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Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 8:53 pm

I wish I’d counted how many times Bush has said “It’s hard work!” during the debate. “It’s hard work.” That’s his mantra for everything. “It’s hard work!”…as he traipses off to his ranch for another vacation.

P.S. Friday morning from a friend:

“He said it eleven times. Let’s remember though, he said it with resolve.”

Yes, true. And then we have “terrists”!


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 8:46 pm

Null and Svaty were invited by the students to a “Meet the Candidates” Forum at Ellsworth High School. Null has refused their invitation saying he is “just too busy”.Josh, on the other hand, has spent two full weeks, last week and next week, time he could be campaigning, talking to students across the state…in Kansas City, Topeka, Pittsburg, Derby, etc. Twelve difference schools in twelve different areas of the state.

During the last two years, he’s spoken to hundreds of students and responded to their requests to come to their schools to talk to them. He gives willingly of his time to do that.

Monday morning he is speaking to the students at Salina Central. Our EHS student council members are going to Central so that they can hear him. I think that says a lot for our students, our administrators who see the importance of this…and Josh.

Josh has the endorsement of the K-NEA, Kansas Association of School Boards and USD #327 Teacher’s Association.

I had planned a couple of weeks ago to attend when he got to Central to make his presentation, as it was the closest to home. My youngest grandson who is student council member and making the trip to Salina was surprised to hear tonight that I was also attending. He’s a cool kid. He doesn’t mind if his grandma is in the crowd too.

I wish all our students here could also hear him. This was something that was arranged by the state…not sure which arm of the government. I’ll ask. But the important thing to realize is that Josh has found it more important to talk with these students than to work on his own campaign. I hope people understand that and realize what a wonderful job he has done for education and for our youth across the entire state.


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 5:23 pm

A Brig. General just said on TV: “A draft isn’t needed. We do need to increase the Army, we need a larger Army, but we don’t need a draft. When we do need a draft, the Congress and the American people will approve it.”

This American person won’t approve it. I’m sure Mr. Bush will call that un-American as he does anyone who disagrees with him.

I will be very surprised if there isn’t a draft…after the election.


Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 3:42 pm

By Dana Priest and Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post Staff Writers; Sept. 29, 2004

A growing number of career professionals within national security agencies believe that the situation in Iraq is much worse, and the path to success much more tenuous, than is being expressed in public by top Bush administration officials, according to former and current government officials and assessments over the past year by intelligence officials at the CIA and the departments of State and Defense.

While President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and others have delivered optimistic public appraisals, officials who fight the Iraqi insurgency and study it at the CIA and the State Department and within the Army officer corps believe the rebellion is deeper and more widespread than is being publicly acknowledged, officials say.

For the entire story, click here.


Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 2:42 pm

Rod is celebrating his birthday with one of his annual treks to a Big 12 football game with his K-State fraternity brothers from years past. They’re going to TX for the A & M game with K-State. That will be a great trip for them with nothing lost on all the fun they always have. Dane, Kenz and Luke intend to see them somewhere in Bryan. It usually happens that way.

So, happy birthday, Rod on your big 28th. You’re a terrific big brother, son and grandson. We’re very proud of your many accomplishments in life.


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 1:36 pm

Josh’s opponent won the endorsement of the Salina Chamber of Commerce, which drew some unwarranted attention in the Journal. It was not news. Usually endorsements don’t get that much attention.


Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 1:18 pm

Tyler has ordered from his mom a brownie pie topped with DQ ice cream for his birthday “cake”. That happened a couple nights ago. Then after that request was placed, every one went to bed and all was quiet. It was assumed the boys were asleep.

Much later there were footsteps in the hall and Tyler popped into his parents bedroom to announce what he wanted for his birthday dinner. He’d been thinking about it for a long while. He thinks about food more than any kid I know. It takes an endless supply to fill his 6′ 4″ frame and he dreams of his next meal while he is eating. His favorite TV fare is the Food Channel. He likes “quality” food. Specialty gourmet items. The exotic. Stuff most kids wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. “Prime rib at the Midland…that’s what I want for my birthday dinner!”, he said. “Okay”, said his parents, “Now go to bed!” Laughter followed.

