Blog Catalog

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

More People Need to Know What's Happening Presently, Weather-wise, Across the Planet

I don't think most people are aware just now of what, exactly, is going on, worldwide, with weather and the catastrophes that are taking place just now.

Here's one, the first here today--
“Greenland is home to the world's second-largest ice sheet. And when it melts significantly -- as it is expected to do this year -- there are knock-on effects for sea levels and weather across the globe.

Greenland's ice sheet usually melts during the summer. This year, it started melting earlier, in May, and this week's heatwave is expected to accelerate the melt.

… 2019 could come close to the record-setting year of 2012, said Jason Box, professor and ice climatologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. During that ‘…year’…, Greenland's ice sheet lost 450 million metric tons -- the equivalent of more than 14,000 tons of ice lost per second.”

“…it's already poised to rival the proportions of 2012 -- and we haven't even reached the end of summer. In July alone, Greenland's ice sheet lost 160 billion tons of ice, according to Clare Nullis, spokeswoman for the UN World Meteorological Organization.

‘Normally when you get a temperature record broken, it's by a fraction of a degree,’ said Nullis. ‘What we saw yesterday was records being broken by two, three, four degrees -- it was absolutely incredible.’"

Melt water on the Greenland ice sheet. The Greenland ice sheet (Sermersuaq in Greenlandic) is a vast body of ice covering 1,710,000 square kilometers (660,000 sq mi), roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland. The thickness is generally more than 2 km (1.2 mi) and over 3 km (1.9 mi) at its thickest point. This section of the ice sheet was photographed on the Western part, close to Ilulissat and the glacier Semeq Kujalleq. Positioned in the Arctic, the Greenland ice sheet is especially vulnerable to climate change. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

That alone is huge but then, this is taking place in Siberia, Russia.


This, too, is happening now in Japan.

There is also this from Japan:

Finally, there is this:

Premium: Ongoing Low Water Levels On Rhine River

“A heatwave in Europe is causing low water levels on the…Rhine…”

At what point do climate deniers give it up? At what point do the get on board, so to speak, and accept our current reality, let alone what is projected to happen across the world, if we don't cut carbon dioxide emissions and pollution?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Worst Run Cities and Missouri Takes a Hit

There's another one of those "Best in America" and "Worst in America" lists out on the interwebs this week and once again, Missouri takes a hit. Here you go.

Worst-run cities in America

To start, neighbor Topeka is on the list at 48.

The bad news? Kansas City, Missouri is on the list. The good news? It’s in the bottom half at 42

KCK, however, is in the top half and very nearly in the top 10 at 13.

And side note, once again, they show a picture of KCMO when trying to represent the cities.

Slide 39 of 51: - Overall quality of city services score: 40.12
- Financial stability rank: #133
- Education rank: #135
- Health rank: #98
- Safety rank: #137
- Economy rank: #87
- Infrastructure and pollution rank: #104

Kansas City has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country. While the city ranks fairly low in the safety category, the police department is making an effort to be more transparent and open to the public hoping to decrease crime. The department uses a live community crime map to detect and show crime and police activity.

Makes one wonder about the scale they use.

Anyway, other rather comparable notables from here in the Midwest:

Indianapolis #46
Nashville 43
Wichita 38
Tulsa 34
Ft Smith and Little Rock, 30 & 29, respectively
Chicago 25
Memphis 9
Toledo 8
Gary IN 7
Flint MI 5

But dang.

St. Louis.

What a ranking. 

Check this out.

2nd worst in the nation at number 2 for worst run city. 


Worst----Detroit. Not a shock.

The flip side?

Las Vegas 47
Washington DC 46
Denver 44
Minneapolis 40
Des Moines 39
St Paul 37
Cedar Rapids 23
New York 16
Lincoln NE 14

Number one belongs to Huntington Beach, CA, which is outrageously unfair. Mountains, ocean, beaches, great weather, all that and well run, too.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Has Anyone Noticed This Republican Party President Is Dismantling Our Government?

Image result for evil trump

The title here is not hyperbole.

First, Mr. Trump sets out to move--break up, weaken--the Department of Agriculture by moving it out of Washington, to here in the heartland, to Kansas City and then, last week, he gets started breaking up, moving the Bureau of Land Management to a legitimately small town in Colorado, Grand Junction.

And sure, I recognize this could be good for the Kansas City metropolitan area, adding to our rented space and population, some growth, but consider the ramifications.

The people with experience at these jobs in the USDA don't want to sell their homes and go to some new area they've likely never been. Who would? Who can blame them?

And according to the Washington Post, it doesn't just effect the USDA, either.

Relocation could seriously disrupt the work of two agencies

The Agriculture Department is offering employees a rare choice: accept a forced transfer to a post 1,000 miles away or be fired.

The Trump administration’s plan to move two agencies from the District to the Kansas City area includes a document with two blank boxes on it, sent to employees on June 13. Check one, it instructs: Accept the transfer by July 15 or “be separated by adverse action procedures.”

That means getting fired, with an opportunity to appeal the dismissal through what could be an expensive process. Getting fired could also make it more difficult to find another federal job in an area where the government dominates...
Of the 547 employees the department wants to move for the two agencies combined, 253 are with the Economic Research Service, 77 percent of its 329-person workforce. An additional 294 are with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 93 percent of its 315-person staff. News of the move prompted a surge of support for the union. Employees at the National Institute voted 137-2 to join AFGE two weeks ago. Last month’s vote at the economic service was 138-4.
And it's not going to save us, the US, money, either, folks.

But the USDA estimate of nearly $300 million in savings over 15 years is way off, according to an analysis by the Milwaukee-based Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. Instead, it would cost taxpayers between $83 and $182 million, the analysis found. The USDA underestimated the true cost in part because it did not account for “the lost value of research from staffers who resign or retire rather than move,” the association reported.

Divide and conquer, folks. It's what he's doing.

And breaking up the USDA, weakening it, is just the first blow against regulating industry.

This has at least two effects on the agency and its work. excited as Grand Junction is, many people outside this high desert city are deeply skeptical of the move. The Public Lands Foundation, made up of mostly former BLM employees, opposes it, saying it will likely gut the agency as many of its workers won't want to move. And Democratic Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona sees another worry. Moving to Colorado means the BLM will be that much closer to the oil and gas industry.

It makes it easier for the special interests to have access without a lot of accountability and light somewhere else than here in D.C. And I think that works to their advantage.

This fits in perfectly Mr. Trump's work and attempts to both weaken government and assist business.

83 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump

Then, as if all this, above, weren't enough bad news, there's yet more this week from The Orange Man in the White House. Check this out for mind blowing:

Nuclear commission considers fewer plant inspections

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission thinks it's a good idea to have FEWER inspections of nuclear power plants.

You read that right, folks--fewer inspections and less oversigh of nuclear power plants.

This is not good for clean air, folks. This is not good for the people, you and me.

It's fantastic for big business.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

All Hail Price Chopper and Quik Trip

Check this out.

The above price per gallon is what I paid yesterday, in Kansas City, in Waldo at the Quik Trip on Wornall.

I was stunned.

What made this possible is Price Chopper's Rewards Card.  Mind you, I don't buy much groceries, either, being a single guy. That said, I really rack up points nicely. Then, with their rewards card, you go to Quik trip, scan the card, then scan your credit or debit card and voila! With your points, you can save 37 cents, presently, on each gallon of gasoline, up to 20 gallons at a purchase.

I will never buy groceries or gasoline anywhere else again.

On This Republican Party President, A to Z

Image result for stupid trump

The question was asked on Quora. Chris O'Leary, former 10 years of Active Duty at U.S. Marine Corps (1989-2000), responded.

I’ll take a stab at this. Before you pass my answer off as “another Liberal snowflake” consider that 

1) I'm an independent centrist who has voted Republican way more often in my life than Democrat, and 

2.) if you want to call someone who spent the entire decade of his 20’s serving in the Marine Corps a snowflake, I’d be ready to answer the question what did you do with your 20’s?

Why Liberals (and not-so liberals) are against President Trump

A.) He lies. A LOT. Politifact rates 69% of the words he speaks as “Mostly False or worse” Only 17% of the things he says get a “Mostly True” or better rating. That is an absolutely unbelievable number. How he doesn’t speak more truth by mistake is beyond me. To put it in context, Obama’s rating was 26% mostly false or worse, and I had a problem with that. Many of Trump’s former business associates report that he has always been a compulsive liar, but now he’s the President of the United States, and that’s a problem. And this is a man who expects you to believe him when he points at other people and says “They’re lying”

B.) He’s an authoritarian populist, not a conservative. He advances regressive social policy while proposing to expand federal spending and federalist authority over states, both of which conservatives are supposed to hate.

