Category Archives: Commentary/Polls

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The finding your diploma question







So could you find your high school diploma if you tried?

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Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The how much flood damage did you suffer question







How much flood damage did you personally receive last week?

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Sunday blog: The nuttiest news week in Wellington history? If it wasn’t, it was close

Flood evacuation 2019. (photo courtesy of Wellington Fire Department.)

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Was it the nuttiest news week in Wellington history?

I always shy away from superlatives, since the second you make such statements some old-timer will tell you, “Well, I remember in 1956 we all turned into zombies and…”

Tracy “Cueball” McCue

There have been bigger news weeks. The 1892 tornado sweeping through Wellington had to be the biggest news event in this town’s history. It blew down the “hotel coming soon” sign.

There were three high-profile George Neff murder court cases in the early 1950s involving a jealous husband (allegedly) murdering his wife and neighbor’s husband. That brought in all the national magazine media types, who would be working for CNN or Fox News today. That was before O.J. Simpson became a big deal.

I remember working at the Wellington Daily News where we had a couple of murders, a rape, and embezzlement all on one weekend. When Wellington voted to build itself a new high school, that was most certainly a nutty week. The casino controversy? Whatever. 

CultureCow: OPULENCE and camp at the Met

by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — As I sit here, typing this article in my $29.98 (on sale, of course) khakis from H&M with a rip in the pocket and a blue knock-off Michael Kors shirt from Nordstrom Rack, I’d like to talk to you about something very important: fashion.

I’m not talking about Instagram models that try to look hot on camera so skincare products will pay their rent, but instead the actual designers that shape the landscape of what everyone (and I mean everyone, click here for the proof) will wear.  Fashion is often cast by the wayside as something only affluent people care about or can truly chase, but 1. That’s not entirely true and 2. It’s a legitimate form of art that really doesn’t get enough credit.

But there is one night where fashion gets its due and it’s the biggest party of the year: the Met Gala.  The Met Gala is where all the biggest stars come out (to display their wealth) to show off a very talented (or very misguided) designer’s attempts to fit the theme.  The theme this year was “camp,” which is inherently a paradox to design for.  Camp is delightfully tacky or over the top, but what truly makes it camp is that it’s either blissfully unaware of itself or chooses to embrace its extravagance (as drag queens did when they invented the term and style).  There are those who choose to just wear something fancy, which is fine, but I’ll only be talking about those who went for the theme (or tried to).  For picture references please click here.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The natural disaster question







What natural disaster terrifies you the most?

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CultureCow: Whether you’re gearing up for summer or getting over your man, I’ve got the music for you

by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — Happy Friday. Welcome back to CultureCow, I apologize for missing last week, but I was trapped in the second-worst state to border Kansas: Missouri (second-worst because Oklahoma still exists).  I know a few of these might be dated, but they were too good to miss.

First up in the old-but-still-worth-mentioning is Earth Day.  I love Earth Day.  There’s not many days of the year where just about everyone remembers there’s a holiday celebrating our little blue planet and even a few of us plant a tree or eat a vegetable-based dish to lower our carbon footprint.  This Earth Day, however, a (large) bunch of celebrities rallied behind an unlikely hero, Lil Dicky, to create a song aptly named Earth.  In true Dicky fashion, the song is zany and a slightly inappropriate, but still shows off his skills as an artist and does a great job of advocacy.

Personally, I’d rather artists and celebrities lend their massive fortunes rather than their singing chops, but I’ll take what I can get these days when scientists are telling us we only have 12 years left to turn this ship around before we reach the 2 degrees Celsius threshold.  Visit Dicky’s website to learn more about global warming and lend your support!

Five Feet Apart playing at the Wellington Regent this weekend

Playing at the Wellington Regent: Five Feet Apart.

Schedule: Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 7 p.m.

Rated: PG-13 (for thematic elements, language and suggestive material).

