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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Entertainment Overnight





The Baltimore Orioles Huge Screw-Up


The topsy-turvy world that is Baltimore right now.

It's bad enough the police force there has a bad reputation for roughing up and/or killing anyone, let alone one certain group of people, in this case, blacks. Heaven knows that's bad enough.

Then, one more time, a black man is taken into custody and ends up dead. It doesn't look good. It looks beyond bad.

So the man does die and lots of other black Americans are outraged and protest, not surprisingly. Riots break out, stores are burned, looting takes place.  It's not good. It's beyond not good.

Reacting to that, the city's baseball team cancels 2 baseball games but finally figures they need to go ahead and play a game.

But instead of going ahead and playing the game and calling it out publicly so they could pull the city together, they go forward with the game WITHOUT FANS. They shut out the fans, shut out the public:

Baltimore Orioles right fielder Delmon Young fields a single by Chicago White Sox's Avisail Garcia in the second inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Baltimore. The game was played in an empty Oriole Park at Camden Yards amid unrest in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/article19876623.html#storylink=cpy

Orioles Play in Eerily Empty Stadium


And it's not like other organizations in the city didn't try to pull the people together. The libraries got it:


And the symphony orchestra, for crying out loud, got it:


The Baltimore Orioles and Major League Baseball could have seized this moment, thrown open the doors to their game and given everyone memories for years to come but a great afternoon they need and needed now.

And sure, it would have needed police and security there when they're also needed across town but call out more National Guard. Put them on the scene. Then have the game and have everyone revel in everything Baltimore and Baltimore pride. Pull everyone together---black, white, poor, wealthy, middle and working class, everyone.

Instead, they lock everyone, all the fans out and play to an open stadium, instead. What a huge, important, possibly transformative situation. Lost.

Bloody brilliant.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Today is Denim Day


More than five million people have registered for Denim Day USA, organized by an advocacy group called Peace Over Violence. It encourages people to wear denim today to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault.
steady cam

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Entertainment Overnight -- Redo


And a well done, touching, soulful remake, at that




The Time Has Come to Tax Trash in the US


Really, the time has long since come and gone that we need to tax trash.


Yes, tax trash.

Check out this one statistic:

In 2010, U.S. residents recycled 34% of their waste–an embarrassing amount compared to European countries like the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria, where people recycle almost all of their waste. In Sweden, people are so diligent about recycling that just 4% of all trash ends up in landfills...

We Americans figured, I think, we have all this space--quite unlike Europe--we don't have to care.

Well, we do have to care. The total municipal solid waste in 2012 alone was 251 million tons. (see link below). And that amount has surely risen greatly since then.

The time is now.

The more one throws away, the more you pay. It only makes sense. We need to do this.

In the first place, we throw away and waste far too much. We all know that. If we recycled only paper, aluminum and glass, alone, millions upon millions of pounds, if not tons, of products wouldn't go to waste dumps.

Second, surely we recognize we can no longer afford the soil, the Earth our waste dumps take up.

Third, there's the pollution it causes, the runoff into the soil and possibly into waterways. We have to recognize that--and that it must stop.

Then, there's the fact that it would be so very easy to do. And we could use the market economy to make this happen.

The smallest tax, employed to reduce this waste, would very likely have a huge,  positive effect.

And it's so simple. It's not like it wouldn't be understood.

The more your throw away, the more the hauler takes away, the more you pay. That's it. It makes far too much sense not to do this.

Can you imagine what we would save, what we would no longer waste, by doing this?

Think now about how much paper and plastic alone go into waste dumps just from corporate America--from the fast food industry alone.

We'd save the paper, we'd save the glass, we'd reuse the aluminum, all.

Then we'd be saving the land, saving our streams and saving forests.

No, this makes far, far too much sense.

We need to get on this.

Link:

 Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: Facts and Figures


Quote of the Day -- Sunday Edition


"We humans are entering an era of enormous danger. Chaos and injustice will inevitably accompany the changing global climate, and right now we humans don't have much to unify us in facing that. Our species needs every advantage we can possibly muster, and peace between science and God, peace between reason and spirit, would certainly be advantageous. For millions of thoughtful rational people to have no way to draw on their spiritual power is a tragedy."

From the brief NPR article:

A New Way To Think About 'God'

More links, more thoughts:

'A God That Could Be Real' In The Scientific Universe


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Entertainment Overnight -- Great, New Stuff


New to me, anyway.




Who Knew Missourians Were This Racist?


I gave my home state more credit.

Too much, it turns out.

