Daily Archives: March 20, 2014

Phelps’ survivors are due respect he denied others

phelpssignThrough the anti-gay picketing that he and his followers did across the country, including at military funerals, Fred Phelps caused untold amounts of heartache for individuals and brought shame on his state. He also inspired many new laws, as the federal government and states sought, with limited success, to curb the Westboro Baptist Church’s First Amendment right to spew its hate for homosexuals. But as the group Equality Kansas suggested this week, the best way to respond to Phelps’ death at age 84 is with respect for his survivors and their privacy – the opposite of what he showed gays and lesbians and grieving military families for so many years.

Open thread (March 20)

spring

Fallon’s Wichita joke exemplified image problem

arkriverNot all the attention generated by the Shockers’ 34-0 run has been flattering, regrettably. For example, Jimmy Fallon’s monologue on “The Tonight Show” Monday included this: “This is cool. Wichita State will become the first undefeated team in 23 years to enter the NCAA Tournament. When asked how they remained so focused on winning, they said, ‘We play in Wichita. Not many distractions here.’” Though the joke wasn’t cited as the City Council voted the next morning to set up a tourism business improvement district, it certainly exemplified why Wichita needs to improve its image with more and better marketing. The TBID is expected to generate $3 million a year for that purpose.