Masks and Antivaxers

With the very real possibility that mask mandates will return, I wonder why so many people think their rights are being violated. I just don’t get it.


I know a young man who refuses to get the vaccine. He believes his friends over doctors and health officials. But then he is 18, and we all know that 18-year-olds possess a vast amount of knowledge and life experience.

How to Beat the Virus

Armed with the belief that the County Commission would call for new masking guidelines, a crowd gathered outside the chambers last week. Despite the assurance from the Chairman that masking was not on the agenda. During the public comment session, most speakers ranted during their two minutes about their rights being violated; some cited studies found on the internet, which they interpreted to mean masks, vaccines, and distancing are not necessary.

Wonder where their medical degree is from?

I was reminded of a dear high school friend who contracted polio in the 1950s as a child. I wanted to know how she felt, so I called her. While using a wheelchair, she graduated college, married, and raised a family. Today she celebrates life as a happy grandmother. She remembers asking her mother why she needed the vaccine when she already had polio. She said her mother told her she needed it to protect the rest of her body. As I recall, the was little opposition to getting the polio shot or later sugar cube with vaccine.

As I write, employers around the country are mandating vaccinations or, at the least weekly covid tests. There will be opposition, but I feel it’s past time to take a stricter approach to slow the spread of this virus. School is bout to start, and I worry about my grandchildren. They seem at ease wearing masks, but some school boards are saying no mask mandates this year. I don’t think this is the right message to send to our kids.
Luckily, I am vaccinated and live in a community where most others are as well. However, when I do venture out, you will know me by my mask.


…That’s 30 for today.

Capitol or Capital ?

Oaky, I was wrong in my post earlier this week. I could use the excuse that autocorrect was responsible for the mistake, but I’d be flat-out lying. I should know that it is the U.S. Capitol; some capital-funded it.
I was able to correct my error, but only after the few people that follow my ramblings had read it. Now their suspicions are confirmed. I too often hit send or publish before proofing.

Egg on my Face

So, with “egg on my face,” totally embarrassed, I hope I have learned a lesson. Meanwhile, a new investigation into the Jan. 6th attack is starting, and I’ll probably have an opinion or two. If only I remember to proof the post.

…that’s 30, hope I’m forgiven.

Capitol attack investigation

We watched in horror on January 6th as an angry mob attacked our nation’s Capitol. But, unfortunately, some politicians elected to serve our country are now dodging reality and downplaying the most severe nature of this insurrection. We have even heard some say things like it was nothing more than tourists visiting the Capitol. How ridiculous.

The formation of an independent commission to investigate this attack on our democracy passed the House; however, Republican party leaders have opposed this investigation. Even though some Republican Senators approve of the Commission, others voted against it. This citizen finds it unbelievable that any U.S. Senator could resist getting all the details of this planned and coordinated attack. I suggest it is their duty and obligation, and one that overrides party loyalty.

We are now six months since the attack on our nation’s Capitol, and while there have been about 500 arrests, there is more to be known about what appears to be an organized effort. Credible reports indicate some of those involved were military, ex-military, or law enforcement. They were individuals trained beyond that of most citizens and acted in an organized way.

Those who helped plan and promote this attack are as guilty as those who invaded our Capitol. I believe those politicians who blocked the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate are also culpable and need to be held accountable. I wonder how many that would not support the investigation are soon to be up for election?

What was the role of the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and the Proud Boys? Where their elected officials that by their rhetoric helped facilitate this crime? Is there any truth to stories that some of the insurgents toured the capitol days before the attack? Were so-called early intelligence reports ignored? Did someone delay the arrival of additional officers or guardsmen? We, the American public, deserve to have answers and those found guilty need to be punished. Many times in my lifetime, horrendous crimes were pushed to the side, hopefully, to be forgotten…until the next one. They say history repeats itself.

…That’s 30, God Bless America.

Fatherhood

Today is my 47th Fathers Day, and I’m so very fortunate. Now retired, living in a safe and secure community. Yes, I am privileged. I live close to my three children and nine grandchildren, and I proudly watch as they meet the challenges of raising a family in today’s society.

I grew up during the proverbial “Happy Days” when for the most part, Dad worked, and Mom stayed home to manage the family. While my children have not followed that exact model, I am most proud of how they are there for each other. Yes, they can, and do, disagree at times, but when push comes to shove, they have each other’s back. I watch as my grandchildren, ages 5 through 18, develop and grow as individuals. Each has a very different personality, strengths, weaknesses, and dreams for the future.

