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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Star's website fail

Go to the Star's website--www.kansascity.com--click on the "search" space and type in Thomas McLanahan. You get nothing. It says "0 results for 'Thomas Mclanahan.'" Good site. Not. Apparently it only responds if you type in his entire, official name E. Thomas McLanahan. Way to "get it", Star.

Local columnist so wrong on defense spending

A few days ago, columnist for the Star E. Thomas McLanahan wrote a piece warning that we--the US--need to absolutely keep our defense spending where it is or, as so many Right Wingers do, he warned we'd lose our strength and power and some such rot. Nonsense. He's wrong on so many levels, it's nearly obscene. First of all, we spend so far much more on defense than any nation on the planet, it's already nearly insanity, by itself. We spend approximately 698 billion dollars, annually, on defense and no other nation remotely comes close to spending that much. And that's just what's on the books. It's fairly common knowledge that, actually, we spend far more than that. China, for instance, if they're our next big threat, only spends $114 billion annually, by comparison. I won't tear Mr. McLanahan's article completely apart here (see link below) but will point out that a) if Europe would pick up the tab for their own defense and b) we stop trying to fight WWII, what with outposts still in Italy, Germany and other spots across the world we don't need and finally, c) if we cut the waste and fraud in the defense budget (see link below), we could easily, easily cut the amount we spend by half--as we should--and so, actually strengthen the country. We could apply that amount to both our debt and our infrastructure (health care, roads, highways, education, etc.) We didn't learn France's lessons on Vietnam and we went in. Big mistake. We didn't learn the Soviet Union's lessons on Afghanistan and we went in. Same thing. Now we don't seem to be able to learn the Soviet Union's lessons, again, on huge defense spending, which actually ended up breaking their nation. Could we please learn from history? And soon? >Links: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/27/3104282/defense-cuts-and-the-achilles.html; http://news.yahoo.com/panel-widespread-waste-fraud-war-spending-053533054.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

KCMO School District questions now

The Kansas City Star reports today that Airick Leonard West, "Mr. Three Names", is stepping down from the School Board of the KCMO School District. With that, now there is now a big question this brings up: Is he stepping down because he meddled in the direction of the District and the Superintendent's job or did he do something/anything inapproporiate--even illegal--in the letting of a bid or bids for the District? Which is it? And if it isn't either of these, then why is he stepping down? I tell you what, there had better be a full examination of what went on at the District in the last couple years, to see if anything done was illegal. Then, if it was illegal, there had better be charges filed. Everyone's tired of that nonsense and agrees it should have stopped years ago. The people of Kansas City deserve far better. Link to original story: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/30/3110468/tomorrow-to-be-covingtons-last.html

I'm so old...

...I remember when YouTube didn't offer an "automatic play" option on our "favorites" list. THAT old. (I will say, this feature is WAY overdue. I'd looked for it for quite some time).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

KCMO player on "Top 100 HS Football Prospects" list

Yes sir, one Ondre Pipkins from Park Hill High School is rated number 53 of 100 of the Top 100 High School Football Prospects on Rivals.com right now and showing on Yahoo! News. They give him 4 stars. He's 6'3", weighs 325 pounds and they say he recorded 50 tackles and 3 sacks as a junior. He's headed for Michigan, according to the posting. You can see it all here: http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/rankings/rank-2867. Congratulations, Mr. Pipkins, and good luck.

Thank you, Polsinelli, Shughart! (Now let's hear it for JJ's!)

That is some great news, what with the Polsinelli Shughart Law Firm deciding they would, in fact, build their new office building on the site of the West Edge Project. Is it a completely perfect solution? No, probably not, but it comes darn close. They get the new, sleek, mostly all glass office tower they wanted and this West Edge site gets used after all. Of course it will be some time what with having to tear down the shell of a building now, redo the foundation for the new building and then build the new one they want. Let's hear it for JJ's restaurant, their staff and clients and all their patience! This has been, probably, the worst nightmare for them, since they had to put up with the blasting and construction of this Moshe Safdie building, then waiting through this non-occupation mess and now this. I'll say this, you have to know 2 things about JJ's restaurant: first, it's great food, atmosphere and service or they wouldn't have made it. Second, they've done great marketing of the restaurant, in order to survive this business nightmare, on so many levels. Here's to you, JJ's! Salutations! There's light at the end of the tunnel! It's just going to take another year or so until, finally, there's a building across the street from you that's finished and occupied.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane and floods, of course: Next up? Wildfires on the West Coast

2011 will, I think, go down as the year of all years, in terms of weather, it seems. With Texas and Oklahoma, at least, broiling in the sun and high, high temperatures, and then all the flooding from the North central part of the country--Montana and the Dakotas--South, following the Missouri and then Mississippi Rivers. This weekend's Hurrican Irene didn't help things any and now wildfires have broken out on the West Coast in California, in and around Yosemite. I refuse to lay this at the feet of global warming or climate change, though that may well be what's contributing to it all. Instead, I merely watch the ice caps and glaciers melting and know those are surely far bigger examples of global warming's handiwork. Links: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/08/wildfire-outside-yosemite-forces-evacuations.html; http://www.google.com/#hl=en&cp=22&gs_id=1v&xhr=t&q=Yosemite+wildfires+news&pq=yosemite+wildfires&pf=p&sclient=psy&source=hp&pbx=1&oq=Yosemite+wildfires+new&aq=0w&aqi=q-w1&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=87cd2c56f2a7d925&biw=1424&bih=711

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Who ran up that debt the Right Wing doesn't want to pay, anyway?

US Federal debt increases by U.S Presidents: Reagan 186%; Bush I 54%; Clinton 41%; Bush II 72%; Obama 23%. Inconvenient truths, anyone? Source: Congressional Budget Office

In sharp and stark contrast to Dr. John Covington

There's a news story out today on Yahoo! News about a school superintendent who's in, as I said above, sharp contrast to our soon-to-be-leaving-because-he's-a-rat-deserting-a-ship-and-walking-away-from-his-commitments-and-responsibilities. This guy is--get this--giving back his annual salary of $800,000.00 to the school district even though he'll be running "325 schools and 35 school districts with 195,000 students, all for less than a starting California teacher earns." He is Fresno County (Fresno, California) School Superintendent Larry Powell and quoted saying: "How much do we need to keep accumulating?" asks Powell, 63. "There's no reason for me to keep stockpiling money." To which I have to ask, how do you suppose the Kansas City, Missouri School District could possibly find such a superintendent for our schools? Link to original story: http://news.yahoo.com/school-superintendent-gives-800k-pay-150206667.html

Before we get too excited about Libya

Okay, so sure, Libya has been apparently liberated from it's dictator, Muammar Qaddafi (or however the spelling du jour is right now) and Democracy, with a capital D is going to break out there. Hip, hip, hooray, right? Except slow down, cowboys and girls. As was pointed out last evening on "The McGlaughlin Group" on PBS, Libya is home to no less than 140 tribes. Yikes. Anybody hear Iraq in this? So no leader, thus creating a power vacuum, 140 different tribes, all jockeying for power and then you have the Shiia' and Sunnis also wanting to be "top of the heap", in terms of power. More yikes. So what has been suggested, in light of all this information? It was suggested on that same show last evening that our President Obama send in US troops so Democracy breaks out. Ugh. Not good. Fortunately, it was also suggested that maybe England and France, etc., get their troops on the ground in Libya. Now THAT'S an idea I think has great merit. Let them have at it for once. Here's hoping.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A "Dr. John Covington Lesson"

An old friend of mine works for the KCMO School District and has for several years. He works hard and has a good reputation in the District for doing what needs to be done, frankly, and being a good teacher. So much so that they made him a Teacher instructor (I can't remember the exact title) but basically, a teacher who helps teachers be better teachers. At the beginning of this school year, he was offered a great job at one of the Charter Schools, which he would have loved, first, and secondly, which are offered rarely and only to good teachers. So did he take it? No, no he didn't. And do you know why? He didn't take the better job at the better school because he had made commitments already, to the work he was supposed to be doing and because it was the beginning of the school year, for pity's sake and you just don't leave people "in the lurch" like that, scrambling for a replacement like that. At least you don't unless you're one Superintendeny Dr. John Covington. Then all bets are off. "Screw 'em", right, Dr. Covington?

