Blog Catalog

Monday, August 19, 2019

Immigrants Are Bad For America, Mr. Trump?

Immigrants are bad for America? Bad for our country? Our nation? Really, Mr. Trump? Republicans?

Forget that we're a nation of immigrants, of course, this article points out exactly why we, uh, actually NEED IMMIGRANTS?

A bit from the article:

“The disconnect between Maine’s aging population and its need for young workers to care for that population is expected to be mirrored in states throughout the country over the coming decade, demographic experts say. And that’s especially true in states with populations with fewer immigrants, who are disproportionately represented in many occupations serving the elderly, statistics show.

Care workers in Maine were paid about $11.37 an hour in 2017, according to an AARP report, with a 2019 minimum wage of $11 an hour. As Kristi Penny, who has cared for Honey for four years, noted over the phone: ‘Even Dunkin’ Donuts pays you more.’

So actually, folks--this is especially to the anti-immigrant crowd--AMERICA COULD USE AND IN FACT, NEEDS IMMIGRANTS.

You racist rocket scientists.
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Quote of the Day -- Pertinent Edition

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"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise to the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country."

--Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Chiefs Rightly Get Some Great Press This Weekend

I saw this Associated Press article in today's New York Times. I had to search it out. Turns out, it was all over multiple media sites.

Patrick Mahomes

A bit from the article:

The Kansas City Chiefs needed a playmaking safety and signed coveted free agent Tyrann Mathieu.

They needed help at cornerback and signed Bashaud Breeland and Morris Claiborne.

They had to address the pass rush and extended the contract of defensive end Frank Clark.

That aggressive approach to roster turnover speaks volumes about the job Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has done in Kansas City. But it also speaks volumes to the fact that the Chiefs, for years a franchise that struggled to lure top talent on the open market against higher-profile teams, has become a destination for players seeking playoff glory and Super Bowl rings.

"I wanted to come to a team that had great talent, great core players," explained Mathieu, who signed a $42 million, three-year contract in March. "Any time you can play for an organization that has a great history and obviously a great quarterback that's really going to take this league over, really by storm — really this was a no-brainer for me and my family."

In fact, that may be the biggest reason everyone seems to want to play in Kansas City: the unique combination of an innovative players' coach in Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, whose record-setting debut as the starter portends postseason success for years to come.

"They've got a good ball club and the best offense in the league," said Claiborne, a former first-round draft pick who signed a $3 million deal late last week.

It goes on.

Yes sir, it's great. We're sitting on the doorstep of what could and maybe should be one stellar football year here in town.

Sure, they lost last night. 

They played their B string, at least. Mahomes played the first half only. The first half of the first quarter.

Stay tuned.

For anyone out there, KC blogger or whomever, who wants to poo-poo this team needs to stay tuned.

They'll likely be eating crow soon enough.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

All the Ways America Is "Exceptional"

That last "American Exceptionalism" post here yesterday got me thinking. In fact, I've been thinking about it for some time. So on that thought, let's have a list of some of the biggest things we're "number one" at, America.

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  • We pay more for health care as a percentage of GDP than any other nation
  • Only nation wherein people go bankrupt for healthcare costs
  • Only nation with the highest amount of bankruptcies due to healthcare costs
  • More guns than any other nations, per capita
  • More shootings than any other nation
  • More killings, homicides than any other nation
  • Spend more--far, far more--than any other nation on guns and bombs and weapons, calling it "defense." We spend 7 times more on the military than any other nation on the planet. Worse,  U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined
  • We have more foreign military bases than any other nation; Empire much?
  • We have more citizens incarcerated, in prisons, than any other nation
  • We have the highest percentage of the population that is obese
  • We have the highest divorce rate
  • Highest rate of illegal drug use in the world
  • More reported murders than any other nation
  • More total crimes committed in the US than anywhere else in the world
  • We have more student loan debt than any other country and finally, at least here and now, 
  • We have the most complicated tax system in the world
  • Biggest Weapons exporter in the world
  • We kill more people with drones, presently, than any other nation; Some of what our big "defense" budget gets us, I'm sure
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But wait. There's more. There's more of our positions in the world and these are things we're not number one at:
  • The U.S. ranks 23rd in gender equality
  • The U.S. ranks 33rd in internet download speeds
  • The U.S. ranks 46th in freedom of the press
  • The U.S. ranks 26th in child well-being
  • The U.S. ranks 24th in literacy
  • The U.S. ranks 19th in perceived honesty
  • The U.S. ranks 27th in leisure and personal care
  • The U.S. ranks 17th in happiness
  • The U.S. ranks 9th in retirement security
  • The U.S. ranks 99th in peacefulness
  • The U.S. ranks 24th in freedom from corruption
  • The U.S. ranks 16th in manufacturing compensation costs
  • The U.S. ranks 29th in intellectual property protection
  • The U.S. ranks 23rd in wage distribution
  • The U.S. ranks 10th in purchasing power of minimum wage
  • The U.S. ranks 11th in minimum wage
Don't get me wrong.  I like this place America. There are some things, plenty, I guess, we're doing well or right at. But the fact is, we need to take a good, hard, long look at ourselves and maybe, hopefully, work on changing and improving.

Let's do this.


The Myth of American Exceptionalism

One Is The Loneliest Number - America Is Number One At Things We Shouldn't Brag About

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Here's That "American Exceptionalism" For You

Here you go.

Just one more way we are "exceptional" as a nation.

There is an article out just now on countries with the best life expectancy.

Slide 1 of 51: People live notably longer in some parts of the world, and research suggests that diet, climate, social class, and overall happiness play a significant role in boosting lifespan.

While Japan has been at the top of the life expectancy list for several years, research published in October 2018 by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation suggests that Spain may overtake Japan's life expectancy by 2040. Analysis from Bloomberg's 2019 Healthiest Country Index also revealed Spain to be #1 out of 169 countries in terms of factors contributing to overall health.

After analyzing life expectancy data from the World Health Organization's World Health Statistics 2019 report and total population data for each country from the United Nations' World Population Prospects 2019 report, Stacker ranked each country by life expectancy. In the event of a tie, countries with lower under-five mortality rates were favored.

WHO's annual report compiles life expectancy data and health-related sustainable development goals to determine life spans in each country. In total, 194 countries were included in WHO's 2019 report, but only 181 of these countries were ranked and analyzed since 13 had no life expectancy data.

The total population for each country was taken from the United Nations' Population Division—World Population Prospects 2019. The report released in 2019 involves data from 2016. However, data concerning the percent of government spending going to public health come from 2014, data involving maternal mortality ratios come from 2015, and data involving under-five mortality rates come from 2017.

While no countries on this list have reached supercentenarian status in terms of life expectancy, many nations seem to be getting closer to seeing more of their citizens live to 100 years old.

Click through to find out more about the top 50 countries with the best life expectancy.

You may also like: What the world was like when your grandparents were born

And get this.

The top countries are all Democratic Socialist nations…

And they all have universal healthcare.

We, the US, are at---wait for it--the number 34 position.


Cuba is in the number 33 position. They live longer in Cuba, freaking Cuba, than we do here in the States.

We also have a worse life expectancy than Slovenia.

Coincidentally, Israel, to whom we give millions of dollars, has a far higher life expectancy than we in the US. They are #14 on the list. And yes, it really is true they have universal healthcare, too. We don't but they do.

People in the Republic of Korea have a longer life expectancy, at number 9.

Singapore is number 4---number 4---on the list. Far better, far higher than the US.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what lots of guns and money and zero universal healthcare gets us.

Enjoy that exceptionalism, folks.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

This Is How Insane, Obcene and Immoral Our US "Healthcare" Is-- And How Overpriced

This is how insanely expensive US healthcare is.

There is a fantastic, eye-opening article in today's Sunday New York Times that spells it all out and that every adult American should read or at least be aware of.

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This patient, this woman was flown to Mexico, to Cancun, from here in the States, Wisconsin, specifically, along with her surgeon in order to get a full knee replacement.  That's one thing. You'd think that would be crazy by itself, right? After all, we have the "best healthcare in the world." don't we?

But wait, there's more. A lot more.
  • The cost of her flight was included in all the costs and charges
  • Her doctor was also flown there for the surgery
  • Her doctor's flights down and back plus a hotel room for him were all included in these costs
  •  Her doctor was paid 3 times--3 times--what he would have earned here in the States doing the same surgery
  •  She received a check for $5000 to do it and then the kicker---
  •  It still cost less than it would have here, in country
"The hospital costs of the American medical system are so high that it made financial sense for both a highly trained orthopedist from Milwaukee and a patient from Mississippi to leave the country and meet at an upscale private Mexican hospital for the surgery."

