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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Another Day, Another Push by The Star for the Airport Boondoggle


Okay, the sun came up again this morning so naturally, our own Kansas City Star had to print yet another article on why we should vote for the billion dollar plus boondoggle that would be a bright, shiny, new single terminal airport.

KCI is unfit for the security needs 

of an uncertain tomorrow


So okay.

Fine. 

It's not fit for the post 9/11 security world.

Then fix it. Because it is "fixable." It is doable.

instead of throwing it away and walking away from it, fix it. 

Have terminal B act as the entrance point, use the gates there and then have walkways going out, for the rest of the available flights, to the other two terminals, A and C.

It would be far, far more fiscally responsible and would still retain its convenience. It would also be vastly more environmentally responsible, no small thing.

And if one more person says "It won't be paid with taxes!", I'm going to scream.

If this gets voted through, as it shouldn't, the prices of our flights out there are going to mushroom. Let's not kid ourselves. We still pay for it. We can't be naive about that.

The whole idea that we can't update and modernize and improve what's there is utter, complete nonsense and grossly, fiscally irresponsible, at least, to say nothing of the environmental irresponsibility.

Then there's this claim, I hear and see repeatedly:

"It would cost just as much to make repairs to the airport as it would to build a new one."

Nonsense. Again, nonsense. 

How on this green Earth could walking completely away from functioning facilities, functioning, working buildings and building completely new, starting all over again, be remotely less expensive than working with what we have? In what parallel, upside down, topsy turvy world is that true?

It has not been maintained in the last several, too many years. The Airport Authority out there has been Jonesing for a bright, shiny, very expensive new toy so they haven't maintained it and kept it up at all! So instead of throwing it away and walking away from it, LET'S DEMAND THEY MAINTAIN IT, update it, sure, make it safe for 21st Century security, everything. BUT FIX IT, don't throw it away.

It's not just the intelligent thing to do, it's the responsible thing to do.

Because it's sure not so in this world. The Star themselves, though years ago, did print and give air to one architectural firm's plan and study with how to reuse our existing facilities and terminals. No one seems to remember that.

Another KCI renovation option surfaces


Oh, yeah.

Vote no on question 1 November 7.

KEEP CALM AND SAVE KCI Poster

101 Facts About Donald Trump




God help us.

Enjoy your Sunday anyway, y'all.


Thoughts and Direction On This President


Millionaire Tom Steyer makes some great, important points, asks good questions and gives a good direction.


His site:


Impeach Trump: Add Your Name


And here's some great news:


More yet:




Saturday, October 21, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Nothing Else Matters


If you've not seen these guys before, you need to.


Have a great weekend, y'all.

VOTE NO NOVEMBER 1


I keep getting mailers with our own Mayor Sly James on them, telling me to "Vote yes November 1" on a  new, single terminal airport here in Kansas City.

To which I say:

OH HELL NO.

Reasons why:

--This new single terminal boondoggle they want, this new, shiny bauble, will cost in excess---likely far in excess---of 1 billion dollars. That's reason enough. But it goes much, much farther than that.

--They say it will bring more flights to Kansas City.

That is utter nonsense.

Since when does anyone, anyone fly to a city for their airport? That's absurd. You go for family, friends, attractions. Heck, you go for the arts first. If the Nelson-Atkins Museum built another new building, THAT would get more people here, not some silly airport.

--Few people mention that this new, single terminal will actually have LESS GATES for planes than we have available now, with our 3 terminals.  Less.  So again, why would a new airport get us more flights?

--We've actually already been getting more flights in the last few years, even with the Airport Authority up there closing down one terminal. Check out the trend.

KCI Passenger Growth Continued 

in November


KCI Airport Passenger Traffic Up 

for 13th Straight Month




KCI Passengers Up 8.8 Percent in February






So, please, City Hall? Mayor? Kansas City Star? Everyone else? Don't give us this nonsense that "We need a new airport so we can grow" here in Kansas City. We're already growing. You guys just aren't reporting it.

