Tuesday, December 15, 2015

10 snobbiest cities in Kansas--and all but one are in JoCo!!! But at least my town, Shawnee, was 18, and didn't make ten most redneck towns.

Just in time for holiday taunting...See the 10 snobbiest cities in Kansas--here!

Gotta love the descriptions. Years ago, I promised snobby Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn that I would not say "ladidah Leawood", in any of my memorable radio spots for Rutlader Furniture,  for an entire year.  Well, time's up.  Ladidah is as #1 lives.  Truth be told: that is not a live giraffe ogling the Mayor's cleavage.  She was at a Lyric Ball auction.  And she is not really taller than a giraffe.

Second spoiler alert: Prairie Village does not have mountains.  Yet.  Tho once the new mayor, Laura Wassmer, decorates her new free Joco tax subsidized community center, the former Meadowbrook Club House, she may want to build a ski chalet and serve cocoa at Meadowbrook.  But only if the county commission subsidizes it.  Someone, ask Commissioner and former mayor of PV, Ron Shaffer.  It could be the next tax subsidy: New Courthouse plus Morgue for Olathe.  Plus a bonus Mountain Range for Prairie Village, to get those swing voters there.

And when they show Fairway on this list, that photo is the Shawnee Indian Mission museum.  This is disgusting, because it was where snooty Kansas missionaries had the courts/sheriffs kidnap and house little Indian kids, and tried to turn them into worker bees for white families.  Tried to beat their native religion out of them, and turn them into Methodists.  And yet, we spend JoCo county tax dollars to subsidize this and celebrate it.

Stealing someone's culture and brainwashing them.  Not a good thing---
---Martha Stewart

To my knowledge, no native American Indians currently live in Fairway.  But Fairway does boast the region's largest inventory of homes with just one car garages, since that used to be the rule there.  Point that out, as you haul your relatives by car on this Tour de Snootiness.

Now many of you will argue, rightfully and indisputably, that of course Mission Hills should have been #1.  That's what makes these silly lists such perfect table talk for your family holiday party. Statistics.  Bigger liars than your Uncle Homer.

And is it true George Brett moved from Mission Hills to PV?  Someone report back on this.  I thought it was just his wife who opened a little noshery in PV.  There are no homes with ballfields in the back yard for George's four boys--in Prairie Village, are there???

So, before you put on your ugly sweater or unfurl your napkin--and tuck it tastelessly into your shirt collar, do one thing:

Print off the list, and tuck it into your pocket.  Pull it out when your family members bring up any of the Top 10 WORST subjects for Christmas dinner:
Hillary or--
Planned Parenthood
Second Amendment v. Gun control
Former Royals players
How about those Chiefs

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Before you shop for Xmas, peek at your new JoCo property tax statement: Comm. Steve Klika broke his promise, and just cost you $48 every year for life.

You could have bought a loved one a decent gift for around $48 this Christmas.  And every year thereafter.  But instead, by one vote, you are forced to pay the County to cover Steve Klika's sellout and failed job search.

This is what happens when unemployable men of low integrity get into office.  They break their campaign promises.  They sell us out, to pay off their pimp--by spending Other People's Money.  So three years ago, Steve Klika of southern Overland Park had failed once again in his career.
Untrained and with a whiny cloying personality hauntingly reminiscent of Barney Fife, Klika was let go from his 18 month job as an executive headhunter.  (But lied about it on campaign disclosure forms for 3 years.) This followed his previous job loss, running tour busses to Branson.  Not a college grad, he sure didn't want to lose his house in the Blue Valley school district.  He was desperate to feed his three kids and his very young wife, Amber.  As her boss at KC Agenda described her to me last summer, "Amber works just part time,  as one of our Party Girls--entertaining men at conventions at hotels in downtown KCMO."

So Klika ran to replace former Kansas City Chief, County Commissioner Dave Lindstrom, who went back to real estate.  Klika's opponent, Terry Presta, was a conservative Republican, who ended up with a job in Topeka running the Lottery.

