Wednesday, October 31, 2018

#Metoo and the Paul "Strip Bar" Davis dodge

LAWRENCE, KS – While crazy protesters won’t even let Republicans finish their salads in Washington, D.C., - area restaurants without bull-horning them out of their booths and out the front door, none of the ranks of the Lawrence, Ks., Social Justice Warrior nobility seem concerned about a Kansas congressional candidate who used to work for a guy that owned a strip bar.

The irony that Paul Davis, candidate in next week’s race for 2nd District U.S. Congress, has completely escaped the #Metoo Movement’s bitter comeuppance seems uncanny considering the nuclear eruptions that have felled so many others in the entertainment and political arenas. It makes one wonder if liberal protesters in Lawrence, who flare up over everything from gun laws to American flags to gender labeling, actually know what happens in a strip bar.

In the interests of debate and for those in the Lawrence SJW crowd who’ve been too busy getting their noses pierced or gazing catatonic at their cell phones to follow the Davis campaign, here’s the deal: at a strip bar, boys pay girls money to dance and climb brass poles – and to sit on their laps – pretty much naked.

Well, they’re probably not real brass poles – probably some kind of Rustoleum or something – but I digress…

It’s a universal tenet held by the feminist movement that while strippers themselves are hapless victims in the sex worker world, the real bad guys are the men who are their customers and the men who own the strip bars. In the world of pink hat wearing Women’s Marchers it’s okay to make money as a stripper, but if you’re a customer or if you make money as a strip bar owner, profiting from the exploitation of women, you should be heeled and hided to a barn door for abusing and objectifying them.

Davis was working for an area law firm in 1998 that represented the owner of a Kansas strip bar. Hard telling what kind of legal help a strip bar owner might need, but anyway, when local law enforcement started thinking someone was dealing meth out of the place, Davis got caught by law officers with a stripper on his lap in what’s called the VIP room.

Now, paying a stripper for a lap dance isn’t illegal and representing her boss in court isn’t either, and Davis was never connected to any drug activity. In his words, he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Yep – especially if you want to run for public office one day.

In 1998 nobody had heard of the #metoo movement, and the abuse and exploitation of women wasn’t nearly the cause celebre that it is today. But everyone had heard of the kind of trouble young girls can run into working at strip bars – drugs, stalkers, prostitution, rough customers who expect more than just a peep show. The men who support the industry and the club owners who make money through exploiting sex workers have always been in feminists’ crosshairs.

With that being the case, why no flaming opposition to Paul Davis’ campaign for U.S. Congress by those valiant and boisterous supporters of the women’s movement?

The answer obviously lies in Davis’ political party, not the facts of his personal history. As a Democrat, and someone who stumped tirelessly for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, none of those liberal Lawrence loud mouths dare call him out. He is, strip bar and all, one of their own.

That fact might lead one to believe that it’s politics, not these noble issues themselves, that really motivate Democrats and other liberals in their selective targeting. It’s a truth that takes more than a G-string to hide.

– Dane Hicks is editor/publisher of The Anderson County Review in Garnett, Ks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Wind farm threat will make you love county zoning

ERIE, Kan. – Neosho County residents are finding out the hard way that having county zoning laws, even as encumbering as some people think they are, is the best way to save property values from the onslaught of federally-subsidized wind farms in many of Kansas’ rural areas.

It’s a sobering thought, and one that should make every rural land owner in Kansas run – not walk – to their county courthouse and ask for a copy of their local zoning regulations.

It’s that complete lack of local regulatory authority that no doubt made Neosho a prime target for Apex Clean Energy and its wind farm project. It’s a decision made years ago by county commissioners there and by residents in the county of 16,000 souls that lays neighbors wide open for whatever property disaster someone with money might want to foist upon them – from confined hog facilities to feed lots to chicken plants – you name it.

Those smaller threats that affect a limited number of adjacent landowners, some people may argue, are worth the risk of avoiding the rest of the restrictions of a county zoning plan. But a wind farm and its impact on broad stretches of acreage for miles and miles provides a Godzilla Moment for those who think local zoning is more trouble than it’s worth.