---The fact is, the facts are, our airport, if it does look bad, it does so because the airport authority wants it to. I've written and said this before. They've been jonesing for a new, shiny toy in a single terminal airport FOR YEARS. And so, to get one, they've put off maintenance and overall made the place look run down and disjointed because they want us to walk away from all those buildings up there, fork over the cool one billion dollars plus it will take to get them this new toy and let them have their fun.  Yeah, no thanks.

---If you don't think we will all pay for this somehow, you are certainly kidding yourself. Those of us who fly will pay and pay dearly. Those reasonably priced tickets to get to Grandma's house or vacation or business trips or whatever will be a thing of the distant past. And it will be painful, folks, don't kid yourself. It will be expensive, very expensive and again, painful.

---There is no reason in the world, construction, cost or otherwise, we can't use Terminal B as the main access point for the airport and then construct walkways out to Terminals A and C, to get to all the rest of the flights we want and need. It would save us hundreds of millions of dollars, folks. It would be fiscally responsible, very unlike the grossly, fiscally irresponsible idea of, again, walking away from our current facilities and building all brand new, nearby.

The Star even tries scare tactics and outright lies to get us to vote for this billion dollar plus waste and boondoggle.

The existing KCI can't be made secure for a post-9/11 world


And if our current airport were updated and modernized and made more secure, as it should be, it would create jobs, construction jobs, just as the callers for a new airport would. Would it be as many jobs? No, certainly not, but we wouldn't be blowing through more than 1 billion dollars, either.

A new, single terminal airport here in Kansas City would be, I say again, fiscally and environmentally irresponsible and to huge degrees, on both issues.

People forget that, in the not-that-distant past, our airport had restaurants on the 2nd level where we could look out on the runways as flights came and went. That was back when it was newer, yes, but it was also back when the airport was well run and better run than it is now. We shouldn't forget that. It was done once--that is, run right and run well and it could be, again. We just need to demand it. It's out airport, after all. We pay for it. We keep it going.

So hell yes and hell no. This November 1, make sure you vote, first of all. And then, make damn sure you vote a clear, strong NO---HELL, NO, if you can---when it comes to the billion dollar plus boondoggle they want up North, for our airport.

And then let's get back the airport we all deserve. A well run one. A completely functioning, attractive, modern one. We can.  We can do this.

Let's all give ourselves a terrific holiday gift this year. Let's do the responsible thing. Let's do the fiscally intelligent thing. Let's do the environmentally responsible thing.

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VOTE NO NOVEMBER 1.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

On That Equifax Breach


Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) asks some fantastic, even important questions here recently of Equifax CEO Richard Smith. More of us need to hear and learn how they, Equifax, operate and operated. It has to do with the industry, certainly, but with our own information and security, too.



This should, once again, shatter any notion that we don't need government and that we don't need government rules and regulations and oversight of corporations.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Kudos, At Long Last, To KCPT, "Ruckus" and Mike Shanin


At last.

At long last.

Watch Online

I've posted here, at least a few times, if not several, how our local PBS station has singularly, only white people, time after time and week after week, on the show to discuss and hopefully solve Kansas City's issues and problems. In spite of our considerable Black and HIspanic and others population, the program had just that, only white people. Alone.

So imagine how pleased I was this week when they included Jamekia Kendrix on the weekly panel to discuss and talk and be heard. She was and is eloquent and intelligent and well-spoken and more than held her own and gave different viewpoints.

Thank goodness.

Here's hoping it's the shape of things to come for them, for the program and for all of us.

Kudos and salutations, KCPT.

And thank you.

Their "Week in Review" was its same bleached whiteness but at least this "Ruckus" was inclusive.

Hoping they learn, at long last.

Links:

Ruckus | Watch Online | Kansas City PBS Video - KCPT




Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Attacks and Irresponsibility and Just Really the Insanity That Are All Donald Trump


President Trump attacks NFL's 'massive tax breaks' on Twitter

In the very, very short time this Donald J. Trump has been President, look at all he's come out against.

