Blog Catalog

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How cool is that?

Missouri's Keystone Pipeline

It seems an oil company wants to run a new oil pipeline from Cushing, Illinois, through our state and down to Oklahoma: Nixon said Tuesday that his administration would work to approve whatever permits are necessary for Enbridge (U.S.) Inc. to build a 600-mile pipeline from Flanagan, Ill., to Cushing, Okla. The company is in the early stages of the project but hopes to begin construction in the middle of next year. With this, a couple things seem clear. First, it's surprising we even hear of this kind of development. I think it used to be, something like this would have just sailed through and been done with little or no real awareness or input from or by the public. With computers and the internet, combined with our awareness of the environment and what can rather tragically happen with oil spills, I think people are more aware and involved. That said, my second point is that I would imagine this will sail through the Statehouss in Jefferson City. I don't think Missourians will fight it, by and large, in spite of the fact that it goes so close to our Mark Twain National Forest and over a great deal of important water sources including the Missouri River and the various rivers in Southern Missouri. Apparently it goes along the line of another pipeline. That will surely be used as proof there will be no problems with this new pipeline, whether it's true or not. Link to original article:; To see route of proposed pipeline:

You have to hand it to JJ's restaurant

Really, you have to hand it to the JJ's restaurant staff and management. I've written a little about this before but really, with the West Edge project first going up and the intitial blasting and then construction--which took months--and then the building sitting idle, right in front of them for two years, and now the tear down, they've been able to more than just survive, all this time. The picture above shows the West Edge building as of today. They put this on their Facebook page with the note that "Noticeable progress across the street over the weekend! These two sections were the same height on Friday." You have to hand it to these people. Clearly, these people make their food, service and atmosphere what they need to be. There have been many times when the street in front of the restaurant was blocked either completely or partially, time and again, over all these years--and it's been at least 6 years (I'm being conservative here) that they've had to put up with this mess.
So JJ's restaurant, I salute you. You obviously have what it takes to make it and it has taken a great deal of good, hard work, good food, good service and a lot of effort to make it while around you was a big mess. Lesser people and a lesser restaurant just wouldn't have made it, for sure. So readers, next time you want a good meal in a beautiful setting, you might keep JJ's in mind, if you don't already. Clearly a lot of people believe in this restaurant, their food and their people.

Seems he was speaking of Mitt Romney all that long ago

Quote of the day

"Everyday, we should listen to a sweet melody, read a beautiful poem, see an exquisite painting, and if possible, speak a few sensitive words." --Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

There is no "final frontier"

Astronomers pointed the Hubble Space Telescope at what appeared to be absolutely nothing and left it there for 10 days. Then they did it again for 11 days. With that, they took those images and made them into this 3-dimensional presentation. The results are incredible and may change people's perception of our importance in the universe. I think you'll agree--contrary to more common thought, there is no "final frontier", "Star Trek" or no.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Best, most beautiful TV ever?

Holy cow. Tonight, for the first time, I saw an episode of this new TV show, "Luck" on and from HBO. I have to say, I have never, ever been so dazzled by a program. For that matter, I have never been so immediately dazzled by a television series ever. Between the cinematography, the setting, the actors, the characters, the setting, the buildup, the soundtrack and music---everything--it is without doubt the most beautiful, engaging TV I've ever seen. And this was just after watching one one-hour episode. It was like life on a beautiful, hallucinogenic drug, but without the drugs, for one hour. Since it's built around a horse racetrack and the requisite races, it has a wonderful tension and buildup, too. It has Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and a whole cast of characters who seem totally in their element. It is some stunning TV. This from a guy who--swear to goodness--is virtually never taken in by TV or even movies, unless there really is something there. You should see this. If you can, see it in full HD with a sound system, from opening to the credits. It is as rich as a video, visual experience can be, I think. It is downright sexy and extremely sophisticated and alluring. There will be people who don't enjoy it, I suppose, but I feel sure they will be in a tiny minority.

Matt Cassel makes big Yahoo! News

Matt Cassel has hit the big, national news, it seems. He's being shown in his big story for helping save a local neighbor woman from a fire: Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel alerts woman to house fire Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel didn't have his best season in 2011, but his 2012 offseason has certainly been eventful enough. On Thursday night, in the Missouri gated community of Loch Lloyd, Cassel ran to the home of a neighbor after his wife noticed that smoke was billowing and flames were shooting from the chimney of the woman's home. So good for him. And for the neighbor, of course. I know it will be covered at the Star, and on Tony's KC and the Pitch Magazine blog, Plog, but I mention it here because it went international, being on Yahoo. Link:

On technology

The Socialism that is the Super Bowl

Bill Maher - Irritable Bowl Syndrome from Fraser Davidson on Vimeo.

Do you know how our Apple products are made?

This radio program, "This American Life", is played, weekly, on NPR. They tell different stories each week on different topics. This time, they told of how and where Apple products are made. (It's in China and it's with really horrible, slave-like conditions of the workers. 12, 13 and 14 year olds, in many cases with 12 hour days for as little as $17 per day, according to The New York Times (see link below). The incident of suicides are infamous. This podcast doesn't deal as much with those--the suicides--or things that gory, so you know.
Everyone needs to know. Link: Also, at this link, there is Apple's response:

Welcome to Super Bowl Week

Like it, love it or hate it, it's here--Super Bowl Week. It will be chockablock with announcements, advertisements, news mentions and more all week so get ready. We're familiar with this, of course. One of those annual media events. So here goes. Unfortunately, our own Chiefs didn't get even remotely close to the playoffs, let alone the actual game itself. So it goes. There's always next year. (Yeah, right).