That’s what he’s getting from Ally for his birthday…a gift certificate for a prime rib dinner at the Midland. Lucky guy that Tyler.

After football practice and a football dinner tonight…well, it’s a football players get-together dinner…they aren’t going to actually eat footballs…the family will gather here for dessert. Ally will be able to join us. We’ll be short a few family members, but the rest of us can sing for those who are missing. Tyler is a good kid.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:30 am

Discover a stretch of the Sunflower State away from the interstate:
The Kansas City Star article by Allen Holder can be found here on my website. Just scroll down about a half a page.

I e-mailed this outstanding article to many of you, but it was a long download and some of you thought I’d sent you an empty page. If you missed it, you might want to read it here. Allen did a great job on the material and provided us a great service.

The gifs wouldn’t open on the Kansas City Star website, or the ones I forwarded to you. Friends sent me the original copies from the newspaper, should you care to see them.


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 10:13 am

Granted, Josh Svaty and Tim Null are both nice guys. Therefore, let’s take it to the next level. Which candidate is most competent to serve in the state Legislature representing the interests of the 108th District?

Would it be the candidate who joined with other freshmen legislators, Republican and Democrat, to craft a constructive funding bill for education when senior legislative leaders could not or would not lead on the issue? That candidate would be Josh Svaty.

Would it be the candidate who co-sponsored needed legislation to provide 9-1-1 emergency services to cell phone users? That candidate would be Josh Svaty.

Maybe it would be the candidate who earned the respect of Kansas Supreme Court Justice Carol Beier who, when addressing Washburn Law School students on the topic of greatness, identified a freshman state legislator as having the “ability and willingness to speak truth to power.” That legislator would be Josh Svaty.

Josh Svaty speaks truth to power when it means standing up to 124 other knowledgeable, determined legislators in defense of what he nows to be right. He does the same in open debate. He speaks the truth when he meets constituents door-to-door and in schools and town hall meetings all across the 108th District. There is no doubt in any objective mind which candidate will best represent the 108th District in Topeka. That candidate is Josh Svaty.

Leslie Brooks.
The Salina Journal, Sept. 30, 2004

(Leslie Brooks is an Ellsworth teacher. Rep. Svaty has the endorsement of the KNEA, KASB and the local teachers association.)


Filed under: friends, political musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:58 am

Last night was my kind of night…my mind was stuffed full of information, both new and refresher material. We sorted through a massive number of facts, rearranged our thoughts, got into some hot but friendly discussion about the prison, tourism, city beautification, regionalism, transitional people, schools, consolidation and thoughts of what Ellsworth County should/could become in 2050.

Long-range planning is something that no one addresses here. It just doesn’t happen with our school board, the city council or the county commissioners. How many times have I said this? It was refreshing last night to look down the road.

Last night started at Orozco’s for dinner for the five of us and ended about 10 last night after Joe’s speech and friendly after-chat. It was nice having friend Sandra here from Trego County and eldest son wandered over from Salina. He hasn’t lost sight of Ellsworth and understands things about it most of the rest of us don’t see. We all agreed that Ellsworth would be in a world of hurt if it were not for Cashco and the ECF. Our hope for the future largely hinges on the expansion of the ECF, proposed tourism (that’s always been an issue) and development of our cowboy/cow town history.

It was a good gathering and a successful evening for the INDY open house.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:39 am


Contenders of the Day: Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry will face off tonight in Coral Gables, FL, for the first of three televised debates. The other two debates will take place on October 8, in St. Louis, MO, and on October 13, in Tempe, AZ. Tonight’s debate will focus on foreign policy and homeland security.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:04 pm


The newspaper in Crawford Texas, Bush’s home town, has endorsed Kerry.

