19 Jul

My Stances on the Issues

Below is an overview of my stances on hot topic issues. If there are issues that you feel should be addressed which are not covered below, CONTACT ME and I’ll update this post to include the appropriate information.

ASYLUM AND IMMIGRATION

Illegal immigration, as it is commonly called, is often a last ditch effort by people attempting to protect their families and provide security, financial stability and an education for their children. For this reason, I choose to re-term those that fit in this category, as asylum seekers. Referring to them as illegal immigrants serves little purpose other than to dehumanize them, ignore their story, and make it easier to overlook their evil treatment at the hands of the government. America is the land of opportunity, and many in war torn, poverty stricken countries look to us with hope.

It is for this reason that I feel the need for the State to step up and provide protection to those who left everything behind to flee to us begging for security. Some even have family here that are legal citizens of our Nation and of our State, and I want to see them united with their families. Don’t get me wrong, I have no intent of sparring with the Federal government by following the mislead notions of other States in the creation of “sanctuary states”, however; as a sovereign State in the Union, we absolutely have the right to offer asylum to those in genuine need, through executive action. I fully intend to use that to the advantage of those asylum seekers, and to provide them with health care and education (secondary included), as well as implementing programs for educating the adults in a field whereby they may earn a living wage and provide for their families.

It is my goal to focus on the creation of a humane immigration enforcement system in the State of Kansas outside of ICE, whereby applications for asylum by natural born citizens of central American and South American nations residing in the State of Kansas are streamlined, require less processing time, and are more likely to be approved unless a complete lack of reason can be found. This will include pardoning them for their illegal entry and granting of asylum of those who up to this point have been “illegal” who apply for amnesty under the provision that they left their home country seeking safe haven, economic security, and asylum in this nation.

You can review my draft of an Executive Order to this effect HERE. This Executive Order naturally requires fine tuning, but I would prefer that Congress and the Senate sit down at the table and figure out a reasonable solution first, to the benefit of all residents of Kansas.

EDUCATION

Public education is in the hands of the State, and while Federal funding is important, we are not in need of oversight when it comes to what we need to teach our children. We as a State are more than able to encourage innovation and high achievement for each and every child in our system, without things like common core. We can and will find ways to improve the quality of education available during a child’s formative years so that they will be better equipped in their latter years to take advantage of every opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Education is the foundation of a free and prosperous society. Education directly correlates with job employability, social responsibility, cultural appreciation and societal contribution. Education level correlates to earnings potential and taxes paid back into public coffers.

Educational funding needs to be rolled back to the constitutional formula embraced in the 1992 school finance law. The school finance formula needs to be restructured as a dynamic tool that ensures adequate and fair funding for all districts, regardless of their respective wealth. A cost of living index should be built into the formula requiring the state to adjust spending annually. This will help us meet our constitutional responsibility to adequately fund public schools as the economy and other factors change. Education is one of the most important issues facing our state. With many districts facing school closure or cutbacks, we must increase funding for the educational system in general, as well as bringing our teacher salaries in line with the higher end of the national average to encourage current teachers to stay, and new teachers to come to our State.

Great teachers are the foundation of a great school. At the beginning of the 2017 school year, there were 1,500 teacher vacancies in Kansas. Young people willing to dedicate their lives to teaching the next generation has fallen dramatically, and Kansas must demonstrate it’s commitment to the profession by increasing salaries and benefits for educators. We must focus our resources on the expansion of quality education by encouraging experienced, well trained teachers to come to our State by offering an above average wage and other incentives, and provide higher wages and incentives to our existing, local teachers. Our classrooms should not be so poorly funded that teachers must pull from their personal sources of funding in order to make ends meet.

None of our children should have to wear coats in a school building during winter, or sweat excessively in a school building during summer. We must minimize the gap in funding between low income and upper class schools and equalize spending Statewide to provide the same opportunities for each and every child, no matter what side of the tracks they come from.

The Kansas Department of Education has requested that we hire 150 school counselors, social workers, or psychologists every year for five years. These positions are of the utmost importance to our students, particularly for their safety in school.

We must also ensure education for children of asylum seekers so that they will be equipped to become productive members of our society.

FIREARMS REGULATIONS

Teenagers cannot purchase or consume alcohol until the age of 21. It’s the age that our society has deemed “safe” or “mature”. Teens use guns for hunting and for target practice. Neither of those is an endeavor necessitating semi-automatic firearms. But there’s more to protecting our children than just keeping certain guns out of their hands, which a minimum age still won’t do, their parents will still be able to purchase them, thus granting the teenager access. We need to take a serious look at school safety measures that can be taken, and add to our mental and behavioral health offerings in the State of Kansas. If our behavioral and mental health professionals are better funded and have more awareness, they can work with law enforcement to ensure that troubled youth are carefully watched and guided.

I believe that we should completely ban bump stocks, or any other mechanical device that increases a firearms firing capacity, speed, or ability to inflict damage.

I fully support preventing anyone convicted of domestic violence or sexual assault from ever purchasing or possessing a firearm.

I fully support universal background checks for all firearms purchases, including those at gun shows.

We should, expand mental and behavioral health offerings in the State of Kansas. These licensed professionals would be able to work with law enforcement in regards to troubled youth, and make recommendations to judges up to and including suspension of the right to purchase any firearm until they can show that they are stable and in control of their mental health. We know that things like depression, anxiety etc. never go away, but once they can demonstrate that they are following their treatment plan, rights could be and SHOULD be restored.

We also need local Sheriff Departments, Highway Patrol, Police Departments etc. to communicate with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and work together with firearms retailers to form a sort of temporary (until the youth reaches adulthood) background check for troubled youth that will enable them to ensure that judges orders for certain troubled youth be upheld, and the youth unable to purchase firearms until such restriction is lifted.

For ALL gun owners, there needs to be annual mandatory training to ensure that safety and security as well as some level of marksmanship is maintained. Our law enforcement has to go through this, our Kansas National Guard has to go through this. There’s no reason why citizens should not do so as well.

Lastly, I believe that all gun owners should be required to carry a liability insurance similar to that of cars, specific to their class of firearm. A level for pistol, a level for shotgun, a level for rifle, and a level for semi-automatic. Not that they should have to register their guns, but disclose the highest class firearm they have in their household, and insure based upon the level. Then, if no insurance is carried and injury occurs, certain criminal and civil action can be taken, as in the case of an uninsured car that causes damage.

MARRIAGE

It is simple to invoke religious beliefs and prejudicial bias into our discussion related to same sex marriage. Our founding fathers based many of their decision on Judaeo-Christian thought, however; they specifically excluded religious law from the Constitution, and insisted upon a separation of Church and State. Marriage in the State of Kansas requires a license to be recognized by the State for purposes of ownership, responsibilities, taxes, inheritance and banking. To get out of a marriage, one must have the “contract” adjudicated and terminated by a court of law, rather than by a church or religious court.

That makes it clear that marriage as outlined by Kansas law is a matter of “contract law.” The State Constitution guarantees all persons of legal age the right to enter into a contract. Therefore, marriage by the State is an issue of contract law, and not of religious law. What occurs within the walls of a religious institution is up to the faith governing it. What occurs within the State is an issue of the Constitution, specifically the right to enter into contract Article I, Section 10. Everyone is guaranteed this equal right and treatment under the law.

Therefore, any person of legal age may enter into a marriage contract with any other person of legal age without any exception due to race, gender, faith etc. Therefore, with respect to Kansas marriage law, religious morality has no place in the end decision.