Even for counties that have local zoning, wind farm companies have become adept at weaving their way through those written rules to entrench themselves into countrysides where landowners either aren’t educated enough or are too apathetic or too hoodwinked by slick leasing agents to protect themselves. But a written framework of regulations is at least a point to build on – otherwise it’s like swimming in a lake and trying to get in a ski boat with no ladder.

A Neosho County landowner, semi-retired and in his 70s, recently told me he’d committed a fair portion of his assets to build his dream home a few years back in one of the county’s rural areas – a $500,000 investment – prior to Apex’s interest in building its wind farm there. His son spent a little more than $300,000 on his residence a mile or so away. Some nights they lose sleep over what happens if the wind farm is built, and offers bring only half of what they have put down on those homes someday when they’re ready to sell.

And all to encourage an industry renown for its inability to stand on its own two financial feet; one which relies completely on jury-rigged state and federal legislation; on power companies with a pistol put to their heads forced to purchase wind energy in order to support the industry’s builders – and all for electricity that can’t be adequately stored, that still has to be backed up by coal or nuclear-fired generation for times when the wind doesn’t blow, and whose turbines can’t even operate unless they’re connected to regular, non-wind grid power anyway.

But the illogic of wind power won’t stop those profiting from it’s subsidy-driven shell game from descending on places where the wind blows and promising the earth, wind and stars to property owners anxious to make money leasing their ground for those gigantic turbine sites. In Anderson County, where homeowners repelled a wind farm assault a few years ago, an uncanny number of lessors never even read the lease. If they had, they’d have run like a scalded cat.

In the absence of rural zoning, the only law that applies to lease signors in wind farm projects is the language of the lease designed for the profit of the company. When dissected line by line with the legal eye of a contract attorney, the one-sided nature of those leases becomes staggeringly apparent.
What an unconscionable position for past decades of county leaders to have left their rural residents.

–Dane Hicks is the president of Garnett Publishing, Inc., and publisher of The Anderson County Review weekly newspaper.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Watkins beats crazy for Kansas 2nd District

by Dane Hicks -   
There’s just too much crazy in the Democrat Party right now to consider anything but a Republican in the race for Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District.
    That might sound like a less-than-wholehearted endorsement of Steve Watkins, but Watkins’ strength as a candidate is a complete and separate issue to the sheer chaos we see being indulged and advocated on the part of Democrats who’ve allowed the radical left to take over their party.
    As a result, Democrats from 10 years ago don’t recognize the party as it's being led today, both in Kansas and nationally, and for good reason. Indeed, until some calm is re-established in the party’s leadership by those who either have clout or the ability to unseat its lunatic leadership, Democrat party members can’t be seriously considered for election – unless you’re a socialist.
    For starters, Democrats nationwide and in Kansas have to decide if their party intends to fully and uniformly embrace and pursue socialism as a central plank in their party’s platform. Not only did a significant percentage of Democrat Party members nationwide choose the avowed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders to lead them in the presidential primary of 2016, but Kansas Democrats themselves picked Sanders in the March 2016 caucus with nearly 68 percent of their ballots.
    The idea that Sanders, the “free stuff” candidate bent on a “free” college tuition plan along with “free” health care and “free” housing, etc., could command the majority of Kansas Democrat votes in a presidential caucus, is astounding. If Kansas Democrats would elect a political extremist as president, that alone signals Republicans, Libertarians and Independents in the state that the competence of the Democrat Party, as it now stands, is compromised.
    It’s a legitimate  worry – that a Democrat holding this congressional seat would behave in tandem with Maxine Waters’ and her calls for public harassment of Republicans; with Diane Feinstein and her shady withholding of testimony in the Kavanaugh hearing; with hysterical protestors clawing at the doors of the U.S. Supreme Court; with Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler, who lets Antifa thugs run roughshod over the residents of his own city. The Kansas Second District deserves a congressman more fitted to our Kansas sensibilities.
    Watkins isn’t a lawyer or an experienced politician – he’s a legitimate political newcomer who’s stood up to the scrutiny of his own party and been embraced by its members who stand steadfastly against the creeping plague of socialism. He’s a soldier – a West Point graduate who’s been shot at for his country in the deserts of Afghanistan. His background in private business led to his understanding of the choking nature of needless federal regulation and its effect on jobs and the economy. Watkins will be a congressional vote to keep America on the right track.
    One of Watkins’ most admirable marks is that he has all the right enemies – liberals previously masquerading as Republicans and years ago exiled from party ranks, like John Vratil of Leawood, Wint Winter of Lawrence, Sandy Praeger of Topeka and others who’ve come out to join Kansas Democrats embracing socialism. When spend-a-holic “moderates” or liberals of any suit line up against a Kansas Republican, that’s a convincing enough endorsement.
    Steve Watkins will help hold crazy at bay until level-headed Democrats take their party back and offer the 2nd District a sane debate on issues.
– Dane Hicks is publisher of The Anderson County Review in Garnett, Kan.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Iola Farm City Days: Anti-gun, anti-Kobach, or both?

