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Speaking out

What we have here is failure to communicate or, more precisely, unwillingness to communicate. Communication is a two-way street, as is debate. Both, if done properly, require listening as well as expressing one’s own opinions. In this forum and in this town, the power elite are quite used to simply voicing their own opinions without having to take into consideration any contrary views that might put a kink in their own plans. It’s so much easier when “we all get along,” when that means that we all “agree” all the time and no one pipes up and says, “What you are doing is not compatible with other people’s needs or goals.”

In this forum we have a group of frequent posters who have opinions that deserve to be heard, but at the same time, they need to leave some space for others to voice facts and opinions that run contrary to their own. They hide behind monikers so they can pretend no one knows for certain whom they are, and yet it’s all just pretense. Their posts make it apparent that not only do they have personal opinions about the other posters here, but they are quite prepared to use every slur and trick of domination they can muster to try to quiet the voices of those who disagree with them. Their attacks are not limited to people who post inconvenient facts within this forum, but they have also used this forum to launch vicious personal attacks against political opponents, and to pursue personal vendettas.

The most ugly of all is the poster here who has resorted to referring to another human being as “it.” So venomous is her ire against this person (for reasons not apparent to the rest of us), that she has made it her prerogative to determine other people’s rights to be human. Every person, including she, has the right to human dignity and to be able to voice his/her opinions in a public forum. However, unless this other poster’s crime against her is felonious, what right has she to so belittle another person? And why would others, including the editor of the Baldwin City Signal, join her and defend her right to so persecute this other person?

I do not have a clue who “Greyghost” is. I have an inkling about who “TheOnlyGreyghost” is. It doesn’t matter. I am not defending Greyghost because he/she is my “pal,” but because he/she has been referred to as “it.” And although he/she has made some mistakes here (as have we all), I fully understand how frustrating it must be when you attempt to express your thoughts and ideas in this forum only to have someone jump on your every word, not with the intention to debate you fairly, but with the intention to besmirch you and shout you down. I am certain that if Greyghost had not been referred to repeatedly as “it” by another poster who is getting away with her inhuman treatment of him/her, then Greyghost would not have posted whatever it was that was so offensive.

On other forums, hundreds more participants than post here are continually engaged in debate that is at times healthy and at times heinous. The editors of those forums redact the offensive posts and everyone moves on. What is disturbing to me in what is happening in this forum is that it seems that there are those whose idea of all of us getting along is to degrade and thus defuse anyone who expresses opinions and facts that run counter to the juggernaut that has had a choke hold on this town. When times were good, many of us went along with it, often because it seemed futile to rail against the machine. But the stakes are now our livelihoods. People are seriously and legitimately concerned about going into debt, losing their homes, losing their livelihoods. Hear us. For we will be heard, whether or not you continue your pernicious personal attacks against us.

November 7, 2009

Speaking out


kermit 5 years, 5 months ago

Unbelievable. I had to go back re-read a second time to make sure I was reading this correctly. Are you seriously calling out posters for crimes that you, yourself commit on a regular basis? What is the old adage about the pot and the kettle? Please go back and re-read some of your old posts to find examples of "slurs and tricks of domination" and then re-think your position.

I am not insensitive to the fact that people are concerned about debt, losing their homes and jobs. My guess you are one of them and for that I sympathize. I also believe that anxiety and frustration tends to make some feel so powerless they lash out and blame most any and everything for their problems.

You and I have posted on this site for a long time. Your insinuation that my fellow posters and I are all personally attacking you just because you are Nancy is not only unwarranted but totally false. There have several been times in the past few years that I have agreed with your opinions on some issue or another and I believe I have also voiced my agreement. When I don't agree with you then I usually write that disagreement too.

If you would just stick to your opinions on issues and cut out the snarky commentary and grammatical lessons I think you'd find most of us would back off. You see Nancy, it's not your opinions that get under my green crawl its the haughty and self righteous manner in which you present them.

Enough said. Please note that I did attempt to have a civil conversation with you and did not resort to using my plethora of nouns and adjectives.


SpeaksSlowlyToIdiots 5 years, 5 months ago


For what it's worth, I don't have any problem with your debating style. I almost always disagree with your thoughts, but I'm in no way intimidated by you or others to make known my disagreement. Frankly I'm a bit surprised to have you spend so much electronic ink in complaining about the forum.

