Archive for kansas

University of Kansas professor on leave after tweet to NRA

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turnabout is fair play

A professor apparently "disrupted the learning environment" at the University of Kansas with a tweet.

The NRA has disrupted America with its gun lobbying, but they're not "on leave." Wayne LaPierre has disrupted politics with his frequent, public, vile spew, but he's not "on leave." The consequences of their words and actions, all that shilling for the gun industry, have been tragic.

Mass murderers disrupt (read: end) lives but they're still out there, able to slaughter crowds with their semi-automatic weapons. The consequences of their actions have been tragic.

But a journalism professor didn't shoot a gun, he shot off his mouth and swiftly got silenced. He is now on indefinite administrative leave.

The NRA is still out there selling deadly firearms, and very little is being done to deny them their voices.

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A University of Kansas journalism professor was placed on indefinite administrative leave Friday for a tweet he wrote about the Navy Yard shootings which said, "blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters."

David W. Guth, an associate professor of journalism, made the comment on Twitter after Monday's shootings in Washington, D.C., in which 13 people died, including the gunman. The tweet didn't attract much attention until Campus Reform.org posted a story Thursday, sparking a social media backlash that's spilled over into some state lawmakers calling for his dismissal.

Now personally, I don't agree with Guth's approach at all, but the point of this post isn't about the content of his tweet, it's about the backlash. Why isn't there an equally swift, equally effective response to those who actually contribute to cutting lives short?

Guth, who on Thursday told The Associated Press in a phone interview that his tweet "got a conversation going — that was exactly what I wanted to do," agreed Friday that the university's action was appropriate in light of email threats he and others at the university had received.

There are now calls for his dismissal, specifically by Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, a Republican who has received $2,500 in campaign contributions from the NRA since 2004.

And an NRA spokesman self-righteously declared, "This is hate speech. It is disgusting and deplorable. It has no place in our society."

But assault style/military style weapons with high capacity magazines that make it easy to mow down crowds but are unnecessary for hunting or personal protection do have a place in our society. Those aren't disgusting or deplorable at all. In fact, they're hunky dory.

Got it.

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Judge rules bomb threat letter is "free speech" in anti-abortion case

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what's the matter with kansas

Call me crazy, but I'm guessing our founders didn't think free speech meant writing a threatening letter to someone warning them that they were being watched and that their car would be bombed should they decide to continue their (legal) abortion training.

Did I say threatening? Pfft! Oh please. Nonono, there's no evidence of such a terrible, unChristian thing. The First Amendment covers all that, and besides, God said He was cool with it. We're good, go away.

Of course, this appalling story centers on the very same location where abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was murdered (in his own church, by the way).

Via CJOnline:

WICHITA — An abortion opponent’s letter to a Wichita doctor saying someone might place an explosive under her car is constitutionally protected speech and not a “true threat” under existing law, a federal judge ruled Thursday. [...]

It was a great victory for the First Amendment,” said her attorney, Don McKinney. “Obviously, we agree with the opinion. I appreciate the court held the U.S. Department of Justice accountable to the law and the evidence.”

Letter-writer Angel (yes, Angel) Dillard included this:

They know where you shop, who your friends are, what you drive, where you live,” the letter said. “You will be checking under your car every day <0x2014> because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it.

Who could possibly interpret that as a threat?

But Dillard included her return address, see, a fact that the judge, in all his judgy wisdom, used to support his ruling.

Here's an excerpt from Dillard's deposition:

“I did what the Lord asked me to do. He impressed upon me that I needed to write the letter and I did.”

Well, hey, if the Lord asked you to threaten a life, who are you to say no? So much for that whole "pro-life" premise, huh "Angel"?

Please read the entire story here. And for some background: Kansas women’s clinic follows in Dr. George Tiller’s footsteps.

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Thanks For Clearing That Up, Ted Cruz

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Ted Cruz

Hmm.  I see.  Senator Ted Cruz this week shed the light on his potential candidacy for President in 2016. He addressed the Obama birthers,while clearing the way for his run for the White House. You see Ted clearly was born in Canada, or so he says. Now if he was not a natural born citizen of the U.S., he wouldn't be eligible to serve as President under Article Two of the U.S. Constitution.

As far as we all know, Canada is not part of the U.S. So is this a problem?

According to Ted this week in a (campaign stop) in Iowa, absolutely not. Laura Bassett reports in HuffPo:

While Cruz would not exactly say whether he is gearing up for the primaries, he cleared up speculation that he is not eligible to run because he was born in Canada. “My mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware," he said. "She’s a U.S. citizen, so I’m a U.S. citizen.”

