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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Can't Stop


Parts I and II





Missouri Makes a Very Dark List


Wow.

Missouri not only made the top, worst 10 on a new survey of the 50 states in America, it actually made the top, worst 5.

America's 10 worst states to live in 2017 

- CNBC.com


"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:

Related image

5. MISSOURI

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.

Let's get started.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Heatwave





Christianity and Capitalism


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."

Think happy thoughts.

And enjoy your Sunday.

Link:  9 Jesus Quotes About The Poor


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Quote of the Day/Week/Month/Year/Four Years


More Michael Gerson on The Orange One.


And here it is:


"A faith that makes losing a sin will make cheating a sacrament."


And another from the same article:


"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."

I say again, God help us.


The Most Insightful Writing On This President?


I do believe, personally, that Michael Gerson may well be writing the most lucid, insightful and intelligent, relevant, nearly important pieces about this current President.



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


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

Quote of the Day -- On This President


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."

--George Will, columnist, author 

From his column:


Links:

Then, MU Hits the National News, Too, and For a Similar Reason as Olathe


Yesterday, it was Olathe. Now it's MU and again, it's from The New York Times.

Image result for university of missouri columbia

Long After Protests, 

Students Shun the University of Missouri


Seems after all the racism and ugliness of the last year, now students are abandoning MU, great education or no.

We have a whole lotta' racism to get over in this country, folks.

A lot.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Olathe Makes National News---And In the Worst Ways


Yes, Olathe is in the news just now, today, over at The New York Times, no less.




He Became a Hate Crime Victim. 

She Became a Widow.


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.

But for that they need writers?


Friday, July 7, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Two Friends


...on a perfect day



for forever


Missouri: Republicans, Cutting Your Pay



Image result for rich taking from the poor

They're working, fighting to take health care away from at least 22 million Americans with their latest AHCA "wealthcare" bill and now this.

Missouri Republicans Lower 

St. Louis Minimum Wage


Not done there, this is what they did in May.

Missouri lawmakers just took 

raises away from minimum wage workers


In February, this is what they did, also lowering Missourians wages.


Three different efforts to lower Missourians wages.

And they all worked.

Someone please tell me why anyone, anyone in the middle and/or lower classes vote with these greedheads.

Links:

GOP vs Health, Voters, & Healthy Voters

Senate Health Care Bill Includes Deep Cuts to Medicaid




And here's that Republican, Right Wing, "Conservative" "small government"

Trump Administration's Request for Extensive Voter Data Raises Fears



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Quote of the Day -- On America and Capitalism


Image result for Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens

“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.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater


To That America, We Wish Happy Birthday


 

To the country that values citizenry over consumerism, 
that values liberty over enslavement,
that values equal opportunities for all, 
that values the health of one equal to the health of another, 
that learned that separate is not equal,
that put a man on the moon, 
that separated church from state in order that church could be that much more available, 
that helped free the world from Nazi tyranny and 
proudly had women build the machines that did it, 
that invented the blues, 
that overcame pitting brother against brother in order to break the evil of slavery, 
that exported rock and roll, 
that put storytelling on the big screen, 
that gave us Fred Astaire, 
that gave Einstein a home, 
that has a statue in the harbor welcoming the downtrodden, 
that figured out burgers and shakes go so well together, 
that wrote the social contract that has yet to be beaten that begins "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal..." 

....to THAT America, we wish a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!



Monday, July 3, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Trump vs Judges





Quote of the Day -- On This President


And ironically, look who said it.



"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.


Entertainment Overnight -- George Washington Trump


Hilarious.




Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Ugliest, Most Dangerous, Most Untrue Advertisement I've ever seen.


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.

--Richard Trombly

If there is any silver lining, so to speak, on these clouds of ugliness, it's this.

On This Day, July 2, 1917---Missouri and National History


Just some of the state and national history our society seems to go out of the way to NOT teach us.


1917 East St. Louis race riot, destruction

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.




Archive article: 'Several hundred Negroes brought across river'
Keep in mind, too, this East St. Louis event, this massacre, this slaughter, was far from the only one in our nation's history. Here are two more, anyway.



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. 


I know that, as I went through grade school and high school, at no point during those years was it taught this history, that this abomination went through the Southern part of our state, Missouri.

So yes, let's know our national history.

All of it.

Maybe especially now, this time of year, around our Independence Day when we only remember how good and great we are.


Quote of the Day -- On Life, Living and Learning


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