PREGNANCY TERMINATION

I am personally pro-life. I believe in life from the moment of conception to natural death. But I recognize that my religious beliefs are not something that I have any right to force on others, nor would I have any right to use Governmental office to force such views upon others. I recognize the right of women to choose to be mothers, and must conversely recognize their right to choose not to carry their children to term. Additionally, I have long recognized that there are instances, such as risk to the life of the mother, rape, and incest: where termination of the pregnancy may be considered by many, to be justifiable.

Where it comes to current State law, I have no intention of further limiting or changing what is on the books. I do not, however; agree with the use of any public funds for abortion providers as it imposes a public view based upon State endorsement. I also disagree with any abortion being performed upon a living child more than 20 weeks of embryonic development in keeping with the Federal “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act“. That being said, I fully support a woman’s right to access appropriate and competent medical care in keeping with any choice that she makes related to her offspring.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

It is the governments job, even at the State level to rights of the people to ensure free and fair elections, the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, communications media, petition for redress of grievances without fear of reprisal, the right to privacy, and the guarantee of the rights to adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, and health care for all persons in their care. But beyond that, it is the duty of those governing to ensure the life and dignity of every human life, most particularly, for the poor and the vulnerable. We need to review our laws and repeal any laws on the books which restrict the civil rights of any protected or unprotected class, and pass of new laws designed to safeguard those rights for all people and for our future.

Under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person may not be discriminated against due to the following: Age, Gender, Pregnancy, National Origin, Race, Color, Ethnic Background, Genetic Information Religious Beliefs, Sexual Orientation, or Physical/Mental Disability. These federal laws make it illegal for employers of a certain size to discriminate in all aspects of employment, including hiring, benefits, promotions, pay, discipline, and termination, but these laws as written only apply if you work for a private employer with at least 15 employees (or 20 employees, for age discrimination).

I want to see it expanded to cover each and every person regardless of how many employees and organization employs with particular attention to equal pay for females and minorities performing the same function as their male or majority counterpart. In order to specifically grant further aid to those who are most vulnerable within our State borders, I would like to see an end to sales tax on all food (not to include candies, pastries, sodas etc.), a lower gas tax, an increase to educational funding, an increase to health care funding, benefits and welfare to those most in need including those seeking asylum in our State.

During such time as previously undocumented asylum seekers are in our State, I want to see them educated, and trained in a craft that will enable them to make a wage which they can support their families on to ensure that they will function as productive members of our society, without fear of unreasonable arrest and deportation.

19 Jul

Semi-Automatic Firearms and Our Youth

Because of its use in school shootings, there’s a lot of misinformation about the AR-15. Upward of 3.5 million AR-15-style rifles currently exist in the United States.  AR does not stand for Assault Rifle. It stands for Armalite Rifle. The AR-15 is NOT an Assault Rifle. Assault Rifles support burst or full automatic fire. The AR-15 is merely a sporting rifle that is designed to look and function like an M16 or M4, except that is semi-automatic only. The AR-15 shoots a .223 Remington, a sporting round. The .223 Rem is often used for target shooting, varmint hunting, and occasionally deer hunting. The .223 Remington is actually less powerful than most deer hunting cartridges.

But the AR-15 is  technically not ideal for the hunting or home-defense uses. Though it can be used for hunting, the AR-15 isn’t really a hunting rifle. Its standard .223 caliber ammunition doesn’t offer much stopping power for anything other than small game. The official Bushmaster XM15 manual lists the maximum effective rate of fire at 45 rounds per minute. In terms of repelling a home invasion, an AR-15-style rifle is probably less useful than a handgun. The AR-15 is a long gun, and can be tough to maneuver in tight quarters. When you shoot it, it’ll over penetrate sending bullets through the walls of your house and possibly into the walls of your neighbor’s house. So while I won’t speak against those who own and love them, I will say that pushing for hunting/home-defense is a stretch, and simply because of the way that they’ve been employed by teenagers, I support preventing teens from purchasing or possessing any semi-automatic weapon.

The AR-15 used to be illegal. President Bill Clinton’s assault weapons ban, which was in effect from 1994 to 2004, banned the AR-15 and other guns that were too similar to military-style weapons. However, this law did not prohibit Americans from owning semi-automatic weapons; it capped how many military features an individual gun could have. A 2004 report commissioned by the Department of Justice on the effects of the assault weapons ban concluded that the law was largely ineffective at limiting access to weapons with the power of the AR-15. According to the report, the ban focused on “features that have little to do with the weapons’ operation, and removing those features is sufficient to make the weapons legal.” The report noted that several semi-automatic rifles were functionally equivalent to the AR-15 and untouched by the ban. The review for the DOJ concluded that bans on specific models or features of assault weapons had little to no discernible impact on gun deaths.

Following are my responses to a survey conducted by the Kansas City Star on February 28th of this year. I do not support the banning of the AR-15, AK-47 and other semi-automatic rifles, but I do support raising the age to purchase any semi-automatic rifle.

1. Do you support setting a minimum age of 21 to buy an AR-15 or other semi-automatic weapon?

Yes. Teenagers cannot purchase or consume alcohol until the age of 21. It’s the age that our society has deemed “safe” or “mature”. Teens use guns for hunting and for target practice. Neither of those is an endeavor necessitating semi-automatic firearms. But there’s more to protecting our children than just keeping certain guns out of their hands, which a minimum age still won’t do, their parents will still be able to purchase them, thus granting the teenager access. We need to take a serious look at school safety measures that can be taken, and add to our mental and behavioral health offerings in the State of Kansas. If our behavioral and mental health professionals are better funded and have more awareness, they can work with law enforcement to ensure that troubled youth are carefully watched and guided.

2. Do you see an AR-15 as a legitimate hunting weapon, as the Florida House speaker does?

I do not. They are a legitimate self defense weapon, and also a line of defense against tyranny, which was the purpose of the second amendment. But the purpose of hunting is not to make ground meat out of a creature that’s running from you, which is essentially what 400 rounds per minute would accomplish. I’m a hunter myself, and I’ve never needed more than a simple bolt action or muzzle loading rifle to bring down deer. And it the AR-15 is used for pursuing feral or predatory animals, it can be in the hands of an adult.

3. Do you support President Trump’s proposal to give teachers bonuses for carrying guns?

No. First of all, we can’t even provide enough money to schools so that teachers can ensure that all pupils have the materials that they need for projects. If we’re going to do anything for teachers, it’s going to be that we will increase funding to schools so that they don’t have to use their own funds on classroom materials. I am not opposed to their being permitted to protect their students, but tax dollars should be spent on arming teachers with resources to increase student knowledge and participation.

4. Are there other gun regulations you think should be added or improved?

There are several, the first being that I believe that we should completely ban bump stocks, or any other mechanical device that increases a firearms firing capacity, speed, or ability to inflict damage.

I fully support preventing anyone convicted of domestic violence or sexual assault from ever purchasing or possessing a firearm.

I fully support universal background checks for all firearms purchases, including those at gun shows.

We should, as mentioned before, expand mental and behavioral health offerings in the State of Kansas. These licensed professionals would be able to work with law enforcement in regards to troubled youth, and make recommendations to judges up to and including suspension of the right to purchase any firearm until they can show that they are stable and in control of their mental health. We know that things like depression, anxiety etc. never go away, but once they can demonstrate that they are following their treatment plan, rights could be and SHOULD be restored.

