I saw this new list yesterday and yes, unfortunately, Kansas City is on it.
50 Worst American Cities to Live In
- 24/7 Wall St.
We're 49 out of 50, sure, but still, we're on it.
49. Kansas City
Population: 151,261 Median home value: $87,600 Poverty rate: 22.2% Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.3%
While low property values can help make homeownership a reality for financially insecure individuals, cheap housing is more often indicative of a weak economy and poor living conditions -- and this appears to be the case in Kansas City. The typical home in the city is worth just $87,600, far less than the $194,500 national median home value.
Relative to the size of its population, Kansas City has very few amenities and attractions that might enrich the lives of residents. There are fewer bars, libraries, recreational centers, museums, and hotels per capita in Kansas City than there are in the U.S. as a whole. There are just 120 restaurants per 100,000 Kansas City residents, among the fewest food establishments per capita of any U.S. city.
Ow. Really. That hurts, just being on the list.
But it could be worse.
We could be Little Rock Arkansas at number 26 or Fort Smith, also Arkansas, at 24.
Missouri wasn’t done there, either, unfortunately. Springfield hit a very high number 12, nearly making the top 10 worst cities to live in. Wow.
12. Springfield, Missouri
Population: 166,798 Median home value: $113,500 Poverty rate: 24.1% Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.0%
Few cities have a greater crime problem than Springfield, Missouri. The city’s annual violent crime rate of 1,356 incidents per 100,000 residents is more than three times the national violent crime rate of 373 per 100,000. Springfield’s property crime rate, at 7,795 incidents per 100,000 people, is also over three times the national property crime rate and the third highest of the 551 cities reviewed.
High crime in a city often coincides with high poverty in a somewhat circular cause and effect. Springfield’s poverty rate of 24.1% is nearly 10 percentage points greater than the national poverty rate.
Not done there, St. Louis does, in fact, break that top ten, even making the top 5 worst cities.
4. St. Louis
Population: 315,685 Median home value: $130,800 Poverty rate: 24.9% Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 34.7%
St. Louis is representative of the economic decline that afflicted many large industrial cities over the latter part of the 20th century. Decades of manufacturing decline, white flight, and exclusionary zoning in St. Louis have led to some of the worst urban decay, racial segregation, and income inequality of any major city today. Some 24.9% of St. Louis residents live in poverty, far more than the 14.7% national figure. St. Louis has struggled with a high crime rate since the 1960s and today has the highest violent crime rate of any U.S. city. There were 1,817 violent crimes reported per 100,000 St. Louis residents in 2015, nearly five times the national rate.
Many of the economic problems in St. Louis are tied to the city’s rapid population decline. The city’s population is less than half of what it was during its 1950 peak of 860,000 people, and it continues to decline today. While the U.S. population grew 11.5% over the last 10 years, the number of residents in St. Louis fell 5.4%.
Once again, a bunch of mostly all white, old men, Right Wingers, Republicans, all got together, in spite of their claims of being "small government" advocates and ruled one more time against women's and couple's individual reproductive rights. This time, it was out of our own Jefferson City.
And they spent yet more state money in special session to do it, "Conservatives" that they are.
Are the roads and bridges and highways and sewers and all our infrastructure fixed?
Is I-70, from Illinois on the East, all through the state, to Kansas on the West, upgraded and improved and modernized and made safe?
Is our own Missouri Department of Transportation, MoDoT, fully funded and functioning?
But are women and couples' private, personal, again, reproductive rights yet more limited even though, as we know, abortion is legal and has been since 1973?
And they spent yet more state money, that they say we don't have, to do it!
I've said it before but why any woman would vote Republican is beyond me. Far beyond me. Well, unless she's a Right Wing, "Christian", anti-abortion zealot, of course.
But then, why any Black person, Hispanic, Latino, gay, physically-challenged or elderly person would vote Republican also baffles me completely. (Unless that elderly person is already filthy, stinking rich, of course. Then I think they have to vote Republican, don't they? Isn't that a law?).
Keeping in mind, this is also the state political party that just voted lower wages for Missourians into law, too.
There are and have been many things about Donald Trump that aren't Republican Party policy and platform, famously, and it has driven and still does drive a lot of them near mad. He certainly fits no mold. When you don't know much and your guiding goals are your own success and increased fortune instead of even your declared political party's goals, let alone your nation's, it's very unlikely you'll fit neatly in any given box.
All that said, the New York Times today has an insightful article today. In the paper version, it's titled "A 'Trump Doctrine' Is Born." Here's the headline when searching for it online.
This is the byline description of the article: "'America First' has become 'Defending the West.'"
