Blog Catalog

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

America: Do You Even Know Yourself?

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So we just finished celebrating Memorial Day and being patriotic, all that, sure. But America, Americans, do you even really know your own nation? Check out these facts, these statistics:

In December 2017, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty issued a report on the United States that included these lines:[xix]
  • US infant mortality rates in 2013 were the highest in the developed world.
  • Americans can expect to live shorter and sicker lives, compared to people living in any other rich democracy, and the “health gap” between the US and its peer countries continues to grow.
  • US inequality levels are far higher than those in most European countries.
  • Neglected tropical diseases, including Zika, are increasingly common in the USA. It has been estimated that 12 million Americans live with a neglected parasitic infection. A 2017 report documents the prevalence of hookworm in Lowndes County, Alabama.
  • The US has the highest prevalence of obesity in the developed world.
  • In terms of access to water and sanitation the US ranks 36th in the world.
  • America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, ahead of Turkmenistan, El Salvador, Cuba, Thailand and the Russian Federation. Its rate is nearly five times the OECD average. [OECD means the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an organization that has 35 member countries.]
  • The youth poverty rate in the United States is the highest across the OECD with one quarter of youth living in poverty compared to less than 14 percent across the OECD.
  • The Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranks the most well-off countries in terms of labor markets, poverty, safety net, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. The US comes in last of the top 10 most well-off countries, and 18th amongst the top 21.
  • In the OECD the US ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality.
  • According to the World Income Inequality Database, the US has the highest Gini rate (measuring inequality) of all Western Countries.
  • The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality characterizes the US as “a clear and constant outlier in the child poverty league.” US child poverty rates are the highest amongst the six richest countries – Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.
Doesn't it seem as though we should all come together and work on our issues, our problems?

Pretty YOOGE Trump Developments

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I just saw these two today. First up:

Then this one:

I feel strongly Mr. Mueller and his investigation may already have Mr. Trump, legally.

The Donald is in way, way over his head.

I don't think he's bright enough to know or realize or accept it, either.

Oh, Happy Day! Hope For and In America

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We Missourians got a pretty huge, very unexpected "two-fer Tuesday" yesterday.

A racist got fired from her own TV show and an extramarital sex blackmailing Missouri Governor had to resign from his job, all on the same day.

All in all, a great, if unexpected day.  Enough to give a person hope for us.

Next up? The Orange Man? And his entire administration?

Hey. We can hope.

Have a great day, y'all.

Think happy thoughts.

Very happy thoughts.


Quote of the Day -- On This President

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Quote of the Day -- On Health

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"It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

--J Krishnamurti

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Quote of the Day -- On America, Justice, Injustice, Inequality and the Democratic Party

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The Democratic Party, which helped build our system of inverted totalitarianism, is once again held up by many on the left as the savior. Yet the party steadfastly refuses to address the social inequality that led to the election of Trump and the insurgency by Bernie Sanders. It is deaf, dumb and blind to the very real economic suffering that plagues over half the country. It will not fight to pay workers a living wage. It will not defy the pharmaceutical and insurance industries to provide Medicare for all. It will not curb the voracious appetite of the military that is disemboweling the country and promoting the prosecution of futile and costly foreign wars. It will not restore our lost civil liberties, including the right to privacy, freedom from government surveillance, and due process. It will not get corporate and dark money out of politics. It will not demilitarize our police and reform a prison system that has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners although the United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population. It plays to the margins, especially in election seasons, refusing to address substantive political and social problems and instead focusing on narrow cultural issues like gay rights, abortion and gun control in our peculiar species of anti-politics.

From his article:

The Coming Collapse - Common Dreams

Arguably the Most Important Thing An Adult American Could Read Today

I ran across this article over the weekend. As said above, I think it is, arguably, one of the most, if not the most important thing an adult American could read today about America, about us, about who we are, what we're doing and what may well happen.

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The Coming Collapse

Here is but one snippet, dealing with only one of the issues the writer, Chris Hedges, and his article, touch on.

The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age.

Go. Read.

Aren't Republican Party Officeholders Wonderful?

