Blog Catalog

Monday, November 13, 2017

You Must Read This Article

If you only read one piece this year on technology and what it is, where it's going and where it may or may not go and take us, you should read this.

Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?

Will Democracy Survive Big Data 

and Artificial Intelligence

It has far, far more in it than I could ever describe here.

It is both fascinating and alarming, at once.

Governments will no way be able to keep up with technology. Heck, they're already far, far behind. 

I would like--heck, I want--every member of our national, US Congress to read this, let alone our state legislators and office holders.

All the things called for in the article would have to be done by government, of course. It would have to be done by far-seeing, responsible legislators.

I don't see it happening.

I'd love to be wrong.

God help us all.

The Unkept Promises of Donald J. Trump

Observations from Robert Reich, American political commentator, professor, and author. 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 what promises HAS Trump kept?

One year after the election. An update for Trump voters on his election promises:

1. He told you he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “beautiful.” You bought it. But he didn’t repeal and he didn’t replace. (Just as well: His plan would have knocked at least 23 million off health insurance, including many of you. Instead he's sabotaging the ACA causing premiums to increase even more)

2. He told you he’d cut your taxes. You bought it. But the tax “reform” bill he and House Republicans have produced won’t cut your taxes. Half of the middle class would see their taxes increase. The bill would cut corporate taxes and give millionaires a huge is tax break, and explode the national debt by at least $1.5 trillion.

3. He told you he’d invest $1 trillion in our nation’ crumbling infrastructure. You bought it. But after his giant tax cut for corporations and millionaires, there’s no money left for infrastructure.

4. He said he’d clean the Washington swamp. You bought it. But he’s brought into his administration more billionaires, CEOs, and Wall Street moguls than in any administration in history, to make laws that will enrich their businesses, and he’s filled departments and agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who are crafting new policies for the same industries they recently worked for.

5. He said he’d use his business experience to whip the White House into shape. You bought it. But he created the most chaotic, dysfunctional, back-stabbing White House in modern history, and has already fired and replaced so many assistants (one of them hired and fired in a little more than a week) that no one knows who’s in charge of what.

6. He said he’d close “special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors but unfair to American workers.” You bought it. But he picked Wall Street financiers to head every economic policy job, and his tax bill still retains the “carried interest” loophole that benefits Wall Street private-equity and hedge fund partners.

7. He told you he’d “bring down drug prices” by making deals with drug companies. You bought it. But now the White House says that promise is “inoperative.”

8. He said that on Day One he’d label China a “currency manipulator.” You bought it. But then he met with China’s president Xi Jinping and declared "China is not a currency manipulator.” Ever since then, Trump has been cozying up to Xi.

9. He said he wouldn’t bomb Syria. You bought it. But then he bombed Syria.

10. He said he’d build a “wall” across the southern border. You believed him. But there’s no money for that, either. Chief of staff John Kelly says it is “unlikely that we will build a wall, a physical barrier, from sea to shining sea.”

11. He called Barack Obama “the vacationer-in-Chief” and accused him of playing more rounds of golf than Tiger Woods. He promised to never be the kind of president who took cushy vacations on the taxpayer’s dime, not when there was so much important work to be done. You bought it. But in his first 9 months he has spent nearly 25 percent of his days at one of his golf properties for some portion of the day, according to Golf News Network, at a cost to taxpayers of an estimated $77 million. That’s already more taxpayer money on vacations than Obama cost in the first 3 years of his presidency. Not to mention all the money taxpayers are spending protecting his family, including his two sons who travel all over the world on Trump business.

12. He said he’d keep Muslim immigrants out of America. But his executive orders to prevent citizens from predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States have been stopped by the federal courts, on grounds they violate the Constitution.

13. He said he’d force companies to keep jobs in America, and that there would be “consequences” for companies that shipped jobs abroad. You believed him. But despite their promises, Carrier, Ford, GM, and the rest have continued to ship jobs to Mexico and China. Carrier (a division of United Technologies) moved ahead with plans to send 1,000 jobs at its Indiana plant to Mexico. 