We also need local Sheriff Departments, Highway Patrol, Police Departments etc. to communicate with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and work together with firearms retailers to form a sort of temporary (until the youth reaches adulthood) background check for troubled youth that will enable them to ensure that judges orders for certain troubled youth be upheld, and the youth unable to purchase firearms until such restriction is lifted.

For ALL gun owners, there needs to be annual mandatory training to ensure that safety and security as well as some level of marksmanship is maintained. Our law enforcement has to go through this, our Kansas National Guard has to go through this. There’s no reason why citizens should not do so as well.

Lastly, I believe that all gun owners should be required to carry a liability insurance similar to that of cars, specific to their class of firearm. A level for pistol, a level for shotgun, a level for rifle, and a level for semi-automatic. Not that they should have to register their guns, but disclose the highest class firearm they have in their household, and insure based upon the level. Then, if no insurance is carried and injury occurs, certain criminal and civil action can be taken, as in the case of an uninsured car that causes damage.

5. Are there other gun regulations you think should be dropped or loosened?

I would like to see concealed carry made reciprocal so that we honor valid licenses from other states, and enter agreements whereby our licenses are recognized by others.

19 Jul

What is a Write-In Candidate? Can I Actually Vote for Them?

A write-in candidate in the State of Kansas, is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing, typing, stamping or affixing a sticker to the ballot in the person’s name. The State of Kansas requires write-in candidates be registered as official candidates before the election, by submitting an affidavit of write-in candidacy and paying a filing fee to the secretary of state.As per Kansas Statutes, Chapter 25, Article 3, Section 3, In order to have their votes tallied, certain write-in candidates must submit affidavits of candidacy. If a write-in candidate is running for governor, an affidavit must be filed with the Kansas Secretary of State by noon on the second Monday preceding the general election.
 
Kansas Statutes, Chapter 25, Article 3, 25-305:

(c) An affidavit of write-in candidacy for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall be filed with the secretary of state no later than 12:00 noon on the 2nd Monday preceding the general election for those offices.

(e) An affidavit of write-in candidacy for state offices elected on a statewide basis other than offices subject to subsection (c) shall be filed with the secretary of state no later than 12:00 noon on the second Monday preceding the election at which the write-in candidate seeks nomination or election.

Kansas Statutes, Chapter 25, Article 3, 25-305b:

Write-in candidates; affidavits for candidacy; filing. Persons who desire to be write-in candidates for president and vice-president of the United States or governor and lieutenant governor shall file an affidavit of write-in candidacy with the secretary of state no later than 12:00 noon on the second Monday preceding the general election for those offices.

I have fulfilled all requirements as written, having filed an affidavit of write-in candidacy with the Kansas Secretary of State, and having paid the appropriate filing fee. So yes, you absolutely CAN vote for me in the upcoming gubernatorial election in Kansas, and your vote will count! Remember to spell my first name correctly. Break it into three parts, the first two being names, the last being the United States.Theo – Phil – US“. Theophilus Floyd, for Governor, Natalie Floyd for Lieutenant Governor!

“If the voter’s intent can be derived from the ballot despite the fact the ballot does not contain a mark in the square to the left of the write-in candidate’s name, the ballot should be counted.”

“Votes cast for write-in candidates in areas using voting machines must be handwritten. K.S.A. 25-1330. The use of stickers for the purpose of casting votes for write-in candidates is prohibited in areas using voting machines.”

“Except as otherwise provided by law, if a voter desires to vote for a person whose name is not on the ballot, the voter shall write the name of such person in the blank space, if any is provided, under the appropriate title of the office. Failure to make a cross or check mark in the square to the left of such name shall not invalidate that portion of the ballot unless it is impossible to determine the voter’s intention.”

17 Jul

Candidate Profile: Theophilus Floyd for Governor of Kansas

Position: Candidate, Governor of Kansas
Party: Independent
Elections and appointments:
Next election: November 6, 2018
Personal Profession: Entrepreneur, Office Manager, Web/Graphic Designer, Book Store Proprietor
Contact: Website

Theophilus Floyd is a non-affiliated, independent write-in candidate for the Governor of Kansas. On July 16th, 2018, Theophilus announced his write-in candidacy. The primary election is being held on August 7, 2018. The general election will take place on November 6, 2018.

Biography

Theophilus Floyd was born in Wichita, Kansas, and his family has deep roots in the farming community in and around Cowley County, Kansas. Floyd has a Bachelor of Science in Developmental Psychology, a Master of Science in Applied Linguistics, and a Doctorate of Intercultural Studies. He is currently taking online classes in order to obtain a Master of Engineering. He has worked as a web designer since 2005, run a web hosting service since 2009, and recently began laying plans to open an upscale but inexpensive Book Store / Coffee Shop to encourage reading in youth and provide a nice relaxing and welcoming atmosphere for the people of Winfield. Floyd also works as an office manager for a local manufacturing firm in Winfield, Kansas.

2018 Campaign Themes

  • Immigration: “Illegal immigration, as it is commonly called, is often a last ditch effort by people attempting to protect their families and provide security, financial stability and an education for their children. For this reason, I choose to re-term those that fit in this category, as asylum seekers. Referring to them as illegal immigrants serves little purpose other than to dehumanize them, ignore their story, and make it easier to overlook their evil treatment at the hands of the government. America is the land of opportunity, and many in war torn, poverty stricken countries look to us with hope. Washington has done a terrible job of providing a way out through immigration and asylum. It is for this reason that I feel the need for the State to step up and provide protection to those who left everything behind to flee to us begging for security. Some even have family here that are legal citizens of our Nation and of our State, and I want to see them united with their families. Don’t get me wrong, I have no intent of sparring with the Federal government by following the mislead notions of other States in the creation of “sanctuary states”, however; as a sovereign State in the Union, we absolutely have the right to offer asylum to those in genuine need, through executive action. I fully intend to use that to the advantage of those asylum seekers, and to provide them with health care and education (secondary included), as well as implementing programmes for educating the adults in a field whereby they may earn a living wage and provide for their families. It is my goal to focus on the creation of a humane immigration enforcement system in the State of Kansas outside of ICE, whereby applications for asylum by natural born citizens of central American and South American nations residing in the State of Kansas are streamlined, require less processing time, and are more likely to be approved unless a complete lack of reason can be found. This will include pardoning them for their illegal entry and granting of asylum of those who up to this point have been “illegal” who apply for amnesty under the provision that they left their home country seeking safe haven, economic security, and asylum in this nation.”
  • Education: “Public education is in the hands of the State, and while Federal funding is important, we are not in need of oversight when it comes to what we need to teach our children. We as a State are more than able to encourage innovation and high achievement for each and every child in our system, without things like common core. We can and will find ways to improve the quality of education available during a child’s formative years so that they will be better equipped in their latter years to take advantage of every opportunity to achieve the American Dream. We must also focus our resources on the expansion of quality education by encouraging experienced, well trained teachers to come to our State by offering an above average wage and other incentives, and provide higher wages and incentives to our existing, local teachers. Our classrooms should not be so poorly funded that teachers must pull from their personal sources of funding in order to make ends meet. None of our children should have to wear coats in a school building during winter, or sweat excessively in a school building during summer. We must minimize the gap in funding between low income and upper class schools and equalize spending Statewide to provide the same opportunities for each and every child, no matter what side of the tracks they come from. We must educate children of asylum seekers so that they will be equipped to become productive members of our society.”
  • Social Justice: “It is the governments job, even at the State level to rights of the people to ensure free and fair elections, the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, communications media, petition for redress of grievances without fear of reprisal, the right to privacy, and the guarantee of the rights to adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, and health care for all persons in their care. But beyond that, it is the duty of those governing to ensure the life and dignity of every human life, most particularly, for the poor and the vulnerable. We need to review our laws and repeal any laws on the books which restrict the civil rights of any protected or unprotected class, and pass of new laws designed to safeguard those rights for all people and for our future. Under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person may not be discriminated against due to the following: Age, Gender, Pregnancy, National Origin, Race, Colour, Ethnic Background, Genetic Information Religious Beliefs, Sexual Orientation, or Physical/Mental Disability. These federal laws make it illegal for employers of a certain size to discriminate in all aspects of employment, including hiring, benefits, promotions, pay, discipline, and termination, but these laws as written only apply if you work for a private employer with at least 15 employees (or 20 employees, for age discrimination). I want to see it expanded to cover each and every person regardless of how many employees and organization employs with particular attention to equal pay for females and minorities performing the same function as their male or majority counterpart. In order to specifically grant further aid to those who are most vulnerable within our State borders, I would like to see an end to sales tax on all food (not to include candies, pastries, sodas etc.), a lower gas tax, an increase to educational funding, an increase to health care funding, benefits and welfare to those most in need including those seeking asylum in our State. During such time as previously undocumented asylum seekers are in our State, I want to see them educated, and trained in a craft that will enable them to make a wage which they can support their families on to ensure that they will function as productive members of our society, without fear of unreasonable arrest and deportation.”

