Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Next for KCMSD: A School Board that Disappears

You might recall that we had a lot of drama last week over the resignation of the superintendent of the KCMSD, John Covington, who resigned to, as it turns out, take a really sweet paying gig up in the Detroit, Michigan area. We all felt a little played, especially those who really stood up for Mr. Covington. I still think that he did something that had to be done--something that was going to be painful and could cost a person a lot of support. When people gave that support, only to have him bail in such a sudden way, I think they felt betrayed. People supported the plan to close schools at some cost to themselves as well, as they were threatening the grifter gravy train that the school district had become.

In addition, a rift in the school board was exposed. Frankly, unless you are a close follower of the goings on at the school board the fact that we all know who these people are is a bad thing. I don't even live in the district and I can name three KCMSD board members without even trying. I think I can only name one Hickman Mills school board member right off the top of my head. I can name the superintendent without even thinking hard--and that is the way it should be. The administration's head is the face of the schools to the community.

So tonight, after meeting together so much their spouses/S.O.s must have been wondering, the KCMSD board found an "interim" superintendent. They will now look for a new one. Also Airick West will step down as board president. I don't know who the lucky soul will be to take that mantel, but I am hoping it is neither Arthur Benson, or Duane Kelly.

KCMSD needs a superintendent who is committed for the long haul, and the contract they offer needs to have disincentives to leaving early. I don't know who is in-house but start there. As much as I would hate to see thriving districts in the metro lose talent, the next place would be to consider a district in the KC metro. Only look outside if none of the above pan out for a candidate. Then the superintendent needs to be the only face of the KCMSD. Names like West, Kelly and Benson should fade into anonymity. It is not a good thing when the school board makes the news for anything other than the operational decisions that it is responsible for under the structure of the district.

The Mayor's Son...

...is in trouble again. This time, he is alleged to have committed assault against a Lee's Summitt woman. It all happened in Westport Wednesday, August 24th at about 0135--also known as 1:35 a.m.--also known as an hour at which most of what happens is not good.

The story is a little bit of a he-said-she-said, so I will link the police report and let that speak for itself.

So--is the mayor responsible? No. Is Kyle acting like a sh*theel on a repeated basis? Yes. Does it appear --this is a conclusion made just from noting Kyle's public actions--that Kyle James has a drinking problem in the sense that when he drinks he and his life are out of control? Yes. Should Kyle James be evaluated for needing some rehab for his drinking problem or at the very least have a mental health assessment? Sounds like a good idea to me! Does Kyle James need to be in off the streets before 2400--midnight? You betcha.

A curfew for Kyle! What's good for the masses is good for the scion!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sell Crazy Someplace Else

Here, have a movie clip...

We are all stocked up here...

A Few Thoughts Early Monday Morning

What a news week we just had--an amazing new chapter written in the story of FUBAR that is the Kansas City Mo school district, a much hyped storm that rained more than anything, a surprise eastern earthquake and more.
I have to say that the thing that has dismayed me more than anything is the apparent incompetence of our government. Individually, the people at City Hall or in Washington, DC might be smart and able but when they get together it seems they can't find their way out of a paper bag.

Just a few thoughts early on a Monday morning.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wayside Waifs Visit, August 19, 2011

I took myself--and the iPhone--to Wayside Waifs last Friday. It is so much fun to see all the animals that are ready for adoption, and to see the youngsters as well. Here are some of the photographic results of that visit. Pictured animals may already have been adopted (yay!) so check at www.waysidewaifs.org for the most current listing of available pets.

There were several black kitties ready for adoption of all ages, from young to mature.

Beautiful odd-eyed cat--gorgeous black and white markings.

A pile of kittens, one of two piles there that day. Lots of kittens still available at the shelter.

Believe it or not, this beautiful dog was found as a stray, and tended to by a concerned family until there was room at the shelter for her to stay.

These are dachshunds, incredibly-- I have never seen wiener dogs colored this way. I saw them up later and they looked every bit of the doxy!