How did Klika beat his opponent, a known and trusted conservative in that district of southern OP?  In the opinion of many, as documented in print, Steve Klika lied to the voters.  He POSED as a conservative.   At every campaign stop, he made a pledge: "I will not vote for ANY tax increases until we do our job and finally rebuild the outdated Johnson County Courthouse."

But two weeks after he was sworn in, he took off the mask.  Klika broke his promise, for the first of three times.  He became the swing vote for the worst real estate project in JoCo history, the King Louie bailout.  The $400,000 building the county bought from Eilert's supporter and future Sunflower landfill development partner, Kessinger Hunter--where Lindstrom has worked.  Klika poured $4.5 million into moldy King Louie in his first month as a commissioner.  By law that money should have been the seller's responsibility for asbestos abatement and buttoning up the building that had been just two weeks away from condemnation.

After that, Klika was the swing vote that poured even more tax money into King Louie.  A total of $32 million.  In a s shady financing scheme that pays much higher interest rates, and is reserved only for wealthy bond investors.  For an unnecessary community center seven blocks away from a far better community center operated by Overland Park, Matt Ross Center.

How did Chairman Ed Eilert get Klika's vote?  Well, many believe he promised the pathetic over-the-hill guy a job.  Which didn't pan out.  But Eilert got his vote.  During the same months as the King Louie votes, Eilert was backing Klika for the job of Director of the ATA.  After all, he had run a tour bus company worth less than $1 million.  Why not a five county bus company worth seventy times that in annual tax subsidies?  What's a few zeroes among friends?  All Klika had to do was sell out the taxpayers.

The professional headhunters for the ATA checked out Klika's declining career path and fuzzy dates on his resume.  The ATA had already banked Eilert's half a million annual subsidy of the newly reunited metro bus company.  They didn't need the dead weight of a weak manager in Klika.  So, the ATA chose Joe Reardon, the seasoned, scrappy guy from KCK instead.

Klika hung his head like Eyeore the Mule.  (oh alright, if you insist...)                                            

Now he had no new daytime big boy job.  Since then, he has remained totally dependent on his $65,000 a year one day a week Thursday job as Eilert's boy, his swing vote.  One of seven JoCo commissioners on the BOCC/Board of County Commissioners.  Now, for the record, Klika a neighbor in Blue Valley have started a new headhunter business--but that has never taken off.  Doesn't have a web site, an office or a phone.

So this is how politics works.  You pay off your supporters with sweet contracts.

This is how a one vote margin cost the average JoCo homeowner $48 a year, every year, in property tax increases.

The BOCC is seven men who meet during the day, instead of at night, like they used to.
2015 was an "off year" for elections...so this was the year that Eilert could still count on four votes he controlled, to the three conservatives he did not control.

There is no newspaper coverage of county business.
And the TV stations are busy covering crime in KCMO.
Their reporters must leave bread crumbs or plug into GoogleMaps just to find the county offices in Olathe.  And how do you tell a story in 45 seconds?  You can't.

So Klika is the big traitor.  But who are the other three men who love to spend Other People's Money?

Ed Eilert:
In 2014, Chairman Ed Eilert defeated challenger crazy lazy Patricia Lightner, the worst campaigner and debater in JoCo history.  He's on his final victory lap, and will likely set himself up to work for some of the real estate barons that he has enriched over the years.  So he votes for everything that enriches Overland Park, including King Louie.  And to keep the money flowing to moderate OP, Eilert votes against anything that would, by law, be required to be build in conservative Olathe, including a new Courthouse.

Commissioner Ron Shaffer:
Former mayor of PV, beat Mission's former mayor, Laura McConwell. So how did he bring home the bacon to his liberal Dem voters?   Shaffer voted for King Louie, AND then immediately for Meadowbrook --the park department giveaway of a FREE community center for the voters in Prairie Village.  (The county took the hit for the city of PV.  And kept the worst half of the land, leaving the better half to a car dealer turned developer: VanTrust Foundation.)