Personal

Theophilus and his wife, Natalie, live in Winfield with their five daughters.

External links

AFFADAVIT OF WRITE-IN CANDIDACY – Filed with the Kansas Secretary of State

WG Affidavit of Write-In Candidacy
17 Jul

Write-In Candidacy, and Me…

To the people of the Great State of Kansas;

I am typing to you this morning as an independent write-in candidate for the office of Governor in this great State of Kansas. I decided upon my candidacy for Governor after reading through both the Democratic and Republican nominees and reviewing their stances on issues relating to social justice. I was shocked to see that Kansas politicians overwhelmingly (though not entirely) support the current Nationalistic style governance and handling of immigrants, guns, and nearly every issue which relates to general social justice and the dignity of the human. If you haven’t already, take a moment to review some of the stances of Kansas candidates for Governor HERE. You may be surprised by where your chosen candidate stands on issues. Don’t fall for media, ads, mailings and other propaganda. Educate yourself on what they’ve said and how they’ve voted in the past. That is a good indication of how they will govern. To see what is important to me, look HERE. If there is an issue not listed that you would like to know my stance on, please feel free to CONTACT ME.

Ten years ago, had such issues become a platform, Kansas would overwhelmingly have voted the candidate holding such sickening views out of office. However, we have been desensitized to morally corrupt legal action, violence, hatred and objectification. We have allowed the media and propaganda to dull the sharp point of our moral compass so that it no longer points true North, to the heavens. Suffering, even in our state, has become so commonplace that we quickly walk by unwilling to spare the slightest fraction of a moment or the slightest glance for fear that we may “catch” it. In so doing, we give a greater foothold to the  infection of suffering and allow it to spread rather than easing it. Fair and just relations between the individual and society is an absolute necessity for a well run and governed City, State, and Nation. It is the governments job, even at the State level to rights of the people to ensure free and fair elections, the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, communications media, petition for redress of grievances without fear of reprisal, the right to privacy, and the guarantee of the rights to adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, and health care for ALL persons in their care. But beyond that, it is the duty of those governing to ensure the life and dignity of every human life, most particularly, for the poor and the vulnerable.

This includes overhauling the common systems that everyone knows to be broken: prisons, health care, education and educational funding, gun laws, as well as more specific issues such as the extremely important work of racial reconciliation, aiming for equality in work and pay for all genders, races and orientations, and also the overlooked things which are presumed to be fully under national control and where people think that the sovereign state is powerless. Issues such as the granting of asylum by executive order for those who are truly fleeing injustice, war, famine/starvation, fear of life and limb, and other things from which their government should be protecting them, but which it has failed miserably with. I’m not suggesting a fight against Federal authority by creation of a sanctuary state, far from it. But we DO have the power to grant protection to the deserving, and we SHOULD be using it. This should not be about immigration reform, it should be about MORAL reform.

In order to help those that are vulnerable, I would like to see an end to sales tax on food, a lower gas tax, and tax cuts to farmers. I want to see an increase to educational funding, and an increase to health care, benefits and welfare to those most in need, including those seeking asylum in our State. During such time as undocumented immigrants are in our State, I want to see them educated, and trained in a craft that will enable them to make a wage which they can support their families on. I want to see our jails emptied of small time and first time offenders who are jailed on trumped up charges when all they had in their possession was a bag of marijuana and related paraphernalia. Our tax dollars can be better spent than in supporting a war on marijuana and the associated jailing costs. Our budget could also be greatly aided by the legalization of marijuana for ages 18+ by income from tax stamp sales for those legally registered individuals who raise and sell marijuana for recreational use, and our citizens suffering from cancer and neurological problems can be aided by the introduction of legal medical marijuana. I want to see a continued increase in our government’s transparency so that the citizens of this great State can see exactly what is being done, and where their tax dollars are being spent.  I want to see a repeal of laws on the books which restrict our civil rights, and the passage of new laws designed to safeguard those rights for our future.

WG Affidavit of Write-In Candidacy

I can not stand by and watch this great State continue to be eroded in values, morals and love. This is what I must do to try to effect change. I hope that the people of the State of Kansas will wake up and recognize their call to increase in love, in kindness and in concern for their neighbours. “The first [commandment] of all is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Mark 12:29-31) Now I know that no State can or should be run by a Theocratic rule, but conscience, reason and natural law align very closely with the tenants of faith, and I want to see a State, and dare I say a Nation, where these factors are what guides the end decision of each and every law maker.

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son:
Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred
which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love;
and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth;
that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony
around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Prayer for the Human Family (Book of Common Prayer, p. 815)

Though this is a Christian prayer, I believe that it’s one that we can all agree is a noble end goal for the State of Kansas. The removal of arrogance, hatred and separation, unity in love and compassion, harmony and peace. For ALL people. With no regard for race, religion, gender, orientation, economic background, national origin… We as a State can be the change that’s needed in the nation, but if we do nothing, if we continue to leave our governance to politicians whose opinions are swayed by deep pockets, who make promises to get elected and then ignore their constituents until time for re-election, nothing well ever change. It is up to us, at this point in this very grave National time and administration, to stand up and be counted as those good men and women who refuse to be silent in the face of evil. It’s time that Kansas conscience be restored, and that morality  become the guiding light of our State.

To speak frankly, I haven’t got a snowballs chance in hell of winning this great State (and would be happy to see that I even got two votes), but I cannot stand by silently and watch it go the way of hatred. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing.” I will not be one that does nothing. Those of you that pray, please pray for me, an unworthy sinner. Those of you that don’t, I ask only your well wishes as we work together to make this State a better, greater and more loving place to live, work, and play. With the stands on social justice related issues presented by other candidates, I can’t in good conscience, do nothing. Some of them are almost there, but most only focus on one “class”. If you believe in social justice, and agree in general with the Catholic / Episcopal / Orthodox stances on hot topic political issues related to equality and social justice, consider writing me in on your ballot on November 6, 2018. I want to make a difference. I hope you do as well.

