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Friday, February 24, 2017

American History for Black History Month from 1965

I wasn't aware of this debate or film clip until last evening. I didn't know James Baldwin debated the very Right Wing, Conservative William F. Buckley at all, on any subject, let alone this one. And the topic was "Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?"

My response is that not only is and has the American Dream been at the expense of the American "Negro", the African-Americans, the Blacks, but it has been built on their backs, figuratively and literally.

Historic debate between James Baldwin v. William F. Buckley Jr. at Cambridge University.

Far too few Americans have seen this video or know of this debate. Far too will, I feel sure, sadly and unfortunately.

It Keeps Getting Worse For The Trumpster, Too

This broke two days ago.

Quinnipiac poll: Trump approval hits new low

A bit from the article:

President Trump's approval rating has slipped to 38 percent, a new national poll finds.

The Quinnipiac University survey released on Wednesday says that only 38 percent of Americans approve of Trump's job performance, while 55 percent disapprove.

According to Quinnipiac, the 17-point difference in Trump's approval rating is the worst he's fared in a poll since taking office in January.

An earlier survey from the pollster this month registered Trump with 42 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval.

“President Trump’s popularity is sinking like a rock," Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the poll, said in a statement announcing the findings.

"He gets slammed on honesty, empathy, level-headedness and the ability to unite. And two of his strong points, leadership and intelligence, are sinking to new lows. This is a terrible survey one month in.”

Again, this is unprecedented, making for an unprecedented presidency. 

We are right at 5 weeks into this administration and when this man and his people should be, traditionally, historically, enjoying high approval ratings, the first 100 days, this guy is, instead, at historic lows.

Does that tell you much, Republicans? Americans?

And wait. It gets better, too.

God, I love it.

What isn't to hate of this man and his administration--or fear, for our nation--is to love.

Think happy, positive thoughts, campers.

Entertainment Overnight -- New

Saw these guys on TV tonight for the first time and liked what I heard.

Thanks, once again, KCPT and PBS.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

America, Who You Are, In Three Statistics

Inline image 1

America, I don't think you know who you are.

Oh, sure, you kind of know but I don't think you're really looking at yourself and seeing who and what you are.

So with that in mind, America, Americans, I give you three--just three--statistics, just three facts that really show who you are, what you support and what you're about. Forsooth:

Number one.  Health care.

Our health care and health care system is, far and away, the most expensive health care system in the world, bar none.

For all we pay, we have lousy health and even extremely poor health outcomes.

Of the top 17 industrialized nations, we have the worst mortality rates. Translation: We die sooner than the 16 nations before us on that list.

Second, number two of our statistics, on top of all that spending and costs, we are ranked number 31, in 31st place in life expectancy, internationally. Check it out.

Of the 30 nations ahead of us on this list of life expectancy, all have universal health care. Imagine that. Oh, yeah, and most are---GASP--SOCIALIST nations. Heaven forbid, right?

Third and finally, there is this statistic and fact, America. Again, this is who you are.

These, my fellow Americans, are your--our--priorities.

Sure, we bemoan our students and schools failing and sure, we lament our health care is outrageously high--so high we can't afford it and that it's also the number one cause of bankruptcy in the nation. And yes, we don't have enough money, we think and say, for our roads and bridges and highways and sewers and airports and infrastructure or anything else, really, but BY GOD, WE HAVE BILLIONS AND TRILLIONS FOR "DEFENSE"! Nobody has more money for bombs and jets and warships or blows things up better than us.

So there you go, America. In three quick little "nutshells", so to speak, this is who and what you are.

Apparently, you think this is all not just a good idea but that it's also somehow sustainable.


Monday, February 20, 2017

On Republicans and Hypocrisy

Bill Maher, from his show, "Real Time with Bill Maher." As ever, expletives included.

They've got hypocrisy down pat.


Republicans reach staggering new heights of hypocrisy

How Actually Bad This Trump Presidency Is

The again, unprecedented Presidency of this Donald J. Trump. A foreign nation and actually close ally is, right at this moment--has to--debate whether you should even be allowed to visit.

