Guns Are on the Minds of Folks in Kansas City

By: Saturday April 19, 2014 9:00 am

Guns have been much on the minds of folks in the greater Kansas City area for the last couple of weeks. We’ve been going through a two-month string of shootings on area highways, now apparently ended with an arrest last Thursday night, and last Sunday’s killings in the parking lots of a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement home by an anti-Semitic white supremacist. Further west, there’s the standoff in Nevada over unpaid grazing fees between the Bureau of Land Management and a freeloading, gunwaving wacko and his gunwaving wacko friends in the various militia movements, cheered on by folks like Sean Hannity.

What will it take to end the stranglehold that the blind worship of guns has on our culture?

 

The Click of the Camera Should Haunt KC Bishop Robert Finn

By: Saturday February 22, 2014 10:14 am

Bishop Robert Finn, head of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Missouri, has not had a good week as two big stories have put him back in the headlines, and not in a good way. Back in October 2011, Finn was charged with failing to report suspicions that one of his priests was creating child pornography, and in May 2012 he was found guilty and given a sentence that amounts to probation and supervision. Meanwhile, he remains bishop.

But that may change, as these two big stories collide . . .

FDL Movie Night: Gangland Wire

By: Monday January 20, 2014 4:59 pm

Gangland Wirebrings to light the Kansas Mob and their links to Chicago gangsters and Las Vegas casinos. Retired Kansas City detective Gary Jenkins, our guest tonight, was assigned to this investigation from 1978-1980.

To Care for Him Who Shall Have Borne the Battle…

By: Saturday November 9, 2013 10:18 am

The world is filled with monuments that celebrate the generals who led the armies the men and women who fought in them. Some are local, devoted to the local folks who fought or the battle that took place right here, and others are national in scope, devoted to the entire effort of that particular war. There is one monument, however, that speaks most powerfully to the time after the battles are over, when the guns are silent and those who fought go home. On this Veterans Day weekend, it has a message we need to hear over the pageantry of a basketball game on an aircraft carrier and the noise of the flyovers at football games.

A Political Parable On Serving Sheep and Goats in Restaurants

By: Saturday October 26, 2013 9:00 am

Two restaurants with excellent service. Two parties that enjoyed their meals. Two very different tips. Two very different reasons, which illustrate well the differences between the Democratic and the Republican parties.

Sheep and Goats, people.

Make ‘em Prove the Causality Before They Cause Any More Suffering: Part One

By: Saturday May 4, 2013 6:40 pm

OK, austerity has always been about the causality. The people who are trying their best to get us to cut more and more spending, somewhat less than their best to get us to raise taxes, and who are doing nothing to fix our fraud-laden financial system, or the worst period of dis-employment we’ve experienced since the Great Depression, have been making other people (never themselves) suffer, because they believe the theory that excessive public debt hurts economic growth, and that to get rid of it we must follow a plan of long-term deficit reduction. And I’m being very charitable when I opine that they believe in this theory, because the alternative is that they don’t believe it, but are just using it as an excuse to make other people suffer, and widen the wealth gap between themselves and the rest of the population.

Either way it’s important for the rest of us to demand that before we do anything more based on that theory, they should be forced to prove that it is the best theory out there about the causal relationship between public debt and economy growth.

First They Came for the Tomato Growers…

By: Saturday May 4, 2013 9:00 am

A suspicious building is being constructed in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, along the southern bank of the Missouri River in Berkley Riverfront Park, near the Kansas City River Market. The purpose of the building, a massive hydroponic greenhouse, is ostensibly legitimate: “The 100,000-square-foot greenhouse would grow mostly lettuce, tomatoes and herbs with local consumers in mind.”

Hydroponic, you say? Herbs, you say?

Cue the Missouri Highway Patrol, because to them, those two words can mean only one thing: marijuana. And no, I’m not kidding . . .

Bishops Behaving Badly, Joliet Edition

By: Saturday March 23, 2013 10:40 am

Another week, another court-ordered document dump of records that detail the abuses covered up by bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. This time, it’s Joliet, Illinois.

While the bishop that comes off worst in these files is retired, another former bishop of Joliet is not only still active, but has been promoted and currently serves in several powerful roles with the USCCB: J. Peter Sartain of Portland.

For victims, this isn’t about simply getting their own abuse to stop anymore. It’s not about money for counseling, treatment, and other things. It’s about making visible the behavior of not only the priests but the bishops who protected them.

The Difference Between Boy Scout Executives and Catholic Bishops

By: Saturday October 20, 2012 9:00 am

With the release of the “perversion files” compiled by the Boy Scouts of America, one of the talking points of the Catholic hierarchy and their defenders has gained more support. “See, child sexual abuse isn’t just a Catholic problem.” As Archbishop Timothy Dolan correctly noted last year, abusers are found in the ranks of not only priests but also teachers, coaches, family members, and yes, boy scout troop leaders. But the release of the Boy Scout files also undercuts those same talking points, too. As Archbishop Dolan incorrectly noted, the attention — and the lawsuits — aren’t restricted to the Catholic church.

Both organizations were clearly worried about institutional reputation, and the records in both the church and the scouts show how they worked to cover up, hide, and otherwise keep things out of the media and the courtroom. Both groups need to be, and increasingly are being, held accountable for this failure. But there is a significant difference between the two groups. One tried to weed these abusers out of their leadership; the other shifted these abusers around.

Meet the (formerly) Rev. William Cramer . . .

Todd Akin’s Three Nightmares

By: Monday October 15, 2012 2:45 pm

Todd Akin has three nightmares. First, Claire McCaskill has a devastating trio of ads featuring women who have been raped, including a conservative who says she’s never voted for Claire before, but she will now. Second, conservative men who are turned off by Akin’s views on women are starting to be heard.

Akin isn’t taking this sitting down. He’s launched a four-city tour to push back against this called “Missouri Women Stand With Todd Akin,” but it has a rather large problem from the standpoint of optics. None of the women that Akin’s campaign listed as headliners for the tour are from Missouri. Ooops.

And then there’s that third nightmare-inducing commercial, with all the naked women.

Don’t believe me? Click on through . . .

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