Commissioner Jim Allen, former mayor of Shawnee, with 7,117 loyal State Farm clients, also voted for King Louie.  And Meadowbrook.  And the third leg of political pork: the Parks&Rec and Library mill levy increases as well.  So-- what did Shawnee get?  Bupkiss.  Losing a museum.  No new funds for crumbling streets.  And just $1.3 million for a study to fix the stupid Monticello "RedBox" lending kiosk that never works.  (I know.  It doesn't take that kinda money to "study" this.)

But Allen had to get something for his vote: the other half of Allen's District #2 is Lenexa.  And they got a second free library.  Allen voted with the Eilert Cabal to raise property taxes for not just Parks and Rec, but also the Library board.  Lenexa is building a new city center, on dangerous unstable land that was dynamited by Shawn O'Rourke's cave storage company, 20 years ago near 97th and Renner.  Hence, lots of buildings no taller than two stories, so they don't fall down, go boom.  But instead of that city paying to build themselves a second unneeded library, (in an era of Google and Wikipedia) Lenexa got the county to build them a second full sized one for free.

The difference between Shaffer and Allen and Klika?
Only Steve Klika campaigned on a promise of no new taxes.
Just remember that in the August 2016 primary and the August 2016 general election.

You could have bought your loved one something nice this Christmas.  But instead, Steve Klika sold you out perpetually, in a year with no election.  He's hoping you're too stupid to remember.  Let's find someone, a true conservative in southern Overland Park to replace him.

Editor's note: Ten days ago, the BOCC finally voted to "study" building a new courthouse.  Not build it.  Just study it!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Here is why Kansans and Missourians hate Stan Kroenke, destroyer of Metcalf South: Organic hard boiled eggs at Costco, already peeled...

It's not just ISIS.  There are poor folk and millions of middle class folk in the US who are out of jobs but full of resentment.  The war in the US is the Haves v. the Have Nots.  And in Kansas and Missouri both, Enemy Number One might just be Stan Kroenke, the real owner of abandoned Metcalf South.

He is a double 1%'er.  So rich he is high up in the 1% of America's wealthy.  The source of that is was smart enough to marry Sam Walton's sister.  So Stan and Ann own 1% of all Walmart stock.

Hey, maybe we will see Stan tonight, at 6pm, as your local Walmart drags all their employees in from Thanksgiving dinner for a jump start on Black Friday.

Memo to Stan's employees: "No pie for YOU!  Clock in by 4pm or lose your job."

We probably won't see Stan at the store.  Stan Kroenke is not driving down Metcalf to survey what his unrelenting selfish greed has done.  He's also not driving around downtown St. Louis, where he is abandoning his team, the St. Louis Rams, to take an even BIGGER tax handout by moving his team to LA.

Nope, Stan is said to be enjoying some deviled eggs at his $21 million home in Aspen, Colorado.  He is the richest homeowner with the biggest damn house in Aspen.  That's what greed do.

Now let me tell you about Kroenke's deviled eggs.  It is way too much trouble to boil one's eggs.  Or have to practice your Spanish so you can tell your third-world chef how to do that.  The truly rich start halfway to the finish line--get your hard-boiled eggs at Costco--they're already peeled!

Just slice in half, remove the yolks, (perfectly centered?  Or are those yolks leaning far to the right???)  Being collosally wealthy has its travails.

Mash up the yolks in a $1000 blender, add mustard and some mayo--the good Hellman's kind, not that Berman's crap from Aldi, plop back in, or use a cake-decorator pipe to do it up right.  And for God's sake, sprinkle with paprika or caviar BEFORE you artfully arrange on some $200 designer platter.  Nothing says middle class like spillage on the platter.  And no cleaning the outlines around the deviled eggs by licking the spillage with your finger.