Cow of Thrones: The Long Wait for the Long Night

Commentary by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — Firstly, I’d like to apologize for waiting until Thursday to get this article out, but I was still recovering from the insanity that was Season 8, Episode 3: The Long Night.

Last week, I said this episode would be the make or break point for the season and boy did it MAKE.  I’ve been confused why a show with such a high budget (over $10 million an episode) would waste it on having characters talk in damp rooms for a third of the season, but now I know it was because they blew their entire budget on this episode.  It took 55 days to film, 750 people on the scene, and was the longest battle sequence of all time, TV or film.

Let’s do a quick recap.  The episode started out like the entire season up to that point; dark (more on that later), eerie, and way too long without anything happening.  I get that they were trying to set the mood, but after episodes 1 and 2, we were all ready to see some white walkers.  We didn’t have to wait long after that, however, because the battle starts with the Dothraki hoard literally being snuffed out from the world.

There is a much larger argument about how GoT handles their characters of color and killing the Dothraki and have the Unsullied protect the white people as they retreat later in the episode wasn’t exactly a step in the right direction.  After the flames go out in the distance, the battle immediately ramps up and it’s quickly determined that the living are not on the winning side of this.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The ‘420’ sign question

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — It has been a week now since the infamous sign at Jump-Start in Wellington was out celebrating “420” Day. Now that the shouting is over and the emotions have subsided what does the community really think?

What's your feeling about the sign 10 days ago at Wellington's Conoco Jump Start?

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Sunday blog: Let’s make Sumner County the mecca of wind energy in Kansas

Commentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — I remember when my children were little (sniff) and we were heading back from Colorado cutting a swath through that vast empty space called western Kansas on that miserable I-70 four-lane highway.

The kids were restless. Hell, us parents were restless. But usually, when we got past Hays, our moods would perk up.

Tracy “Cueball” McCue

“Are we close? Are we close?” yelled my 5 and 8-year-old children in unison. Quinn, age 2 who hadn’t grasped what the world was quite yet, joined in.

I’d tell them to settle down. And finally, we got to the most exciting part of the trip. We stopped the SUV to look at the ‘big windmills” – those towering big bodacious turbines stretching across I-70. I’d remove the kids from their car seats, put them on the top of the car so we could watch the big steel blades swirl just above our heads.

My children had just seen the Rocky Mountains a couple of days before, but there was something about these windmills that enthralled them more. Come to think of it, my wife and I, we’re impressed too.

I remember Devin of future CultureCow fame asking me when we were going to get windmills like these back home in Wellington. I told him, “We will. It is only a matter of time. Kansas has wind.”

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The felony and voting question







Do you think a person convicted of a felony should be banned from voting for life?

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Game of Thrones episode 2 recap: Is winter here or not?

Commentary by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — So after all the ad campaigns and hype since Ned Stark said “winter is coming” in the first episode, you’d think winter would be a little more exciting than this.  I did some research since I wrote my first episode recap and I’d like to apologize for a mistake.  I previously mentioned that it cost over a million dollars to produce a single episode of Game of Thrones, which is false…It’s actually around $10 million!  So after two years and $20 million, we still have had nothing but dramatic conversations in crypts and spicy love scenes off camera.

Let’s recap the second episode of this dull season:

•It was literally called “Game of Thrones 69” and ran for 69 minutes because the producers are just trolling us at this point.

•That Jaime drama was wrapped up in the actual first scene, which I (and everyone else) predicted after last episode.

•Jon Snow completely avoided his queen/aunt/lover until the last scene because he’s the child King in the North

•Sansa and Dany spoke about being powerful women in a conversation that still somehow failed the Bechdel test.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The allergy question







Have you been "dying" from allergies this spring more so than usual?

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Sunday blog: Can America really afford The New Deal

Commentary by John Munro, Sumner Newscow — One of our newest members of the House of Representatives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has introduced a proposal to make America a zero-carbon producing country by the next 10 to 12 years.  She believes that we need to do away with all fossil fuels, and switch over to non-polluting forms of energy, including solar and wind turbines, virtually do away with all internal combustion engines, refurbish all the homes in America to be much more energy efficient, build a system of high-speed rails just to name a few.