Repeating, this is how monumentally stupid, insane, obscene and immoral our for-profit healthcare is here in America.


God, we're stupid.

I say again, we are the only, the only industrialized nation that does this, that ties health and healthcare to profit.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Many Dangers of Donald Trump

What we have is a problem, a person, who attacks or wants to attack virtually anything and everything--all institutions, virtually all nations, including our allies, everyone and everything, as i said except some dictators like Russia's Vladimir Putin, North Korea's Kim Jong Un and the Philippines' Duterte.

This article, coincidentally, just broke yesterday from Bloomberg.

Trump Continues Destruction of the U.S. Government

Think about it. Think about all the people and organizations and nations this man, this Republican President has verbally attacked. The list is stunning.

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  • Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and that simply because she doesn't agree with him completely, as he attacks everyone who doesn't
  • Robert Mueller, a Republican, simply because he, Mr. Mueller, was doing his job
  • "The Squad", four Congresswomen who happen to also be of minorities (besides just also being women) because, again, they disagree with him
  • Member of the House of Representatives Frederica Wilson, D-Florida, because her recollection and description of a meeting and conversation with a widow of a fallen US soldier
  • He famously and horribly attacks the media and repeatedly, First Amendment be damned
  • In fact, he infamously attacked a reporter with a disability (see link to video below)
  • China, and repeatedly, over trade, keeping in mind they are one of our two largest trading partners, second only to the UK
  • Members of NATO, our allies
  • the G20, again, our allies
  • The UK's Prime Minister Theresa May, one of our biggest and oldest allies
  • Fox News. Yes, he even attacked Fox. They didn't agree with him totally so he went after even that lapdog of his
The New York Times rather famously compiled this list. Because it's now dated, it's no longer complete.

Here's what just one of the results of his attacks has resulted in and cost the nation.

So, questions.


I mean, besides a 3 year old, who does this? 

Worse, what leader of any nation does this? And can you believe this is OUR leader? Or at least, he's supposed to be.

And then, how do you lead by attacking all the time? And how does one lead by attacking virtually everyone that doesn't already agree with you completely?

How is this productive? 

How is this good for the nation? Good for the people? Good for our futures, both the peoples' and nation's?

If this were the average person on the street, if it were, say, someone at our office we were supposed to work with, we'd certainly avoid them, at least, if we didn't also think they were crazy, legitimately.

Then, how is this good for our nation? It can't possibly be argued it's good for us in any way. 

I ask again, now, as others have rightly asked, what kind of a precedent is this for our nation and for our government? There's no way this is good.

All I can say is, as ever in the last two years of this nightmare, 


Bad as all this is, as bad a President and leader as this man has been, this is what concerns me most.

Vote, folks.

And may God, if there is one, and common sense and logic and intelligence and education and maturity and anything and everything good, one day rule again.

And very soon.

Additional links:

Monday, August 5, 2019

One More Time On the Guns

How long, America?

20 children--children, for God's sake--were slaughtered in a school, as we all know.

We did nothing.

59 people gunned down from a high rise hotel in Las Vegas.


Now, 30 people gunned down in two separate incidents, 13 hours apart.

Sure, we're outraged.

Saddened. Disgusted. Repelled. Revulsed. Sickened even.

Will we do anything about it?

And to the gun-lovers and NRA supporters and Right Wingers and Republicans, heck, even Libertarians who say the government should stay out of it and again, do nothing? I give you data, the following from Harvard University studies.

1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide (literature review)

Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the U.S., where there are more guns, both men and women are at a higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

Hepburn, Lisa; Hemenway, David. Firearm availability and homicide: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal. 2004; 9:417-40.

2. Across high-income nations, more guns = more homicide

We analyzed the relationship between homicide and gun availability using data from 26 developed countries from the early 1990s. We found that across developed countries, where guns are more available, there are more homicides. These results often hold even when the United States is excluded.

Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. Firearm availability and homicide rates across 26 high income countries. Journal of Trauma. 2000; 49:985-88.

3. Across states, more guns = more homicide

Using a validated proxy for firearm ownership, we analyzed the relationship between firearm availability and homicide across 50 states over a ten-year period (1988-1997).

