Blog Catalog

Monday, June 1, 2020

Coincidentally, Race Riots From 1921 to Today--But of a Different Sort

Someone no doubt needs to inform this President and all those who say there is no racism or need for any protests of the significance of this date, as just one more example.

On The 99th Anniversary Of The Tulsa Race Massacre, America Still Has A Long Way To Go

On this day, June 1, 1921, Tulsa's prosperous black community was destroyed in what became known as the Tulsa race riot.

"Known as the 'Black Wall Street,' and the nation's wealthiest African-American neighborhood, the Greenwood district of Tulsa, OK, is attacked by gangs of marauding whites. When the Tulsa race riot ends, 35 city blocks have been burned, 800 are injured, upwards of 300 are dead, and 10,000 left homeless."

From the founding of our nation, through 1921 to today.

Let's do better, America.

Much better.

#justice    #equality

What Far Too Many White People Don't Get

A friend linked me to this today on Facebonkers.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, shoes, beard and indoor

This is a professor who has the tools to articulate how this encounter affected him. He also has the age and wisdom that allowed for him to maintain his composure and not lose his life. Now, imagine a YOUNG Black person, who is not equipped with either.

Steve Locke wrote:

"This is what I wore to work today.

On my way to get a burrito before work, I was detained by the police.

I noticed the police car in the public lot behind Centre Street. As I was walking away from my car, the cruiser followed me. I walked down Centre Street and was about to cross over to the burrito place and the officer got out of the car.

“Hey my man,” he said.

He unsnapped the holster of his gun.

I took my hands out of my pockets.

“Yes?” I said.

“Where you coming from?”


Where’s home?”


How’d you get here?”

“I drove.”

He was next to me now. Two other police cars pulled up. I was standing in from of the bank across the street from the burrito place. I was going to get lunch before I taught my 1:30 class. There were cops all around me.

I said nothing. I looked at the officer who addressed me. He was white, stocky, bearded.

“You weren’t over there, were you?” He pointed down Centre Street toward Hyde Square.

“No. I came from Dedham.”

“What’s your address?”

I told him.

“We had someone matching your description just try to break into a woman’s house.”

A second police officer stood next to me; white, tall, bearded. Two police cruisers passed and would continue to circle the block for the 35 minutes I was standing across the street from the burrito place.

“You fit the description,” the officer said. “Black male, knit hat, puffy coat. Do you have identification.”

“It’s in my wallet. May I reach into my pocket and get my wallet?”


I handed him my license. I told him it did not have my current address. He walked over to a police car. The other cop, taller, wearing sunglasses, told me that I fit the description of someone who broke into a woman’s house. Right down to the knit cap.

Barbara Sullivan made a knit cap for me. She knitted it in pinks and browns and blues and oranges and lime green. No one has a hat like this. It doesn’t fit any description that anyone would have. I looked at the second cop. I clasped my hands in front of me to stop them from shaking.

“For the record,” I said to the second cop, “I’m not a criminal. I’m a college professor.” I was wearing my faculty ID around my neck, clearly visible with my photo.

“You fit the description so we just have to check it out.” The first cop returned and handed me my license.

“We have the victim and we need her to take a look at you to see if you are the person.”

It was at this moment that I knew that I was probably going to die. I am not being dramatic when I say this. I was not going to get into a police car. I was not going to present myself to some victim. I was not going let someone tell the cops that I was not guilty when I already told them that I had nothing to do with any robbery. I was not going to let them take me anywhere because if they did, the chance I was going to be accused of something I did not do rose exponentially. I knew this in my heart. I was not going anywhere with these cops and I was not going to let some white woman decide whether or not I was a criminal, especially after I told them that I was not a criminal. This meant that I was going to resist arrest. This meant that I was not going to let the police put their hands on me.

If you are wondering why people don’t go with the police, I hope this explains it for you.

