Blog Catalog

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Quote of the Day -- On Working Together In a Society

From the article:

Why Japan's Murder Rate Is So Low 

- Business Insider

Image result for japan

The country's homicide rate is associated with a stable and prosperous society with low inequality and high levels of development. Young Japanese males now commit only a tenth of the homicides committed by their predecessors in 1955, and the age and sex distribution of victims tend to be uniform across age groups. 

This has been attributed by some researchers to, amongst other factors, extremely low levels of gun ownership (1 in 175 households), a greater chance of detection (according to police data, 98 per cent of homicide cases are solved), the rejection of violence after the Second World War, the growth of affluence without the accompanying concentrations of poverty common in many highly developed countries, and the stigma of arrest for any crime in Japanese society.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Where Sagging Pants Came From

It's not well known but the current trend of sagging pants didn't come from prisons or anywhere else.

It came from Walt Disney.

JFK, 100 Years

President John F., "Jack", Kennedy, born 100 years ago today.

Image result

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

"Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind."

--John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy - Wikipedia

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Missouri Teen Hits the Political Big Time

There is a pretty terrific article about what seems to be a very bright, hard-working teenager in St. Louis today in the New York Times.

It seems this 15 year old from St. Louis has been writing away about national politics now for years. From his website:

Gabe Fleisher is an eighth grader from University City, Missouri, with a passion for politics and history, as well as for informing and engaging people in the news.

What he does, according to that same site:

"At Wake Up to Politics, the daily goal for the past five years has been the same - to inform readers with the most non-partisan and comprehensive yet understandable version of the news that really matters."

"That goal is put into a daily political newsletter, sent out around 8:00 AM every weekday morning. Every day, Wake Up To Politics strives to give you a look at the day's news that matters - and a glimpse into what our leaders are doing. That includes news on the President, Congress, the courts, elections, history, a daily trivia question, and more."

He's been writing since he was 8 years old and has some huge names in the nation and media, following him and his output. People like:

Gene B. Sperling, contributing editor at The Atlantic; the MSNBC anchor Steve Kornacki; Major Garrett, chief White House correspondent for CBS News; the “Daily Show” correspondent Roy Wood Jr. (who on Twitter called Wake Up “one of the best political newsletters to hit my inbox”); the author Mark Halperin; and Jim VandeHei, the founder of Axios and a founder of Politico — as well as reporters for The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today, many of whom are among Gabe’s nearly 5,000 Twitter followers. (Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, is also a follower.)
Incredible kid, it seems.

Could be a great link to have and keep up with for you, on politics.


Wake Up To Politics

Wake Up To Politics - Home | Facebook

U. City's Gabe Fleisher Continues To 'Wake Up To Politics

Missouri 6th-grader builds following

Quotes of the Day

"Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. 'Patriotism' is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by "patriotism" I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one's own nation, which is the concern with the nation's spiritual as much as with its material welfare — never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship." 

--Erich Fromm, in "The Sane Society" (1955)

"We Americans claim to be a peace-loving people. We hate bloodshed; we are opposed to violence. Yet we go into spasms of joy over the possibility of projecting dynamite bombs from flying machines upon helpless citizens. We are ready to hang, electrocute, or lynch anyone, who, from economic necessity, will risk his own life in the attempt upon that of some industrial magnate. Yet our hearts swell with pride at the thought that America is becoming the most powerful nation on earth, and that she will eventually plant her iron foot on the necks of all other nations.

Such is the logic of patriotism."

--Emma Goldman, "What is Patriotism?" (1908)

"True patriotism isn't cheap. It's about taking on a fair share of the burdens of keeping America going.

Those who earn tens of millions of dollars a year but pay less than 14 percent of their incomes in taxes, and argue the rich should pay even less, are not true patriots.

Those who defend indefensible tax loopholes, such as the "carried interest" loophole that allows private-equity managers to treat their incomes as capital gains even if they risk no income of their own, are not true patriots.