Here's Stan's tough dilemma this month: does he have his chef buy the organic hardboiled peeled eggs, for $8.79 or the regular eggs, which are just $5.99 at Costco?

We all know what Stan Kroenke did.  He bought the organic.  The motto of every 1%'er is this:
Why spend more when you can spend a great deal more???!

Because he and his loyal knave, Owen Donahue from Lane4, are just biding their time, waiting for the city of Overland Park to cave in, and give him tax abatements, and Sam Brownback and the state of Kansas, to give him STAR bonds.  For that, he'd be required to build some stupid qualifying special attraction, eg a "water feature" in the parking lot at the former Metcalf South.

The last drawing showed a fountain the size of an above ground pool in KCK.  woohoo!  Last one into the fountain is a rotten egg!


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Our town's little Sundance: KIFF starts Fri. Nov. 6: My picks for Film Festival include Curious Worlds, DreamKiller, and RightFooted.

On any given weekend, the same 12 studio films are playing in 80% of all theatres in every city in America.  Starring the same 36 actors and comedians interviewed at 10:30pm on every major network show.  It's group think for the masses.  That is why it stretches your mind when you carve out time to see some "indies"--movies too unique/controversial/artistic or sometimes subtitled to make it into general release.  YOU vote on the favorite documentary and narrative.  You make a huge difference in helping these small budget movies break out to earn nationwide distribution.

The 15th annual Kansas International Film Festival opens for one week only, this Fri, Nov. 6--with 80 independent films shown one time only!  Dozens of filmmakers and directors will be present for Q&A's.

KIFF president Brian Mossman and his screening board (the ones in blue shirts with bloodshot eyes!) have assembled a lineup this year with something for everyone: narratives, docs, shorts and animation.

The schedule, descriptions and all the trailers--all at kansasfilm.com.  Sort by your favorite genres.

Can't decide?  Just show up.  Ask a movie maven at the table to coach you. You will meet some great new friends over a snack in the KIFF Cafe.

My picks for the first night, Fri. Nov. 6: 
Curious Worlds/The Art & Imagination of David Beck at 5:40pm.    A weird obsessive artist.  Asked where he gets his ideas, he replies, "I have a book.  Ideas for Skinny Sculptors".

Watch the hilarious trailer for Curious Worlds here.

And then at 7:40pm, an Oscar nominee, "dream/killer", a true story about a young man in Columbia Mo convicted of murder --based on some witness's dream!  Spoiler alert--after 10 years, his Dad and lawyers got him out of prison.  The filmmakers will attend the screening.  This is the kind of excitement you witness at KIFF every fall.

 See the trailer for "dream/killer" here.

Yet another story featuring a resident from Columbia may be a huge hit Sat. night at 7:45pm: "RightFooted".  This unstoppable gal was born with no arms.  yet she flies a plane, pours milk on her cereal, dabs her mouth with a napkin--because she is "RightFooted".  AND a really happy person, a role model, and a wife.  So if you are sick of people who whine and complain, bring 'em to KIFF for an attitude adjustment.

Watch the trailer for "RightFooted" here.

KIFF happens at the new Glenwood Arts at Ranchmart, 95th & Mission.  The theatres and the film festival were forced to relocate from Metcalf South when Lane4 and greedy 1%er Stan Kroenke closed that venue last December--out of spite, to taunt the City of OP while begging for tax abatements, and build: NOTHING!  Maybe a filmmaker will make a doc about those greedsters some day.

The schedule, descriptions and all the trailers--are all at kansasfilm.com.  Sort by your favorite genres.

Can't decide?  Just show up.  Ask a movie mogul or maven at the table to coach you. You will meet some great new friends over a snack in the KIFF Cafe.

KIFF changed my life, maybe the same will happen to you.  This is where I became an activist, after seeing "Under Our Skin", the doc about Lyme Disease.  I started lobbying to support dozens of Kansas City victims of deer syphilus that the CDC and our two state governments refuse to diagnose or treat, whilst waiting for a new vaccine.