Notwithstanding, the federal government has rewarded United Technologies with 15 new contracts since Trump's inauguration. Last year, Microsoft opened a new factory in Wilsonville, Oregon, that was supposed to herald a new era in domestic tech manufacturing. But in July, the company announced it was closing the plant. More than 100 workers and contractors will lose their jobs when production shifts to China. GE is sending jobs to Canada. IBM is sending them to Costa Rica, Egypt, Argentina, and Brazil. There have been no “consequences” for sending all these jobs overseas.

14. He said he’d create coal jobs. You believed him. He hasn’t. But here’s what he has done: Since 1965 a federal program called the Appalachian Regional Commission has spent $23 billion helping communities in coal states fund job retraining, reclaim land, and provide desperately needed social services. A.R.C. helped cut poverty rates almost in half, double the percentage of high-school graduates, and reduce infant mortality by two-thirds. Trump’s proposed budget eliminated A.R.C.

15. He said he’d make America safer. You believed him. But according to Mass Shooting Tracker, there have been 377 mass shootings so far this year, including 58 people killed and hundreds injured at a concert in Las Vegas, and 26 churchgoers killed and 20 injured at a church in Texas. Trump refuses to consider any gun controls.

16. In referring to his opponent in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, he said he’d “lock her up.” But he has not locked her up. In the United States, unlike dictatorships, presidents do not prosecute and punish their political opponents. Trump has expressed frustration that he cannot order the FBI and Justice Department to do whatever he wants them to do."


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Fantastic Irony and Coincidence

I just saw this on the Kansas City Public Library's website, earlier today.

Kansas City International Airport

On this day...

Plane Speaking | KC HISTORY

On November 11, 1972, the Kansas City International Airport officially opened for commercial service. The airport replaced the existing Mid-Continent Airport at the same location. Twenty years before, the 1951 flood destroyed many Fairfax Airport facilities on the west side of the Missouri River and compromised operations at the downtown Municipal Airport. With the area’s two main airports shut down, Kansas City began planning a new airport 20 miles north of the flooded city.

In the same week we voted to bulldoze our very convenient, very workable airport.

Pretty bizarre.

Have a great weekend, y'all, regardless.