03 Jul

103 Sites for Legally Downloading Literature

For those of you who are constantly on the go, and who have a kindle or a smartphone, I present you a list of 103 sites where you can legally download scores of literature, compliments of the “Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek” blog. And no, I don’t condone using this list to avoid coming to see me in my soon to open bookstore… I still expect to see you there having a cup of tea/coffee and reading a REAL book!

The Classics

Browse works by Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad and other famous authors here.

  1. Classic Bookshelf: This site has put classic novels online, from Charles Dickens to Charlotte Bronte.
  2. The Online Books Page: The University of Pennsylvania hosts this book search and database.
  3. Project Gutenberg: This famous site has over 27,000 free books online.
  4. Page by Page Books: Find books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells, as well as speeches from George W. Bush on this site.
  5. Classic Book Library: Genres here include historical fiction, history, science fiction, mystery, romance and children’s literature, but they’re all classics.
  6. Classic Reader: Here you can read Shakespeare, young adult fiction and more.
  7. Read Print: From George Orwell to Alexandre Dumas to George Eliot to Charles Darwin, this online library is stocked with the best classics.
  8. Planet eBook: Download free classic literature titles here, from Dostoevsky to D.H. Lawrence to Joseph Conrad.
  9. The Spectator Project: Montclair State University’s project features full-text, online versions of The Spectator and The Tatler.
  10. Bibliomania: This site has more than 2,000 classic texts, plus study guides and reference books.
  11. Online Library of Literature: Find full and unabridged texts of classic literature, including the Bronte sisters, Mark Twain and more.
  12. Bartleby: Bartleby has much more than just the classics, but its collection of anthologies and other important novels made it famous.
  13. Fiction.us: Fiction.us has a huge selection of novels, including works by Lewis Carroll, Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Flaubert, George Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others.
  14. Free Classic Literature: Find British authors like Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, plus other authors like Jules Verne, Mark Twain, and more.

Textbooks

If you don’t absolutely need to pay for your textbooks, save yourself a few hundred dollars by reviewing these sites.

  1. Textbook Revolution: Find biology, business, engineering, mathematics and world history textbooks here.
  2. Wikibooks: From cookbooks to the computing department, find instructional and educational materials here.
  3. KnowThis Free Online Textbooks: Get directed to stats textbooks and more.
  4. Online Medical Textbooks: Find books about plastic surgery, anatomy and more here.
  5. Online Science and Math Textbooks: Access biochemistry, chemistry, aeronautics, medical manuals and other textbooks here.
  6. MIT Open Courseware Supplemental Resources: Find free videos, textbooks and more on the subjects of mechanical engineering, mathematics, chemistry and more.
  7. Flat World Knowledge: This innovative site has created an open college textbooks platform that will launch in January 2009.
  8. Free Business Textbooks: Find free books to go along with accounting, economics and other business classes.
  9. Light and Matter: Here you can access open source physics textbooks.
  10. eMedicine: This project from WebMD is continuously updated and has articles and references on surgery, pediatrics and more.

Math and Science

Turn to this list to find books about math, science, engineering and technology.

  1. FullBooks.com: This site has “thousands of full-text free books,” including a large amount of scientific essays and books.
  2. Free online textbooks, lecture notes, tutorials and videos on mathematics: NYU links to several free resources for math students.
  3. Online Mathematics Texts: Here you can find online textbooks like Elementary Linear Algebra and Complex Variables.
  4. Science and Engineering Books for free download: These books range in topics from nanotechnology to compressible flow.
  5. FreeScience.info: Find over 1800 math, engineering and science books here.
  6. Free Tech Books: Computer programmers and computer science enthusiasts can find helpful books here.

Children’s Books

Even children’s books are now available online. Find illustrated books, chapter books and more.

  1. byGosh: Find free illustrated children’s books and stories here.
  2. Munseys: Munseys has nearly 2,000 children’s titles, plus books about religion, biographies and more.
  3. International Children’s Digital Library: Find award-winning books and search by categories like age group, make believe books, true books or picture books.
  4. Lookybook: Access children’s picture books here.

Philosophy and Religion

For books about philosophy and religion, check out these websites.

  1. Bored.com: Bored.com has music ebooks, cooking ebooks, and over 150 philosophy titles and over 1,000 religion titles.
  2. Ideology.us: Here you’ll find works by Rene Descartes, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, David Hume and others.
  3. Free Books on Yoga, Religion and Philosophy: Recent uploads to this site include Practical Lessons in Yoga and Philosophy of Dreams.
  4. The Sociology of Religion: Read this book by Max Weber, here.
  5. Religion eBooks: Read books about the Bible, Christian books, and more.

Plays

From Shakespeare to George Bernard Shaw to more contemporary playwrights, visit these sites.

  1. ReadBookOnline.net: Here you can read plays by Chekhov, Thomas Hardy, Ben Jonson, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and others.
  2. Plays: Read Pygmalion, Uncle Vanya or The Playboy of the Western World here.
  3. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: MIT has made available all of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, and histories.
  4. Plays Online: This site catalogs “all the plays [they] know about that are available in full text versions online for free.”
  5. ProPlay: This site has children’s plays, comedies, dramas and musicals.

Modern Fiction, Fantasy and Romance

These websites boast collections of graphic novels, romance novels, fantasy books and more.

  1. Public Bookshelf: Find romance novels, mysteries and more.
  2. The Internet Book Database of Fiction: This forum features fantasy and graphic novels, anime, J.K. Rowling and more.
  3. Free Online Novels: Here you can find Christian novels, fantasy and graphic novels, adventure books, horror books and more.
  4. Foxglove: This British site has free novels, satire and short stories.
  5. Baen Free Library: Find books by Scott Gier, Keith Laumer and others.
  6. The Road to Romance: This website has books by Patricia Cornwell and other romance novelists.
  7. Get Free Ebooks: This site’s largest collection includes fiction books.
  8. John T. Cullen: Read short stories from John T. Cullen here.
  9. SF and Fantasy Books Online: Books here include Arabian Nights, Aesop’s Fables and more.
  10. Free Novels Online and Free Online Cyber-Books: This list contains mostly fantasy books.

Foreign Language

For books in a foreign language like French, Spanish and even Romanian, look here.

  1. Project Laurens Jz Coster: Find Dutch literature here.
  2. ATHENA Textes Francais: Search by author’s name, French books, or books written by other authors but translated into French.
  3. Liber Liber: Download Italian books here. Browse by author, title, or subject.
  4. Biblioteca romaneasca: Find Romanian books on this site.
  5. Bibliolteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes: Look up authors to find a catalog of their available works on this Spanish site.
  6. KEIMENA: This page is entirely in Greek, but if you’re looking for modern Greek literature, this is the place to access books online.
  7. Proyecto Cervantes: Texas A&M’s Proyecto Cervantes has cataloged Cervantes’ work online.
  8. Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum: Access many Latin texts here.
  9. Project Runeberg: Find Scandinavian literature online here.
  10. Italian Women Writers: This site provides information about Italian women authors and features full-text titles too.
  11. Biblioteca Valenciana: Register to use this database of Catalan and Valencian books.
  12. Ketab Farsi: Access literature and publications in Farsi from this site.
  13. Afghanistan Digital Library: Powered by NYU, the Afghanistan Digital Library has works published between 1870 and 1930.
  14. CELT: CELT stands for “the Corpus of Electronic Texts” features important historical literature and documents.
  15. Projekt Gutenberg-DE: This easy-to-use database of German language texts lets you search by genres and author.

