It’s time to rise up

‘Expand Kansas Medicaid’ rally Feb. 17, Topeka

Freelance writer/editor

A broad coalition of sunflower state disability advocates and supporters have joined forces to “Expand Medicaid in Kansas,” a Feb. 17 rally at 2 p.m. at the state Capitol rotunda in Topeka. Organizers hope to attract more than 100 supporters.

The goal is simple: Present a unified force of Kansas disability rights advocates and supporters to send Gov. Sam Brownback and state legislators a clear message that it is critical to expand Medicaid during this legislative session.

The group will meet just before 2 p.m. in the rotunda of the state Capitol. State legislators will give health care policy updates. KanCare recipients negatively affected by the state’s experimental, for-profit managed care initiative — including Finn Bullers of Kansas City who fought the state to have his caregiver hours restored — will address the rally. Continue reading

Other views…

The Koch Party

An editorial from The New York Times

Only a few weeks into this midterm election year, the right-wing political zeppelin is fully inflated with secret cash and is firing malicious falsehoods at supporters of health care reform.

As Carl Hulse of The Times reported recently, Democrats have been staggered by a $20 million advertising blitz produced by Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group organized and financed by the Koch brothers, billionaire industrialists. The ads take aim at House and Senate candidates for re-election who have supported the health law, and blame them for the hyped-up problems with the law’s rollout that now seem to be the sole plank in this year’s Republican platform. Continue reading

Tissue Alert!

Sometimes…life is good!



We hold this truth self-evident:
Evolution debate is a waste of time

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

It is long past time for Kansas to resolve the ongoing wrangle over teaching evolution v creationism in public schools.  For crying out loud, we haven’t even chosen an official state fish.

I propose that all Kansas schools be required to teach that human life evolved from the honey bee, which is the official state insect. This way the State Legislature can return to more pressing issues, such as writing new jokes about the Kansas Supreme Court.

Kansas is not alone in this dilemma.  The original U.S. Bill of Rights, which was written on parchment paper and accidentally erased, stipulated that every state hold an annual debate about how the world began. This provides weary public officials a respite from Medicaid reform and mental health services, both of which are as important as evolution but not nearly as entertaining. Continue reading

Devil is in the details

Screw up small stuff, KanCare,
and how can we trust you when it really matters?

Freelance writer/editor

Eighteen-year-old Neil Carney of Wichita, Kan., is profoundly autistic and severely mentally retarded. He has tried to eat charcoal briquettes and light bulbs. He can be aggressive.

Neil lives in a beige single-family home with a professional caregiver. His parents, Pat and Aldona Carney — and thousands of others like them in Kansas — have been given a one-month reprieve by federal Medicaid officials to delay a fate they fear is inevitable.

Come Feb. 1, Kansas’ Medicaid managed-care system – known as KanCare — is expected to take charge of all home- and community-based services for about 8,500 developmentally disabled people, most of them adults. Continue reading


 What’s wrong with the good ‘ole names of yesteryear?

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

Opal died the other day. So did Ethel and Maude. I didn’t know these three women and, for all I know, they didn’t know each other.

The three of them die every day — not the women, just their first names.

Women named Hazel, Gertrude, Edith and Ada Mae are are rapidly vanishing. They pass away along with Hortense, Edna and Wilma — women of the generation that gave us Herbert Hoover, aluminum outdoor furniture, the fox trot and air conditioning. It was the generation that gave its sons and daughters names that can only be described as extremely interesting. Continue reading


If the customer is always right then something’s wrong

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

Last October, a server at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Kansas City found this note written on the back of a customer’s credit card receipt: “We cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours.”

Last February, an Applebee’s customer in St Louis wrote this on a server receipt:  “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?”  And a table of St. Louis Red Lobster customers became irate at a waitress who filled their water glasses too often. One of them threw a water glass that struck the waitress in the head.

It may be time to beef up the security in our restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores. Better yet, it’s time for an overdue look at the theory that, “The customer is always right.” Continue reading

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