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Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:18 pm

 How to Repeal the Gay Marriage Amendment By Artur Bagyants. Artur is a grad student at K.U.


February 28, 2009 at 4:54pm - From his blog:

Having written about this issue broadly in the past, it occurred to me that we are approaching the four year anniversary of the Kansas gay marriage amendment, which passed in 2005.

Contrary to popular belief there are many legislators who are not in favor of this policy. And yet, to my knowledge, since the amendment passed, there has not been an organized attempt to repeal it. In other words, no one has actually written a bill.

So I did it myself. Obviously I’m an amateur, but I think it would look something like this (in part):


My question is, why hasn’t anyone done it? The amendment is a stunning imposition of government control upon the lives of private citizens, and there are plenty of good reasons for conservatives and liberals to oppose it. Where is everyone? Where are the small government Republicans and the equal rights Democrats?

If I had to guess I’d say they’re afraid of the political consequences of taking this issue on. They could lose their jobs! And everyone knows that it’s important to win re-election. It’s true - you can’t govern if you don’t win. But if you’re too afraid of politics to do the right thing, what’s the point of winning at all?


Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 7:42 pm


By Ceci Connolly of the Washington Post

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius accepted President Obama’s nomination to become Health and Human Services Secretary this afternoon, according to administration officials. Sebelius will replace former senator Thomas A. Daschle, who withdrew from consideration last month.

“This evening, the President asked Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to serve as his Secretary of Health and Human Services, and she accepted,” one administration official said. “The President will formally announce the nomination on Monday afternoon at the White House.”

Several Democratic sources said, however, that it is less likely the moderate Democrat will be offered the job of director of a new White House Office of Health Reform, a post Daschle had negotiated for himself as a way to increase his influence in the new administration.

Sebelius, the 60-year-old daughter of a former Ohio governor, served as state Insurance Commissioner before winning the 2002 governor’s race. She is halfway through a second term.

Her nomination comes just days before the White House is scheduled to convene a high-level summit on health reform. In his budget, Obama set asides $634 billion for a new health reform reserve fund.

Posted at 5:30 PM ET on Feb 28, 2009

Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson will be sworn in as Kansas’s 45th Governor when Sebelius makes her exit.  Sebelius is half way through her term that ends in Jan 2011.  Parkinson has said he will not run for Governor in two years.  Who will he appoint as his Lt. Governor?  Who will Sebelius take with her to D.C.? Inquiring minds want to know.


Filed under: print news — Peg Britton @ 8:47 am

The economy is shrinking at an astounding rate.  It’s not just the hourly worker who has been hit hard as job cuts among thousands have roiled through the legal industry in recent months.

An illustration of how the global recession is battering the legal profession, Latham & Watkins, one of the largest law firms in the nation, announced yesterday that it will let go 190 lawyers and 250 paralegal and support staff…

,,,Bob Dell, who is Latham’s chairman and managing partner and works out of the firm’s San Francisco office, said yesterday that the 440 jobs being eliminated represent 12 percent of the firm’s associates and 10 percent of its paralegals. The cuts will occur in several of Latham’s 28 offices, including those in the District, New York and Los Angeles, the firm said.

For the rest of the story…

Based on projections, Obama said he would slash the deficit in half by the end of his term. In its budget outline, the administration predicted that the economy would shrink 1.2 percent this year and grow 3.2 percent next year. By contrast, the consensus among private forecasters is that the economy will shrink 1.9 percent this year and grow 2.1 percent next year.

These are not good times….



Filed under: print news — Peg Britton @ 8:59 pm

For other news junkies….here is something that’s very interesting.  Just put your mouse on a city and the newspaper front page pops up.  Double click and the pages get larger.  The world’s most interactive museum….the Neweum.


Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 5:28 pm

You missed a good conversation in the dry cleaners today.  Vi Richards and I were visiting about raccoon hunting and feeds, of all things.

It all started with a conversation about Hat Barofsky wanting to go coon hunting many years ago with Ermon Richards and Glenn and Lyle Woodmansee.  Hat, who was rarely seen without a suit and tie,  didn’t own hunting clothes so he went to Seitz Clothing and got outfitted in gear for one night of coon hunting.  He said he had the time of his life. I think there is more to coon hunting than some of us will ever know.