The sky is falling

Not to mock the severity of this or any other hurricane but the sky is falling, basically. Where the hell was this kind of concern when a category 5 hurricane was bearing down--for days--on New Orleans and the Gulf states? Check out the coverage in the media right now. You really would think it's the end of the world. Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/27/hurricane-irene-2011-2-million-told-to-move_n_938740.html

Our own Henry Bloch says he's willing to pay higher taxes, too

Yes sir, our very own Henry Bloch of H & R Block, of course, says he, too--like Warren Buffett--would be, no, is in favor of him and other millionaires paying more in higher taxes, for the good of his--our--country. Check it out: In an interview with Fox 4 News, Mr. Bloch⁠said that “the wealthy have a debt to this country. They can afford to pay it and they should.” He then added that the Republican push to protect tax breaks for millionaires in order to create jobs is “baloney”: “That’s so baloney,” Bloch said. “Rich people don’t create jobs. Companies create jobs. You probably pay a higher rate than I do… and yet my income is probably many times what yours is.” Keeping in mind that, as the article points out, Mr. Bloch is also a lifelong Republican, too. So, to all of that, I say, first, thank you, Mr. Bloch, for your statements, honesty and truth. Second and finally, I have to say it makes me even more proud to be a Kansas Citian. Have a great weekend, y'all. Go to a 50th birthday party or something. Link to original story: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/08/27/millionaire-owner-of-hr-block-wants-to-pay-more-taxes/

An open note to Dr. John Covington

Dr. Covington, May you have someone do this to you one day--and very soon. That is, take on a responsibility and then, just as it is to get under way, they stab you in the figurative back and resign the job. It's either that or rot in hell but the first one seems far more civilized. Signed, the children and staff of the Kansas City, Missouri School District and the business community and citizens of Kansas City, Missouri. P.S. Airick Leonard West especially sends his thoughts.

Friday, August 26, 2011

KC No. 25 (of 26) of cities with most same-sex couples

News out today tells of the Williams Institute's ranking of the cities in America with the most same-sex couples and, as said above, Kansas City ranks 25th out of 26. St. Louis is number 11 and Minneapolis is number 4. Just sayin', as the saying goes. You can probably guess who's in the number one spot. Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/26/same-sex-couples-williams-institute-national-data_n_938166.html#s340532&title=Minneapolis_MN

The answers needed about Dr. Covington remain the same

I wrote these a couple days ago, right after Dr. Covington resigned. Here it is a couple days later and they're still relevant and we need answers to the following: 1) Why now? 2) Why all of a sudden? 3) It seems as though some event must have triggered this resignation, surely. What "event" was that? 4) Is there any truth to the rumor about this somehow being involved with a large ($86 million) contract Airick West is somehow supposedly involved in? Is Airick West "dirty" on this? (http://www.kctv5.com/story/15328292/covington-resigns-as-superintendent?clienttype=printable) 5) Was Dr. Covington in any way forced out? (The answer to this seems to be no but we aren't really sure). 6) If so, if that's the case, by whom? 7) Why in heck (I want to say hell) would the superintendent resign at the BEGINNING of the school year? That seems to suggest there was or is some big problem and/or reason for this resignation. 8) If that's the case, what is that big reason? 9) Was this due in part or in whole to some problem--the contract or something else--with Airick West? 10) If so, what was that problem and why is/was it insurmountable? For now, that's enough but the fact is, the answers to these questions alone would be long ones. I hope we find out soon. Links: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/24/3097178/covington-steps-down.html; http://videos.kansascity.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=108245961; http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/25/3097850/state-commissioner-says-kc-districts.html; http://voices.kansascity.com/entries/covington-could-have-handled-airick-west/; http://voices.kansascity.com/entries/benson-says-board-community-didnt-protect-covington/

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's a "Wonderful World", all right

Questions on Dr. Covington's resignation

Oh, yeah, we have questions: 1) Why now? 2) Why all of a sudden? 3) It seems as though some event must have triggered this resignation, surely. What "event" was that? 4) Is there any truth to the rumor about this somehow being involved with a large ($86 million) contract Airich West is somehow supposedly involved in? 5) Was Dr. Covington in any way forced out? 6) If so, if that's the case, by whom was he forced out? 7) Why in heck (I want to say hell) would the superintendent resign at the BEGINNING of the school year? That seems to suggest there was or is some big problem and/or reason for this resignation. 8) If that's the case, what is that big reason? 9) Was this due in part or in whole to some problem--the contract or something else--with Airick West? 10) If so, what was that problem and why is/was it insurmountable? For now, that's enough but the fact is, the answers to these questions alone would be long ones. I hope we find out soon. Links: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/24/3097178/covington-steps-down.html; http://videos.kansascity.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=108245961; http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/25/3097850/state-commissioner-says-kc-districts.html; http://voices.kansascity.com/entries/covington-could-have-handled-airick-west/; http://voices.kansascity.com/entries/benson-says-board-community-didnt-protect-covington/

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big Oil: Big profits and tax cuts from us, to boot

How much is enough? The top five oil companies in the country raked in $70 billion--that's billion--in profits the first HALF of this year. These are some of the most profitable companies in the nation and so, the world. But here's a dirty little secret they don't want us to emphasize--they get tax subsidies. Here's another not-so-secret secret--the Republicans and Right Wingers have been fighting in the last few months to have these same wealthy companies KEEP those tax subsidies--tax breaks. "Big Oil" is sqealing like a stuck pig, too, over the mere POSSIBILITY that they might lose $400 million in subsidies. It's time to stand up, folks. It's time we speak out. This is insanity. We're being gouged at the pump and then giving them tax breaks, to boot. Sound sensible to you? Links: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/29/big-oil-profits_n_913452.html; http://consumerist.com/2011/04/big-oil-companies-sucked-up-much-higher-profits-than-they-did-a-year-ago.html; http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/04/28/207983/big-oil-profits/

The latest SEC and government scandal America needs to know

A story breaking this week but that, I think, is getting far too little press tells of the SEC doing some preliminary investigations of Wall Street firms, then shutting them down and--worst of all--destroying any evidence. And why would this happen, you might ask? Well, because those very same SEC employees then get cushy, high paying jobs with the very companies they're supposed to be overseeing and regulating. And it's been going on since 1993, at least, apparently, and repeatedly. Goldman Sachs, anyone? It reminds me, once again, of the quote by Tim McIlrath: "If you're not angry, you're not paying attention." Read about it here: http://www.npr.org/2011/08/18/139758303/sec-documents-destroyed-employee-tells-congress; http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/is-the-sec-covering-up-wall-street-crimes-20110817

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

KCPT---Please!!