When you think of it, how perfect, how fitting is it for this President, Donald Trump, to have had a campaign slogan and now a presidency that declares "America first"?
It's incredibly fitting.
This is, after all, the Republican Party. It's the political party of people who have been fighting for the already-wealthy and corporations for the last 100 years, at minimum.
So when a multi-millionaire--or possible billionaire?--becomes President through and with that same political party, it should be no surprise, then, that he adopts a policy and platform and slogan that is all about "America first." It's all about us, America, the world's richest nation, probably, somehow either only emphasizing keeping our wealth or, more likely, growing and increasing that wealth.
Nothing about helping the less advantaged. Nothing of helping the poor, the staring, the sick, the needy. Just "America first!" To heck with anybody and everybody else.
His and their healthcare plan, if you can call it that, is more of the same. It provides yet more tax cuts for those already-wealthy while dropping, it's estimated, 32 million Americans from their health insurance and so, health care.
Now that's sick.
So yes, "America first!" The rest of you freeloaders, get busy. Get back to work. You think we made all this money by someone just giving it to us?
Clearly the most important thing happening in and to America right now is the constitutional crisis. Not potential crisis: it’s already here. The president’s inner circle is under investigation for possible collusion with a hostile foreign power, collusion that may have put him in office; he himself, whether or not he’s currently a direct target of that investigation, is clearly suspect. Yet he has already made clear his determination to block any investigation that gets too close.
This is way worse than Nixon – yet all indications are that the moral rot of the Republican Party now runs so deep that the constitutional answer to a rogue president is null and void. This is an existential threat to the republic, and it can be hard to focus on anything else.
So here we are, six months later. How time has trudged.
But the calendar does not lie. On Thursday, we will be half a year through the Trump Era. And, contrary to his signature promise, America seems less great by the day. Nor are his other promises faring particularly well.
There is no sign of progress on that border wall, much less any idea how he is going to make Mexico pay for the thing. His promise to preserve Medicaid and provide healthcare for everyone has dissolved into a GOP bill that would gut Medicaid and rob millions of their access to healthcare.
Meantime, the guy who once said he would be working so hard he would seldom leave the White House spends more time on golf courses than a groundskeeper.
But for all that Trump has not achieved, there is, I think, one thing he indisputably has. He has taught us to live in a state of perpetual chaos and continuous crisis. Six months later, the White House commands the same horrified attention as a car wreck or a house fire.
In that sense, last week’s revelation that the Trump campaign, in the person of Donald Trump Jr., did in fact collude with a hostile foreign power to influence the 2016 election was just another Tuesday. Sure, it might have been shocking from the Bush or Obama campaigns. But under Trump, we live in a state of routine calamity.
Besides which, a few days from now, there will be something else. With Trump, there inevitably is. Things can always get worse — and usually do.
And when they can do, we can count on the GOP, that inexhaustible fount of righteous outrage, to stand tall and courageously look the other way. For almost 20 years,the party has never seen a minor episode (“Travelgate”), a sheer nothing (Whitewater) or even an international tragedy (Benghazi) it could not turn into Watergate II. Yet, as credible accusations of treason, obstruction, collusion, and corruption swirl about this White House, the GOP has been conspicuous in its acquiescent silence. It seems the elephant has laryngitis.
But the rest of us can’t stop talking.
Indeed, from the studios of CNN to the bar stools of your neighborhood watering hole, amateur psychoanalysis has become America’s favorite pastime in the last six months. Dozens of theories have been floated, all aimed at answering one question:
What is wrong with him?
But I have come to believe that question misses the point. Sixty-three million people voted for this. And make no mistake, they knew what they were getting. It was always obvious that Trump was a not-ready-for-prime-time candidate, but they chose him anyway. And the rest of us need to finally come to grips with the reason why.
It wasn’t economic anxiety. As a study co-sponsored by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic reported in May, people who were worried for their jobs voted for Hillary Clinton. But people who dislike Mexicans and Muslims, people who oppose same-sex marriage, people mortally offended at a White House occupied by a black guy with a funny name, they voted for Trump.
That’s the reality, and it’s time we quit dancing around it.
This has been said a million times: Donald Trump is a lying, narcissistic, manifestly incompetent child man who is as dumb as a sack of mackerel. But he is the president of the United States because 63 million people preferred that to facing inevitable cultural change. So I am done asking — or caring — what’s wrong with him. Six months in, it’s time we grappled a far more important question.
"Because morality is a social necessity, the moment faith in god is banished, man's gaze turns from god to man and he becomes socially conscious. Religious belief prevented the growth of a sense of realism. But atheism at once makes man realistic and alive to the needs of morality."
Bill Moyers on Donald Trump and this Presidential administration.
