Category: In the News

In Kansas City, the months of April through June marked the driest three-month period endured since 1911. The area received about six inches of rain in those months — we’d normally get a foot more.

Forecasts suggest little change in the coming week.

As of Friday, July had delivered just a tenth of an inch of moisture at Kansas City International Airport. Today is day 63 of the extreme drought.

The electrical boxes on my house started to fall off due to the ground beneath shrinking. KCPL came today to fix it. The solar fan in my attic burned up in this heat- hoping to have it fixed by Wednesday.

Can’t go outside and do anything-bored!!!

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Chick-fil-A makes a great chicken sandwich, and I used to like getting one—with a cup of their amazing lemonade.

Then I found out the company, according to the LGBT group Equality Matters, has donated millions of dollars to groups that oppose gay rights, and Chick-fil-A’s president, Dan Cathy, told a Baptist newspaper that he supported the “biblical” definition of family. That’s why former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas has asked that folks who share the company’s principles stop by a Chick-fil-A on Aug. 1 to show support for the company’s conservative values.

And that’s fair enough.

If you really don’t think gays and lesbians should have the same rights as everyone else, and you oppose same-sex marriage, stop by Chick-fil-A. If you truly believe gays and lesbians should be second-class citizens, and if you sincerely don’t want them to marry the people they love, stop by Chick-fil-A.

But the same goes for those of us who support same-sex marriage and have what we consider to be a broader view of civil rights. We should boycott Chick-fil-A. These are our consumer dollars—and they’re part of our voice. We should use them for products we like—to supportcompanies we like and to back causes we like.

As good as those Chick-fil-A lunches used to taste, there are other places to get a chicken sandwich.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing more about companies whose leaders use corporate profits to support their conservative world view. I have no problem with that. In fact, I applaud their involvement in politics.

But those of us who disagree have to remember that we too can exercise our rights, flex our muscles, and show our commitment to the values we believe in, from how we spend our consumer dollars to how we chose the companies we invest in, to, of course, how we vote in elections. All of these are levers that every citizen should use.

Phelps is getting widespread media coverage by threatening to picket the funerals of the Tucson shooting victims. It’s the same game he’s been playing since 1991. Find a funeral of a soldier, public figure or someone else whose death is getting major media coverage. Fax blast a press release celebrating their demise, grab the “God Hates” signs, gather up the kids and grandkids and hop in the Ford Econoline.

Because of the enormous amount of attention his deeply offensive protests receive, you might get the impression that Phelps is a significant religious leader in this country.

He’s not. Westboro Baptist Church had only 71 members as of 2007, according to a BBC report, and they’re members of his extended family. He has 13 children, many of whom have stuck around and brought their own kids into the loathsome family business.

Update: “Topeka’s Westboro Baptist Church won’t picket the funeral of a 9-year-old girl killed in Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., in exchange for getting airtime on two radio stations, a church spokesman said.”

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In the News

On his national radio program, Limbaugh mocked the importance of birth control to women’s health and called Fluke a “slut.” Facing an onslaught of criticism for his offensive language, Limbaugh stooped even lower.

He responded with this statement: “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

This isn’t the first time Americans have witnessed Limbaugh’s despicable behavior and rhetoric –

He recently teed off on the topic saying that people who use birth control want to, “put as many notches in their belt as they can every night.” He’s painting women who use contraception as bed-hopping rampant sex machines. This is rich coming from the bloated slug that was detained on his way back from the Dominican Republic (one of the biggest sex tourist destinations in the world, I might add) with non-prescribed ViagraNow, it would seem to me that if there’s no prescription for his Viagra, Rush doesn’t actually have erectile dysfunction. Right? Interesting. I wonder how many notches he was putting in his belt on that trip. Oops, I forgot. He’s a man. There’s a difference. Men get to have as much sex as they want. Women? Not so much.

This wasn’t his first brush with illegally obtained prescription drugs. Remember that whole Oxycontin thing? In case you don’t, he coerced and threatened his housekeeper into illegally obtaining 4,500 Oxycontin tabs in a 47-day period. He then had his attorney pay off his housekeeper with $80,000 in back pay, plus an extra $100,000 to destroy the computer emails of the transactions.

“We are fortunate to live in a democracy where everyone is entitled to their own opinions regarding legitimate policy differences. Unfortunately, numerous commentators have gone far beyond the acceptable bounds of civil discourse. No woman deserves to be disrespected in this manner. This language is an attack on all women, and has been used throughout history to silence our voices. The millions of American women who have and will continue to speak out in support of women’s health care and access to contraception prove that we will not be silenced.” Fluke

In the News

British neo-soul songstress Adele, the best-selling artist of 2011 and a nominee in six categories, pulled off a clean sweep, including song and record of the year forRolling in the Deep (inspired, she said, “by a rubbish relationship”) and album of the year for 21. She also won for short-form video, pop vocal album and pop solo performance (Someone Like You). Adele became the sixth artist to win six awards in a night (the last was the Dixie Chicks in 2007) and the youngest act (23) to nail the top three categories.

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Eli Manning leads the New York Giants to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl. GO GIANTS!!!

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Susan G. Komen has new shade of pink – embarrassment.

They quickly did a turn around because this is the backlash they have cast upon themselves. I don’t think they will ever fully recover because as Linda says so well in the video—they “showed their ass”.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

In the News

News broke yesterday that Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a well-known breast cancer charity, is no longer going to give grants to its Planned Parenthood affiliates because of “pressure from anti-abortion activists” and because “Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress,” according to this NPR article.

This is disappointing news. Planned Parenthood does a lot of good for women, especially in lower-income areas where they may not have access to a family physician. I thought that helping women was part of Komen’s mission. So why would Komen stop funding an organization that offered “more than 4 million breast exams over the past five years, including nearly 170,000 as a result of Komen grants?”

Susan G. Komen for the Cure claims that it is “the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists…working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.” It’s fine if they do not want to provide funding for abortion services, or other reproductive health services, because it is their right to focus on breast health. However, Planned Parenthood does a lot more than abortion services.According to their own numbers, only 3% of services offered are abortions, whereas 34% are contraception, and 76% of their services are focused on prevention.  What is it about providing nearly 750,000 breast exams each year—to a patient demographic in which 76% have incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level—that goes against Komen’s mission to “save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all,” and so on?

The Washington Post reported that “Komen said it could not continue to fund Planned Parenthood because it has adopted new guidelines that bar it from funding organizations under congressional investigations.” I remain skeptical of this explanation. Is this a common “guideline” for any entity other entity?

I understand that some people equate abortion with killing a person, so I know that this is going to continue to be an issue. I know that I can’t expect everyone to feel the same way about things as I do. Not everyone has the same kind of progressive values that Planned Parenthood and I have, but I can’t help but think that Susan G. Komen for the Cure is shooting themselves in the foot. They may be pleasing some people who are anti-abortion, but they are cutting themselves off from lower income and younger people who need medical services. They may find other organizations on which to bequeath Komen grants, but I doubt that Komen will be able to find any group that has such an extensive network of offices, contacts, and supporters as Planned Parenthood that has the same mission to provide preventative women’s health care to all.

As a final note, I can say that I learned some new things about Susan G. Komen for the Cure due to this latest news. Mainly that they look for other charities that use “for the cure” in their names and attempt legal action in order to halt them from using that phrase. There is a HuffPo article about it. You may want to sit down.

The main sentiment among the thousands of people posting online seems to be that regardless of one’s position on the issue of abortion, it is wrong to politicize women’s health. According to a new Polipulse analysis of online conversations about the issue, only 26 percent of people believe Komen made the right decision. Nearly a quarter of the people who expressed criticism of Komen’s decision online said they were going to pull their donations from Komen.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure says there wasn’t anything political about its decision to stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood.

But in Washington, every decision is political — and now the cancer-fighting organization may have turned itself from a “safe” charity into just another political lightning rod.

It may have ruined its fundraising, too, as its Facebook page filled up with messages from Planned Parenthood supporters promising they’ll never give a dime to the charity again.

In the News

I don’t usually post political comments because they tend to piss people off but, sorry, this pisses me off!

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“For Apple, this still spells trouble. The Kindle Fire can handle about 80 percent of what I want to do on an iPad, for 40 percent of the price.”

Yes- it’s that cool! Linda wanted this for Christmas. It is truly remarkable for the price. You can read books, listen to music, watch videos, play games, surf the net. Smaller than the iPad but it cost $199.99!

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The days are growing shorter…
The leaves are falling too…
The sun sinks early in the sky…
Until it is no longer, blue…

The clock is quickly ticking…
It is that time of year…
When we need to be reminded…
The time to turn our clocks is here…

We move an hour of daylight…
To the morning from the night…
If you forget to do it…
It could be a terrible fright…

Turn them back, not forward…
And if you do it right…
You will be able to enjoy…
An extra hour of sleep tonight…

In the News

That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
That when you’re in love, it shows.
That just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.
That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
That being kind is more important than being right.
That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.
That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.
That money doesn’t buy class.
That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
That the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?
That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
That love, not time, heals all wounds.
That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
That there’s nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
That life is tough, but I’m tougher.
That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
That I wish I could have told my Dad that I love him one more time before he passed away.
That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
That I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you’re hooked for life.
That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all then happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
That it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life threatening situation.
That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

In the News

The song you are about to hear is from a Las Vegas Diamond Rio concert. They received an immediate resounding standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform. Sadly, major radio stations wouldn’t play it because it is considered “politically incorrect.” Consequently, the song was not released to the public. We can all take care of that by sending it ON!!!

In the News

Thanks to a fluke of orbital mechanics that brings the moon closer to Earth than that it has been in more than 18 years, the biggest full moon of 2011 will occur on Saturday, leading some observers to dub it a “supermoon.” The best time to look is when the Moon is near the horizon. That is when illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view. For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects. Though not the best picture (we had clouds during sunset) I didn’t find it “bigger” but it did seem brighter.

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With the exception of people in Hawaii and most of Arizona, people across the U.S. will “spring ahead” this weekend as daylight saving time begins. At 2 a.m. Sunday, clocks will be adjusted forward one hour. While most phones and many newer digital clocks, appliances and electronics automatically adjust, don’t forget to change those that do not in your home, apartment or vehicles. In addition to changing your clocks, the beginning and end of daylight saving time are also good times to do safety checks around your home.

Replace batteries in all smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms

Use fresh batteries and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure these devices are working properly. Also replace any smoke alarm that is 10 or more years old and any carbon-monoxide alarm that is 5 or more years old with a new model.

Check storage areas for hazardous materials

Materials that are outdated, no longer being used or in poor condition, including paint, should be properly disposed of. Materials that are kept should be out of reach of children and pets.

Program thermostats for savings

You can save up to 20 percent on their heating (and cooling) costs by lowering (and raising) their thermostats by 5° F at night and 10° F during the day if no one is home. In addition, more money can be saved by replacing incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent ones. Motion or light sensors on outdoor lighting can also be installed so that fixtures are in use only when needed.

Update your disaster plan

People should have plans in place and necessary supplies on hand for properly responding to a natural disaster or other cataclysmic event.

In the News