Wednesday, 5/21/14, Public Square



by | May 21, 2014 · 6:00 am

15 responses to “Wednesday, 5/21/14, Public Square

  1. Even if they told us – what are the chances they are telling the truth?

    I am convinced that some folks would sell their own mother’s soul for an extra damn dime.

  2. Here is a goal I think would be worthy of attempting —

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” — Voltaire

    • Here’s an example of a man I often disagree with expressing reactions to differences and being courteous —

      Mike Rowe (the man I often disagree with) responds to a person who found fault with his appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher:

      “Mike – Saw you hangin with Bill Maher. I had no idea you were a liberal. Really blew me away. Love everything you do but now that I know who you really are, I won’t be tuning in to watch anything your involved with.”

      Well, hi there, Bob. How’s it going? Since your comment is not the only one of its kind, I thought I’d take a moment to address it.

      Bill Maher is opinionated, polarizing and controversial. I get it. So is Bill O’Reilly, which is probably why I heard the same comments after I did his show. (“How could you Mike? How could you?”)

      Truth is, every time I go on Fox, my liberal friends squeal. And every time I show up on MSNBC, my conservative pals whine. Not because they disagree with my position – everyone agrees that closing the skills gap is something that needs to happen. No, these days, people get bent simply if I appear on shows they don’t like, or sit too close to people they don’t care for.

      What’s up with that? Is our country so divided that my mere proximity to the “other side” prompts otherwise sensible adults to scoop up their marbles and go home?

      Back in 2008, I wrote an open letter to President Obama, offering to help him promote those 3 million “shovel-ready” jobs he promised to create during his campaign. (I suspected they might be a tough sell, given our country’s current relationship with the shovel.) Within hours, hundreds of conservatives accused me of “engaging with a socialist,” and threatened to stop watching Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe if I didn’t come to my senses.

      When I made the same offer to Mitt Romney (who actually responded), thousands of liberals chastised me for “engaging with a greedy capitalist,” and threatened to stop watching Dirty Jobs if I didn’t take it back.

      You may ask, “But what did these people think about the issue at hand?” Who knows? They were too busy being outraged by my proximity to the devil. (Poor Ed Shultz at MSNBC nearly burst into tears. “You were on the wrong stage, Mike! The wrong stage!! With the wrong candidate!!!”)


      Here’s the thing, Bob – Profoundly Disconnected ( is not a PR campaign for Mike Rowe. It’s a PR campaign for skilled labor and alternative education. PR campaigns need … that’s right, PR, and if I limit my appearances to those shows that I personally watch, hosted only by those personalities with whom I personally agree, I might as well start a church and preach to the choir.

      Point is, I didn’t go on Real Time to endorse BM, and I didn’t go on The Factor to endorse BO. I went on because millions of people watch those shows. I approached our liberal president for the same reason. Likewise, his conservative opponent. And I showed up on Sesame Street with the same agenda that I took to Congress.

      Closing the skills gap is bigger than you or me or any particular venue, and Real Time gave me an opportunity to reach 5 million people. I’m grateful for that, and I’ll do it again if they want me back.

      As for Bill Maher off-camera, you’ll be pleased to know that the guy was a perfect gentleman. His staff is excellent, and his after-party included an open bar with a spread I’ve never seen in such a setting. Bill took the time to hang out with his guests and their friends after the show, chatting about this and that for over an hour, and taking pictures with anyone who wanted one. Trust me, that’s rare.

      Yes, he’s outrageous, inflammatory, and to many, a jagged little pill. But he’s also gracious, generous, engaging, and taller than he appears on TV.

      Which, frankly, surprised me.

      • Personally, I have never seen the attraction to Mike Rowe but ….what he describes as the different sides being so polarized is a real problem.

        That being said – isn’t polarizing and keeping the hatred pot stirred is the main objective of these political shows and hate talk radio?

        There are many millionaire mouthpieces that would not want to see these two groups finding common ground.

        Hell – prominent Republican leaders were down the street from the White House during Obama’s first inauguration and they were plotting to bring the new president down…..and then went out to the public and proudly exclaimed the downfall of Obama was their #1 goal.

        Does anyone else remember this SHIT that actually happened?

        Truth is – people will say they want an honest man for president – but they had that in Jimmy Carter and what did the folks do to that poor man just because he dared to tell them to put on a sweater and that we needed to find alternative energy sources. That was back in the late 70’s.

        People will say they want the two groups to compromise and find a way to work together – but in reality, our society is so used to this mentality of how many bullies does it take to make a good realty t.v. episode? How high will the ratings go everytime some moron says things like Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin, Cliven Bundy, Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin (to name a few) and the money keeps pouring in for those above mentioned millionaire mouthpieces.

        Truth is – there are very few people willing to do the hard work to actually accomplish goals.

        People would rather sit back on the fat asses, drink their super-sized designer coffees, wolf down their over-priced deep fried chicken sandwiches and to kiss that picture of the Pope or their favorite Evangelical Preacher/Televangelist while they sit in front of their personal favorite millionaire mouthpiece in an attempt to make themselves feel morally superior.