Those who avoid taxes by putting huge amounts of their earnings into IRAs via foreign tax shelters are not true patriots.

Those who want to cut programs that benefit the poor -- Food stamps, child nutrition, Pell grants, Medicaid -- so that they can get a tax cut for themselves and their affluent friends-- are not true patriots." 

--Robert Reich, economist, writer, author, professor and former Labor Secretary of President Bill Clinton's Cabinet

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Quote of the Day -- On Taking Down Confederate Statues

Image result for removing lee statue

"The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered." 

--New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu


One of the Best Promotions of Our City

There are a lot of good to great things about and in Kansas City, as we know, and the world seems to be learning of them and that's great, of course. One of the best ways our city is getting promoted, though, from within and without is the fairly new, annual "Big Slick" fund raiser. Here's some about this year's event from our own Kansas City Star.

Want to play a game of softball with the Big Slick celebs at the K? 

Here’s your chance.

Big Slick KC is kicking off this year’s fundraising campaign with an online raffle for the chance to participate in the softball game June 23 at Kauffman Stadium with hosts Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet David Koechner and their celeb friends.

The winner will also take in the Royals game afterward from the swanky Hall of Fame suite and get VIP tickets for two to the next day’s events: watching the bowling tournament in Prairiefire and attending the sold-out evening party and auction at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland.

Big Slick partnered with the website Omaze ( for the raffle, which, like all Big Slick events, will benefit Children’s Mercy hospital.

Donations can range from $10 (good for 100 raffle entries) to $2,500 (25,000 entries) and, depending on the amount, also can include an iron-on “Slick” decal, a custom Charlie Hustle Big Slick tee and autographed poster.

Prizes include airfare and hotel in case the winner lives outside Kansas City.

Over the years the event has generated more than $4.5 million to help Children’s Mercy cancer center expand research, provide new hospital amenities and purchase medical equipment.

Details at

It's gotten great coverage, too, on national TV.

Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet & David Koechner are inviting you to join them for a game of softball at Big Slick Celebrity Weekend 2017. 

No really. 

Enter to win:

You and a friend will:
  • Play in the Big Slick Celebrity Softball Tournament with Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet and David Koechner
  • Watch a Kansas City Royals game from the Hall of Fame suite
  • Score VIP access to two days of exciting events at Big Slick Celebrity Weekend
  • Get flown out and put up in a 4-star hotel
Yes sir. (and ma'am).

A fantastic fund raiser for a great cause with lots of fun and gets the city some terrific national coverage, all.

It doesn't get much better than that.

So what are you waiting for? Git on over there and make your contribution!

And good luck!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Donald Trump Even Scares People on the Right

From none other than the extreme Right Winger himself, Erick Erickson, yesterday in the Washington Post.

"The president exudes incompetence and instability. Divulging classified information to the Russians through bragging; undermining his staff’s defense of his conduct through inane tweets; even reportedly asking the FBI director to suspend an investigation of a former adviser — all these strike me not so much as malicious but as the ignorant actions of an overwhelmed man. Republicans excuse this behavior as Trump being Trump, but that will only embolden voters who seek greater accountability to choose further change over stability. The sad reality is that the greatest defense of the president available at this point is one his team could never give on the record: He is an idiot who does not know any better."

Read the entire article here:

And think happy thoughts, campers.


Fun in Kansas City Today

This is apparently National Orange Popsicle Week, according to my trip across Kansas City today, to Mill Creek Park and the JC Nichols fountain on the Plaza.

And our buddy Slugger, of the Kansas City Royals showed, too.

I've no idea what it's about or why Slugger, of all people (people?), would be there, along with a table for KU Med Center but the fountain was flowing orange, as you can see. It was fun, if not nearly completely unexplained.

Have a great weekend, y'all.

And maybe have an orange popsicle.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What a Trump Presidency Begets

We warned about this guy, this Trump. We said he didn't have the temperament or experience for the job and he's already proven he wasn't up for it. He even said it was harder than he thought. So now, today? What's happening? What do we get?

