Editorial summary: Kansas | State
Kansas City Star. XX September 2021.
Editorial: Fans of Kansas leader baselessly fear Afghan refugees are sick terrorists
During and after the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, Republicans blamed President Joe Biden for leaving our Afghan allies vulnerable. This was valid criticism, albeit highly hypocritical, since the peace deal brokered by the Trump administration would have moved away from those allies even earlier.
After the Trump administration betrayed and abandoned our Kurdish allies in Syria two years ago, many have been slaughtered and none have been evacuated by the United States. ISIS was strengthened and Trump defended the decision he needed to take to get us out of the eternal fighting in the Middle East. The only difference, in other words, is that there was no effort, before, during or after our withdrawal, to protect those we left behind.
By leaving our Afghan allies unprotected, US Representative in Kansas Jake LaTurner said we had “let down our allies and significantly damaged our presence on the world stage.”
But if you accept, as most Americans do, that we couldn’t stay forever, and you also believe, as LaTurner said, that our allies deserve better, then what exactly is our responsibility to them?
Ask this natural follow-up question and all of a sudden those wonderful Afghan allies whose terrible treatment you just bemoaned are transformed into potential sick terrorists. And no, it does not stick.
On Thursday, after reports that around 500 Afghan evacuees would be resettled in Kansas, Ty Masterson, the president of the Kansas Senate, issued the warning: âIt could be dangerous to have them in our state.
Evacuees, he said, could come with COVID-19 infections. (Every evacuee entering the United States must pass a health exam. Anyone 12 years of age and older will receive the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of their status here. And not only are they all vaccinated, but it’s weird. objection for someone who doesn’t think Kansans should have to protect himself and others by getting vaccinated.)
Masterson said that while he was “all about looking after those in trouble,” he stripped that feeling of all meaning by warning that some refugees may be terrorists. Like all refugees, those from Afghanistan will arrive after being fully screened. The Biden administration said every evacuee will go through a security screening process coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security before being admitted into the country.
About 1,200 Afghans are expected to settle in Missouri.
Nothing hospitable can come from qualifying the evacuees as “dangerous”. It sows the seeds of discrimination.
The United States has promised “security to our allies in Afghanistan, to the men and women who risked their lives serving alongside our armed forces, and we must keep our word,” said LaTurner, a member of House Homeland Security. Committee, in a press release. Thusday. Absolutely, he’s right about that.
What is wrong is spreading an unfounded fear that those we have promised to help are sick terrorists.
“It is reckless speech and it creates animosity,” said Peter Makori, refugee resettlement manager at Della Lamb Community Services, one of the agencies ready to help resettle Afghan arrivals in the region. Kansas City.
âWe are preparing to embrace these people,â Makori said, and our political leaders âmust be careful not to intoxicate the minds of the people to whom these refugees are fleeing while trying to escape persecution. These are people who seek peace.
âI have been in their situation, fleeing persecution, and I know how much the refugees have love and respect for the country that hosts them, that saves their lives. They don’t come in danger, they come with debt.
If we owe them a debt of gratitude, and we do, then we have to keep that in mind.
Topeka Capital-Journal. September 18, 2021.
Editorial: The fate of the Docking building has lingered too long. It’s time for Kansas lawmakers to make a decision.
The Docking State Office Building was designed with someone like Don Draper in mind.
Take a look at the photo gallery made by Evert Nelson from Topeka Capital-Journal and you’ll get a feel for what we’re talking about. Its design is straight out of “Mad Men”. The ventilation system was even designed for smokers.
But his current state is more like Draper’s true identity, Dick Whitman – a sad state. The 14-story mid-century structure in the Capitol complex once housed many state agencies. Today, it is mostly vacant. It has not undergone a major renovation since its construction in 1957.
It is time to fix it.
Former Governor Sam Brownback attempted to demolish the building in 2016. When the legislature blocked that plan, Brownback then made deals for decades-long contracts allowing state employees to move their offices to Topeka, transforming essentially the Docking building in a 14 story quagmire. . But in all fairness, space was a dilemma long before that.
