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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Kent Bush: We've come a long way in 50 years

  • It may be a pipe dream to hope for a perfect world.
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  • Racism is dead.
    Unfortunately, like many things in popular culture, racism has become a zombie and just keeps walking around refusing to go away.
    Look at it. What new thoughts have racists come up with lately?
    A few people who self-identified as TEA Party members protesting a President Barack Obama appearance in Phoenix shouted down the “47 percent negro” President and chanted “Bye bye black sheep” before the event.
    One more level headed member of the crowd called the chanters a “vocal minority.”
    I think he was right. The numbers of people who espouse those views or would even associate themselves with people who seem to have only recently discovered Obama’s racial heritage fall further every day.
    The same is true for those who would deface a Jackie Robinson statue with swastikas and racial epithets.
    But if the racist masterminds have dwindled to some loser with a black marker, it really shows some progress.
    Racism is still out there. It probably always will be with us on some level. But the number of people who hold these backwards beliefs is getting smaller. Ignorance is being erased. It may be a pipe dream to hope for a perfect world.
    But I do think as a whole, Americans have come a long way in 50 years. I hope that trend continues for the next 50.
    Pets can’t kill you
    Any animal that can kill you isn’t a pet. They may live in your house and you may feed them, but they are not pets.
    Keeping a 100-pound snake in the house is a little crazy. In Canada this week, that choice resulted in the death of two young boys.
    Snake experts are shocked because snakes only kill in order to eat and they only eat a few times a year in captivity. Killing for fun is said to cost them too much energy.
    The current story is that the Rock Python escaped from its cage, crawled up into the ceiling, went into another room, its weight collapsed the ceiling and it immediately killed the two brothers who were sleeping in the room.
    That’s a tough story to sell. I would love to be in the investigator’s office at the police station. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I bet the story behind this story changes before it is all said and done.
    But regardless of whether the snake killed two kids or something else is actually true, keeping a snake that could kill two kids in your home is reckless at best.
    Page 2 of 2 - Remember the drought?
    The wet spring our area needed to break the drought finally came in July and so far in August. Before Thursday’s heavy storms, Butler County had dropped from an extreme drought to abnormally dry in just a couple of months.
    With another wet week in the forecast, we could see the end of drought conditions for the first time in two years.
    Seeing water filling the City Lake after months of looking at a dry lakebed was a welcome sight. As I watched water crawl up the wall of the new spillway, I couldn’t help but remember watching all of the water drain out the gate valve below the dam.
    It will be nice to move on to other issues and not worry about whether it is our day to water or if we should restock fish in the lake because of the chance it could go dry once again.
    I don’t think I am the only one who is relieved that the lake is full again. Anytime I drive around to check the water level, the traffic from the lake tourists is pretty heavy.
    There is never a bad time for good news.
     
    Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: kbush@augustagazette.com

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