First this:


Shameful.


The first town that had the issue recently, that had 5 of 6 police officers resign because the new police chief is black was bad enough. Now this.

Then this, today, from St. Louis:


What took place:

ST. LOUIS • About a score of white supremacists and about 50 or 60 activists against racism spent a while trying to out-shout each other early Saturday afternoon on the west steps of the Old Courthouse downtown.
There was no physical contact but plenty of yelling through a steady rain from camps separated by barricades put in place by National Park Service rangers. Some rangers and city police officers watched from the periphery.
But wait. It gets better.  Check this out:
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian-Aryan Nation obtained a permit to demonstrate at the landmark from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
The "Church of Jesus Christ Christian-Aryan Nation.
Wow.
I love how they had to get both Christ and Christian,  both, in the name, just to make sure we all know who they're supposed to be about.
Supposed to be, anyway.
I have to wonder, though.
Who would Jesus discriminate against?

Kansas City Real Estate in the NY Times Today



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Entertainment Overnight -- New


Heard this piece and writer/performer/pianist for the first time yesterday and fell in love.




Entertainment Overnight -- Unpack Your Heart


Just heard this for the first time Sunday and enjoyed it. I think Mr. Phillips has a definite Dave Matthews sound to him, in at least a couple different ways.




Happy Earth Day


This is what I think of when I hear people say we shouldn't do anything about global warming or climate change:

091207usatoday global warming.91

I also think "Idiots."


Born this day, 1909


Rita Levi-Montalcini

Rita Levi-Montalcini was an Italian Nobel Laureate honored for her work in neurobiology. She was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with colleague Stanley Cohen for the discovery of nerve growth factor.

In 1986 the Nobel Prize for medicine went to Rita Levi-Montalcini.

In troubled times, during the dictatorship of Mussolini, Rita had secretly studied nerve fibers in a makeshift lab hidden in her home.

Years later, after a great deal of work, this tenacious detective of the mysteries of life discovered the protein that multiplies human cells, which won her the Nobel.

She was about eighty by then and she said, "My body is getting wrinkled, but not my brain. When I can no longer think, all I'll want is help to die with dignity."


A brilliant woman, a brilliant, achieved woman and she spent some time right here in Missouri at our own St. Louis Washington University (see first link, below):

After the war (WWII), her family returned to Turin and Levi-Montalcini resumed her position as an assistant at the University of Turin Institute of Anatomy. Two articles that Levi-Montalcini had published in foreign scientific journals interested Viktor Hamburger, head of the Zoology Department of Washington University in St. Louis.  In September 1947 Rita Levi-Montalcini accepted Hamburger’s invitation to collaborate with him as a research associate. Though she initially planned to stay at Washington University for less than one year, Levi-Montalcini stayed for thirty years. She was named an associate professor of Zoology in 1951, and a full professor in 1958. In the early 1960s Levi-Montalcini began dividing her time between St. Louis and Italy.










Winstead's No, Town Topic Yes


From Yahoo News yesterday:


Town Topic Hamburgers in Kansas City, Missouri.

Town Topic on the list. What they had to say:

Town Topic — The classic “slider” has nothing to do with a burger’s diminutive size: Although the term was made famous by White Castle, sliders refer to thin patties cooked on a griddle atop (and below) shredded raw onion. As the onions cook, they release water, creating additional steam heat that helps shape the flavor of the beef — a process that Solares calls “steam griddling.” At Kansas City’s 24-hour icon Town Topic, those sliders are available as single, double, and triple burgers (with our without cheese). And though the restaurant also offers “bigger”-sized burgers, Solares calls its real-deal sliders “the most elemental of burger forms.” 2021 Broadway, Kansas City MO 64108

As I said, no Winstead's.  

And no Westport Flea Market...


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Entertainment Overnight --All About That Bass


But this time it's the isolated bass guitar of John Paul Jones of the epic rock group Led Zeppelin, playing his part of "Ramble On":



Best rock and roll group ever.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Entertainment Overnight -- Another Remake


And again, a fantastic re-do:




America's Priorities


I saw this on Facebook yesterday and had to post.

You wouldn't think this is an actual, accurate description of the state of our spending and our priorities in America today but it is.

This is what spending more--far more--on "defense" in this nation gets you.

Forget that we Americans paid into Social Security with our own money, from our paychecks. All that was spent and is still being spent on other things, instead of back to us on Social Security, for which it was created.

Instead, we keep making and buying bombs and guns and bullets and tanks and weapons of war.

Our priorities, America's priorities, are seriously screwed up, without question.