There are 2 shows I wish KCPT would create as a possible fund raiser for them and maybe even for the Nelson-Atkins Museum. They would be great for the city and the people interested in our history. The story of the Nelson-Atkins is one largely unknown to most Kansas Citians, both the long-time residents and the newcomers. It's a rich, wonderful story that becomes international quickly, when the associates left in the 30's, shortly after the museum was formed, to gain pieces for the gallery, as far as China. I've written about this before. The other story that would be a good one is that of Hare and Hare (later Ochsner, Hare and Hare) Landscape Architects and their work on everything in the city from Forest Hill Cemetery to the Country Club District to the Liberty Memorial, KU's and KSU's respective "master plans", Dealey Plaza in Dallas, the Harry S. Truman Library, Swope Park, the Nelson-Atkins Museum (again), Mission Hills and Loose Park, at minimum. These would be two fantastic stories lots of people in town would love to know. The Nelson could use it to boost both interest and, possibly, if done correctly, funds and donations. It would be fantastic for KCPT, to gain viewership and, again, possible donations. I see these two rich stories as nothing but a gain for KCPT, the Nelson Gallery, Kansas City and Kansas Citians. Here's hoping they happen and the sooner, the better. Links: www.ohhkc.com/, www.nelson-atkins.org/, www.kcpt.org

On those recent debt negotiations...

“Witnessing the Republicans and the Democrats bicker over the U.S. debt is analogous to watching two drunks argue over a bar bill on the Titanic.” --line in a recent editorial of the Idaho Statesmen.

Quote of the day--on the US' situation right now

"This is a tough game. You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned -- the Tea Party can go straight to hell." --Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Kitchen Table Summit, 8/20/2011. (Good on you, Rep. Waters). Link to original post: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/maxine-waters-tells-constituents-the-tea-party-can-go-straight-to-hell-video.php

Three kinds of people

There are 3 kinds of people: First, there are those that make actually things happen, then there are the ones who watch what happened and, finally, there are those who wonder what happened.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Did someone say "imbalance"?

"The 400 richest families in America now hold as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the country combined." Put another way, these "400 richest have as much as the 150 million poorest." --From the comic strip "Doonesbury" by Garry Trudeau yesterday. Anyone give a damn?

On the US, "heroes" and our non-functioning systems

From yesterday's New York Times Sunday Review section: "As the national narrative shifts from the war on terror to the specter of decline, the uniform performs another psychic function. The military is can-do, the one institution — certainly the one public institution — that still appears to work. The schools, the highways, the post office; Amtrak, FEMA, NASA and the T.S.A. — not to mention the banks, the newspapers, the health care system, and above all, Congress: nothing seems to function anymore, except the armed forces. They’re like our national football team — and undisputed champs, to boot — the one remaining sign of American greatness." --William Deresiewicz, essayist, critic and author of "Solitude and Leadership", an address delivered at West Point in 2009 and widely taught in the armed forces. Link to original post: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/opinion/sunday/americas-sentimental-regard-for-the-military.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=our+sentimental+regard+for+soldiers&st=nyt

I-29 in Iowa

I have a brother and sister-in-law who live North of here, in Tarkio, Missouri. The above picture was just sent to them from a friend in Council Bluffs. As labeled above, it's of I-29 in Iowa where some of the water has receded. From what he's been told the Iowa Department of Transportation is thinking they will have to build a road to re-build the road. WPA (Works Progress Administration) for jobs and infrastructure, anyone?

Quote of the day

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” -John Steinbeck

Friday, August 19, 2011

KC: Do you have any idea how lucky we are?

Think about it--Texas is suffering from who knows how many consecutive days of more than 100 degree days and no rain--none--so they have a horrible drought. Oklahoma? Very similar. To the North of us, the Dakotas and Montana and a few states up there flooded whole towns earlier this year that they're still working out of. We all know about Joplin, Missouri's awful tornado, destruction and rebuilding. California's economy and budget are both in the toilet. Same for Florida and Las Vegas, at least, along with Phoenix. I could go on here but you get the idea. We, on the other hand, though putting up with an admittedly tough economy, haven't experienced the truly desperate and difficult extreme drops other parts of the country have and though some parts of the area may be a bit dry, we really aren't suffering from a prolonged drought. Additionally, the temperatures--especially for August--have been far milder and even, dare I say it? pleasant, as it was this morning, after that rain and wind blew through. Could it be better? Sure, it always can be. But if we aren't counting our--these--blessings, we are an ungrateful lot, for sure. Now, here's hoping it holds. Have a great weekend, y'all.

Helpful tips for this weekend's KC Airshow

With a beautiful weekend forecast and the United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt headlining, the 2011 Kansas City Air Show a large turnout is expected at the Kansas City Downtown Wheeler Airport on August 20 and 21. Gates open to the public at 9:00 AM. Advanced sale discount tickets are available for purchase through August 20 at www.kcairshow.com. Tickets will also be available for sale on-site. Guests are encouraged to arrive early in order to avoid expected heavy traffic and find a seat close to the flight line. Guests are asked to limit their personal carry-in items to only the essentials. The air show’s concessions feature a variety of delicious food and beverages for patron’s enjoyment while on the grounds. In order to ensure that guests are comfortable and will enjoy the show, chairs, blankets, umbrellas, etc. are permitted within the general admission seating area. Umbrellas must be a reasonable size; only handheld umbrellas will be permitted.Although temperatures are expected to be very comfortable throughout the weekend, guests are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated. The forecast also calls for sunny skies all weekend and guests are reminded to bring and apply sunscreen throughout the day to avoid burns.Please note that all carry-in items are subject to search and all unattended bags will be removed from the premises. The following items are not allowed on the show grounds: ·Coolers ·Loose ice·Cans/glass·Alcohol·Pets·Weapons·Tents/awnings·Cooking Equipment·Bicycles·Rollerblades·Scooters·Ladders·Large Umbrellas. Please note that smaller coolers containing life-saving medications or formula for infants will be permitted. Also note that there is absolutely no smoking on the air show ramp or in the spectator area. Smoking is permitted outside the spectator gate and in the parking lots. The USAF A-10 Thunderbolt headlines a blockbuster lineup that also includes the, the US Army Golden Knights, Tim Weber, the Trojan Phylers, and the Flashfire Jet Truck. General Admission tickets remain on sale at www.kcairshow.com Limited premium seating tickets remain available.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm so old...

...I remember when you went to YouTube and you just got your video. There was no advertisement first. THAT old.

It's done. We have curfews

I heard on KCUR this evening that the City Council and Mayor James got their curfews passed. As I said earlier this week, it seemed inevitable. They had to have solutions by tomorrow evening and a heavy police presence just wasn't going to cut it. The details, according to The Kansas City Star: From Memorial Day weekend through the last Sunday in September, it will be 9 p.m. for all youth under age 18 for five entertainment districts in the city — the Country Club Plaza, Westport, the Downtown Business District, 18th and Vine, and Zona Rosa. Elsewhere in the city during the summer, the curfew will be 10 p.m. for youths 15 and under and 11 p.m. for 16 and 17-year-olds. • The rest of the year, from October through Memorial Day, the curfew for all minors will be 11 p.m. weeknights and midnight on Friday and Saturday. • The fine for parents of curfew violators, currently $1 for a first offense, will increase to a maximum of $500 for each offense. With as many layers as it has for the different ages and different parts of town and times of the year, I doubt the police appreciate this little gift. Let's see if this all works. Here's hoping it does. Link: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/18/3084943/kc-sets-earlier-curfew-hours.html

Okay, the Troost bridge over Brush Creek is open

And that's good news. We can have that traffic going through again, great. Now, I wonder if the city is going to dredge Brush Creek, further to the East, since not-so-small islands have cropped up because of the slower flow of the creek due to that construction. It will be interesting to see if it's cleared.