Kerry Will Restore
American Dignity
2004 Iconoclast Presidential Endorsement

Few Americans would have voted for George W. Bush four years ago if he had promised that, as President, he would:
• Empty the Social Security trust fund by $507 billion to help offset fiscal irresponsibility and at the same time slash Social Security benefits.
• Cut Medicare by 17 percent and reduce veterans’ benefits and military pay.
• Eliminate overtime pay for millions of Americans and raise oil prices by 50 percent.
• Give tax cuts to businesses that sent American jobs overseas, and, in fact, by policy encourage their departure.
• Give away billions of tax dollars in government contracts without competitive bids.
• Involve this country in a deadly and highly questionable war, and
• Take a budget surplus and turn it into the worst deficit in the history of the United States, creating a debt in just four years that will take generations to repay.
These were elements of a hidden agenda that surfaced only after he took office.
The publishers of The Iconoclast endorsed Bush four years ago, based on the things he promised, not on this smoke-screened agenda.
Today, we are endorsing his opponent, John Kerry, based not only on the things that Bush has delivered, but also on the vision of a return to normality that Kerry says our country needs.

This is a long editorial and you can read the rest of it here!!!

Please…forward this to your friends so that they can be informed of the facts.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:27 am


It’s a lovely day, inside and out. I slept like a box of rocks last night, good uninterrupted sleep for six hours, so I was up earlier than usual and catching up on correspondence. Brit always brings me a big insulated quart of dark roast Community coffee after he makes it. He is such a sweetheart. It revs my engine.

Lunch at the Midland is on the schedule today, but we’ll miss seeing our favorite daughter and Ruby who are attending a two-day food show in Kansas City. Wilson Family Foods will be a stop so that we can pick up the food trays for tonight. It will be a busy day at the INDY today while they rearrange and try to prepare for the guests coming tonight to hear Joe Aistrup. He’ll be speaking at 8:00. You’ll be interested in his remarks, so try to be there if you can. It may be a little like the proverbial sardine situation.

My good friend, Sandra, is arriving sometime today from Trego County. And Joe will be arriving later this afternoon. We’re taking them to Orozco’s for dinner. I hope Gabe or Jesse has a big batch of extra hot salsa made with fresh habeneros or jalapenos, or both. Hot. I like very hot, hot salsa. They just don’t make it often enough.

Jenny is going to work on my knee again this afternoon. I keep doing the stretching exercises she gave me plus I did a bunch of painful walking yesterday. Maybe it helped. I’m not sure yet.

Geezzzz…little Marla, who is four, paints and gets hundreds for her art work. Actually, they are pretty interesting multi-layered, thick paint Jackson Pollack-style paintings, sort of. She is getting international attention.

Tomorrow our youngest grandchild turns 16. He’s a great kid and certainly at 6′4″ or so is no “child”. We’re gathering for brownie pie topped with Dairy Queen ice cream at some point tomorrow. That is his “cake” request. For dinner, he’s asked for prime rib at the Midland so I expect we’ll do that some Saturday night, since that’s the only time they serve prime rib. We’ll also want to celebrate Rod’s birthday that falls on the 30th as well. He’ll be 28. Seems impossible the years could fly by that fast. How many mothers have two kids born on the same day 12 years apart?

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:12 am


September 29, 2004
MEERWALA, Pakistan - I’m still trying to help out President Bush by tracking down Osama bin Laden. After poking through remote parts of Pakistan, asking for a tall Arab with a beard, I can’t say I’ve earned that $25 million reward.

But I did come across someone even more extraordinary than Osama. Usually we journalists write about rogues, but Mukhtaran Bibi could not be more altruistic or brave, as the men who gang-raped her discovered. I firmly believe that the central moral challenge of this century, equivalent to the struggles against slavery in the 19th century or against totalitarianism in the 20th, will be to address sex inequality in the third world - and it’s the stories of women like Ms. Mukhtaran that convince me this is so.

The plight of women in developing countries isn’t addressed much in the West, and it certainly isn’t a hot topic in the presidential campaign. But it’s a life-and-death matter in villages like Meerwala, a 12-hour drive southeast from Islamabad.

In June 2002, the police say, members of a high-status tribe sexually abused one of Ms. Mukhtaran’s brothers and then covered up their crime by falsely accusing him of having an affair with a high-status woman. The village’s tribal council determined that the suitable punishment for the supposed affair was for high-status men to rape one of the boy’s sisters, so the council sentenced Ms. Mukhtaran to be gang-raped.

As members of the high-status tribe danced in joy, four men stripped her naked and took turns raping her. Then they forced her to walk home naked in front of 300 villagers.

