Yessir, our very own Kansas City is in the news today in a pretty cool article out on the interwebs:
9 Cities You Wouldn't Think Are Hubs for Tech Startups
What they (Entrepeneur Magazine) have to say about us, ranked number two in the list:
Why it's hot: This Midwestern city is preparing for an influx of innovation when it gets an instant tech infusion from Google Fiber, which will provide free, gigabit internet to 180 neighborhoods starting in October.
Mayor Sly James has announced Launch KC, a city-sponsored initiative to attract more startups with such enticements as cheap office space and equipment subsidies. Local companies such as Hallmark Cards are donating space to encourage entrepreneurs to try on KC for size.
Startups to watch: Sites like Kansas City Hacker Homes are popping up to link residents with innovators, but not every upstart is new here. Early-stage business incubator and startup accelerator Think Big Partners has been assisting entrepreneurs since 2008. It also invests in local startups, including Eye Verify, a biometrics software developer.
Sure, I know the zeitgeist is against unions but the NFL's lockout and attempted breaking of the referees just now by the NFL owners, rich, selfish greedheads that they are, proves, yet again, the need we working-class stiffs have for unions and for organizing:
NFL gives into public pressure and does right thing by bringing back regular officials
The uber-wealthy, disgustingly rich owners wanted to pocket yet more cash, on the backs of the working stiffs--the refs, in this case--and fortunately, it blew up in their faces.
Good for us.
The thing is, it's as I said on my Facebook page, when we stand together, it's not that we win, it's that we don't lose.
Any middle- or lower-class person who isn't solidly pro-union defies logic and good, strong common sense, to me. Without unions, it's us, singularly, against the corporation and/or the wealthy.
And if that's the case, when it's them vs. us alone, we'll lose.
This, then, this next headline and story is why this is all pertinent to all of us now, too:
Mitt Romney: Free Speech Is for Billionaires, Not School-Teachers
At an educational forum this week, Mitt Romney called for restricting teachers' unions from participating in the political process.
What does a plutocracy look like? How about a leveraged buy-out artist who used his family connections – and gamed the tax code – to amass a $378 million fortune, and whose campaign is almost entirely financed by deep-pocketed conservative sugar-daddies, saying that while money equals Constitutionally-protected free speech for his own donors, there should be limits on political spending by teachers making $75,000 per year.
This is why we can't afford to lose any further ground to these people.
The NFL referees' strike is an excellent example of what this election in November is all about, folks.
"Today Mitt Romney is in Ohio, telling anyone who'll listen that his heart bleeds for the unemployed. Apparently "compassionate conservatism" is back -- at least rhetorically. But note that Romney isn't in favor of extending unemployment benefits. He doesn't want to provide food stamps or housing benefits for families that have fallen into poverty.
He doesn't want medical care for these families -- to the contrary, he wants to repeal Obamacare. He doesn't worry that Wall Street financiers -- including his own Bain Capital -- have put so much pressure on companies for short-term profits that they're still laying off workers and reluctant to take on any more. And he doesn't want government to spend money repairing our crumbling infrastructure, rebuilding our schools, or rehiring police and firefighters and teachers.
Romney may care about the unemployed but his policy prescriptions would create more unemployed.
He wants to cut taxes on people like himself -- in the belief that the rich create jobs, and the benefits of such a tax cut trickle down to everyone else.
That isn't true. George W. Bush cut taxes -- mostly for the wealthy -- and we ended up with fewer jobs, lower wages, and an economy that fell off a cliff in 2008."
--Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997.
Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.
The YouTube videos and advertising, hitting Todd Akin hard, began in earnest last evening, apparently:
Dems Release The Hounds As Deadline For Akin To Drop Out Expires
"The Missouri Senate race kicked off in earnest Tuesday when Republican candidate
Todd Akin affirmed for the last time that he will not drop his Senate bid at a press conference in St. Louis...
...Incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill posted a hard-hitting TV ad featuring Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments to her campaign website Tuesday."
This is the one video, however, that I think is especially tough for, if not damning of, Mr. Akin:
Between the hits Mr. Akin will be taking from now on, from his opponent(s) and the lack of support from a larger group of Republicans and conservatives, it looks as though he will have a tough, if not impossible campaign ahead.
After writing the above, I found this video, just posted on YouTube:
To Mr. Akin and his staff, I can only give Margo Channing's advice: "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night."
I write, repeatedly, on the many, many reasons why we need to kill campaign contributions, not least of which so we can get the big, ugly, corrupting money from the wealthy and corporations out of our election system and government.
This article from International Businsess Times is just more proof:
30 Major U.S. Corporations Paid More to Lobby Congress Than Income Taxes, 2008-2010
"By employing a plethora of tax-dodging techniques, 30 multi-million dollar American corporations expended more money lobbying Congress than they paid in federal income taxes between 2008 and 2010, ultimately spending approximately $400,000 every day -- including weekends -- during that three-year period to lobby lawmakers and influence political elections, according to a new report from the non-partisan Public Campaign."
As if that isn't sick and crazy enough, it goes on:
"Despite a growing federal deficit and the widespread economic instability that has swept the U.S since 2008, the companies in question managed to accumulate profits of $164 billion between 2008 and 2010, while receiving combined tax rebates totaling almost $11 billion. Moreover, Public Campaign reports these companies spent about $476 million during the same period to lobby the U.S. Congress, as well as another $22 million on federal campaigns, while in some instances laying off employees and increasing executive compensation."