He's against equal pay for women.
He has attacked and keeps attacking women, in fact.



He's against National Parks and National Monuments and so, nature. 


Heck, he's against his own political party and people in it.


We've seen, this week, he's against National Football League players and they're desire for justice in our nation, a two-fer for him. 



Long ago now, he's even attacked our nation's Veterans, for pity's sake.


Not done there, he singles out and attacks DISABLED Veterans, as well.


He has attacked and keeps attacking the media. 

Not just attacking the media, he has attacked free speech, the First Amendment. This came early this year, in February.

Trump threatens to weaken 

First Amendment protections for reporters



Then, he did this in the last 24 hours.

Trump Attacks First Amendment


He's certainly not for clean air nor clean water nor soil.




There are things he's for certainly. Here's one of them. He's for our local military, across the nation, having military gear. You know, so they can fight us, the American citizens.


He's all for business, that's for sure.


Another thing he's for and seemingly in a big way is a fight of some kind with North Korea and their President Kim Jong Un. 



Keep in mind, too, this is only a partial list of what this one man has done and said so far.

So the question is now, when does this roller coaster end? How soon?

And how, exactly?


Monday, October 9, 2017

Entertainment Overnight -- Happy Birthday, John




I hope one day we'll join up,
and the world will live in peace


Republican Party Priorities


And note:  On the one with the most time and money spent on it, they found nothing.

Zero.

But a foreign nation? Ostensibly our arch-enemy? Attack our elections and election system?

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What Burning So Much Carbon Is Getting Us


This is, one more time, what burning all the carbon we do and putting all the carbon dioxide we also do, into the atmosphere, gets us.



And let's be clear, these are not "one off" events. It's part of a far larger trend and not just nationally or even on this continent but world wide.


Science suggests that over the past few decades, the number of wildfires has indeed increased, especially in the western United States. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS),every state in the western US has experienced an increase in the average annual number of large wildfires over past decades.

Extensive studies have found that large forest fires in the western US have been occurring nearly five times more often since the 1970s and 80s. Such fires are burning more than six times the land area as before, and lasting almost five times longer.


Meanwhile, foolishly, our nation's leader is taking us backward and in the completely wrong direction.


Link:



The Single Most Important Article You Could Read Today


This is, as the title says, quite possibly the single most important article you could read today, if not the most important article you could read all year. Its ramifications touch several, many and huge parts of our current lives, of the future, of our government, of technology and of even our Democracy. Everyone should read about and be more familiar with the "attention economy."

For anyone and everyone who is amazed at how many of us are staring down at our phones so much of our lives and/or for anyone and everyone stunned at how we got this President--again, there are many, many possible consequences here.

Image result for picture of trump on a cellphone


Whether you realize it or not, you are very likely participating in it and at least affected by it if not also deeply affected.
Related image

With thanks to friend Paul Shanks for bringing it to my attention.

Here's hoping we're wise and strong enough to be masters of the technologies we create.


On This "Columbus Day"


Related image

See links for source at bottom:

I recommend reading James Loewen’s eye-opening book about how textbooks distort history, Lies My Teacher Told Me (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995). Among the very interesting myths Loewen exposes are the ones surrounding Christopher Columbus.

You may in fact know the following:


• Columbus–and virtually everyone else at the end of the fifteenth century–was fully aware that the earth was round.
• Columbus indeed recognized that he’d discovered a new continent, even adding a section to his coat of arms reflecting it. He never confused it with India.
• The voyage to the “New Land” took about a month. It was smooth sailing the entire way. There was never any threat of mutiny.
• The NiƱa, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria were well-equipped vessels.
• Columbus’ accomplishment was immediately appreciated by Spain, which outfitted him for a large second voyage–17 ships, 1200 men, and weapons.
• Columbus may not even have been Italian; he certainly never wrote in Italian.