How did we get here?

How did we get to the place where a candidate for the highest office in the land can have and hold millions of dollars offshore, in offshore accounts, outside the country just so, clearly, he can avoid taxation by the same country he is wanting to lead? How did we get here? How is that not against the same country he is trying to lead? How is that not rather a betrayal, at least, of this same nation? How is that not considered immoral? Are we not allowing anything-- virtually anthing --all in the name of profit and profits? And are we not even allowing this kind of thing for anyone and everyone if a potential next-president of the nation can do it? How and why do we allow this? Don't we all recognize that this has the effect of weakening the country, financially, at least, if not also morally? Links:;;

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Entertainment overnight

I'm not mocking what this guy--or any like him--is doing, don't get me wrong because a) it's beautiful and b) it likely takes a great deal of practice and learning to do but I didn't know that a great deal of glasses spread out in front of you, with various levels of water in them, to create different tones and notes was called a "glass harp." I hope you had a great weekend, y'all.

Another ad the White House may play next Fall

I'm so old...

...I know who George and Gracie were. (w/ nod to Donna for a reference to them).

Could we stop imitating Michael Jackson now?

What is it with repeating Michael Jackson's moves that keeps getting done over and over? HE was unique. HE was creative. He came up with all these things. Then people started doing the same things and I guess the thought was "See? I can do it, too." Now, people are STILL repeating his same moves. Has it morphed into nostalgia now? I don't get it. That must be it. I think we will be seeing this until the end of time. Granted, it's good music and always will be but THE SAME DANCE MOVES AS HIM--AND THE SAME CLOTHES? Forever? Yikes.

Right wing violence seems to be escalating

A blogger points out that, this past week, there were 3 separate incidents of "violent intimidation" of Democrats "by Republican Extremists in One Single Week." He assumed Republicans and I cannot and do not but I do assume they are "Right wing" and I think that is a very fair assumption, agree or no. Those 3 incidents were: 1) A campaign manager for a Democratic congressional candidate in Arkansas came home to find his family's cat killed, with the word "LIBERAL" painted on it. His 5-year old son made the gruesome discovery. This is clearly the sickest one of the three, I think; 2) Five Democratic Missouri state Senators --- four of them African-American women --- discovered rifle crosshair stickers placed on the door of their capitol offices. (Maybe they're just "surveyor's marks" though. Right Sarah Palin?); and finally, 3) A veteran 14-year police sergeant from Peoria, Arizona (near Phoenix), proudly posted a photo he took of a bunch of guys with automatic rifles holding a bullet riddled t-shirt featuring an image of Barack Obama on it. My reason for pointing this out is twofold. First, it's to create awareness of some of the sick things that are taking place nationwide so we are aware of it and maybe so we tone it down, ourselves, if we're getting overly emotional about what's going on in our country. The 2nd reason for pointing it out is to ask if maybe this will increase--heavens forbid--in the months to come, as we get closer to the November election. Hopefully these don't get more prevalent--or worse--as we get closer to the election. Here's hoping cooler, calmer and more thinking and intelligent minds prevail. Link to original post:

World's Window closed

World's Window, the retailing accessory/gift shop in Brookside is closed. But just for this week. They are closed today, Sunday, January 29 through Sunday, February 5th for remodeling. They reopen Monday, February 6. Wishing them good luck on the work, for sure.

Surprising things coming out of Davos

Morality, to come back into our business dealings? Wouldn't that be a great idea?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Entertainment overnight

“Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that really matters are feelings. That's what music is to me.” –-Janis Joplin

Who can't relate, right?

Heard it all before. We'll hear it again. (And again. And again.)

Yo Yo Ma on our own Kauffman Center: How cool is that?

From our own KC to Amend!

From the notes: "KC Move to Amend and comedy troupe LSR present a satire of Corporate Personhood: the wedding of a corporation and a human being." How appropriate. Please support efforts to undo the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision so we can help get the big, ugly, corrupting money of corporations and their lobbyists out of our government. Learn more--and participate?--here:

Quote of the day

“When a group of investors pool their excess resources, efforts and talents for the sole purpose of their own benefit, regardless of the impact it has on others, it is called a 'corporation' and is touted as a honourable institution without which our society would collapse. When a group of workers pool their resources, efforts and talents for the sole purpose of their own benefit, regardless of the impact it has on others, it is called a 'Labor Union' and it is cursed as a selfish, greedy collection of disloyal leftists who should be ashamed of themselves for putting their needs before that of society.” --Jeff Moncalieri (person on Facebook)

American healthcare: Most expensive, "least equitable"

There is a new study out, ranking health care around the world--all the nation's health care systems. According to it, "Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system... The United States ranked last when compared to six other countries -- Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Fund report found." But understand, it's TERRIFIC for the corporations. It's great for the health insurance companies. They LOVE us. They wouldn't have it any other way, let there be no doubt. See? This is why we need to change from the for-profit system we have now. The rest of the world doesn't do this--only we, here in the US, do. It's insane. It's stupid. It's irresponsible. And the thing is, it's irresponsible to ourselves. This is no way to run a health care system--or a nation. We need to demand better. We need to demand different. We need to change and we need to open our minds to change. We need to demand it of our government and we need to demand it of our corporations. We won't but we need to. Say what you will but we Americans just aren't that bright, we don't have control of our country, our health care system or our government, we need to change all this and finally, the corporations are king off like bandits, especially the health care insurance companies. Link to original article:

I love things like this

This cracked me up. I love how the kid took the challenge from his father (that he'd pay him $100 if he--the son--did one backflip a day for a year) and then had fun with it, right down to making this video. As it happens, I like the music he set it to, also. (I wouldn't buy it--I don't need or want the music--but I've always enjoyed it). Now he and his father can always have this video as a reminder, too. I assume his father wanted to make sure he got exercise, who knows? Enjoy your weekend, y'all.