Something weird happens when you are on the street being detained by the police. People look at you like you are a criminal. The police are detaining you so clearly you must have done something, otherwise they wouldn’t have you. No one made eye contact with me. I was hoping that someone I knew would walk down the street or come out of one of the shops or get off the 39 bus or come out of JP Licks and say to these cops, “That’s Steve Locke. What the F*CK are you detaining him for?”

The cops decided that they would bring the victim to come view me on the street. They asked me to wait. I said nothing. I stood still.

“Thanks for cooperating,” the second cop said. “This is probably nothing, but it’s our job and you do fit the description. 5′ 11″, black male. One-hundred-and-sixty pounds, but you’re a little more than that. Knit hat.”

A little more than 160. Thanks for that, I thought.

An older white woman walked behind me and up to the second cop. She turned and looked at me and then back at him. “You guys sure are busy today.”

I noticed a black woman further down the block. She was small and concerned. She was watching what was going on. I focused on her red coat. I slowed my breathing. I looked at her from time to time.

I thought: Don’t leave, sister. Please don’t leave.

The first cop said, “Where do you teach?”

“Massachusetts College of Art and Design.” I tugged at the lanyard that had my ID.

“How long you been teaching there?”

“Thirteen years.”

We stood in silence for about 10 more minutes.

An unmarked police car pulled up. The first cop went over to talk to the driver. The driver kept looking at me as the cop spoke to him. I looked directly at the driver. He got out of the car.

“I’m Detective Cardoza. I appreciate your cooperation.”

I said nothing.

“I’m sure these officers told you what is going on?”

“They did.”

“Where are you coming from?”

“From my home in Dedham.”

“How did you get here?”

“I drove.”

“Where is your car?”

“It’s in the lot behind Bukhara.” I pointed up Centre Street.

“Okay,” the detective said. “We’re going to let you go. Do you have a car key you can show me?”

“Yes,” I said. “I’m going to reach into my pocket and pull out my car key.”


I showed him the key to my car.

The cops thanked me for my cooperation. I nodded and turned to go.

“Sorry for screwing up your lunch break,” the second cop said.

I walked back toward my car, away from the burrito place. I saw the woman in red.

“Thank you,” I said to her. “Thank you for staying.”

“Are you ok?” She said. Her small beautiful face was lined with concern.

“Not really. I’m really shook up. And I have to get to work.”

“I knew something was wrong. I was watching the whole thing. The way they are treating us now, you have to watch them. ”

“I’m so grateful you were there. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Don’t leave, sister.’ May I give you a hug?”

“Yes,” she said. She held me as I shook. “Are you sure you are ok?”

“No I’m not. I’m going to have a good cry in my car. I have to go teach.”

“You’re at MassArt. My friend is at MassArt.”

“What’s your name?” She told me. I realized we were Facebook friends. I told her this.

“I’ll check in with you on Facebook,” she said.

I put my head down and walked to my car.

My colleague was in our shared office and she was able to calm me down. I had about 45 minutes until my class began and I had to teach. I forgot the lesson I had planned. I forget the schedule. I couldn’t think about how to do my job. I thought about the fact my word counted for nothing, they didn’t believe that I wasn’t a criminal. They had to find out. My word was not enough for them. My ID was not enough for them. My handmade one-of-a-kind knit hat was an object of suspicion. My Ralph Lauren quilted blazer was only a “puffy coat.” That white woman could just walk up to a cop and talk about me like I was an object for regard. I wanted to go back and spit in their faces. The cops were probably deeply satisfied with how they handled the interaction, how they didn’t escalate the situation, how they were respectful and polite.

I imagined sitting in the back of a police car while a white woman decides if I am a criminal or not. If I looked guilty being detained by the cops imagine how vile I become sitting in a cruiser? I knew I could not let that happen to me. I knew if that were to happen, I would be dead.

Nothing I am, nothing I do, nothing I have means anything because I fit the description.

I had to confess to my students that I was a bit out of it today and I asked them to bear with me. I had to teach.

After class I was supposed to go to the openings for First Friday. I went home."

~Steve Locke

We need to change. We need to end institutional racism, America.