As I said, I am among the privileged. I can’t help but think of the Fathers estranged or separated for their children—the Fathers who have lost a child and the Fathers struggling as single parents. Fatherhood is in itself a privilege and an honor. I am proud to honor my Dad on this Father’s Day, and while he is no longer with us, he served his family, country, and his maker the best he could.

So today, let us lift all men who are blessed to become a father, a most sacred calling.

...that’s 30. Thanks Dad.

American History or Political Stunt?

Earlier this month, 14 Republican state attorney generals signed a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stating that public schools should not receive grant funds to teach about critical race theory. The so-called concern stems partially from research and new findings of the role of slavery in the formation of our country.

Think about what we have learned just this year about racism and our society. Are we more “woke” as we discover new information about the role of slavery and those kept in servitude and isolation?

It makes me think that Black Lives Matter is more than a movement focusing on police brutality. In reading articles in the acclaimed 1619 Project of the New York Times, I’m struck by the amount of history missing from my education. The most recent 60 Minutes broadcast told the story of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Another example of events ignored by educators, historians, and those whom we look to for leadership. I find credibility in that people of color are helping revise the story of the impact of slavery on our country, and they do it with a unique perspective.

I am disgusted by the political divide that continues to permeate more and more elements of our communities. Apparently, these attorney’s general believe they can gain favor and political support by playing the race card. Their letter was blatantly political and should not be a factor in the decision of those education professionals.

..that’s 30, We can learn from this.

Scams, cons and fraud.

I like to think while I may be older, I’m not naive. Unfortunately, however, even the best of us can all fall for a well-conceived scam. As technology develops and we age, a slippery slope can arise, and extreme caution is necessary. The F.B.I. says senior fraud accounts for some $3 billion in losses annually, and it’s growing. For example, in 2020, the F.B.I. reports they saw a 69% increase in fraud complaints over the previous year.

The pandemic and isolation compounded these crimes, according to law enforcement. In just the past few months, I have received calls from a robotic voice claiming to be from Social Security, another claiming to be from Amazon saying a problem with my credit card for the new iPhone I ordered. But, of course, these calls were scams. Then there are the constant sales phishing calls about my car’s expiring warranty.

My favorite experience with a con artist was when I received the “Grandparents” scam call. The voice on the other end said, “Hello grandpa, it’s me and I’m in trouble. I’ve been arrested and I need bail money.” Thankfully, I had heard of this before, and I knew where my grandkids were, so I told the caller, “Too bad, I never really liked you anyway,” the caller quickly hung up.

How do these cons get your information? They gather much of your personal information from your social media. Law enforcement uses social media as well to track criminal activity and identities. One federal investigator told me we need to keep making people aware of how criminals get your information. Remember, Social Security, the I.R.S., and government agencies will not call you demanding money or gift cards.

 The Overland Park Police Department says the “grandparents phone scam” is the one they see more often. Another example is a scammer who sent someone to the victim’s house in a recent local case. The victim took cash out to the street and gave it to a courier who left with the funds. Other instances involved victims instructed to purchase gift cards or go to an A.T.M. and withdraw some money.

In 2020 the F.B.I. reports 3,457 Kansans were victims of various scams amounting to about $19 million in losses. The F.B.I. says seniors are targets because we tend to be trusting and polite. However, many senior victims never report these crimes as they feel embarrassed or concerned that family members may think they can no longer care for themselves. Authorities also say Seniors are more often a target because they are available, have savings and other assets.

A spokeswoman for the Kansas City F.B.I. field office says Romance and Confidence screams are what they see the most. A Romance scam is where perpetrators gain the trust of their victims, eventually convincing them to send them money. A confidence scam is where the criminal convinces the victim they are acting in their best interest. The “grandparents call” is an example. If you get a call like this, police say hang up and call the agency reportedly holding your loved one to verify the claim.

If you believe you or someone you know may have been a victim of elder fraud, contact your local F.B.I. field office or submit a tip online. You can also file a complaint with the F.B.I.’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

….that’s 30…stay safe.

Highway Trash, Who is Responsible?

In celebration of last week’s Earth Day, I want to showcase the litter on our highways. Over the previous five years, I have been appalled by the amount of trash on the highways in the Kansas City Metro area. I have complained to county commissioners, state highway officials, and city officials, claiming it is not their responsibility.

Some say most of the litter comes from trash trucks on their way to the landfill. Until recently, I believed that could contribute to the problem, but was not the sole reason. However, I happened to follow a large Waste Management truck for a few miles, during which time a large amount of trash flew out of the truck onto the highway. From the looks of our highways, how can this be acceptable?