KC Air Show Presents UFC Fighter Ryan Bader on behalf of the USAF Reserve

The Kansas City Air Show is proud to announce that Ryan Bader of The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be in attendance at this year’s 2011 Kansas City Air Show. The air show will feature the United States Air Force Thunderbolt II Demo Team along with an impressive civilian and military lineup August 20th and 21st at Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport.Bader will be attending on behalf of The United States Air Force Reserve, a group that he has long supported. Bader will be available for autographs and for photos near the U.S. Air Force Reserve display on Saturday, August 20th from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.Bader was a contestant on season Eight of The Ultimate Fighter. He was the first light heavyweight selected by Coach Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, winning his first three fights on the show to earn a spot in the finals. Bader defeated Vinicius Magalhães at The Ultimate Fighter Eight Finale, earning the title of "The Ultimate Fighter" and winning a six-figure UFC contract. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to have such a great sports figure as UFC fighter Ryan Bader to do a meet and greet with our guests at the air show,” stated Ed Noyallis, Executive Director - Chairman of the Mid America Youth Aviation Association. “The fact that he is taking time out of his busy schedule to interact with our community is wonderful,” he added. If you would like any more information on UFC Fighter Ryan Bader or the 2011 Kansas City Air Show please visit their websites accordingly at www.ryanbader.com/ or www.kcairshow.com/.

Olathe Native to Headline Kansas City Air Show

USAF Captain Joe “Rifle” Shetterly will face some added pressure this weekend when he takes to the skies as the headline act of the 2011 Kansas City Air Show. Shetterly, a graduate of Olathe North High School and the University of Kansas will pilot the A-10 Thunderbolt II demonstration in front of family, friends and the hometown fans. The show launches on August 20th and 21st at Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport and will be headlined by the United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt Demonstration Team.
 
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Making the hometown performance even more special for Shetterly is the fact that his father, Greg Shetterly will also be performing at this year’s show in his One Design aircraft. Greg Shetterly said that it is an indescribable feeling to be able to perform in the same air show with his son in their hometown show. “This is really special for me,” said Greg Shetterly. “I sent my son off to the Air Force as an amateur (pilot) and they sent him back an expert. He has become my mentor as an aerobatic pilot.” Captain Joe Shetterly and the crew from the A-10 Demonstration Team will be available for planeside interviews on Thursday, August 18th at 2:00 PM at Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport. The news conference is open only to media and invited guests. As the Air Force’s top close air support aircraft, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, also known as the “Warthog”, is known for its role in destroying ground targets in support of ground combat troops. The A-10 demonstration at this year’s show will feature a booming, fiery pyrotechnic display that will simulate the A-10’s destruction of enemy ground targets. In addition to the A-10 demo,b> the Kansas City Air Show will host an impressive lineup of military and civilian performers and unique ground displays. Military performers will include the Unites States Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, and the United States Air Force Academy Gliders. Civilian performers include CC Gerner, the Trojan Phlyers, Flashfire Jet Truck, and Tim Weber. Additional performers and static aircraft are listed at www.kcairshow.com. “We are extremely excited about this sensational lineup and especially that our headlining performer is one of our hometown heroes,” stated Ed Noyallis, Executive Director - Chairman of the Mid America Youth Aviation Association. “We are very pleased to once again bring a world-class air show to the great fans here in Kansas City,” he added. Tickets for the event are on sale through the show’s Web site, www.kcairshow.com. All children ages 15 and under will be admitted to general admission areas for free when accompanied by a paying adult. There are a variety of premium seating upgrade options still available. Visit the show’s Web site for further information. Founded in 1993, the Kansas City Air Show is held at Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport and is one of America’s premier air shows. The air show showcases world-class aerobatic champions, military jet demonstrations and entertainment for the whole family. Mid-America Youth Aviation Association (MAYAA), formed in 1998, is a not-for-profit group that provides educational aviation and aeronautical opportunities for youngsters and produces the Kansas City Air Show. Support of the air show and its associated education programs is provided by donations and sale of tickets to the air show. For more information, visit www.kcairshow.com.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quote of the day

"After bashing Fed, Perry now accusing scientists of lying about global warming. More right-wing gonzo populism. Keep this man in Texas." --Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Ford and Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Reich is currently Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Links: http://twitter.com/#!/RBReich/statuses/103874512646447105; https://www.facebook.com/#!/RBReich; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Reich

The ACLU vs. KCMO: Are you kidding me?

After reading the fine print in the Kansas City Star yesterday, I see I overlooked that "the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said a court challenge was likely" regarding a possible curfew on the Country Club Plaza, because of the shootings. Right up front, I'll tell you, I am usually always (but not always) a supporter of the ACLU and their fight for our basic rights. On this matter, however, I have to say I come down squarely agin' 'em. I mean, come on, what's more important here, teenagers rights or their lives? If it's either letting them wander free in the city so they have their "rights" or letting them get shot at, I think I'm absolutely having them get off the streets after 9 pm rather than possibly being targets for some idiot with a gun. And it's not as though the ACLU hasn't got plenty of other, far more important and bigger issues on their collective plate, either. If they want or need something to "go after", then let them pick apart all the parts and wrongs they can of the "Patriot Act", let alone all the other goofy, probing, prodding the Right Wing of the country keeps coming up with to get into our private lives, in spite of their calls for "small" and "non-intrusive" government. If the ACLU goes ahead with this and files suit, then I say we demand they fly in everyone they can on their staff and everyone else they need, so they can guard and protect people, every weekend, ad infinitum, so everyone's safe--children, adults and otherwise. If they can't or won't do that, then I suggest they butt out and file no such lawsuit. But thanks, anyway, ACLU. Link: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/15/3078819/curfew-option-has-kcs-attention.html

Family fun activities at the KC Airshow this weekend

The Kansas City Aviation Expo will be the highlight of the summer for local families. Headlined by the US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt Demo Team with a supporting line-up of exciting civilian and military performers, the air show will provide for hours of entertainment August 20 and 21 at the Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport. The show features a kid-friendly, family environment with special activities planned for kids of all ages. Best of all, kids 15 and under get in free to the general admission area when accompanied by a paid adult. Kids and parents will love the Kids Zone Play Area which will include inflatable recreational equipment, climbing walls and aviation-themed play opportunities . The Lego Construction Experience will also be on-site. In this exhibit kids young and old can experience four unique areas of the Lego brand firsthand by building their own creations. This supervised area will allow children to make their favorite Lego creation. The air show will also be hosting exhibitors on-site, including NASA and the Red Tail Project. Many of these vendors will have hands-on, interactive games and displays that will engage both kids and adults, making the Kansas City Aviation Expo the perfect family activity in Kansas City this weekend. For all the information, go to their link: http://kcairshow.com/

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An apology from the State of Texas

Good on you, Texas, and thanks. At least this time it's not just the Dixie Chicks owning up to the ignorance of this buffoon but the whole state. (If even in jest). Thanks and a hat tip the The Immoral Minority blog for bringing this to our attention. Link: http://theimmoralminority.blogspot.com/

P-51 C Mustang and Traveling Exhibit Honoring The Tuskegee Airmen to Appear at the Kansas City Air Show

The Kansas City Air Show is taking place this weekend on August 20 and 21 and will feature the U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt with live pyrotechnics. The Thunderbolt will be joined by a fantastic line-up of military and civilian performers and will include aircraft ranging from modern aerobatic planes to World War II warbirds. One warbird in particular will stand out to the crowd. The P-51C Mustang with its unmistakable red tail is part of an educational initiative to help patrons understand and appreciate the history and legacy of the special group of black pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen.
 