One year, I heard a Sex Offender Prison Choir.  From Leavenworth.  There's always a memorable moment at KIFF.  Come have yours.  Open your eyes--but please, turn off your cell phones.  See you Fri. Nov. 6 thru Thurs. the 12th--at the Glenwood Arts at Ranchmart.

Schedules and trailers, all the deets here!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Finally, I agree with Steve Rose: JCCC should drop name of Carlsen Center. Just don't rename it the Cosby Center!

Since I haven't read the KC Star for two years, thanks to Tonyskansascity.com for posting Steve Rose's column.

Read Tony's comments plus Steve Rose's column re Carlsen Center

Finally, Steve Rose and I agree on something.

Steverino loves being called Mister Johnson County.  And 99.97% of the time, he is an apologist for his golfing buddies and the development attorneys and the bankers and Ed Eilert who voted to give HIM that title, so then he supports whatever agenda of tax grabs and land grabs they want to advance.

So I was shocked that he wrote, we should rename the Carlsen Center at JCCC.

Now Steve Rose is not a journalist.  He inherited his millions from his great Dad, Stan Rose, back when we had a Sun Newspapers.  He is a mouthpiece.

So do I think he had this original thought?  Of course I do not.  I suspect Chuck Carlsen and his wife are tired of being reminded of Carlsen's history of chasing women who were his employees.  Rose quotes Carlsen.  Rose does not report.  He shares what he is told to do.

I believe Carlsen WANTS his name removed.  Good.

I believe the elected board of directors of JCCC WANTS to remove Carlsen's name.  And thus, Rose's editorial gives them political cover to finally do the right thing.  Good.

I believe the school newspaper staff and students deserve high praise, because it took great courage when Ann Bullers and her kids published their exposes about Carlsen--WHILE he controlled their budget.  And subsequent staffers and reporters have continued to press this issue.  Good.

Now two things:
the board of JCCC needs to also pass a guideline that henceforth no current employees get to use taxpayer dollars to build a building and then bully the board into naming it after them.

And: just don't rename it the Cosby Center.  Then we're good.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Does your Good Luck Royals T from 1985 roll up above your manboobs like a sausage casing? What's your good luck outfit or superstition that will bring the Royals the pennant?

The last time the Royals WON the World Series was 1985.  (Last year we came in second.  But you knew that, or else you are Isis undercover.)

So here's the question:  What will you be wearing Tuesday during the game?  Do you have a royal blue good luck T-shirt?  And does it cover you?  Or is it so tight, it rolls up, above your manboobs like you are in the discards pile of a sausage factory?

I do have a royal blue rain poncho.  And Gary Lezak et al (including that perky gal, Kalee Dionne, on 41, or Lisa Teachman, the one on KCTV5, with the faux twirly hair that doesn't move even during gale force winds), are all predicting rain.

May I wear that rain poncho, inside my living room?  Will this fool anyone--even my puppies, or the Isis man?

I also have a royal blue hat with a very long feather--it's a church hat.  Who am I kidding?  I'm a fair weather fan.  But still, Go Royals...

I always love those scenes from Silver Linings Playbook, where the co-dependent Mom is making her lucky recipes, Crabby Snacks and Homemades, for her OCD husband, Robert DeNiro.  And her nervous breakdown son, Bradley Cooper.  Because if she doesn't, or she runs out, that entire family believes, the Philadelphia Eagles are sure to lose the game.
and yes, this full service JoCoPost blog brings you the recipes:
(Call me and I'll come over and taste them to make sure you made them just right...)

Have we come just three steps out of the dugout of history, the world of Fred and Betty Flinstone?  Is our society still so driven to "invent meaning" and connect the dots that superstition rules us today?  What are your favorite superstitions?

