I never quite broadcast this,

  • Columns | April 27, 2014

    Situation in Ukraine grows more dangerous

    The situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate, and resolving the crisis in a manner that will serve Ukrainian, Russian and American interests is increasingly difficult. A couple of things are clear. First, Russian President Vladimir Putin holds the key cards. To some degree, he would

  • Columns | April 25, 2014

    An evening conversation: no joke

    Sc -- magazine mug.phatch

    At first it seemed like maybe KDOT was a having a laugh. That’s the Kansas Department of Transportation, in case you’re visiting from another country. Bulgaria, maybe, or Mississippi. Anyhow, you know those temporary highway warning signs that you see when you’re

  • Columns | April 21, 2014

    Earth Day personal to farmers

    How much do you appreciate the earth? Whether you believe our world to be 4 billion years old or less than 10,000 years, we live together on a planet full of beauty and resources that sustain us. As our population continues to increase at exponentially alarming rates,

  • Columns | April 20, 2014

    Abolishing tenure a bad move

    Earlier this month, the Kansas Legislature jumped into a heated national debate: teacher tenure. Challenging tenure and the unions that defend it has been the subject of academic research, recent books, popular films like “Freedom Writers” and “Waiting for Superman,” and advocacy from nonprofits including

  • Columns | April 20, 2014

    Putin still the aggressor as West mostly watches

    The United States and NATO must come up with a tough policy if they hope to deflect Russian President Vladimir Putin from taking over the eastern part of Ukraine.    Ethnicity is a major problem in Ukraine. Most residents consider themselves either Ukrain-ians or Russians.


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