Asian markets mostly down as dollar 

continues to fall

That's all bad enough. Now for our own markets. This just broke.

How long until our own markets are hit, and drop, given the uncertainty and unpredictability that is Donald Trump and now, his Presidency?

Again, even Republicans themselves warned about Donald Trump as President.

It's as I wrote earlier.

How long, America?

How long are we going to put up with this boob of a President? You deserve better than this, America. We all deserve better than this. Much better than this. We need better than this. We need logic and calm and thoughtfulness and deliberation and all the things that go with maturity and experience and familiarity with national and international politics and history and all the rest.

How long, America?


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Quickly Developing Presidential, Constitutional Saga That Is Donald Trump

It's getting so it's tough to keep up with all that's happening, all that's unraveling from and out of this White House and administration. It's nearly dizzying. Check out this brief analysis of the last 18 hours or so:

"So last night a story breaks that Trump gave classified information to the Russians. Trump sends all his top staff people out to deny it, say it's a dirty lie. Then this morning Trump sends out tweets saying that he did give classified information to the Russians and explains why. No information yet on whether his staff will continue to deny it."

--Bruce Bartlett

It's important we keep this man and his actions in perspective.

"...John McCain was a prisoner of war for 5 years and didn't reveal as much classified information as Trump..."

--Bob Minor, Professor, retired, KU; also with Missouri Jobs with Justice and friend.

And the hell of it is, it's not just that he's stupid or very stupid, though God know that's more and yet more apparent, it's that he indicts himself with what comes from his own mouth.

Who could even begin to guess what's next?

Congratulations, again, Republicans. You got your man in the White House, all right.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Facebook Wouldn't Let Me Post a Link to This Article Last Evening

I was reading and also on Facebonkers last evening when I ran across this article.

I wanted to post it on a page, a group I belong to. This one:

Facebook said it "didn't recognize the url." I tried to post it, also, from the source, The Daily Kos, but that wouldn't work, either.

I've never felt I was being censored out there until this.

Big, corporate brother?

Quote of the Day -- Timely II

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

Samuel Adams

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Quote of the Day -- Timely

"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

--Charles Bukowski

Friday, May 5, 2017

Republican Handiwork, This Week Alone


I first started writing this blog as reaction to the George W Bush administration and what I saw as the horrible path and paths they were taking us all, as a nation, on. Since that time, there have been other deplorable things done, certainly, and by others as well as Republicans, individually, and the by the Republican Party, collectively. But this presidency, this Trump Presidency and his Republican cohorts in Congress are doing the most damage and on tge most issues, I can ever remember. Herewith is just a sampling in the last few days.

First, they had to vote to take money away from the working and middle and lower classes, by voting for corporations, instead, taking away overtime pay for us, their constituents. They did this two days ago.

Then there’s this from yesterday.

They’re voting to repeal Obamacare which will have the results of kicking millions of Americans off health insurance plans, as well as putting back into place the possibility and capability of health insurance companies to deny coverage to us out here on the basis of pre-existing conditions.

Their bill is so bad, they didn’t even want to let the Congressional Budget Office, the CBO, to look at, evaluate and report on it. They just voted on it and pushed it through. It’s that bad.

And what's really crazy?

The House Republicans voted on their replacement for Obamacare BUT THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S IN IT. It was reported last evening on PBS.

Next up, as though that alone isn’t bad enough, is this, also yesterday.

Church and state? Not a problem for this President. He actually WANTS religions mixing their beliefs with their---our—politics. Well, unless, of course, that religion is, oh, I don’t know, something like Muslim? Fortunately, even some in the religious community realize this is a mistake and far from a good idea.

Not done there, they figure that pesky 2008 near complete financial collapse corporations caused shouldn’t be guarded against so they want to repeal the banking regulations that grew out of it. This came out also yesterday--they were busy.

Finally, as if all that isn’t enough, Trump’s head of the VA wants to shut down Veterans Administration facilities.