Lord only knows what breeds have mixed together here but the results are very appealing.

Me, take me!

Wayside Waifs is in south Kansas City at 3901 Martha Truman Road. On the web at www.waysidewaifs.org. Open 2-8 weekdays except Monday and Tuesday, 12-6 weekends. Call 816-761-8151 for more info.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The State Needs to Take Over the KCMSD

Well, here we go again. Another superintendent has resigned from the Kansas City Missouri School District. That makes like 25 since I moved here in 1989--more or less.

It is time for the state to take this district over.

Now, I know that strictly speaking, the KCMSD does not involved south Kansas City. Kids living south of 85th street (more or less) go to a mixture of schools--Lee's Summit, Raytown, Hickman Mills, Grandview and Center. They all have their own problems but none is in the rotten condition and carries the rotten history of the KCMSD. However, since schools and how good they are is an integral part of quality of life--part of the equation when considering where to live--we do have to concern ourselves with the state of the KCMSD.

Many people have gotten rich off of all the money poured into the KCMSD. The deseg money, the endless money to run the place--how much of it really went to benefit the kids?

John Covington, love him or hate him, got the district to take the tough medicine of contracting. His plan certainly wasn't perfect--the Southwest school was a disaster and the past year's test scores were not at all good--but the contracting had to be done to eliminate the excess capacity we cannot afford to keep. Now it is time to take the next step: remove the influence of those looking to collect some of the bucks floating around the district and make the place accountable for their actions. State management would also give time for considerations on other changes in the district, such as splitting it into two or more pieces.

KCMO leadership has tried and failed at running this district--let the state of Missouri take a try at it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Computer Problem

Sorry for the lack of posting. I have a computer problem with my laptop which is making posting unpleasant if it requires the typing of more than a few words.

My keyboard is messed up. Multiple keys are not working. To name them, it's the h, g, ', backspace and escape keys. And occasionally a shift key doesn't actually shift.

I have a portable keyboard, and there is the onscreen keyboard but both have drawbacks and are just not as pleasant or easy to use as the regular keyboard.

I have no idea if it is a hardware problem or a software problem. If there are geeks reading this, any ideas would be accepted.

(Getting a new computer is not among the options.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Show Going On Is the Right Thing

Pilot Bryan Jensen and his plane. (www.beastairshows.com)

Stunt and Delta jetliner pilot Bryan Jensen died today at the Kansas City Air Show when something went wrong during his routine. Because of where his plane landed--on the airfield between runways--the remainder of the show was canceled. However, plans are for the show to go on tomorrow.

That is the right thing to do.

Flying for humankind is an unnatural thing. The force exerted by earth's mass on objects near the planet's surface is a strong one. Gravity keeps us ground bound and only force and physics with a dollop of human skill enables us to get off the ground for even a brief time. Stuff goes wrong and when it does, it is usually a very bad thing.

Mr. Jensen clearly loved to fly. He started at 13, and by 16, when most of us were just happy to be able to drive cars, he had flown three different kinds of aircraft. At this time in his life, Mr. Jensen was flying 747s for pay after starting in commercial aviation at age 23 and has been doing aerobatics for 15 years.

The last thing this man would wish is that the air show fold up its tent for the year. He would want the celebration of humankind's ability to escape gravity for just a moment to continue.

Deepest condolences to Mr. Jensen's family and close friends who are no doubt stunned at his sudden death.

And may tomorrow dawn clear, crisp and calm--a perfect day for flying.

News link: KSHB...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Red Bridge Getting There

The iPhone is much harder to use one handed--like when driving--to shoot photos, but even from this shot we can see that the new Red Bridge bridge is rapidly getting close to completion. The road bed is just about done on the bridge; main work will be on the approaching roadway now. West of the bridge is starting to take shape--west bound traffic is now on new roadbed and fire station 28 has a new apron.

