While perusing social-analysis chatter, I find several trends:
First is the haves/have-nots gap. Evidence of it is visible. Children are going to school hungry. Grocery shoppers are in lines with food stamps.
Meanwhile, those in the upper 1 percent have more than they need for a good life. The upper middle class also is living well. The lower middle class is insecure but connected. When under stress, it has societal structures to lean on.
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Poverty, though, is a systemic condition. The poor do not have easy access to jobs or help that other economic groups enjoy. Their survival efforts push them deeper into the morass of their misfortune.
A second trend is the irrelevance of political parties. Both Republicans and Democrats have lost their way in congressional ineptitude. Columnist Bret Stephens puts Republicanism in “the idiot stage of the conservative cycle.” This is a post-literate corruption of William F. Buckley’s literary conservatism.
Republicans have no centering ideas. Democrats are split over resisting Trumpism or promoting ideals found in the American Constitution.
A third trend is but rumor, as Bernie Sanders acknowledges. It is social democracy. It embraces single-payer health care and wealth redistribution.
Trends? They seem so to me.
We will wait
My family and I are longtime fans of the great Lyle Lovett. From the middle 1980s until today, we have bought his records, gone to his concerts and enjoyed many hours of listening to his wonderful music.
We were very excited when we saw that Lyle and His Large Band will be playing July 27 at the Lied Center in Lawrence. However, when looking into buying tickets online we saw a notation that starting July 1 in Kansas, people would be able to carry concealed weapons into events such as the concert we were interested in attending.
I’m sorry to say that our family will wait until Lovett appears in Missouri, where these kinds of crazy laws are not yet in effect. (I hope I didn’t give a bright idea to some up-and-coming Republican legislator in the Show-Me State.)
We all should be able to go to concerts and other events with our families and not have to worry whether the person next to us has a gun.
I just want to thank you for having Mary Sanchez on your staff. She is excellent.
I know it can’t be easy to report on such controversial issues, but we need that in society — someone who just tells the truth.
I am sure you hear a lot of criticisms as well, but please know that it is imperative to have the truth be told if our world is ever going to have any semblance of balance.
A strange request
I find it ironic that a plea for help with Kansas City’s violent crime comes from an editorial board that has been very critical of the new Missouri governor. (July 13, 12A, “Violent crime in Kansas City deserves governor’s attention”) The plea for money to help a city that houses the critics’ offices seems rather crass.
Gov. Eric Greitens was elected to the office without the help of Kansas City voters. The Kansas City Star sits in the middle of a hotbed of “I saw nothing and know nothing” good citizens who are afraid for their lives.
The editorial board members should look in the mirror and ask themselves: What can we do to help witnesses come forward without the fear of being murdered?
A bit of advice to the editorial board. Don’t criticize those from whom you may need help.
Future headline: Huge asteroid headed for Earth! Republican survival plan features tax cuts for the wealthy!
Last week, all I heard on ESPN was that the Major League Baseball All-Star Game was boring and meaningless. The American League won when Seattle’s Robinson Cano hit a home run in the top of the ninth against former Royal Wade Davis, the best reliever in the game.
How is that boring?
If the Royals’ Ned Yost hadn’t managed the American League to victory in the All-Star Game in 2015, the Mets would have had home-field advantage against the Royals, and I truly believe they would have won the World Series. The game no longer determines home field for the World Series, but it is far from meaningless.
P.S. Good pitching always shuts down good hitting.