"These are the 10 worst states in the US for quality of life, including crime, health, social tolerance and the environment."
So check out what they say about our own Show Me state:
Show Me how to stay safe in Missouri, where violent crime in all categories has been rising, in some cases by double digits. Missouri also lacks statewide protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, marital status, and gender identity. And the state is near the bottom for public health funding.
2017 Quality of Life score: 99 out of 300 points Weaknesses: Crime rate, health, inclusiveness Strength: Attractions 2016 Quality of Life rank: No. 49
Note that last statistic, too. 2016 Quality of Life rank: 49. Out of 50, of course. Only one state worse than us, whoever that is.
Even on this list, we're worse than Mississippi, for God's sake.
WORSE THAN MISSISSIPPI.
Let that sink in.
I know I personally take no comfort whatever in learning that neighbor state to the South, Arkansas, is ranked 4th worst or that, again, neighbor state Oklahoma is ranked number 3.
We should no way be on this list. This is horrible.
We must do better. We have to.
And we start by getting Republicans out of public office.
People, in this nation, who consider themselves to be both Capitalists and Christians are only Capitalists.
Mark 10:21-22 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Luke 12:16-21 Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, 'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."
And my personal favorite:
Matthew 19:24 Jesus said "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
"Putting a future president in the debt of a foreign power — and subject, presumably, to blackmail by that power — is the height of sleazy stupidity. It is not a mistake born of greenness; it is evidence of a vacant conscience."
It is sometimes argued that the media should spend less time on President Trump’s transgressive tweets in order to devote more attention to real issues such as North Korea. In fact, it is necessary to focus on Trump’s tweets precisely because they shed light on the mind that is doing the deciding on North Korea. It is a distasteful exercise. But we cannot look away. We need to know the state of mind we’re dealing with.
Trump’s tweets reveal a leader who is compulsive, abusive and easily triggered. Trump describes all this as “modern day presidential.”
What we are witnessing is not a new age in presidential communications. It is an ongoing, public breakdown. And the question naturally arises: Is this the result of mental dysfunction?
Most psychiatrists are (understandably) uncomfortable with diagnosis from a distance. And the particular diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder requires significant impairment – which is a hard case to make of a figure at the pinnacle of American politics.
And yet. There are judgments that must be made about the fitness of the leaders. Citizens are under no ethical obligation to be silent when they see serious dysfunction. The challenge here is not merely the trashing of political norms. The main problem is the possibility that America has an unbalanced president during a period of high-stakes global testing. This is not a clinical diagnosis. It is a civic and political judgment, made necessary by the president’s own words and acts. Trump holds a job that requires, above all else, the ability to unite and steady the nation in a time of crisis. There is no reason to believe he can play that role.
Much of the prudence and courage required to confront this problem will need to come from Republicans and conservatives. Where to start? How about refusing to downplay revolting lunacy?
It is not merely an “occasional ad hominem” for a president to employ the tremendous power of his office to target individual American citizens who oppose him. It is an abuse of power.
It is not merely “uncouth” for a president to tolerate, even to hint support for, violence against political opponents (“I’d like to punch him in the face”). It creates an atmosphere of intimidation.
It is not merely “exaggeration” for a president to issue a series of eye-stretching lies, including that his predecessor spied on him and that a popular vote victory was denied to him by widespread electoral fraud. It indicates either a deep cynicism or a tenuous connection to reality.
It is not being “coarse” for a president to engage in consistent misogyny. It is a sign of a disturbing and deep-seated dehumanization of women.
Many conservatives would respond to this critique by saying, “At least he fights!” The question is: For what? Trump evinces no strong or consistent policy views. He fights for himself – for admiration and adulation – which is the only cause his extreme narcissism allows.
Many conservatives would also respond by saying, “At least he does conservative things!” But if health care is any indication, Trump lacks conviction, knowledge and the ability to persuade.
House and Senate Republicans should be prepared to aggressively challenge unbalanced or unhinged presidential language and decisions, rather than trying to dismiss them as simply a “distraction.”
No one really knows how to deal with this situation, which still feels more like an unnerving political novel than our political reality. Trump has led our country into unexplored territory. If this is “modern day presidential,” all progress moves toward the past.
--Michael Gerson served as President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter from 2001-2006 and is a columnist for the Washington Post
And note the source. It's not from some Right Winger. Not by a long shot.
"It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about President Trump’s inability to do either. This seems to be not a mere disinclination but a disability. It is not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence."
Not only is it tragic because the story is of a very senseless murder but also because, at its root, is just racism. And ugliness. And stupidity. And ignorance.
It's the local story, of course, of the idiot, ugly racist who, last February, took his semiautomatic pistol, confronted a local man about his immigration status. That wasn't enough, he then took it upon himself to wage what he apparently thought was "justice" on this complete stranger, murdering him.
I've said before and this proves it once again, too many times, guns are by and for and with utter cowards. This, again, ugly racist used his gun because he didn't have the guts to spew his stupidity empty-handed.
This proves also why bloggers shouldn't let racists post and spew their ugly, ignorant, racist venom on their blogs, "free speech" or no. This ugliness feeds on itself among these knuckle-draggers.
We need to be better than this. All of us. All across the Kansas City metropolitan area, all across Missouri and the nation.
We have to end this vile racism.
Side note: I wish our local Star would have done the story, instead.
“Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.”
"Trump's behavior is not just beneath the dignity of the Presidency, but that of any decent man. Every day, I'm presented with someone who acts inappropriately. Why would anyone think that behavior belongs in the White House?"
-- Jerry Springer, June 30, 2017
Let's never forget. We have Republicans and the Right Wing to thank for this boob of a President and his ugliness, clumsilness, mistakes and ignorance.
A friend posted this on his Facebook page today. It says it's from the NRA.
And what he said about it is dead on, too, no pun intended.
Beware folks, the NRA is advocating basically a civil war with this ad that is nothing short of stochastic terrorism. They are calling for gun owners to make a violent response to freedom of assembly, a First Amendment right. This is a message to incite domestic terrorism. The use of words like "assassinate" are a dogwhistle to the faithful gun cult.
Liberals hate that the rightwing is so misinformed. The Right Wing has marketed the message to hate Liberals.
This may not end well.
I have seen many Right Wingers saying lately that Liberals should be rounded up and shot. or worse. with folks inciting people to take action on that.
We are all Americans and we should be working together to make America a better , more equitable place. Liberty, equality and fraternity.
This video inciting hatred of neighbor on neighbor is a most shocking and unpatriotic piece of propaganda.
It is stochastic terrorism and should be branded a hate crime.
This photo ran in the St. Louis Star on July 3, 1917 with the caption: “Where the charred bodies of eight negroes burned in their homes at Eighth Street and Broadway were found today.” The bodies of some Black victims were buried in a common grave, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Others were thrown into Cahokia Creek which ran between downtown and the riverfront railyards. (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Bowen Archives).
Blacks in East St. Louis were beginning to come in from the Southern United States and were taking jobs, yes, at lower wages, from Union members. The white Union members would have nothing of it.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch did a fantastic series of articles on this important time and group of events.
Keeping in mind, too, that the national disgrace that was the "Trail of Tears", where we displaced thousands of Native Americans, from East to Oklahoma, also went through Southern Missouri. In fact, it went right through what is now downtown Springfield.
Quote of the day from Herman Hesse, born this day, 1877.
“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.
A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.
When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.
A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.
So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
― Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte