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Metro Op-Ed / Durwin Rice
Published 10/22/2009 - 8:36 p.m. CDT

By Durwin Rice

While the city struggles to mow vacant lots with multiples of $400,000 and $400,000 and then, again $400,000 budgets, has anyone ever stopped to think about our apparent obsession with mowed lots?

Does it have anything to do with the insane residents of Olathe, Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs and Parkville who spend all their discretionary time working on their out-of-doors in an apparent pursuit of creating an expansive and manicured green lawn worthy of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews?

What’s so wrong with the weeds that tower over the head of our physically imposing Mayor?

Published 10/08/2009 - 9:41 p.m. CDT

By Durwin Rice

Mention the word green at City Hall and the pols sit up straight in their chairs.

Green is good. Green is the new buzz word. Going green will save our sewers. Going green will save our economy. Going green will save the world.

It might even get you re-elected.

What more did you expect from a generation of politicians who grew up watching Popeye cartoons?

He’s strong to the finish ‘cause he eats his green spinach.

No, wait, strong isn’t really the right word. Superhero and superhuman is more like it. The guy who saves the day, gets the girl and rescues the diapered Sweet Pea from all manner of societal peril, wow…

Published 09/17/2009 - 10:35 p.m. CDT

By Durwin Rice

Close to 100 years ago the Dominican Order of Preachers decided to build a church at 23rd and Benton Blvd. It was a grand design. Planners envisioned a huge English Gothic cathedral on the hill, towering over the city.

Build it and they will come seems to have been the thought since the Order was troubled by insufficient funding from the start. Nevertheless, in 1911 the work began, a basement was dug and a foundation built before funds were quickly depleted. So, the foundation was covered and not until 14 years later did work begin on the church again.

But, everybody knows that cathedrals take years, decades or even centuries to build. Just look at the world’s largest gothic cathedral St. John the Divine in New York City where work began in 1892. 117 years later, it’s still not completed or even anywhere close.

Published 09/03/2009 - 11:01 p.m. CDT

Vassily Maximovich Maximov (1844(1844)–1911(1911)) (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

By Durwin Rice

The health care debate is making me sick.


America’s brightest and best, America’s biggest and loudest, America’s most powerful and Americans with nothing but a Magic Marker and some poster board are all forecasting like Clytemnestra the perils of doing either this or that or nothing at all to fix or not to fix America’s health care system which either is or isn’t broken depending who you choose to listen to.

Published 08/20/2009 - 9:41 p.m. CDT

The interior of the largest Whole Foods in the United States, located on Houston Street in the East Village of New York City. (Photo: David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons)

By Durwin Rice

Oh great, now I have to start spending more at the grocery.

My compassionate liberal friends have apparently picked up the stirring spoon without first reaching for their oven mitts.

Ouch, that must’ve hurt!

How dare Whole Foods’ CEO and progressive healthy foods retailer John Mackey pen his conservative health care opinions in the Wall Street Journal!

Simply outrageous! And, certainly now, they know for a fact that the world will only be a better place if they find someplace else in town to buy their bok choi.

Published 09/10/2009 - 10:04 p.m. CDT

Paul Gauguin: Eve - Don't Listen to the Liar (1889, Watecolor and paste)

By Durwin Rice

It was spectacular.

Speaker Pelosi just couldn’t believe it.

“You lie!” exploded from the right. No, wait, all heads turned left.

Even the President looked and paused.

Then he continued “It’s not true”. But it’s not clear if the milder version of “You lie” (i.e. “It’s not true) was part of the speech or in response to the Congressman’s bad behavior.

So, there was no real extemporaneous oratorical flourish to answer the rude outburst and the President continued on as Pelosi continued to stare, her jaw hanging open, astounded. Like Super Nanny about to set things straight, but no microphone was pinned to her bosom. One sensed, though, that she probably sat on a paddle.

Published 08/27/2009 - 3:52 p.m. CDT

By Durwin Rice

Puppies are cute for some very good reasons.

They invite fleas and other parasites into your home. They pee on your rug. They vomit their disdain for the designer-labeled puppy chow you lavished on them because they’d much rather chew on your favorite shoes.

And, they flat out enjoy biting you with their tiny and intensely sharp teeth.

Puppies are simply so obnoxious that a good percentage of them get “returned” to an animal shelter or, in too many cases, abandoned on a country road before they reach adulthood.