This, above, is a reason why this is possible, too, of course:
"Of the 30 companies analyzed in the report, which include corporate giants such as General Electric, Verizon Communications, Wells Fargo (WFC), Mattel (MAT) and Boeing (BA), 29 of them managed to pay no federal taxes from 2008 to 2010."
These companies have access to our markets and must have our infrastructure--our highways and streets and sewer systems and airports and police, etc.--in order to function yet they pay NO TAXES?
There are so many reasons why we need to kill campaign contributions. Surely most Americans would agree. We need to begin this work.
It will only happen, we will only get campaign contributions (read: bribes) out of our nation if it comes from us, from the people.
Congress--both the House of Representatives and the Senate--took an 8 week vacation, beginning last week, while, in the meantime, we face a "fiscal cliff" January 1st that they created. We need to have a budget so automatic cuts aren't put in place and our economy doesn't then go to heck in a handbasket.
I'm not in any way predicting it as there are just far too many variables. The voting public is fickle--very fickle. In spite of the differences between the two candidates for the presidency, people could well vote who knows how. And polls? They're only in effect the day they're taken.
In short, anything, anything could happen this November, with the election.
That said, it is entirely possible--in spite of the Republicans' widespread efforts to restrict the vote here in the good old US of A--that the Democrats could come out on top in all three of these venues--the US House of Representatives, the US Senate and the White House.
And if they do--if we do--I think it's clear they should "swing for the fences", so to speak and bring the nation back from its insanity of the last 3 decades.
Herewith are just some of the things I think the Democrats should do if we do, in fact, get both houses of Congress and the White House:
First things first, we must kill the Citizens United ruling of the Supreme Court by law. We need to make sure the American voter is preeminent in power and the voting booth, not the wealthy and corporations, as this ruling now has us.
Second, we need to kill campaign contributions, once and for all. We must, must get the big, ugly, corrupting money of, again, the wealthy and corporations out of our election system and so, out of our government. If we don't do this, nothing will ever change in the nation. The wealthy and corporations could continue to, in effect, buy our representatives, their legislation and so, our laws and government. It would continue to be government of, by and for the rich, first and last, as it is now, unfortunately. Various governmental representatives from both sides of the aisle have described the nightmare that their lives are because they have to chase these "contributions."
Third, at least here and now, we have to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine" the Republicans and right wing killed so long ago. It needs to be required that any media or news outlet give at least one other side of an issue, if they expound on one at all. We need more input in the nation, not just one-sided, emotional, even untrue rantings from our media as we now get with things like Fox "News" and even MSNBC.
Fourth, we need to make the Environmental Protection Agency stronger so we ensure good, clean air, water and soil for the nation for the foreseeable future. It's hard to believe we even have to say this.
Finally, we need to make the internet as free and open as possible and to all Americans, rich, poor and everyone in between. Since, as we know, knowledge is power, corporations shouldn't be able to charge more for faster access. The airwaves are ours--all of ours--and we need to make sure the lesser of us has equal access to knowledge and information, not just the wealthy.
The fact is, if the Democrats control both houses of Congress and the White House, the window of opportunity for change would be a very short one. These moves would have to be taken quickly and decisively.
Let me be clear, too, these changes would benefit both--all--political parties, as well as the nation. They're not completely one-sided, at all. They would not benefit the corporations or wealthy and that's nothing but an improvement.
I don't think it will happen but there's always hope.
"I think the biggest disaster for America in the 21st century was fighting two wars on a credit card. We could suck up several thousand killed in a terrorist attack (no offense to those who lost a loved one) but the economic damage of kicking multi-trillion dollar wars into Barack Obama's lap (and then blaming him for the deficits!) is profound and will resound for many more years. Do we want to put the geniuses responsible for this economic crime back in power?" --Brian Rock (friend)
An outsider--a non-partisan third party with a rather huge indictment of the Republican Party in recent years:
"Let's be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world's biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over the Republican party. Despite President Obama's goodwill and strong efforts, the national interest there was held hostage by the rise of the extreme Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. There can be few things more alarming in public policy than a political movement which was genuinely prepared to see the government of the United States default on its obligations in order to score a political point." --Australia's deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Wayne Swan.
The good news, if this is good news, is that the apparent murderer of 58 year old AT&T employee Kevin Mashburn was arrested.
As you likely know, Mr. Mashburn is the AT&T employee who was out last week at 3 am, doing his job, when someone sneaked up on him, smashed him in the head and left him to die.
So sad. So tragic. So unnecessary.
It seems the accused--one Bryan Middlemas--phoned a former cellmate to tell him what he did that night and that person turned him in for the reward.
What seems true and that needs to be said is that AT&T and all companies should have policies wherein no one--no one--should be out in the city, working, in the middle of the night like this, alone. This happened in Gladstone. If it happened there, I think we can safely say it could easily happen in any part of the metropolitan area.
It reminds me so much of what our Dad told us as teenagers. That is, that "No one but murderers, rapists and thieves are out in the middle of the night."
For those of us who enjoy this annual event, a great time was had by all. Great artwork, terrific crowds, wonderful food, outstanding music and pitch-perfect, comfortable, beautiful, cooperating weather. I don't think it could have been better.
This time lapse, of last year's Art Fair, was a lot of fun:
"There are two major theories about why Romney is dropping in the polls. One is Romney is a lousy candidate, unable to connect with people or make his case. The second is that Americans are finally beginning to see how radical the GOP has become, and are repudiating it.
Many Republicans hold to the first view, for obvious reasons. If Romney fails to make a comeback this week, I expect even more GOP complaints about Romney's personal failings, as well as the inadequacies of his campaign staff.
But the second explanation strikes me as more compelling. The Republican primaries, and then the Republican convention, have showed America a party far removed from the "compassionate conservatism" the GOP tried to sell in 2000. Instead, we have a party that's been taken over by Tea Partiers, nativists, social Darwinists, homophobes, right-wing evangelicals, and a few rich people whose only interest is to become even wealthier.
These regressives were there in 2000, to be sure. They lurked in the GOP in the 1990s, when Newt Gingrich took over the House. They were there in the 1980s, too, although Ronald Reagan's sunny disposition gave them cover. In truth, they've been part of the GOP for more than half a century -- but never before have they held so much sway in the party, never before have they called the shots.
Romney's failing isn't that he's a bad candidate. To the contrary, he's giving this GOP exactly what it wants in a candidate -- which is exactly what the rest of America doesn't want."
--Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997.
So yesterday I went to the Plaza Art Fair as I do annually. I love it. I always will.
I love seeing any and all new artists, especially the ones who are creating truly unique, wonderful pieces in whatever medium. That, more than anything, is why I go though I enjoy it regardless.
I go in, I see the art, I dodge the people, I try to tell a select few artists how I enjoy their work and I get out.
Twice yesterday, while there, I was approached by two students from St. Vincent de Paul grade school, asking if I would, one way or another, support them--and their school--by buying a candy bar or just making a donation or some such.
And I have to tell you, the chutzpah of both the school, in allowing such a thing, and the kid's parents, for dressing them up and making them do it strikes me as just absolutely shameful.
Begging, mooching for support, on a street corner, in public, on the Country Club Plaza in broad daylight when actually, the kid could be out playing. Shoot, for that matter, he or she could even be doing something useful or more productive like cutting the lawn or studying.
There's just no shame with these people.
Forget that these families seem to come from what are clearly at least middle-class families who could go to a public school so they don't have to incur any additional expense. The way some of the mothers and children look, they may honestly even be from upper-class families but there they are, out begging on the street corner.
Then, forget that the Catholic church has so many sexual predators in priest's clothing.
Forget that the male hierarchy has and still does go to great, great lengths to protect those same predators and abusers instead of protecting the children, first.
Forget that a priest was just found guilty of it here, locally.
Worse yet, forget that their current Bishop, Finn, was just found guilty of doing just that--protecting a priest who had sexually exploited Catholic school children at, apparently, three different, local Catholic grade schools.
Forget that this has happened all over the planet, in many, many different nations of the world.
Forget that this sexual abuse has gone on for literally centuries, seriously.
Forget that it still seems to keep happening.
Sure, forget all that.
Just clean up the kids, dress them up up in those adorable little uniforms, and put them out on the street corner to hawk their Catholic school and beg for financial support.
It galls me every time I see them out there.
Then there's this headline that I just got, today, in my email:
Papal Nuncio left Ireland after vast sums of money found in his bank accounts
"A former Papal Nuncio left Ireland under a cloud after vast sums of South American funded money were found in his bank account.
Archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi left Dublin and the Vatican’s diplomatic service in 1989 after investigations into his financial affairs."
Further proof of why, no way in heck do I want to have any money--any money at all, in any form--go to these people.
Cute and bright as the kids seem to be, each time I had to just wave them off and tell them I don't support the Catholic schools. Geez. Make us the heels.
Someone has to be a Grinch about this so I guess it has to be me.
Let me make it clear, here, too--I was nice to the kids. It's certainly not their fault. Hopefully, one day they can break away from all that entrapping dogma and abuse.
It's almost enough to ruin a perfect weather day at the annual art fair.
Some quotes from NPR yesterday, from a conversation of reporter Robert Siegel with E.J. Dionne, journalist and political commentator, and conservative commentator, journalist and writer--also Republican--David Brooks:
First, David Brooks on Mitt Romney: "His campaign is now in a sort of a state of crisis, I would say. The Republican elites are in somewhat panic.
You're seeing - the whole electoral map has sort of shifted. Some polls don't show it. The Gallup poll, to be fair, shows the race still tied, but basically, if you look at the whole electoral map, you have Obama up by five points in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, maybe five in a bunch of others, eight in some others. And then you're beginning to see the states, the key states - Ohio, significant Obama leads, all the swing states, with the possible exception North Carolina, all shifting Democratic.
And so, I don't know how bad it's hurt him, but the electoral map is shifting in the Democratic direction."
More from Mr. Brooks: "I think it's mostly Romney, frankly. I think the country would like to vote against President Obama if they had a plausible alternative. But Romney is the only candidate in modern political history where his unfavorables are higher than his favorables. John McCain, Al Gore, people who lost, had double-digit advantage in favorable.
So people just don't like Romney. And the core problem is he's insincere. It's an insincere campaign. He's a non-ideological person in an ideological age and he's pretending to be something he's not."
"...I believe in the soul, ...the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days."
--Character "Crash Davis", played by Kevin Costner, in the movie "Bull Durham"
"Barack Obama was a beatable incumbent, but he wasn't going to be beaten by a sub-par, second-rate politician like Mitt Romney. He simply isn't presidential timber, as indicated by his lack of vision, lack of political skills, and inability to effectively run for public office. He had his chance to establish himself as a viable alternative. He failed.
Start facing facts. This race is over. Barack Obama will be president for another four years."