by Dane Hicks – 
It isn’t just anti-Second Amendment sentiment that’s run amok in Iola with the denial by the Farm City Days committee to allow Kris Kobach’s jeep and machine gun parade entry in the FCD Parade – it’s nothing short of flat out political prejudice.
         What a shame it is that this political animosity has crept into an organization as institutional as the Iola event. Farm City Days was started four decades ago as an opportunity to bring area farmers and the ag industry together with townies to celebrate the works of the farm and the market to which those farm goods are eventually sold. Democrats, Republicans, Independents – no matter – the idea was to focus on the partnership and the beneficial synergy of farm and town. It is attended annually by thousands from around the region.
         That sentiment was the heartbeat of the organization since its inception in 1971, but now, like so much else in our country, Farm City Days has made itself about politics and the narrow, intolerant views of a handful of its organizers – all because a majority of its board has opted to foist its political beliefs upon the parade audience and restrict its parade entries according to that majority’s political leanings.
         Kobach supporter and Iolan Don Erbert’s red, white and blue jeep with its replica machine gun mount is by far the most recognizable parade entry of the summer parade season in Kansas. Breathless, hand-wringing publicity from press outlets generated Kobach tons of free media during parades prior to the primary and made the rig the most memorable of the 2018 Kansas political season, perhaps even nationally.
         The FCD committee told Erbert he could enter the parade with Kobach, but they’d have to remove the gun mount. Both men are vehement supporters of the Second Amendment, and the obvious message was that if you want to be in our parade, you’re going to need to give up on your convictions. Justifiably, they declined.
         But the question can’t be denied: did the FCD parade organizers discover they’d struck on a veiled but effective way to keep Kobach out of the parade by attacking the illustration of his Constitutional right?
         The move overall is an interesting one, considering Allen County Republicans, who cast some 90 percent of the votes in the primary, picked Kobach handily over seven contenders in the GOP field.
         Firearms are part of the American heritage, and as such part of the tradition of parades. Military color guards frequently march in parades nationwide with rifles as part of their units. Colleges and high school drill teams lead bands and carry replica rifles to conduct drill exhibitions with them. Western re-enactors carry firearms as part of their frontier regalia. Military rifle teams honor the loved ones of fallen soldiers with 21 gun salutes. Firearms are ingrained in the American sense of celebration and discipline. There is certainly no basis in history or American culture to prohibit a replica firearm from a parade float or entry.
         Unless of course you’re in Iola, and it’s Kris Kobach.
         That vote of the Farm City Days committee, which was not unanimous, resulted in the resignation in protest by its chairman. Now, word is that some sponsors – those who perhaps have a better sense of American culture and both the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution, are pulling their support.
         What a terrible thing for a handful of politically intolerant people to do to a venerable community event, all in the name of squelching a candidate and his very American beliefs.
–Dane Hicks is publisher of The Anderson County Review in Garnett, Kan.