So what are we going to do about it?

The Comical Conservative's photo.

A Fourth Country Western Star, for Obama


First there was this:

Three Country Western Stars, on President Obama


Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks and Mel Haggard all came out strongly for President Obama, now Toby Keith, too:

Toby Keith

His quote:

"There's a big part of America that really believes that there is a war on terrorism, and that we need to finish up.
"So I thought it was beautiful the other day when Obama went to Afghanistan and got educated about Afghanistan and Iraq. He came back and said some really nice things.
"So as far as leadership and patriotism goes, I think it's really important that those things have to take place. And I think he's the best Democratic candidate we've had since Bill Clinton. And that's coming from a Democrat."
There's hope for us yet, eh?


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Entertainment Overnight -- Great Remake


It's terrific when the remake is better than the original.




Horrible, Racist News Out of Missouri Today


And it went national:


Following the election of the town’s first African-American mayor, five of the six officers on a small Missouri town police force resigned en masse, reports KFVS.

Former city clerk Tyrus Byrd was sworn in as mayor of Parma, Missouri on Tuesday only to find out that police officers, as well as the city attorney and a water treatment supervisor, had resigned before she took office.

According to outgoing Mayor Randall Ramsey, who is stepping down after 37 years in town hall over two terms, the city employees gave no prior notice.

What else can it remind you of but "Blazing Saddles"?


We just haven't come far enough, as a people, clearly.


Libertarian vs Socialist


I saw this earlier and loved it. Naturally, there's at least a bit of truth to it or it wouldn't work.

I ask you, which would you prefer?


We all work together vs. "every man--and woman--for themselves"?




Quote of the day -- On Wealth Inequality


And to be timely on this Sunday, it's from none other than Pope Francis:


Bernie Sanders's photo.

Kansas and Social Media Just Now


I just saw this on Facebook today.

Congratulations, Kansas. This is who and what you are and what people are learning about you--on top of the fact that you give tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations and have no budget for schools and a downgraded bonds because of it:


Coalition to Stop Gun Violence's photo.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Albert Einstein, with Lessons for Kansas City and Missouri and the Nation



EINSTEIN: THE NEGRO QUESTION (1946)
I am writing as one who has lived among you in America only a little more than ten years. And I am writing seriously and warningly. Many readers may ask:
"What right has he to speak about things which concern us alone, and which no newcomer should touch?"
I do not think such a standpoint is justified. One who has grown up in an environment takes much for granted. On the other hand, one who has come to this country as a mature person may have a keen eye for everything peculiar and characteristic. I believe he should speak out freely on what he sees and feels, for by so doing he may perhaps prove himself useful.
What soon makes the new arrival devoted to this country is the democratic trait among the people. I am not thinking here so much of the democratic political constitution of this country, however highly it must be praised. I am thinking of the relationship between individual people and of the attitude they maintain toward one another.
In the United States everyone feels assured of his worth as an individual. No one humbles himself before another person or class. Even the great difference in wealth, the superior power of a few, cannot undermine this healthy self-confidence and natural respect for the dignity of one's fellow-man.
There is, however, a somber point in the social outlook of Americans. Their sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to men of white skins. Even among these there are prejudices of which I as a Jew am clearly conscious; but they are unimportant in comparison with the attitude of the "Whites" toward their fellow-citizens of darker complexion, particularly toward Negroes. The more I feel an American, the more this situation pains me. I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out.
Many a sincere person will answer: "Our attitude towards Negroes is the result of unfavorable experiences which we have had by living side by side with Negroes in this country. They are not our equals in intelligence, sense of responsibility, reliability."
I am firmly convinced that whoever believes this suffers from a fatal misconception. Your ancestors dragged these black people from their homes by force; and in the white man's quest for wealth and an easy life they have been ruthlessly suppressed and exploited, degraded into slavery. The modern prejudice against Negroes is the result of the desire to maintain this unworthy condition.
The ancient Greeks also had slaves. They were not Negroes but white men who had been taken captive in war. There could be no talk of racial differences. And yet Aristotle, one of the great Greek philosophers, declared slaves inferior beings who were justly subdued and deprived of their liberty. It is clear that he was enmeshed in a traditional prejudice from which, despite his extraordinary intellect, he could not free himself.
A large part of our attitude toward things is conditioned by opinions and emotions which we unconsciously absorb as children from our environment. In other words, it is tradition—besides inherited aptitudes and qualities—which makes us what we are. We but rarely reflect how relatively small as compared with the powerful influence of tradition is the influence of our conscious thought upon our conduct and convictions.
It would be foolish to despise tradition. But with our growing self-consciousness and increasing intelligence we must begin to control tradition and assume a critical attitude toward it, if human relations are ever to change for the better. We must try to recognize what in our accepted tradition is damaging to our fate and dignity—and shape our lives accordingly.
I believe that whoever tries to think things through honestly will soon recognize how unworthy and even fatal is the traditional bias against Negroes.
What, however, can the man of good will do to combat this deeply rooted prejudice? He must have the courage to set an example by word and deed, and must watch lest his children become influenced by this racial bias.
I do not believe there is a way in which this deeply entrenched evil can be quickly healed. But until this goal is reached there is no greater satisfaction for a just and well-meaning person than the knowledge that he has devoted his best energies to the service of the good cause.



