Richard Crowson Commentary

Politicians can run but they cannot hide from political cartoonist (and banjo player) Richard Crowson and his watchdog, Al. Tune in on alternate Wednesdays to hear the latest.

The Governor and his legislative cohorts did it again. They deprived Kansas of $800,000 in arts funding from the NEA and Mid-America Arts Alliance, all because they didn’t allocate enough state matching funds.

For 40,000 years, humankind has appreciated the arts. That’s how old the earliest cave paintings are. I wondered if those early humans had to deal with folks who undermine the arts like we do.

The governor's legislative enablers lost out in the primary the other day... but Sam Brownback is singing the same old song:

What would you do if I wrecked your whole state
If I gave all your dough to the rich
Won't expand Medicaid, I put schools in bad shape,
Drove the state's budget into a ditch

Oh, tell me why you elected my friends
I used to get by with the help from my friends
You voted goodbye to my Brownbacky friends


I have never truly understood political yard signs. Although I participate in this good ol’ American tradition, I’m not sure why. Political scientists tell us they make a miniscule difference, if any at all.

Crowson: Kobach 451

Jul 13, 2016

This year the book selection for The Big Read is Ray Bradbury’s dystopian masterpiece, Fahrenheit 451.


We’re all used to the well-intended but slightly threadbare cliché: “Just take comfort in the wonderful memories. As long as you have those, that loved one isn’t really gone.”

But sometimes, those old words of comfort ring true. For enthusiasts of bluegrass and old-time mountain music, dealing with the recent loss of Ralph Stanley, that phrase gives particular comfort. 

I got tired of tripping over our old dining chairs, stored in our basement. We replaced them months ago, but I tend to hang onto things too long. This past Saturday, we put all seven out by the curb with a sign saying “free.”

Throughout the day, I’d glance out the window, expecting them to be gone. But, no. There they sat, as cars impertinently flew by.

Roco Julie, flickr Creative Commons

What??! Kansas legislators get lifetime pensions as if they made over $90,000 when their annual pay is really $15,000? Sweet! I bet they sing this song in some of those closed-door meetings they love to have:

Ah, the end of the school year. I remember the giddy anticipation of those last days before summer vacation. My head was filled with visions of sandlot baseball games, summer camp and a later-than-normal bedtime after going on a lightning bug hunt. Waa-hoo! Three months of no school!


When are we here in the Sunflower State going to bow to reality and change the Kansas nickname? After all, the “sun” in “sunflower” connotes bright, open light: “Ah, the Sunflower State! Why, this must be a place where a plethora of sunshine permeates the plains with perpetual political openness!”


There’s a mesmerizing video making the rounds lately on the Internet. It’s a computer animation of the sinking of the Titanic. The whole thing takes place in “real time,” meaning in exactly the amount of time that the real sinking happened: 2 hours and 40 minutes. The tragedy unfolds at a languid pace in an eerie silence.

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