The only thing I can think of is that you didn't particularly care for Tony Brown's posts against you. Interestingly enough, I probably more often agree with Tony's opinions on things but get very tired of the way he wants to mute discussion on negative topics. Anyhow, he does always sign his name and sometimes his phone number on each post.

Perhaps you should give Tony a call and speak your mind to him directly. Or just fire back on SpeakOut with well-reasoned and easy-to-understand points.


Peabody 5 years, 5 months ago

Ok. I'm open to any discussion that Nancy or anyone else would like to have. I think public debate of issues is healthy -- let's have at it.

Tony Brown 702 First Street 594-2596 tonybrownforkansas@gmail.com


NanCrisp 5 years, 5 months ago

This is from today's LJW:

"The state budget is in the worst shape it has been in at least 20 years.

State general fund receipts are expected to decrease for the third year in a row, and fiscal experts say that drop will continue for a fourth year.

Some have said that has never happened in state history.

Based on statistics since 1990, it certainly hasn’t.

There have been one-year drop-offs in general fund receipts from previous years, but never for three years or four years."

All of my intentions in saying what I have said about school and city funding/budgeting in the past couple of years has been about this. I saw this coming. I'm not trying to pat myself on the back or be smug or put down anyone over it. I have said and I will repeat: I just don't want people to continue to get blindsided by all of this. Yes, budgets will be cut, in households as well as businesses as well as government agencies. Yes, your taxes will go up. What else could possibly happen? It's like we're all drowning and yet instead of trying to help each other survive, every last drowning person or entity is scrabbling desperately over the top of anyone they can to ensure their own survival. I hate to see it. What we need is compromise with a big, fat, capital C. Not just from corporations, Democrats. Not just from goverment, Republicans. But from everyone, everywhere. Stop guarding your own turf and your own pet projects and give a little. Some of us are giving a lot. Not because it makes us "better" than anyone else, but because it's the right thing to do in these tough times. Listen to each other. Help each other. No one group of people is more important in times like these than another.


NanCrisp 5 years, 5 months ago

By "giving" I don't mean giving to charities, although that is important at all times and especially now. The "giving" I'm talking about is giving up income.

My family's budget was cut 30% in 2006, 40% in 2007, and over 50% in 2008. 2009 looks about the same as 2008 at this point. We've given up income mostly because the construction business has gone from dwindling in 2006 to nonexistent in 2008 & 2009. Fine; we took the good years, we'll take the bad. But we've also given up income because the State had to freeze salaries. Also fine; government needs to cut back. We're giving up income because every service provider from the hairdresser to Mediacom is raising their prices so they don't have to give up any salary of their own. Some businesses get to raise their prices when they start to get "hungry." In the constuction business, we're expected to lower ours.

And then the real estate and property taxes go up because of the school bond issue. Pretty bad now, but we can be thankful that the erosion of our property values took a little of the sting out of that one. Never dreamed falling property values would seem like a "good" thing.

And every little burg in the K.C. metro is tacking on some new sales tax. That is inescapable, but we can make up for it by purchasing fewer groceries and other items so that, even with the increased sales tax everywhere we turn, we can still stay within our very strict purchasing budget each month. Have to feel sorry for the businesses that take the hit on sales because purchasing power goes down when sales tax goes up.

I get pretty concerned about the utilities. We've got things about as tight and efficient as possible. Thankfully God was good to us with a mild summer and we haven't had to use the furnace much yet. Switched to a gas stove last year, so we're limiting the impact of electricity bills to the largest degree possible. We've been incrementally battling any increase in the monthly utility budget for years and years now. Some of our friends who live out in the country haul water instead of getting on the grid. Starting to wonder about hauling some water and making more use of "gray" water as well as rain water.

Families like mine are not asking for a bail-out. We don't want hand-outs of any kind. We want to work and get paid for it. We want to have sufficient income to be able to pay for our children's educations, our groceries, our healthcare, all without any kind of government assistance. We don't want to be added to the lines of people falling below the poverty line simply because our taxes and utilities finally pushed us over the brink. How ironic it is that so much of the "need" that is growing today and causing our taxes to go up would be nonexistent if our jobs were still here. Not government jobs, but private industry jobs.


solo 5 years, 5 months ago

I agree to some degree with Nan's assertion that in order for us all to survive collectively we may need to give up somethng for the greater good. It is no big surprise that everyone from the "hairdresser to Mediacom is raising prices to they don't have to give up any salary of their own." It's the law of survival, and will continue until prices simply drive people from the market.