UK Parliament debates Trump visit

Shame on you, America. This is where you are now. This is what he's done to you. This is what he's doing. This is how bad it is just now, all due to this one short-sighted, ugly, ignorant, racist, sexist, misogynist.

Not only is this unprecedented, that a close US ally, actually, easily arguably our closest ally, is, at this moment, debating a state visit by an American President is, by itself, new, negative, breaking ground and territory, of course. That it is also being done in the FIRST 5 WEEKS of this presidency, in his first 100 days when he would normally be, in any other administration, at his most popular is just stunning and again, never before experienced.

A sad, sad day for you, America.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Question For CBS News and "60 Minutes"

So yes, a question for the people at CBS News and their news program "60 Minutes."

60 Minutes

Last week, you spent the entire hour on singers and performers because your program was just before the Grammys you were broadcasting that same night.

This week, tonight, you have:
  • who is to blame in the shooting death of an 11-year-old boy? His brother, who was holding the rifle, or the gun itself
  • U.S. war planners estimate half a million people could be killed if a second Korean war breaks out
  • The highest ranking North Korean defector explains why the regime there is more dangerous to the US than ever
And while these are good and relevant stories, we'd like to both suggest a story that seems clearly far bigger and ask why you either aren't covering it or if you will soon.

That story would be on our new President, Trump---and in many facets.

There are many, many different ways in which he is doing things vastly differently than any president ever, first. But more importantly, if not downright scarily, he is doing and saying things that threaten other Americans and even our own democracy as well as Democracy. Here are just a few:

Trump attacks 'dishonest media' 

while making false claims 

This article alone tells a great deal of what this President Trump has done and is doing that is threatening to the nation.

His press conference last week was chock full of untruths and significant problems.

At one point, he insulted and silenced a Jewish member of the press when he wanted to ask if the President was going to say anything about the recent attacks on Jews, nationally.

He threatened California, as one huge departure from American history and precedent.

He's nominated a very Conservative judge for the Supreme Court.

Trump picks conservative judge Gorsuch 

for Supreme Court

He's made statements about justices on the court----and then taken them back.

Heck, he's even scaring Right Wingers and Republicans who would otherwise, you'd think and assume, be supporting him.

And Senator McCain isn't keeping it to himself.

There's the issue of the new President's trips to Florida---and their costs.

Trump's Florida trips cost taxpayer money

Trump's Florida vacations are costing local law enforcement $1.5 million in overtime

So the question is, CBS News and "60 Minutes", what does this new President and his administration have to do to get you to cover them? At what point will you report on even one of the many issues of national and international import emanating from this man and his new group of people?

What does this guy have to do to get reported on by you all?

Does he have to "shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue", so to speak?

When do we get to the "news"? The big news. Really, the biggest news.

NPR, anyway, is doing something about it as one hopeful contrast and example.

NPR has created a team devoted to covering President Trump’s conflicts of interest

America, Due To This President, You're Being Mocked

I don't remember a time in our nation's history when we were this mocked, this lampooned, by not just groups of people outside our nation but by whole nations. With this new President, not a total surprise, we now are. To wit:

Country by country, Europe is trolling Trump 

one video at a time

Swtizerland is said to have begun it all, with this.

Suddenly, that "richest nation in the world" wants to be "America first!"

I guess we just aren't rich enough yet, huh?

Pretty embarrassing.

What isn't stupid from the Orange One, what isn't stupid and irresponsible policies, are stupid statements and ideas and claims, sometimes, as we've seen already repeatedly, there are outright untruths. Lies.

So again, congratulations, America, congratulations Republicans! You've gotten stupider and more greedy, both, in one fell swoop.

Quote of the Day -- On This President

"Are Republicans dismayed that they have put a loathsome, deranged, misogynistic, racist, psychopathic, uninformed, self-promoting, corrupt, insulting, genital-grabbing, conspiracy-theory-peddling, Jew-baiting, narcissistic-behaving, country-destroying, Putin-loving, generally disgusting, fascist, loofa-faced sh*t-gibbon into power in our White House?

No, they are not."

