Blog Catalog

Monday, April 30, 2018

Remember When Our President Wasn't a Coward--and Had a Sense of Humor?

Really. Remember this?  Remember when our President wasn't a coward and he could, would and did show up at the White House Correspondents Dinner? And he laughed? And laughed at himself, too?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Trump Presidency and the End of Intelligence

There are two excellent, even important articles in today's New York Times it would be terrific if every voting age American would read today.

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Here's the first.

The End of Intelligence

A bit from the article:

It is..."no accident that the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year in 2016 was 'post-truth,' a condition where facts are less influential in shaping opinion than emotion and personal belief. To adopt post-truth thinking is to depart from Enlightenment ideas, dominant in the West since the 17th century, that value experience and expertise, the centrality of fact, humility in the face of complexity, the need for study and a respect for ideas.

President Trump both reflects and exploits this kind of thinking. It is fair to say that the Trump campaign normalized lying to an unprecedented degree. There was the candidate’s claim that legions of Arabs celebrated wildly in New Jersey as the World Trade Center collapsed. He defended his calls for the intentional killing of the Sept. 11 terrorists’ families because 'they knew what was happening' and had 'watched their husband on television flying into the World Trade Center,' something for which there is zero evidence. He insinuated that Senator Ted Cruz’s father had a hand in John F. Kennedy’s assassination and that the Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia had been murdered.

When pressed on specifics, the president has routinely denigrated those who questioned him, whether the 'fake' media, 'so called' judges, Washington insiders or the 'deep state.'”

The second article is on not President Trump but someone from his political party, Devin Nunes, the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chief.

How Devin Nunes Turned the House Intelligence Committee Inside Out

In inquiries on Benghazi and Russia and beyond, the California congressman has displayed a deep mistrust of the expert consensus on reality — a disposition that has helped him make friends in the current White House.

I submit that this is a truly twisted man we have as President of our United States presently, making these potentially dangerous times. I also submit that this is not an over-reaction, in any way.

This, third article is from last year, last July and is equally important and, again, even frightening on what has been happening to our State Department.

Finally, the "end of intelligence" is a double-entendre on my part. I mean it as both the end of some of our nation's intelligence communities, like the CIA and FBI and DoJ as well as the end of some human intelligence.

I hope people are reading.

So Which Religion Is Correct?

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Is it....

Southern Baptist?
Orthodox Hebrew?
Sunni Islam?
Shi'a Islam?
Cao Dai?

Something else entirely?

And why doesn't "God" make it clear?

I'm so confused...

On This Day In Weapons History

On this day, April 29, 1996, a rampage by a gunman in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia, killed 35 people. Australians were horrified. Their governmental representatives responded.

They quickly and wisely did what we have not done and will not do, no matter how many slaughters of innocents we experience and keep experiencing, repeatedly.

We learn nothing. 

We do nothing.

Thanks, National Rifle Association, NRA! Thanks, Wayne LaPierre!

Thanks, Republican Party!

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Fantastic Article On American Health Care Today

There is, as said above, a fantastic article in the New York Times today outlining things we ought to get, rights we ought to have, from our health care providers and system. It's an eye opener, not least of which because we all know these are out there and we can be subject to each and every one of them.

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Nine Rights Every Patient Should Demand 

And they are:

1. The right to an itemized bill in plain English.

2. The right to never receive a surprise out-of-network bill.

3. The right to accurate information about the provider network in my insurance plan.

4. The right to a stable network.

5. The right to be informed of conflicts of interest.

6. The right to be informed in advance about any facility fees.

7. The right to see a price list for elective procedures.

8. The right to be informed of cheaper options.

9. The right to know that a disputed bill will not be sent to a collection agency.

Here are 9 things we're subject to, as Americans, as patients and each one is pretty outrageous, really. After all, it's our health and it's our health care system. Yet we're subject to all of these any time we go to a doctor or the hospital. It is, again, outrageous.

And why do we put up with this? Why do we tolerate this?

Partly because we have to. Partly because we know the corporations and moneyed people are in charge. They can give their Congressional representative---our Congressional representatives--some money and they get the laws and government they want.

They're in control.