--From the article today, "Hey pundits ... it's over." by brooklybadboy
There are four very current reasons why we, the US, should get our military troops out of Afghanistan. Sure, these three ignore the history of the place, additionally, and the lessons the former Soviet Union gave us. Those would give us yet more reason to get out. For today, I'll just stick with these (each is an online, very recent headline):
--First, the Afghans don't want us there:
Afghan suicide bomber kills senior Army leader, 2 majors
--Second, it's killing our own soldiers--they're killing themselves:
Military Suicide Epidemic: More U.S. Soldiers Have Killed Themselves Than Died on Battlefield in 2012
--Third and fourth, it's driving up our soldiers' drug and alcohol abuse. It's ruining their lives that way, too, not just the PTSD and physical explosions and handicapping:
Study: Level of military substance abuse now a ‘public health crisis,’ Pentagon care outdated
It's killing and tearing apart our soldiers.
The Afghanis don't want us there.
It's gone on far too long.
Bring them home.
Write your Congressional representatives now, in both the House and Senate and tell them to bring our soldiers home.
“America…is being lost through television. Because in advertising, mendacity and manipulation are raised to the level of internal values for the advertisers. Interruption is seen as a necessary concomitant to marketing. It used to be that a seven- or eight-year old could read consecutively for an hour or two. But they don’t do that much anymore. The habit has been lost. Every seven to ten minutes, a child is interrupted by a commercial on TV> Kids get used to the idea that their interest is there to be broken into. In consequence, they are no longer able to study as well. Their powers of concentration have been reduced by systematic interruption.”
"The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved — Judaism, Christianity, Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal — God is the Omnipotent Father — hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates. The sky-god is a jealous god, of course. He requires total obedience from everyone on earth, as he is in place not for just one tribe but for all creation. Those who would reject him must be converted or killed for their own good. Ultimately, totalitarianism is the only sort of politics that can truly serve the sky-god's purpose."
The President and leader of Syria, Bashir Al-Assad, is blowing up Muslim, Islamist Mosques in his country and killing women, children and yes, men, in his country--Muslims, all, in many cases--but the big problem right now in the Muslim world, at least to the radical Muslims, is an obscure, poorly made video on YouTube that no one is watching?
And for that you want to kill US Ambassadors who have helped free the country of Libya and some 3 other people and create violent protests all across the planet?
And you think these are good ideas and that the rest of the free, educated, intelligent world should work with you on this?
It's my contention that this video--and anything and everything else the Catholic Church is doing about this coming election--should get them, once and for all, taxed by the nation and our government, since they're so clearly getting into government and governmental matters:
If they're happy and willing to get into politics, then let 'em pay.
I know the racism on TV has declined a great deal in the last few decades and it's not nearly as bad as it once was, by any means, but every once in a while, it just slaps you on the face.
Yet another strong example of this was shown to me last evening when I was rather "forced" to watch a couple hours of the somewhat new program "Revenge."
It's mostly about very wealthy people--who also happen to be either very beautiful or very handsome, thanks very much--but what struck me is that on all the time I watched, I saw a total of 3--count 'em, 3--black people or "people of color." And of those 3, two were insignificant, very briefly shown characters. They were two service people. The third, a woman, was a possible female love interest of one of the main male characters. Get this--she was shown only for a very short time toward the end of the show and entire evening, too.
So racism, you're still alive on network programming, it seems, even if you are dying, thank goodness.
I don't usually watch any local news program from start to finish but I was rather trapped into it last evening so it happened. I have to say, coming away from it, I have to give the entire KMBC 9 news staff salutations for last evening's broadcast. I couldn't hardly believe it.
The entire program was based on good, local stories that were timely.
Not one story--until 10:52--was based on a YouTube video or some fluff or other story out of who-knows-where telling of some horrible tragedy that has nothing whatever to do with our local area, county, state or region. And even then, at that 10:52 story, it really could, I think, be applied to our area and it wasn't that long, either. (It was about police, racing to crime scenes).
It was extremely refreshing, even hopeful.
The anchors--Len Jennings, Lara Moritz and Bryan Busby came across very professionally but personally, too, not that they don't always or haven't before last evening.
Here's hoping more intelligent news coverage is coming to our area.
Hey, I can hope, can't I?
If this keeps up, I might even turn on the local news again, at times, in the future.
"The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on." -- Billionaire Warren Buffett
You're a freaking Princess of the British Royal family.
That and you're young and beautiful and wealthy and, don't forget, have a beautiful body, let's not forget or ignore.
Do you not know that virtually ANY man wants to see your breasts, sadly, but that because you're young and beautiful and rich and yes, finally, that you're BRITISH ROYALTY, everyone wants to see you naked, if possible?
Sure, it's stupid but come on, the human being is far too puerile and there are a great deal of voyeurs out there in the world, down through history.
So if you go topless on a yacht and it's remotely close to a public space, do you not think some idiot of some kind is going to take a zoom lens and try to get a picture--or some pictures--of you? They'll try to do that, period, just for the heck of it but here's the topper--it also pays a great deal, too, to those low-class, scummy rag tabloids.
What part of any of this do you not get?
And while we're at it, please ask the rest of the Royal Family the same thing, would you, please?
Oh, and if you and the Royals want a rather "moral leg to stand on", so to speak, maybe you and the family should stop taking national, public money from the nation since you're, oh, I don't know, ONE OF THE WEALTHIEST FAMILIES ON THE PLANET? If you don't want people taking pictures of you in your private time, stop taking this public money. I know then, if you and they did, then I know I'd back your claim of a right to privacy. Until that time, however, I think the citizens of England rather own you, since they already buy and pay for you. This money could go to help the lower- and middle-classes of your country, instead.