History and Culture

Refresh your memory of world history, the classics and U.S. history here.

  1. LibriVox: LibriVox has a good selection of historical fiction.
  2. The Perseus Project: Tufts’ Perseus Digital Library features titles from Ancient Rome and Greece, published in English and original languages.
  3. Access Genealogy: Find literature about Native American history, the Scotch-Irish immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, and more.
  4. Free History Books: This collection features U.S. history books, including works by Paul Jennings, Sarah Morgan Dawson, Josiah Quincy and others.
  5. Most Popular History Books: Free titles include Seven Days and Seven Nights by Alexander Szegedy and Autobiography of a Female Slave by Martha G. Browne.

Rare Books

Look for rare books online here.

  1. Questia: Questia has 5,000 books available for free, including rare books and classics.

Arts and Entertainment

This list features books about celebrities, movies, fashion and more.

  1. Books-On-Line: This large collection includes movie scripts, newer works, cookbooks and more.
  2. Chest of Books: This site has a wide range of free books, including gardening and cooking books, home improvement books, craft and hobby books, art books and more.
  3. Free e-Books: Find titles related to beauty and fashion, games, health, drama and more.
  4. 2020ok: Categories here include art, graphic design, performing arts, ethnic and national, careers, business and a lot more.
  5. Free Art Books: Find artist books and art books in PDF format here.
  6. Free Web design books: OnlineComputerBooks.com directs you to free web design books.
  7. Free Music Books: Find sheet music, lyrics and books about music here.
  8. Free Fashion Books: Costume and fashion books are linked to the Google Books page.

Mystery

Here you can find mystery books from Sherlock Holmes to more contemporary authors.

  1. MysteryNet: Read free short mystery stories on this site.
  2. TopMystery.com: Read books by Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, GK Chesterton and other mystery writers here.
  3. Mystery Books: Read books by Sue Grafton and others.

Poetry

These poetry sites have works by Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe and others.

  1. The Literature Network: This site features forums, a copy of The King James Bible, and over 3,000 short stories and poems.
  2. Poetry: This list includes “The Raven,” “O Captain! My Captain!” and “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde.”
  3. Poem Hunter: Find free poems, lyrics and quotations on this site.
  4. Famous Poetry Online: Read limericks, love poetry, and poems by Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Lord Byron and others.
  5. Google Poetry: Google Books has a large selection of poetry, from The Canterbury Tales to Beowulf to Walt Whitman.
  6. QuotesandPoem.com: Read poems by Maya Angelou, William Blake, Sylvia Plath and more.
  7. CompleteClassics.com: Rudyard Kipling, Allen Ginsberg and Alfred Lord Tennyson are all featured here.
  8. PinkPoem.com: On this site, you can download free poetry ebooks.

Miscellaneous

For even more free book sites, check out this list.

  1. Banned Books: Here you can follow links of banned books to their full text online.
  2. World eBook Library: This monstrous collection includes classics, encyclopedias, children’s books and a lot more.
  3. DailyLit: DailyLit has everything from Moby Dick to the more recent phenomenon, Skinny Bitch.
  4. A Celebration of Women Writers: The University of Pennsylvania’s page for women writers includes Newbery winners.
  5. Free Online Novels: These novels are fully online and range from romance to religious fiction to historical fiction.
  6. ManyBooks.net: Download mysteries and other books for your iPhone or eBook reader here.
  7. Authorama: Books here are pulled from Google Books and more. You’ll find history books, novels and more.
  8. Prize-winning books online: Use this directory to connect to full-text copies of Newbery winners, Nobel Prize winners and Pulitzer winners.
03 Jul

COMING SOON: Cowley New & Used Book Cafe

As most of you who know me are aware, I’m a bit of an entrepreneur. I’ve been starting and selling or starting and running businesses since 2005. It’s a rather a large obsession. And it’s always been about what can earn the most money to best support my family. But there’s always been one dream which I haven’t ever tried to make a reality, because; while it’s been a dream of mine since I was a child, it never seemed profitable. That dream: to run a little bookstore / cafe.  The older I get, the less I care about making piles of money. Sure, I have five daughters, and will need something along the lines of Scrooge McDuck, but I’ve just hit that spot in my life where money is not a motivating force. So now I’m ready to make it happen.

It’s been years in the dreaming, months in the planning. I’ve got my vendor accounts all set up for new books. I’ve got suppliers for the goods necessary to bake and to brew. I’ve got all of the health codes down. I’ve found someone that knows how to procure good, used, stainless steel kitchen supplies. I’ve got a website placeholder up and a pretty good following on a Facebook Page. I’m ready. So ready in fact, that I’ve got boxes upon boxes of new and used books just piled in my office waiting for a space to spread out and get comfy in. I’ve got my eyes on the historic Myton building.  It’s a real chunk of Winfield history, and one of the very few buildings of it’s age which isn’t on the register of historic places. Something which, if I’m able to purchase, I intend to change! More on the building’s history in a bit.

I’ve been working the last month or so on building up community involvement to get people excited in the coming bookstore, and also, to five them an opportunity to help shape what the bookstore will become. The first thing that I did was presented several possible logos and variations, and asked them to vote on it. The response was more than I could have expected! The logo that you see to the left is what came from the voting, as our final logo which will be displayed on our sign and all of our paperwork.

Next, I asked people a little about what they’d like to have in the store as far as books, drinks and baked goods. Again, there was a pretty decent response, and I’ve compiled a list of what the participants said, so that we can make sure that each and every requested item is represented in the book store and cafe. I know that I’m excited about quite a few of the items, and I’m sure that you will be too. Take a look with what some in our community responded, and keep in mind that if YOU have suggestions, I would absolutely love to hear from you. Email me!

I’ve also spoken with a middle school and a high school librarian, and will be getting involved with the William Allen White Children’s Book Award program, and will be sure to stock the books on the list. To encourage our young readers, we’ll even be offering an incentive program – purchase four books on the list, get a fifth free! It doesn’t have to be all at once, we’ll hand out punch cards!

