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4/25/2015

ANOTHER LOOK INTO THE TEA PARTY HELLHOLE KNOWN AS KANSAS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Sam Brownback, Kansas, GOP — Peg Britton @ 8:29 am

Another Look Into the Tea Party Hellhole Known as Kansas
— April 22, 2015

From Ring of Fire
Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has pretty much ruined the entire state of Kansas. Brownback has signed numerous bills he says will help the economy, but they actually help the wealthy and hurt the poor.

The Washington Post reported that Kansas will have a $143 million budget shortfall in 2016 and that “the proposals that look most likely to succeed are sales and excise taxes that would be paid disproportionately by Kansas’s poor and working class.”

The Kansas state tax code shifts the heavy tax burden unfairly onto the working poor. The bottom 20 percent of income earners pay 11.1 percent of their income in local, state, and sales taxes. Comparatively, the top one percent of earners in Kansas only pay 3.6 percent of its income.

Essentially, Kansas lawmakers want to raise taxes for those who are least able to afford a tax increase. Groceries are not tax-free in Kansas and Kansans can receive tax rebates on purchases. However, “those who make nothing or too little to owe income tax aren’t eligible.”

Brownback is the enemy of the poor and middle-class. VICE reported that Brownback signed a law that bans Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients from withdrawing more than $25 from an ATM at one time. The law is part of Brownback’s effort to make sure that welfare recipients get as little out of their aid as possible.

“By signing this bill into law, Gov. Brownback has added to the burden that the poorest Kansans already carry,” said Kansas Action for Children president Shannon Cotsoradis. “It’s always been hard to be poor in Kansas. Now, it’s going to be a lot harder.”

Brownback is responsible for the largest tax cuts in Kansas history, all of them favoring the wealthy. He called it a “real live experiment.” However, his actions dropped the state’s Standard and Poor credit score.

As per the usual Republican agenda, Brownback’s economic plan isn’t to help the majority. He only seeks to give the rich more money, and he’s damaging the state’s economy in the process.

4/7/2015

SALINA JOURNAL MUST READ…THANK YOU, GOVERNOR, FOR YOUR CONCERN FOR THE CITIZENS OF KANSAS. NOT.

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings — Peg Britton @ 5:04 pm

It’s baffling why Kansans continue to vote against their own self-interest.

Case in point: We keep electing politicians who promise to stand up to President Barack Obama and Obamacare. Sticking it to the man, death panels and all of  that, right? Actually, we’re sticking it to ourselves.

Kansas hospitals and others have been warning us since our state first refused to join the Affordable Care Act that by not doing so and expanding Medicaid, Kansas hospitals would lose out on millions of  dollars in reimbursements. This is on top of  the millions in Medicare and other reimbursements that those hospitals lost because of  cuts under the Affordable Care Act.

According to the Kansas Hospital Association, rejecting Medicaid expansion thus far has cost Kansas an estimated $475 million. And, according to a story by the Kansas Health Institute, the state’s rejection of  Medicaid expansion is the main factor that might force some hospitals to close.

The two hospitals mentioned in a recent KHI story, Mercy Hospital, Independence and Coffeyville Regional Medical Center, are looking to stay alive, for now, by partnering with neighboring hospitals.

The Independence hospital is facing cuts of  nearly $570,000 in Medicare reimbursements and federal money designed to partially cover the costs of  treating uninsured patients. However, if  Kansas were to expand Medicaid, it would generate an estimated $1.6 million yearly for the hospital.

Hospitals, especially low-volume facilities in the 21 states that didn’t expand Medicaid, are hurting. Since 2010, 48 rural hospitals have closed and more than 280 are listed as “in trouble,” according to the National Rural Health Association.

In all but the very small towns, there are two things that are seen as essential. The first is a school, and the second is access to health care. Without those, towns go away.

The question is, how will those who pledge allegiance to conservative politicians and radio and TV talk show hosts react when it’s their hospital that closes? The attacks against Obamacare will slow when more rural Kansans have to pay more in taxes to support their local hospital, or when their town loses the good jobs and tax revenue a hospital provides.

Sticking it to the man? No, we’re sticking it to ourselves.

From The Salina Journal, April 7, 2015

LOSING MY RELIGION FOR EQUALITY….

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, print news, religion — Peg Britton @ 6:32 am

Losing my religion for equality

The Age
July 15, 2009

By Jimmy Carter

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practicing Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices - as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy - and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphacize the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place - and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence - than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as preeminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981.