      • BTW – being courteous in our society has become a relic from my childhood.

        These past few weeks have enlightened me to a very real problem – people in authority oftentimes refuse to acknowledge there is a problem.

        What do you do then when that problem is a bully picking on your child?

        For all our big talk about how Americans are so morally superior because we are a Christian nation and God has blessed us – I’ve come to the conclusion we are nothing more than a bunch of big fat hypocrits.

      • P.S. – this particular bully has already written two letters of apology to my granddaughter (one from day care and one from elementary school).

        But the problem persists – when the bully does not get her way the next time.

        But yet the teacher sends down the victim to the counselor?

        What about the zero tolerance on bullying? This little bully (and the other known bully in the same classroom) have NEVER been suspended from school.

        The other little bully has been doing her thing for the past 3 years and this year, seven parents went in to complain about her. And STILL nothing has been done about that little bully.

        Which is why I said above – when authorities refuse to acknowledge there is a problem, then what is one supposed to do?

        I am about ready to open up a can of whoop ass…..and I’m old enough to know how to do it…and old enough to not care if they like it or not..

      • “There are many millionaire mouthpieces that would not want to see these two groups finding common ground.”

        That is great wisdom, Indy! You are so correct that if we the people weren’t at one another’s throats the wealthy would have a great deal of trouble controlling everything.


    My primary care doctor used to be a caring, compassionate and nice man.

    I still think he has those same qualities – but since the Catholic Health Care Mafia bought out his office, this man is on a constant run. He comes into the exam room out of breath and apologizes for being so rushed.

    I’ve said more than once – they’ve got you running around here like a chicken with its head cut off – don’t they? He just looked at me as if to say ‘Help me’…..

    I am lucky if I get a full 5 minutes with the man – and this is when he is physically examining me for a specific complaint. He will sit down and look through his drug list to see which pill he can prescribe…

    And then on top of all this – his prices for this office visit has doubled – and if I get lab – it has tripled in price.

    Whenever I hear CONservatives screech about how Obamacare has ruined health care – I just reply with – you did notice the Catholics bought out the majority of health care clinics and hospitals knowing that Obamacare was being implemented. Do you really think Catholics are going to go into a money-losing business?

    Think again, honey.. And don’t even get me started on their using the non-profit status as being some damn charity group that is only in the health care business because they care so damn much about people.

    It’s about M-O-N-E-Y……pure and simple….

    And these Catholics are the ones who will harass your ass for any money you owe them – they expect fully payment in 30 days. When I called for a payment plan – I asked for 6 months and the billing woman replied ‘we prefer 3 months’. Yeah, well my pocket book prefers 6 months.

    These Catholics are rude, hateful and downright nasty when they are out to get money owed to them………and I’ve heard them threaten to take people to collections over $10.00 balance owed….

    $10? Seriously?

    • Yes, seriously. When I was in private practice, I did the same (it was an empty threat, but given to whom the threat was directed, it was effective; plus, I knew they could pay the damn bill in full, there were no complaints about it when received, and I am not the bank). I also did not do this, depending upon the circumstances.

      The same folks wrote off over $200,000 of my medical bills from the stroke and rehabilitation I went through (uninsured due to a number of factors). I paid them as much as I could, to be sure, exhausting what savings remained after the co-pays, deductibles, etc., from my wife’s final illness. My experience illustrates a truism: those without insurance cost others with insurance or who can otherwise pay the freight more. Do I like what I’m seeing in the Wichita medical community? No, I don’t, while recognizing our costs are still well below the national average, and that your 5 minutes is not atypical of some experiences I (and others) had in other locales 40 years ago.

      • I remember my family doctor when growing up. This guy was wonderful.

        When I say he was the family doctor – I mean the entire family – from my great grandparents, grandparents to aunts, uncles, cousins and everyone in between.

        This is what made this doctor so wise – he knew the dynamics of our family. He knew everyone, where they worked, what type of work they did, if they were having problems with their kids in school, or problems sleeping, eating, etc.

        He knew more than just what some physical exam would show him on that particular day in time.

        This man truly cared about his patients. To this day, I can remember this doctor’s office.

        It had a complete wall of those old glass blocks (remember them) and the smell of rubbing alcohol hit my nose the minute my name was called and my mother walked in with me to see the doctor.

        This family doctor took brought the babies into the world and he was there when my grandpa fell over in his backyard from a heart attack. That doctor actually cried in the waiting room at the hospital when he came out to tell the entire family that our loving Grandpa was no longer with us.

        This doctor also did not live in a gated community. He had a nice house – but he was a neighbor in the same community that his patients called home.

        This doctor’s kids played with his patients’ kids and went to the same schools .

        Back then – the doctor was more than just someone that went to medical school and gets paid a lot of money for 5 minutes of his time to prescribe yet more pills to buy at the drugstore….

        Doctors were human beings that were treated with respect because the doctors treated their patients with respect and not like just an ATM machine ca-chinging out more profit for their corporate-owned souls.

        Health care should never be corporatized – IMHO. This is what ruined the long-term care business – IMHO. The bottom line should never be the deciding factor in health care.