A new Ferris Bueller?

The notes with this at YouTube say to wait for the Super Bowl ad. Sounds intriguing. They're such teases, clearly. According to a Jalopnik note on that website, it's actually a Honda ad. We'll see, huh?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Entertainment overnight---new stuff by a new artist (to me,anyway)

So beautiful.

Your afternoon's entertainment

Aren't computers wonderful? What would we do without them? :)

just to say...

Arthur Bryant's via Australia

There's an article in an Aussie rag about our own Arthur Bryant's Barbecue: Humble Kansas restaurant Arthur Bryant's Barbecue has some famous fans Don'tch'a just love how people so frequently assume that, because it's Kansas City, that it's also gotta' be Kansas? That kills me. A bit of what they say (link at bottom): "Arthur Bryant's resembles a cafeteria from the 1950s, because it hasn't changed since it catered to baseball players and fans from a nearby (and long gone) stadium." Link:

Quote of the day

"When you make mistakes, there are no time machines to rectify them. Mistakes are lodged like harpoons and fish hooks in an intelligent person's soul." --Ed Sanders, activist, musician, on his friend and fellow musician Phil Ochs

One day...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Entertainment overnight


take me away

Shoot me, I love Trader Joe's

In case you hadn't seen it already: Besides, they used that perfect, catchy tune, right?

One of the best movie ideas ever

"Star Wars", redone, in 3-D. Oh, yeah. That's the good news. The bad news, if there is any? It's "The Phantom Menace." Yeah, Jar Jar Binks will still be in it.

Welcome to town, Mr. Takei!

George Takei, the actor mostly known for playing Mr. Sulu on the "Star Trek" television show is in town to appear with the Kansas City Symphony this weekend at the Kauffman Center. I understand both shows are sold out. They are having a "Sci-Fi Spectacular with George Takei" and playing things from "Star Trek", "Star Wars", "2001: A Space Odyssey" and more. For those going, I'm sure it will be great fun. They warn on the Symphony page that there will be lasers used during the performance. What a hoot. Link:

Two conclusions about Arizona

It seems there are two things that can be said to be absolutely true of the state of Arizona. The first is that it is a state full of racists, given their track record from the last several years, publicly. (Not that there aren't plenty of states that are racist, heaven knows, but at least it doesn't flood into the statehouse of each state, too). video platform video management video solutions video player And the second thing is that their governor, Jan Brewer, has little class or sophistication or manners, if any at all. If someone were to call her "white trash", I couldn't disagree with them or chide them for being ill-mannered. Link to story:,0,5568347.story

Quote of the day

"The selfish spirit of commerce knows no country, and feels no passion or principle but that of gain." --Thomas Jefferson, 1809

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Entertainment overnight

An old, old favorite. (I'm so old...I know who John Cougar Mellenkamp is). Quite possibly the worst choreography ever but a great song, well sung, nonetheless.

Fidel Castro on the current Republican presidential candidates

"The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is – and I mean this seriously – the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been." Link:,b=facebook

Mo black homicide rate worst in nation

Sure, this will be covered by all the media and blog sites in the entire state but the question needs to be asked: what are our state, city and country leaders are going to do about this? Every civic, church and community leader in the state who can effect any changes on this situation should be addressing this issue. I'd think the mayors of St. Louis and Kansas City, at least, should be getting together with all the people they can and again, church, civic community leaders, everyone. And let's face it, folks, this problem of blacks in the state killing one another is overwhelmingly in Kansas City and St. Louis. Virtually the rest of the state is rural. With the exception of some cases in Springfield and St. Joseph, most of the problems stem directly from these two metropolitan areas. If little is done about this situation in these two cities and maybe Jefferson City at the statehouse, if anything can come out of there, Missouri can just expect this negative advertising to continue, of course. Links:;;

Want to keep up with the arts in KC?

If you don't already know about it, you need to go to and register at this site: Music, theater, movies, dance--it's all here. AS they describe themselves: Kansas City's Online Journal of the Performing Arts. Enjoy.

A friend, today, on the Republican Party

"How can you gain followers being anti-gay, anti-black, anti-Latino, anti-abortion, anti-progress, anti-infrastructure, anti-regulation and anti- compromise, and expect to go into the 21st century?"

This looks funny as heck

I saw this trailer last evening. The movie looks funny as heck--and I usually hate these "blow 'em up" films. Here's the premise: Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman. Absurdity of the first order. Bring it on.

More disgusting news about corporations, their lobbying and taxes

There is a somewhat commonly now-known article that came out at the end of last year that pointed out "Between 2008 And 2010, 30 Big Corporations Spent More Lobbying Washington Than They Paid In Income Taxes." (see link below) And that's bad enough. That's pretty disgusting. Rather than do "the right thing", the moral thing and pay their proper amount of taxes, these 30 companies paid more paying off their legislators in various ways, than they did in taxes. Really repulsive. Reprehensible, for sure. But you know what? That's not the worst of it, either. If you think about it, they also WROTE OFF these "lobbying expenses" as "business expenses" on their taxes. So besides not paying as much in taxes and paying more for these bribes to our legislators, they also have us--you and me, the American taxpayer--pick up the tab for this ugly, obscene immorality. Really, they are disgusting. There is no decency in these people. It's "all money, all the time" and "money for money's sake." Pitiful. Link:

