Monday, April 30, 2012

Cruise Nights Are Back!

Yipee!  It is car cruisin' season again--a nice way to take a break from the troubles of the day.  Here are some pictures from the Branch cruise in Overland Park.  This is an all makes cruise that is every Friday night starting at 6 p.m.  Come on out--bring your classic ride if you have one--if you don't just come on out to enjoy the classic metal.
 One of the most iconic rear ends in the automotive world.
 Offerings from each of the big three from the 1950s.
 Car peeps doing what car peeps do.
 What is it?
 Taste not required in the 1970s.
 The curiosity of  the day:  NOT a motorcycle!
Friday, April 6 was the first cruise night for this cruise--a good turnout and excellent weather!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Not Trustworthy

If you have been following along here in Kansas City, we are in a time of budget austerity with cuts all over city government as our city struggles with decreased revenue and increased costs.  However, at the same time, the city council and the mayor have been championing both a large infrastructure improvement plan and a downtown train.  Both proposals are attracting criticism for the spending of money (and tax increase) and the train is being attacked as being impractical at best.
This recent article in the Wall Street Journal documents the issues around the support of the Power and Light District downtown, that this project has not been able to support itself and is a continuing drain on the budget of the city.  A lot of promises were made concerning the downtown redevelopment--I admit I bought some of them myself.  No body is buying these types of promises anymore--well, almost no body.  It is funny to read the posts by transit supporters in blogs and news articles and just find yourself not buying any of it.
We have lost trust in our political leaders.  We just don't believe them.  If they tell us the sky is blue, we are going outside to check it for ourselves.  They have proven themselves not to be trustworthy.  For whatever reason, whether out of dishonesty, greed, graft, or stupidity, their word has become untrustworthy.
Someday, there actually might be a good idea out of 12th and Oak, but most of us wouldn't trust it.  We've been burned too much.
The city fathers might find that regaining trust is easier if you go back to fulfilling the basic tasks of city government first reliably.  Get back to basics.  And for goodness sake, do not ask for more money!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I found this flyer on a table in a south Kansas City McDonald's...looks interesting...

Click on the image to embiggen

It is not just the Black community that can stand for its men to step up and take responsibility and show the way for the younger generations.  Our society has suffered for not having men be strong and involved in family and community--men for too long have allowed their attention to be diverted by work and leisure.  There is more to life then pleasuring oneself, material gain and pursuing the grail of "respect."  Life includes some deeper aspects that are important too.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Why the Dry Spell?

I think I have figured out why I have been a bit dry on the blog as of late.

I can't debate any more.

It is not just because of the mean spirited nature of discourse these days, although that is part of it. It is not that I don't enjoy a good back and forth on issues and interesting topics. It is not that I have no training in forensics and sometimes feel undermanned in debate.

There are several reasons why debate action does not excite me. First, I often hold nuanced positions that are not easily rendered into a slogan or three points and a poem. For example, on gay marriage: I struggle with the idea of making the marriage of two people of the same sex the equivalent of a marriage between two people of opposite sex. Yet, I also know that the judging of others' worthiness is not in my job description--my job as a person of faith is to show the love of God to everyone. I can annoy both sides with my position, and they can annoy me by trying to push me further towards their positions. Being pushed is no fun!
Secondly, I dislike the division and polarization that has happened. For example, it is automatically assumed that because I profess Christian faith I cannot possibly be for women, or in favor of equal rights for women. I am automatically lumped in with people I really disagree with. To put it the other way, being Atheist becomes a requirement for being pro woman. The third factor is that I am not quite prepared to think that in our difficult times that any of the sides actually know what will actually work to solve our problems. Both left and right are convinced that they have the ideas that will help our country solve its problems and start growing again--I am not so convinced that either group has the formula that will help us start healing and growing our nation.

This does not mean that I have any shortage of opinion, but it does mean that I may not always have the stomach for rancorous and pointed debate. I am more interested in solving problems and making our city/state/nation/world the best place it can be.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

I hope that you all had an enjoyable Easter holiday out there!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

East Patrol Real Estate: Something Doesn't Smell Right

So OK, it isn't south Kansas City, but our so-called Mainstream Media needs to follow up this fine work that one of Tony's readers did Thursday afternoon and evening. If this is true about the land that the future East Patrol Police Station will sit on, especially in light of the fact that it wasn't KCPD's first choice, it may reveals a distressing degree of corruption in our city. Has this sort of giving with the left hand and taking with the right hand become the way things work these days?
So, KC Star, The Pitch, KCTV, KSHB, FOX4, KMBC--how about it? Is this just real estate savvy and a bit of luck for an east side land owner--or was this location for the patrol station selected with the knowledge that that land owner would benefit? Get to work, Fourth Estate!! Read the research work for yourself on the comments section of this post on Tony's Kansas City, or find the Reader's Digest version below:

If only they would build the new East Patrol where the KCPD wanted to build it. But that's what you get when you've got council members trying to grease the palms of a certain pastor that owns the majority of that land to be acquired. Yeah let's give the corrupt city council control of the PD. That ought to work out really well.