Welcome to "free market", profit-driven health care, America.

What're you gonna' do about it?

Quote of the Day -- Sunday Edition

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“Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spiritual; and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.

If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism."

--Albert Einstein

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Kansas Hits a Pretty Ugly List

There is a new 50 states ranking out just now, from Forbes Magazine, showing the top states people are moving into and the bottom ones, in effect, people are moving out of.

Kansas does not fare well

The U.S. States People Are Fleeing 

(And The Ones They Are Moving To)

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On the list of states people are leaving, Kansas is in the top 5.

5. Kansas
Total Moves: 2,370
Percentage Moving Out: 56.7%

Let's see.

Bitter cold winter.  Blistering hot summers. No mountains. No oceans. Lots of famous, flat topography and geography. Tepid food and service in restaurants, being the Midwest.

And owned, for the last too many years, by Republicans, the Republican Party, Sam Brownback, the Koch brothers and the Right Wing who slashed taxes for the already wealthy and corporations and drained the state budget and those for schools.


I totally get that.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What We Need To Do

Herewith, a relatively short list of what we, as a nation, as a people, with our government, need, exactly, to do.

It would be for the benefit of most of the people of the nation and so, it would be for all.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Kansas City Gets Another Great Write-Up

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Kansas City did, in fact, get yet another good, positive, maybe glowing write up by way of this clickbait article from The Daily Mail. It was in the following article.

What they had to say about us:

Not to be confused with the neighboring city of the same name in Kansas itself, this is a beautiful city of approximately 480,000 that is often missed by tourists. It said that only Rome has more fountains than Kansas City, Missouri, which also supposedly has more boulevards than Paris. Art deco buildings decorate downtown streets, and the historic city market has plenty of dining and shopping options, as well as a farmers market. The 18th and Vine Historic District houses the American Jazz Museum as well as the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and other museums in the city include the National World War I Museum and Liberty Memorial, Crown Center (home of Hallmark Cards and the Hallmark Museum), and a few art museums to boot. The Crossroads Arts District has been referred to as the SoHo of the Midwest, and is particularly busy during the summer. The Kansas City food scene is another reason to stop here. Barbecue food is a local specialty, and the American Royal BBQ Contest is the largest of its kind.

Not just the biggest city in the state but maybe one of the best, as well?

Enjoy your Sunday, y'all.

Quotes of the Day -- Sunday Edition

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“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”
Voltaire, Questions sur les Miracles à M. Claparede, Professeur de Théologie à Genève, par un Proposant: Ou Extrait de Diverses Lettres de M. de Voltaire

“Is man merely a mistake of God's? Or God merely a mistake of man?”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“All thinking men are atheists.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

“Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.”
Kurt Vonnegut

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
― Christopher Hitchens

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
Charles Bukowski

“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

“Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!

But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money!”
George Carlin

“To you, I'm an atheist.
To God, I'm the loyal opposition.”
Woody Allen

"There is a tremendous enjoyment in having shaken off the silly, absurdly subjective rules, laws, "commandments" of religion, organized religion. It frees you to enjoy the world and life and people and to learn and love and live and grow."

America's Persistent Racism--And Just Two of Its Effects

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Two quick statistics, out today in the Sunday New York Times, from two separate articles:

--In the early 1950s, the median income of Chicago's public housing residents was nearly two-thirds of the citywide average. By 1970, it was barely one-third that.

--And today, Black mothers--and babies, both--in the United States are dying at more than double the rate of white mothers and babies.

But, sure, someone ask why they don't "pull themselves up by their own bootstraps."

We segregate, separate, large numbers of fellow Americans, by color, for God's sake, away from us but also away from jobs, certainly away from the better paying jobs, too, give them an inferior education then are surprised they're on welfare. Then, when they can and do get some measly help, that welfare, we insist they work for it, as though it's easy for them to have a car. Keeping in mind, we also don't want there to be mass transit so maybe they can get around our cities, to and from those jobs, quickly, easily and at low cost.

Freaking brilliant.

And then it's done by the wealthy of our society, people who were born to and given large amounts of money, from birth, like our own current President, and too many of the rest of us go along with this ugliness and insanity.