John Munro

Somehow, she believes that we can build high-speed rail systems that will cross the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, I suppose because she doesn’t think that we need aircraft anymore to travel.  Either that, or she wants us to just shut out the rest of the world, and we all stay here.  I still haven’t figured that one out.

In addition, she proposes creating jobs that pay an actual living wage to everyone who wants one, but at the same time, offering the same kind of disbursement for anyone who doesn’t seem to want to work anymore.  I haven’t figured that one out either.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The drug testing question







Do you think employers should conduct drug testing for potential employees?

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Sunday blog: Employee drug testing is searching your body without a warrant

Commentary by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — It is amazing most people would not let the police search their home or even their car without a warrant. So why then do we as a society allow employers to search our physical bodies without any cause at all, much less having a warrant to do so?

James Jordan

Drug testing violates the foundation of American law, which is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. There is little if any evidence that they do what they are intended to do.

Most employers require drug testing, and the courts pretty much support them in this. But if enough people spoke out against drug testing it could possibly change.

When you object to drug tests in the workplace, people think you are either trying to hide drug use or that you are in favor of drug use. Yet we don’t have the same attitude about our homes or vehicles.

Culturecow: It is one spooky edition

Commentary by Devin McCue, Sumner Newscow — Happy Friday. In D.C. this week, it’s the peak bloom season for our beautiful cherry blossom trees.  The landscape is littered with rose-pink petals and the skyline is replete with beautiful foliage.

Or at least it would be if it weren’t for the depressing gray sky and matching rains.  I’m not sure how it’s been in the lovely state of Kansas, but this ominous weather out east is really putting a damper on the Spring vibes everyone is supposed to be feeling.  So in that spirit, welcome to CultureCow: Spooky Edition (October doesn’t have a monopoly on being spooky).

Last year, Jordan Peele burst on to the scene with his breakout debut film Get Out.  No one was expecting the heir-apparent to Dave Chappelle’s comedy throne on Comedy Central would make a splash in the horror genre.  Instead, Get Out turned out to be both a politically poignant film and one that truly enthralled viewers and earned itself a few Oscar nominations. 

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The recycling in Wellington question







What best reflects your views of Wellington's new recycling rules?

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Sunday blog: Kid’s don’t become success robots

Editor’s Note: The following guest editorial titled “Kids don’t become success robots” was sent by a reader. It was featured in the Wall Street Journal, dated March 16-17, 2019, by Peggy Noonan — a national columnist.

 by Peggy Noonan, national columnist — A few thoughts on the college admissions scandal in which wealthy and accomplished parents allegedly lied, cheated and bribed to get their kids admitted to elite universities.

Peggy Noonan

I bet your reaction was like mine: An electric sense of “I didn’t know that was going on!” followed by an immediate “Of course that was going on!” Because there’s a lot of crazy money in dizzy hands, and there’s a lot of status involved in where your kids go to school.

It must be stressed that this is a scandal not of kids but of adults, fully functioning and wildly successful ones who knew what they were doing.

Here is something I think is part of the story. In the past decade or so I’ve observed a particular parenting style growing prevalent among the upper middle class and wealthy. It is intense. They love their kids and want the best for them. They want to be responsible, but there’s a degree to which one wonders if they don’t also see them as narcissistic extensions of themselves. They are hyperattentive, providing meticulous academic grooming – private schools, private tutors and coaches, private classes in Chinese language and cello. They don’t want their children fat – that isn’t healthy, by which they mean attractive. They communicate the civilized opinions of the best people and signal it would be best to hew to them.

Sumner Newscow weekly poll: The concealed carry lowering age question







Do you think the Kansas legislature should lower the age of concealed carry to 18?

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