After controlling for poverty and urbanization, for every age group, people in states with many guns have elevated rates of homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. Household firearm ownership levels and homicide rates across U.S. regions and states, 1988-1997. American Journal of Public Health. 2002; 92:1988-1993.

4. Across states, more guns = more homicide (2)

Using survey data on rates of household gun ownership, we examined the association between gun availability and homicide across states, 2001-2003. We found that states with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm homicide and overall homicide. This relationship held for both genders and all age groups, after accounting for rates of aggravated assault, robbery, unemployment, urbanization, alcohol consumption, and resource deprivation (e.g., poverty). There was no association between gun prevalence and non-firearm homicide.

Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. State-level homicide victimization rates in the U.S. in relation to survey measures of household firearm ownership, 2001-2003. Social Science and Medicine. 2007; 64:656-64.

5. A summary of the evidence on guns and violent death

This book chapter summarizes the scientific literature on the relationship between gun prevalence (levels of household gun ownership) and suicide, homicide and unintentional firearm death and concludes that where there are higher levels of gun ownership, there are more gun suicides and more total suicides, more gun homicides and more total homicides, and more accidental gun deaths.

This is the first chapter in the book and provides and up-to-date and readable summary of the literature on the relationship between guns and death. It also adds to the literature by using the National Violent Death Reporting System data to show where (home or away) the shootings occurred. Suicides for all age groups and homicides for children and aging adults most often occurred in their own home.

Miller M, Azrael D, Hemenway D. Firearms and violence death in the United States. In: Webster DW, Vernick JS, eds. Reducing Gun Violence in America. Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

6. More guns = more homicides of police
This article examines homicide rates of Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) from 1996 to 2010. Differences in rates of homicides of LEOs across states are best explained not by differences in crime, but by differences in household gun ownership. In high gun states, LEOs are 3 times more likely to be murdered than LEOs working in low-gun states.

This article was cited by President Obama in a speech to a police association. This article will hopefully bring police further into the camp of those pushing for sensible gun laws.

Swedler DI, Simmons MM, Dominici F, Hemenway D. Firearm prevalence and homicides of law enforcement officers in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. 2015; 105:2042-48.

And again to the weapons supporters, I say we're only asking--now demanding--3 things:
  1. Required background checks, coast to coast, for mental stability
  2. Required background checks, again, coast to coast, for criminal history
  3. Ban on all purchases of assault style weapons. They have zero place on our streets and/or in our society.
No one who otherwise wants or feels they need weapons will be effected so please don't pull that desperate, pathetic, pitiful "They're going to take all our guns" on us. It's nonsense. Patent nonsense.

For hope today, I point out this article from Uber Right Wing, very Conservative Rupert Murdoch and his Right Wing rag, The New York Post.

Murdoch’s New York Post urges Trump to ban assault weapons

We can do this.

We must.

And it has to come from us, from the people.


KCPT Does It Again. Some More. Seriously, KCPT, How Long Are You Going To Keep This Up?

Yes sir and ma'am, another week, another couple of local news programs from KCPT, having only or largely only white people save us all.

Very white, Nick Haines and his show, "Week in Review" loaded up just one more all white panel to do just that, save the city with all the answers they--the white men folk--have for us.

Yes sir, there you go. Four white guys and--oops!--they let in a token woman! How did that happen?

Not one person of color.

Not one black person. Not one Hispanic. Nada. No one else. Just lily white people, there to save the day, praze Geezus.

And then uber white, Right Wing, Conservative, Republican Mike Shanin, there, with his show, "Ruckus", later in the week and, wow! This time THEY LET IN ONE BLACK PERSON! Stunning! Not only that, they let 3 women, AT ONE TIME, be on the show with the white guys! Wowzer! They may get this one day yet, huh? Maybe? If we all live long enough?

Poor Woody Cozad looked downright uncomfortable, what with all those wimmin folk sittin' 'round him. And a cupla' them m-eye-noritees, too, at that.

Look, KCPT, we've talked about this before.

You load up your money-begging commercials with people of color and women. You're all the time asking for money from them, from minorities.

How impossible for you all is it that you would have, say, one Hispanic and one black person, EVERY WEEK, on your programs? This city is not tiny. How tough would it be to stop loading us up with what only white people in general but also only white, old, conservative men and their thoughts and answers on local, state, regional and national answers and possibilities?