GM, Ford and Chrysler are great examples of this. I read recently that each auto put out of Detroit has something like $2800 tacted on just to cover employee benefits of the guys who built the car. Their Japanese counterparts in the USA only have about $800 of cost in each car. Now is it any wonder 2 of the 3 had to take government bailout money?

As a capitalist society we are fundamentally a greedy society. As Michael Douglas in Wall Street claimed "Greed is good"---to a point. It needs to be couched with common decency and common sense.


NanCrisp 5 years, 5 months ago

It is not my intention to individually debate Mr. Tony Brown. I seek only to get my viewpoints heard, because I know that there are thousands out there who feel the same way I do right now.

As for my "snarky" comments about grammar, I am very pointed about it. I am very passionate about our grammar only because so many people on this forum and everywhere take the attitude (which is both snarky and arrogant) that it doesn't matter how we write or speak and you'd better not say it does! Well, I'm here to tell you that I work daily with people from many, many different countries, and nowhere else on earth do people take such pride in their inability to speak or write correctly in their native language. It makes us all look very, very ignorant, lazy and - illiterate. Sorry, but it's just a fact. I'm constantly embarrassed that people from other countries can fluently speak and write in more than one language while we cannot master our own, and go so far as to wear this as a badge of pride.


Bloggerboo 5 years, 5 months ago

Well, Nan, you'd make a terrible teacher...which is likely why you are in the construction business. No teacher ever got through to a student with a flippant, condescending, holier-than-thou attitude such as you have displayed on this forum.

If you care so damn much about grammar and spelling, then maybe you should try an approach that might actually entice people to try to get better. Another idea is to help fund school districts by voting for bonds that put teachers in good, quality facilities so that teaching is the only thing with which they have to concern themselves.

At this point, Nan, I absolutely loathe you and your attitude and am glad I am not one of the 20 or so people from Baldwin who actually "know" you in person.

Case in point (and all of this is over a typo):


Here's a neat trick for posters who want to use words they don't know how to spell:

In your Google field, type “define exorbinant” (or other word; just use the spelling you think is correct). Hit Enter. At the top of your search list, you will likely see something like this: “did you mean define exorbitant?” Bingo! There is your correct spelling. And you've just increased your vocabulary and, hence, your literacy rating.

You may now carry on debating whether Lawrence is ripping us off more than or less than our own city government.


hipgrrrrl 5 years, 5 months ago

Blogger points the finger at a fellow poster and virulently accuses them of possessing a "...condescending, holier-than-thou attitude..."

That's pretty hilarious.


TheOnlyGreyghost 5 years, 5 months ago

hip~ I suspect Blogger has been reading Know-it-all Nan's critical and gratuitously instructional comments for quite a few years and is fed up. There has not been a Baldwin issue that she wouldn't have handled better and more wisely than the city commission, the school board, the voters, or (name it) any individual/group that actually had to act on the issue.

Are you suggesting that because Blogger calls 'em like he sees 'em, he is ipso facto guilty of the same offense? Interesting theory.


SpeaksSlowlyToIdiots 5 years, 5 months ago


It's normally not your style to go down into the ditch with these folks and slug it out. I, for one, look towards the heavens when I think of you and want to believe you are gazing down upon me with the patience of a parent gazing at his/her well-meaning, but idiotic child.

For the grammar-endowed among us, I DO know that I ended my first sentence with a preposition.


jmyrick 5 years, 5 months ago

A preposition is a good thing to end a sentence with.


hipgrrrrl 5 years, 5 months ago

No, OnlyGrey. What I'm saying is that it's pretty hilarious when the pot lacks a mirror and starts calling the kettle black. Perhaps ALL involved in this little grade-school fracas should become a bit more introspective and take a good, long hard look at themselves before they start accusing one another of such irritating personal tendencies - especially since said tendencies seem to be shared en masse.

I'll take Nan over Bludgeoning Blog any day.


jmyrick 5 years, 5 months ago

Hip, you're not clear. You'll take Nano over bloggerboo or what?


Still_Pool 5 years, 5 months ago


Remember that to end a sentence with a proposition often ends in sexual harassment complaints.


jmyrick 5 years, 5 months ago

Good one, still. Thanks for the laugh.


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