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The CAF Red Tail Squadron, a volunteer-driven non-profit organization that is part of the Commemorative Air Force, completed a $1 million restoration of the Mustang - named Tuskegee Airmen - in 2009 and the airplane has been on the air show circuit ever since. At each stop, its pilots and crew take every opportunity to tell audiences the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black fighter pilots to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps (now U.S. Air Force) and the thousands of other black men and women who supported them. The P-51C Mustang will be joined by the new CAF Red Tail Squadron RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit, a customized 53' trailer with expandable sides that houses a 160-degree curved movie screen and seating for 30 in climate-controlled comfort. A 14-minute original movie called "RISE ABOVE" focuses on what the Tuskegee Airmen - pilots and their support personnel - had to overcome to be allowed to fly and fight for their country during World War II. Admission to the exhibit is free of charge. Air show attendees will be spellbound as they hear how, after training at the segregated base in Tuskegee, Alabama, the Tuskegee Airmen pilots were sent first to Africa and then to Italy where they distinguished themselves as American military aviators. During their European tour, the Tuskegee Airmen proved that black men had the courage and intelligence to fly and fight effectively against the Axis powers, particularly the Germans. The Airmen and their crews painted the tails of their fighters red, and as these pilots proved their skill and courage in the skies over Italy and Germany, bomber pilots soon began requesting the "red tail angels." The Tuskegee Airmen flew thousand of sorties and earned hundreds of medals and designations, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 in honor of their war service to the United States. The CAF Red Tail Squadron's RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit and the red-tailed P-51C Mustang, Tuskegee Airmen, will be on display during the core hours (9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.) of the Kansas City Air Show on August 21and 21, 2011 at Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City, Missouri. The Mustang will also fly (weather permitting) as scheduled. Founded in 1993, the Kansas City Air Show is held at Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport and is one of America’s premier air shows. The air show showcases world-class aerobatic champions, military jet demonstrations and entertainment for the whole family. Mid-America Youth Aviation Association (MAYAA), formed in 1998, is a not-for-profit group that provides educational aviation and aeronautical opportunities for youngsters and produces the Kansas City Air Show. Support of the air show and its associated education programs is provided by donations and sale of tickets to the air show. For more information, visit www.kcairshow.com. Additional links: http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/goldenknights/; http://www.acc.af.mil/aerialevents/a10west/index.asp; http://www.turbo-shark.com/; http://www.redthunder.us/

Polsinelli Shughart and the West Edge: PLEASE???

From what Kevin Collison at the Star says in the paper today, the Polsinelli Shughart law firm is still considering different locations for its new headquarters in the area. Some of those are a spot still with Highwoods, North of Valencia Place, a downtown block near the Sprint Center, "the proposed Mission Gateway across the State Line" and, finally, thank goodness, "the unfinished West Edge Project." Please, please, for all that's good in this city, let it be the West Edge. It would, hopefully, be a match made in heaven. Someone needs to take over and complete that eyesore, it would keep them on the Plaza and hopefully fill their needs for space. That big hunk of construction needs an occupant and badly. It would be terrific for the Plaza, great for the city and, finally, maybe buy back some goodwill for Polsinelli to the people of the city. Here's hoping. Link: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/15/3078367/lessons-from-the-balcony-building.html

Plaza solution needed by Friday

I think we all know the city needs and wants a solution of whatever sort we can, as soon as possible for the Country Club Plaza so there are no more random shootings in or around the area. I think that's a given. That said, that assumed, I'd expect Mayor James to absolutely do whatever he has must in order to get a curfew in place by Friday, at latest. From what I understand, it is to cover kids under 18 and make it that they have to be out of there by 9. What I don't understand are the questions or concerns that it might not be constitutional when it's already being done in Philadelphia. Attorneys will be busy. Anyway, I feel sure it will sail through City Hall in these few days. Neither the Mayor nor City Council nor anyone else have any other quick solution available. I'd absolutely look for this to be a "done deal." Link: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/15/3078819/curfew-option-has-kcs-attention.html

KC Royal's current excitement

Well good for the Royals. They did, in fact, pick up Gardner Edgerton's Bubba Starling to play for the team. Standout as he is and "local boy", at that, it just made too much sense. Great player. Lots of prospects and possibilities. Has his "feet on the ground", so to speak. This is good for the Royals both long and short-term, as well as for Mr. Starling. The thing is--and I hate to sound even remotely like Tony over at his TKC blog--but if he is good and stays good and improves, etc., those same Royals--short-sighted cheapskates they are--will never keep him long-term, once he gets "expensive", in their eyes. Winning be damned, this team doesn't keep good players that they see as costly or too expensive. That said, good on you, Bubba. Enjoy. We'll love seeing this "local boy making good" right here at home, for as long as they'll keep him. Also, one final note, Bubba--we and likely your family, too--are especially glad you picked baseball instead of Nebraska football. You should be able to play much longer in life and with far fewer injuries. Links: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/15/3078827/bubba-starling-signs-with-royals.html; http://videos.kansascity.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=106822291; http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/15/3077679/bubba-starling-chooses-between.html; http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/15/3078792/royals-come-to-agreement-with.html

Quote of the day--on our national spending

"The truth is that as far as straight economics, America's longer run fiscal problems shouldn't be all that hard to fix. An aging population and rising health care costs will, under current policies, push spending up faster than tax receipts. But the US has far higher health care costs than any other advanced country and very low taxes by international standards. If we could move even part way toward international norms on both these fronts, our budget problems would be solved." --Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist, writer and columnist for The New York Times.