So we'll how the work goes from here--the hot weather did slow work for a few days but it being dry helped to keep things ongoing. The bridge is scheduled to open in the fall.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Second Bloggy Anniversary!!!

Another interesting year...

Well it is another year passing--two years ago today this little modest blog was started just for fun and games. A few on line musings about life, the news and whatever else attracted my attention. If along the way a few people read it, well that was cool too.

The MAST merger took it in a direction that was not anticipated, but that was OK. It continues to be a topic of great interest to me and is certainly not done yet!

The blog began to get noticed here and there in the larger world. Now that is OK, but not a goal. We are not here to break news (although we might due to just being there when something newsworthy happens) but just to offer nice fresh opinion. I am, to borrow from John Mellencamp, "still hayseed enough to go, 'Hey wow, they just mentioned me here or there.'" Sticking to my roots means I don't care if I go a little while without being linked some place or another. It is about me in many ways--what interests me or makes me go "Wow!" or "That ain't right." or "How cool is this?"

So on to year three, more twists and turns to come. To everyone along for the ride, thanks for reading and I hope you continue to come along.

Oh, and thanks to all who friended the page on Facebook. I think 25 is the threshold for the short url, but I am not sure!

Tony Gets Sued--Yes, It Is Chilling

Well, good evening.

Big news in the blogging world, Tony of Tony's Kansas City, is being sued by IAFF Local 42 boss Louie Wright for two posts: One in August of 2009 and the second for linking to a You Tube video that is critical of the KCFD/MAST merger in May 2011.

Here are some links:

This might a link to the video...or not. I might just make you go to You Tube yourself and search...oh, 42truth...the video might have criminal in the title...or not. You didn't hear it here.

Now, I never posted this video myself on this blog, but I did FB it for sure on my personal page and me and friends had a chuckle. Apparently, Mr. Wright does not like the image of him with bars in front of his face..As to the post, I just looked at it and I think the offending paragraph is the one that contains an allegation that Mr. Wright was involved with hinky business surrounding FF and Local 42 donations to the United Way.

(I am listening to Darla and Nick Wright, Louie's son, is on defending his daddy...)

Any way this will require being followed for sure. I need to think on some of the legal issues, such as the issue of reposting You Tube vids.

A couple of things I wrote on Facebook--because I am lazy and don't want to write them again!
I dont know about the video, but that post about Louie and the United Way--if you dont have ready for a criminal court proof, I am not sure you can say stuff like that. That was the stuff Nick Wright was reading to Tony on Darla's show--amazing radio!
I have to say I would not post stuff like that. I might and it off to someone in MSM or law enforcement to look at if I really thought there was some possible criminal activity going on.
you have to be careful. Opinion is one thing but allegations of wrong doing is another.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Antique and Classic Cars Abound on KC Roads

Kansas City is wonderful for seeing old and/or unique automobiles. You can, if you keep your eyes open, see unique vehicles around town just about every day. I am not above taking a picture of your unique or antique car if I see it on the street or in the mall parking lot. I think that KC with its heritage of manufacturing and engineering, and its extensive highway network has an appreciation for rolling automotive history. Also our lack of sea air, relatively mild and short winters and long drives help cars live longer.

So we are at the Bass Pro in Olathe for the MOPAR show. However, not just Chrysler products are on parade. Saw this beautiful Caddy convertible drive by...

...and this little red sports car. Anyone recognize its make and model?

On the way to church one Sunday I spotted this full size H1 or "Hummer". This is the second time I have seen an H1 on 135th Street near State Line and the other one was different. I wonder if an H1 collector lives nearby? This is the civilian version of the "Humvee" or High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV which is where Humvee comes from--thanks Wikipedia) .

You could probably put this little Citroen truck in the H1 and have room left over! I spotted this interesting vehicle in the parking lot at Ward Parkway Mall.

Love those cute little headlights! See the PT Cruiser behind it? The PT is actually a little bit bigger--the camera angle makes it hard to tell.