Who knows, you might even get, oh, I don't know, more viewers and more support, financial and otherwise, for your programs?

How y'all aren't embarrassed by this, personally and professionally, I can't even imagine.

What did they teach you in journalism school, anyway?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

More People Need to Know What's Happening Presently, Weather-wise, Across the Planet

I don't think most people are aware just now of what, exactly, is going on, worldwide, with weather and the catastrophes that are taking place just now.

Here's one, the first here today--
“Greenland is home to the world's second-largest ice sheet. And when it melts significantly -- as it is expected to do this year -- there are knock-on effects for sea levels and weather across the globe.

Greenland's ice sheet usually melts during the summer. This year, it started melting earlier, in May, and this week's heatwave is expected to accelerate the melt.

… 2019 could come close to the record-setting year of 2012, said Jason Box, professor and ice climatologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. During that ‘…year’…, Greenland's ice sheet lost 450 million metric tons -- the equivalent of more than 14,000 tons of ice lost per second.”

“…it's already poised to rival the proportions of 2012 -- and we haven't even reached the end of summer. In July alone, Greenland's ice sheet lost 160 billion tons of ice, according to Clare Nullis, spokeswoman for the UN World Meteorological Organization.

‘Normally when you get a temperature record broken, it's by a fraction of a degree,’ said Nullis. ‘What we saw yesterday was records being broken by two, three, four degrees -- it was absolutely incredible.’"

Melt water on the Greenland ice sheet. The Greenland ice sheet (Sermersuaq in Greenlandic) is a vast body of ice covering 1,710,000 square kilometers (660,000 sq mi), roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland. The thickness is generally more than 2 km (1.2 mi) and over 3 km (1.9 mi) at its thickest point. This section of the ice sheet was photographed on the Western part, close to Ilulissat and the glacier Semeq Kujalleq. Positioned in the Arctic, the Greenland ice sheet is especially vulnerable to climate change. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

That alone is huge but then, this is taking place in Siberia, Russia.


This, too, is happening now in Japan.

There is also this from Japan:

Finally, there is this:

Premium: Ongoing Low Water Levels On Rhine River

“A heatwave in Europe is causing low water levels on the…Rhine…”

At what point do climate deniers give it up? At what point do the get on board, so to speak, and accept our current reality, let alone what is projected to happen across the world, if we don't cut carbon dioxide emissions and pollution?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Worst Run Cities and Missouri Takes a Hit

There's another one of those "Best in America" and "Worst in America" lists out on the interwebs this week and once again, Missouri takes a hit. Here you go.

Worst-run cities in America

To start, neighbor Topeka is on the list at 48.

The bad news? Kansas City, Missouri is on the list. The good news? It’s in the bottom half at 42

KCK, however, is in the top half and very nearly in the top 10 at 13.

And side note, once again, they show a picture of KCMO when trying to represent the cities.

Slide 39 of 51: - Overall quality of city services score: 40.12
- Financial stability rank: #133
- Education rank: #135
- Health rank: #98
- Safety rank: #137
- Economy rank: #87
- Infrastructure and pollution rank: #104

Kansas City has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. While the city ranks fairly low in the safety category, the police department is making an effort to be more transparent and open to the public hoping to decrease crime. The department uses a live community crime map to detect and show crime and police activity.

Makes one wonder about the scale they use.

Anyway, other rather comparable notables from here in the Midwest:

Indianapolis #46
Nashville 43
Wichita 38
Tulsa 34
Ft Smith and Little Rock, 30 & 29, respectively
Chicago 25
Memphis 9
Toledo 8
Gary IN 7
Flint MI 5

But dang.

St. Louis.

What a ranking. 

Check this out.

2nd worst in the nation at number 2 for worst run city. 


Worst----Detroit. Not a shock.

The flip side?

Las Vegas 47
Washington DC 46
Denver 44
Minneapolis 40
Des Moines 39
St Paul 37
Cedar Rapids 23
New York 16
Lincoln NE 14

Number one belongs to Huntington Beach, CA, which is outrageously unfair. Mountains, ocean, beaches, great weather, all that and well run, too.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Has Anyone Noticed This Republican Party President Is Dismantling Our Government?

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The title here is not hyperbole.

First, Mr. Trump sets out to move--break up, weaken--the Department of Agriculture by moving it out of Washington, to here in the heartland, to Kansas City and then, last week, he gets started breaking up, moving the Bureau of Land Management to a legitimately small town in Colorado, Grand Junction.