C.) He pretends at Christianity to court the Religious Right but fails to live anything resembling a Christ-Like Life.

D.) His nationalist “America First” message effectively alienates us and removes us from our place as leaders in the international community.

E.) His ideas on “Keeping us safe” are all thinly veiled ideas to remove our freedoms, he is, after all, an authoritarian first. They also are simply bad ideas.

F.) He couldn’t pass a 3rd-grade civics exam. He doesn't’ know what he’s doing. He doesn't understand how international relations work, he doesn’t understand how federal state or local governments work, and every time someone tries to “Run it like a business” it’s a spectacular failure. See Colorado Springs’ recent history as an example. The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise And that was a businessman with a MUCH better business track record than Trump. We are talking about a man who lost money owning a freaking gambling casino.

G.) He behaves unethically and always has. As a businessman, he constantly left in his wake unpaid contractors and invoices, litigation, broken promises, whatever he could get away with.

H.) He is damaging our relationships with our best international friends while kissing up to nations that do not have our best interests in mind. To his question “Wouldn't’ it be great to have better relations with Russia?” The answer is Yes. But it is RUSSIA who needs to earn that, who must stop doing the things that are damaging to that relationship, or we are simply weaker for it.

I.) He has never seen a shortcut he didn't like, and you can’t take shortcuts in government. “Nuclear Option, Remove the Filibuster, I’ll change the Constitution by Executive Order…Don…what happens when you remove the filibuster and the other side retakes the majority in the Senate? Suddenly want that filibuster back? What happens if you manage to change the Constitution by Executive Order and an Anti-2A President wins the next election?

J.) He behaves and has always behaved as an unabashed racist. Yes, I’ve seen your favorite meme that claims he was never accused of racism before the Democrats…Absolutely false. Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2019 See the Central Park 5, the lawsuits and fines resulting from his refusal to lease to black tenants, the 1992 lost appeal trying to overturn penalties for removing black dealers from tables, his remarks to the house native American affairs subcommittee in 1993. The man sees and treats racial groups of people as monoliths.

K.) He is systematically steamrolling regulations specifically designed to keep a disaster like the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis from happening again.

L.) He speaks and acts like a demagogue. He sees the Legislative and Judicial branches of government as inconveniences, blows up at criticism no matter how deserved and actively tries to countermand constitutional processes, not to mention attempts to blackmail and coerce people who are saying negative things about him.

M.) His choices for top positions, with the exception of Gen. Mattis, who is a gem, have been horrendous. A secretary of Education without a resume that would get her hired as a small town grammar school principal, A secretary of Energy who didn't know the Department of Energy was responsible for nuclear reserves, an EPA head whose biggest accomplishments to date had been suing the EPA on multiple occasions, an FCC head who while working for Verizon actively lobbied to kill net neutrality, and an Attorney General who thinks pot is “nearly as bad as heroin” and asked Congress for permission to go after legal pot businesses in states where it is legal. (There goes that great Republican States rights rally cry again, right? *Crickets*) An Interim AG after Firing his First AG who’s appointment is probably unconstitutional.

N.) He denies scientific fact. Ever notice that the only people you hear denying climate change are politicians and lobbyists? 99% of actual scientists studying the issue agree that it’s real, man-made and caused by greenhouse gasses. Ever notice that every big disaster movie starts with a bunch of politicians in a room ignoring a scientist's warning?

0.) He does not have the temperament to lead this nation. He is thin skinned, childish, and a bully, never mind misogynistic, boorish, rude, and incapable of civil discourse.

P.) He still does not understand that the words he speaks, or tweets, are the official position of 1/3 of the US government, and so does not govern his words. He still thinks when he speaks it’s good ol’ Donald Trump. It’s not. It’s the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. You have probably spread a meme or two around talking about how no president’s every word has ever been dissected before…YES, THEY ALWAYS HAVE. It’s just that every other president in our lifetime has understood the importance of his words and took great care to govern his speech. Trump blurts out whatever comes to his mind then complains when people talk about what a dumb thing that was to say.

Q.) He’s unqualified. If you owned a small business and were looking for someone to manage it, and an unnamed resume came across your desk and you saw 6 bankruptcies, showing a man who had failed to make money running CASINOS, would you hire him? He is a very poor businessman. This is a man it has been estimated would have been worth $10 BILLION more if he’d just taken what his father had given him, invested it in Index Funds and left it alone.

