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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday April 25, 2011

American exceptionalism. This Friday (April 29) the Wichita Pachyderm Club features Kenneth N. Ciboski, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Political Science at Wichita State University. He will speak on the topic “American Exceptionalism: How and Why Are We Different From Europe?” The public is welcome and encouraged to attend Wichita Pachyderm meetings. For more information click on Wichita Pachyderm Club. … Upcoming speakers: On May 6, Dr. Malcolm C. Harris, Sr., Professor of Finance, Friends University on the topic “Shale gas: Our energy future?” On May 13, Craig Burns and Glenn Edwards of Security 1st Title Co. on the topic “Real Estate Transactions, Ownership, Title, and Tales From the Trenches.” On May 20, Rob Siedleckie, Secretary, Kansas Social Rehabilitation Services (SRS) on the topic “The SRS and Initiatives.” On May 27, Todd Tiahrt, Former 4th District Congressman on the topic “Outsourcing our National Security — How the Pentagon is Working Against Us”.

Wichita City Council this week. As this week is the fourth Tuesday of the month, the Wichita City Council considers only consent agenda items. This agenda has two acquisition of property by eminent domain, one for improvements to East 13th Street, and another for land involved in the aquifer recharge project in Harvey County. … There will also be council member appointments, and with three new council members on board, there could be a number of these. … A workshop will follow to present updates to the downtown Wichita public incentive policy. A Wichita Eagle story reported on this, but raised more confusion than answers. For example, the story reports the proposal will include “A private-to-public capital investment ration [sic] of 2-to-1.” This differs from the Goody Clancy plan for downtown Wichita, which calls for a five to one ratio.

The Great American Bailout. Tim Huelskamp, a new member of the United States Congress from the Kansas first district, warns of the seriousness of the problem the country faces with the budget and debt: “This past Monday, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) announced that it was cutting its outlook on the U.S. from “stable” to “negative,” increasing the likelihood of a potential downgrade of America’s credit rating. This should be a dire wake-up call to Washington that the time is now to address federal red ink. For all of America’s greatness, it is embarrassing that the United States may become a credit risk.” He details the rising amount of national debt, and also the increasing percentage that is held by foreign countries. … Soon we will be faced with the decision to raise our national debt limit. Huelskamp says the only way he could support increasing the ceiling is there is also a “serious and meaningful compromise that makes substantial and real cuts to the deficit and debt.” He also supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

“Not yours to give rally” in Topeka. Next Thursday (April 28) a coalition of groups is holding a rally at the Kansas Capitol building. The event starts at 10:00 am and lasts until 2:00 pm. The lineup of speakers and topics includes Rep. Charlotte O’Hara: “Federal control of the state through the state budget,” Larry Halloran (Wichita South Central 9-12 Group): “Government Charity, the Constitution and the Rule of Law,” Dave Trabert (Kansas Policy Institute): “Kansas Budget Policy and Spending Habits,” Rep. Kasha Kelley: “House Budget,” Richard D. Fry (Patriots Coalition ): “Govt. Lawlessness and Implementing Obama Care,”Angelo Mino (Born in Ecuador – MADE in America): “Reason to Become a New Born American,” Derrick Sontag (Americans for Prosperity): “History of a Growing Kansas Budget,” and Rep. Lance Kinzer: “Court of Appeals Legislation.” … AFP is sponsoring a free bus trip from Wichita for this event. The bus will leave Wichita at 7:00 am, and should be back by 6:00 pm. The bus trip is free but reservations are required. For more information on the bus trip contact John Todd at john@johntodd.net or 316-312-7335, or Susan Estes, AFP Field Director at sestes@afphq.org or 316-681-4415.

Kansas Bioscience Authority benefits from exemptions. The Kansas Bioscience Authority has benefited from exceptions to the Kansas Open Records Act written for its own benefit. Kansas Watchdog reports.

The presidency in liberal society. Eighteen months before the election, presidential politics consumes a lot of energy. Conservatives complain that President Obama is already in full campaign mode. Liberals poke fun at Republicans for, well, for a lot of reasons. But with a properly limited government, we should care very little who is our president. Lew Rockwell explains in this excerpt from a speech titled “An American Classical Liberalism”: Every four years, as the November presidential election draws near, I have the same daydream: that I don’t know or care who the president of the United States is. More importantly, I don’t need to know or care. I don’t have to vote or even pay attention to debates. I can ignore all campaign commercials. There are no high stakes for my family or my country. My liberty and property are so secure that, frankly, it doesn’t matter who wins. I don’t even need to know his name. In my daydream, the president is mostly a figurehead and a symbol, almost invisible to myself and my community. He has no public wealth at his disposal. He administers no regulatory departments. He cannot tax us, send our children into foreign wars, pass out welfare to the rich or the poor, appoint judges to take away our rights of self-government, control a central bank that inflates the money supply and brings on the business cycle, or change the laws willy-nilly according to the special interests he likes or seeks to punish. His job is simply to oversee a tiny government with virtually no power except to arbitrate disputes among the states, which are the primary governmental units. He is head of state, though never head of government. His position, in fact, is one of constant subordination to the office holders around him and the thousands of statesmen on the state and local level. He adheres to a strict rule of law and is always aware that anytime he transgresses by trying to expand his power, he will be impeached as a criminal.

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