From this article at Common Dreams:

More from the article:

This is not just Trump. What we are seeing happening to our government is the end result of a decades-long effort by the corporate-and-billionaire-funded “conservative movement” to capture the Republican party, and through them to capture the country — for profit. And here we are.

Grover Norquist, one of the key leaders and strategists of the conservative movement, worded it clearly and succinctly, “We just need a President to sign this stuff.” “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become President of the United States.”

When people ask financial advisers and brokers for retirement advice they get sold high-priced “products” that do not benefit them, but benefit the financial advisers and brokers a lot. (For more on this phenomenon, read Motley Fool’s Where are all the customer’s yachts?)

These scams siphon an estimated $17 billion a year from the retirement accounts of working people.

It's a terrific article and there is more yet at it, showing what these Republicans want to do and are, in fact, doing.


And just to give us hope, there is this breaking today. Seems not even the Fox Network can believe this guy in the White House, the one who is supposed to be their own.

'Fox News Sunday' Stuns America & 

Formally Denounces Donald Trump

Hope yet, after all, for us. Knock me over with a feather.

Friday, February 17, 2017

White People, Solving Kansas City's Problems

Both news weekly programs on KCPT this week were lily-white, bleached Caucasians.

Yet again.

One more time.

Not one "person of color." No one from any minority other than one woman on each show.


Kansas City Week in Review - KCPT


Shame on you, KCPT. You should know---and do---better.

Far better.

In their, KCPT's, defense, I will point out they have minorities in their commercial segments.

Oh, and, again, they will, however, accept their financial contributions to the station from minorities, to be sure.

Pretty ironic--and awful--any time but seems even more so in Black History Month.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- In the Mood

Quote of the Day -- On Presidents

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

—President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt from his essay "Lincoln and Free Speech", The Kansas City Star, 18 May 1918


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Rest In Peace

Al Jarreau, March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017.

Hoping you're already resting in peace.


Al Jarreau, Singer Who Spanned Jazz, Pop and R&B Worlds, Dies at 76

Al Jarreau - Wikipedia

Nike And Big Name Athletes Respond To Mr. Trump's "Muslim Ban"

Nike has a fantastic ad campaign out just now, complete with videos and a full page ad in the NYT today, responding to this President's attempt to shut America's doors. And with racism, no less.

So kudos, congratulations and much success to you, Nike! A fantastic campaign, for sure! Equality--or something very near it--is what has and should make America great, not fear-mongering and racism and "alternative facts." Y'all are "hitting it out of the ballpark", in sports terms.

Additional links and further, terrific support:

WATCH: LeBron James and Kevin Durant star in Nike ad calling for 'equality'

NYT Today on Baseball---And Our Royals

Today's New York Times has an article on the upcoming Major League Baseball season. The author, Tyler Kepner, proposes that teams have opening, closing and closed times in their baseball lives and projects on all the teams, including, of course, our own Kansas City Royals.

As Spring Training Nears, a Look 

at Baseball's Window Treatment

It’s such an inviting word: window. Just look at those first three letters. Everyone wants to win, right? As spring training opens this week, in Florida and Arizona, there’s powerful symbolism in opening a window to a new season, drinking in the blue sky and dreaming of the best.

Executives are more realistic. Under the last collective bargaining agreement, and the new one reached last fall, Major League Baseball is designed for teams to win and lose in cycles. Only the savviest organizations find a way to contend every year. Most understand that they have a distinct window to win — and that once it closes, it’s time to nail boards over the glass and remodel.

Free agency looms after 2018 for so many star players — Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Zach Britton, Andrew Miller, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Harvey and possibly Clayton Kershaw and David Price. More than ever, perhaps, teams feel urgency to win now or risk a long wait for another legitimate shot.

With that in mind, let’s take a spin around the majors to see which teams’ windows are open, opening, closing or closed.

What he has to say on our boys in blue:


The Royals have always known when to strike and when to hold back. Their discipline to cultivate a certain style of play — and their patience to grow the right players to implement it — led to a title in 2015, boosted by bold deadline deals. They’re clinging to contention now, trading veterans (Wade Davis, Jarrod Dyson) but getting major leaguers, not prospects, in return. The death of Yordano Ventura in a car crash last month was devastating, but this is a resilient group that wants to win again before Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas test free agency next winter.