In Pakistan’s conservative Muslim society, Ms. Mukhtaran’s duty was now clear: she was supposed to commit suicide. “Just like other women, I initially thought of killing myself,” said Ms. Mukhtaran, now 30. Her older brother, Hezoor Bux, explained: “A girl who has been raped has no honorable place in the village. Nobody respects the girl, or her parents. There’s a stigma, and the only way out is suicide.”

A girl in the next village was gang-raped a week after Ms. Mukhtaran, and she took the traditional route: she swallowed a bottle of pesticide and dropped dead.

But instead of killing herself, Ms. Mukhtaran testified against her attackers and propounded the shocking idea that the shame lies in raping, rather than in being raped. The rapists are now on death row, and President Pervez Musharraf presented Ms. Mukhtaran with the equivalent of $8,300 and ordered round-the-clock police protection for her.

Ms. Mukhtaran, who had never gone to school herself, used the money to build one school in the village for girls and another for boys - because, she said, education is the best way to achieve social change. The girls’ school is named for her, and she is now studying in its fourth-grade class.

“Why should I have spent the money on myself?” she asked, adding, “This way the money is helping all the girls, all the children.”

I wish the story ended there. But the Pakistani government has neglected its pledge to pay the schools’ operating expenses. “The government made lots of promises, but it hasn’t done much,” Ms. Mukhtaran said bluntly.

She has had to buy food for the police who protect her, as well as pay some school expenses. So, she said, “I’ve run out of money.” Unless the schools can raise new funds, they may have to close.

Meanwhile, villagers say that relatives of the rapists are waiting for the police to leave and then will put Ms. Mukhtaran in her place by slaughtering her and her entire family. I walked to the area where the high-status tribesmen live. They denied planning to kill Ms. Mukhtaran, but were unapologetic about her rape.

“Mukhtaran is totally disgraced,” Taj Bibi, a matriarch in a high-status family, said with satisfaction. “She has no respect in society.”

So although I did not find Osama, I did encounter a much more ubiquitous form of evil and terror: a culture, stretching across about half the globe, that chews up women and spits them out.

We in the West could help chip away at that oppression, with health and literacy programs and by simply speaking out against it, just as we once stood up against slavery and totalitarianism. But instead of standing beside fighters like Ms. Mukhtaran, we’re still sitting on the fence.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:46 am


SpaceshipOne will blast through the atmosphere today in a quest to win the Ansari X-prize. The Ansari X Prize is a $10,000,000 prize offered as part of an international competition intended to jumpstart the space tourism industry. The prize will be awarded to the first team of entrepreneurs and rocket experts that privately finances and builds a reusable spaceship that carries three people into space (100 kilometers or 62.5 miles altitude), returns them to earth safely, and repeats the achievement with the same vehicle within two weeks. Sponsored by the X Prize Foundation, the Ansari Prize was inspired by the Orteig prize of 1927, which awarded the Spirit of St. Louis Organization $25,000 upon Charles Lindbergh’s historic crossing of the Atlantic in 1927.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:56 pm


The American Cancer Society is looking for 50,000 women whose sisters had breast cancer for a study on environmental and inherited causes of the disease. Women aged 35-74 who are themselves healthy will be studied in a project called “The Sister Study,” conducted by NIEHS.

Click here.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:46 pm


Saturday, October 2nd…Cowtown Marching Festival, EHS Shanelec Field at 7:00 pm.

Sunday, October 3rd…St. Bernard’s Catholic Church has its annual Fall Celebration beginning at 5:00 pm. Games for the children, a county store and meal served until 7:00 pm. Something for everyone.

Wednesday, October 6th…the Wilson Chamber Breakfast features Chris Snyder and Jay Emler. Meet your candidates at Made From Scratch. Arrive about 7:30 for breakfast. The candidates will talk from 8 until 9.

Wednesday, October 6th…Stop by the INDY office to get your paper, enjoy a cup of coffee and donuts in a customer appreciation day.

October 8-10 is the C.O.W.B.O.Y. Fall Roundup on the grounds of the Rec Center, south of the Smoky Hill River. There will be a parade on Saturday, chuck wagon dinner, reenactor presentations, etc.