For All Our Veterans, On Their Day

For Veterans Day, for all our Veterans out there, a list of all the restaurants and businesses offering free or reduced items for you across the city and metropolitan area today.
  • Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City: Complimentary lunch at Horizons Buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10.
  • Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar: A free dish from its “Thank You Meal” menu
  • Back Yard Burgers: Free Back Yard Classic Burger
  • Bar Louie: Free flatbread or burger
  • Barley’s Kitchen + Tap: Free entree
  • Blue Moose Bar & Grill: Free entree
  • Bob Evans: $5.99 breakfast from a select menu
  • Bonefish Grill: Free order of Bang Bang Shrimp
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: Free order of wings with a side of fries
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill: Free appetizer with the purchase of an entree and Coca-Cola product
  • Chili’s Grill & Bar: Free Old Timer cheeseburger, chicken bacon ranch quesadillas, chili or soup with salad, or Cajun chicken pasta
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill: Buy one/get one free
  • Chuck E. Cheese’s: Free personal pizza
  • Coco Bolos Wood-Fired Grill & Cantina: Free entree
  • Cost Plus World Market: 20 percent off entire purchase (alcohol not included).
  • Cracker Barrel: Free slice of double chocolate fudge Coca-Cola cake.
  • Decadent, A Coffee and Dessert Bar: Free slice of pie
  • Denny’s: Free build-your-own Grand Slam
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: Free meal
  • Dollar General: 11 percent off purchases
  • Donutology: Free glazed doughnut from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: Free doughnut
  • Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Q: Free lunch combo
  • 54th Street Grill: Free meal (up to $12). Dine-in only
  • Firebirds Wood Fired Grill: One complimentary military entrée with the purchase of an entree on Nov. 10.
  • Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers: Free combo meal coupon good through Nov. 30
  • Golden Corral: Free dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 13
  • Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria: 15 percent off on Nov. 10 and 11.
  • Great Clips: Free haircut on Nov. 11
  • Hereford House: Free entrée (up to $20) with the purchase of a second entrée at lunch and dinner. Hours vary per location.
  • Hooters: One free meal from a select menu
  • Houlihan’s Restaurants: Free meal from a special menu
  • Hy-Vee: Free breakfast
  • HOP: Free red, white and blue pancakes
  • Kansas City Zoo: Complimentary admission
  • LaMar’s Donuts: Free doughnut and 12-ounce coffee.
  • Little Caesars: Free lunch combo ($5 value) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • LongHorn Steakhouse: Free appetizer and 10 percent off the total bill from Nov. 10 to 12.
  • Main Event Entertainment: Complimentary $10 FUNcard that can be used on all Main Event games, and one free entrée from the special Veterans Day menu.
  • Minsky’s Pizza Cafe & Bar: Free 6-inch Philly cheesesteak, fries and a soft drink, dine-in only.
  • Muscle Maker Grill: Free meal
  • Museum at Prairiefire: All access for veterans and their guests
  • O’Dowd’s Gastrobar: Free entree
  • Olive Garden: One free entree (five to choose from) with unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks, dine-in only.
  • On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina: Free lunch combo
  • Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin’ Onion and free Coca-Cola drink
  • Pie Five Pizza Co.: Free pizza
  • Pinstripes, Prairiefire: Free entree up to $20.
  • Porto do Sul: Free Harvest Table, for lunch only Nov. 10 and 11.
  • Price Chopper: 25 cents off per gallon (or 500 points toward food savings) on veterans’ next fill-up at QuikTrip (up to 20 gallons). Veterans need to bring their Chopper Shopper Rewards Card to one of the stores on Nov. 11 to receive the discounts.
  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews: Free Red’s Tavern double burger with bottomless steak fries
  • Red Lobster: Free appetizer or dessert.
  • Rock & Brews Restaurants: Free pulled pork sandwiches Nov. 10.
  • Ruby Tuesday: Free appetizer
  • Scooters Coffee: Free cup of coffee
  • Shoney’s: Free all-you-care-to-eat breakfast bar from 6 to 11 a.m.
  • Spin Neapolitan Pizza: Free Mini Mia pizza and salad or soup combo
  • Sport Clips: Free haircuts
  • Starbucks: Free tall coffee
  • Stroud’s, Fairway and Overland Park: Free entree
  • Texas Roadhouse: Free lunch from a select menu
  • Topgolf: Free basic lifetime memberships if veterans sign up on Nov. 11, as well as 10 percent off gameplay and 20 percent off other memberships.
  • Twin Peaks: Free menu item from a select menu on Nov. 13.
  • Yard House: Free appetizer, dine-in only.
  • YaYa’s Eurobistro: 20 percent off purchase and a $10 bonus card.
  • Zarda Hickory Pit Bar-B-Q: Free pulled pork sandwich, side and medium drink from 11 a.m to 2 p.m.
And for a national list:

Then, additionally, there is this:

Happy Veterans Day.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Vote, Kansas City! And Vote NO! On Question 1!

So today is the day, Kansas City! Get out there and vote! And make sure, on Question 1, calling for the more-than-one-billion-dollar-boondoggle, MAKE SURE you VOTE NO! Thank you, in advance!

Image result for mo rage keep calm and save kci

And just as a reminder, here are lots of reasons why we should all VOTE NO!