It's a great thing we're a "Christian nation", isn't it?

Why America's Black Mothers and Babies 

Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis 

Mass incarceration of African Americans 

affects the racial achievement 

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Very Dangerous President Who's Trying To Bamboozle You, America

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I don't think most people realize how dangerous this President is.

Besides watching a great deal of Fox TV (it's not "news") and then responding to it all, he is also, according to news reports and this from Gabe Fleisher at Wake Up To Politics today:

"Trump has reportedly been musing about firing Rosenstein lately, which would give him more control over the Russia probe. According to CNN, the White House is preparing an effort to undermine Rosenstein's credibility, instructing allies to highlight potential areas of conflict that would preclude the Deputy Attorney General from overseeing the investigation.

--- The meeting comes as Trump's outside allies have increased calls for Rosenstein and Mueller to be fired. CBS News' Jacqueline Alemany: 'A source tells me that Trump called yesterday and asked source to go on TV to call for Trump to fire Mueller.'"

So understand, everyone, Americans. This President is trying to undermine an investigation into his own possible wrongdoings, illegalities, by having his own people go on television news programs to call for he, himself, to fire the man overseeing the investigation of him.

He's trying to flim-flam you, America.

And that's just one of the ways in which he's dangerous, presently.

Oh, and according to that same source, this President also has zero, zilch, nothing whatever on his official business/work schedule/calendar today other than an 11:45 am intelligence briefing.

I'm busier than that and I'm not leading the entire nation.

As if that's not bad enough, by itself, for the foreseeable future, as former FBI Director James Comey tours on his new book, expect this President to become increasingly unhinged.

I would love, love to get good news out of this administration.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Three Perfect, Very Recent Examples of Republican Party Officeholders

Here's just three very recent examples of Republican Party government officeholders--what they've done and who they are.

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Sam Brownback, Kansas Governor

Kansas' tax cuts are a spectacular failure

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Donald J Trump, United States President:

Under Trump's watch, national debt 

tops $21 trillion for first time ever 

Sound familiar?  Then it gets worse.

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Eric Greitens, Missouri Governor who only just began his administration and term, it should be remembered.

Eric Greitens: Missouri governor admits 

cheating on wife

I ask you, Missourians, Kansans, Americans...

Is this what and who you wanted in your state and/or national leader?

Monday, April 9, 2018

Check Out How Callous and Cynical and Ugly Kris Kobach Has Gotten

A friend emailed me this. I could nearly not believe how low, how, again, callous and cynical and ugly and heartless it is. Kris Kobach, out of Kansas, sent around this email this week for his event.

On April 20, the anniversary of the slaughter of innocents at Columbine, Kris Kobach has decided to have a rally to support "gun rights."  What he's proposing:

Secretary Kobach has offered to host a pro-gun rally for the Kansas State Rifle Association in his official capacity as Kansas Secretary of State.

Help us get supporters to Topeka on April 20th to defend the 2nd Amendment and promote our shared pro-gun values!

For anyone who doesn't know or remember:

Twelve students and one teacher were killed at Columbine that day. Gunned down. Slaughtered. The Columbine shootings rank as one of the worst mass shootings in US history as well as one of the deadliest episodes of school violence.

At approximately 11:19 a.m., two students, Dylan Klebold, 17, and Eric Harris, 18, carrying guns and bombs, open fire inside Columbine High School, killing 13 and wounding 23 others.

And it's on the anniversary of this day Kris Kobach wants to push for yet more "gun rights."

If that isn't cold, heartless, callous and even sick, I don't know what is.


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Kansas City's Own Joyce DiDonato in Today's NYT

Brilliant, as ever and always.

Opera's Miss Congeniality Takes On 

a Rare 'Cinderella'

Opera is “the opposite of elitist,” says the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who stars in Massenet’s “Cendrillon” at the Metropolitan Opera this month. Credit: Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

One thing I found amusing in the article is where it describes the opera singer and star as, not coming from Prairie Village, Kansas but "...on the edge of Kansas City."

In fact, I found that pretty hilarious.

The Ugly American

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You can't get any uglier than that.

In so many ways.


Trump is back to racist rhetoric