That led to the stories about the coon feeds that were annual affairs for many years at  Earl Johnson’s Motor Company then later at Westerhaus Ford.  Ermon, Lyle, Glenn and other coon hunters would hunt throughout the winter then skin and freeze their bounty in preparation for the annual coon feed.  According to Vi, they needed 35 to 40 coons to feed the hungry crowd of 150 or more men.

Earl Johnson would scrub clean his dealership and line up all his new cars outside to show them off.  It was sales pitch time too.  That left the inside of the building clean and empty for the gathering. There was a great deal of preparation that went into the yearly feed and all the men who worked there got paid for the preparations even though they didn’t work on cars during that time.

Vi said Ella Sunderland, Guy’s wife, prepared  the coon meat into burgers and roasts.  She would remove all the fat and “stringers” from the meat and then would grind some of the meat for burgers and leave the rest for roasting.  She would prepare the roasts surrounded by vegetables like a pot roast.   “Vi said” it tasted a lot like beef once it was well-spiced and covered with sauces.

After Earl Johnson died and his dealership was sold to Harold Westerhaus, the tradition continued and the all male gathering of 150 or so continued for many years.  In addition to the burgers and roasts, there were tables full salads, baked beans and other such sides.  There was a lot of food!

Some of the people Vi could remember who were part of the effort were employees at the dealerships….Henry Macek, Joe Mattas, Lyle and Glenn Woodmansee, Foch Kempke, Ermon Richards, Mike Lazio, Joe Shanelec, Ralph Paul, Lloyd Harmon, Charlie Henry, Henry Herber and our very own Betty Gwinner (she didn’t attend, she said).

Of course, in order to wash down the raccoon, there was an abundance of libations that flowed through the dealership.  I vaguely recall Brit attending from time to time.  Raccoon wasn’t exactly at the top of his favorite foods, but I know he enjoyed the other dishes and the comaraderie.  And the drinks! Those were the good ole days.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:07 pm

If you were around in 1919 (just before prohibition started) and came upon the following poster………


I mean seriously, would you stop drinking?


Filed under: prairie musings, energy — Peg Britton @ 2:03 pm

The Kansas House this morning approved legislation to enable construction of the coal-fired power plants, sending the measure to the Senate, where passage is almost assured. The measure was approved 79-44, however, which is not enough votes to override a veto.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, has three times vetoed bills by the Republican-dominated Legislature that would allow the construction of the plants.

Sebelius has cited health and environmental reasons to oppose the project, which would emit 11 million tons annually of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas scientists say causes climate change. She has also said that the plants are not needed for Kansas energy needs, but that more than 80 percent of the power will be exported out of state.

She argued that President Barack Obama was moving forward on limiting CO2, which made the project even more untenable. And, she said, the so-called “green” provisions in the bill had been transformed to “olive brown.”

Sebelius argued that the bill would be a step backward for Kansas, and that policymakers should focus on wind energy and alternative fuels — a strategy that would fit the state’s strength and the Obama administration’s environmental initiatives.

For more… 

and here…

P.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today requested that the Capitol Power Plant in Washington D.C. stop burning coal and instead switch to clean burning natural gas.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 1:49 pm

It’s always a tedious chore to buy things that wear out…like tires.  Mine should still be in good condition with less than 30,000 miles on them, but two aren’t and need replacing. Something is off with my alignment or balance.  I shopped around Ellsworth and found the best buy was from Martin’s Pro Auto for a couple of good quality Firestone tires.  My friendly adviser on such matters checked the price on e-bay where he buys all his tires, and most everything else including cars, and told me what they should cost.  Cliff was right on the button so I figured, once again, it’s wise to shop at home.

Paying bills isn’t the most fun in the world.  Brit always did it, so it’s one of the many “to do” things I inherited from him.  I follow his pattern of saving them up until about this time of month, then write them at one time.  Ringo loves to go with me to drop them in the mail.  I could let CSB and T do it for me, as many do take advantage of the wonderful service they provide in paying bills for customers, but I want to keep tabs on things a little closer than that.  I was astounded at my gas bill this month.  I wonder what it would be if I actually kept the house warm.