Monday, August 15, 2011

KC Airshow this weekend

Kansas City Air Show Finalizes 2011 Lineup
 
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U.S.A.F. A-10 Thunderbolt to headline impressive lineup Kansas City, MO – After a one-year layoff, the Kansas City Air Show returns in 2011 with an impressive lineup of flight performances and on-ground displays. The show will take to the skies on August 20th and 21st at Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport and will be headlined by the United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt Demonstration Team. The A-10 demonstration will be a very special homecoming for the team’s pilot. Captain Joe “Rifle” Shetterly, a graduate of Olathe North High School and University of Kansas will fly the A-10 demo in front of the hometown fans. As the Air Force’s top close air support aircraft, the “Warthog” is known for its role in destroying ground targets in support of ground combat troops. The A-10 demonstration at this year’s show will feature a booming, fiery pyrotechnic display that will simulate the A-10’s destruction of enemy ground targets. Making the hometown performance even more special for Shetterly is the fact that his father, Greg Shetterly will also be performing at this year’s show in his One Design aircraft. In addition to the A-10 demo, the Kansas City Air Show will host an impressive lineup of military and civilian performers and unique ground displays. Military performers will include the Unites States Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, and the United States Air Force Academy Gliders. The military lineup will be supplementedby a very strong civilian lineup that has undergone a couple of updates since first announced earlier this year. CC Gerner has been added to the show lineup and will push her Edge 540 to the limit. The most recent addition to this impressive lineup is the Trojan Phlyers, a two-ship formation team flying T28B Trojans. The 12,000 horsepower Flashfire Jet Truck, the world’s fastest jet-powered pickup truck, will demonstrate at speeds up to 375 miles per hour. Additional performers and static aircraft are listed at www.kcairshow.com. >“We are extremely excited
about this sensational lineup and especially that our headlining performer is one of our hometown heroes,” stated Ed Noyallis, Executive Director - Chairman of the Mid America Youth Aviation Association. “We are very pleased to once again bring a world-class air show to the great fans here in Kansas City,” he added. Tickets for the event are on sale through the show’s Web site, www.kcairshow.com. The show also announced that, new this year, all children ages 15 and under will be admitted to general admission areas for free when accompanied by a paying adult. In addition to their new policy of free general admission for children 15 and under, the show has created a variety of new ticket options suited for any budget. Visit the show’s Web site for further information.

Guest Post: Warren Buffet on the selfish, greedy rich of the US

From The New York Times today: Op-Ed Contributor, Stop Coddling the Super-Rich By WARREN E. BUFFETT, Published: August 14, 2011, Omaha; OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched. While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors. Read the entire column here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/opinion/stop-coddling-the-super-rich.html?_r=3

Mary Sanchez column on the Plaza shootings: Wha??

I was surprised, at least, by Mary Sanchez' column Sunday on the Saturday evening shootings on the Plaza, with Mayor James right there. You have to read it. She says she is "...glad it was a black officer who shoved Kansas City’s black mayor into the bushes, drawing his gun protectively as shots were fired from a group of black teenagers. The race of the mayor and his bodyguard, and their perspectives, will help others be less hesitant to make the strong statements necessary after Saturday night’s shooting of three teens on the Country Club Plaza. Excuse me? Could we stop separating black from white in this country? The previous mayor had no excuse whatever to do what he did about the shootings on the Plaza and that was--nothing. He did nothing about this situation and his color should have played no role in it. He had his responsibilities and he didn't do them, either. This mayor being black doesn't heighten his responsibilities to this city--and I'm not saying that that's what she's saying, don't get me wrong--but we need to stop dividing ourselves in this city and nation. We're all Kansas Citians. We're all Americans. We have problems. We need to work together, regardless of differences otherwise, to solve them. Sheesh. What a column. Link: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/14/3076633/kc-mayor-bodyguards-reject-excuses.html

KCMO School District and CC Plaza have the same problem: irresponsible, lazy parents.

The bad news? Sure, we all know now, and have since at least Sunday morning that there were kids roaming the Plaza again, Saturday night and that shots were fired (5 to 6, it's said). Additional bad news? Mayor James was there. But therein lies, also, the good news because now, suddenly, our mayor is invested in both recognizing and solving this problem. I--and, I think others--have been calling for the mayor and his office and City Hall and the City Council and churches and their leaders and businesses and civic leaders to get together to see what kind of solutions could be offered to solve both this problem and the problems of shootings and drive-by shootings, etc. Now, suddenly, since Mayor James was there when the shots rang out, he's saying the same thing, fortunately. According to today's Star: "Churches, schools and businesses, also, need to get involved, he said." Thanks for finally joining us, Mayor. He also pointed out in this morning's article in the Star that parents are responsible for this, too. So maybe, just maybe, if the city and School District, both, are trying to solve this same parental problem--and I think we all agree they are--maybe we can get closer to a combined solution for both. It won't be a quick fix but the curfew for teens seems like a great, fair and sensible place to begin. I think we should follow Philadelphia's example with fines of $300.00 per teen and $500.00 per parent for violating the curfew, too. That would make people pay attention rather quickly. If it's good enough for Philly, it seems good enough for us, as well. Here's wishing us all luck. Here's hoping.

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Best and Worst Drinks at Trader Joe's"

For all the neophytes in the area who may want to know, there is an article out today on, as it says above, the best and worst drinks at Trader Joe's you may want to check out. (See link following). Have a great weekend, y'all. Link: http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/the-best-and-worst-drinks-at-trader-joes-2520597/

Best City for Housing Values: Just up the road

Another new ranking--this one from Kiplinger's and Kansas City is not in the top 5, anyway, but Omaha, dependable Omaha ranks number one: Best Cities for Housing Values, 2011 1. Omaha, Neb. Population (metro): 829,702; Unemployment rate: 4.6%; Cost-of-living index: 90.3; Median household income: $53,457. Wichita, Ks is number 8 and Cedar Rapids, Iowa is 9, for what it's worth. We'll just have to try harder, I guess, right? Link: http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/best-cities-for-housing-values-2011.html

Quote of the day

"...I'm a Democratic Socialist which means the function of government is to represent middle-income and working people rather than just the wealthy and the powerful. You know, one of the things we have done here, we've become very religious in worshipping greed and we put on the front pages of magazines pictures of people who have made millions of dollars. We ignore the cops, the policemen, the teachers, the nurses wo every day are doing so much to improve the lives of people. We need to change our value system." --Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent, Vermont. Links: http://michaelmoore.com/books-films/capitalism-love-story; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1232207/; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhydyxRjujU; http://sanders.senate.gov/

Thursday, August 11, 2011

FDR's "2nd Bill of Rights"

After watching Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" yesterday, I learned President Franklin Roosevelt actually proposed a "2nd Bill of Rights" in 1944, a year before his death. Would that we would have gotten these things. It was a brief speech but here's what he called for. You can either click on the link below or go watch and listen to the speech online, of course, but he basically laid out a plan calling for 8 "rights" we should all have, as Americans. They were: The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation; The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation; The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living; The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad; The right of every family to a decent home; The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment; The right to a good education. He ended by saying this: For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world." FDR was brilliant on so many issues and situations. He wasn't perfect or flawless by any means but he was correct about the Great Depression and what we needed to do in most cases and he was certainly, absolutely correct on this. And we'll apparently never have them. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An email going around about changing Congress

Have you received this email on changing our Congress? The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple. The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc. We can now communicate with one another far quicker. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure. Congressional Reform Act of 2011 1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office. 2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose. 3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just like the rest of us. 4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%. 5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people. 6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people. 7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this current contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress should be an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work. I have to say, it seems like a great idea to me and, I'd bet, to most Americans.