Quote of the Day -- Timely, Oppressed Version

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” 

--Elie Wiesel

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Quote of the Day -- Timely, Protest, Riot Version

"Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are."

--Benjamin Franklin

Why There Are Protests and Riots Just Now

It's George Floyd, sure.

But it's so much more.

   (Click on picture for easier reading. And please do read it all).

So much.

We'll start just with 1999.

Police killed more than 100 unarmed black people in 2015

Also 2015:

That's why.

All of that.

Let's change this, America.

The Donald Trump Presidency

What it's like having Donald Trump "steering", leading---if you can call it that--the nation.

The good news?

We haven't crashed yet.

Well, not completely crashed, anyway.


God help us.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Entertainment Overnight -- Mick and the boys are back

Have you heard this yet? Mick and the boys are rocking again, some more. Surprisingly sound good. (Read: don't sound old). Enjoy.

Excellent, Timely, Probably Even Important Question of the Day

Before the quote, however, first, an article, a headline, a fact.

Now, then, the question:

"When every single country in the world is able to work with the WHO, except for one whose president advocates treating coronavirus with bleach and UV light, who do you think is at fault?"

And sadly, even tragically, we know the answer.

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God help us. 

God help America.

Fantastic Kansas City History

I found this over at some local blog (TOLD YOU SO!  :) ) and really enjoyed the local history. Once you get past the Buffalo Bill nonsense, there is some pretty incredible local, Kansas City history here complete with, no surprise, Walt Disney.

So our local Electric Park may well have been Walt Disney's inspiration for Disneyland??

Pretty incredible.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Entertainment Overnight -- Song of the Day, Week, Month, Moment, Year

We've all come, to look for America...

On This Day, May 29, 1851

On this date, May 29, 1851, Sojourner Truth gave her fantastic, incredible, even important and sadly  still relevant "Ain't I A Woman?" speech.


No Justice. No Peace

It's my face man
I didn't do nothing serious man
please I can't breathe
please man
please somebody
please man
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
man can't breathe my face
just get up
I can't breathe
please (inaudible)
I can't breath sh*t
I will
I can't move
I can't
my knee
my nuts
I'm through
I'm through
I'm claustrophobic
my stomach hurt
my neck hurts
everything hurts
some water or something
I can't breath officer
don't kill me
they gonna kill me man
come on man
I cannot breathe
I cannot breathe
they gon kill me
they gon kill me
I can't breathe
I can't breathe
please sir
please I can't breathe

Great, Breaking Presidential Election News Today!

I just saw this news, breaking today, out on social media. Fantastic.

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A new organization, Republican Voters Against Trump, is testing the premise of whether there are really any persuadable voters left.

Yet another group of Republicans who see this man, this President for who and what he is.

I tell you, folks, it's enough to give a person hope. Think good thoughts.

Enjoy that sunshine out there. 

Have a great day.

Quote of the Day -- Timely, Sadly Still Relevant Edition

Inevitability was one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s favorite words, and it would roll from his lips laced with ...

"I contend that the cry of 'black power' is, at bottom, a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard." 

--Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28,1963

Still sadly true--and relevant--today.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Entertainment Overnight -- Birthday Edition

Yes sir and ma'am! It's the birthday edition of Entertainment Overnight with 3, that's right, 3 very big entertainers/singers/performers for you.

First we'll start with the one and only Gladys Knight---and her Pips--born this day, May 28, 1944. Sing it, sister!

Next up is country singer Phil Vassar, born this day 1964!

Finally, at least for today is Colbie Caillat, born this day 1985! The baby of the bunch. If you don't know the song or video, you should. Both fun. Great fun.

Have a good night, y'all.

Think happy thoughts.

What Nation With the Most Cornoavirus Deaths?

No voting adult in the nation should miss this current article.

The U.S. has surpassed the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths as a result of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, significantly more than any other country in the world.

More coronavirus deaths here in the US than China, India or any other nation.

Let that sink in.