"Wait 'til next year!"?

Play ball!

Additional NYT/baseball link:

Baseball’s Newest Hall of Fame Class Links to the Past

Friday, February 10, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Somewhere Only We Know

Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I'm getting old, and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute, why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go?
Somewhere only we know

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Kansas City's Connection to Today's Super Game

All hail, George Toma.

KC legend Toma earns groundskeeping honor

George Toma, 88, to help prepare 

Super Bowl field for 51st time

What a guy.

A bit from the article.

Super Bowl LI will be played on artificial turf in Houston, the birthplace of fake grass, but there's still work to be done for George Toma, the veteran groundskeeper who has helped prepare the field for each of the first 50 Super Bowls.

Toma, who turns 88 on Feb. 2 but continues to work as a consultant for the NFL, watched from the sidelines as an all-star crew of groundskeepers from other NFL teams applied logo designs to the stadium end zones, one of the many tasks that will occupy hundreds of workers leading up to the game Feb. 5.

"This is one of the best artificial fields that we've played on," Toma said of NRG Stadium's new field, which was manufactured by TurfNation of Dalton, Ga., 90 miles northwest of Atlanta.

While discussing some of the innovations he has helped bring to field preparation, such as using lasers to ensure straight lines and splash guards for use by field painters, Toma also took a moment to recall the first Super Bowl in 1967 between the Chiefs and Packers.

He said he stood next to two Packers equipment managers, a father and son, speculating on what Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi would do the next day to beat Kansas City.

And what a history he has not just in his industry but with this biggest of all NFL games.

Everyone should have work they do they enjoy, they love, like this and this man. It's not wonder he's still going strong at 88.

Thanks for all you do, Mr. Toma! And thanks for representing Kansas City and doing it so well!


George Toma inducted in the Major League 

Baseball Groundskeeper Hall of Fame

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Big Flashback

Released 40 years ago today.

Quote of the Day -- Who'd Have Thought?

"Who could have predicted that giving the White House to a game-show host with a disastrous business history and a glaring personality disorder would turn out so badly?"

--Andy Borowitz

Keeping in mind, of course, he's only just begun.

New President and Congress Show For Whom They're Actually Working, Already

Check out what the Republicans in Congress have done and are doing for the already-wealthy and corporations--and against the people, ultimately, against the nation and the nation’s best interests since they took over the White House and got back in Congress only two weeks ago.

--Scrapping Dodd-Frank so the big banks can be yet more unregulated and take us ever-closer to one more economic, national and possibly, if not likely, international melt-down

--Scrapping rules against coal companies dumping coal ash into streams

--Scrapping required background checks for the officially mentally unstable

--Scrapping rules that require financial advisers to act on their clients best interests. Those clients would be you and me.

--Scrapping methane rules so corporations can pour yet more methane into our atmosphere

Don't believe it? See for yourself.

And then this sort of Republican President, Trump, wants to further erode the separation of church and state by letting churches be political. Ironically, he said it at the National Prayer Breakfast a few days ago.

Want to see a real beauty? Want to see who this new President Trump and his Republican colleagues are really working for? There's nothing any more telling than this little exchange that took place this week, just a few days ago.

Finally, here's another. One last, late breaking example of who Mr. Trump and all the Republicans in Congress are actually working for. And it's not you and me, Mr. and Mrs. middle- and/or lower-class America.

G.O.P. Hurries to Slash Oil and Gas RulesEnding Industries’ 8-Year Wait

During the campaign for the office he now holds, Mr. Trump said we Americans pay too high prices for drugs and pharmaceuticals in the nation. Like he had to tell us, right? Now? Now that he's President and in the White House and has the power to do anything?  Yeah, well, never mind...

Mind you, this is only the first two weeks, ladies and gentlemen. Who can even imagine what they have in store for us even this month, this year, let alone the next four or six years, depending on the length of their respective terms in office?