McDonald's restaurants in the US vs. France

This, ladies and gentlemen, is reported to be a picture of "chicken McNuggets" here in the US, before they're cooked:
There is a fascinating article on NPR's food blog about "Why McDonald's In France Doesn't Feel Like Fast Food" and it doesn't speak well--at all--for Americans: One "...reason McDonald's works so well here is that the food is locally sourced and very high quality. As we all know, France is the land of haute cuisine. But it's also the land of good cuisine. The French appreciate quality in any category, even fast food. Restaurateurs in France know they'll go bust if they offer substandard products." So it has to do with American's low expectations, for one, along with our political system of letting corporations effectively buy the legislation they want, of our government. It denudes the effectiveness of things like our Food and Drug Administration. Instead of protecting the people, it protects the corporations. This, below, is a picture of a plate of food from a French McDonald's restaurant:
More: "‎French cattle are all grass fed, which many argue makes them tastier. Growth hormones are illegal here and each animal has a passport showing where it was born, raised, and slaughtered, according to McDonald's France. That's called traceability, and we don't yet have such a national system in place." Finally, "As for chicken nugget lovers, French chickens, unlike some of their American counterparts, are not rinsed in chlorine to disinfect them. The regular use of chlorine in the U.S. chicken industry is why poulet americain has long been interdit in the European Union." As Americans, we just aren't very bright, it seems. We need to demand more from our representatives, our government and our corporations. We are in charge and we need to let them know that. I repeat, WE MUST GET "CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS" OUT OF OUR ELECTION SYSTEM AND SO, OUT OF OUR GOVERNMENT. Link to original post:

More from the Newtster's own mouth on Newt

Not to be outdone, here's Mitt Romney's hypocrisy

Mittens vs. the Newtster. This couldn't be any better.

And why do we give tax credits, subsidies and deductions to "Big Oil"?

"Big Oil" is literally the most profitable industry in the world. Why don't we stop this as soon as possible? In the first place, they are "most profitable" of any companies in the nation and world. Second, we need the tax revenues and third, if we really do use the "free market" Capitalist system, we shouldn't be giving them these anyway and finally, it could and would help wean us off this ugly fossil fuel that has us both polluting and, possibly worst, tied to the most unstable nations in the world. It all makes too much sense.

The US gives tax credits right now to offshore manufacturiing

One of the most obvious, simple, intelligent and helpful things our US Congress could and should do is this, from President Obama's State of the Union address last evening: Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it. The fact is, most Americans don't know that right now, with our current tax code, we actually reward companies for taking manufacturing offshore, nearly unbelievably. Not only that, but the Democrats proposed, last year, doing away with all these. No brainer, right? Well, not so for the Republicans---they killed it, insanely and irresponsibly enough. This should go and go immediately. Please write your Senators and Representatives in Congress today--or as soon as possible. This needs to change and change quicly. Link to the SOTU address:

Quote of the day

"People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food." --Wendell Berry, American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer. Link:

The American people on the State of the Union Address

"An overwhelming majority of Americans approved of the overall message in President Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, according to a CBS News poll of speech watchers. According to the poll, which was conducted online by Knowledge Networks immediately after the president's address, 91 percent of those who watched the speech approved of the proposals Mr. Obama put forth during his remarks. Only nine percent disapproved."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Republican response to the State of the Union Address

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius on the Affordable Care Act, Part 2

You might be surprised at how informative and so, important this interview is.

Kansas' own Kathleen Sibelius on the Affordable Care Act

Newt Gingrich, hypocrite extraordinaire

What a huge, hypocritical egotist. Go, Newt.

The one thing I want to hear in the State of the Union address

That is, I want to hear the President push Congress for jobs programs. We have a great deal of highway and infrastructure jobs, projects and work across the country that need attention and work, as we all know. I'd like to hear him push this Congress for bills and programs that emphasize that so we can get and keep America back to work and so our highways, streets, sewage--everything--is as it should be and not 10 or 20 years behind in maintenance. Then, I would like to have this Congress and all parties in it get behind him and support it for the betterment of the entire nation. The political party division in the country is ugly, senseless and needs to stop. We need to all work together as Americans, as the country used.

On tonight's State of the Union address

"Go big, Mr. President, tonight. Go big. This is the moment when the transformation away from the old politics happens; when the baby-boom battle recedes; when the extremism of the GOP finally eats itself; and when a saner future can be born. The real moment of transformation will be the re-election of a reasonable president in an unreasonable time. But tonight is the harbinger, the marker, the rally moment. Seize it." -— Andrew Sullivan, English-American author, editor, political commentator and blogger. For what it's worth--my take on it is that the President needs to push for jobs and jobs programs from this Congress and shove it down their throats. I feel sure the American people are solidly behind him on that.

One of Phil Ochs best songs, to me

Phil Ochs--60's singer, songwriter, performer, activist and war protester. Links:;

The man who might be president

As ever, click on picture for better viewing.
That he has a chance is scary. So scary.