1. What type of beverages would you like to see made available at 7:00 AM, and what type at noon?

Black tea, green tea, and herbal tea (rose, lavender, peppermint, etc) (brewed/iced whole leaf). Juices, agua frescas, water infusions. Beverages for the kids such as homemade lemonade. Coffee and hot tea are important in the morning, and maybe that along with iced tea and lemonade later in the day! Coffee. Some interesting flavors similar to R Coffee House in Wichita, which has Mayan coffee with chocolate, cinnamon, brown sugar, and cayenne.
2. What type of pastries would you like to see made available at 7:00 AM, and what type at noon?
For sweet things,pear-ginger, blueberry-lemon, etc so the flavors are the star, not the sugar. For savory, meat or egg or other protein-based. Option of something with protein/fiber rather than all carbs. Apple turnovers sound delicious. And sugar cookies! Homemade pies would be amazing!! And scones are always winners. Cinnamon rolls, too. A lot of people are more health conscious or have dietary concerns these days. Gluten free and low/no sugar options would be nice. Blueberry scones, the lemon and blueberry combo already mentioned, and things with unusual or exotic flavors. Maple bacon cookies are so good. Savory or spicy treats would be nice, too.
3. When it comes to NEW books, what genre would you like to see stocked up on?
Mystery (built on drama and antagonism, rather than dark gory details and/or heavy romance) Angels and Demons, Vampire or SEALs stories. Suspense and romance. Humor selection for kids. Graphic novels for elementary age kids. Mysteries and crime fiction, as well as some best sellers! Fantasy and Sci-fi! Paperback children’s books! Young adult literature, science fiction, dystopian, mystery/suspense, books with emphasis on different perspectives.
4. Any particular NEW book titles you’d like to see?
Janet Evanovich, Ray Bradbury. Nicholas Sparks, Dog Man. Titles from Great American Read initiative! The Book of Unknown Americans, Refugee, All American Boys Killers of the Flower Moon. Raina Telgemeier books. The Wild Robot 1 & 2
5. Do you think we should get a small selection of comic books? If so, what titles/heroes in particular?
X-men, Marvel Comics,, Marvel comics. Batman. Some Avengers comics, as they are so popular now. Some of their lesser-known heroes! Some graphic novels would be nice. I haven’t read many of these, but I really enjoyed American Born Chinese.
6. What type of music would you like to hear when you visit?
Slow jazz / world music. Acoustic or relaxing music. Mellow folk and old jazz like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong! Indie, alternative rock, and contemporary folk. I like the jazz suggestion, too, but not that soft piano all over the place jazz with no soul.
Another thing that I’ve been approached about, by two separate individuals now, is  hosting book clubs. So let me say, YES! I’m totally open to hosting book clubs and providing coffee and treats to our readers. I’d even be willing to offer some after hours time slots, with 72 hours notice. I am willing to do anything I can to encourage reading! I would also like to offer space to local Cowley County authors for the purpose of selling their books, as well as to host book signings. So if you would like to have a book club, or if you know a local artist, PLEASE let me know! I’ll even be selling two of my titles there, one printed, and one being edited to get ready to go to press soon!
This will be a family book store, and my two elder daughters will be assisting in its day to day operations. One of their friends will be assisting with the coffee bit (a barista – ooh, fancy!) and a family friend will be doing the baking. She’s 65, and her pastries are absolutely divine. I am positive that once the smell of the oven vents outside, no one will be able to resist coming in and having a look around while stuffing their faces. And as to organization and general customer service, those of you who frequented the Myton building when it was Hometown True Value, may well see a face that you’ll recognize! More on the names and the experience of our staff at a later date. Now on to the fun stuff, the history of the building that I hope to purchase to host this dream!

HISTORY OF THE S.H. MYTON BUILDING

About the original owner / builder:

Samuel Huston Myton was born on July 18th, 1844 in Pennsylvania to Samuel Myton and Elanor Montgomery.

At the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the three months’ service. Was mustered out at the expiration of his term of service, and in 1862 re-enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. He participated in the engagements of Gettysburg and Antietam, and was mustered out at the close of the war.

He was subsequently engaged in merchandising in Pennsylvania for four years. He came to Kansas in 1869, beginning in Emporia. Soon he moved to Cottonwood Falls. In 1871, he relocated to Winfield and engaged in the hardware business,

Samuel married Mary C. Read, daughter of the banker, M. L. Read, Esq. and Joanna Read, (born January 27, 1851, in Illinois) on June 20,1875 in at the Read residence in Winfield. They went on to have three children. The girls were called Josie Myton (June 21, 1877) and Lulu G. Myton (January 25, 1879 [Rucker]). The boy was called Read H. Myton (November 18th, 1884).

In 1878, Samuel served as a Chaplain for the Knights of Honor, and he was Commander of the First Vail in the Royal Arch Masons.

He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Chapter and Commandery, the Royal Arcanum, Knights of Honor and the National Union. He served a member of the City Council, having been elected April 3, 1879 to second ward.

Samuel passed away on January 12th, 1936 and is interred in the Highland Mausoleum.

He was spoken well of, and the following are excerpts from newspaper clippings regarding his hardware store:

“He has a magnificent brick store, which he owns, as well as much other real estate, and his stock embraces everything in the hardware line, in large quantities. His sales are probably greater than any other house in the line in Southwest Kansas. He has built up this trade and an honorable name for himself by his personal attention to business, fair dealing, sagacity, and enterprise.”

“The wants of farmers can now be supplied as well as those of small dealers in other towns, without the time, labor, and expense of a trip to the railroad, by calling on Mr. Myton. His acquaintances throughout the county and reputation for honest dealing with customers, together with his liberality to the press, is a guarantee of a successful business the coming season.”

“S. H. Myton is the great hardware and agricultural implement dealer of the Southwest. He has built up a magnificent business in this city because he is reliable and honorable in his dealings, keeps the best of everything in his line, sells at satisfactory prices, and, above all, advertises liberally.”

Complete timeline of the present building:

Samuel H. Myton purchased the lot on March 28, 1873 for $2,700.00 and began planning for construction at that time.

Construction of the building was begun on or about July 31, 1874, by Stewart & Simpson, Architect Cook.

“It will be entirely of cut stone, 75 x 90, two stories. The first story will contain two rooms, one 25 feet wide, and the other 50, the first to be occupied by Mr. Myton’s general hardware stock and the second by his agricultural implements. Jim Conner has the stone work contract and agrees to finish it in ninety days. The building will cost about twenty thousand dollars.”

  • On August 28, 1874, the excavation of the basement begun by T. O. Hill.
  • On September 4, 1874, basement excavation was completed.
  • On May 15, 1884, the application for building permit was granted.
  • On September 18, 1874, the basement walls were completed, and construction of the main and upper level began.
  • On November 16, 1874, the contractors, Stewart & Simpson, completed the building.
  • On November 19, 1874, the exterior stonework was completed.
  • On December 31, 1874, the interior plaster work was completed.
  • On January 07, 1875, the Masons moved into the upper level
  • On January 28, 1875, G. W. Prater and Irv. Randall began building and installing shelving.
  • On February 18, 1875, the hardware store officially opened.
  • On December 23, 1875, Myton purchased a new fire and burglar proof safe for use in the store.
  • On November 10, 1881, a new cornice was added.
  • On November 26, 1885, the valuation of the store was adjusted by the county, to $25,000.00.
  • On February 07, 1920, the Winfield Masons purchased the S. H. Myton Building, and have owned it since.

The building was quite popular. Below are some excerpts from newspaper clippings:

“The contractors, Stewart & Simpson, have completed the brick work on Myton’s new building. The building is two stories in height—the first story 15 feet, the second 13 feet—and 25 x 60 feet in size. The walls were carried up to the top 18 inches in thickness to stand fire, and the front has cut block stone corners, and iron columns. It is a credit to the owner, the builders, and the town.”

“The handsome stone block of S. H. Myton is nearing completion and greatly improves the appearance of Main Street. When Mr. Myton gets his vast stock under this roof, about January first, he will have a hardware and implement establishment eclipsing any in the West.”

“Without doubt the finest paving stones in the Walnut Valley are being delivered in front of Sam Myton’s new brick. The flagging is five or six inches thick, six feet wide, and from nine to fifteen feet long.”

“Mr. Myton came to Cowley in 1871 and this business has grown from a small beginning to one of proportions unexcelled by any hardware and implement house in the State. Some years ago, he erected the substantial brick he now occupies, but after building on as much as possible, he found the building yet too small for his immense and growing business. Last year he commenced the erection of the fine cut stone block on the corner of 8th Avenue and Main, where he is now nearing completion and is one of the most imposing ornaments in the business part of the city. Its cost is over twenty thousand dollars and when Mr. Myton gets his mammoth stock on that eighteen thousand square feet of floor it will be a showing fit to tickle the pride of any city, and especially the man who has had the ability, business tact, and energy to accomplish such results. He will occupy the whole building; three rooms on each floor, 2 x 80. Elevators run from the basement to the third floor and everything is arranged with especial conveniences for his business. Mr. Myton has certainly grown with Cowley; and, like her, his growth has been through worthy and deserved popularity. S. H. Myton is this week removing his immense hardware and implement stock to his handsome new building on north Main. When he gets “fixed up,” his establishment will stand superior to any of its kind in Kansas.”