And sure, I recognize this could be good for the Kansas City metropolitan area, adding to our rented space and population, some growth, but consider the ramifications.

The people with experience at these jobs in the USDA don't want to sell their homes and go to some new area they've likely never been. Who would? Who can blame them?

And according to the Washington Post, it doesn't just effect the USDA, either.

Relocation could seriously disrupt the work of two agencies

The Agriculture Department is offering employees a rare choice: accept a forced transfer to a post 1,000 miles away or be fired.

The Trump administration’s plan to move two agencies from the District to the Kansas City area includes a document with two blank boxes on it, sent to employees on June 13. Check one, it instructs: Accept the transfer by July 15 or “be separated by adverse action procedures.”

That means getting fired, with an opportunity to appeal the dismissal through what could be an expensive process. Getting fired could also make it more difficult to find another federal job in an area where the government dominates...
Of the 547 employees the department wants to move for the two agencies combined, 253 are with the Economic Research Service, 77 percent of its 329-person workforce. An additional 294 are with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 93 percent of its 315-person staff. News of the move prompted a surge of support for the union. Employees at the National Institute voted 137-2 to join AFGE two weeks ago. Last month’s vote at the economic service was 138-4.
And it's not going to save us, the US, money, either, folks.

But the USDA estimate of nearly $300 million in savings over 15 years is way off, according to an analysis by the Milwaukee-based Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. Instead, it would cost taxpayers between $83 and $182 million, the analysis found. The USDA underestimated the true cost in part because it did not account for “the lost value of research from staffers who resign or retire rather than move,” the association reported.

Divide and conquer, folks. It's what he's doing.

And breaking up the USDA, weakening it, is just the first blow against regulating industry.

This has at least two effects on the agency and its work. excited as Grand Junction is, many people outside this high desert city are deeply skeptical of the move. The Public Lands Foundation, made up of mostly former BLM employees, opposes it, saying it will likely gut the agency as many of its workers won't want to move. And Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona sees another worry. Moving to Colorado means the BLM will be that much closer to the oil and gas industry.

It makes it easier for the special interests to have access without a lot of accountability and light somewhere else than here in D.C. And I think that works to their advantage.

This fits in perfectly Mr. Trump's work and attempts to both weaken government and assist business.

83 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump

Then, as if all this, above, weren't enough bad news, there's yet more this week from The Orange Man in the White House. Check this out for mind blowing:

Nuclear commission considers fewer plant inspections

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission thinks it's a good idea to have FEWER inspections of nuclear power plants.

You read that right, folks--fewer inspections and less oversigh of nuclear power plants.

This is not good for clean air, folks. This is not good for the people, you and me.

It's fantastic for big business.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

All Hail Price Chopper and Quik Trip

Check this out.

The above price per gallon is what I paid yesterday, in Kansas City, in Waldo at the Quik Trip on Wornall.

I was stunned.

What made this possible is Price Chopper's Rewards Card.  Mind you, I don't buy much groceries, either, being a single guy. That said, I really rack up points nicely. Then, with their rewards card, you go to Quik trip, scan the card, then scan your credit or debit card and voila! With your points, you can save 37 cents, presently, on each gallon of gasoline, up to 20 gallons at a purchase.

I will never buy groceries or gasoline anywhere else again.

On This Republican Party President, A to Z

Image result for stupid trump

The question was asked on Quora. Chris O'Leary, former 10 years of Active Duty at U.S. Marine Corps (1989-2000), responded.

I’ll take a stab at this. Before you pass my answer off as “another Liberal snowflake” consider that 

1) I'm an independent centrist who has voted Republican way more often in my life than Democrat, and 

2.) if you want to call someone who spent the entire decade of his 20’s serving in the Marine Corps a snowflake, I’d be ready to answer the question what did you do with your 20’s?

Why Liberals (and not-so liberals) are against President Trump

A.) He lies. A LOT. Politifact rates 69% of the words he speaks as “Mostly False or worse” Only 17% of the things he says get a “Mostly True” or better rating. That is an absolutely unbelievable number. How he doesn’t speak more truth by mistake is beyond me. To put it in context, Obama’s rating was 26% mostly false or worse, and I had a problem with that. Many of Trump’s former business associates report that he has always been a compulsive liar, but now he’s the President of the United States, and that’s a problem. And this is a man who expects you to believe him when he points at other people and says “They’re lying”

B.) He’s an authoritarian populist, not a conservative. He advances regressive social policy while proposing to expand federal spending and federalist authority over states, both of which conservatives are supposed to hate.