And finally this unrestored beauty pulled up near me at the Best Buy at 115th and Metcalf in Overland Park. 1973 Oldsmobile convertible with under 100,000 miles on it.

So you don't have to be going to a car show to see interesting cars. Just keep your eyes open, and if you have a camera in your phone, keep it close at hand. Here in the Kansas City metro, you will not be disappointed.

This Blogger Is Irked

If you visit my Facebook page you will see that I am not in a very good mood. I'll admit that I am choosing to be annoyed at the news, and I will also note here that I am annoyed with myself. On the eve of the second anniversary of the first post of this blog, I am thinking about what directions this blog has taken and what direction it should take. We will talk more about that tomorrow, on the anniversary proper, but suffice it to say here that while news will always be a major focus, it is not the only focus, that we are also about having fun, and noticing neat stuff, and photos and funny stuff around Kansas City and the world.

I am an information hound, a person who is always looking around, trying to see this difficult, interesting, funny, sorry, amazing, God-created and sin-stained, crazy world for what it is--all those things and more. Sometimes I am amazed. Sometimes I am angered. Sometimes I am moved to tears. Sometimes I am stunned into silence, other times I am moved to rant.

We will never be hard core politics around here. We will not be completely consistent all the time. The only thing that will be consistent is the slightly right leaning/slightly libertarian/Christian/cares about people and the world point of view that will usually be demonstrated.

And oh yeah, we love scenery, old cars, dogs and cats and talking about the weather.

And "like" the Facebook page--that way I can have a nifty short url for it--yes, ending with a shameless plug!

Plaza Flash Mobs--Just Say No to Lawbreakers

There has been gallons (OK, quarts) of ink and millions (OK trillions) of megabits of words on the situation with the mobs of young people ruining everyone's good time--and business in the Country Club Plaza. Meantime our mayor is pissing around, thinking about whether or not he wants a curfew or what. Generally pessimism is reigning as to whether or not this can be turned around and made better.

Let's start with this: A decision to enforce every single law on the books available and applicable to disorderly mobs in the Plaza regardless of their age or color. Let's follow that up with holding those in charge of minors accountable for the actions of their children. (I almost typed something really intemperate--I do try to keep a Christian tone around here...) This waffling around talking about a possible curfew helps absolutely no one and causes people to think that City Hall has not got an effing clue as to what they are doing.

I'm sorry but let's poop or get off the pot--trying to avoid offending people is helping no one and doing nothing.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Guest Post: chuck on "...African American heart of darkness."

chuck with a small "c" is one of Tony's most prolific and faithful commenters on matters of crime and race. To be honest, I was looking forward to his posts in response to this incident. Here is just one of them--beware, it is pungent!
chuck said...

As reasonable Americans re consider the value of Plessy V Ferguson, it is way past time, to seek insight, guidance and sit at the feet of more evolved and realistic Oracles.

Its time to look at this African American heart of darkness and teh concomitant violence that rides into our cities and destroys, like black locusts everything in its path and resolve to rake for that heart, and stake that heart dead.

Stand by for sickening, sychophantic, superscillious shit from the 4th estate nationally, and the Kansas City Star locally which will place blame on, no "Nite Hoops", or "White Racism", or "disadvantaged youth" and pay homage and seek comments from African American community leaders, who have no more hope of stemming this tide of violence than our mayor did last night as he was trampled underneath the atavistic, chaotic mob of animals who are emblematic of a growing racial African American antipathy.

Listen for the usual calls for communication and understanding in the face of incessant violence, stupidity and high crime. Endure the 2nd partying of the blame, and exculpatory paens to 60 years old civil rights struggles which are galactically removed and have nothing to do with the African American murder, rape and theft that is tacitly condoned by our politicians, law makers and media every day.