4/5/2015

ORSCHELN FARM AND HOME TO OPEN STORE IN ELLSWORTH…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:21 am

New Store Openings or Existing Store Relocations

Orscheln Farm & Home is proud to announce the opening of a new store in Ellsworth, KS - spring, 2015.
To prepare for the success of the new store, we are accepting online applications for the following positions:

Store Manager
Assistant Managers
Department Heads
Sales Associates
Cashiers

Full-time and part-time positions available with flexible schedules and competitive wages.  Full-time associates are eligible for a comprehensive benefit package.

4/4/2015

SPRINGTIME IN THE PALACE…AND ASSORTED DIVERSIONS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 1:55 pm

Spring has attached itself to me and I’m loving it.  It’s not that there is any measurable difference among the four seasons within the walls of the Palace, thanks to hands- on temperature controls,  but now that spring is here and the  sun  shines gloriously through large, all-encompassing windows  revealing the awesomeness of the world beyond, it is wondrous to behold.  It puts a spring in my ‘springless’ legs, fresh air in my tired lungs, and contentment in my heart.

That’s it.  I’m content here. Comfortable and content. I don’t know how I could make my life better.  And, I am in full control of it, for the time being.

The serendipitous events that resulted from moving here nearly  two and a half years ago are the rewards I’ve reaped in my continuing effort to reinvent myself.   Along the way, I find I’m discovering wonderful new things to explore and interesting people with whom to exchange ideas on a regular basis.  It’s been a journey that has evolved out of my lifelong nagging curiosity about almost everything.  It’s part of my genetic makeup and not one generally shared by others who find it aggravating, I’m sure.  Many are too fearful living the routine of life itself to be curious and adventuresome  enough to discover the hidden treasures around them.  I think they spend so much time concerning themselves about the hereafter that they fail to enjoy the rewards that  each day offers.  That’s where openly secular people have a definite advantage over religious folk.

Speaking of rewards…the other evening I went to the lobby to mail my absentee ballot and I heard beautiful piano music emanating from the Ivory Keys Cafe.  I knew it had to be my neighbor across the hall, Dorothy Carmichael as she’s the only one living here who plays that well.  So, the music called and I followed its charm to the nearest chair next to the piano where I remained until she stopped playing over an hour later. Then we came to my apartment where we listened and watched YouTube concerts of some famous pianists playing Beethoven and Ravel Concertos for another two hours.

Dorothy’s specialty is religious music and I rarely hear her playing anything else.  She has some beautiful arrangements that I really enjoy.  Music is her passion and her husband was a Lutheran minister.  And, I like religious music…I just don’t want to have to go to church to hear it.  So, as an example, I have access to almost every requiem ever written on my computer, and 50 or 60 different arrangements of Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (which isn’t even one of my favorites), dozens and dozens of Gregorian Chants and all kinds of other liturgical music.  For, not holding any religious beliefs, I clearly enjoy the music that has sprung from various religions.  Likewise, I’d fail miserably if asked what the lyrics were to any hymn.  I’m not interested…in fact they are just an unpleasant distraction for me.

Religious beliefs should be closely held, I think.  I think Jesus said so too. People here love to  talk about church, going to church, thinking about church, who was in church, what was said at church, what music they sang at church, when the next service is, and so on.  I don’t have a problem with that but   I have do have difficulty keeping my eyes from rolling backward when I’m hear what some people actually believe to be true.  It’s as if Newton and Galileo never existed not to mention half the members of the National Academy of Sciences, the brightest people in the world.  It’s okay to believe whatever you want but it just bears out the stupidity factor when one doesn’t pay attention to lessons in science.  It also  explains the cognitive dissonance they express and the stress they feel because of it.  It’s a simple fact: some folk encase themselves in superstitions and fairy tales for so long that they are afraid to find out they may have been mistaken so they surround themselves with like-minding individuals.  They are truly afraid…of everything.

On another topic:    I love it that Obama is going to Kenya because it will reignite the crazy  “birthers” and radical right wing conservatives like spontaneous combustion.   It’s so ridiculous (think borderline insanity)  to believe Obama was born anywhere other than Hawaii.  His mother was born in Wichita and I’m not sure she ever left the US. I am positive Barack  Obama was born in Hawaii. I have a photocopy of his live birth certificate.  That’s aside from two different newspapers published in 1961 both announcing  his birth on Aug. 4th long before anyone thought he might be the future POTUS.  I guess one has to remember there is a need, after all, to fabricate conspiracy theories for the Fox Entertainment Channel.

So, I digressed.

Thanks for tuning in…


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