Missourians brow-beaten by Texas attorneys

A Texas law firm has been sending letters to churches, trying to say that "..."criminal penalties apply to the collection of signatures for an initiative petition. It also warned that religious organizations trying to influence legislation 'may lose their tax-exempt status.'" Why would this law firm do this? Why, because churches, statewide, have been organizing and collecting signatures to propose a vote on the regulation of payday loans in Missouri. You know, the people who charge upwards of 400% in interest rates for their loans? A little data: "A Missouri Division of Finance study conducted in 2007 found the average age of consumers taking out payday loans was 43 with an income of a little more than $24,000. The average interest rate for a payday loan in Missouri is 445 percent annually. The national average is 391 percent." As Rev. Richard Creason, pastor of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in St. Louis said, "It's an effort to intimidate and pretend that we have no First Amendment rights as citizens of this country." Personally, I'm all about churches staying out of elections of individuals but this is utterly different. This is about helping people on an issue about the poor. They shouldn't tell anyone for whom to vote in an election but this is about organizing for an issue. From the article (link at bottom: The IRS prohibits political campaign activity on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office by houses of worship that are tax-exempt through their status as a 501(c)(3) organization. But the IRS defines political activities and legislative activities — or lobbying — as different things. Religious organizations can engage in "a limited amount" of lobbying, including ballot measures, and can advocate for (or against) political issues. Hopefully this will blow up in the faces of the attorneys in Texas. Regardless, this initiative should go forward. Link to original post:
Watch this video, listen to the artist's words and see if this doesn't still apply to America today and our war in Afghanistan. Rest in peace Phil Ochs.

Quote of the day

"One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're right.' If you don't have that, if you think you've got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated." --Saul Alinsky, American community organizer and writer Link:

Entertainment overnight

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fox "News" finally gets something right

Coincidentally, they hit it right about these lunatics from Topeka. (I refuse to mention their name). I guess if you're on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you're bound to, one day, anyway, finally, finally get and say something correct. I wonder if and when it will happen again and how long it will take. We may never know.

More of America's history on tonight

Watch Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune on PBS. See more from American Masters.


"Smash" feels like a smash

I'm no movie critic or reviewer--not professionally, by a long shot (HUGE understatement)--but this new TV show coming out February 6 on NBC, "Smash", looks terrific. With Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston, it's set in New York City and about people fleshing out a musical for Broadway based on Marilyn Monroe. The first episode (see link at bottom), looks extremely promising. It's one of the most forward-looking things on TV right now, I think (though it's not on yet, not technically). It also incorporates laptops, cell phones, a YouTube-type website, a portable video cam--and all very well. It's very modern and it works. You get into the characters rather quickly, I think. The filming--both of New York and the performances--really draw you in. Last note (at least here, today, on this)--it's been compared to "Glee" and it certainly comes from that success but here's the thing--this has a far, far better and, I'll bet, more consistent story. "Glee" seems to survive and exist if the episode that evening has good musical performances. The characters and their respective stories aren't that important or integral. This has what seems to be a far more engaging story and so, characters you care far more about, far sooner. It really seems to work and on a few different levels. Here's hoping. Link to first episdode:

I'm so old...

...I remember the old, thriving, wonderful experience that was the now-gone and very successful Stephenson's Restaurant out in Independence.

The Gregory Brothers do it again--this time to Newt and the Repubs

Brilliant, once again.

Americans are fed up

This election and our very broken health care system

Be careful what you wish--vote--for.

Deficit spending hypocrisy

What Apple wants is, apparently, slaves

There is a now fairly famous (infamous?) article in The New York Times yesterday on Apple and its iPhones and computer work. It asks why the company doesn't bring and keep those manufacturing jobs here in the States. (see first link at bottom) If nothing else illustrates what Apple and apparently other manufacturers want and think they need, it's this quote: "A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day." Did you get that? "Immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company's dormotories...", gave them "a biscuit and a cup of tea" and got them to work right away. I ask you, is that not just saying you need slave labor? It certainly seems so to me. Between this ability they want and the wages they notoriously pay, it seems clear and obvious they've come to the conclusion that only this kind of slave labor will do. The American worker and so, the middle class, is screwed here. Oh, and according to the article, it's been estimated that having Americans manufacture their products would add approximately $65 cost to each phone. Now that's just too much to ask, isn't it? Link to original article here: Links to articles and information on Apple's working conditions here:;;

Kansas representative is no. 2 on "most money received from 'Big Oil'"

None other than Kansas' own Representative Mike Pompeo (Republican, Wichita, Ks) is the number two recipient/beneficiary of the most money from "Big Oil." Mr. Pompeo took home $333,156 in the last two years from the oil and gas lobby--more than anyone else but one person. That honor goes to Representative Steven Pearce of New Mexico, also, of course, a Republican. In fact, of the top then beneficiaries on the list, 9 out of the 10 are Republicans. No surprise, that. Nearly needless to say, Mr. Pompeo won't be supporting any "clean" or "green", sustainable fuel sources or technology any time soon, no doubt, not even if it can help the nation get cleaner air, more jobs and free of independence from Middle East oil, nosirree. Links:;

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Support local artists?

This beautiful song is done by two local artists. They are called "Eyelit" and are trying to get their album printed and mastered. You can go here for lots more information on how you can help: Their Facebook page is here:

Worst national anthem performance ever at a public event by a "professioinal"?

And this is the guy who judges other people's singing on a reality TV show? More opinions here:

Are you watching "Downton Abbey" on PBS?

“'Downton Abbey' is situated precisely on the Venn diagram where 'prestige' meets 'guilty pleasure': it’s as much cake as it is bread. And, sue me, I like cake." --Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker Magazine. Sunday evenings at 8 pm on KCPT locally. Yow. Life is too short to live without PBS, NPR or "Masterpiece Theater." Link:

Gas price jump this week

From Wednesday to Thursday this week, at least up North here in the Kansas City area, gas jumped from 3.049/gallon to $3.199. That's quite a jump by my way of thinking. It always seems so arbitrary.

Mitt Romney and Republican "class warfare"

This week's "New Rules"!

Man, I love these things. Enjoy your Sunday, y'all.

On this day...