Part of our family is in San Antonio visiting Tyler and watching the pomp and circumstance of Greg Jones’ graduation from Air Force basic training.  The Air Force does a lot with those young men and women in eight weeks so their graduation ceremony is very impressive to watch.  The same is true with other branches of military service.  I was mistaken about Greg’s duties from here on as he’s going into contracting, not medicine as I originally thought. He signed up for six years and so far, likes the military.  He won the top award in physical training…the Thunderbolt Award… and has a good shot at wining academic honors as well.  We’ll know tomorrow.

Take a look at the new location for the Ellsworth Arts Council…south of Lux Interiors.  They painted the front of the building and I think it adds a lot to the appearance.  The volunteers have been working tirelessly getting the interior ready for their opening.  Kurt Williams very generously donated the building he previously occupied to the Council.

Thanks for tuning in…


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 1:19 pm

If you stop in to see Kelvi at Lux Interiors you find she has a new line of goat milk products from Zum, all organic and made in Kansas City.  I think you’ll like them.

Zum has an extensive line of products and she has a sampling of them… like organic goat milk soap in wonderful scents…poppy pumice, frankincense and myrrh, almond, patch houli-orange and sandelwood-citrus.  She also has lip gloss, diffusers, and gift bags of neat items. More things are on the way. They are wonderful products with very pleasant new, refreshing scents.

Take a look…


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:26 am

Senator Brownback has Catholics in a dither.  Good….he’s had the rest of us in a dither for over eight years.  It’s not hard for him to open his mouth without sending the masses into a dither.

It seems over 3,000 Americans of faith are calling on Sen. Sam to set the record straight about his position on a recent fundraising letter sent under his name, which called into question the sincerity of the faith of seven Catholic members of Congress. The group also insists that funds raised from this misuse of religion are returned or donated to charity.

Read more, if you like…

Sen. Sam is the most right wing extremist of the right wing extremists.  That should have been obvious as he made his campaign speeches (to audiences of only a handful of people) during his presidential race.  Now he’s going to run for Governor of Kansas.  We’ve always had very moderate Governors for as long as I can remember, both Dems and Republicans…but Sam can’t be considered a moderate in any of his beliefs.  He’s not the person we need to continue the course we’re on in Kansas.


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:10 am

General Motors lost more money in 2008 than was appropriated in the state budgets of Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah combined.



Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 8:52 am

Brownback passes judgment on fellow Catholics in Congress.

In a letter bearing Sam Brownback’s signature the (dis)honorable Senator publicly questions the personal convictions and motives of some of his colleagues in Congress.

His rhetoric is beyond the pale:

And it will alarm you even more to learn that five Catholic senators are among those sponsoring this disgraceful legislation in the Senate.

These politicians openly and unabashedly claim to be Catholic - every year at election time.

And then - once in office - they willfully cast life-destroying votes at every turn.

These liberals siphon of huge chunks of “value voters” who are tricked into sending radical “abortion of demand” politicians to represent then in Washington, DC.

It is with Christian charity - and in fraternal correction that we say to them: YOU CAN”T BE BOTH CATHOLIC AND PRO-ABORTION.

After revealing his own extreme agenda focused manically on a single issue Brownback still finds the gall to call President Obama a “radical.”

With Brownback seeking the governor’s office in Kansas, I think it’s important that we pause to ask ourselves, is this the kind of leadership we want in the Kansas Statehouse?
Posted yesterday on Kansas Jackass

Kansas Jackass is written by Jason Croucher. Kansas Jackass is your best source for political gossip with a progressive bent. Witty, irreverent and distinctly left-tilted, Kansas Jackass is here to make sure no Kansas Republican gets a free ride- from the state legislature all the way to the US Senate. Jason earned a BA in political science from Emporia State University in 2004.  He was elected to the Osage City Council in the 2007 election to a four-year term, possibly becoming Kansas’ first openly-gay elected official.


Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 8:36 am

Neufeld bad, O’Neal worse: “Slimedogs” of Kansas

I am shocked — shocked! to learn that two top Kansas House GOP leaders have been playing fast and loose with truth and money! Well, actually, I’d be surprised to find otherwise.

Melvin Neufeld and Mike O’Neal are Nasty Boys. Slimedogs in spades, I’d say.