If it’s closing unused and/or empty facilities, sure, I am, we are all for it. If that’s the case. Reportedly, there are 430 vacant buildings and 735 that VA Secretary David Shulkin describes as “underutilized.” If that’s the case, God bless ‘em. If it has to do with closing working, important facilities, even one, there should be problems.

So that’s it. For now. For today. Once again, the Republicans and Republican Party show they are all about and working for the already-wealthy and corporations and not for the American middle- and/or lower-class, the working class.

Fortunately, even some on the Right Wing, some Conservatives, are pointing out what we warned of before Donald Trump ever became President. Well known columnist George Will states what no Democrat or person on the Left could point out.

Quote of the Day -- On Yesterday's House Health Care Debacle


How can you prescribe a cure for heartlessness? 

What a deplorable day for America. 

Perhaps the Senate will stop this assault; we will see. 

Meanwhile the congressional GOP, and its fundamentalists, are full of real bastards, replete with the hubris and conceits that blind white people of privilege. 

It’s the stuff of fiction. 

All of them are the pious and stunted Babbits who have shown up time after time in American history. In the 19th century, these ignoramus moralists used to tar and feather the wicked and clutch their skirts and get the vapors, when their real motive was fleecing someone. 

And now? 

Snake Oil comes in Red, White, and Blue with a GOP pin. 

Once again, the officiously comfortable afflict the poor, elderly and vulnerable, and proclaim their righteous glory and salvation while killing them, Alleluiah. No dunking chairs, stocks or nooses are being used here, and no one is quite being run out of town, but it's a bonfire of hubris. 

And of course, a rancid lecher like Trump and his administration target women and the poor. 

He is enabled in so many ways by those who obsess over the organ Trump is so fond of and yet horrified by, the organ which does all those things he and his coterie are so terribly, demonstrably, shamed by. Misogyny, racism and an orgy of white class privilege define today; NOT American ideals. 

This is ancient, orgiastic Rome on the Potomac. 

Or, leap ahead to the 17th century: You don't have to endorse everything HRC did in her campaign to be appalled by her burning at the stake by Comey and the rest with casual, partial, deadly “reveals". (Comey tosssed letter bombs.) 

So, friends, what comes next? 

Demonstrations, protests, and 2018. 

The Democrats may have been less than elegant today -- but really, who can blame a visceral reaction in the face of an Orwellian overload of cant? We're watching democracy be trampled, and decent people be trampled, and our way of life -- I don't think I'm exaggerating here -- be peeled off to appease and enrich the exalted triumphalists. 

They should start wearing togas. 

Staid, pleasant rhetoric doesn't cut it for me in these times. And unless we're really willing to do the hard work of connecting people, this ugliness dominates. I think we're on the cusp of a radical act: Democracy, and yanking it back in 2018 from the worst, most venal characters since the days of Vigilantes, boss rule and segregation and other nativist elements. 

Can we provide the cure for the diseased heart of the American power structure? 

For the heartlessness and greed which lie at the heart of Trumpism and the GOP? 

That's my definition of palliative care: vote them into oblivion. Whatever it takes, wherever we are, but link arms, and do not be silent.


Yet One More Lily White "Ruckus" Last Evening

KCPT:  Minorities Don't Matter In Kansas City?

Yes sir and ma'am, yet one more lily white, bleached white, exclusive, exclusionist "Ruckus" news weekly last evening on our PBS station KCPT. Not one--not even one--person of color on the show. One woman but that, as usual, is as close to a minority as they got.

They go out of their way, every week, to include a middle-aged, middle-class, irrelevant white guy who calls himself a "Libertarian" but again---not one person of a minority.  And then there's always the really old, white guy with silver hair and moustache because, you know, old white guys' opinions just aren't "out there" enough already, right? (Other than the moustache, isn't that what Mike Shanin is already there for?).

The only question now is, will they do the same thing, yet again, with their other news weekly show, Nick Haines' "Week in Review"?  It's usually what they do, of course.