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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

KCI in NY Times Sunday -- and it's not the single terminal

I didn't catch this until yesterday afternoon but I did and it amused me greatly:

A Golf Hazard on the Way to a Tournament

HOYLAKE, England — On the first leg of Gary Woodland’s British Open odyssey, he glanced out the airplane porthole in time to see a baggage handler at Kansas City International Airport haul his golf bag out of a cart, drop it on the tarmac and fling another suitcase on top of it. The sight of the tools of his trade being treated with such little care made Woodland so agitated that his fiancĂ©e told him to turn away from the window.

Not exactly bragging rights, that's for sure but, hey, we got a mention, huh?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Entertainment Overnight -- International humor

Reportedly, it upset Kim Jong-Un:

Total win.

Entertainment Overnight -- On the world's situation just now

The Middle East, the Ukraine, you name it

Missouri's National Pharmaceutical Distinction

The New York Times points it out today:

"Welcome to Missouri - America's Drugstore. We aren't just allowing abuse, we've created a business model for dealers."
DR. DOUGLAS CHAR, an emergency room physician in St. Louis, on Missouri's status as the only state in the nation that refuses to establish a prescription drug database.

It's based on their article today:


In declining to keep a prescription drug database, the state has hampered its ability to combat abuse and also drawn buyers from neighboring states.

So once again and as usual, we'd like to thank the Republican majority legislators in the Jefferson City, Missouri statehouse for yet one more glorious distinction for our state.

But hey, we have "less government" and "smaller government", right?

Because, of course, this doesn't have to do with women's reproductive rights and women's bodies. We want to own those.

God help us.

Friday, July 18, 2014

America and Americans: The World's Warmonger(s)

Facts (from the Business Insider):

America spends more on its military than THE NEXT 15 COUNTRIES COMBINED

The total known land area occupied by U.S. bases and facilities is 15,654 square miles -- bigger than D.C., Massachusetts, and New Jersey combined.

By 2033 the U.S. will be paying $59 billion a year to its veterans injured in the wars

In 2007, the amount of money labeled 'wasted' or 'lost' in Iraq -- $11 billion -- could pay 220,000 teachers salaries

Defense spending is higher today than at any time since the height of World War II

America's defense spending doubled in the same period that its economy shrunk from 32 to 23 percent of global output*

The yearly cost of stationing one soldier in Iraq could feed 60 American families.

Each day in Afghanistan costs the government more than it did to build the entire Pentagon

In 2008, the Pentagon spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earned in a year

The pentagon budget consumes 80% of individual income tax revenue

Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Defense Department still has more than 40 generals, admirals or civilian equivalents based in Europe

The Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety

The amount the government has spent compensating radiation victims of nuclear testing ($1.5 billion) could fully educate 13,000 American kids

The U.S. has 5% of the world's population -- but almost 50% of the world's total military expenditure


The point? 

It needs changing.  We need to cut defense spending, at least by half. We'd still outspend the rest of the world--and heavily, even wildly.  Contact your member of Congress, both the House and your 2 members in the Senate and tell them we need to cut defense spending.  And as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Entertainment overnight -- new find

Out of Arizona:

Question of the day for America

And for modern society:

Microsoft says it will cut up to 18,000 jobs next year to “streamline” its business. Microsoft now employs 125,000 people.
In an era of increasing technological advances, the logical endpoint is a few humongous companies raking in hundreds of billions a year with a handful of employees. When more and more can be done by fewer and fewer, the profits will go to an ever-smaller circle of executives and investors. 

But the rest of us won’t be able to afford to buy what these companies produce because we’ll either be unemployed or serving the wealthy in menial jobs paying almost nothing. The old economic model was mass production by many, mass consumption by many. 

Will the new one have to be production by a few, redistribution to the many?

Actually, originally, when the clear path forward for humankind and history was seen as the industrialization of the world, of work, of our society and our lives, it was assumed that we would, as a people, as a group, as nations, have fewer and fewer people work but still get a living wage.

Absolutely true. There were books written on it, pointing the way. 

It was the only thing, they thought, at the time that made any sense.

How foolish and naive we were.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

For all the conspiracy theorists out there

Great story and photography of a Kansas Citian in NY Times today

Interesting article, terrific photography:

Seems the photographer got bewitched by Pine Bluff, Arkansas, on a drive back home. Well worth the time, on both counts, the story and photos.

On this day, American History

Happy Birthday, Ida B. Wells-Barnett.
The oldest of eight children, Ida B. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Her parents, who were very active in the Republican Party during Reconstruction, died in a yellow fever epidemic in the late 1870s. Wells attended Rust College and then became a teacher in Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly after she arrived, Wells was involved in an altercation with a white conductor while riding the railroad. She had purchased a first-class ticket, and was seated in the ladies car when the conductor ordered her to sit in the Jim Crow (i.e. black) section, which did not offer first-class accommodations. She refused and when the conductor tried to remove her, she "fastened her teeth on the back of his hand." Wells was ejected from the train, and she sued. She won her case in a lower court, but the decision was reversed in an appeals court.

