Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Came Early for Kansas

In case any of us forgot for a moment, the world is going to hell in a handbasket.   The Senate again demonstrated the uselessness of partisan representative 'democracy' by allowing a push to accelerate the XL Pipeline, which apparently will speed up global warming by quite a bit and get us a lot closer to widespread death from drought and hunger.  I attended an event this weekend that has made me physically ill (again, something I can't write about online), and the town where I work remains devastated by recent losses.

But amidst all this, there are some bright spots.

We are about to celebrate the coming of Jesus, who leads us towards his rule of peace and justice even these two thousand years after he left the earth.

Our niece is two months and a little bit old, and more than a little bit beautiful, and soon we get to spend a week with her.  I'm sure most of you are also looking forward to seeing family in the near future!



Siedlecki IS RESIGNING!!!!!!!

He was the SRS Secretary (in charge of welfare services, child protection, etc.) of Brownbackistan.  He has appeared on this page before as the architect of the program to shut down a number local SRS offices, including the one in Lawrence, where many people in need accessed important government services.  A former member of Jeb Bush's regime in Florida, he also pushed programs that encouraged marriage as an important way out of poverty, a short sighted initiative that received a lot of criticism.  His love of marriage was confined to other people, as he and his wife divorced some time ago, and in moving to Kansas he left his two adolescent daughters in the southeast (this is only relevant for his hypocrisy, not because I wish to judge others' familial choices).  He also focused his work on uncovering welfare fraud.  This was the man who hired something like a dozen new workers to investigate that fraud, while trying to find ways to cut back on the services offered to people who needed them.  

As soon as NPR mentioned this on Friday, I broke out smiling, and despite other grim political news this makes me smile every time I think of it.  There are some things that Kansans will not tolerate, and apparently this time hypocrisy and victim blaming lost.  Who knows if his replacement will be better or worse, but at least we know that Brownback will respond to popular opinion under some circumstances.  

See ya, Siedlecki.  Go persecute poor people in other states. Here's hoping that someone compassionate and sincere and capable replaces him.

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