Lawmakers have been debating what to do with the building – which honors Governor Robert Docking – for more than a decade.
âEveryone has ideas, and some of them are great ideas and some of them are ideas that have really slowed down this process,â said Senator JR Claeys, R-Salina. “But at the end of the day, we’re at that kind of critical point where we can make a good decision.”
The Kelly administration drew up plans to meet the modern needs of Kansas.
Andrew Bahl of the Topeka Capital-Journal reported that lawmakers are weighing their options on the building’s long-awaited renovation, with a final decision expected later this year. Current proposals call for a renovation of the entire building (the top two floors are not ADA compliant) or a separate plan to reduce its size to three floors, with three new floors added above the structure.
In all fairness, we don’t know which is the best option. Both seem realistic to us, so we’ll give in to the experts. Both plans appear to meet the various needs facing the state.
So where we’re at, let’s do something to move forward. The building has stood tall and nearly empty for too long.
We implore lawmakers to carefully consider the plans proposed by the Kelly administration and implement one. It just makes sense.
We’ll leave you with some farewell tips from Draper himself: “Keep it simple, but meaningful.”
Lawrence Journal-World. September 18, 2021.
Editorial: Is it time to rethink the city’s public art program?
Not all communities are where you can attend a city committee meeting and organize an art critic class.
But as you have surely guessed, Lawrence is not just any community. So city commissioners recently found themselves discussing a $ 340,000 proposal to build a public artwork near the city’s new police headquarters in northwest Lawrence. In the majority of Kansas communities, the discussion would likely have centered on whether $ 340,000 should be spent on a public artwork for a little-visited part of town.
This was not at all the conversation in Lawrence, however. Instead, the commissioners questioned whether the artwork sends an unintended message of support for police surveillance. The gazebo-shaped room included eye-shaped features, and there was some debate over what message those eyes sent. As far as discussions about the art of politicians go, this one was pretty good. Almost certainly better than such a conversation would have been in the White House. The president would have just suggested a pair of aviator eye sunglasses and called them good.
If you think this points to an argument for dropping the city’s public art program – which essentially sets money aside for public art when a public building is built – you should check your out again. menu. Yes, Dorothy, you are still in Kansas, but more importantly, you are in Lawrence. The public art program is not going anywhere in Lawrence.
Lawrence has long been established to love art. But, does he love her smartly?
Maybe the community can have a conversation about whether we are spending this public money in the best way on art. While the community can easily tell that they love art, it doesn’t always come across easily. It’s not as if hundreds of people are coming to the unveiling of one of these public works of art. And, probably, many Lawrence artists would attest that it would be very difficult to make a living from the art they sell in Lawrence’s galleries alone. Or, even on a simpler level, do you think a lot of your friends could tell you where Lawrence’s public artwork is located? Could they direct a visitor to a few of them?
We certainly agree that $ 340,000 is a significant amount. That money is already gone, because the city approved the project. But someday there will be another big building project that will produce a considerable amount for public art. Before that day arrives, it may be worth having a conversation about new strategies for spending public art money. Here are some questions worth asking:
â¢ Would it be wise to accumulate several years of public funding for art to commission a much larger piece that could be erected in a much more visible part of the city?
â¢ Does the art have to be permanent, or could the money be used to pay for a truly fantastic national caliber exhibition in one of our many beautiful museums or at the Lawrence Arts Center?
â¢ Can performance art be part of the equation? If so, would it be appropriate to use the money to pay for a concert, or maybe even a multi-week theatrical production that would attract people from all over the area?
â¢ Would it be appropriate to use the money to create a better arts infrastructure in Lawrence? Is there a way for the city to attract more art buyers to the community, which in turn should increase the likelihood of artists living and creating here?
Maybe true art lovers feel that some of these questions have already been answered. But a big takeaway from the recent $ 340,000 police station approval was how uninvolved or excited the public seemed about it all.
That’s not to say the art won’t be great. But it’s still disappointing; $ 340,000 is a lot of money. That should definitely be enough to buy some buzz. As a city that loves art, we should apparently be excited to create it.