C.) He pretends at Christianity to court the Religious Right but fails to live anything resembling a Christ-Like Life.

D.) His nationalist “America First” message effectively alienates us and removes us from our place as leaders in the international community.

E.) His ideas on “Keeping us safe” are all thinly veiled ideas to remove our freedoms, he is, after all, an authoritarian first. They also are simply bad ideas.

F.) He couldn’t pass a 3rd-grade civics exam. He doesn't’ know what he’s doing. He doesn't understand how international relations work, he doesn’t understand how federal state or local governments work, and every time someone tries to “Run it like a business” it’s a spectacular failure. See Colorado Springs’ recent history as an example. The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise And that was a businessman with a MUCH better business track record than Trump. We are talking about a man who lost money owning a freaking gambling casino.

G.) He behaves unethically and always has. As a businessman, he constantly left in his wake unpaid contractors and invoices, litigation, broken promises, whatever he could get away with.

H.) He is damaging our relationships with our best international friends while kissing up to nations that do not have our best interests in mind. To his question “Wouldn't’ it be great to have better relations with Russia?” The answer is Yes. But it is RUSSIA who needs to earn that, who must stop doing the things that are damaging to that relationship, or we are simply weaker for it.

I.) He has never seen a shortcut he didn't like, and you can’t take shortcuts in government. “Nuclear Option, Remove the Filibuster, I’ll change the Constitution by Executive Order…Don…what happens when you remove the filibuster and the other side retakes the majority in the Senate? Suddenly want that filibuster back? What happens if you manage to change the Constitution by Executive Order and an Anti-2A President wins the next election?

J.) He behaves and has always behaved as an unabashed racist. Yes, I’ve seen your favorite meme that claims he was never accused of racism before the Democrats…Absolutely false. Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2019 See the Central Park 5, the lawsuits and fines resulting from his refusal to lease to black tenants, the 1992 lost appeal trying to overturn penalties for removing black dealers from tables, his remarks to the house native American affairs subcommittee in 1993. The man sees and treats racial groups of people as monoliths.

K.) He is systematically steamrolling regulations specifically designed to keep a disaster like the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis from happening again.

L.) He speaks and acts like a demagogue. He sees the Legislative and Judicial branches of government as inconveniences, blows up at criticism no matter how deserved and actively tries to countermand constitutional processes, not to mention attempts to blackmail and coerce people who are saying negative things about him.

M.) His choices for top positions, with the exception of Gen. Mattis, who is a gem, have been horrendous. A secretary of Education without a resume that would get her hired as a small town grammar school principal, A secretary of Energy who didn't know the Department of Energy was responsible for nuclear reserves, an EPA head whose biggest accomplishments to date had been suing the EPA on multiple occasions, an FCC head who while working for Verizon actively lobbied to kill net neutrality, and an Attorney General who thinks pot is “nearly as bad as heroin” and asked Congress for permission to go after legal pot businesses in states where it is legal. (There goes that great Republican States rights rally cry again, right? *Crickets*) An Interim AG after Firing his First AG who’s appointment is probably unconstitutional.

N.) He denies scientific fact. Ever notice that the only people you hear denying climate change are politicians and lobbyists? 99% of actual scientists studying the issue agree that it’s real, man-made and caused by greenhouse gasses. Ever notice that every big disaster movie starts with a bunch of politicians in a room ignoring a scientist's warning?

0.) He does not have the temperament to lead this nation. He is thin skinned, childish, and a bully, never mind misogynistic, boorish, rude, and incapable of civil discourse.

P.) He still does not understand that the words he speaks, or tweets, are the official position of 1/3 of the US government, and so does not govern his words. He still thinks when he speaks it’s good ol’ Donald Trump. It’s not. It’s the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. You have probably spread a meme or two around talking about how no president’s every word has ever been dissected before…YES, THEY ALWAYS HAVE. It’s just that every other president in our lifetime has understood the importance of his words and took great care to govern his speech. Trump blurts out whatever comes to his mind then complains when people talk about what a dumb thing that was to say.