On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its Roe vs. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. And they've been legal, thank goodness--and for good reason--ever since. The Republicans and Right Wing should have long since been "over it."

I'm so old...

...I know who Dave Mason was.

End the Capital Gains Tax??

The wealthy in this country already pay--as we've come to find out ala' Mitt "Mittens" Romney and Warren Buffet--less in taxes than the middle- and lower-classes. They pay in the range of a 15% rate--if that--while the rest of us pay more like 35% As if that's not bad enough, people have been calling for the end of the Capital Gains Tax? What? So they can pay even less? In the first place, shouldn't they pay MORE, comparatively, especially if you go by the Bible and our supposed Judeo-Christian values but even if you don't? Second, kill the Capital Gains Tax? As though we aren't already deeply in debt enough as it is, since George W. "Knuclehead" Bush got us into two wars, didn't pay for either AND handed out a huge tax cut for the wealthy already? Could we now kill even the possibility of ending this Capital Gains Tax idea? Please?

Quote of the day

"The corporate barbarians are through the gate of American democracy. Not satisfied with their all-pervasive influence on our culture, economy and legislative processes, they want more. They want it all." - Sen. Bernie Sanders (Indep-Vt.) Link:

until the end of time

come what may

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tweets tonight from Robert Reich on So. Carolina

1) Gingrich victory in SC a huge gift for Romney -- making him seem reasonable & responsible. And it rallies the adults in the GOP around him; 2) Now is the time for Republican leaders -- if there are any left -- to do the responsible thing and tell the truth about Newt Gingrich; 3) Newt Gingrich has perfected the art of demonizing others in order to promote himself. His message is anger, fear, and resentment; 4) When voters are stressed and angry, they'll vote for the person who most embodies their nasty mood. Hence, the Gingrich surge; 5) Gingrich almost destroyed the GOP in 1996. Now he's been given a second chance; 6) White House loves idea of Grinch heading R ticket. Increases O's odds by 20%. But also increases odds that next US prez will be insane.

Overnight entertainment

Goin' to Kansas City...


I love these guys. So fun. Great new twist, in at least a couple ways. Enjoy your weekend, y'all.

Newt and MItt: "I won't show you mine but let me see yours"

Yes, indeed, say what you will about what their differences are, whether many or few, but Republican presidential candidates Newt "I won't cheat on this wife" Gingrich and Mitt "I'll say anything to be president" Romney do share one trait. That is, they are both huge hypocrites of the first order. Right now, the Newtster want Mittens to release his tax returns and Mittens wants the Newtster to have released an "ethics review" of some 300 pages from when Newt was Speaker of the House. No surprise, both say no. It seems the American public might best be served if we got all these documents out in public, doesn't it? And then, maybe as soon as possible? Links:;

US Priorities

Those are some sick, very misplaced priorities.

Quote of the day

“We must make it clear that a platform of ‘I hate gay men and women’ is not a way to become President of the United States.” --Former President Jimmy Carter

Friday, January 20, 2012

First sitting-president to attend the Apollo Theater

There's a shock, huh?

Welcome to life

Vega Choir’s cover of “Creep” set to visuals of Charlie Brown’s oh, so very tragic life-- With thanks to "Dangerous Minds":

Here's a question: Why don't we make offshoring profits illegal?

So we all know now--no surprise, really--that Mitt Romney has millions of dollars in offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands even though he's running for the presidency of the United States. It doesn't seem very patriotic or supportive of the nation, does it? But the thing is, the only reason offshoring profits is legal is because the wealthy people and corporations that wanted it, that would benefit from it, gave "campaign contributions" to their representatives in Congress so naturally, their representatives created legislation allowing it. Done and done. The thing is, it's not good for the country, for us, the United States of America. We know now why it exists. Why don't we now push to make this corporate and wealthy person's obscenity illegal? I think it's a good and valid question. I also think we, the people, should pursue just that. Link:

Quote of the day (and a great development from this Republican presidential campaign)

At least, now, with this Republican presidential campaign, we are asking good, piercing, penetrating, evaluative questions about our nation and its policies: "As Mitt Romney dances around calls for him to release his tax returns, a question about U.S. tax policy comes up: Why do the rich bear a startlingly light tax burden? ...At a time when all the self-proclaimed serious people are telling us that the poor and the middle class must suffer in the name of fiscal probity, such low taxes on the very rich are indefensible." --Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist, writer and columnist for The New York Times Link to original column:

Hypocrite, thy name is Newt

You have to hand it to Newt Gingrich last evening. For him to explode as he did, at the beginning of the Republican presidential debate, when asked about his ex-wife's statement on him wanting an "open marriage" was magnificent. It was an excellent way for him to immediately both deflect the question but also take a "high road" in the same debate, immediately. Sure, it was a phony "high road" but it certainly worked. That said, for him to now act as though he's, somehow, the "victim" of any attack is rich. Sure, Americans have horrible memories but we really cannot and did not forget, Newt, that it was you who attacked then-President Bill Clinton for a lack of morals for his situation in the Oval Office with one Monica Lewinski. For you to now feign morality when it's known you cheated on your then-wife for quite some time and hand one of those wives divorce papers as she recovered from cancer treatment is beyond the pale. And yet, last evening's debate gave Newt a "bounce" in popularity and the polls. The "lesson learned" for Newt and all future presidential candidates will likely be "indignation works", sadly enough. We shall see. (See link below). What's great is that the White House would love nothing more than going against anyone but Mitt Romney in next Fall's election. The White House would LOVE going up against the Newt. This is one fascinating presidential election campaign. Crazy, but fascinating. Links:;;

Rest in peace, Ms Etta James

And thank you for sharing yourself and your beautiful voice with us.