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Thanks, Mr. President?
Thanks, Republicans?

Fantastic Presidential Election News!

Yes! Finally! Great news today! It actually broke a week ago and then again this morning! Hallelujah!

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First, from a week ago:

And this:

Is that not fantastic? Then this report came today from the Financial Times:

It shouldn't be a complete surprise because historically, Presidents are frequently re-elected or defeated based on the economy--and heaven knows this one is in dire shape, at least. I'd seen some reports showing he was set for successful re-election. And of course this is just a projection and it is just May and we have to keep in mind how heavily and badly the Republicans have gerrymandered voting districts nationally as well as used "voter ID" laws to disenfranchise yet more Americans but hey, this is hope.

He's eroding his own support, at least some of it, as I've posted here earlier. Here's further, more recent proof.

We so sorely need, as a nation, to get back to sanity and calm and thoughtfulness and intelligence--everything this Trump administration has not been and patently is not. Esquire magazine, coincidentally, asked an excellent question regarding this very thing.

How in god’s name can anyone vote for four more years of this, four more years of a choleric fatburg of a man who calls a press conference about a global health emergency and asks a reporter for the ratings were for his last town hall? How does that man carry a precinct, let alone a state, let alone the country?

A good to great article, too, you will likely want to read.

Meanwhile, this is how bad the economy is and how badly this sorry excuse for a President wants to get re-elected.

And then there's all this "winning" he wanted to create for us, we can't forget that.

The U.S. has surpassed the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths as a result of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, significantly more than any other country in the world.

With all his Twitter rants and untruths (there's another, briefer word for that/those but I won't use it here) and his baseless accusations and emotional outbursts like this:

Trump continues to claim broad powers he doesn’t have
So amid all the doom and gloom and pandemic and social distancing and now rain and clouds for days, be of good cheer, America.

Hopefully, hopefully we are down to less than a year more of this insanity and national degradation.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Even Right Wing Rupert Murdoch and His Wall Street Journal Are Trashing This President

As said in the title, this is great. Even uber Right Wing, ultra conservative Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal is calling this President out for what and who he is now, thank goodness.

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The article:

A bit of the article:

Donald Trump sometimes traffics in conspiracy theories—recall his innuendo in 2016 about Ted Cruz’s father and the JFK assassination—but his latest accusation against MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is ugly even for him. Mr. Trump has been tweeting the suggestion that Mr. Scarborough might have had something to do with the death in 2001 of a young woman who worked in his Florida office when Mr. Scarborough was a GOP Congressman...

...There’s no evidence of foul play, or an affair with the woman, and the local coroner ruled that the woman fainted from an undiagnosed heart condition and died of head trauma. Some on the web are positing a conspiracy because the coroner had left a previous job under a cloud, but the parents and husband of the young woman accepted the coroner’s findings and want the case to stay closed...

...Mr. Trump always hits back at critics, and Mr. Scarborough has called the President mentally ill, among other things. But suggesting that the talk-show host is implicated in the woman’s death isn’t political hardball. It’s a smear. Mr. Trump rightly denounces the lies spread about him in the Steele dossier, yet here he is trafficking in the same sort of trash.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, had it right when he tweeted on the weekend: “Completely unfounded conspiracy. Just stop. Stop spreading it, stop creating paranoia. It will destroy us.”

We don’t write this with any expectation that Mr. Trump will stop. Perhaps he even thinks this helps him politically, though we can’t imagine how. But Mr. Trump is debasing his office, and he’s hurting the country in doing so.

I love the smell of Right Wing and Republican Party destruction in the morning.

And afternoon. And evening.

Don't you?

Think happy thoughts.  Have a great day.

And vote blue, folks.


Quotes of the Day -- Timely, Presidential Version

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“The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.”

“He looked rather pleasantly, like a blonde satan.”

--Dashiell Hammett, born this day, May 27, 1894


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

This Trumpian Republican Party

I caught an excellent article, thanks to a friend, over the weekend on this President and what has morphed into his political party:

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One of the challenges in analyzing modern American politics is accurately describing the Republican Party without seeming unserious and hyperbolic. Major publications are understandably in the habit of presenting both sides of the partisan divide as being inherently worthy of respect and equal consideration, both as a way of shielding themselves from accusations of bias and as a way of maintaining their own sense of journalistic integrity.

Unfortunately, the modern Republican Party’s abdication of seriousness, good faith and reality-based communications or policy-making has stretched even the most open-minded analyst’s capacity for forced balance. Donald Trump’s own inability to string together coherent or consistent thoughts has led to a bizarre normalization of his statements in the traditional media, as journalists unconsciously try to fit his rambling, spontaneous utterances into a conventional framework. This has come at the cost of Americans seeing the full truth of the crisis of leadership in the Oval Office for what it is. For instance, it was ironically salutary for the American public to witness Donald Trump’s bizarre pandemic press conferences where he oddly attacked reporters for asking innocuous questions and recommended researching bleach and sunlight injections, because they got to see Trump raw as he truly is, without the normalization filter. Republicans have long argued that the “mainstream media filter” gives them a bad shake, but the reality is the opposite: sure, it’s not as good as being boosted by Fox News’ overt propaganda, but it does them a greater service than letting the public see them unfiltered at all...

...Being a Republican now requires believing in a jaw-dropping series of claims that, if true, would almost necessitate anti-democratic revanchism. One has to believe that 
  • a cabal of evil scientists is making up climate science in exchange for grant money; 
  • that there is rampant, widescale voter impersonation fraud carried out by thousands of elections officials nationwide; 
  • that the “Deep State” concocted a scheme to frame Trump for Russian collusion but chose not to use it before the 2016 election; 
  • that shadowy forces are driving migrant caravans and diseases across American borders in the service of destroying white Republican America; 
  • that the entire news media is engaged in a conspiracy against the Republican Party; 
  • that grieving victims of gun violence and their families all across America want to take away guns as a pretext for stomping the boot of “liberal fascism” on conservative faces; and so on. 
That and much more is just the vanilla Republican belief system at this point (not even touching less explosive academic fictions like “tax cuts pay for themselves” or “the poor will work harder to better themselves if you cut the safety net.”}

I personally can't recommend the complete above article enough.

Meanwhile, this happened two days ago, Saturday.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump shared a series of sexist insults and personal gibes about prominent female Democrats.
Trump has a long record of aiming sexist insults at female critics.

Who does this?

What public person, let alone government representative, let alone 74 year old, let alone Congressional representative or, I don't know, what PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES talks like that?  What adult calls another, a woman, a "skank"?  Who does that??

This President is frightening but as that first article above shows, much of the Republican Party has gotten scary, honestly, no overstatement, scary.

Fortunately, there are a few, a very few Republicans out there warning people about him and this. People like Utah's Mitt Romeny, conservative writer George Will, uber-conservative Bill Kristol and others.  It's not enough but it's something.

Then there's the fact that this President has repeatedly tried to spread an untrue and extremely irresponsible murder conspiracy theory, of all things, about Joe Scarborough.

Trump uses Twitter to push 

murder conspiracy theory 

And this was yesterday at the Memorial Day activities. As this President and again, his political party would have it, it's "sleepy Joe" Biden we have to worry about, no one else. And yet...

Oh sway can you see.

President Trump’s struggles to stand still during a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery lit up social media Monday, prompting users to recall past incidents in which the commander in chief, who turns 74 next month, battled to find a balance.

“Is the President having trouble standing up straight as the National Anthem begins at Arlington Cemetary (sic) or am I seeing things?” Joshua Potash from Queens asked on Twitter.

The Trump critic posted that video, along with another clearly showing the president swaying in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Between this President's ravings, his questionable health and his political party's going off a d eep end, it seems clear we don't lack for things we have to work on, let alone be concerned of.

Thanks, Republicans.

"Only the best people."
"So much winning."