So now the Royal family files suit against the tabloids. Wow. Apparently they have no better use of their time and money but to file suit against tabloids across Europe that are doing exactly what they've always done, as though it's a surprise somehow.
Y'all can do better than this. Go help some people instead.
I saw this a couple days ago, then searched for more information on it online but could find no further information from the travel writers. Anyway, here goes:
Union Station lauded by travel writers
Union Station is one of the best examples in the world of conservation and preservation, according to the Society of American Travel Writers.
The restored Kansas City train station received one of six Phoenix Awards at the trade group’s annual meeting.
“The restoration itself was remarkable,” a selection committee member wrote, “and I love how the station has become a huge focal point of the community and also spurred other development around it.”
Other tourism sites lauded were a wildlife foundation in Namibia, the Charleston, S.C. city market, a wildlife society at Sanibel Island, Fla., a wildlife park in Fiji and a package of preservation projects in west Texas.
"Violence, we believe, has no place in religion and is no way to honor religion.
Islam, like other religions, respects the fundamental dignity of human beings, and it is a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocents. As long as there are those who are willing to shed blood and take innocent life in the name of religion, the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace."
--Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, this past week
This is enough to drive home some serious cynicism.
Check this out from The Washington Post:
House cancels October sessions
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced plans to cancel sessions scheduled for the week of Oct. 1 now that the House has passed a short-term spending bill, and the Senate is expected to do so next week.
House lawmakers return to Washington Wednesday afternoon, after the Rosh Hashanah holiday and will leave again Friday — meaning they will have met just eight days in September.
CONGRESS JUST CAME OFF A 5 WEEK RECESS, FOLKS.
And now this?
It's also in light of the fact that we are to also be headed toward what has widely been described as a "fiscal cliff" if we don't get a budget passed by the end of the year because automatic budget cuts are already in place?
And we're to somehow think they're doing the "people's work"?
Please write your Congressional representatives today and tell them this is beyond acceptable.
They don't want us to think that they're main goal isn't to derail this president, country be damned?
You might check that 2nd link, below, too, to see a list of what all still needs their attention. But no, they voted themselves a vacation.
U.S. drone attacks amount to human rights violations, Carter says
America's citizens accepting human rights violations never imagined before 9/11
Former President Jimmy Carter said Thursday that America is engaging in – and its citizens are accepting — human rights violations that “would never have been dreamed of” before the terrorist attacks that occurred in this country 11 years ago.
The nation’s 39th president said the U.S. government under both Republican and Democratic administrations has violated 10 of 30 provisions set out in a universal declaration of human rights that was forged after World War II, including perpetually detaining people in prison without informing them of any charges, providing them access to legal counsel or bringing them to trial and more recently by killing people via the use of unmanned drones.
“We have now decided as a nation that it’s OK to kill people without a trial with our drones, and this includes former American citizens who are looked upon as dangerous to us,” Carter told a group of Drake University students involved in a social-justice learning program.
“Not just terrorists, but innocent participants in weddings and so forth that happen to be there. I think this is acting in a way that turns people against us unnecessarily because there is a great deal of animosity about the United States that is unnecessary, in my opinion, because our drones are performing these things” in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and even in the Philippines, he said.
“These are the kinds of actions that would never have been dreamed of before 9/11,” Carter noted, referencing the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“I think we need to go back to the purity of the guarantees of basic human rights,” he added. “Most Americans either don’t know about it or accept it. I’m not criticizing one leader compared to another because both Democratic and Republican leaders are participating in these violations. We should all look upon human rights as something that is precious to us because we need to get back and be the champion of human rights and I believe the champion of peace as well.”
And he's so right. This is all a horrible travesty and no way to operate in the world.
Full story here:http://thegazette.com/2012/09/13/u-s-drone-attacks-amount-to-human-rights-violations-carter-says/
Apparently the entire free, Western, intelligent and educated, open-minded world is going to have to be on "high alert" for the foreseeable future, on the outside chance that someone, somewhere on this planet makes some unappreciated reference to or about Mohammed.
I say we all, worldwide, declare a 365 day holiday that is "Make Fun of Mohammed" Day until they realize it's not important.
I can't believe this is true and that they wasted time and money like this. I just read this last evening:
Obama Birther Challenge Subject Of Kansas Objections Board Hearing
Kansas officials plan to hold a hearing Thursday afternoon to weigh whether President Barack Obama is a citizen and should appear on the state's November ballot.
The Kansas Objections Board will be considering a challenge filed by Joe Montgomery, a Manhattan resident, who Monday objected to Obama being on the ballot. He claims the president is not an American citizen since his father was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Kenya. The all-Republican board -- which consists of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and Attorney General Derek Schmidt -- has the power to remove Obama from the ballot in his mother's home state.
This is stunning.
I can't believe they're not embarrassed.
I can hardly believe Kansans would put up with this.
Once more time, the Apple Company churns up more business, purchases and so, of course, money and profits for themselves by making a product of theirs obsolete. Apple becomes the only winner.
Well, for one, their customers and users.
The biggest loser is the rest of the world, now that yet more of their products will go to local dumps.
Now those same users will have to go out and get yet another charger. There's the expense, sure, and then there's the fact that so many will end up thrown away, along with some of the earliest iPhones.