So,3:15, what is the minister's name? Give us a chance to check your assertion through the public records.

It's Morningstar Baptist Church, Reverend John Miles is the church at 27/Wabash. He owns a large amount of the land and property nearby. He is a KCPD Chaplain as well.

4:33, only one lot is owned by Morningstar Development Corporation.

It will take more digging or more info....

Oh, here we go 4:33. Search in the county's recorded documents under "Morningstar" shows several properties owned by Morningstar Church and transferred to Morningstar Development Corp.

Now, a cross reference to the Missouri Secretary of State's website shows that among the organizers of the not-for-profit Morningstar's Development Company are, TADA

John Modest Miles and Roy Anderson.

Coincidentally, they are also the ones who signed the Warranty Deeds transferring the property to MDC on behalf of Morningstar Baptist Church.

Now all that needs to be done is a cross reference of all the properties similarly transferred, pull up the IRS 990 filings, and write it up.

Let's see the 990 shows that from 2009 to 2010, the value of Morningstar's Development Company's land assets increased from $168,000 to $324,000.

Somebody went on a buying spree that year.

Had 10 minutes while the chicken cooked and used the time to review property transfer records.

Here's an ironic twist.

There are several parcels of property in the new East Patrol development area that the City will have to acquire from Morningstar's Development Company. MDC was either given the properties outright or bought them for a song ($100 for several parcels) from-you guessed it- THE CITY AND IT'S REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES.

The land that Miles is selling to the City is land the City owned in the first place.

Miles persuaded the City to give him the land for a song.

THEN they condemned it to buy it back from him.

Smells kinda funny to me. Wonderful work by a blog reader doing research one afternoon. Like I said, just cries for follow up work from the established press...or is that the problem--that it is the established press? The established press that is afraid of certain power elements in the east side of this city?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stereotypes and et cetera

First, some important definitions:
a: (1). preconceived judgment or opinion (2): an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.
b: an instance of such judgment or opinion.
c: an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics.
1: A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
2: racial prejudice or discrimination.
2. a: a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock.
b: a class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits or characteristics
3. a: an actually or potentially interbreeding group within a species; also: a taxonomic category (as a subspecies) representing such a group
b: breed
c: a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits
Stereotype (noun):
something conforming to a fixed or general pattern; especially : a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment

The other day I was out at a fast food restaurant. Just as I was coming to a table, a family was leaving. It was a big multigenerational group--a toddler, a teen, two 25-40 adults and a 65+ gentleman. As usual, I forgot my napkins, and I went to get them. I passed by the table that this group had been sitting at. They had left everything on the table, all their leftover food, wrappers and cups they didn't take with them. It was a mess. I wish now I had taken a picture before I cleaned it up.
It was the sort of incident that could cause a person to become prejudiced, to decide that rude and self entitled behavior is part of belonging to people who look like this group. There really is no excuse for not busing your table at a fast food joint--there is no question that you are supposed to toss your papers and leftovers after you are done. People form judgments based partly on what they experience from people--yes, prejudice is taught by outside forces as well--but reinforced by seeing bad behavior.
The reason I started out with the definitions is that prejudice and racism are often confused, partly because they overlap and partly because the one can lead to the other. You see enough bad behavior by a certain group, and a person can decide that a certain group is not as smart or capable as another.---
This is not where I wanted this post to go: Here is where I really wanted this post to go, and I am going to be blunt and not dance around the point. If you want people to lessen prejudice and "pre-judging" your group, you are going to have to behave in such a way as to prove them wrong. I am sorry but that is unfortunately the way it is. Human nature and the way the human brain works makes us tend towards generalizations and assumptions so when we see a group behaving a certain way, especially if it seems to happen over and over, we start assuming that that behavior is standard issue. It is not necessarily about race. I grew up in a state with a tiny percentage of population of persons of color and there were still groups and classes of people who were subjects of prejudice. Members of those classes of people had to prove that they were not like the stereotype of the group that existed in the larger population.
So, what does all this have to do with the behavior of the family in the restaurant? Well, it is this: every time a person with an identifiable ethnic heritage, or "race" (race is a specious concept but that is for another day...) does something that can be called bad or wrong, it is another brick in the wall of prejudice and stereotyping. I was shaking my head thinking to myself, "Yet another brick for use in building walls of prejudice. Some may decide automatically that a group like yours is a bunch of inconsiderate boobs, who are too lazy, entitled and self centered to clean up after yourselves. People, if you want opinions to change about your ethnic group, you have to step up your game. You have to behave better, even when it isn't easy, or you want to rebel."
Every wrong act is ammunition for those who want to keep you down. Every wrong act is something someone can point to and say that your group is inferior, intellectually, ethically, or any other way. Performing as well, or better, while the tougher road, is the right road to take. Indulging in a victim mentality, rebelling or giving up will just reinforce the bad stereotype about the group.

Author's note: I started this well before (March 15) the current Martin/Zimmerman mess. There is not a word I would change. I could add some, but that will be later. Pay attention to the definitions. They are important.

Definitions from Webster's on line dictionary....