Monday, May 25, 2020

Trumpian Firsts

Herewith, just a very brief list of just a few things for which this Republican Party President Donald Trump did first, most and/or best compared to all other Presidents:

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First American President to simultaneously hold the record for
  • Biggest stock market drop
  • Highest national debt
  • Most convicted members of his one administration
  • Most turnovers in his administration, with people coming and going
  • Most pandemic infections
And all in only the first four years of his term.

So much winning.


Op-Ed: Let’s count the ways Donald Trump has gone where no president has gone before

Happy? Memorial Day

Click on picture for easier reading.

Try to have a happy Memorial Day out there, folks. Be well. Be safe.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Entertainment Overnight -- Timely, Coronavirus Edition

Donald Trump's Weekend

No photo description available.

America’s True Covid Toll Already Exceeds 100,000

Thanks, Mr. President.
Thanks, Republicans.

The NYT Asks a Great Question Today -- Then Also Gives Great American History Lessons

Today's Sunday New York Times does just that today. That is, they ask an excellent question and then give what I hope is lots of Americans not just a great American history lesson, but in this one column, LOTS of excellent history lessons.

Why Does the U.S. Military Celebrate White Supremacy?

The information they give on Confederate General George Pickett alone is eye-opening and important, let alone all the rest they give in this one column. Here is just a snippet of what is an extremely full and very informative article:

Black recruits (in WWII) who volunteered to die for their country were mainly shut out of combat units, commanded by white Southerners who often resented being assigned to colored units. In some contexts, black servicemen were treated worse than prisoners of war. The actress and singer Lena Horne, for example, flew into a rage during World War II when she arrived at a military camp to entertain only to find that the best seats — in the “white” section of the audience — had been reserved for German P.O.W.s.

Far too many of us, far too many Americans, don't know our national history--our true, complete national history.

Please. If you can. If you will. Do yourself, and the nation, really, a favor and read it. No exaggeration.


Quote of the Day -- Sunday Edition

"Teach this triple truth to all: 

A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity."


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Republicans In Jefferson City Try to Undo the People's Will

Do you think it’s okay for legislators to overturn legislation the people voted into law?

The people passed Clean Missouri Amendment passed in 2018 by 62% of the vote.

The Missouri Republican Party wants to overturn this amendment. The reason is power. This amendment will control the power the Republicans have.

In case you aren't completely familiar with what the Clean Missouri initiative is.

From The Missouri Times

The proposed constitutional amendment would do what legislators have failed to do, imposing gift limits for legislators, lowering campaign contribution limits, changing the length of time required before becoming lobbyists, and change the model for drawing districts in order to prevent partisan gerrymandering.

The Clean Missouri Initiative proposes to clean up the Show-Me State’s ethics with the following actions:
  • Require that lawmakers wait two years before they could turn around and lobby their colleagues. (Governor Eric Greitens called for a revolving door ban from the legislature, and established a lobbying ban for employees departing from the executive branch with his executive order signed on January 9, 2017.)
  • Eliminate almost all lobbyist gifts worth more than $5 (As of publishing this article, Members of the General Assembly, along with their staff and families, have already accepted over $1 million in gifts from lobbyists this year. Sen. Mike Kehoe had put together a bill with similar language, calling it the “Cup of Coffee” bill, implying that lobbyists wouldn’t be able to spend more than they would on a cup of coffee. Rep. Justin Alferman had also filed a bill, the first one passed by the House in 2017, but neither bill advanced in the Senate.)
  • Eliminate partisan gerrymandering when it comes to redrawing lines for legislative districts and make the races more fair and competitive. (To do this, the petition calls for an independent state demographer to lead on technical work in creating district maps, which would then be reviewed by a citizen commission.)
  • Set campaign donation limits at $2,500 for the state Senate and $2,000 for the House. (The current state law, as set forth by Constitutional Amendment 2, which passed in the Nov. 2016 election, sets the mark at $2,600.)
  • Limiting the ability of individuals and organizations to circumvent the contribution cap limits by counting the money from single-source committees toward the totals for the actual original donors.
  • Put an end to legislative fundraising on state property
  • Require legislative records and proceedings to be open to the public
In an editorial published by the Kansas City Star, Sen. Rob Schaaf endorsed the Clean Missouri Initiative, saying it would solve many of the problems “corrupting the state government.”

