Author Archives: Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr.

Sutherland: How Wrong Can You Get, Harley?

I have never claimed to be omniscient in political matters… Although politics is my spectator sport, which I follow the way many people do football, basketball, or baseball. There are just too many wild cards, too many variables that can … Continue reading

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Sutherland: (Democratic) Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

One of the all-time classic Twilight Zone episodes starred William Shatner, as a salesman who had suffered a nervous breakdown on a commercial airline flight… After six months’ confinement in a sanatorium, his wife arranges to have him released and … Continue reading

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Sutherland: The Intellectual Roots of Trumpism

There has been next to no explanation of where the Trump Phenomenon has come from as far as its ideological provenance goes… We have seen some commentators dismiss it as a classic anti-intellectual right-wing populist movement, akin to the George … Continue reading

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Sutherland: Two Different Commencements, Two Different Countries.

Recently, one of the speakers at Harvard University’s commencement exercises caused a nationwide sensation…   A young African-American man from North Carolina named Donovan Livingston, who was receiving his masters degree from the School of Education, recited a “word poem” … Continue reading

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Sutherland: Interpreting Thomas Frank’s “Listen, Liberal”

I heard Tom Frank speak recently at the Kansas City Public Library about his new book, “Listen, Liberal”.  I’ve known Tom since 2003, when he interviewed me for his earlier book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” His latest book does … Continue reading

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Sutherland: Living in the ‘Guilted Age’

I have been fortunate enough to hear Tom Wolfe speak in person about his writing several times over the last 40 years.  The first time was in 1970, when he gave the Carolyn Cockefair Benton Lecture at U.M.K.C. Wolfe talked about … Continue reading

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Sutherland: Fanfare for an Uncommon Man

Two months ago one of the most interesting people in Kansas City was laid to rest after a funeral “fit for a field marshall” (in the words of Alec Guiness from the 1959 classic “Tunes of Glory”)… The life of … Continue reading

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Sutherland: What’s Wrong with America?

People have been asking for my take on this year’s presidential race…  And as someone who’s been a political enthusiast for decades, I should be able to make an informed guess on what’s likely to happen in both parties, right? … Continue reading

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Sutherland: It All Ties Together in Conspiracy World

When I was in college years ago, I was part of a campus conservative group called Undergraduates for a Stable America. (USA, get it?) Being wise-guy college boys, we used to liven up our monthly meetings by inviting local John … Continue reading

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Sutherland: Trump, Sanders? Flip a Coin

The election prospects for this country a year out are appalling in both parties… Both the Republican and the Democratic races have been dominated, at least in terms of excitement and enthusiasm, by demagogues.  We have a Fascist (Donald Trump) … Continue reading

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Sutherland: No More Mr. Nice Guy; Steve Rose Bears Thorns

“Afterwards, you rue the fact that you’ve been so kind.” Adolph Hitler, April 27,1945. (Last recorded remarks) R. Crosby Kemper, III has done an outstanding job running the Kansas City Missouri Public Library. He’s overseen the upgrading of library facilities … Continue reading

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Sutherland: Planned Parenthood Pleading in the Alternative

Last week I met an old friend for lunch downtown…  I got there a few minutes early so I walked around the block, both to kill time and to see the old office building where I’d worked for many years. … Continue reading

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Sutherland: History Doesn’t Repeat Itself, But It Does Rhyme!

  The foregoing quote is attributed to Mark Twain… I’ve always understood it to mean that some events reoccur in history with spooky similarity, even though they are not exactly alike in all the particulars. See if you can tell … Continue reading

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Sutherland: An Unresolved Dichotomy @ 18th & Grand

During the Cold War, analysts at the CIA would parse every word in the Soviet Union’s official newspaper, “Pravda,” and in the Red Chinese counterpart, “The People’s Daily.” This was to search for subtle shifts in meaning and emphasis in … Continue reading

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Sutherland: World War I and The Rise of Modernism

The Nelson-Atkins Museum has another landmark exhibition to its credit… Not since the 1977 sensation, “Sacred Circles,” a tribute to the art of the American Plains Indians, has there been such a stand-out success that is entirely the Nelson’s doing. … Continue reading

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Hearne: Down But Not Out, Jason Whitlock @ the Crossroads…Again

Human nature’s a bitch… Most of us like to think of ourselves as taking the high road, but do we? The fact is, everybody likes a sexy story – a peek behind the scenes at wrongdoing – a fall from grace … Continue reading

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Sutherland: NC-17 Rated Urban Myths of the Heartland

Every culture has its myths and legends… These establish societal norms that are passed on from one generation to the next, reflecting the values which govern that particular community. In Kansas City, one of the most enduring popular folk tales … Continue reading

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Sutherland: Something I Will Miss About The Star

With a number of insiders predicting the imminent demise of the Kansas City Star, I have to confess there’s one feature I will really miss if it goes… I know I date myself by this, but I’ll miss the obituaries. … Continue reading

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Sutherland: When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Michelle Johnson, the Kansas City Star’s ‘Diversity Diva’, was able to put succinctly into words an idea that I had struggled with for some time… Johnson drew on her experience as an employment lawyer to explain why some types of … Continue reading

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Sutherland: ‘Mad Men’ Finale or Snark Hunting, Part Deux

In a couple of weeks, the last season of “Mad Men,” AMC’s award winning drama series, will begin… Greeted with both critical and popular acclaim when it debuted in 2007, the show has gone from strength to strength and Matthew … Continue reading

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