“I’m not going to engage in a legal debate. The facts are clear. I can tell you where I was born and who my parents were. And then as a legal matter, others can worry about that. I’m not going to engage.”

So according to Ted, his mother was born in the US, making her a citizen. Therefore, no matter where she was when giving birth to Ted, he is considered a natural citizen and thus legally able to serve as president. Okay. I buy that.

Now it seems to me, President Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, likewise, was born in the states if we consider Wichita, Kansas part of America. (B.O. was too, in Hawaii, but just go along with this tea party/birther argument that he was born in Kenya.) So if the president's mother was born in the U.S., then why is his eligibility any different from Cruz's? Aren't these two scenarios that same?

Thank you Senator Cruz for setting the record straight. Birthers? What say ye?

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Trusting Huelskamp

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Kansas 1st District

Though Laffy posted this a few days ago, it's reverberations are still being felt. And with a h/t to her, I feel I must revisit this ignorant and outrageous conduct. Today I feel like fighting fire with fire. Forgive the insensitivity of what follows, but this guy just got my goat.

tweet huelskamp clinton immigration reform obama

Congressman, Congressman, Congressman. I love a witty quip, a snarky remark and even a pointed analogy. Certainly coming from your party, the GOP, you hear it all the time. But for a party who's killed more important Bills than the ovens at Auschwitz; whose forced transvaginal ultrasound probes have raped more women than Charles Ng or the Hillside Stalker, or who's... Oh, hell, I'm not going to waste any more writing about your inept, corrupt party (at least for today). I'm not going to lower myself to your base level.

tornado

Your uncalled for attack on both President Clinton and President Obama assure you induction and a prime spot in the Asshat Hall of Fame. Perhaps nobody's blown more hot air up the collective behinds in Kansas than you since the 2007 Greensburg Tornedo or if you want to go way back, the Udall Tornado of  '55.

President Obama supports the immigration reform bill that passed in the Senate late last month. It's a legislation that includes an amendment that would drastically increase security at the border. In fact, even Republicans like Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who helped write the amendment, admitted that the border security provisions amounts to overkill. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said the bill will ensure that the United States has the "most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall." These to hawks should be enough but not for you.

So, to go along with your ignorance on Gay rights, your voting against women, your personal anti-immigration platform, and your lack of trust of your fellow Republicans, and former Presidents, I can only wish you the best -- of what's promises to be the end of your final elected term in office.

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How Do You Spell Ignorant? H-u-e-l-s-k-a-m-k-p

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Now use it in a sentence.

When it comes to being out of touch with public opinion or constitutional rights, don't Huelskamp or you'll be justifiably ridiculed.

Unfortunately I can't provide a direct link. But click on the picture of Huelskamp below and you'll be taken to video courtesy of John Celock and HuffPo.  Please forgive the commercial up front.  It's worth the wait to listen to this man and judge for yourself why the GOP is out of touch with the world.

TimHuelskamp

He joins the likes of Michele Bachmann, Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Darrell Issa, Speaker Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul Mitch McConnell -- hell, the list goes on and on. You'll see what I mean watching the video. When you don't let facts get in the way, you have an ignorant Republican.

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ACA money will save lives, improve health, promote wellness, said anti-Obamacare GOP hypocrites who solicited grants

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Via aaateeshirts.com

A pal and terrific investigative journalist Lee Fang has new story out in the Nation today about Republican double speak on President Obama's Affordable Care Act. Through a Freedom of Information Act request, he reports on over twenty GOP lawmakers requesting health reform money for their constituents, arguing that the money will save lives, improve health, and promote wellness -- the very opposite of the arguments these lawmakers make when calling for repeal.

The story mentions NRSC chair Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) breaking ground at an opening ceremony for an Obamacare-funded health clinic, and Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-LA) cutting the ribbon at a health reform-funded health center in his district:

NRSC chair Sen. Jerry Moran Obamacare health care gop hypocrites

Congressman Bill Cassidy GOP hypocrites Obamacare

Lee:

Even before President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, Republicans were vowing to repeal it. It’s no wonder, because polls showed that the basic elements of the ACA were quite popular, and there was a real danger that it would become more so as people found out that the plan denounced as a “monstrosity” by the National Republican Senatorial Committee would not trample on their liberties so much as help protect their health. Desperate to avoid this, the GOP-controlled House has voted no fewer than thirty-seven times to repeal Obamacare in the three years since it was enacted.