How or why should any legislator or political party in our state be against any of the above?

With that, we ask that you please call or write Governor Mike Parson and tell him you want and we all need, deserve, a veto on this obvious power grab. His number is number (573) 751-3222.


Friday, May 22, 2020

Entertainment Overnight -- Local Edition

And they have their politics right, too. 

Sleep well, campers.

This Should Be a--Huge?--Boon and Boom for Starlight Theater

Someone asked out on Facebonkers today what people would like to see from local dance companies what with this pandemic.

It got me thinking.

First, I thought, open air performances of all kinds should be done, weather-permitting, of course And these should take place here from Spring through Summer and into Fall. They become all the more important and helpful. Anywhere and everywhere with a stage outdoors, of whatever size. Perfect.  With social distancing, of course.

And where, in Kansas City, is the biggest outdoor stage?

4600 Starlight Rd, Kansas City, MO 64132, USA

Why, Starlight Theater, of course!

Unfortunately, when I went to their web page today, there was this message:

Ensuring the health and safety of our patrons and staff is our number one priority. While we are still able to serve you via phone and website, we have suspended walk-up ticket sales until further notice in support of the guidance from Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City of Kansas City. Patrons will be notified if any Starlight events are postponed or cancelled and we will update our website and ticketholders as information becomes available. Thank you for your understanding, patience and continued support as we learn and adjust to the ever-changing circumstances regarding COVID-19.

And sure, it's understandable and it's one more business and they have to react to the pandemic and the Mayor's stay at home order but now that it's being relaxed, it seems that, again, with social distancing, this could and would be a fantastic place for us to all--carefully--congregate and enjoy ourselves this year, in spite of COVID-19.

I'd like to take it one step further, too.

I'd hope they'd actually have literally one performance a night out there. 

In the best case, with all the different arts organizations and performances there are in the area, the different ones could rotate in their performances.  Dance, music, theater--think Unicorn and the other live theater there is in town.

Sure, it would take a great deal of planning and organization and the logistics could/would be tough, very tough, to pull off, I recognize that.  But if they could, can and do??

And if not one performance a night, then as many performances per week as they could pull off.

And if they could pull it off?

Man, would we all enjoy ourselves and make the most of a very difficult, even tough time and situation.

Another upside?

Quite possibly a ton of profit for Starlight while also hopefully saving some other organizations and artists and performers, too.

I know, I know, this is hoping for a lot.   I mean A LOT. I recognize that.

And maybe it's dreaming an impossible dream.

But tough times make for tough people.  And solutions. And great answers.

It could, really, pull us all together, too. All across the city, area and even region.

Here's hoping.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Where We're Headed With This Pandemic?

Some very sobering to the point of possibly frightening information, data and predictions on this COVID-19 and the coming Fall, Winter and flu season. From The Hill today:

A new study indicates that even if Americans adhere to current social distancing guidelines for months, the U.S. death toll, which is now near 92,000 with 1.5 cases of infection reported, will likely triple by the end of the year due to the coronavirus.

The study, conducted by the Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy and Economics Institute at the University of Washington's School of Pharmacy, found that 1.3 percent of those who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms die. As Reid Wilson writes, the infection fatality rate of the coronavirus is 13 times higher than a bad influenza season.

“COVID-19 infection is deadlier than flu — we can put that debate to rest,” said Anirban Basu, a health economist at the University of Washington who authored the study.

If the infection fatality rate stands, with the virus spreading even before most states open their economies and relax social distancing restrictions, COVID-19 could claim between 350,000 and 1.2 million American lives by the end of this year, the study found.

Potentially very sobering indeed, I thought.

Stay safe, campers. Be well. Best of luck to all of us.