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A Kansas City area independent book store sponsored a book event featuring Rachel Maddow at the Uptown Theater this afternoon. A crowd of approximately fifteen hundred attended. For the price of admission they received a signed copy of Rachel Maddow’s book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, and got to listen to a ninety minute conversation with the author.

The early contingent of a very jovial “sold out” crowd we estimate at

fifteen hundred for the event was already lined up before noon for the 2:00 p.m. scheduled start.

Mary O’Halloran (left) and Judy Baker (D) (right), a Democratic Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor,

in the audience before the start of the show.

Rachel Maddow.

A transcript of portions of the conversation:

….Rachel Maddow: …I don’t think the reaction would be as bad, um, as it was in two thousand four. I don’t, I, I actually think that there are some ways in which we have learned from this sort of national shock we had after nine eleven. For example, I don’t think that we are going to make the mistake again of conflating views on the wars with the, with respect for the troops. I think that we are now past the idea that if you are against the war that means you are somehow against members of the United States military. [applause] And you know, demagoguery on that issue is not that old, but I do think we, we quickly grew, were horrified by it and grew out of it. I mean, the, there was a Pew survey late last year of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans asking them about their views of the wars in which they had fought. And only about a third of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans said they believed that the wars were worth it. And you can’t say that they do not respect the troops. They are, they are the troops. That’s the troops speaking for themselves. And so, I, I think that we are, I think that we grew through that. And I think that we are morally, um, I think that we can be temporarily moral, morally susceptible to demagoguery like that, but I actually think that our hearts are in the right place. I think that when somebody puts a magnetic yellow ribbon on the bumper of their SUV and somebody else is, you know, next to them in traffic in the bike lane cursing their magnetic yellow ribbon on their SUV, the impotence of that gesture, I actually think that both of those things come from the same place. I think that both of tho, I feel for, I feel for both  of the characters in that anecdote because both of them want to have a real and respectful connection with the military that has been fighting wars in our name while we have done nothing to represent, to, or even, or, or even mimic their sacrifice.  [applause] ….

….Rachel Maddow: …We certainly have the option with, um, the new technological means by which we have access to media. We have the option to be really irresponsible about it. You definitely can tailor all of your news so that you see nothing that is not about a member of the Kardashian family and yourself. [laughter] Right? You can, you can do that. You can just be, you know, like weather and the Royals and the Kardashians and Paula Deen. [laughter] Just have that for your news. And that can be, and that can be a very satisfying way to live. [laughter] Um, depending on how passionate you feel about Paula Deen. [laughter] But, or any of those other things. But, uh, you also have the opportunity to be way more responsible in your news reading, in your news gathering than you ever could have been before when we sort of all only, when we all only had access to these voice of God three network newscasts, um, in their purported objectivity, right? Um, and national newspapers and whatever we could get reported [inaudible]. When that was all we had you could be the most responsible newsgatherer on Earth and still have, let’s say, no idea what was going on with, you know, some, some technological issue that was being debated in Congress that you actually had relevant expertise about but you have, you didn’t know was happening ’cause it didn’t come to you through your work trade journals. Right? But now, if there is some thing going on in Congress, if there’s some regulation being debated, if there’s some controversy over something that you know about, that you have access to good information about and that you ought to be contributing in that debate, you can get as deep in to that, the daily information reporting about that, as anybody anywhere on Earth. You can get daily detailed news reports from Mombassa, Kenya from here in Kansas City. You can get very opinion, you, you can get very detailed information about small towns anywhere in our country, about technical issues anywhere in our country, and about deep, you can get deep access political opinion you never could get before. I mean, we do have the option to hive off into ideological bubbles that make us happy. But we also have access to everybody else’s bubbles, too….

Photo by Jerry Schmidt, Show Me Progress

Photo by Jerry Schmidt, Show Me Progress

After the event we walked a few blocks south on Broadway to find a place to eat. We stumbled upon a newly open establishment, Open Fire – Wood Burning Pizza, and had a good meal.