R.) He is President. But he refuses to take a leadership position and understand that he is everyone’s President. Conservatives complain about liberals chanting “Not my President” while Trump himself behaves as if no one but his supporters matter.

S.) He’s a blatant hypocrite. He spent 8 years bitching Obama out for his family trips, or golfing, or any time he took for himself, and what does he do? He was already on his 20th golf outing in APRIL of his 1st year in office. He constantly rants about respect for the military, yet can’t be bothered to attend the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day because of a little rain. (And that excuse about Marine One not being able to fly in the rain is HILARIOUS.)

T.) He’s a misogynist. It's not really ok in this day and age to be a misogynist, but it’s not a huge deal if you’re a private citizen. It’s a pretty big deal if you hate half the people you’re elected to lead. The disdain for women seeps out of his …whatever…. and he just can’t hide it.

U.) Face it. In any other election “Grab Em’ By the Pussy” would have been the end of that candidate’s chances. Back in the 90’s I used to marvel about how Teflon Bill Clinton was. I no longer do. The fact that he managed to slip by on that is as much a statement about how much people hate Hillary Clinton as it is about what is wrong with politics in this country right now.

V.) He has one response to a differing opinion. Attack. A good leader listens to criticism, to different points of view, is capable of self-reflection, tries to guide people to his point of view, and when necessary stands his ground and defends his convictions. Any of that sound like Trump? His default is not to Lead, its’ to attack. Scorched Earth. The Jim Acosta reaction is a good example. There was no defense of his convictions when Acosta was asking him repeated questions about his rhetoric on the caravan. His response was to attack Acosta.

W.) He takes credit for everything positive while deflecting blame for everything negative. Look at him with the Stock Market. He’s been bragging about it since day one, and to give credit where credit is due, speculation on coming deregulation early in his presidency did fuel some rapid growth, but to pretend that it’s all him, that we’re not in the 9th year of the longest bull market in history and THEN, when the standard market volatility that deregulation inevitably brings about starts to show up? Yeah. Look at yesterday. Hey! Stock Markets losing because the Democrats won! Do I need to bring out the Stock market chart for the last 10 Years again?

X.) He emboldens the worst among us. Counter-protesters are slammed into by a car while countering actual Nazi rally, and the response is there’s fault on “Both Sides” The media is at fault for a nut job sending them and Donald’s favorite targets pipe bombs. The truth is not all Republicans, not all Trump Supporters are racist, fascist lunatics. Many are just taken in by the bombastic personality and are living in an information bubble made worse by the fact that they unfollow anyone and ignore any source of information that makes them feel uncomfortable. People on the left do that too. The Biggest problem the right has right now is that the worst of the Right is the loudest and the most in your face, and the actual right, especially the Freaking PRESIDENT needs to be standing up and saying No. Those are not our values.

Y.) He seems to think the Constitution of The United States, the document that IS who we are, the document he took an oath to support and defend is some sort of inconvenience. He demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of Constitution, from believing he can alter the 14th through executive order, to thinking The free exercise clause in the first amendment somehow supersedes the establishment clause (not that he really understands either) or that the free exercise clause only applies to Christians. Or his attacks on freedom of expression and the press. He repeatedly makes it clear that if he’s read them, he does not understand Articles 1–3, and that’s something he really should have before he took the job, because they’re not going away.

Z.) I’ll use Z for something I do blame him for, but the rest of us have to carry the blame too. Polarization. This country is more politically polarized than I can remember in my lifetime. Some of you who are a few years older than I may remember how it was in the late 60’s when construction workers in New York were being applauded for beating up hippies, I think it’s pretty close to that right now, but that was before my time. And he is the cause of much of the current level polarization, but also the result. It didn't’ start with Trump. We’ve been going down this road I think since the eruption of the Tea Party in the early years of the Obama Administration. I do hope the tide turns before it gets much worse because the thing that scares me more than anything is what if that keeps going the way it has been?

'Nuff said.

It's amazing he became President.

It's stunning he's still there.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Poignant Republican Party President Quote of the Day

Image result for teddy roosevelt trump

From also-Republican Party President Theodore Roosevelt, ironically enough.

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Poignant Quote of the Day

And check out from where the speaker was.

Image result for stupid trump

My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; 
if wrong, to be set right."

--Carl Schurz, 1872, German revolutionary, American statesman, one-time Senator of Missouri (who knew?), 13th Secretary of the Interior.

Let's do this, folks.

Happy Fourth.