Tag Archives: Kansas

Destroyed US town a model of eco-living as it rebuilds

posted by GeoT

GREENSBURG, Kansas (AFP) – With all eyes on US efforts to combat climate change at next week’s UN summit in Copenhagen, one Kansas town is going green in a big way — and setting an example for American communities.

On the evening of May 4, 2007, a category-five tornado swept through the rural midwestern town of Greensburg, killing nine people and obliterating 95 percent of the urban landscape, including the school, the hospital and more than 900 houses.

But this community of 1,400 is rebuilding stronger than ever, in a remarkable comeback billed by Greensburg GreenTown — a grassroots organization involving town residents, local officials and business owners — as a “model for sustainable building and green living.”

Sign welcomes visitors to Greensburg, December 1 in Greensburg, Kansas.

In the wake of disaster, local leaders vowed to rebuild their town as the first in the United States to have all municipal projects constructed to the highest environmental and efficiency design standards.

The efforts have attracted green experts and enthusiasts from around the world because of the Greensburg’s environmentally sustainable principles through renewable energy.

Whereas previously the town’s only pull was having the world’s largest hand-dug well, it now hopes to put itself on the map for eco-living.

full story here:

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Man Confesses to Shooting Kansas Abortion Provider

Man accused of shooting George Tiller tells AP he killed the abortion provider, has no regrets

In this July 28, 2009 file photo, Scott Roeder attends his preliminary hearing in court in Wichita, Kansas

In this July 28, 2009 file photo, Scott Roeder attends his preliminary hearing in court in Wichita, Kansas

Associated Press/Roxana Hegeman—Defiant and unapologetic, a man accused of shooting a Kansas abortion provider confessed to the slaying Monday, telling The Associated Press that he killed the doctor to protect unborn children.

Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., spoke to the AP in a telephone call from jail, saying he plans to argue at his trial that he was justified in shooting Dr. George Tiller at the abortion provider’s Wichita church in May.

Because of the fact preborn children’s lives were in imminent danger this was the action I chose. … I want to make sure that the focus is, of course, obviously on the preborn children and the necessity to defend them,” Roeder said.

Defending innocent life — that is what prompted me. It is pretty simple,” he said.

Roeder is charged with one count of first-degree murder in Tiller’s death and two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly threatening two ushers who tried to stop him during the May 31 melee in the foyer of the doctor’s church. Roeder has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial in January.

In a more than 30-minute interview with the AP, Roeder did not apologize for the slaying.

No, I don’t have any regrets because I have been told so far at least four women have changed their minds, that I know of, and have chosen to have the baby,” Roeder said. “So even if one changed her mind it would be worth it. No, I don’t have any regrets.”

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More @ Associated Press

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GOP Congresswoman: Party Looking For “Great White Hope”

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)


Posted by Audiegrl

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins offered encouragement to conservatives at a town hall forum that the Republican Party would embrace a “great white hope” capable of thwarting the political agenda endorsed by Democrats who control Congress and President Barack Obama.

Rep. Jenkins: “Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope,” Jenkins said to the crowd. “I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic weighs in: Sarcasm aside, again, the problem is that Jenkins hails from a party that has, historically, scorned talk of “diversity,” believes political correctness has run amok, and thinks that the worst discrimination happens to white people. When you don’t practice talking to people who aren’t like you, you tend to not be very good at it. This didn’t mean much twenty or thirty years ago–Who cares about a few Negroes in Harlem or Atlanta?–but the country is changing. The GOP, as we all know, isn’t changing with it.

I can imagine some defense of the phrase “great white hope,” as a kind of generic tag. But any politicians whose spent a portion of their career talking to black people, who knows the racist history of the phrase, or has some inkling of what it means to have a first black president, would know that invoking the phrase is a bad idea.

All of that said, it’s worth noting that Rep. Jenkins apologized for her words–as opposed to apologizing “if anyone was offended by her words.” It’s a shame that we have to give people points for that.

James Jeffries during his fight with Jack Johnson

James Jeffries during his fight with Jack Johnson

When I first heard of this, the first thing that came to my mind was the 1970 movie “The Great White Hope” staring James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander. The movie was based on the 1967 award winning play of the same name written by Howard Sackler.

According to Wikipedia : The Great White Hope tells a fictional idealised life story of boxing champion Jack Johnson. Acting as a lens focused on a racist society, The Great White Hope explores how segregation and prejudice created the demand for a “great white hope” who would defeat Johnson and how this, in turn, affected the boxer’s life and career.

The first “great white hope” to accept the challenge was Jim Jeffries, who came out of retirement to fight Johnson unsuccessfully in 1910. Johnson’s title was eventually lost to Jess Willard, a white boxer, in 1915. There was, apparently, some controversy surrounding Willard’s win, with Johnson claiming he threw the fight. In part because of white animosity toward Johnson, it was twenty years before another African American boxer was allowed to contend for the world professional heavyweight title. In 1937, Joe Louis, greatly respected by both blacks and whites, defeated James J. Braddock, “The Cinderella Man,” to become the second African American to hold the world heavyweight championship title.

So in the end, I agree with Ta-Nehisi on this one. Rep. Jenkins is not guilty of racism, she is guilty of being tone deaf to the ever increasing diversity of America. The Republican party would understand the negative meaning of certain words and phrases, if when they looked out at their constituents they saw a sea of different colored faces. Their diverse constituents would educate them on what is acceptable and what is not. Until that happens, look for more embarrassing moments and apologies from the Republicans. It’s also interesting that Wikipedia has already added Rep. Jenkins comments to the page for The Great White Hope. So now she will always be linked to the phrase. Probably not what she wanted to be known for.

Trailer for The Great White Hope.
Author Jack London vs. Jack Johnson.

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