As a friend put it yesterday on Facebook: "Apple changed the charging adaptor (that's been on every iPhone, iPad, and iPod since they came out) on the new iPhone 5. If I upgrade, none of my many cables, charging docks, hotel alarm clocks, car cable, etc will work. Damn!"
That's just more for the local dumps, too.
And that's the bigger, uglier problem.
Yet more items will go to the dump, never to be recycled.
This is just not a sustainable way to live, folks.
According to Missouri candidate for the House of Representatives Kevin Morgan, District 38 on his Facebook page today:
The Missouri House just voted against women's rights and overturned the governor's veto of SB 749. Now insurance companies will be able to deny women access to birth control. This is a dark day for Missouri and cut and dry evidence of the ongoing War On Women being waged by the majority.
This will open the door for insurance companies to deny benefits for any reason they detrmine or label as moral objection.
Ladies, for yourselves, for equality, for fairness, for what is right, for yourselves, don't, don't vote Republican.
Senator Roy Blunt and his staff must surely be celebrating as it was announced today that he is not, this year, on the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington list of The Most Corrupt Members of Congress (as he was in the past):
So now we're mourning a US Ambassador to Libya--a friendly nation we just helped liberate, thanks very much--along with 3 other Americans, all because some ignorant, religious, right-wing zealot in our country made and posted a movie some other ultra-conservative, way-overly religious zealots in that nation didn't like.
Where--and when--does this end? How soon?
I was going to approach this post today with a list of just some of the different people Muslim- and Islamist extremists have killed in the recent past but figured we're all extremely aware of them and secondly, that we know there are so many of them.
For what it's worth, you can go here to see a list of Muslim extremist attacks just since the 9/11 attack:
Here we are one of the lead nations that helped liberate this nation--Libya--from its dictator yet these lunatics got emotionally riled, went out and attacked the US Embassy and killed 4 people who just happened to be working for Libyan citizen's freedoms.
And this is the man they killed:
Of course, we have to keep in mind, too, that the idiot, Right-wing, Christian "Pastor" who did this--one Terry Jones--is the same small-minded, ugly leader who publicly burned Korans in order to get attention for himself. And with that situation, again, people died because of his actions. Clearly this is a man who refuses to learn his actions have ugly and utterly unnecessary consequences on others.
I stand by the headline, above. That is, the Islam nation and the Muslim faith around the world is hurt to a great degree by all the Muslim extremists in the world and their repeated and repeating attacks that leave so many dead and wounded.
If Muslim is a faith and religion of peace, the rest of the Muslims across the world must stand up and demand this insanity cease.
I was watching KCTV-5 news last evening when they put on a story they felt was important to us.
The only thing was, it was out of Utah, we found out, and it was about a mom who witnessed another mom, at a different table in the restaurant, who had her kids on "potty chairs."
And this is news how?
With some research, I found that it's also on Fox 4's website. They figured it was somehow important, also. They posted it 6 days ago, so not only is it not news, not only is it irrelevant to us here in the Kansas City, metro area, it's OLD filler, to boot.
Seriously, as I've said before, you'd think these people would be embarrassed. They should be embarrassed, professionally, especially, even if they haven't studied journalism, but especially if they have.
I hope they don't also why they have low viewership and why we don't tune in.
Okay, no complaints here about Congress getting 5 weeks more vacation time. This is going to be a conversation on what needs to happen, what lies ahead of them and what they need to do.
The Congress needs to come up with a budget compromise before the end of their year or we'll hit what has been too-frequently been called a "fiscal cliff" and it will be nothing but ugly.
Moody's set to downgrade US without budget deal
Moody's says US government debt rating would be cut if no federal budget deal is reached
NEW YORK (AP) -- The U.S. government's debt rating could be heading for the "fiscal cliff" along with the federal budget.
Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday said it would likely cut its "Aaa" rating on U.S. government debt, probably by one notch, if budget negotiations fail.
If Congress and the White House don't reach a budget deal, about $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and tax increases will automatically kick in starting Jan. 2, a scenario that's been dubbed the "fiscal cliff," because it is likely to send the economy back into recession and drive up unemployment.
Of course, it's an election year, as we all know, and the Republicans don't want to have this president be anything close to successful so they seem to be flirting with the idea of not compromising with the other political party:
House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said he's not confident that Congress can reach a deal and avoid a downgrade. No serious negotiations are expected until after the November elections.
Did you get that? "No serious negotiations are expected until after the November elections."
That is some kind of disgusting.
It's irresponsible. It's unacceptable.
It doesn't matter what your political party or leanings, this has to do, purely, with doing their work, doing the "right thing" and getting and keeping this country going forward on its work.
It's mid-September and Congress isn't even going to sit down to seriously TALK about our national, federal budget until after our November elections?
That is pushing insanity.
Email your Conressional representative now, in both houses, the Senate and the House, and let them know this is utterly unacceptable to you and that we need a budget and solutions sooner, rather than after the election: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
“The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all ... The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands - the ownership and control of their livelihoods - are set at naught, we can have neither men's rights nor women's rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.”
Did you see the article in the Star today, telling of the local increase in candidates for the Catholic priesthood, bucking national trends otherwise?
More area Catholic ordinations challenge a national trend
In Missouri and Kansas, more men are being ordained or studying to become priests.
And why wouldn't these young men choose the Catholic priesthood? Look at all the benefits.
--education paid for, once you're in
--people shower you with gifts and praise nearly no matter what kind of job you really do
--no matter your ability, you can always, always give other people advice on their lives--even their marriages--even though you've never been and never will be married
And the biggest reason to become a Catholic priest was just witnessed by all of us when Bishop Finn got off, one more time, in a court of law from any responsiblity for not doing what you would otherwise have to do if you were a layperson.
