Opinion

by Don Winsor | Wednesday, December 24 | Posted in View

The ridiculousness of the faux-outrage in our media culture regarding the imagined war on Christmas, with people strangely taking offense at being wished happiness during a generally holiday-filled season, has led many to give up on the holiday altogether. According to an ISI (Imaginary Survey Institute) study, as many as 64% of Americans actually avoid leaving their homes for fear of being wished or wishing someone a pleasant season in the wrong way and then being stabbed. This is good for traffic and mall-crowding, but completely unnecessary because I have a simple solution.

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(with apologies to Clement Clark Moore)

Wednesday, December 24 | Posted in View

'Twas the plight after Christmas and all through the mall

Were the sounds of returning; "This thing is too small!"

"It fits like a stove pipe. It squeezes my head.

The button's too small, and the color's too red!"

Vouchers and gift cards appeared everywhere,

Uneasiness hung like a fog in the air.

The shoppers would not be denied their reward

Their lack of receipts stores would not dare ignore.

The socks that were hung on display with great care

Were littered about as though tossed through the air.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in View

Each year, we like to offer you, the readers, ideas on how you can win your annual Secret Santa competition. F5 takes great pride in standing astride the forefront of Secret Santa technology and is fully committed to making sure that you and you alone are left standing when the Clausian masks are removed. Many, strangely, frustratingly, still do not see Secret Santa as a competition. This is fine. It is they that shall fall first.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, December 18 | Posted in View

It is a great day when you go out, drive past a convenience store or gas station and see that the price of gasoline is nearly a buck lower than it was just a few months ago. Since I retired and the Iron Horse Concert Hall in El Dorado closed, I don't use nearly as much gasoline as I used to. In fact, a tank of gas will last me two weeks or more now.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in View

Author's note: I write mostly made-up, ridiculous stuff — satire, etcetera. Truth, sometimes, is better than satire, as I found in trying to write a piece satirizing this actual event. So instead, I am going to present you with the news as it actually happened, mostly. I have added a couple of embellishments, which are (probably) not true, and they appear in italics. Everything else you read is real.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, December 11 | Posted in View

I am at a point in my life where I am dependent on government programs like Social Security, Medicare and KPERS for income and health care. I am not trying to freeload. I paid into for over 30 to 50 years. Now I am on the receiving end. The Brownback administration and the national Republican establishment does not like these programs. They recommend major changes, none of which seem to brighten my future.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, December 4 | Posted in View

The price of my integrity is, apparently, the guarantee of a $200 50" LED TV. I wasn't sure I would go, as the day approached, or maybe I was having trouble coming to grips with the fact that I was now part of the problem and not the solution. It took actually going through the horrid experience to restore my faith in my own humanity, a journey not unlike living through your own personal Apocalypse Now between 5:30-7 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, December 4 | Posted in View

I have been teaching now for nearly 50 years. I started at West High in 1967. Uncle Sam demanded my services in '69, but I came back. The integration and busing struggles of the early '70s didn't scare me off. I weathered the hard days at West when Northwest opened.

I switched to North High in '85 and was there until 1999. About three years before I retired, I began to teach a few classes a semester as an adjunct at Butler. I have been part-timing there for nearly 20 years.

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by Don Winsor | Wednesday, November 26 | Posted in View

It's Thanksgiving again, that time when families and friends gather in hopes of consuming more food than they've brought. It's a dangerous time, as many people often go without eating for days in order to build an Olympian appetite. Hunger can be a dangerous master, as we've all seen before — someone's hunger gets out of hand, they look just a touch too long at some other person, and that person turns into a giant sandwich, a roast chicken, a turkey leg or other food.

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by Bill Jenkins | Wednesday, November 26 | Posted in View

There is a new neighbor on our block. In fact, he lives right next door to me. I haven't met him yet, though I keep meaning to go over and get acquainted. I'll get around to it one of these days, most likely when we're both out in the yard. Come to think of it, that may be next spring. Well, anyway…

I don't know this guy, but he's already pissed me off. Last weekend he became the first on our block to have Christmas lights on his house. He turned them on and everything. I may have to break his legs.

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Wednesday, November 19 | Posted in View

FAST GUNS

To the Editor:

Most of the violence in Mexico between drug cartels is due to easy access to guns sold in the United States, particularly in Arizona and Texas. Gun dealers know this but sell them the guns anyway.

In early 2006, the US Justice Department launched a new program called Wide Receiver because they were able to get a few of these gun dealers to work with them. Many, however, refused. The idea was to track guns sold in this country back to the drug lords living across the border and then apprehend them.

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by Bill Jenkins | Wednesday, November 19 | Posted in View

The local elections are over, and the people have spoken. They didn't like the sales tax, and they killed it. It was too complex, covered too many areas and, they believed, would never go away. So now the city leaders must go back to the drawing board to fund solutions to our problems in some other way.

One problem with the blueprint was that it proposed local solutions for what are essentially regional problems. For most of the four areas, the problems involve several governmental entities including but not limited to the city, the county and lots of suburban municipalities.

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by Don Winsor | Wednesday, November 19 | Posted in View

I'm sometimes taken aback when talking with people who don't recognize cultural touchstones which might be "before their time." Maybe growing up when I did informed my pop culture database through the viewing of incessant reruns of TV shows of all eras, making me understand the references Lucy and Desi would make as readily as I understood who IG-88 and Bossk were.

It doesn't happen as readily, anymore.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in View

You may rely on a calendar, but I don't have to look to know when winter is coming. Here are my 10 signs:

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in View

F5's usual deadline is Sunday night at 11:59 p.m., which is well in advance of Tuesday's elections and even further in advance of Thursday's publication. Due to that timing, as I write this I have no sure idea who will emerge victorious in the state's gubernatorial election, and so this column will have to serve as our reaction to a win by either side.

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The last minute is the only minute you'll need for these costume ideas.

by Don Winsor | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in View

It's almost time for the biggest holiday of the year, and hopefully my Halloween primers over the past few weeks have prepared you for tomorrow's revelry. It's important to celebrate correctly, which means you've surely already started by the time you read this or Samhain's wrath will fall on your head surely as it did all those disrespectful children in Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in View

Taxation is a major issue in many ways in this year's elections. Governor Sam and his brownshirts in the legislature want Kansas on a trajectory to eliminate the income tax and put the onus of paying the state's bills on sales and property taxes. They have already lowered income tax rates and exempted 191,000 single proprietorship small businessmen completely from paying income taxes.

The City of Wichita wants to impose a one cent sales tax to pay for water projects, job creation, public transit and roads.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in View

By now, you're well into making your Halloween plans. If you're doing it right, this does not mean you've decided just how "cute" and/or "hot" your Orange Is The New Black Sexy Kitten Fairy Devil costume will be. No, this means you're studiously debating just how to scare the ever-loving crap out of a few people on Great Pumpkin's Day. It can be tough, especially when you may not have the experience of always knowing the difference between the wrong kind of scary and Halloween Scary™.

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Like the rest of them.

by Don Winsor | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in View

Clowns. The mere mention of the word stirs deep-seeded, instinctual fears in most highly-evolved mammals. Horses, for example, being an animal famously able to "sense death," will not willingly enter a building which has a clown inside*, or which has a door that is shut and requires opposable thumbs to open.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, November 13 | Posted in View

In the spirit of full disclosure, I may be a Democrat. I know that I'm not a Republican despite being a geriatric, white Kansan. Sometimes I feel like an Independent, and I occasionally vote that way, but, for the most part, I am a Democrat. Will Rogers once said, "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

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