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.

Richard's commentary can also be heard through iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.

Joe Penniston, flickr Creative Commons

Been reading an excellent book about dogs. It’s titled “The Inside of Dogs,” and is by Alexandra Horowitz. Among the many intriguing aspects of our canine friends covered in the book, is this one: Dogs have an extra organ that sits above the roof of the mouth and along the floor of the nose. It’s called the vomeronasal organ. It contains receptors for molecules of scents. By some estimates, dogs have a sense of smell that may be over a million times greater than ours.

Martin & Jessica O’Brien, flickr Creative Commons

Well, they say that confession is good for the soul. (Nobody talks about the poor, hapless souls who have to listen to confessions, of course, but nevertheless…)

So here’s a confession: I eat instant grits.

Richard Crowson

Were you as shocked and appalled as I was at the outrageous treatment of our own Governor Brownback by the audacious WSU and KU fans in Omaha? I could not believe my ears when I heard those boos aimed at this fine man. After all he’s done for the state of Kansas, this is his reward???

They boo a man who has saved our state from the ravages of economic recovery? A man who had the foresight to dam up Kansas revenue streams, causing a 25% reduction in income tax collections last year?

Little Bird Sings

Mar 11, 2015
Richard Crowson

Grim news everywhere you look these days, especially here in Kansas. This morning I was taught how to cope with it:

Early this morning I walked out my door

To see what my newspaper had in store

All the dreary headlines about hatred and war

I was dreading what the news would be

But the minute I stepped out in the morning air

I was shocked by the music all above and everywhere

There were birds singing and the song they shared

Was a lesson aimed straight at me


Sometimes progress goes into hibernation

Alberto G, flickr Creative Commons

What we got to do, is we got to nip Commonism in the bud. And by “Commonism” what I mean is Common Core. Common Core is Commonism.

We didn’t have no Commonism when me and all them other Kansans got our learning. And just look at what a bang-up job we done! Our smartness done made this state we got here into a sort of compost pile that attracts the bestest and the most brightest.

Beth Golay


A Kansan In Brownbackistan

To the tune of Okie from Muskogee: 

(Or view the video of Richard's performance below.)


We don’t like schoolin’ here in Kansas

Education’s something we abhor

Instead we give our money to the rich folks

And then we cut our services to the poor

We don’t need good highways here in Kansas

The wealthy, they’ve got jets to fly around

Who cares if our bridges rot and crumble

And make a few school buses tumble down


It’s not possible for me to discuss the Paris shootings without being self-referential, so please forgive me if I sound as if I’m making this tragic global story about me.

I’m not a particularly brave person. I never served my country in uniform, and as a child, never wanted to be a fireman or a policeman. Those folks are courageous.

Crossett Library, flickr Creative Commons

2015! Good grief it sounds like a year right out of the future! There’s just something about the way “2015” sounds that makes me think of cars that fly and people that get out of them wearing silver Spandex jump suits.    

Where is that dazzling future that my Weekly Reader predicted, back in 1962? Ok, we sort of have the “television phones” that once seemed so alluring. But no flying cars. No pills that reconstitute into full steak dinners magically. No robot house servants.

Scott Beale, flickr Creative Commons

We’re careening towards Christmas!

I adore this season in part because it’s one of those times when people behave in dramatically uncharacteristic ways. Stone-faced, no-nonsense types suddenly put bright lights on their rooftops! Guys that look like “Dog, the Bounty Hunter” can be seen contemplating assorted, delicate fragrances at Yankee Candle stores! Little old ladies in tattered coats with overdue utility bills put dollars into Salvation Army kettles!!

It’s late November and sandwiched tightly between our travel plans, meal preparation, shopping delirium and inevitable family drama, hopefully, will come a few moments of gratitude. We do have, after all, an entire day designated for it.

One person I know doesn’t have any problem opening himself up to feelings of gratitude. He doesn’t view the glass as simply half full, but rather, he marvels at the wonder of the glass itself. And that may be because he knows so well that there are so many folks out there with no glass set before them at all.