I think it's over too many people's heads or comprehension but actually, same-sex attraction--and that's all it is--goes back to the dawn of humankind and is also in nature. Scientists have found over 400 species that exhibit this trait.
It seems Bloomberg News ranked the 50 states from most to least miserable and this is where we came in.
Yikes. Not good.
What they had to say and show about us:
8. Missouri > Well-being index score: 64.8
- Life expectancy: 77.4 (12th lowest)
- Obesity: 30.5% (10th highest)
- Median household income: $44,301 (14th lowest)
- Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 86.9% (22nd lowest)
Between 2010 and 2011, Missouri’s well-being score went from 17th worst in the country to eighth worst. Conditions in the state declined in every category Gallup measured. Missouri residents polled rated their emotional health as 14th worst in the country, down from 25th worst last year. The state also declined from 18th worst in life evaluation to third worst in the country. The state has the 11th-highest rate of smokers in the country at 21.1%. Heart disease, cancer and diabetes rates are all among the top 20, and life expectancy in the state is 77.4 years, the 12th lowest in the U.S.
Adding insult--and pain--to this injury is that, in sharp contrast to our, Missouri's ranking, neighbor Nebraska comes in as one of the top 10 "happiest" states, at number 8 while--get ready for this--next-door-neighbor Kansas (of all states) comes in even worse--higher, better--on this happiness list at number 7.
If anything rankles me, it's when people either don't know their history or worse, when some one or some group out-and-out changes history, for their convenience. One of the worst of those, from the last few years, is that then-President George W. Bush "kept us safe for 8 years."
This is, ladies and gentlemen, an unmitigated, bold-face lie. It is an untruth of a huge magnitude.
There have been obvious ways to know this, too, ever since that ugly, fateful day back in 2001 that is being commemorated today, too.
We've known for years that security at our airports was lax. How else could you explain the ability of anyone--anyone--let alone terrorists, being able to board planes at public, commercial airports with box cutters and/or pocket knives like the ones used to hijack that plane that day? I know as just weeks before 9/11, I boarded a flight for none other than George W. Bush's hometown airport with about a dozen business-sponsored and engraved pocket knives. I handed them out as small gifts to clients. They listed our company on them, of course.
So we've known this for years but today, yet more information came out, proving further that this President George W. Bush shirked his duties and responsibilities in that job and that led, at least in part, to the Twin Towers in New York being attacked, along with the Pentagon, as we know:
The Deafness Before the Storm
IT was perhaps the most famous presidential briefing in history.
On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.
It's the truth. It's history. To say otherwise is either to be badly, badly mistaken or a liar.
--Accused priest now runs women’s shelterHe is being sued for raping a teenaged KC girl
--Victims urge bishops to “stop him & warn others”
--In 2010, cleric was named in a “horrific” abuse & cover up case
--He’s worked in at least ten locations throughout Western MO
A Kansas City Catholic priest who is being sued for raping a teenaged girl reportedly now runs a shelter for abused women and their families in his Nevada home. “For the sake of public safety,” clergy sex abuse victims are urging two bishops to stop him and warn others about him.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are urging the bishops of Kansas City and Reno to “take simple, common sense prevention steps” to keep Fr. Thomas J. Cronin away from “innocent children and vulnerable adults.”
Fr. Cronin, a Kansas City native who was sent to Nevada about 15 years ago, is accused in an Oct. 2010 lawsuit of repeatedly raping a 17 year old girl in 1979 in western Missouri. That suit is still pending.
SNAP is contacting Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn and Reno Bishop Randolph Calvo, begging them to force Fr. Cronin to sever all ties to the shelter. And SNAP wants both bishops to use parish bulletins, church websites, and pulpit announcements to warn the public and parishioners about him.
“This is a violation of common sense, common decency, the church's abuse policy and both bishops' promises,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP. “Catholic officials have repeatedly pledged - verbally and in writing - to protect youngsters. But here two bishop are letting a credibly accused sex offender priest put himself around the same kinds of girls and young women he is accused of raping.”
Fr. Cronin lives at 143 Desert Lakes Rd. (on the edge of a golf course) in Fernley and lists the same address as the site of “Rachel’s Sanctuary,” which he evidently founded.
Until the 2010 suit, Fr. Cronin had never been publicly accused of child sex crimes before.
According to the 34 page suit, through confession, Fr. Cronin learned that the girl had been abused by a relative. Later, he manipulated and molested her as many as ten times. “Multiple priests and lay persons (knew) that (another priest) and Cronin were sexually abusing children, providing liquor to children and spending inordinate amounts of time with children,” the suit maintains.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and was filed in Jackson County Missouri Circuit Court. Three weeks after it was filed, Calvo still had not suspended Cronin, until SNAP drew public attention to the litigation and Cronin’s presence in Nevada.
Cronin worked in at least four Missouri towns (Blue Springs, Hamilton, Gallatin, Higginsville, and Kansas City) and several chaplaincies (at Children’s Mercy, Truman Medical Center, Western Missouri Mental Health Center, Charlotte Extended Care Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City Dentistry School, and the University School of Medicine).
Cronin was ordained in 1969 and was sent to Nevada in the late 1990s. He was a realtor from 2004-09 and has claimed he is a "chaplain" for the Lyon County Sheriff's Department. A photo of Cronin is available at BishopAccountability.org/. His phone number is listed as 775 575-9500 and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want some real, ugly irony? Here you go:
Rachel's Sanctuary is a tax-deductible 501(c)3 non-profit. Its board includes several Fernley residents.