African American mobs all across the nation commit hate crimes on a weekly basis, while individual African Americans inflict hate crimes on white people hourly. This African American penchant for wanton violence and lawlessness drives whites from cities, and leaves burnt out, "Thunderdome" neighborhoods which are ruled by feral thugs and crooked politicians.

As the African American undertow, reaches yet more suburban neighborhoods, whites flee and reconstitute new barbicans to repel the barbarians. Outside the walls, howling for more tribute in the form of misdirected and pernicious social engineering laws and programs to support African American dystopia, the increasing crescendo of chaos is matched by the 4th estate's calls for more Rainbow Down A Rat Hole cash for the very scum they refuse to report honestly on to the very folks they purport to inform.

Here is more bad news.

This ungovernable, uneducatable, unrepentant mob of "Dissadvantaged Youth" is beyond help of any kind. Their parents their grandparents and the horde of coming "baby mammas", and "baby daddys" will fill our streets with ignorant, violent thugs whose skills will consist of texting, cell phone use, 2nd grade rhymes and an evermore sophisticated ability for mayhem. Trillions have been squandered on programs designed to promote and elevate African Americans into jobs and positions that they are under qualified for, and compensate them unfairly at the expense of the rest of the populace.

The results of these efforts, are seen in our fair city last night, and in all major cities throughout the nation on a regualr basis.

There is one thing, one concept, one path to a solution of these problems.

Bloody constraint.

These animals, and animals they are, are modestly qualified to dress tehmselves and feed themselves (On your dime).

End the war on drugs and clear out the prisons to make room for violent offenders.

Incarcerate early and often, for extended periods of time, those violent offenders and leave them there to rot.

End social programs that encourage a lack of personal responsibility and reward a lack of accomplishment.

Its ok if people starve in the streets. We, as a nation, can no longer afford to prop up a phony black middle class, or their misanthropic, violent offspring.

Aquire a conceal and carry permit.

Shoot to kill.

8/14/11 9:49 AM

Guest Post: "...piss poor parenting is to blame."

Here is a great TKC comment--one of 200+ received by TKC's post on yesterday's events at the Plaza.

ChrisN...thanks for being a voice of reason. Unfortunately, piss poor parenting is to blame. Violence and crime committed by young Black teens has been a problem on the east side for quite some time. Now that the problem is crossing Troost and entering our a"Gem" of an attraction we are starting to dialogue about a solution.

Let's be clear. The answer is not to throw up a berlin wall to keep people out of the plaza or to create a militaristic type police presence that reminds us of the gestapo. Now that we are talking let's look at redirecting the traffic where mature young people can engage in mature fun. Is there an area on the Plaza that young people could be steered to that could provide musical entertainment and the like. Creating walls will create a more intense drive to break through it. The opposition from the East will meet greater opposition from the KCPD and the administration of justice and injustice will divide our city even more.

Second, create an intervention program for the parents of unruly youth. Haul the parents in and hold them accountable for their children's piss poor behavior. It should be educational and punitive. Give the parent strategies, a timeline to implement, and have a form of measuring success. Have some penalties in place. Bottom line, raise your child to respect authority and obey the laws of the land or the police will handle him as a criminal, lock him up, and lock you up with him. If we are assisting you already then its not a far stretch to have the two of you together in a place where you can be observed and hopefully realize the errors of your ways.

As a member of the Black Community and resident of the East Side, get these so called Black Leaders in a room, lock the door, and don't let them come out until they have a true action plan to affect real community engagement and change. Time out for photo ops with the Mayor, holding vigils, driving around in air conditioned cars and all the reactionary and pointless activities that produce nothing. Hold the leadership accountable ie. Pastors, NAACP, SCLC, Freedom, Organization Leaders, Fraternities, Sororities, SCLC, etc. Fuck the dinners and fundraisers and giving out awards considering the state we are in. The most pressing Civil Rights, Equal Rights struggle facing the Black Community is the right of Parents to effectively raise our children.