If you can't laugh at yourself, right?

Occupy the courts today!

The Move to Amend organization ( is organizing a day of peaceful occupation and protests nationwide at Federal Courts today, Friday, January 20. This is the anniversary of the Supreme Court's monumental--and monumentally wrong--Citizens United decision which gave corporations the legal ability to pour unlimited amounts of money into political campaigns, among other things. Here's what you need to know: 11:30am to 1:30pm, Gather in Ilus Davis Park immediately across the street from the Charles Evans Whittaker Federal Courthouse at 401 E. 9th Street, KCMO. Plan to dress for cold weather! Contact: Mary Lindsay, MTA Kansas City,; (816) 885-9996. See you there! Additional link--you can go here to register for the event:

Finally, the legislation the nation really needs

Finally, finally, finally, a representative in Washington proposed a bill the nation REALLY needs: Kucinich Announces ‘Game Changing’ Constitutional Amendment to Publicly Finance Federal Elections On the eve of the second anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens United, which opened the floodgate of unlimited, shadowy corporate spending in public elections, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced H. J. Res. 100, a constitutional amendment to rescue American democracy from corporate money’s corrupting influence. Here's the crucial part: H.J. Res.100 would require that all federal campaigns –all campaigns for President, Vice-President, Senator and Representative – be financed exclusively with public funds and prohibit any expenditures from any other source, including the candidate. H. J. Res. 100 would also prohibit any expenditures in support of, or in opposition to, any federal candidate, so that interest groups will not be able to influence elections. It will maintain the First Amendment “freedom of the press” and preserve the traditional role that the media have played in our electoral process. I've said it before, folks, and trust me, I'm going to say it again--if we don't get the big, ugly, corrupting, pervasive, all-encompassing money of the corporations and wealthy out of our election system, nothing will ever change. The wealthy and corporations would continue to buy our representatives and so, their legislation and our laws. Because of all that, they would continue to own our government. It will continue to be all for the wealthy, the fat-cats and corporations and not for the good of you, me, the rich, the poor or the good of the nation. Get on board, folks. This is the solution we need. Email your Senators and Congressional representatives on this now, please. Do it for yourself and your children and for the future of the country. And don't let anyone tell you this limits anyone else's Free Speech because it patently doesn't. Link:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A lighter way to end the day

After that rather dire MGM cartoon "find" earlier, here's something lighter

Mittens, taking it on the chin

Did you hear about the actual turnout of the Iowa Republican Caucuses? Turns out Mitt didn't win by 8 votes after all. It turns out Rick Santorum won , instead, and by a whopping (if you can call it that) 34 votes. Ol' Mittens is really getting beat up, between this and the fact that the die-hard "Conservative" Republicans and a lot of mainstream Evangelical Christians really don't want the Mitt as their candidate next Fall. Who can say how it will turn out but right now, other than being a multi-millionaire, it stinks to be Willard "Mitt" Romney. Links:;

Check out this little bit of fun propaganda

From our uber-friends at Warner Brothers--the ones who brought us Bugs and Daffy and all the rest: What a hoot.

This made me laugh out loud

You don't even have to be from there to get a laugh.

I'm so old...

...I know who Dashiell Hammtt was. And "The Thin Man" And that it was a series. Link (for those who might want to learn):

Good news/bad news on the Republican presidential trail

The good news? Rick Perry dropped out of the Republican pursuit for the presidency.
More good news--he endorsed Newt Gingrich in his concession speech, God love him. The bad news? There are still officially four candidates in the hunt. No, wait. That's still good news. The longer they tear each other down, the better. It just gives yet more fodder for the candidate on the "other side." Link:

Supporting America's military-industrial complex

A good, brief and important video on America's corporations love of war--and the war dollars: We need to cut defense spending. And badly.

A video from 1955 on nuclear war

Here's hoping anyone and everyone who would contemplate such a thing would think first--long and hard. We really are all in this together.

NPR asks a great question

The question they ask is: Should Elections Be Held On Weekends? and the answer is--forgive me-- HECK YES! I've written about this before: Link:

Occupy the courts tomorrow!

The Move to Amend organization ( is organizing a day of peaceful occupation and protests nationwide at Federal Courts tomorrow, Friday, January 20. This is the anniversary of the Supreme Court's monumental--and monumentally wrong--Citizens United decision which gave corporations the legal ability to pour unlimited amounts of money into political campaigns, among other things. Here's what you need to know: 11:30am to 1:30pm, Gather in Ilus Davis Park immediately across the street from the Charles Evans Whittaker Federal Courthouse at 401 E. 9th Street, KCMO. Plan to dress for cold weather! Contact: Mary Lindsay, MTA Kansas City,; (816) 885-9996. See you there! Additional link--you can go here to register for the event:

3rd time: US Navy saves Iranians

True. Here it is: Iranian Fishermen Rescued By U.S. Navy, Again And these are the people that hate us. These are the people that want to go to war with us. And yes, I understand the flip side, too, just as I understand why the North Koreans are lined up against us the way they are. But if you're either starving--as so many North Koreans are and have been for years--or so desperately poor, as so many Iranians are, wouldn't it be nice if we could all see each other half way and just get along? And just cooperate? Link:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Overnight entertainment

A big flashback.

Happy National Soup Day!

Great day for it, don't you think? Bottoms up, everyone. Enjoy.

Do away with the Capital Gains Tax?