Cronin has worked in Reno (St. Therese Church of the Little Flower, 1997-99), Fernley (St. Robert Bellarmine, 1999-04), Empire (St. Joseph the Worker, 1999-04), and Virginia City (St. Mary of the Mountains, 2009-10). From 1997-99, he was also a chaplain at Washoe Medical Center, now Renown Regional Medical Center, in Reno.
SNAP is also urging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Cronin’s crimes to speak up, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing.
“It’s clear that both bishops are doing little or nothing to monitor or supervise Fr. Cronin or alert the parishioners or the public about the serious allegations against him,” said Dorris of SNAP. “So it falls to the rest of us – especially those with information or suspicions about Fr. Cronin’s crimes – to spread the word and protect others.”
Holding signs and childhood photos, SNAP members are holding a sidewalk news conference today in Reno outside the diocesan headquarters.
The victim is represented by Kansas City attorney Rebecca Randles (816 931 9901, 816 510 2704 cell), who has handled dozens of clergy sex abuse and cover up suits.
The victim in this suit, who now lives outside Missouri, repressed memory of the crimes until 2009, the suit says.
A copy of the letter SNAP is sending today to both bishops is available upon request.
For more information: David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
"The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him."
Again, from the original post (a Story Corps recording): " Always a Family On the morning of September 11th, Michael Trinidad called his ex-wife, Monique Ferrer, from the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower to say goodbye. In the wake of his death, Monique tells the story of Michael's lasting legacy—the family they built together."Story Corps link: http://storycorps.org/
"John Vigiano Sr. is a retired New York City firefighter whose two sons followed him into service—John Jr. was a firefighter, too, and Joe was a police detective. On September 11, 2001, both Vigiano brothers responded to the call from the World Trade Center, and both were killed while saving others. Here, John Sr. remembers his sons and reflects on coping with his tremendous loss."
First because it never should have happened. If we merely had in place just a few of the most basic rules of safety and security that Europe and, honestly, the rest of the world has had in place for at least decades, it would never, never have happened.
Second, because it's been so politicized and used as a political football by the very Repubican party who was in charge of our same safety and security at the time, it makes me nauseous.
Third, simply because so many people died and for no reason and that it's just so disgusting and sad.
Pocket knives and box cutters were allowed on airplanes. And George W. Bush "kept us safe for 8 years"?
Here's chutzpah for you, from the news last week. Maybe you saw it already:
World’s Richest Woman Says Poor Should Have Less Fun, Work Harder
Advice by the world’s wealthiest woman, Gina Rinehart, on how to become a millionaire has been slammed by an Australian MP, Bob Katter, who says she "left out the bit about daddy being a major cattle station owner”.
Mr Katter, an outspoken independent MP from north Queensland, joined a chorus of criticism across the country of Ms Rinehart’s claim that people jealous of the wealthy should "spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising”.
“[She] left out the bit about daddy being a major cattle station owner and the biggest mining magnate in Australia", Mr Katter said. “That "helps as well. She says here that the minimum average wage of $600 a week should be cut. This is coming from the world's richest woman.”
Mrs Rinehart, a mining heiress who capitalised on surging commodity prices and growing demand from China and India to build an iron ore empire worth an estimated £19 billion, wrote in her regular column in a resources magazine that Australia has lost its hard-working roots.
"This is going to be a squeaker of an election. Polls are showing Obama and Romney within a hair's breath of one another in the critical swing states that will determine the outcome. How can that be when Romney is an empty suit who believes nothing, hasn't articulated any program, and has (along with his running mate) called for more tax cuts for the wealthy, more spending cuts for the poor, and an evisceration of Medicare and Medicaid? When they want to deregulate Wall Street and regulate women?
The answer is the jobs situation. Yes, Franklin D. Roosevelt was reelected in 1936 with higher unemployment than we have now. But at least he had the wind at his back: an economy that by 1936 was growing by 14 percent. Barack Obama doesn't have an economy that's moving that swiftly in the right direction. It's growing just 2.2 percent, on an annualized basis.
So the real contest is between someone who very few Americans know or even like -- Mitt Romney -- who doesn't stand for anything, or someone most Americans feel they know quite well and like very much -- Barack Obama -- who is presiding over a terrible economy that shows few signs of fundamental improvement.
My betting is on Obama, but, frankly, I'm worried."
--Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997.
Go, register, folks. Register to vote and then be sure to vote this November.
Singer-Songwriter Joe South Dead at 72
Wrote for Elvis Presley; played on Dylan's 'Blonde on Blonde'
Singer-songwriter Joe South – who penned tunes for Elvis Presley; played on landmark recordings by Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin; and wrote hits including the Grammy-winning "Games People Play" and "(I Never Promised You) A Rose Garden" – has died at 72 after a heart attack, the BBC reports.
"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
--Elie Wiesel, from his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize, in 1986
Side note, after the humor: This, to me, seems to reveal what I think looks to be a part of a zeitgeist, if you will, that tells me President Obama will, in fact, be re-elected. The Republican ticket has no such groundswell or popular, larger, wider support, I don't believe.
From a friend's Facebook page last evening (thanks, Kevin):
A NYC Taxi driver wrote:
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'
'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'
'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..
'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired.Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.
'Nothing,' I said
'You have to make a living,' she answered.
'There are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.
'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.