Sunday, May 24, 2015



Opinion - Columns

  • Columns | December 02, 2014

    Kansas is leaning to the South

    I arrived in Kansas 35 years ago, happy to be offered a job at KU but having little sense of the state that would be my home. A political science col-league, friend and co-editor of 15 books, Al Cigler, alerted me to former Democratic Gov. Bob Docking’

  • Columns | November 30, 2014

    Crude oil prices drop after no OPEC changes

    Crude oil prices collapsed to a four-year low on Thanksgiving Day, dropping as low as $67.75 per barrel after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to leave production targets unchanged at their most recent meeting. Analysts had been expecting OPEC members, who produce

  • Columns | November 30, 2014

    Putin may be painting himself into a corner

    Many Western analysts have long believed that Russians are long-suffering people, willing to endure extreme privation without revolting. However, there are indications that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, may not share this view. Moscow blames much of its problems on

  • Columns | November 26, 2014

    Farmers are prime messengers

    James Garner died last July. Most folks probably remember him best for his portrayal of television series characters Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford or for his more recent performance in the movie “The Notebook.” Garner’s easy-going personality and average-guy good looks made him likeable.

  • Columns | November 23, 2014

    Drivers warm to cheap gasoline prices

    As motorists fuel up for their annual trip to grandmother’s house, they’re likely to be thankful for the cheapest gas in more than four years. With gasoline futures trading near $2.01 per gallon on Friday, nationwide prices at the pump (which include taxes, delivery

  • Columns | November 23, 2014

    Obama’s climate deal clearly favors China

    President Obama’s recent trip to China raised the hopes of those who long to reduce carbon emissions, but it upset diplomats concerned about the sloppiness of the main agreement — at least from the American side. The two countries together account for about 40 percent of

  • Columns | November 21, 2014

    It’s not too soon for us to plan

    In the Mercury editorial on Nov. 16, the editors suggested that the Manhattan Ogden Board of Education refrain from speaking of a bond issue so soon after the completion of the previous bond issue. As the board member most urging such conversation, I would like to

  • Columns | November 20, 2014

    Kansans deserve straight talk

    Enough is Enough! The campaigns are over, and I had hoped that our governmental leadership would get down to the task of restoring a sound financial footing for our state. Declining state revenues have left a hole in the budget. It seems obvious that our

  • Columns | November 16, 2014

    In new Cold War, Russia pesters U.S., NATO

    I remember the day the Berlin Wall was opened. I was in my front room with the TV on and “Pow!” there it was — people were coming through at “Check-point Charlie” while border guards stood by and did nothing.  For two years I had

  • Columns | November 11, 2014

    Staying positive takes courage

    This is not a post-mortem on what went wrong or could have gone better. I am only going to express a few things about the Greg Orman campaign that I learned about the character of Kansas and the difficulty of mounting the first serious challenge


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