Q.) He’s unqualified. If you owned a small business and were looking for someone to manage it, and an unnamed resume came across your desk and you saw 6 bankruptcies, showing a man who had failed to make money running CASINOS, would you hire him? He is a very poor businessman. This is a man it has been estimated would have been worth $10 BILLION more if he’d just taken what his father had given him, invested it in Index Funds and left it alone.

R.) He is President. But he refuses to take a leadership position and understand that he is everyone’s President. Conservatives complain about liberals chanting “Not my President” while Trump himself behaves as if no one but his supporters matter.

S.) He’s a blatant hypocrite. He spent 8 years bitching Obama out for his family trips, or golfing, or any time he took for himself, and what does he do? He was already on his 20th golf outing in APRIL of his 1st year in office. He constantly rants about respect for the military, yet can’t be bothered to attend the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day because of a little rain. (And that excuse about Marine One not being able to fly in the rain is HILARIOUS.)

T.) He’s a misogynist. It's not really ok in this day and age to be a misogynist, but it’s not a huge deal if you’re a private citizen. It’s a pretty big deal if you hate half the people you’re elected to lead. The disdain for women seeps out of his …whatever…. and he just can’t hide it.

U.) Face it. In any other election “Grab Em’ By the Pussy” would have been the end of that candidate’s chances. Back in the 90’s I used to marvel about how Teflon Bill Clinton was. I no longer do. The fact that he managed to slip by on that is as much a statement about how much people hate Hillary Clinton as it is about what is wrong with politics in this country right now.

V.) He has one response to a differing opinion. Attack. A good leader listens to criticism, to different points of view, is capable of self-reflection, tries to guide people to his point of view, and when necessary stands his ground and defends his convictions. Any of that sound like Trump? His default is not to Lead, its’ to attack. Scorched Earth. The Jim Acosta reaction is a good example. There was no defense of his convictions when Acosta was asking him repeated questions about his rhetoric on the caravan. His response was to attack Acosta.

W.) He takes credit for everything positive while deflecting blame for everything negative. Look at him with the Stock Market. He’s been bragging about it since day one, and to give credit where credit is due, speculation on coming deregulation early in his presidency did fuel some rapid growth, but to pretend that it’s all him, that we’re not in the 9th year of the longest bull market in history and THEN, when the standard market volatility that deregulation inevitably brings about starts to show up? Yeah. Look at yesterday. Hey! Stock Markets losing because the Democrats won! Do I need to bring out the Stock market chart for the last 10 Years again?

X.) He emboldens the worst among us. Counter-protesters are slammed into by a car while countering actual Nazi rally, and the response is there’s fault on “Both Sides” The media is at fault for a nut job sending them and Donald’s favorite targets pipe bombs. The truth is not all Republicans, not all Trump Supporters are racist, fascist lunatics. Many are just taken in by the bombastic personality and are living in an information bubble made worse by the fact that they unfollow anyone and ignore any source of information that makes them feel uncomfortable. People on the left do that too. The Biggest problem the right has right now is that the worst of the Right is the loudest and the most in your face, and the actual right, especially the Freaking PRESIDENT needs to be standing up and saying No. Those are not our values.

Y.) He seems to think the Constitution of The United States, the document that IS who we are, the document he took an oath to support and defend is some sort of inconvenience. He demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of Constitution, from believing he can alter the 14th through executive order, to thinking The free exercise clause in the first amendment somehow supersedes the establishment clause (not that he really understands either) or that the free exercise clause only applies to Christians. Or his attacks on freedom of expression and the press. He repeatedly makes it clear that if he’s read them, he does not understand Articles 1–3, and that’s something he really should have before he took the job, because they’re not going away.

Z.) I’ll use Z for something I do blame him for, but the rest of us have to carry the blame too. Polarization. This country is more politically polarized than I can remember in my lifetime. Some of you who are a few years older than I may remember how it was in the late 60’s when construction workers in New York were being applauded for beating up hippies, I think it’s pretty close to that right now, but that was before my time. And he is the cause of much of the current level polarization, but also the result. It didn't’ start with Trump. We’ve been going down this road I think since the eruption of the Tea Party in the early years of the Obama Administration. I do hope the tide turns before it gets much worse because the thing that scares me more than anything is what if that keeps going the way it has been?

'Nuff said.

It's amazing he became President.

It's stunning he's still there.