Apparently, it’s legal for one candidate to donate money to a county political party, but not for that candidate to specify whose campaign it’s to be used for. And that’s exactly what O’Neal and former House honcho Neufeld did. It was all about influencing other politicos around the state as the House chairmanship came up for a vote. BTW, O’Neal won. And I hear he’s a slimedog squared, not only with regard to House activities, but also in his personal life, which sounds like a rotten, horny mess.

The head of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, Carol Williams, is searching for more information on these shady dealings in order to determine if laws have been broken. But as Phill Kline and other wingnut GOPers have taught us, you don’t need to break the law to be ethically wrong.

I hope they both get smacked with fines and run out of the state. We don’t need this kind of dirty dealing in the House, with all the other problems we’ve got to face.

Posted yesterday by Mousie Cat on “Evolving in Kansas”.

Liz Craig is an ad agency writer/producer for more than 20 years, working on many diverse types of clients, from Fortune 500 to local. She has been a freelancer in the Kansas City area since 2001. Her company is called “LizardPro Creative.” Currently diving into the graphic side, as well, to expand the range of offerings. She blogs on Evolving in Kansas that describes itself as a Kansas writer’s thoughts on science, evolution, education, religion, politics and more.” She’s the best around in those departments.  Make her a daily read and you’ll keep on top of those fields.  There is always some kind of chicanery going on in Kansas politics, e.g.



Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 2:45 pm

The first in a series of Legislative issues meetings sponsored by the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce will be from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the Chamber Development Center, 120 W. Ash.

Other meetings are scheduled for March 28 and May 16.

Sen. Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, and Reps. Deena Horst, R-Salina, Josh Svaty, D-Ellsworth, and Charlie Roth, R-Salina, have been invited.

The format will consist of questions from the chamber, questions from the audience and closing remarks from the legislators.
The meetings are free and open to the public.

For more information, call 827-9301.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:26 am

Ally has not decided on a special for today at the deli, but her 24-hour pot roast with roasted veggies went over so well Sunday she thinks she’ll have that every Sunday. She prepares enough pot roast to have hot roast beef sandwiches on Monday.  Those are two winners in my book.

Yesterday Todd, Ally and I spent all afternoon in Abilene on “bidness”.  We got home in time to have a bite to eat and watch the KU-OU game in our respective homes.  That wiped me out for the day.

Gradually, I’m cleaning Brit’s closets.  I say “gradually” as it’s an emotional challenge in any event and too much at one time is just too much.  I take it a hanger at a time.  Mozaic has a used clothing store downtown so I am passing his clothes on to them to use or sell.  Some have never been worn, some slightly worn, and some wearable and still hanging around as they were his favorites.  His closet that held all his shirts and sweat shirts is empty.  Empty closets can really make one feel empty as well, but I’m happy knowing someone else might be able to use his clothes.  There are a dozen pairs of almost new wide wale corduroy pants…mostly about 36 to 38 x 32 to 34….that are heading down today as well.  Drew can wear his sport coats so he’ll have a start in the business world.  Brit got rid of his dress suits when he retired.

Our young friend, Greg Jones, is going to graduate from eight weeks of basic training at Lackland AFB this weekend.  He finished at the top of his class in physical training. I can’t remember the name of the award, but it’s one that is very, very difficult to achieve.  Besides that, he’s very smart and he’ll be going to San Angelo TX to start his training in the medical field.  There will be a contingent of friends and relatives from Ellsworth heading to San Antonio this weekend to watch his graduation ceremonies.  He’s Tyler’s good friend so finally they’ll have some face time together.

Ringo seems to have adjusted to me quite well.  He follows me wherever I go and manages to get a cookie on a regular basis for anything he thinks merits it.  He loves going with me in the car and adjusted to me faster than I did to him.  He didn’t get to ride with me before Brit died.  Now he’s learned to stay in the back seat while I’m driving, but he is allowed to sit in the driver’s seat when I’m out of the car. His surplus dog hair is everywhere, but even that doesn’t bother me anymore.  He’s a good dog and is very protective.  Well, sort of.  He cowered at a bug that was crawling away from me in the living room last night.  I’d like to think if the bug did a 180  Ringo would have gone in to attack mode! I’ll never know.