Finally, I am embarrassed at the behavior of our Black youth and it gives racist assholes a little false ammunition to shoot blanks. But here is the real tragedy, policies are being created and will be created locally and nationally because Black people are considered incapable of responsibility due to the errant behavior of some Black Parents and their children. That too is unacceptable and should be discouraged. So even the racist bastards spewing gross venom under the guise of free speech need to be publicly flogged. I am one Black Man that is not opposed to publicly embarrassing the parent to get their shit right.

8/14/11 9:06 AM

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Now What To Do About The Plaza?

Wow, just wow.

So the mayor and alleged community leaders had a meeting rally thingy at the Plaza last night and before they had even left there was a shooting that left three minors with non life threatening wounds. According to news reports the mayor was near enough to hear shots and see blood, and was pushed down to the ground by his security detail.

I have to admit I am almost burned out on the issue of mob violence/urban violence/Black on Black violence etc etc because it keeps coming back to the same group of issues. Please note that these are important questions, not necessarily the opinions of this blogger.

1. Parental responsibility or lack thereof. Kids as welfare payments and the way to earn a living.
2. Entitlements and multigenerational use of them; broken families with little stable structure. Values of life and property and civility not being imparted to young people by parents that may have never learned them well themselves.
3. The non-PC unspoken question that sits underneath many opinions: Are Black people inherently more violent than other people groups--or inferior in some other way?
4. Education, seen as almost every other people groups who came to America as the way out of the ghetto and poverty, has been a failure among Black people. Without a doubt the schools have been of poor quality but much of the thug Black culture has rejected education as valuable, and this actually has seeped into the culture at large.
5. Lack of people being held accountable for their actions--from the participants in the mob violence and melees to the parent/guardian of participants, particularly the minors to law enforcement and politicians using issues as political levers.
6. As one TKC commenter asked, what would have been the police actions if the groups or mobs had been majority White instead of Black? Would the laws already on the books (disorderly conduct, assault, MIP, traffic laws, littering etc.) been enforced with vigor with a White mob but were not because the mob was mostly Black and law officers feared lawsuits accusing them of racism?
7. As a Christian believer, I have to ask the question: Where is the church and the testimony of the power of God? Have the church's pastors and leaders been taken in by the siren song of connection to political power and government dollars and left behind the offensive preaching of the offensive Gospel of Jesus Christ?

On a practical point we must save our Country Club Plaza and that means uncompromising enforcement of the laws on the books. Make parents accountable for the actions of their minor children with fines and jail. Put mobbing hooligans in jail. I have not changed my view on this from the last time this happened.

There were so many great comments on Tony's Kansas City. Don't be surprised if one or two of them pop up on here as guest posts.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I kept seeing this word while reading coverage of the riots in the Daily Mail and other British news outlets---what is this "yob"?

I mean we all know that the Brits speak English just like we do--except not so much. So, to the interwebs for info on "yob." I discovered that the word was coined in the 1700s--an era that had a lot of violent moments. The reverse of "boy," it is indicating that the male in question is exactly the opposite of a normal good boy. Thus generally, yobs are male. However, thug and hooligan are easy synonyms and can be applied to both sexes. A variation on the word I saw was "yobbo" which is similar and generally used in Australia. There it also acquires the sense of what we call "white trash" here in the USA.

On Riots and Other Mob Violence: Two More Interesting Links

There has been a lot of commentary written about the recent (and somewhat underreported in the US) riots in Britain. Here are links to two interesting items. Have to give a tip of the hat to Limbaugh for mentioning and/or quoting from these two interesting essays.

This post is a partner with the previous post with the two mayors. The events of past days have made me wonder if there has been a fundamental change in the moral character of people today. On the other hand my Bible tells me that without God, humankind is trapped in a cycle of evil and civil decay...

First we have Max Hastings at the UK Daily Mail talking about how the culture of entitlement played an extensive part in the behavior and choices of the British rioters. By the way, the Daily Mail did a very nice job of covering the riots.