What you may not know is that Columbus epitomized greed, racism, and sadism. He searched for new lands for one reason only: gold. Where he found natives, he captured, enslaved, or murdered them. Here’s an excerpt from Ferdinand Columbus’s biography of his father:

“The soldiers mowed down dozens with point-blank volleys, loosed the dogs to rip open limbs and bellies, chased fleeing Indians into the bush to skewer them on sword and pike, and with God’s aid soon gained a complete victory, killing many Indians and capturing others who were also killed” (from Kirkpatrick Sale, The Conquest of Paradise [New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990]).

Columbus’s “discoveries” unleashed a world of slavery and persecution that has ramifications to this day.

Taken from this blog.


At this link:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/nealstarkman/2009/10/12/columbuss-day/

Besides, 500 years before Columbus, there was Lief Erikson.

Leif Erikson Day 2017: 

5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


Happy Leif Erikson Day.

Yes, it really is.

Links: 





Sunday, October 8, 2017

In Case You Don't Understand Why Athletes Are Taking a Knee


Local columnist Jenee Osterheldt put it better than just about anyone today in our own Kansas City Star.

Image result for patrick harmon

Another black man dead, 

another white cop free


I wondered if he knew riding a bicycle without a light could get you killed. Not by traffic, but by the police.

Did Patrick Harmon know that his black skin was something to be feared? Surely it’s something he’d learned in his short 50 years.

Is that why Harmon ran away when, on Aug. 13, the cops went to arrest him in Salt Lake City? They said he threatened them. The video shows him complying. They said he had a knife; one officer said it was “the scariest situation he had ever been in.” But Harmon looked like he was crying. Then he was fleeing for his life. Then he was dead. Less than two months later, the courts ruled the killing was justified.

Did Harmon know the next time Chiefs’ cornerback Marcus Peters sits during the national anthem to protest oppression and brutality, he’d be one of the brutalized?

Did Harmon know that we are not this country’s people? Did he know that black men in 2017 account for more than a quarter of police killings of unarmed people and only 6 percent of the population? Did he know that black Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be shot and killed by the police?



And they get away with it. Ask Jason Stockley. He killed Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, in St. Louis and claimed he had a gun. But the gun found only bore Stockley’s DNA. Stockley said he was scared but as he chased Smith’s car, he can be heard saying, “We’re going to kill this, mother**”, don’t you know?”

We know, Jason. And you got away with it. Just like the cops who got away with the killings of Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and I could keep listing names but we’d run out of space.

The judge overseeing Stockley’s case said it would have been an anomaly if Smith did not have a gun. A judicial validation of white fear.

White fear says he shouldn’t have been running. That if you just comply you’ll survive. Because it worked out great for Castile, who was pulled over while driving in Minnesota and was shot seven times.

White fear says if you just stay in your place and stand for the anthem and salute the flag instead of protest brutality and oppression, that everything will be fine.

White fear says All Lives Matter and act like #BlackLivesMatter is a hate group. And act like it’s completely normal for St. Louis police to shout “Whose Streets? Our Streets!” Because controlling a city has been confused with protecting its people.

In Kansas City, the Chiefs organization says it has found no evidence that anyone called Washington Redskins’ Terrelle Pryor a n----- at Arrowhead, as if their own Peters hasn’t been threatened with racial slurs and violence since he started sitting during the anthem.

Did they think not a single Chiefs fan could be involved? (See: Confederate flags flying at Arrowhead Stadium’s parking lot.) Maybe they did. Just like Chad Dearth of KC Trends Motorsports believed rallying local businesses to refuse service to Peters carried no oppressive subtext. But, you know, he says he didn’t know Peters was protesting brutality. Okay.

It’s not a stretch to believe that Pryor was responding to racism. But it is telling that he was expected to apologize for flipping the bird at a racial slur. Just like lawyers must prove beyond the shadow of a doubt a cop wasn’t acting out of fear, but the assumption of a black threat comes naturally. They’ll pay out settlements like masters paid for slaves but to convict a killer of a black person would require recognizing our humanity.

But this is a country where President Donald Trump will call a black man a son of a bitch for protesting but won’t call a white mass murderer a terrorist. Brutality and oppression are why the athletes kneel, sit or raise a fist.

Like James Baldwin said: “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

Because:

America loves its guns more than its people.

America loves its flag and its anthem more than its people.

America loves its police more than its people.

America loves its people as long as queer people, immigrant people and people of color aren’t its people.


Quote of the Day -- Sunday Edition


And yes, folks, I Googled it. He really did say this.


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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Guns: Then and Now


1776 to today




The Time Has Long Since Come: Contact Your Congressional Representatives


Now we add Las Vegas, too, to the long, long list of cities and towns across the nation that's experienced more needless, avoidable gun and weapons violence and tragedy.


Please, contact your representatives in Congress. All three of them, your 2 Senators and one member of the House of Representatives. Tell them we need the following, at least.

--Background checks, required, for weapons purchases for criminal history, nationwide
--Background checks, again, required for weapons purchases for mental stability
--An assault weapons ban. Again. We did it once, we could do it again. There is no reason assault weapons are available and on our streets in this nation

These, above, are what we should have and do, at minimum and soon as possible. Some additional things we should do are:

--Passing an assault rifle ban 
--A high capacity magazine ban 
--Taxing ammunition 
--Banning convicted domestic violence perpetrators from owning or purchasing firearms for 5 years
--Not allowing people on the "NO FLY" list to purchase guns 
--Instituting a gun buy-back program that would pay people to give up their current assault rifles. 

And I get it. We won't. But we should.

At any rate, please, please do, again, contact your representatives in Congress. Tell them the time has come. Americans need to stop dying, and on our streets. These deaths and tragedies are avoidable. Completely avoidable.

Call Your Rep — 

Congressional Representative 

Contact Information


Please call.  Today.

And thank you, in advance.


Remember Newtown?


Think about it.

If 20 children, 20 beautiful children and 6 adults, being gunned down in a few minutes years ago in Newtown, Connecticut wasn't enough to get America to wake up, pay attention and make changes to gun legislation so these mass shootings don't repeatedly happen, why would adults being gunned down, anywhere else, let alone Las Vegas, make any difference?

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Let's speak up. 

Finally.

At long last.

Let's get something done.

Let's change things, America.

Let's be better than this. Finally.


Quote of the Day -- On Leadership


Seems especially poignant just now.

Image result for martin luther king jr

May I stress the need for courageous, intelligent, and dedicated leadership... Leaders of sound integrity. Leaders not in love with publicity, but in love with justice. Leaders not in love with money, but in love with humanity. Leaders who can subject their particular egos to the greatness of the cause.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Tom Petty, Rest in Peace





And thank you.


We Need to Reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban


Australia did it.


We could, too.

And we need it.

Las Vegas proved it.


You've Outdone Yourself, America



Las Vegas attack is deadliest shooting 

in modern US history


The time has come, America.

The time has come to talk about and work for, work toward solutions.


Right Wing, Republican, Conservative Saint Ronnie, On Assault Rifles




Bill Moyers On Guns


And he's correct, of course.


NOW, America





'Beyond horrific': Shooting on Las Vegas 

Strip kills at least 50, wounds 400


When is the time to talk about what we can do, as a nation, about weapons in this country?

Now.

Now is a great time.

Now is the perfect time, America.

And it's long, long overdue.


Donald Trump Is Going to Puerto Rico This Week?





This week, in the last few days, our illustrious President Donald J. "You're Kidding Me Here" Trump took it upon himself to insult the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. In Tweets, of course.

Trump attacks San Juan mayor 

over hurricane response


Not done there, that, alone, wasn't bad enough, he went on to INSULT THE ENTIRE CITIZENRY of that nation.

So, now, given all this, what could he possibly, possibly think he can do to help these people, given that he has, again, insulted each and every one of them, already?

What good could he possibly do now?

How are they to receive him?