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Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Complete, Total, Even Outrageous Hypocrisy of This Donald J. Trump


You can't really comprehend the really complete and total, utter hypocrisy and even stupidity of Trump's "Muslim ban"--because that's what it is, let's face it--until you see this very brief (3 minutes, 36 seconds) video from Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times.



And besides his grandfather, think, too, of Mr. Trump's wife.

Besides being a nearly unimaginable hypocrite, the man doesn't know America's own history.

"Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free..."


Kudos to The New York Times: "The Truth Is Hard"


The New York Times today ran a full page ad in their paper on "the truth." As with so much at The Times, it's intelligent and simple and correct. It's even strong. And we need it now, especially with this obfuscator/hypocrite/redefiner of the truth in the White House. The paper is also doing this, tonight:

Truth Is Hard,' Says New York TimesFirst-Ever Oscars Ad


Seems they're also going to hit The Orange One where it hurts--on one of the most-watched nights of television in the year. Here's the ad:


So good for them. Good for The Times and good for us. Great for us. We need to hold this man accountable, to all of us. We need to hold him accountable to, yes, the truth but to justice and equality and a host of other things that, from anyone else, we could assume.


Quote of the Day -- Sunday Edition




Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mardi Gras Weekend!


It's Mardi Gras weekend, y'all, no matter where you live! Go get some red beans and rice or jambalaya or crawfish etoufee' or gumbo or a po' boy or SOMETHING!!



Laissez les bons temps rouler!!


An Un-Constitutional, Un-American President and His Political Party



Starting with their President, Trump, some very un-Constitutional and un-American acts this week. He did this, yesterday.


Now, today, he did this. He's gone international with his press ban.


And lest we think he's alone in this, in his actions, perish the thought. His very Right Wing, Republican cohorts are doing much the same, state to state, across the nation. They don't want to hear from us, from you, Mr. and Mrs. America.

Republican lawmakers introduce bills to curb protesting in at least 18 states


Let's be clear, here, ladies and gentlemen, Americans. This is not only a narcissistic, insecure man but a dangerous one and he's going against everything we think we are about, everything we've "been about" for the last few hundred years.

Not to be done there, check out what the Kuwaiti government did last month.

Kuwait Celebration At Trump Hotel Raises Conflict Of Interest Questions


They switched a 600 room reservation from the Four Seasons Hotel in New York to the Trump Hotel.

Conflict of interest much?

Can you imagine if the last President had done anything, anything remotely similar? 

Can you imagine the uproar? The outcry? The investigations?


The Weekly KCPT "White Watch"


I think I've decided I'm going to post out here, weekly, who, precisely, is included and excluded on our local PBS station, KCPT's two weekly news shows as to who is on it and who is off. I've pointed out here, several times, how few minorities are included on the shows. And the shows are "Ruckus" and "Kansas City Week In Review."

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Normally, weekly, it is virtually always, as I've shown, merely and only, singularly, white people. Maybe one woman, one white woman but that's it. No Blacks. No Hispanics. No Asians. No one else but white people as though we are some Northeast United States, completely white society and any input from anyone else is unnecessary.

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This week, a small gain was made in that "Kansas City Week In Review' with Nick Haines had---count 'em!---one "person of color." They included one, one Black man, God love 'em.

But check this out.

For that one Black person, that one Black person in the chair this week?

The female got bumped.

Apparently, on this show, if not on KCPT, period, they can only allow one minority. One minority at a time.

Isn't that wonderful?

Meanwhile, back on "Ruckus"?

Lily white.

Once again, one more time, the "Ruckus" show had nothing but middle-aged--or older--white males. And yes, they included, on this program, one white woman.

Bless their little hearts.

KCPT and PBS does so much good otherwise and gives us such great programming otherwise but on these two weekly news programs?

They fail the city greatly.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Is It a Crime?


This may come, come as a surprise..



but I still want you...


If I Did Advertising/Marketing For Yellow Cab


Seems everyone wants to get into the Yellow Cab, "I need a ride" business.

There's Uber and Lyft, Sidecar, Curb, Hailo and I don't know how many others (see link below). All of them want to do the same thing. That is, give us a ride, give you a ride but at a lower price for you and all because THEY DON'T HAVE ANY (or many) EMPLOYEES. They don't have steady, ongoing, official employees they have to pay wages or benefits.

Yes, isn't that a wonderful thing?

Those pesky things, employees, what with their need for wages and maybe a pension plan for when they inevitably get old and health insurance and all that.  What nerve.

And who's taking it on the chin?

Well, Yellow Cab companies and all like them, first of all, but more than that, of course, but, again, those pesky employees. Of Yellow Cab.

And that's not Yellow Cab's only problem, either. Technology will also be throwing this little, soon to be huge, problem at them, too:

Autonomous Vehicles 

Will Replace Taxi Drivers


I got to thinking about this.

If I were the owner of a large Yellow Cab franchise, I think I came up with the perfect way to "fight back", Capitalism style, with advertising. Here's what I'd do.

I'd run TV ads, at least pointing out the benefits of cabs over these "ride sharing" programs.

What benefits, you might ask? The ad would be something like this:

Image result for yellow cab

 Need a ride? 

 Call Yellow Cab, for all the benefits! 

 No additional "up-front" fees to "join"! 
 No membership to purchase! 
 No app to download! 
 No information (of yours) to share (with us)! 
 No information of yours sold (by us) to other companies! 

  Just one flat fee, as you know, per mile, with a friendly face at the wheel! 

 So, next time you need a ride, keep it simple and SAVE! 

 CALL YELLOW CAB!! 

Then, I'd get with my fellow Yellow Cab company operators, coast to coast, and make the ads available to them and at a terrific, low price, strength being in numbers and all. I'd also pitch the program to Labor Unions. No group understands standing together better than Unions. Heck, I'd even let my drivers and the employees unionize.

The owners of all those cabs have to know their ridership and so, profits are down. They also need to know they need to both stand together, as a group, but also have people "in their corner", so to speak and no one could do that better for them, being "in their corner", supporting them than Unions of all kinds, coast to coast.

All the cab companies better realize it's a changing, vastly changing world out there. They need to respond to it or they're going to go the way of the wagon train.

Link:

Looking for a Ride? Here's a List of Uber Alternatives



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.

Links:  











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.

Links:

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.

Link:


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.

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Kansas City Week in Review - KCPT




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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

Links:





Sunday, February 12, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Rest In Peace


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


Hoping you're already resting in peace.

Links:

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:

Royals: CLOSING

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