The 500 Million Dollar Lie About the Airport We Keep Hearing

A Less Convenient, More Congested, Extremely Expensive and Completely Unnecessary Single Terminal Airport

Every Day Now, Some New Lie About a New Airport
Why We Should VOTE NO on Question 1 Tomorrow On A New Single-Terminal Airport

Suddenly, A New Airport Is "Fiscally Responsible"

The New KCI People Are Getting Desperate

Full Court Press From the "New KCI" Folks

Now the New KCI People Are Trying to Threaten US

KCI/MCI: Still Convenient, Still Beautiful

And don't forget all these facts and statistics, folks. Our airport keeps getting MORE and yet MORE traffic, month over month, year over year, AS IT IS. As badly maintained and managed as our airport is now, by our Airport Authority, we STILL KEEP GETTING MORE PEOPLE GOING THROUGH IT. Face it, they're coming here, to Kansas City. They're not coming here for a new, gleaming airport.

KCI Passenger Growth Continued 

in November

KCI Airport Passenger Traffic Up 

for 13th Straight Month

Kansas City International Airport 

Reports 37th Consecutive Month of


If anyone wants to increase the number of people and flights coming and going at our airport, they should give money to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, not propose we build a more than one billion dollar new airport terminal.


Monday, November 6, 2017

KCI/MCI: Still Convenient, Still Beautiful

This was made some time ago but it's still true today.

VOTE NO! tomorrow, folks, on Question 1 here in Kansas City. Kill the more than one billion dollar boondoggle that is a new, single terminal airport.

Then, let's hold the Airport Authority accountable. It's not THEIR airport to neglect and manage poorly and keep run down and looking shoddy so they can get a new, very expensive bauble.


And they should run it well and smart and smartly, as they should have all along. It can be done and it should be done.



Why We Should VOTE NO on Question 1 Tomorrow On A New Single-Terminal Airport

Personally thanking KMBC TV-9 for recording and posting this since every other media outlet in town either mindlessly supports the more than 1 billion dollar boondoggle that is a new, single-terminal airport or they're silent on the issue.

The Show-Me Institute's Patrick Tuohey says Kansas City voters should vote "no" on Question 1.

Nov. 3, 2017 Editorial Reply -- 

KCI Airport Vote -

Finally, finally some logic and fiscal responsibility on this issue.

Thank you, KMBC! and thank you, Patrick Tuohey!

This video, above, is newer, but he videotaped the following response to the airport idea March 6, 2014.

"Patrick Tuohey explains that the cost of a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport would be passed along to passengers. Higher ticket prices would result and that could cause airlines and travelers to look for alternatives to KCI."

Tomorrow, folks! Vote! And vote NO--a resounding NO!--on Question 1 on the ballot in Kansas City.


Show-Me Institute 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Less Convenient, More Congested, Extremely Expensive and Completely Unnecessary Single Terminal Airport

A friend--an architect, no less--made this very clear, intelligent, fair observation this past week out on Facebook. (See link and credit below).

Mayor Sly James and The Kansas City Star and all kinds of people and organizations have come out for this new, single terminal, more-than-one-billion-dollar-boondoggle of an airport, saying, now it's "fiscally responsible" (it's anything but) and the right thing to do and the way to go forward with progress and the city. They also claim it will be just as convenient as our current airport and terminals.

To which I and a lot of us out here promptly say "bunk."

Think about this.

If, God forbid, the "New KCI" people and vote wins this coming week, we would get, yes, a single terminal airport. Sure, it will blow through more than 1 billion dollars that we don't need to and shouldn't spend and it will make flying in and out of Kansas City far more expensive and it's grossly, fiscally and environmentally irresponsible but there's one more thing.

We would get that one, single security check in.

Think how that works at other airports.

Think of the lines, the long, long lines just to get to security, that one security check in at all those other airports. Then think of waiting to get through that security.

We don't have that now. With our current terminals, we don't have those abominable long lines and long, long waits.

And Mayor James and the Star and others are going to tell us it will be just as convenient?

That there won't be long lines?


And people are going to fall for that?