The Daily Mail reveals that not all rioters were down and out or at society's edges--so-called "good people"will yield to the temptation of obtaining something for nothing, doing things because everyone else is doing it, or acting on emotions of envy, jealousy and anger if they do not have a strong moral foundation.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Nutter

Two mayors...

Mayors of two major American cities had some interesting things to say over the past few days. Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia took much of the Black community to task for the violence that seems to have become such a big part of its life and culture.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg surprises this listener by accurately describing the business and employment killing environment that the actions of our federal government has created. While sounding like a text book liberal in describing how the spend thrift plan of the fed "saved" the economy in 2008-09, Bloomberg sounds as conservative as anyone in his description of what has made everyone risk adverse.

Enjoy the videos--they are a refreshing change from so much of what we hear.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Adventures in Telecom Land...

I am trying to figure out which new phone to get. My contract is up and I am ready for a new one.

There are no deals anymore is the first thing I discovered. No "free" or heavily rebated phones, especially Smart Phones. Just about everything will require about $100. Ick.

I like my Blackberry pretty well, but BB is not offering much new through my carrier, Verizon. That leaves Android type phones and iPhone.

If anyone has a word of wisdom, feel free to comment. I am very curious about iPhone's method of photo storage since the cell phone camera is often an important part of my blogging and iPhone uses cloud storage rather than a disk.

I have to say that iPhone looks fabulous and the 5 mega pix camera looks awesome.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mayor James' Son

Well, we are talking about the mayor's son tonight on the front porch.

Mayor James' 22 year old son Kyle caused a disturbance in the Power and Light District last Saturday night. Young James appeared to be intoxicated, tried to "eat-and-run," was verbally abusive to police and worst of all pulled out the "Do you know who I am?" card.

Guess what Kyle? Your days of being an anonymous drunken idiot are over. Your dad is The Mayor of Kansas City! Your actions will affect your dad the mayor for no other reason as to get people to wondering about his ability to manage the city if he can't manage his family. Go get some help with your binge drinking problem. I hear Valley Hope has good programs.

I do not hold the mayor responsible for Kyle's actions. The boy is an adult. I am dismayed that he did not force his son to face more of the consequences of his actions. Many times the kids of successful parents suffer for the parents' success. They don't get a lot of time and attention from their parents and they often suffer from conditional love and overblown expectations from the family. Sometimes they start looking for attention, even if it is just the bad kind. Then the parents rush in to prevent their baby from failing and falling, and to care for their own reputation.

Mr. Mayor, put your boy firmly on his own two feet. Help him to realize that these are his own bad choices and only he, Kyle, can change them into better choices.

And remind him that you love him just because he is your son.

Photo of Sly James during the campaign last March by The Observer.

Links: Kansas City Star, and the police report (caution: crude language!)

Update: Kyle James made a public apology this evening before a reporter for the Kansas City Star and a TV reporter.

Apparently it is not the first time young Kyle has acted like an ass downtown. He appears to have a problem; I hope he figures out that he is out of control and gets help. Link to the Star's article here and the TV report here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Which Do You Prefer--Winter or Summer?

Do you prefer this...

The challenge has been made--after a record breaking summer day exactly six months after the area experienced blizzard conditions and record cold. February 2, 2011 was one for te record books. So the question came up--winter or summer? I decided to break it down.

More light during the 24 hour period--easier to get energized.
Most Seasonal Affective Disorder relates to light--more light, less SAD.
You don't have to put on a bunch of stuff to go outside.
Except for rainy days, driving is generally safer.
It takes almost no time to get going in the morning.
There is more to do outside.

When it is really hot, there is only so much you can take off or do to get cooled down while staying in the weather.
Activity makes you hotter and more uncomfortable.
Really hot weather is life threatening.
The general discomfort of feeling hot and sweaty.
Needing to be more mindful of your body and what you eat and drink then you usually are.
Allergies and bugs--more of both!
Too warm and humid (especially humid) saps energy and will.
The interior of your car gets wicked hot!
Sun burn
...or this?