We’re now six months into the Trump Presidency…and what do we have? Especially in light of the stunning new New York Times interview with Mr. Trump? A reasonable analysis is: What we have is the weakest, most chaotic, toxic and confusing first six months of any U.S. Presidency in history. Only Abraham Lincoln got off to a worst start, with the country virulently divided over slavery and the Civil War looming. Fair to note that Lincoln went on to become one of the greatest Presidents ever, but the challenges Lincoln faced were epochal, not the self-inflicted implosion we are currently witnessing. Lincoln's successor Andrew Johnson had a rough start too. But Johnson was not an elected President; he ascended to the office upon the assassination of President Lincoln and the Civil War.
No elected President—none—has had such a tumultuous, scandal-threatened, and downright mind-boggling start, with such low public approval, as has this one. And this has happened while the President’s party controlled both Houses of Congress, now likely the Supreme Court, a majority of governorships and state legislatures—and the FBI.
It is not bias or political partisanship to conclude this. It is fact, historical and otherwise. It is those who deny this that are the ones blinded by partisanship.
With this fact—and in no small part because of it—comes a companion conclusion: that this is dangerous time. Very. No one should underestimate the potential peril. Not just for the Trump Presidency but also and more importantly for the country. Our people are troubled and divided. Friends and allies abroad are worried (as in, “what the hell has happened to America?) Enemies and competitors smell vulnerability.
In his NYT interview, Mr. Trump blasted his own appointed Attorney General, former Senator Jeff Sessions, and, in effect and not for the first time, threatened Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible crimes involving Trump family members and associates and Russia. Mr Trump specifically demanded that Mueller avoid looking into the President’s tax returns and financial dealings. In other words, “don’t follow the money,” in regards to possible Russian dealings or anything else. Thus, raising anew the question, “what is he hiding?”
So, six months in, and on and on it goes. Where it ends no one knows.
"These are the 10 worst states in the US for quality of life, including crime, health, social tolerance and the environment."
So check out what they say about our own Show Me state:
Show Me how to stay safe in Missouri, where violent crime in all categories has been rising, in some cases by double digits. Missouri also lacks statewide protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, marital status, and gender identity. And the state is near the bottom for public health funding.
2017 Quality of Life score: 99 out of 300 points Weaknesses: Crime rate, health, inclusiveness Strength: Attractions 2016 Quality of Life rank: No. 49
Note that last statistic, too. 2016 Quality of Life rank: 49. Out of 50, of course. Only one state worse than us, whoever that is.
Even on this list, we're worse than Mississippi, for God's sake.
WORSE THAN MISSISSIPPI.
Let that sink in.
I know I personally take no comfort whatever in learning that neighbor state to the South, Arkansas, is ranked 4th worst or that, again, neighbor state Oklahoma is ranked number 3.
We should no way be on this list. This is horrible.
We must do better. We have to.
And we start by getting Republicans out of public office.
People, in this nation, who consider themselves to be both Capitalists and Christians are only Capitalists.
Mark 10:21-22 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Luke 12:16-21 Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, 'What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?' Then he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."
And my personal favorite:
Matthew 19:24 Jesus said "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
"Putting a future president in the debt of a foreign power — and subject, presumably, to blackmail by that power — is the height of sleazy stupidity. It is not a mistake born of greenness; it is evidence of a vacant conscience."
It is sometimes argued that the media should spend less time on President Trump’s transgressive tweets in order to devote more attention to real issues such as North Korea. In fact, it is necessary to focus on Trump’s tweets precisely because they shed light on the mind that is doing the deciding on North Korea. It is a distasteful exercise. But we cannot look away. We need to know the state of mind we’re dealing with.
Trump’s tweets reveal a leader who is compulsive, abusive and easily triggered. Trump describes all this as “modern day presidential.”
What we are witnessing is not a new age in presidential communications. It is an ongoing, public breakdown. And the question naturally arises: Is this the result of mental dysfunction?
Most psychiatrists are (understandably) uncomfortable with diagnosis from a distance. And the particular diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder requires significant impairment – which is a hard case to make of a figure at the pinnacle of American politics.
And yet. There are judgments that must be made about the fitness of the leaders. Citizens are under no ethical obligation to be silent when they see serious dysfunction. The challenge here is not merely the trashing of political norms. The main problem is the possibility that America has an unbalanced president during a period of high-stakes global testing. This is not a clinical diagnosis. It is a civic and political judgment, made necessary by the president’s own words and acts. Trump holds a job that requires, above all else, the ability to unite and steady the nation in a time of crisis. There is no reason to believe he can play that role.