Now letters produced by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that many of these same anti-Obamacare Republicans have solicited grants from the very program they claim to despise. This is evidence not merely of shameless hypocrisy but of the fact that the ACA bestows tangible benefits that even Congress’s most extreme right-wing ideologues are hard-pressed to deny to their constituents.

Please proceed, Republicans.

Much more at the link.

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"A Week of Upchucks: Keep on recruiting for bad guys while you root to undermine education, science, equal rights"

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gop fail 3Please welcome back guest blogger K.C. Boyd. You might remember her from her earlier posts:

A Week of Upchucks

By K. C. Boyd

 “Pro-Life” Upchucking

  • Add Ohio’s to the ever-growing list of states whose House voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • Senator Brownback signed House Bill 2253 this week. Scribbled at the top of his marked up copy of this “Pro-Life Protections Act,” were the words Jesus & Mary, with “Pro-Life” further down in the margins. Good to confirm in writing that legislators really do govern by Sharia the Bible. After North Dakota, the Kansas bill is second to define life as beginning at conception.

Beyond Upchuck: Second child of faith-healing couple dies after no medical care

  • With the death of an 8-month old baby resulting from Fundamentalist Christians putting faith over science, this is well beyond your average upchuck. When you become a parent, you are responsible for your children’s health and welfare, and that includes after the child is born. If a mother or father chooses God over medicine for themselves, that’s their choice, and their problem. But to sit by and pray while their 8-month baby struggles for days with severe diarrhea and breathing problems, such negligence is criminal (even more so, this being their second child to have died from prayerful neglect.)
  • Meanwhile, out in Oklahoma, self-proclaimed pro-lifers, more accurately described as pro-negligence once the baby is born, have decided that public education’ isn’t all that important or necessary. In line with the ‘drown-it-in-the-bathtub’ meme, Kansas’ governor and legislators have enacted public school cuts that are among nation's highest and which, over time, may well destroy public education, as we know it. At the same time, the goodly legislators are looking for ways to cut taxes (for the rich.)

Schaudenfreude Upchuck

  • Things aren’t looking too promising for a successful GOP’ wooing of the LGBT community. Despite the spoken desire by one wing of the party to at least appear more gay-friendly, the RNC couldn’t help caving to the Rebiblicans’ that make up its base. At the RNC April meeting in Los Angeles, The GOP confirmed that they cannot and will not change their platform when it comes to gay marriage. Why schaudenfreude, you ask? Quite frankly because this upchucker loves nothing more than to see than the GOP engage in all manner of self-sabotage.

Dino Upchuck

  • Ken Ham is smiling these days thanks to a deal his Answers in Genesis’ ad agency made to screen an animated Creation Museum commercial during previews at each of the 458 theaters showing the newly released Jurassic Park 3-D movie. Not only that but these theaters will also continuously loop said commercial in their lobbies, exposing evermore young people to the Big Lie.

And finally, heading over to the land of whack job Upchucks

  • Ann Coulter exercised her right to persecute Muslims on Fox (cough) News when she stated that the Boston bombing suspect's wife should be in prison for wearing a hijab. Talk about denying a woman’s rights - - someone needs to sew her mouth permanently shut.
  • Pat Robertson, never one to disappoint averred that "Islam is to blame for not only the Boston Marathon bombing, but terrorism around the world.” Comparing 'Evil' Islam To Nazism, Robertson is sure to have ruffled the feathers of many a future would-be terrorist.
  • Lastly there’s the Beckster’s continued accusations of a dreamt–up government cover-up with regards to the Marathon bombing. Informed by what can only be a super-duper top-secret source, Beck accuses the Dems of hiding “damning evidence” that a Saudi National was involved in the Boston bombing. Of course we know he’s a nutcase but something that most folks aren’t aware of is that Homeland Security Chairman Michael T. McCaul, Jeff Duncan, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Peter King and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Candice Miller wrote to Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano requesting an immediate classified debriefing on the Saudi whose identity is said to be hidden and who the government instantly spirited out of the country/ This can’t help but make one remember when Bush and Co. really did whisk the Bin Laden family out of the country just after 9/11, well before private or commercial planes were permitted back in the air.

I say, keep it up guys. Keep on recruiting for the bad guys while you root to undermine education, science and equal rights.

We’ll see you in 2014.

Novelist K.C. Boyd is the author of Being Christian: A Novel. According to Mikey Weinstein, President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, “Boyd created a story so riveting that not only could I not put it down, but upon finishing it, I found myself, like an addict, craving more.

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