Great news on "payday loan" outlets

Great news last evening when I saw that a local organization is pushing to get a payday loan law passed for the state so they can be regulated, in the first place, but also so the highest interest rate they can charge isn't 400 percent or even up to 1,950 percent. Yes, right now all that is possible and it's disgusting. It preys on the poor. From KCTV 5 News: KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - A grassroots group of community and faith leaders announced Tuesday that they will ask Missouri voters to approve a measure capping the rate of interest charged on payday loans. The group, which is calling itself Missourians for Responsible Lending, hopes to have the measure placed on the November 2012 ballot. Missouri has among the weakest laws and regulations in the United States. In Missouri, the storefront lenders can charge as much as 1,950 percent interest. In Missouri, the average interest rate for a payday loan is 445 percent annually. What it boils down to is, folks, we all need to get behind this law, help get the signatures and get this on the ballot and then vote for it so it passes. "Usury" used to be against the law. This kind of abuse should be. Link: http://www.kctv5.com/story/15238754/group-aims-to-get-missouri-voters-to-cap-payday-loans

KCMO and KCK Mayors come together for a pow-wow

Good for them. I'd have love to attended and asked some rather pointed questions. One of the things I'd like to ask them is if they couldn't work together on the crime and shootings aspects of the region. Both have that same problem though, admittedly, Mayor James has it much worse, it seems, on the East side. Here's another thing these two mayors should work on--in fact, all the mayors in the region should get together, discuss problems and solutions but also commit to each other that wee'll stop this stupid, repeated and incessant habit of trying to steal one another's workers and jobs and companies away from each other. Then, that should be followed by the two governors of the two states--Missouri and Kansas--and the legislators. When this happens, when we allow companies to negotiate tax deals between cities and counties and states, only the companies win. Everyone else, but particularly the taxpayers and state revenues lose. It's stupid, as I said, and we need to stop allowing this to happen. Here's hoping. Link: http://www.kctv5.com/story/15238850/mayors-come-together-to-discuss-google-and-unity

"Community Meeting" online?

KCTV 5 had a news segment last evening, telling of a group that set up an online "Community Meeting" so people in the area can offer solutions on issues in the area (see link below). And this is all well and good but it seems there is one pre-eminent issue and that is the shootings and killings in the city. Apparently they're going to put up 6 issues per each time period and people can give input in the form of possible solutions, etc. It seems hopeful but again, unless and until this Mayor James and his staff and City Hall call the civic, business, church, community and social leaders together to address this big problem of these ignorant, senseless shootings and drive-by shootings, everything else is in the background. Links: http://www.kctv5.com/video?clipId=6120657&autostart=true; www.kcmomentum.com; http://www.kctv5.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6120657

Quote of the day

"Vandals burn down U.K. because a gangster is shot. Republicans burn down U.S. because a billionaire may be taxed." --Yonah W Grossman, Comedian, Social Commentator, Link: http://www.ywgrossman.com/ (also on Facebook).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How long until the riots start here, if ever?

News today tells of England suffering its third straight day of riots and looting and that it's spreading to other cities, now, too. This on top of other riots across Europe from Greece to Israel (over costs of living), and on. It's an odd thing, isn't it? It makes me wonder if we have that much in common with Europe or not. It makes me wonder how bad things have to get, how much joblessness, how little health care availability, how high the price of gas or food until the US begins such things, if ever. I wonder what it will take and then I hope, whatever that is, that we never get it, that we never get that bad, that low, that desperate. Link: http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/647683/london_riot_turns_district_into_war_zone%3A_%26quot%3Bthe_system_is_cracking_and_it%27s_starting_to_show%26quot%3B

I expected KC on this list

A report is out today on Yahoo! News, listing the "15 Dangerous Cities for Driving" and, to my surprise, anyway, the Kansas City metropolitan area isn't on it. Thank goodness. As it turns out, Florida is the worst state overall with the South "over-represented." I'll leave that alone here. What was most interesting and noteworthy to our area, I thought, too, is that Little Rock was number 4 worst, and Tulsa was 13 and Oklahoma neighbor Oklahoma City was 15. On the far more positive side, neighboring Lincoln, Nebraska was ranked 6th safest city in the nation while Omaha was number 9. Link: http://autos.yahoo.com/news/15-dangerous-cities-for-driving.html

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Senator Bernie Sanders, on our national credit rating

"I find it interesting to see S&P so vigilant today in downgrading the US credit rating. Where were they 4 years ago when they, and other credit rating agencies, helped cause this horrendous recession by providing AAA ratings to worthless sub-prime mortgage securities on behalf of Wall Street investment firms? Where were they last December when Congress and the White House drove up the national debt by $700 billion by extending Bush's tax breaks for the rich?" --Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent, Vermont. Link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/senatorsanders

Quote of the day

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." - Seneca the Younger

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Coming attraction

The United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt along with an explosive pyrotechnic display will headline the 2011 Kansas City Air Show August 20-21 at the Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport.
 
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If you’re looking for a fun-filled event that promises to be a great time for virtually anyone, check out the 2012 Kansas City Aviation Expo Air Show on August 20th and 21st at the Kansas City Wheeler Downtown Airport. This year’s show has a star-studded lineup of The United States Air Force A-10 ThunderBolt, Jacquie B, U.S. Air Force Academy Gliders and much more. The 2011 air show will no doubt be an unforgettable experience for all who attend with many opportunities to see some of the best aviation acts in the country. For more information on event attractions and featured performers, ticket prices, directions, or any other questions you may have, go to http://www.kcairshow.com/ and check it out for yourself! For now, put it on your calendar and plan to attend.

Quote of the day--on the anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."  --Albert Einstein

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A refresher course on the Republican Party

Lest you or anyone think the Republican Party of today only recently got this way, please read the following recounting of that grand old now-deceased leader of the Conservatives in general but Republicans, specifically as one writer to the editor did in the May 10, 2009 issue of The New York Times Magazine: "William F. Buckley began his career vehemently defending the worst excesses of McCarthyism; throughout the civil rights movement, opposed integration and black suffrage; during the Vietnam War, advocated using nuclear weapons against the North Vietnamese; supported unconditionally the racist apartheid government of South Africa; cheerled for the genocidal CIA-backed coup against Allende in Chile; and, in the early years of the AIDS pandemic, recommended that HIV-diagnosed patients be forcibly tattooed on their buttocks. Despite the virtues of his intellect and charisma, William F Buckley's only legacy to us is that mixture of homophobia, greed, racism, hypocrisy and military recklessness that is 21st-century conservatism." --David A. Murphy, Providence, RI. I hope that clears things up.

The Bulldog's "Chickenchanga"

If you're ever downtown and happen to go into The Bulldog restaurant and, while looking over the menu for something "different", as I and some friends did last evening, whatever you do, don't get this "chickenchanga". Yikes. Not only is this thing awful, it's also tiny. You've had bigger hot dogs on a bun. As for what it is: it's a salty, deep-fried pastry of some kind, greasy, wrapped around a bit of also very salty white, mild cheese and some chicken chunks. That's it. It's nearly unbelievable. Whoever came up with this thing apparently never went to an American Mexican restaurant and ordered an actual chimichanga. They bear absolutely no similarities to one another. Other food on the menu that our group ordered looked--and apparently was--just fine so you needn't stay away from the place entirely. At least, for me, as awful as this was, they comped my one drink. That took some sting out of it. Just never forget, AVOID THE CHICKENCHANGA. Don't say you weren't warned.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Burst water pipe update

There are two--count them, two--burst water pipes on Broadway around 8th Street right now. Go get 'em, Mayor. Heaven knows you're not going to do anything about the shootings in the city.