Fewer allergies and bugs
Can be easier to stay warm then get cooled down.
Being active helps you get more comfortable, rather than making you more uncomfortable.
More options for heating--gas, electric, wood, etc. then cooling--anyone know of a way of cooling that doesn't involve electricity?

Dark!--less light during the 24 hour days.
Increased risk of SAD--depression--for that reason.
You have to put a bunch of stuff on to go outside.
Tendency to hibernate inside and not do anything due to it being cold and dark.
Snow and ice make for risky driving when they show up.
Having to warm up the car, and if caught by ice or snow, clean it off before going anywhere.
Really cold weather is life threatening (although you can get hypothermia if the temp is in the 40s).
Cold car seats.
Frost bite

And the winner is...? San Diego! Seriously, this stuff goes with living in an area with four seasons. The best way is to make peace with what is going on--it will change soon anyway. Besides it always gives us something to talk and complain about.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Funny Sign

Honestly, I don't know what to blog about today.

I did get a laugh yesterday from this sign at the gas station. I love slightly self deprecating low key humor and word play like this.

Brother was it hot today! Broke records at KCI and all over. 108 at the Lee's Summit airport. That's hot!

Monday, August 1, 2011


The most experience I have with budgeting on a bigger scale than my household is with the church. Although I have never served on the Finance Committee, any church board member that takes the job seriously knows how the process works. Here in a nut shell is how the process works for a church affiliated with a denomination.

You start at $0. You know what you spent last year in each category, and whether that was enough or not, but that is just knowledge. It is not a base to have an increase from.

Find out your obligations to the denomination first. These are fixed by the gang at HQ. They represent your church's participation in the church at large--to provide Christian higher education, for the retirement of your clergy, and for evangelistic and church work outside of your area, whether that be across the country or across the world. You will also contribute to the running of your district or region. Next is the every day expenses of having a building or a place to gather together for worship and fellowship: mortgage/rent, electricity, phone, internet, water, gas, insurance, maintenance of same. You'll have guidance from the previous year with regard to this, but it is only that. A one time replacement expense in one year does not cause the budget to be permanently elevated--in fact a replacement of a furnace with a more efficient one may cause the next year's overall budget to go down. Then there are program expenses, such as Sunday School literature, music resources, conferences and such. Again, one year is a guide. Perhaps there will be more expense this year then last year due to the purchase of hymnals or software for projection of song lyrics. Finally, there are church staff salaries. Can we afford to have a paid janitor, or is the congregation willing to take up this job on a volunteer basis as a way to give to the church? Has the church grown and thus taken in a bit more money, enabling the hiring of new staff or a raise for someone who deserves it? Here is an important concept: Just because that money is there, does not mean it has to be spent right away. It could be tucked away as a rainy day fund for that inevitable day when the church van's engine blows up, or the copy machine dies...

In churches in which I have participated in this process, we have had spending go up, and spending go down. We examined each item asking, "Can we do it cheaper? Can we lock in a utility cost (#2 fuel oil contracts can be settled as early as summer--sometimes you can save a bit of money with a early lock-in.)? Can we find a new internet provider? Should we rely on paid staff here, or is this something the congregation can and should do?"

The fact is that our great country has gotten away from this common sense way of doing business, and we are paying the price now with debt that is almost impossible to conceive. We may never pay down the debt we have. My deepest desire is that we work hard to stop adding to it. And in reality, no one has an answer to our dilemma that they are 100% certain will work. In my darker moments, I see a decline we cannot avoid for our country. As someone said recently if we can slow down in a controlled manner, it would be far better than slowing down by hitting a brick wall.

I am glad that we have enough resolution that we have avoided the brick wall of the debt ceiling not being raised--but have we done enough to avoid the other brick walls out there? Can we get back to handling the budgets with common sense, the common sense of the American people?