Vote NO Tuesday, November 7 on Question 1.

Image result for save kci

Save KCI! | Better Solutions Come From Better Discussions

Save KCI (@SaveKCI) · Twitter


Sven Erik Alstrom

Friday, November 3, 2017

This Headline Hurts

So I was on Facebook, just scrolling through posts and suddenly I saw one with a headline from an article published out of the UK. This one:

Decline and fall: 

how American society unravelled

And damn.

That hurt.

That hurts.

With Trump President, I've been hoping this is just a swerve, a bump in our road to and of progress, you know? Just a brief mistake, if, yes, more than just slight.

But then, you look at the already-wealthy and corporations of the nation, firmly in control, creating more and yet more ways to shovel money their way since they own the Republican Party, at minimum. And you look at the way the NRA owns them and so, runs America, getting and keeping far too many weapons out there in the nation, on our streets. People being shot and lots killed, needlessly.

Then there's the opioid crisis, killing thousands of Americans and all because Big Pharma also has their sway with our government and so, us.

And now, this President Trump putting more and yet more science deniers in charge all over our government, in the EPA and at NASA, etc. Then putting people from the big banks in offices to support the banks and not the people, not protecting the people, you and I.

Then China has stepped up on the international politics and leadership field since there's a yawning gap of leadership with The Orange One in the White House.

I think, maybe they're right.

I still hope they're wrong but maybe we have, in fact, already begun to slike, as a nation and society and "great power."


Our best days behind us?

No longer the world's leading power and "beacof light", "beacon of hope"?


Now the New KCI People Are Trying to Threaten US

From the Star yesterday:

They mean to say they have no intention or goal to keep up the place or run it well or run it right and manage it correctly?


So just because they have no plan or plans---or profess to not have any---we should vote for a more than 1 billion dollar redo at the airport?


Anyone else feel like they’re being threatened or blackmailed here besides me?

Naturally they’re going to say there’s “no plan b.” Sure they do. They want their big, new plan. I get that.

But how about, if they lose, as they should, after this vote, how about they do just that, take care of the facility, open it up, maintain it, get restaurants in, open up the restrooms, all of it? The whole thing.

Image result for mo rage keep calm and save kci

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Suddenly, A New Airport Is "Fiscally Responsible"

As I said earlier here, I've been receiving big postcards here in Brookside, daily, telling us all why we should vote for the billion dollar plus boondoggle that is a new, single terminal airport. I didn't get one yesterday but today got two.

And on both of these today, they both repeated the same, very familiar phrase.

The whole idea of paying out more than one billion dollars--because it will be more than one billion dollars, folks, for a new single terminal airport here in town, let there be no doubt--is both fiscally and environmentally irresponsible.

I've said it repeatedly.

Fiscally irresponsible.

So what phrase is added today, to these new postcards from the "vote for a new terminal" folks?

Oh, yes. On both of them, they suddenly say "fiscally responsible."

They ripped me off.

Suddenly, suddenly they're touting a completely new airport terminal as "fiscally responsible."

The previous day, on the post card for that day, as proof, they called it "fiscally smart."

Forget that it will cost us more than 1 billion dollars.

Forget that we're walking away from 3 existing, functioning, convenient, attractive, very practical terminals and other buildings and facilities there so they can be torn down and thrown away.

Forget that we could spend far, far less on our existing facilities and get the security we need and the restaurants and all the other facilities we want and need.

Forget all that.

They're saying we should only throw away the old buildings, build new and spend, spend, spend.

Since when is spending more--in this case, a lot more--to get  what you want and need "fiscally responsible"?

Only now does that make sense and only according to the "new KCI" people.

So they ripped me off for the phrase. Great for them.

They should give me residuals.

The fact is, building a new airport is not only unnecessary but fiscally irresponsible.

And very much so.

Image result for mo rage keep calm and save kci

Save KCI! | Better Solutions Come From Better Discussions