The market is so frightening  I don’t like watching it fall and contemplate the consequences.  So, I don’t.  As it continues to drop, we can only hope it hits rock bottom and starts to rebound soon.

Time to get to the chores.  There is a lot more to do now that I no longer have my helpmate to lend a hand and encouraging word.

Have a good day…and have some fun along the way.  I intend to.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:30 pm

My Grandmother Tedlock used to say “Oh pshaw” to express her disbelief in something.

If she were here now and I told her I fixed my computer ALL BY MYSELF, she would say, “Oh pshaw” and quietly turn and walk away.  I”m sure of it.


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








Wouldn’t you know?  Ringo is checking out the town.


This is the building where the main action of Millers of Claflin can be found.  Bill and Brad Miller, other Miller family members and a host of other employees are around town in these buildings to help you.

In case you don’t know, all these buildings are part of Millers of Claflin Furniture. The Millers have taken all the store fronts and restored them to their original character, but inside each store is furniture, furniture and more home furnishings.  If they don’t have it, you don’t need it. They maintain prices that are always lower than the Nebraska furniture mart (I think that’s what it’s called)  in KC.

When I was very young occasionally our family would pile in our old car in Salina and make the trip to Claflin.  It was a long trip in those days and required we spend the night…or two.  Those visits with Claflin relatives were some of my fondest and funniest memories of my childhood.

Dr. Jury, my dad’s uncle, spent over 50 years practicing medicine, a great deal of it out of his house, in Claflin.  Three of my cousins were older than I, but my cousin Ted was my age and we spent hours roaming and exploring around Claflin.  One of our young compadres was Bobby Miller who grew up and became the father of Bill and Bob and a big brood of kids.  He would be very proud to see what his descendants have done with his family business and how they have preserved the flavor of the old town and enhanced it with their progressive attitudes.  If it weren’t for Millers of Claflin, there would not be main street in Claflin any longer.

If you haven’t been there…stop and take a look.  It’s worth if for no other reason than to absorb some of the town’s enthusiasm of what can be done if you really try.


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 8:27 pm


The Maypo side of the Antique Mall was overflowing with concerned citiziens Saturday morning as Sen. Jay Emler (left) and Rep. Josh Svaty fielded questions for nearly two hours…mainly about the Kansas budget and stimulus package.  The INDY will have a “he said, she said” accounting in this week’s paper that will cover all the details.   I’ve attended these informal coffees for many years and usually we were lucky to have a half dozen people attend.  Saturday’s group included perhaps 40 people. These are difficult times.


Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 7:18 pm

The “family” went to Logan’s Steak House in Salina for Karen’s birthday dinner today and it was wonderful.  For those who know about such things, they said it was similar to other steak houses around the country with a great menu and nothing outlandishly expensive for this part of the country. It has been open a week and is in south Salina by Long Mac.

They brought ice water and tea and great homemade rolls and butter right away.  They kept the basket of rolls and glasses full.  There was a bucket of peanuts on the table and the shells go on the floor.

The baked potatoes are huge and rubbed with sea salt before they are baked…not steamed in aluminum foil.  The sweet potato was huge and baked fast so that the peel was charred and fell off the mealy interior that was doused with brown sugar and butter.  It was probably the best baked sweet potato I’ve ever had and for sure the only one that was too large for me to finish.

The steaks were all very good and tender and came as ordered.  Drew had rare prime rib and said it was excellent.  My chicken was moist and good and Ally said her hamburger and homemade potato chips filled the bill.  We had a combination of “sides” of mushrooms, salad, skewered veggies and cinnamon apples.  All were good as I’m sure the other sides would be as well.

The only thing that they were short on was desserts. There were two options, bite size cheese cakes and brownies.

Our service was excellent …just excellent.

Give it a try as I’m sure you’ll like it. And don’t forget El Potrillos in Lyons.  It’s great.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 11:21 am

Today is a big day for Karen Britton, one we intend to celebrate as it’s a special occasion for all of us. Drew and Kaley will be here, but we’ll miss Tyler, Mackenzie and Luke. Karen is very special to all of us, a real treasure, and we wish her many, many more very special birthday celebrations.

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