That experience was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I knew I had to do more to address the problem. So I called the City Managers’ office was told, “we hear about this all the time, and there is nothing we can do. You need to contact Waste Management”. The only problem is Waste Management’s phone number is to a call center that keeps you on hold for a long time, and if you don’t have an account, they don’t know to who you should be connected.

During my wait to speak to a manager, the recording touts, “We don’t think green…we act green”. I want senior management to drive around the area and then tell me they are acting green.

Trash-strewn roads are not just unsightly; the debris collects in drain systems and crate hazards. So, happy earth day, please don’t litter.

Gun Violence, a never ending story.

Ten more innocents are dead this week in what was the seventh mass shooting this year. Police say they believe the suspect used an AR-15 style pistol he purchased just six days before the shootings.

Again we are asking why? Why does the greatest nation on earth have such a poor record of making progress in this pandemic of gun violence? The politicians are quick to send their prayers and condolences. What if they would act with the same resolve to reach common-sense laws to protect us from more gun violence. I believe this is not a partisan issue. It is an American disgrace, and we all are guilty of allowing this to continue.

AR-556

Living in Kansas, I can predict the lack of support for stricter background checks or other legislation to curb gun violence. I’m not suggesting we take any guns away, but I believe we can make significant progress to end this mass slaughter. We need to make our voices heard.

If our elected would attack this issue with the same tenacity as they do abortion, which I also despise, imagine what could happen. I don’t understand how one life issue is more important than another. I believe the Right to Life starts at conception and ends with natural death.

Where are the ‘Captains of Industry”? In the long run, violence is impacting their bottom line. The cost of health care, security, and loss of productivity are well known. Could the increasing gun violence in the Kansas City metro be a factor in the number of significant employers leaving the area? These businesses have a collective voice that politicians will not ignore, but yet there is silence.

Now we have another growing concern; domestic terrorism. Perhaps, these groups of so-called patriots have always been around, but now they have been invited to commit seditious acts. I’m concerned these groups are as dangerous as the lone-wolf mass terrorists.

Why does anyone need an AR-15 or other automatic weapon? I’ve never heard of a deer taken with something designed for our military. I do support hunters and other responsible gun owners. They do understand the responsibility of owning and using firearms, unlike the teenager who shows up at a protest claiming to “protect” others’ rights and ends up killing someone?.

Yes, these are complicated issues, but we should not lose focus on this scourge of our American way of life.

…that’s 30. Come on America, we can do better.

Empty Words

Empty language is what I am calling the plethora of statements, sayings, and other jargon that continue to dominate political speak.

The Kansas Attorney General, now a gubernatorial candidate, was quoted as saying he offers “common sense and conservative leadership.” What does that mean? In my view, it is just empty language. Words he thinks will resonate with the people of Kansas. He then goes on to claim, “The intolerant left is trying to shame and silence conservative voices.”

Intolerance is a lack of respect for practices or beliefs other than one’s own.

Hummm…seems to me there is more than enough “intolerance” on both sides of the political spectrum. One of the attorney general’s primary opponents was quick to jump in by asking, “Who is the most conservative.” How soon might they say “My Dad is tougher than your Dad” I’m not sure how much longer I can “tolerate” these empty statements. I’ll listen to and consider the candidate of either party who can communicate his or her position without blame, falsehoods or innuendo.

So, it begins a political battle laced with empty language. If both parties’ leadership were able to tone down the rhetoric and encourage their candidates to speak the plain truth, maybe we could get to the core of some of the problems that face our state.

…that’s 30

We May Never Know

We will never know what the Impeachment trial vote would have been if it was a secret ballot. At the trial’s conclusion, some speculated that quite a few senators would have changed if their vote had been secret ballot. But that’s not how our country works.
It is sad to think that many have put party politics first. Some had made up their minds even before the trial started, which, in my humble opinion, is shameful.

Trump Rally

I believe any reasonable person who followed events leading up to the Inauguration, the January 6th riot, and the trial would undoubtedly believe the former President orchestrated the attack on our Capitol.

While I am not surprised with the outcome, I am concerned about the impact on our culture. Does this send a message that white privilege is permissible? The march and attack were well planned. While a few people of color were seen, the racist overtones of the attack were deafening. We must work on ending racism in our country.

On this day after the trial, I have the feeling that “other shoe is yet to drop.” I’d like to know what prosecutors across the county are doing. How much was the Trump campaign involved in the planning and logistics of the attack? Who was giving the former President tips and advice? I find it hard to believe he was the lone and yet un-indicted conspirator.

I trust the Fourth Estate will not let this all fade away, and in the words of Paul Harvey, we will learn “the rest of the story.”

…that’s 30. Be Kind. Be Civil. Be Honest.