While living in Memphis, Wells became a co-owner and editor of a local black newspaper called THE FREE SPEECH AND HEADLIGHT. Writing her editorials under the pseudonym "Iola," she condemned violence against blacks, disfranchisement, poor schools, and the failure of black people to fight for their rights. She was fired from her teaching job and became a full-time journalist. In 1892, Tom Moss, a respected black store owner and friend of Barnett, was lynched, along with two of his friends, after defending his store against an attack by whites. Wells, outraged, attacked the evils of lynching in her newspaper; she also encouraged the black residents of Memphis to leave town. When Wells was out of town, her newspaper was destroyed by a mob and she was warned not to return to Memphis because her life was in danger. Wells took her anti-lynching campaign to England and was well received.
Wells wrote many pamphlets exposing white violence and lynching and defending black victims. In 1895 she married Ferdinand Barnett, a prominent Chicago attorney. The following year she helped organize the National Association of Colored Women. She was opposed to the policy of accommodation advocated by Booker T. Washington and had personal, if not ideological, difficulties with W.E.B. Du Bois. In 1909, she helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Wells-Barnett continued her fight for black civil and political rights and an end to lynching until shortly before she died.
She documented her anti-lynching work in Souther Horros and Other Writings available here:

What we've done to food

And what we've done to ourselves

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cause. Effects

Fight to get the big money out

Thank goodness for Governor Nixon.....yet again

If not for him, for Governor Nixon in Missouri's state government, there'd be all kinds of crazy inflicted on the state.  Today's latest example:

On Monday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon showed more sense than the rest of the state's government, vetoing a bill that would have allowed trained teachers to carry firearms in their classrooms.  Standing up to the gun-fetishists that seem to think the solution to school violence is more violence, Nixon made the astute observation that putting more guns into schools might actually be bad for student safety.

"Cuz, you  know, the answer to far too many guns and far too many shootings and killings is, by the Right Wing, Republican and NRA way of thinking, "MORE GUNS!"

A lesson for the Star and for all newspapers that want to survive

From yesterday's New York Times:

As USA Today's publisher, the veteran newsman Larry Kramer is hoping America's largest-circulation newspaper will thrive in a world of social media and mobile platforms.

As I've pointed out before here, The New York Times did and is doing it, Yahoo did it. Heck, most all media sources understand this is what they must do.  From what I've seen of the Star, they still don't get it. They don't pay anyone, staff or locals, to videotape little bits of local events, especially the big ones, and then post them on their website. They do "photo galleries" but that's as close as it gets. They also cover things like this instead of more specifically local events:

‘Idiot’ takes selfie during Spain’s running of the bulls

As I write this, on Monday afternoon, their website offers 7 video links from the front page. One is on jumping jacks becoming the state exercise, two are on the Royals, two are on Schlitterbahn's new ride and one is on the Chiefs.  

That's it.

They need to become a multi-media site and source of local, state and regional events and people or they will surely be left in a dust heap. 

And sooner, rather than later.

See for yourself:    Kansas City Star

Monday, July 14, 2014

Things that need changing, ways to do it

Links to organizations to get active in here:

TAKE ACTIONIndex of Organizations

KMBC 9 News goes viral on the interwebs

With a selfie.  KMBC 9 News Kansas City
Best selfie ever?

Quote of the day -- Garth Brooks?

Open letter to America and the NRA, from a longtime weapons enthusiast

“I am the guy that has seen both sides of the issue. I own guns. I’m the father of a murdered child. I’ve done nothing but track violence in America since my son was murdered."
“We have a serious problem with guns in this country. And we refuse to address it. And the NRA’s solution to arm every grammar-school 80-year-old teacher with a gun is absolutely ludicrous.”
"90 percent of Americans are for a responsible background check for a gun, and you know what this Congress has done? Not voted on it, not brought it to the floor, not introduced a bill."
"They’re all scared shitless of the NRA, aren’t they? Because the NRA will run a tea-bagger against you. . . . They’ll put 5 million bucks against you.’”
“I’m a gun owner. I’ve hunted all my life. I hunt quail on my own ranch, And I am the biggest advocate for background checks out of any gun owner in America.” 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Outrageous, unacceptable and nearly unbelievably stupid, and in Kansas City

When I saw the headline, I thought, "somewhere down South. Tennessee, Mississippi, maybe Florida."  The headline?

So I read.  And got a huge shock and disappointment. It was from right here in Kansas City:
Open carry advocates often tell us that they are acting for everyone’s best interest because they are standing up for personal freedoms. In Kansas City, they are bringing the point home.
Jose Montanez is the owner of two high end barber shops, in Kansas City and nearby Shawnee who decided when Kansas recently enacted a law legalizing open carry that he did not want his barber shops to be bristling with openly displayed weaponry.  To that end, he posted signs on his doors advising his customers that the shops do not allow weapons on the premises.
Montanez is unfazed by the criticism and threats of boycott rolling in from various gun nuts. He’s confident that his shops deliver a service that people want and will prosper without their business and says that he will know what is going on in his shop.
“If somebody walks into the establishment with a gun in their hand, I am automatically going to assume it’s bad news,” he told KCTV-TV.
Fortunately, besides the people protesting him and his shop's policy, he's also gotten support.

Entertainment Overnight -- International Edition

Native Americans have had it right all along

Links:  One person CAN make a difference--blog

One person can make a difference--Facebook page

Enjoy your Sunday, y'all.

Another bad list Kansas is on

This little gem:

These states are trying to stop young people from voting

No, it's no surprise but still, it's disheartening. From the Washington Post:

Earlier this year, North Carolina lawmakers passed a bill aimed at stifling the newfound political muscle of their youngest eligible voters. The package of laws, known as HB 589, stripped away crucial policies that made it easier for young people to cast their ballot and participate in the political process. This week, lawyers have descended on Winston Salem to argue that eliminating these policies may have violated the 26th Amendment, which prohibits age-based voting discrimination.
The programs under attack have been proven to boost youth participation. In 2012, young people in the state were 2.6 times more likely to take advantage of same day registration.  And over a three-year period, 160,000 eligible young people were automatically registered to vote from pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds. Now these options are unavailable to the young residents of North Carolina.
Laws like HB 589 are part of a troubling pattern taking hold across the country, triggered by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, thus allowing Southern states to make changes to their voting laws without securing federal approval. A raft of voter ID laws—designed primarily to suppress turnout of minority voters—are also turning away young people, and often, both at the same time. Millennials are the largest, but also the country’s most diverse generation, with 43 percent identifying as people of color. In all, 22 states have new, restrictive voting laws that will go into effect before the 2014 midterms.
An undisguised attempt to block new immigrants and minority voters, new laws in Kansas and Arizona require voters to present proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in the first place. That means when you’re stopped on the street by a nice kid with a clipboard, you have to have your birth certificate, passport or naturalization documents just lying around in your purse or back pocket. Rock The Vote recently joined other community-registration arms including Voto Latino to sign an amicus brief, arguing that the laws unduly impair efforts to register new voters. It also launched an online petition to spread the word.
It seems the opposite of what we thought America was and Americans are about, doesn't it?
I'm telling you, folks, we have to fight to get our country back. We have to fight to end campaign contributions. We have to get the big, ugly, corrupting influence of money from the wealthy and corporations out of our elections and government. Until we do that, nothing will change.
Link:  Get the BigUgly Money Out of Our Election System and Government

Quote of the day -- Sunday Edition

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Entertainment Overnight -- redux

Nice version, I thought

Then and now (guest post)

"Let me see if I have this straight:

George W. Bush allowed Osama bin Laden to kill 3,000 American citizens, lied us into a war that killed an additional 4,500 plus 100,000 Iraqis, empowered the Iranians, made the rich richer and the poor poorer, tanked the economy, used illegal, medieval torture tactics, and failed to capture bin Laden. And the Democrats never once considered impeaching him.

But Barack Obama skips into town, kills Osama bin Laden, saves the American car industry, halved the deficit, triples the stock market, cuts unemployment in half, outlaws torture, brings affordable healthcare to almost ten million people, all without a SMIDGEN of help from the Republicans...and now they're suing him and thinking about impeaching him. 

Do I have that right?"

--Bruce Lindner

On the border crisis just now (guest post)

The Statue of Liberty

I’ve been watching media coverage of angry Americans at our southern border waiving signs and yelling slogans, insisting that the children – most of whom are refugees of the drug war we’ve created -- “go home” to the violence and death that war has created, and I wonder who these angry Americans are. 

I also wonder where their parents or grandparents or other ancestors came from, and what they were fleeing from or hoped for when they landed in America. I’m not suggesting we allow in anyone who wants to come here, but these are desperate children. Whatever happened to the generosity, decency, and big-heartedness of this country? 

Emma Lazarus’s poem engraved in 1903 on the Statue of Liberty reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of our teeming shore. Send these, the homeless tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

Why are we now allowing the hateful side of America to take center stage?

--Robert Reich

Slideshow from CBS of what the children's conditions are in Nogales, AZ:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Entertainment Overnight -- Puddles

The full moon this weekend

From the WGN Chicago's meteorologists FB page of Tom Skilling today:

Tom Skilling's photo.

It's the summer of the "super moon"--or what astronomers call "perigee moons". There are three of them on the way in the months ahead--the first Saturday morning at 6:25 am. Super moons occur when the moon is within 90% of perigee, in other words, within 90% of its closest pass to earth. Though not always easy to see, super moons can be up to 30% brighter and a bit larger than the conventional full moon. Saturday's full moon is known as the Full Buck Moon. NASA has put together a nice video on the "super moon" phenomenon.