Tag Archives: social media

Why Can’t Kansas Get Any Good Press?

I’ve been away for awhile. Frankly I haven’t had any inspiration to write lately, but a couple of weeks ago I heard a ridiculous story concerning my home state, and today I read another. Both received national news coverage. Just like when our state Board of Education decided that teaching evolution wasn’t important, these stories make us look crazy.

I was listening to “All Things Considered” on NPR a couple of weeks ago and heard an interesting story about our state capital of Topeka. Apparently, prosecuting domestic violence cases is just to expensive. It’s so expensive that the municipal court of Topeka can’t afford to do it. It’s so expensive the Shawnee County District court can’t afford to do it. So what did these two groups do? The district court told the city of Topeka that they would only prosecute cases outside of Topeka. If it happens in Topeka the municipal court was responsible. It seems pretty cut and dry, but Topeka had an ace up its sleeve.  The city council simply repealed the municipal domestic violence statute. Now the municipal court has no authority to prosecute these cases.  As city manager Dan Stanley points out, this doesn’t make domestic violence legal because it is still covered by state law. The problem with this situation is that the two parties simply fought with each other rather that trying to find a mutual solution. Instead, they fought and ended up in a situation that is truly not beneficial to anyone.

This brings us to the story I just read about 25 minutes ago.  Kansas Governor Sam Brownback apparently had some ‘splaing to do. At a Youth in Government event in Topeka, Brownback made some remarks. A senior at Shawnee Mission East High School (home of the Lancers) made a tweet during his remarks with the hashtag (I hate myself a little for using that term) #heblowsalot. Brownback’s staff saw the tweet and called the school. The student ended up in the principal’s office and was told to write a letter of apology.

Now the Governor is apologizing for his overzealous staff, and saying the right to free speech is a “treasured freedom.” I think Gov. Brownback did the right thing. I don’t really have a problem with what his staff did. They should be monitoring social media that involves the Governor. I don’t know why they called the school. They probably shouldn’t have but that is a minor offense. My real problem is with Shawnee Mission East and principal Dr. Karl Krawitz. At what point did the school believe they have any right to order a student to apologize for a comment made on the internet. The student concerned is an adult and has all the constitutional rights of a  U.S. citizen. There is no reason that she should have spent any time in the principal’s office, and certainly no reason the school should have told her she should apologize for voicing her opinion. If anything Dr. Krawitz owes her an apology far more than  Governor Brownback.

Well, I hope my beloved home state gets some better press in the future, but it does feel good to be back.

One last thing, Herman, another woman, give it up man.


The Challenges of Postaday2011

I have found the challenge of posting something everyday very difficult. I have done better than I expected. This site was viewed more in January than any month since I started blogging. I haven’t missed a large number of days. Having a job and other responsibilities does make it hard to post something in-depth everyday. I’ve decided to change my tactics. From now on I intend to only post a couple of truly in-depth articles per week. On the other days I will post a short thought on something in the news or perhaps something related to an interesting quote I’ve recently heard. I also hope that these short posts will lead to an in-depth post. For instance, I may post something about Republican response to the President Obama’s budget proposal and talk about it briefly. I will then do an in-depth article about the budget deficit and so forth once a week. I think this will help me live up to the ideal of posting everyday. I’ve also resolved that I should spend a certain amount of time everyday blog surfing. If I want people to read what I have to say, I also need to read what they have to say.

Postaday2011 has been a tough challenge, but it is one I’m glad I joined. The Internet has given a voice to anyone who desires it. We have a chance to truly change our communities and countries through the Internet. Just recently we have witnessed a revolution in Egypt started on Facebook and Twitter. Other countries are now seeing the same effects that social media has on modern life.

This will probably be the first of many times I make a post committing to Postaday2011. It isn’t important that we post every day though. It’s important that we make a regular commitment to reading and commenting across social media. That is what can truly change to course of history.