October 16th…Quilt Show, 10:0 am – 2:00 pm. City Hall Gym. Admission free, lunch available. Door prizes every 1/2 hour. Silent auction ends at 1 pm. Quilt Raffle, 2 pm. Need not be present to win. $1 each ticket, 6 for $5 donation. Raffle tickets: Ellsworth Co. Extension office, 210 N. Kansas.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:17 pm


How in the world can it take 4 1/2 hours to change oil and rotate tires on my car? I don’t get it. I think maybe, if I had a manual and a couple of wrenches, I could do it in that amount of time.

My fav granddaughter is going to the Texas A and M - K-State game with her bf and father. They should have fun. It has become an annual affair. Oldest grandson, Rod, is making his annual pilgrimage to the same game with some of his old college chums. I expect there will be several Kansas reunions at the game. Everyone seems to love the color and pageantry of A&M, the Corps, the music, even the game. Let’s hope both K-State and KU will pull out as winners. That would be nice. I actually have some hope for KU in a few years.

I bought some surprises for my granddaughter then forgot a couple items when we were transferring from one car to another. Isn’t that always the way? She’ll enjoy the ceramic Halloween pumpkin I bought for her at Robson’s, plus the candy I got for it in case she has “trick or treaters”.

A vitriolic, demeaning, factually incorrect letter-to-the-editor appeared in the Journal today about one of our finest young men. You have to consider the source, which people do. No one pays attention to such rubbish.

Tomorrow Joe Aistrup will be here. He’s the chair of the political science department at K-State. He’s an interesting fellow, has researched his material thoroughly and will make an excellent presentation tomorrow night at 7:00 at the Indy. Actually, he’ll be speaking at 8:00. His message will raise lots of questions. Linda, Sandra and I are taking him to Orozco’s first for dinner. That will be fun. He’s a neat guy and you’ll benefit from hearing what he has to say.

I bought some dried blueberries and dried whole strawberries at that place today, where I hate to leave any money, that has some unusual items at times. Unusual for around here. They are very good and would be great in baked items, like muffins and cookies. Mine will never get that far, I’m afraid. I also picked up a Panettone. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a festive Italian yeast cake flavored with candied fruit peels and raisins, and it’s not very sweet or cake-like. It’s more a take off from Hawaiian sweet bread. It’s good, and great toasted for breakfast.

Keep your eye on the sky tomorrow; however,Toutatis will not be visible to the unaided eye. The largest asteroid ever known to pass near Earth is making a close celestial brush with the planet this week in an event that professional and backyard astronomers are watching closely. Tomorrow it will be within a million miles of Earth, or about four times the distance to the Moon. No space rock this big will pass so close in the next century, scientists say.

There was a great documentary on TV last night about the Holy Grail, Catholic Church history, the De Vinci Code, etc. It was exceptional. There also has been a special documentary on Cirque du Soliel that is excellent.

Thanks for stopping by. My numbers are up again and I appreciate that very much.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:24 pm


From Jesse’s blog:

“I find it somewhat unbelievable that my tiny ol’ hometown could be featured on a new reality show, but sure enough, Travis Draft was scouting the town over the weekend. It’s kind of an exciting possibility for Kanopolis; it would certainly bring some much-needed publicity to the town. Here’s the article from the Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter:…”

Click here!

Kanopolis is four miles east of Ellsworth on the “low road”. We’ll keep you posted as this story unfolds.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:13 am


The JV team lost to Beloit last night 50 - 0, at Beloit. It was ugly. I don’t think you can chalk that loss up to the fact the other team had a home field advantage.

The varsity boys arrived for practice yesterday but the coach called it off and sent them home. From what I’ve seen, and I’m no expert, the boys are trying. They play hard, hit hard. They get hurt. They are at the bottom of the league. The fans are supportive. They have new bleachers and press box. They can’t seem to help it that they can’t win games. Maybe it isn’t all their fault.

On the other hand, the cross country teams are ranked second in the state by the coaches. They are doing very well.

Kids get demoralized when they lose all the time. We saw that in basketball until they finally made changes and Travis Powell turned the same team of players around.

And then there are those predictions made last year about what the music program would become.

Things just aren’t like they once were around here. Times change. Attitudes change.

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