Bill Maher Gets Many Things Right Here -- As Usual


Attention: some expletives, as ever.



More people have been to the moon than paid the inheritance tax.

etc.

Have a great weekend, y'all.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Kansas City Hits the Big Time Media!


Yes sir, Kansas City hits the big time media and in a big way--in the very first paragraph. Just not in a good way:

Arrowhead and Kauffman


When they want "gross food", they come to us first, it seems. From "Mother Jones" today:
Five months ago, Jon Costa, a food safety manager for Aramark, told ESPN and local media outlets about the dire conditions in the kitchens at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium (home to baseball's Royals) and Arrowhead Stadium (home to football's Chiefs). He discovered roaches in the vending area, mouse feces near pizza dough, mold growth in ice machines, and employees eating where food was supposed to be prepared.
KSHB reported that the Kansas City Health Department found critical violations at 20 of Kauffman's concession stands last November, after Costa came forward following the Royals' World Series loss. In a letter to ESPN that month, an Aramark official refuted Costa's allegations, which included expired pizza dough being served during Game 7 of the World Series, as "unsubstantiated claims raised by a disgruntled employee." Still, Aramark enlisted an external inspector to conduct additional sweeps of concessions and increased training for its staff. (Costa, meanwhile, was fired in March.)
That hurts.
Not only that, though, our beer costs too much:

Beer Prices At Every Major League Baseball Game



Two Huge Things the Nation Needs


Great news from--who else? Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders:

Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill To End Offshore Tax Havens and Outsourcing of Jobs


Two things that should never have been put in the books anyway but they were because the wealthy and corporations can buy our legislators with "campaign contributions" and get the legislation they want, in spite of what's good for the nation.

Right now, America, we have laws on the books making it legal to take profits that were made here in the US, take them to the Cayman Islands and so, make them tax free.

That is textbook insanity. It's certainly fiscally irresponsible.

And the other thing that should no way have ever been made law was that companies would get tax credits, too, for offshoring manufacturing and so, manufacturing jobs.

More crazy.

We all know we want more jobs back here in our country, maybe especially manufacturing jobs. This is an excellent way to begin that process.

These two efforts, that is, bringing profits and jobs back "on shore", back to America, would go a long, long way toward fixing two major problems in this country. The first being tax revenue on profits made here in the country and the other of bringing jobs back.into the country.

There shouldn't be one government representative that is against either of these goals.

Sadly, however, because the corporations and wealthy virtually own the Republicans and the Republican Party, they won't be for it.


Quote of the Day -- On Trickle Down Tax Cuts









And o










And on the new, latest Republican budget plan with yet more tax cuts for the wealthy while cutting Medicare, etc.


John Deluca-howard's photo.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Entertainment Overnight --- Incredible


John Legend and Sam Smith.



The night, this emptiness, this hole that I'm inside
These tears, they tell their own story





On Hillary Rodham Clinton and Her Likely Juggernaut


Suddenly, all of a sudden, the foregone conclusion that Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to run for the presidency of the United States is here and done and the game is in play.

And even though it was a foregone conclusion, suddenly, I have to say, I am excited.


Also foregone is that the Republicans are going nuts and they are going to continue to do so.

And here's the big fact on Hillary's run for the presidency--and what the Republicans are going to do until November, 2016:

"Instead of coming back with their own positive vision for America and actually arguing issues, Republicans will come back with attacks."

And sure, Hillary is no Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders but she's smart, she's tested and she's electable.

She's also not one of these guys:

Republican Presidential Contenders
And then, to make it better, you see some headlines like this:


Mike Huckabee: ‘God’s blessing’ will make me president


It just keeps getting better and better.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Entertainment Overnight -- Be My Dixie Chicken





Missouri's Going to Execute Again


With Missouri's last execution, of a 74 year old man who was missing part of his brain, literally, and so, had a low IQ, it seems certain Missouri will once again execute another inmate tomorrow:

Andre Cole.