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The latest on Missouri's sitting Governor, Eric Greitens:

This is to take place next Monday.

At the same time our Republican Party President is being investigated three ways to Sunday for colluding with Russians--our sworn, well-known enemy--in order to get elected to the highest office in the natioi, among other things, our own state of Missouri's very Republican Party Governor is being investigated for extramarital sexual blackmail.

Aren't Republicans wonderful?

Kansas City's (Very Racist) History

I just ran across this video over the weekend. If you'll get past the start of it, with the filmmaker proving himself a hillbilly, I guess, because that Country Club restaurant is just way too fancy for him, it's got good and fair and true information in it.

Not sure it's true?

Worse, you don't agree?

Read on:

Kansas City is among the most 

economically segregated cities in the US

Then, too, there's this from none other than our own University of Missouri-Kansas City.

We need to be better than this, Kansas City.

We need to be better than this, America.

Link to more information:

Our Divided City - KCPT

Monday, May 28, 2018

A Very Timely Patriotism Quote

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Quote of the Day -- On Patriotism

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"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

On Memorial Day -- You Want Patriotism?

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So it's Memorial Day.

So yes, honor the soldiers. Honor their sacrifice. Honor their sacrifices.

But let's go a step or more further.

To all the government representatives out there, you want patriotism? Do you expect it?

Fine, you want patriotism, then give us the following, do the following--

  • Stop creating wars for the soldiers to fight and die in.
  • In fact, see to it we bring home thousands of our military, scattered all over the planet.
  • Shrink the Defense budget. That's right, shrink it. It's bloated, it's wasteful and it weakens us, weakens the nation.
  • Then, internally, give us a country that's more just.
  • Give us a country with at least less wealth inequality. Fight wealth inequality, large and small.
  • Give us a nation that works, even fights for those with less.
  • Work for, fight for a nation that's not segregated.
  • Write bills to fight racism and yes, racists.
  • Write bills to fight segregation, racial segregation.
  • Work to make our schools better. All our schools, for all of us, not just for those who can afford Charter and private schools.
  • Fight for the common man and woman, the working man and woman of America.
  • Work for the middle class.
  • Heck, work for the lower classes. So many of you call and consider yourself Christian and Christians.
  • Fight to overturn Citizens United.
  • Work to end "dark money" in our government and politics. We deserve to know where campaign contributions come from.
  • Better yet, fight to end campaign contributions entirely. Let's do away with the problems of campaign contributions.
  • Fight to bring back the Fairness Doctrine so people give two sides, minimum, to each news story in our media. They're our airwaves, after all. 
  • Work to ensure clean air, water and soil and for all.
  • Stop working and fighting for only or mostly the already-wealthy and corporations.
  • Stop working more or only for your political party and work for the nation. Be statesmen and women in your governmental work

In short, give us back our nation. All of us. Work for all of us.

When you do this, you make us all better and you make the nation stronger. In doing these things, you would truly "make America great again."

Then we'll talk patriotism.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Those Republican Party Tax Cuts?

Check out what none other than Goldman Sachs has to say today about the outlook for the nation given the new, much larger national debt due to the Republicans' tax cuts for the already-wealthy and corporations.

Goldman Sachs: 

The fiscal outlook for the US 'is not good' 

A little from the article:

"The fiscal outlook for the United States 'is not good,' according to Goldman Sachs, and could pose a threat to the country's economic security during the next recession.

According to forecasts from the bank's chief economist, the federal deficit will increase from $825 billion (or 4.1 percent of gross domestic product) to $1.25 trillion (5.5 percent of GDP) by 2021. And by 2028, the bank expects the number to balloon to $2.05 trillion (7 percent of GDP)."

This on top of what was already reported about the effects of these, again, Republican Party tax cuts:

Government set to borrow nearly $1 trillion 

this year, an 84 percent increase over last year

Not done there, there's also this:

All so they could pour more of the nation's wealth on the people who already have a great deal of it all.

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Thanks, Republicans! Y'all are terrific!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Entertainment Overnight -- Royal Cellist Edition

You have to admit. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, whatever they're otherwise called now, have magnificent taste in cellists. This is what he was already capable of at just 13 years.

MLK International Airport: Yeah, That's Not Happening

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I just saw this report online at KCUR's site:


After weeks of discussing which street to name after Martin Luther King, Jr., an advisory group is recommending not renaming a street — but the new terminal at KCI Airport. Mayor Sly James appointed the committee last month to gather public input and make an official recommendation after a group of local activists began a push to rename Paseo Boulevard after King. Kansas City remains one of the biggest cities in America without a street named after the civil rights icon. In a vote yesterday, committee members selected renaming the new airport terminal with 63rd Street as a second choice. KCUR's Andrea Tudhope reports supporters of renaming The Paseo say they aren't finished.


I have news for anybody who wants this and who thinks it might happen, that they might somehow let our new, grossly expensive airport be named after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

It's not.

This city and area are both far, far too filled with racists and racist sympathizers for them to let this happen. This city loves its segregation far too much to do anything remotely like this. It's the last thing they want our airport--their airport--named after or known for.

You can put money on that.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Entertainment Overnight -- Birthday Edition

Yessir, the birthday edition. Dedicated to none other than Joe Cocker, born this day, May 20, 1944, and Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkisian, 1946.

Going chronologically here.   And please forgive the choice of songs for each.  I had to.

Have a great week, y'all.

Quote of the Day -- Police Officer Edition

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"I know some have strong feelings about gun rights but I want you to know I’ve hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue. Please do not post anything about guns aren’t the problem and there’s little we can do. My feelings won’t be hurt if you de-friend me and I hope yours won’t be if you decide to post about your views and I de-friend you." 

"...people at the state level and the federal level in too many places in our country are not doing anything other than offering prayers. I'm grateful that I'm working a city with the mayor who is transformative, Sylvester Turner, and what we're starting to see is that local governments are starting to make a difference, and I think that the American people, gun owners, the vast majority of which are pragmatic and actually support gun sense and gun reform in terms of keeping guns in the right hands. We need to start using the ballot box and ballot initiatives to take the matters out of the hands of people that are doing nothing that are elected into the hands of the people to see that the will of the people in this country is actually carried out."

-- Art Acevedo, Chief of Police, Houston Texas


Missouri Republicans: It's Class Warfare, All Right

There is a terrific article out just now at Daily Kos on our own state of Missouri and the Republicans' fight for "Right to Work" laws.

Not only are their efforts unfair to the point of obscene, working to cut the wages of working Missourians, but if they get this, it will hurt Black Missourians and their paychecks even harder.

What “right-to-work” in Missouri means for black workers

A little from the article:

The passage of a so-called “right-to-work” (RTW) law in Missouri would hurt black workers the most, according to two new fact sheets by EPI’s Valerie Wilson and Julia Wolfe. As Wilson explains, “Contrary to how the phrase sounds, these [RTW] laws actually restrict the rights of workers by cutting the financial support going to unions, thus limiting the ability of unions to help workers bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.” The authors find that black Missourians would be disproportionately harmed by RTW, as they are more likely to be covered by a union contract than other workers. The authors also find that wages of black workers in Missouri and other non-RTW states tend to be higher than wages of black workers in RTW states.
As Warren Buffett so famously and rightly said, "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."

Thanks, as ever, Republicans!
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All you are is consistent.

Wouldn't it be great if, one day, and one day soon, very soon, the articles on Missouri and Kansas could and would be positive and for the people instead of what we've been getting for the last at least 10 years or so?

Wouldn't that be nice?


Read the fact sheets 

America: We Learn Nothing

It's not remotely deniable.


This was first posted on Facebook in 2012.

We learn nothing.

We don't learn and we don't give a damn.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Entertainment Overnight -- When We Were Young

Quote of the Day -- On Defense--and Deficit--Spending

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"For 40 years we were led to think of the Russians as godless, materialistic and an evil empire. When the Cold War ended, we suddenly discovered that Russia was a poor Third World country. They had not been equipped to take over the world. In fact, they were just trying to improve a miserable standard of oppressive living, and couldn't. They had to spend too much on arms build-up. We didn't win the Cold War; we bankrupted the Russians. In effect, it was a big bank exhausting the reserves of a smaller one."

And now, we're doing it to ourselves. That is, we are bankrupting ourselves, honestly, spending obscene amounts on "defense", far outspending any and every other nation on the planet.

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And for no good reason.

Two Headlines That Tell All About Guns In America

Yet another shooting.

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Yet one more mass shooting in America.

This one in Santa Fe, Texas.

More students killed in their own grade school.

And with all we know about these and however much we don't want them to occur, there were two very telling headlines, articles in the news this week that describe the situation we're in. It tells of what we're allowing, what with all the far-too-easy-to-obtain weapons. Here they are. Here's the first:

Let's face it, there are so many shootings, so many mass shootings in America, we can't even keep track of them, it's that obscene.

Here's the second headline and article.

2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren 

than service members

It's nearly incomprehensible that even one of the above is true, let alone both.

It's unconscionable this is our situation. It's unconscionable we allow it.

What's it going to take America?

How many innocent Americans---of any age, really---have to die before we have simple, intelligent, meaningful weapons reform and controls so these at least happen less frequently?

The rest of the world does it.

We should, too.


Santa Fe school shooting: 10 dead 

and 10 wounded in Texas

The Bizarre, Completely Unbelievable Evolution of Collusion Denial from this White House

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Beset by leaks, White House talks firings, 

not apologies

From Aaron Blake of the Washington Post this week.

"Here are the seven distinct stages of collusion denial I've identified:"

1. November 2016: No communications, period

Hope Hicks: “It never happened. There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”

2. February 2017: There were no communications, “to the best of our knowledge”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “This is a non-story because, to the best of our knowledge, no contacts took place.”

3. March 2017: There were communications, but no planned meetings with Russians

Donald Trump Jr.: “Did I meet with people that were Russian? I'm sure, I'm sure I did. ... But none that were set up. None that I can think of at the moment. And certainly none that I was representing the campaign in any way, shape or form.”

4. July 8, 2017: There was a planned meeting at Trump Tower, but it was “primarily” about adoption and not the campaign

Trump Jr.: “We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow-up.”

5. July 9, 2017: The meeting was planned to discuss the campaign, but the information exchanged wasn't “meaningful”

Trump Jr.: “No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”

6. December 2017: Collusion isn't even a crime

President Trump: “There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime.”

Jay Sekulow: “For something to be a crime, there has to be a statute that you claim is being violated. There is not a statute that refers to criminal collusion. There is no crime of collusion.”

7. May 2018: Even if meaningful information were obtained, it wasn't used

Giuliani: “And even if it comes from a Russian, or a German, or an American, it doesn’t matter. And they never used it, is the main thing. They never used it. They rejected it. If there was collusion with the Russians, they would have used it.”

Friday, May 18, 2018

Entertainment Overnight -- I Like This Guy

New artist Calum Scott.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Another Shooting. Today. More Students Dead

Students and parents at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Tex., where there were reports of an active shooter on campus Friday.CreditMichael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press

10 more people dead, today, this morning.

No more "thoughts and prayers."

NOW is the time to talk about gun control.

Now is the time to ENACT weapons controls.

Background checks for mental stability and criminal history, at the very least, required, coast to coast, for all weapons purchases.

For starters.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Notes, Facts, Recent Developments On This Presidential Administration

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The following are just some of the most recent developments emanating from this Presidential Administration. Source: Wake Up To Politics

--The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in a bipartisan report that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

--The Senate Judiciary Committee released more than 2,500 of pages of testimony and documents related to the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between top Trump campaign officials (Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort) and Russians. Trump Jr. told the panel that he had been expecting the Russians to provide "potential information about an opponent" in the meeting, which was set up after he received an email promising dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of "Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

So with that, right there, the Trump family, the Trump campaign to have Donald J Trump, was willing to turn to a self-sworn enemy of the United States in order for him to become President.

If that's not treason, ladies and gentlemen, nothing else is.

--In a new financial disclosure form, President Trump formally acknowledged reimbursing his longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, for an October 2016 $130,000 payment to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.

Proving the President did, in fact, lie when he said, publicly, on the record, on Air Force One, that he had no knowledge of any payment to Stormy Daniels.

--The Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) detailing payments Michael Cohen received from AT&T, pharmaceutical company Novartis, and a firm tied to a Russian oligarch were leaked by a law enforcement official who became considered after other reports went missing, the official told the New Yorker

But wait.  It gets better.

The official said that two reports documenting even larger transactions flowing into Cohen's accounts suddenly disappeared from the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) database, a rare occurrence, driving him to leak the third report.

A summary of the last year of the investigation of this President and his election campaign:

In the past year, Mueller has...brought 75 criminal charges against 19 people — including President Trump's former national security adviser, former campaign chairman, and two other former campaign aides — and three companies, racking up five guilty pleas and one sentence, according to CNN.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Open Letter to PBS

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Dear PBS,

Why, oh why do you not give us, America, Americans, an intelligent nighttime talk show along the lines of the old "Dick Cavett Show"?

It was intelligent and adult and calm and elucidating and different and erudite, frequently funny and dependably, reliably wonderful.

We could do it again.

You could do it. You could do it again.

Go, find a new, the new Dick Cavett of and for our age.

Someone intelligent and educated but not off-putting who can and would, night after night, have wonderful, insightful conversations with people from all kinds of backgrounds. A brilliant, witty person who also isn't a sycophant to or about his guests. Someone both sophisticated and folksy who can and would relate to the most educated and most common of us all, the way Mr. Cavett did, night after night.

No one is doing anything remotely like it. It would be one of a kind, for sure. The other, major networks certainly aren't going to do it. You'd be all by yourself.

Again, you can do this. And only you can or would do it. Please. It would be, like the original, wildly successful.

We'll beg, if we must.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Entertainment Overnight -- Happy Birthday, Stevie

Wishing a happy 68th birthday to the man, himself, little Stevie Wonder, born Stevland Hardaway Judkins, this day, May 13, 1950.

Happy birthday, brother Ray!

And thanks for all the great music and memories!

I thought this next version of my favorite song of his was especially appropriate since he mentions his mom and her passing. This is, after all, Mother's Day, of course.

Have a great week, y'all!

Don't Look Now But a Town In Rural Missouri Just Got Hit. And Hard

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I hadn't seen anything of this but it seems a hospital in rural Missouri, in the town of Kennett, is closing.

116-bed Missouri hospital to close 

next month

The website Axios simply and clearly points out three very big factors of all this:
  • Many people are worried residents won't get care at all or will suffer from having to drive long distances for hospital care.
  • "We have two nursing homes, and people are already talking about pulling their loved ones out because there's not a hospital close enough," one worker said.
  • "This little town just lost its biggest employer...financially, a lot of businesses are going to suffer," another employee said.
  • Kennett is a farming community in Dunklin County, whose residents are poor and have some of the worst health outcomes in the state. (The area overwhelmingly voted for President Trump in 2016.)
Get that.

Not only losing your town's only hospital but also it's biggest employer. Talk about a double, if not triple or worse "whammy."

Can you imagine even being elderly in that town, let alone in a nursing home, knowing your town is losing its hospital?

If you had a loved one in a nursing home there, would you keep them there?

Worse, if you were in that nursing home and in reasonably good condition otherwise, would you want to stay there, in that town, in that nursing home?

What do you bet the nursing home or homes in Kennett, Missouri will be losing patients, customers? And quickly?  I would be very surprised if, in only a couple to a few years, the nursing home or homes there don't also close, have to close. I certainly hope I'm wrong about that.

Then, can you imagine being an employee of the hospital? Thinking you had a job for life? And you're in rural Missouri, rural America. The nearest hospital is 50 miles away. Further, do you think they have many job openings? It's questionable, at least.

The heck of it is, this is not good for the town of Kennett but it's not good for that entire area. It's not good for that region, that part of the state. Simply put, it's no way good for Missouri.

It's not good for America. It's not good for the nation.


More of the fuller situation that brought this about here, below:

Other links: