(Editor Note: This Tyrades! column was originally published in December of 2004)
For farm and ranch families across Kansas, adding flexibility to our agribusiness laws represents a unique opportunity to access new markets, to diversify operations and to attempt a new strategy to invigorate rural communities and offer young people a rural alternative.
The whole world mourns Nelson Mandela. Rightly.
It was 73 and sunny, still two weeks before Thanksgiving, and I was stuck in traffic on the 405. Over the car radio a DJ on KOST-FM was extolling the "holiday spirit." Then he played "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" by Gene Autry - a song so old that it doesn't rouse spirits so much as it conjures ghosts of Christmas past.
If 2013 was a year of ups and downs, it was also a year peppered with ironies. Here are just a few:
For those who enjoy lowbrow political theater, it's Christmas come early. Steve Stockman, a Texas congressman so far to the right he's in danger of falling into the Gulf of Mexico, is challenging Sen. John Cornyn in the Republican Primary. Though Tea Party leaders were calling Texas' senior senator a "traitor" who "surrendered" on Obamacare, the conservative case against Cornyn is thin. Stockman's challenge demonstrates that nothing less than absolute faith is sufficient to survive in a radicalized Republican Party that no longer resembles the Party of Reagan, much less that of Lincoln.
Environmentalists and budget critics of California's proposed bullet train may be breathing a sigh of relief.
President Obama's "Mission Accomplished" moment: "We have met the goal" of fixing the Healthcare.Gov website.
A new study has come out that finds men and women really do think differently.
After losing the Virginia governor's race because single women voted for the Democrat by a margin of 42 points, Republicans have found the solution. They will teach their candidates how to, in Speaker John Boehner's words, "be a little more sensitive" to the ladies. But Republicans painting over policy differences with pretty words piles insult on top of offense and will do little to close the gender gap.
A hundred years ago, business tycoon Samuel Insull consolidated smaller utility companies to form the behemoth (albeit public charity-sounding) Commonwealth Edison. Because of the infrastructure needed to provide energy to an increasingly power-hunger public, Insull and others argued that Commonwealth Edison was a natural monopoly; inherently one company had to dominate the market. This battle cry enabled a mere 10 utility systems to control three-quarters of the nation's electricity business by the time FDR was in the White House, subjecting consumers to higher rates with absolutely no competition save candles.
What compromises must we make when it comes to our security on the one hand, and our privacy on the other? Personally, I'm far less concerned about being tracked by the National Security Agency than I am about being monitored by, say, Google.
Trust ain't what it used to be in America.
God bless America, and how's everybody?
Back in elementary school when I was hand-writing my newspaper The Lewisburg Snoopy Nose, I never dreamed what sort of tools journalists would be using today.
Let's be frank; not many people feel comfortable discussing the subject of race.
When I was a lad, I would sprawl on the floor, reading "Dick Tracy" in the Sunday comics and marveling at high-tech police tools such as magnetic air cars and two-way wrist TVs.
This week, events around the country will highlight the importance of parental control of education as part of National School Choice Week. This year's events should attract more attention than prior years because of the growing rebellion against centralized education sparked by the federal Common Core curriculum.
Young Americans continue to put off homeownership, and that isn't good for anyone.
Raging Moderate by Will Durst
We complain about a two-party system that's stuck in ideological ditches, but somehow it never occurs to us to embrace pragmatism, the uniquely American philosophy that was created as a reaction to ideological stagnation. Unless Republicans and Democrats getting madder at each other suddenly starts working, maybe it's time to give pragmatism a chance.
For decades conservatives have advocated scaling back the role of the federal government in transportation, yet the federal gas tax that was supposed to end in 1969 is still hanging around 46 years later. Fortunately, there is a feature of the current law that gives states the the upper hand, and they should seize the opportunity to act.
If this is the best liberals can do to disparage Ted Cruz, the Texas Senator has a great chance of being our next President.
I didn't watch the State of the Union address Tuesday night.
It's no secret that the American conservative movement is bereft of ideas.
Boy, does the world need a better sense of humor right about now.
Decades after being dismissed by George S. Kaufman as a genre that "closes on Saturday night," satire, like the measles and mumps, is making a comeback. And in many quarters, remains the most feared of the three conditions.
In the wake of the terrorist massacre in Paris, the new battle cry throughout the civilized world is "Je suis Charlie," meaning "I am Charlie." The phrase expresses solidarity for the four cartoonists and 13 others butchered by Islamic terrorists who attacked the satirical newspaper and a kosher market. But, actually, it's clear now that the slogan for this century should be another one: "We are screwed."
Hitler is in the news again, invoked by some ignorant people.
A decade ago, Rick Perry famously signed off an interview with the words, "Adios, mofo." Now, signing off as governor, he told the same reporter, "Adios, my friend." He might be on his way out, but he's leaving behind a cast of characters that promises years of entertainment. The price of oil might be tanking, but stupid will always be Texas' most abundant natural resource.