I got an email note from a friend today that sums up the whole push by the GOP and Right Wing to do away with the Captial Gains tax: "I just came from the grocery store and the headline in the Wall Street Journal was that Mitt Romney's tax rate was 15% which means he is getting tens of millions of dollars a year in income and paying the 15% capital gains tax rate on it. Is it any wonder that all the tax plans the Republican candidates are proposing all say do away with the tax on capital gains. Then they and their rich friends won't pay any tax at all on their incomes. What a wonderful world. Then the 3/4 of the population who don't benefit at all from capital gains can just pick up the slack." Then he said something profane, frankly, that made clear the strength of his feelings on this issue but that I won't recopy. Links:;

We--the US--pay for what??

Listening to KCUR/NPR yesterday, I learned we--the US--pays millions of dollars per year (not that much in the ultimate scheme of things) so "Sesame Street" is produced and played in Israel and Palestine. I thought it stunning and rather silly, really. I'm all about education and exposure to the wider world but I don't think it's the US' duty to "save the world" in this respect. But that's me. Link:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The anniversary of Ike's warning to us all

From The Huffington Post today: "Fifty-one years ago today, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued his final, prescient warning about the rising power of the military industrial complex. More than half a century later, we find ourselves in a political system which has ignored Eisenhower's sound advice as the influence of the war industry on our society reaches a crescendo. Nowhere is this "disastrous rise of misplaced power" more apparent than in the debate about the Pentagon budget taking place in Washington, D.C." President Eisenhower's warning, in part, to the nation: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist...Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. ...We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat." Link:

Overnight entertainment

The new single and video from Jay Brannan. Personally, I'm not that fond of the video this time but his voice is fantastic, as usual. My two cents, for what it's worth.

"Separate but equal" is not equal

War is not, in fact, "human nature"

We need to educate ourselves on war

Quote of the day

"War can not be humanized. War can only be abolished." --Albert Einstein, 1932

An important movie for America, made by our military veterans

A movie made by American military soldiers and veterans for the American public. It's an important, vital film, I think. Please watch for it and when you can, see it. We owe to them. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to the country. We owe it to humanity. Link:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Abraham, Martin and John

I always loved this song, of course. It's beautiful to the ear and the message is fantastic. What I had forgotten was the introduction. The child's voice is so plaintive and, again, beautiful. Here's the song by the original writer, singer and performer, Dion.

The way it was, the way it unfortunately ended

According to a note with the video post: "Walter Cronkite had almost finished broadcasting the "CBS Evening News" when he received word of Martin Luther King's assassination. His report detailed the shooting and the nation's reaction to the tragedy."

The humor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Socialism for the rich--an old problem

"We all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor" ~ The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1964

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: more unequal than ever on health care, too

Martin Luther King, Jr. on America's war

"I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent." --Martin Luther King Jr. Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence. We must end America's "perpetual war." We are the warmonger of the world. It will only end if we demand it.

Martin Luther King, Jr. on progress

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction...The chain reaction of evil -- hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation." Martin Luther King, Jr., "Strength To Love", 1963

America's truer history

This is, ladies and gentlemen, where we came from. This, below, on this video, is our history. Sure, we pat ourselves on the backs now, telling ourselves that we are wonderful, just people and that we now support the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his goals of justice, equality and fairness. The fact is, he was reviled all across the nation, not just in Southern states but particularly there. It's important we know our history. It's important we not forget.

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

"Almost always, the creative, dedicated minority has made the world better." --Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this day, in 1919

"National Delusion Day of Note: On this date in 1919 the eighteenth amendment to the constitution authorizing prohibition of 'intoxicating liquors' took effect. Wishing to build on Prohibition's success Will Rogers made a corollary policy recommendation for higher education: 'Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don't they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth.'" --From Sarah Vowell, writer, humorist

Occupy the courts this Friday

The Move to Amend organization ( is organizing a day of peaceful occupation and protests nationwide at Federal Courts this Friday, January 20. This is the anniversary of the Supreme Court's monumental--and monumentally wrong--Citizens United decision which gave corporations the legal ability to pour unlimited amounts of money into political campaigns, among other things. Here's what you need to know: 11:30am to 1:30pm, Gather in Ilus Davis Park immediately across the street from the Charles Evans Whittaker Federal Courthouse at 401 E. 9th Street, KCMO. Plan to dress for cold weather! Contact: Mary Lindsay, MTA Kansas City,; (816) 885-9996. See you there! Additional link--you can go here to register for the event:

Quote of the day--on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom." --Martin Luther King, Jr. Link:

Sunday, January 15, 2012


On this day, 1967

On Jan. 15, 1967, the first Super Bowl was played as the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League, 35-10.

That sound you heard?

That was the sound of the door slamming shut on all the other Republican presidential nominees:
News tonight: Jon Huntsman to quit presidential race, endorse Mitt Romney Links:;

Another economic race between states

There is an article out today about a "Ballot Initiative Would More Than Double Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard" To an extent, I can see how a bit of a race will be taking place among states--if it hasn't already begun--to get more and more renewable energy and for a few reasons. First, it would be to have technology in the forefront of the state's economy. No state can afford to fall behind on cutting-edge technology. Second, it would be to lower energy costs for each state. Third, it likely add the jobs these projects and breakthroughs bring and finally, to have cleaner air. It's already true among nations--at least it is for those who care to take it on. The US needs to do a far better job of this. Link:’s-renewable-portfolio-standard/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29

A TV show on and about "Revenge"?

Does this make sense? A television show on and about--and named--"Revenge"? Does this make any sense? Did we not hear of and possibly either read the book or see one of the several versions of "The Count of Monte Cristo"? Another question--how long can a tv series last when it's based on, again and again, stories of only revenge? I guess we'll find out, huh?