“S. H. Myton has got settled down to business in his new building, and we think we are safe in saying that he now has one of the finest hardware stores in the state. Everything pertaining to the building is fitted up in the best possible manner and kept in “apple-pie order.” Sam is a reliable, capable, and energetic businessman, and he understands his business well enough to know that the way to control trade and make money is to keep handling the goods even though the profits are small. See his new advertisement elsewhere.”

“When you step into Sam Myton’s splendid new brick now, the first thing you see is the ever-smiling face of Mr. J. P. Short, who will wait on you so pleasantly that you feel like spending your last nickel there.”

31 May

R.I.P. Ginger, Beloved Cat and Friend

As most of you are aware… My cat died. 😿 💔 05/27/2018 @ 15:47. I loved my cat very much, and spent a great deal of time and effort on ensuring her comfort. She died surrounded by all of us who loved her.

She was sitting on the piano bench, then her head drooped forward and her front legs went straight. She flopped off of the bench and landed on her head and back. She seized for a bit, then began breathing heavily with saliva pouring out of her mouth. We petted her and comforted her. When her breathing stopped, I attempted CPR, but to no avail. There was nothing to be done.

We buried her under her favourite evergreen where she caught the most birds and would sleep on hot summer days. I engraved a large rock with her name, and we placed flowers. I see her grave every morning when I leave for work and when I come home for lunch/leave after lunch and after work, and I grieve as if it just happened all over again. I’m miserable without her. I miss her terribly.

She slept on my lap every night, and awoke me every morning at precisely 06:30. At 07:30 she would sit by the child gate waiting for me to open it, then she’d trot to the front door and wait for me to let her out. When I got home for lunch, she was there waiting to greet me, rub against my legs, and sit in the kitchen meowing to me as I cooked my lunch.  She was ready to go back outside when I left for work, and when I got home in the evening, there she was, rolling around on the ground tempting me to scratch her belly, then digging her claws in when I did. She’d wander around, sit by my chair during supper, and then wait for me to lay down so she could snuggle.

It’s so different and so empty without her…

01 May

What’s Wrong with MeWe?

I’m sure that by now, most of you have seen people posting on Facebook and Google+ about a “new” (actually around since 2014, possibly as early as 2012) Social Network called MeWe. The MeWe Social Network, found online at https://MeWe.com, is a social network that claims to provide their customers with all the benefits of traditional social networks but without any of the “creepy” data collection and “spying.”  According to my Firefox plugins, they keep that promise pretty well, with a privacy rating of ‘B’.

According to their website, the creators of the MeWe Social Network said that they were upset that the big technology companies and social networks were treating their users and customers as commodities. They believed that it was wrong that they thought they were welcome to “target, track, spy, and sell” customer information to advertisers and the government. They wanted to create a social network that provided all the benefits that people wanted from a social network, but where they could feel truly safe and respected, so they created what they call the world’s first private communication network.

Well, I decided to give it a test drive and see what it is all about. It’s being touted as the “Facebook Replacement” the same way Mastodon claimed to be the replacement for Twitter. OK, I though… I’ll bite.

ACCOUNT CREATION

First of all, account creation is very simple and straight forward. It is missing the typical “sign up with Facebook” garbage, which is a breath of fresh air. Enter your name, pass, email etc. as per typical, and wait for a confirmation email. Click the confirmation link, and you’re all set up. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

PROFILE SETUP

As we have come to expect from most typical social networks, it’s a matter of going to your profile page, clicking edit, then typing away, and uploading images.

POSTING

Posting again, is very staightforward. You can, as in most social media, select who you want to see your posts, add photos, use text etc. There’s nothing new or different about how it’s done in MeWe. Everyone that uses Twitter, Facebook or Google+ should feel right at home.

INTERFACE

To be honest, the interface feels a lot like the old MySpace layout. It needs a lot of work to be aesthetically pleasing, but it is functional.

PROS

MeWe is vailable in 6 languages.
Safety and Privacy is their main priority.
They provide many features in which users can customize their own privacy settings.
MeWe does not track data.
Customizable personal news feed.
Apps are available for Android and IOS.

CONS

MeWe is just not as known as other social networking websites.
Bugs and Glitches are often experienced on its mobile applications and platform itself.
The Apps are not as full featured as the desktop site.
The interface in general, needs improvement.

CONCLUSION

All of this sounds pretty typical, right? So what’s wrong with MeWe? Well, there are a few small things. The chat feature and group talk are ridiculously annoying as there is a notification for every response to every group you join. It can be turned off, but you will miss things you WANT to see. And worst of all, in my opinion, is that the interface has changed VERY LITTLE since launch. Some would see that as a benefit, particularly the older crowd that screams and moans every time Facebook updates layout. But to me, it’s just stagnant.

The biggest problem with MeWe, however; is simply that it just isn’t Facebook. Let’s face it, most of our friends and family are on Facebook, and they are comfortable there. They don’t want to just switch social networking sites despite Facebook practices related to privacy. They have all of their family and friends on Facebook, and their family and friends aren’t going to switch, so why should they? They post often about how MeWe is growing, but despite its increasing size, how many of us can say that a greater percentage of our family and friends are using it?

MeWe is great. It’s easy to join groups, control who you share with, control what you see… but even the people with a large following have only around 150 friends. So what’s wrong with MeWe? If you’re willing to overlook the lack of bug fixes and simple interface tweaks over the course of at least four years, that leaves simply that it isn’t Facebook. MeWe is a safe social networking site that you should check out and try especially if you are interested in sharing and communicating with your friends and family without compromising your personal privacy, but I wish you the best of luck getting more than 5% of your friends and family to join.

20 Apr

Floyd Enterprises, Inc.

Floyd Enterprises, Inc. is a consulting and design firm that I formed several years ago in order to serve large organizations. I specialize in graphic and web design, photography and interior design. I formed the organization with the express mission to provide a completely seamless identity from business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices and more along with a matching themed website or online store.

Floyd Enterprises, Inc. recently formed a new subsidiary company, Floyd Hosting Solutions. Our service is powered by GoDaddy servers, so you can rely on 99.9% uptime, and award winning support. We will now be hosting all of our customer websites through Floyd Hosting Solutions. Our new partnership with GoDaddy has enabled us to offer several cost effective WordPress packages for customers that have no need for other services, as well as Plesk or cPanel hosting packages.

As of January 1st, 2018; all business formally conducted by our separate organizations was officially consolidated as Floyd Enterprises, Inc. in order to allow all of our branches to work together seamlessly, bill seamlessly and offer services that were previously unavailable. This consolidation opens new doors to our web customers in particular, allowing for a subscription that will give them frequent updates to their site with sales, holidays, seasonal specials, and blogging. Additionally, we can now design your office, your employees work space, your business cards, your letterhead, your invoices and all ads for magazine or newsprint, as well as host your business website and email so that you have a matching look and feel from your office to your website.

We’re actively seeking new customers. If you think you may benefit from any or all of our services, please contact me for a free, no obligation quote. I look forward to serving your needs!

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