Advocates for inmate ask Missouri governor to halt execution

It seems certain.

After all, he's black.

Forget that he was tried back in 1992 in St. Louis when blacks/African-Americans were excluded from juries in that area.

Forget that.

He's scheduled to be executed tomorrow, too. Precious little time to get anything done on this now, likely.

I wonder where the "pro-life" people are on this one? All the Catholics, all of them. Anyone screaming that "life is precious."

No, I thought not.

It doesn't look good.

We have to go through with that age-old "good idea" that killing people is a great idea, to show people shouldn't kill people.

Links: 

Congratulations, Missouri! You kill me!


Quote of the Day -- Thomas Jefferson


Happy birthday, Mr. President, born this day, 1743.
Thomas Jefferson
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.


We can't say we weren't warned.  And we risk failure by not acting.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Right Wing, "Conservative", Religious, Supposedly "Christian", Republican Springfield Repeals Equality


There's a shocker, huh?


The bigots from the pews won.

This one, this time.

The thing is, what they don't recognize is that we all want equality.

This is America, right?

Didn't we always say, haven't we always been told, from grade school? that "...all men are created equal"?

What too many don't recognize is that the opposite of equality id discrimination.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What Libertrarianism Really Is


I have had no respect for the people who call themselves "Libertarians" nearly since I first became aware of them. To me, they are people who realized their political party--the Republican Party--was falling a apart and they wanted smaller government so they came up with this idea they'd be edgy and controversial, create a new political party and call themselves this.

But the fact is, as I've said before, the thing with Libertarians is that they can't collectively decide how small this new, functioning government is supposed to be, among other things.

Then, last week, I saw this and it helped clarify further more of the issues I know I have with these people and their very loosely-formed group. Enjoy:


Libertarians believe they're rebels, but they are really political children who scream through tears

Libertarians believe themselves controversial and cool. They're desperate to package themselves as dangerous rebels, but in reality they are champions of conformity. Their irreverence and their opposition to “political correctness” is little more than a fashion accessory, disguising their subservience to—for all their protests against the “political elite”—the real elite.

Ayn Rand is the rebel queen of their icy kingdom, villifying empathy and solidarity. Christopher Hitchens, in typical blunt force fashion, undressed Rand and her libertarian followers, exposing their obsequiousness toward the operational standards of a selfish society: “I have always found it quaint, and rather touching, that there is a movement in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough.”

Libertarians believe they are real rebels, because they’ve politicized the protest of children who scream through tears, “You’re not the boss of me.” The rejection of all rules and regulations, and the belief that everyone should have the ability to do whatever they want, is not rebellion or dissent. It is infantile naïveté.

As much as libertarians boast of having a “political movement” gaining in popularity, “you’re not the boss of me” does not even rise to the most elementary level of politics. Aristotle translated “politics” into meaning “the things concerning the polis,” referring to the city, or in other words, the community. Confucius connected politics with ethics, and his ethics are attached to communal service with a moral system based on empathy. A political program, like that from the right, that eliminates empathy, and denies the collective, is anti-political.


Opposition to any conception of the public interest and common good, and the consistent rejection of any opportunity to organize communities in the interest of solidarity, is not only a vicious form of anti-politics, it is affirmation of America’s most dominant and harmful dogmas. In America, selfishness, like blue jeans or a black dress, never goes out of style. It is the style.

I ask you, how do you run a nation of far more than 315 million people with little government? Or very little?

And how small a government is it, when you're done shrinking it? How small DO we go? What do we get out of, completely? Do we have a national highway system? How small do you shrink the military? And believe me, if you know anything of me, I'm all about shrinking our military spending.

Where do you stop with the cuts?  What's left?

I'm left wondering how much of a nation we are, collectively, if we make all those cuts.

Are we together?

Wouldn't Libertarianism mean that if a state wants to secede, you let them? Would that not be consistent with this train of thought? And if it's not consistent, what would be the position taken on such a situation.

As it is, we're becoming less and less the United States of America.

With Libertarianism, I wonder if we would even be the States, let alone United.


Quote of the day -- On True Small Government


The guy who was, at the time, the ultimate, utmost Conservative and Republican, Barry Goldwater (Google him or check him out on Wikipedia or something, if you must). He was the Convervative's Conservative. He was Conservative long before Conservative was the "cool" it is today: