Blog Catalog

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Quote of the Day -- On Today's Republican Party

Image result for republican party leaders

From George Orwell, born June 25, 1903

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. 

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. 

We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. 

The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. 

We are not like that. 

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. 

Power is not a means; it is an end. 

One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. 

Now you begin to understand me.” 

― George Orwell, "1984"

Friday, June 14, 2019

One of Missouri's Biggest Cities Takes a Hit

An article hit the interwebs early yesterday.

And sure, I figured Buffalo, New York might be on there.

And Pittsburgh.

And Cleveland.

And very likely Detroit, and maybe it at number one.

But check out what major American city was, in fact, in the number one spot on this list and has lost half or more than half of its population since 1950

Image result for st louis arch b & w

What the report had to say--

1. St. Louis

> Decline from 1950 decade peak: -64.7%
> 1950 population: 856,796
> 2018 population: 302,838

With a population of 856,796, St. Louis was the eighth largest city in the country in 1950. The city’s population has steadily declined since then to just over 300,000 in 2018, ranking as only the 64th largest city in the United States. Like other cities with long-term population declines, adverse socioeconomic conditions are prevalent in parts of St. Louis. East St. Louis, for example, is far and away the most dangerous city in Illinois and one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Also, one in four people living in St. Louis live in poverty, well above the national poverty rate of 14.6%.

While St. Louis may not be booming, certain aspects of the city do show signs of renewed prosperity. Relatively high immigration from Asia has helped offset some of the out-migration. The city’s sports teams, the Cardinals and the Blues, do very well, which can help support population and economic growth. And, plenty of universities and large companies still operate and thrive in the city.

That’s depressing.

And sure, it's not Kansas City but hey, it's Missouri. It still hurts.

Our Mayoral Race-- A Prediction

Image result for lucas justus

So yes, we're coming down to voting day next week in the Kansas City, Missouri Mayoral race. As we well know, it's between Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas.

I think it's widely believed it's anyone's race to call. It looks to be very close, a toss up, if you will.

I saw the two candidates this week in their final debate at the Kansas City Public Library on the Country Club Plaza.

Before this debate, I'd only read and heard about them both and I thought they seemed close on all the local topics.

After seeing the debate, I'm still convinced that's true.

Having said all that, I do think I can make a prediction on this race, crazy or brave, one or both, as that may be.

Having heard and seen the two candidates, I believe this race will come down to who, exactly, people think looks "Mayorly", like it or not, agree or not. And sure, I'll say up front even after my prediction, it could still go either way but I'm still willing to put this out there.

I think Quinton Lucas will be Kansas City, Missouri's next Mayor.

And it will be because a good deal of the voters think he more looks the role, again, like it or not.

Let the best person win.

We can't do any worse than the Funk.

God willing, we never will again.


Here’s your guide to Kansas City’s election: The candidates, the issues and more

Mark Funkhouser - Wikipedia

Trump's America

Slide 9 of 31: Comics - 'Bliss' by Harry Bliss

Trouble of it is, of course, now it's our America, too.

Thanks, Republicans!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Quote of the Day -- Sunday Edition

Image result for kurt vonnegut

“Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.”

―Kurt Vonnegut, “Mother Night

Friday, June 7, 2019

How to Fix the Corruption In Congress and Washington

Redux.  From a few years ago.

We need to do this.

We need to overturn Citizens United.

We need to end campaign contributions entirely.

We need to Get the Big, Ugly Money Out of Our Election System and Government


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

100 Huge Years Ago Today--Celebrating Progress, Working for More

First, the good news.

Image result for 19th amendment

Yes sir, 100 years ago today, June 4, 1919, the 19th Amendment, giving women of the United States the right to vote was passed. Great as that was, it's sad it had to take that long but at least they got it done.

Now the bad news.

Women still aren't equal. No way are they equal, as we know. Check out just some of the facts.

Women Still Don’t Make as Much Money as Men

And then there are Neanderthals out there in the world, still spewing this ugliness, inequity and nonsense like this. I found this today, accidentally, in a search.

Why Women Don’t Deserve Equal Pay

And this:

And this, from, of course, a Republican:

The entire Republican Party, supporting the already-wealthy and corporations, of course, not the people, have voted down equal pay for women and repeatedly. The following was from 2008.

This was from 2012.

This was 2014:

This took place this year.

Also this year. Not only are Republicans against women being paid fairly, justly and equally with men, they're also against keeping women safer.

So sure, let's celebrate this 100 year old breakthrough, sure, definitely.

But let's work to get more of them, needed ones, soon as possible.

It reminds me of the protest sign for women I saw some time ago.

Image result for i can't believe i still have to protest this

Monday, June 3, 2019

Real Fear for the Future

Sorry to start the day on a negative note (negative notes?), but I'm not thinking the future is that cozy a place for us Americans from this vantage point. Besides the idiot, Republican Party dotard in the White House and his emotional, irrational outbursts and actions, there are facts and statistics stacking up that don't bode well for us all.

Image result for dystopian future

First, let's take our information we're getting. Newspapers are famously or infamously dying.

New York Daily News Fires Half Of Its Staff

A Major Newspaper Fires Its Entire Staff

It's predicted this is the shape of things to come, too.

NY Times Editor Predicts Most Local US Papers Will Fold

Understand, too, this is not merely longing for a bygone day. This is no way nostalgia for the past and for "the way things were", no, not at all. 

This is about most or all of us having a basis of information. This is about all of us being engaged in the social fabric, as it were. This is about all of us have a similar basis of information from which we address our communities, our metropolitan areas, our cities, counties, states, regions and even the nation at large but the world, too. We will no longer have that basis from which to start, a more common background of knowledge.

So instead of reading the daily newspaper we would all or mostly all share, now we get things off the internet, if we read at all. This is where I say we also only read things that back up what we already "know", think we know and/or believe. It pits us more and more against one another because we so sincerely believe only that which we already want to believe.

It does not bode well for us.

And then there's the fact that no one will be down there at that newspaper to keep the local City Hall, Mayor, Council and city and state government accountable. With them not there to research, write and publish what's going on, who's going to? The local blogger on the internet?  Highly unlikely. God help us.

Then there's the issue of our news media has become far too "us vs them." We have Right Wing TV like Fox, publicly declaring itself entertainment but masquerading as news and skewing things heavily for one political party and for the already-wealthy and corporations.

Why is Fox News so biased toward the Republicans

This splits and splinters us all further, all the more. It's downright frightening.

Next up is the fact that, along with all this splintering, we're all joining fewer and fewer organizations.

Americans Are Becoming Less Social

We're becoming islands, unto ourselves. We belong to fewer churches (which actually I view as an improvement but that's another issue), we join less sports teams, bowling leagues and all kinds of social groups.

 After all this, now we also have whole countries, whole nations and other groups of people, going online to splinter us further. They whip people up with all kinds of false information and/or emotionalism in order to tear us apart from within. It certainly worked in the last national election for the presidency.

Add to all this that we're spending our way into obscene, huge, unnecessary defense spending that actually weakens the nation.

With that spending and our giveaways to the already-wealthy and corporations, we're also spending ourselves into crazy debt and deficit spending.

With that, I'll stop. God knows that's enough. And that's just what's going on in our nation. I could go on with the UK's Brexit and China's response to our, again, dotard President and a lot more.

I just don't see much good out there. We have to put our faith in the American people waking up. Waking up and voting the wrong people, in office now, out of those offices.

I hope it doesn't require reading a newspaper to get us there.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sprint, and Their Proposed Merger, Take a Hit Today

The Sprint company and the idea of its merger with T-Mobile takes a hit today in the New York Times.

Image result for sprint

Stop Creating Corporate Goliaths

A little of what they have to say.

Letting T-Mobile merge with Sprint would hurt consumers, workers and the economy

For years, T-Mobile’s chief executive, John Legere, has gleefully bad-mouthed his much larger mobile phone competitors, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, for their high prices and profit margins, and their low-quality service. Decked out in magenta sneakers and T-shirts, sporting long hair like an aging rocker, Mr. Legere promoted T-Mobile and himself to his 6.2 million Twitter followers as renegades — telephonic cool kids.

T-Mobile wooed customers by offering service plans with no long-term commitments, and by paying to free those customers from their old service plans. Rolling your unused data and minutes into the next month? T-Mobile did that, and AT&T and Verizon had no choice but to follow. More recently, T-Mobile vowed to match any discounts offered by competitors.

The fierce competition, and the march of technology, has rapidly reduced the cost of mobile phone service. Since 2009, the average cost of mobile service has fallen by roughly 28 percent, according to the Labor Department’s calculations. In 2017, at the peak of the mobile phone price wars, the Federal Reserve said prices were falling fast enough to meaningfully reduce inflation across the entire American economy.

That’s the beauty of competition. It’s been good for T-Mobile, too. Over the past five years, the company has added more subscribers than its larger rivals.

Now T-Mobile, the nation’s third-largest wireless company, wants to merge with Sprint, the No. 4 wireless carrier in the United States. The combined company would be in the same weight class as the two largest, AT&T and Verizon, with the three companies each controlling roughly a third of the market. Mr. Legere, who scorned the big guys, now wants to be one of them.

The Justice Department’s antitrust division staff has recommended that the federal government go to court to block the merger. That is good advice.

The proposed merger would harm American consumers. It would reduce the choice of service plans, and, over time, it is likely to result in higher prices and less innovation. It would also harm workers in the mobile phone industry, reducing competition for their labor. And it would increase the political power of the combined corporation...

On the one hand, this is coming from none other than The New York Times so it's going to carry some weight. It's certainly going to be on everyone's "radar", so to speak. 

On the other hand, boys will be boys and money buys all, especially in our current national government. This may be a conversation for a while--a few days?--but when all is said and done, the FCC and this administration will do what they will, customers and nation be damned.

Look for the Sprint-T-Mobile merger to go through. We hope not but these things usually don't go for the people.

But thanks, anyway, New York Times, for trying.

Kansas City Gets Some Good, National Press This Week

Seen this week, out on the interwebs. We get some promotion.

Missouri: Kansas City

Known for its jazz heritage and incredible barbecue, Kansas City, Missouri, a somewhat underappreciated city, is not only a cheap weekend getaway but an exciting one, too. This is the perfect family-friendly destination. Take the kids to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, enjoy Free Friday Night Flicks at Crown Center, view tons of wildlife in William M. Klein Park and explore nature at the Lakeside Nature Center. Be sure to make time for a Boulevard Brewing tour; taste drinks you can't get elsewhere.

So kudos, Kansas City. Maybe get out there and enjoy some old favorite place or find a new one. Enjoy. And have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Hoping All Kansans Watch This Video

There is a young man, one Davis Hammet, who moved to, of all places, Kansas, from Florida. He's a bit of an activist and by "a bit", I mean a full-on, nearly fire breathing activist, at that.

He started a group on Facebook called "Loud Light." He's doing fantastic work, following the Kansas State legislators and what, exactly they do and what they work on.

He's pretty incredible. I've written about him out here before.

And the thing is, all he's doing is educating Kansans.

He's not doing threatening protests or, God forbid, threatening anyone, nothing like that. He's simply trying to make his now fellow Kansans aware of what's going on in Topeka at the Capitol.

He makes videos detailing the week by week work at the Capitol then puts it on YouTube and again, Facebook. I've personally followed him to learn what's going on there and then, this week, he released a really excellent piece on the overall Kansas State budget, what's been going on with it at least through the Brownback years and what's taking place now. It's excellent. You'll find it here.

I've said before, Missouri and each and every state, really, needs someone doing this very work. Heck, I live in Missouri and I'm following this guy. It's very simple, complete, excellent, informative work about what state legislators are doing in their state capitol. The local evening news isn't this informative, helpful or downright important. He puts local news reporters to shame, honestly and literally. (Hear that, Fox4? WDAF? KCTV5? KCPT? KCUR? Kansas City Star?).

It is, as I wrote in the title, my hope that all or at least nearly all adult, voting age Kansans watch this video. They all need to know what has taken place, what's happening now and where that puts them and their state's budget.


Loud Light

What's It Going to Take to Get Us to Recognize Manmade Climate Change?

I wonder if very many of us in the nation and world are paying attention to all the weather-related events, disasters and catastrophes included, that have been taking place this year. Herewith are just a few of the latest.

This took place the week before the Memorial Day weekend.

Multiple highways across Missouri shut down due to flooding

Check out how many roads were closed across the entire state of Missouri.

This was just last weekend:

Memorial Day weather: Heat wave scorches southern US

Then this happened.

Vehicles stuck in foot-deep hail in Omaha, Council Bluffs area

This one was four days ago.

Then we all know this took place this last week locally.

This is going on now, to the South of us, of course, and is still going on.

These next two are current also.

This is the past month.

This is just how large an issue this is.

You can go here and see just some of the damage.

As if all that isn't enough, this story broke two days ago.

"Abnormally high temperatures have led to unsafe travel conditions, uncertain ecological futures and even multiple deaths"

So how long, America? How long until we first accept global warming is happening and it's taking place because we humans are pumping so much CO2, carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere? And then, second, how long until we do something about it?