Much of the prudence and courage required to confront this problem will need to come from Republicans and conservatives. Where to start? How about refusing to downplay revolting lunacy?
It is not merely an “occasional ad hominem” for a president to employ the tremendous power of his office to target individual American citizens who oppose him. It is an abuse of power.
It is not merely “uncouth” for a president to tolerate, even to hint support for, violence against political opponents (“I’d like to punch him in the face”). It creates an atmosphere of intimidation.
It is not merely “exaggeration” for a president to issue a series of eye-stretching lies, including that his predecessor spied on him and that a popular vote victory was denied to him by widespread electoral fraud. It indicates either a deep cynicism or a tenuous connection to reality.
It is not being “coarse” for a president to engage in consistent misogyny. It is a sign of a disturbing and deep-seated dehumanization of women.
Many conservatives would respond to this critique by saying, “At least he fights!” The question is: For what? Trump evinces no strong or consistent policy views. He fights for himself – for admiration and adulation – which is the only cause his extreme narcissism allows.
Many conservatives would also respond by saying, “At least he does conservative things!” But if health care is any indication, Trump lacks conviction, knowledge and the ability to persuade.
House and Senate Republicans should be prepared to aggressively challenge unbalanced or unhinged presidential language and decisions, rather than trying to dismiss them as simply a “distraction.”
No one really knows how to deal with this situation, which still feels more like an unnerving political novel than our political reality. Trump has led our country into unexplored territory. If this is “modern day presidential,” all progress moves toward the past.
--Michael Gerson served as President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter from 2001-2006 and is a columnist for the Washington Post
And note the source. It's not from some Right Winger. Not by a long shot.
"It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about President Trump’s inability to do either. This seems to be not a mere disinclination but a disability. It is not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence."
Not only is it tragic because the story is of a very senseless murder but also because, at its root, is just racism. And ugliness. And stupidity. And ignorance.
It's the local story, of course, of the idiot, ugly racist who, last February, took his semiautomatic pistol, confronted a local man about his immigration status. That wasn't enough, he then took it upon himself to wage what he apparently thought was "justice" on this complete stranger, murdering him.
I've said before and this proves it once again, too many times, guns are by and for and with utter cowards. This, again, ugly racist used his gun because he didn't have the guts to spew his stupidity empty-handed.
This proves also why bloggers shouldn't let racists post and spew their ugly, ignorant, racist venom on their blogs, "free speech" or no. This ugliness feeds on itself among these knuckle-draggers.
We need to be better than this. All of us. All across the Kansas City metropolitan area, all across Missouri and the nation.
We have to end this vile racism.
Side note: I wish our local Star would have done the story, instead.
“Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.”
"Trump's behavior is not just beneath the dignity of the Presidency, but that of any decent man. Every day, I'm presented with someone who acts inappropriately. Why would anyone think that behavior belongs in the White House?"
-- Jerry Springer, June 30, 2017
Let's never forget. We have Republicans and the Right Wing to thank for this boob of a President and his ugliness, clumsilness, mistakes and ignorance.
A friend posted this on his Facebook page today. It says it's from the NRA.
And what he said about it is dead on, too, no pun intended.
Beware folks, the NRA is advocating basically a civil war with this ad that is nothing short of stochastic terrorism. They are calling for gun owners to make a violent response to freedom of assembly, a First Amendment right. This is a message to incite domestic terrorism. The use of words like "assassinate" are a dogwhistle to the faithful gun cult.
Liberals hate that the rightwing is so misinformed. The Right Wing has marketed the message to hate Liberals.
This may not end well.
I have seen many Right Wingers saying lately that Liberals should be rounded up and shot. or worse. with folks inciting people to take action on that.
We are all Americans and we should be working together to make America a better , more equitable place. Liberty, equality and fraternity.
This video inciting hatred of neighbor on neighbor is a most shocking and unpatriotic piece of propaganda.
It is stochastic terrorism and should be branded a hate crime.
This photo ran in the St. Louis Star on July 3, 1917 with the caption: “Where the charred bodies of eight negroes burned in their homes at Eighth Street and Broadway were found today.” The bodies of some Black victims were buried in a common grave, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Others were thrown into Cahokia Creek which ran between downtown and the riverfront railyards. (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Bowen Archives).
Blacks in East St. Louis were beginning to come in from the Southern United States and were taking jobs, yes, at lower wages, from Union members. The white Union members would have nothing of it.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch did a fantastic series of articles on this important time and group of events.
Keeping in mind, too, that the national disgrace that was the "Trail of Tears", where we displaced thousands of Native Americans, from East to Oklahoma, also went through Southern Missouri. In fact, it went right through what is now downtown Springfield.