"Dirty Harry: 2012"---The movie we need now

For those who don't know, the "Dirty Harry" movie was about a cop (Clint Eastwood) who caught some good people with good intentions, killing legitimate criminals, because of what they--the "bad guys" did or were doing. They were drug dealers or heads of prostitution rings or whatever. The movie I'm suggesting here would be one of citizens, just like the original movie, who take it upon themselves to kill (yes, forgive me) the heads of corporations and political parties that are doing horrible things to the country, the US. These people would organize themselves throught social media--VERY 21st Century--not know each other (ala' "The Thomas Crown Affair") and would very stealthily assassinate, via the most technologically-forward ways possible, the heads of corporations, say, who are exploiting our tax laws or polluting the country, things like that. It wouldn't all be Left-Wingers doing this, by any means, either. It would, in the end, have to be shown that what they were doing was wrong, horribly wrong, but a) they'd have taken out a few of the worst, most egregious people and b) it would stand as a statement for the people, both in the movie and the viewers of the movie, out here in reality, that the people want and need their country back and want what's right done, not just what's good for corporations and profits. Oh, and, I hate to say it, but for "teaching" purposes, these vigilantes would also take out some of the most self-serving greedheads in Congress, too. I'm telling you, I'm inspired. I don't like "killer" movies but this one I'd see. We'd also have people from both all the political wings of all parties, like Chris Matthews and Glenn Beck and Michael Moore, etc., etc., denouncing what these people are doing. Naturally there would have to be the head of an oil company lost in there somewhere. We might call it "DB" or some such (to rhyme with BP, maybe?). Stay tuned, folks. I'll let you know if I start writing. (Update: On second thought, shortly after posting this, I realize no such movie could or should be made as there would be someone or some group of people out there who would take it as instruction).

K-K-K-Kansas City and C-C-C-Calamari

I've written here before how I loathe, among other things (like cheapness and really cheap people, among others) food trends. Fondue was and is just silly. It will also be nice when, hopefully one day soon, people can enjoy sushi--if they do--without having needed to be part of the group that had to "do it." That said, another fad food I've always despised in Kansas City is calamari. The only good or tempting thing about this "food"--and I use that term loosely here to describe anything that doesn't disagree with you that also goes in your mouth and digestive system--is the name. Calamari is fun to say but it stops there. If you ever want a chewy, flavorless food that also happens to be deep-fried, this is your dish. At least it is in this town. If, in other cities, this "food" is seasoned and tasty, I'd love to travel there and have it, just for the experience and to prove it can be done. If you sense I was just tricked or willed into it recently, yet again, you would be correct. It was this past Saturday evening on the Plaza at the new Coal and Vines. The place is fun enough and has great energy and it's attractive on the inside, what with it's walls of wines and small, twinkling votive candles but keep this in mind---don't get the calamari. The salmon tartare I'd recommend (if only they'd give a far more proper and equal balance of chips to tartare ratio--what were they thinking?). Do you suppose Europe tolerates goofy, unnecessary food trends the way we do here in the States?

Is World War III being waged right now?

You know how they say people are usually always fighting the "last war" and that that's also why they usually lose? News out this morning tells of a "State actor seen behind 'enormous' wave of cyber attacks" BOSTON (Reuters) - Security experts have discovered the biggest series of cyber attacks to date, involving the infiltration of the networks of 72 organizations including the United Nations, governments and companies around the world. Security company McAfee, which uncovered the intrusions, said it believed there was one "state actor" behind the attacks but declined to name it, though one security expert who has been briefed on the hacking said the evidence points to China. The long list of victims in the five-year campaign include the governments of the United States, Taiwan, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Canada; the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); the International Olympic Committee (IOC); the World Anti-Doping Agency; and an array of companies, from defense contractors to high-tech enterprises. The thing is, if we are in the midst of WWIII, we won't know until after someone's conquered. Sobering thought, no? Link: http://news.yahoo.com/biggest-ever-series-cyber-attacks-uncovered-u-n-040749882.html

Quote of the day

"Make no mistake: We are still held hostage by radical right. Paying ransom always leads to more extortion." --Robert Reich, political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Ford and Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Reich

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I refuse to get on the "global warming bandwagon" but...

As I said, I refuse to get in on the global warming mob because I think it's crucial to watch the "bigger picture" and not go by a cold day or hot spell. That said, I have also pointed out that a "bigger picture" does, I think, come from the melting of the ice caps and glaciers 'round the world. Now, today, comes this little tidbit of information having to do with last month's temperatures: "All 50 States Have Set High Temperature Records This July." Yep, that's what it said. With July's data now in the books, we got hot last month, coast to coast. But wait! There's more! "There have been 2,068 record high daily maximum temperatures in the United States..." And yet more: "More remarkably, and consistent with the expected effect of higher greenhouse gas concentrations, nights have been even warmer — 4,638 record high daily minimum temperatures were recorded, 3.4 percent of all readings." How will this month fare? Who can say? It could go either way, certainly, but as I say this, it's 106 or 107 degrees outside here in Kansas City. As for hope in the future, there is also an article over at Think Progress telling of "GOP Congressman: If We Take The Senate And White House In 2012, The EPA Will Be ‘Discontinued.’" Not very hopeful. Apparently the rich and corporations don't care for clean air, water and soil after all. Links: http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/07/25/277576/all-states-high-temperatures-july/; http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/07/27/280925/gop-2012-epa/

While they were screwing us on this debt deal...

...the Republicans were also putting riders into bills last week to strip our environmental laws of any real "teeth". From The New York Times this past Sunday: Concealed Weapons Against the Environment. "While almost no one was looking, House Republicans embarked last week on a broad assault on the nation’s environmental laws, using as their weapon the 2012 spending bill for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. When debate began Monday, the bill included an astonishing 39 anti-environmental riders — so called because they ride along on appropriations bills even though they have nothing to do with spending and are designed to change policy, in this case disastrously. Riders generally are not subjected to hearings or extensive debate, and many would not survive on their own. They are often written in such a way that most people, even many Capitol Hill insiders, need a guide to understand them. They are, in short, bad policy pushed forward through a bad legislative process. A rider can be removed from the bill only with a vote to strike it. The Democrats managed one big victory on Wednesday when, by a vote of 224 to 202, the House struck one that would have gutted the Endangered Species Act by blocking the federal government from listing any new species as threatened or endangered and barring it from protecting vital habitat — a provision so extreme that even some Republicans could not countenance it." To show how they're screwing us and the environment, go to this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/opinion/sunday/concealed-weapons-against-the-environment.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=environment&st=Search

George Carlin, seemingly on this recent debt ceiling negotiation

Though George Carlin is long gone, sadly and unfortunately, he said this years ago but it's still relevant, of course, and fits this recent debt ceiling negotiation nonsense we just went through. Enjoy, such as you can.

Quote of the day--still on the debt ceiling mess

"What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question. After all, how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy?" --Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist, writer and columnist for The New York Times. Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/01/opinion/the-president-surrenders-on-debt-ceiling.html?_r=2

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quote of the day--on the debt deal

"A deal to raise the federal debt ceiling is in the works. If it goes through, many commentators will declare that disaster was avoided. But they will be wrong. For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status." --Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist, writer and columnist for The New York Times. Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/01/opinion/the-president-surrenders-on-debt-ceiling.html?_r=2

America: 2 thoughts on our current (financial) state

It seems there are, in fact, two thoughts on the current financial state of America, I believe. The first is our own, American reference and that is that we thought we were rich or wealthy or fortunate or whatever we shall call it and that we would always remain so, if not, in fact, get even wealthier. The second thought, I think, that of, likely, both history in the overall sense--the bigger picture, if you will--and the rest of the world in a much shorter term, is that we were, yes, wealthy but that we always spent, spent, spent like a rather drunken sailor--especially since 2000--and that we were rather like the foolish cousin who would eventually get his/her comeuppance. I think there are, at last, a fair amount of people who, even now, here in this country, finally see that 2nd one coming about. I could be wrong but I don't think so. We shall certainly see, won't we?

OK Go has done it again