One more thing.  Look up in the sky.  Another full moon.  The one last month was the remarkable red moon, 17% closer to Earth so it appeared huge--and it was the TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE!  First one since 1982, three years before we won the World Series.    And the next one won't be for another 18 years.

One can only imagine if that happened during Game 1 of this World Series.  Some fans would be quite willing to sacrifice their first born son, in a trade to the Gods of Baseball, for a sacrifice bunt.

I hope the Royals win out in four.  Because between my too tight t-shirt (which I will NOT model for you), my rain poncho, my church lady hat and oh yeah, my blue suede shoes with Velcro closures--well I've only got four pieces of apparel to trade for a victory.

Go Royals.  I'll be sitting next to this gal...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Simple way to avoid cell phone scam! Buyer beware: online cell phones may be stolen merch that T-Mobile says "no longer exists in our universe"

I know.  I shoulda bought my cell phone from T-Mobile or Best Buy, but not from a third party seller.  And when my choice of Galaxy S6 Edge popped up on Glyde.com, instead of the usual $623, there was ONE for $421.  I'd been shopping for weeks.  I grabbed it two minutes later, like it was the last chocolate cookie.

Duh.  That should have sounded the alarm in my head.  Apparently, I don't have an internal brain app for Sucker Deal.  (Well, now I do.)  I went to the T-Mobile store Friday during the Royals game--expecting to be the only customer.  Instead it was like the Turkish border or a German refugee camp for Syrians.  Everything but a row of tents.  Doors lock at 9pm, the hard working staff (who at least do not call themselves geniuses, like snooty Apple does) stays on Fridays till 1 or 2 in the morning if necessary.  Who knew?

The phone was advertised as "Excellent", but Reza Niamat, the manager at T-Mobile in western Shawnee exclaimed, "This thing is brand new!"  BUT THEN REZA SQUINTED.  I should have known then.  Reza's lieutenants had transfered the contacts, and only THEN made the new SIM.  Uffda, as my Norwegian grandmother would have said.

Not only was the phone locked, it was "blocked".  Forever.  Kind of telephone leprosy.  An untouchable.  Or at least not activate-able, ever ever ever.  Believe me, I tried.  Assurant Insurance ladies are nice.  You can hear hundreds of them in a call center, all dealing with this national problem.  I was told the phone had probably been in more men's hands than a cheap hooker.  Maybe 3 or 4 transactions in short order.  From the thief to Craigs List or a bulletin board at a college, or e-Bay. (Altho at least e-Bay lists the seller, and blocks them when they get caught selling stolen merch.)

Or maybe the clueless gal who "lost" it or changed her mind filed a false claim, and thought she'd get to change brands just by paying $175 and then reselling the phone that was never lost in the first place.

Hours of research revealed, when a cell phone is reported Lost or Stolen, and the original owner pays her $175 to the insurance company to get a replacement, then the old phone no longer exists in T-Mobile's inventory.  You can't pay off the insurance claim.  It's shiny new yard art.  Filling America's landfills with "rare earth" and magnets.

Watch Lesley Stahl's story on Rare Earth, how China is beating us

Now here's how to avoid being scammed.  Don't buy a used phone until you look up the IMEI number.  Google it.  A website will tell you if that phone is BLOCKED.

And to Glyde's credit--they worked it all out.  I am sending back the Leper Phone, and they are covering the difference when I buy a legitimate one.  They checked the IMEI number before shipping it.   Good for Glyde.

And they blocked the seller.  Either she is clueless or devious.  At first I was told if she did it AGAIN, then they'd block her.  I responded, that is what is wrong with justice in the US.  Coddling and enabling.  Should we tell a murderer, "Now if you kill a SECOND person, then you're goin' to jail"?

OK, readers.  Soon I will have a great phone for taking videos to send to you.  As Shakespeare said, "All's well that ends well.  Can you hear me now?"

Friday, October 16, 2015

Apple Store genius Trevor reveals crappy sound is AT&T's fault, not your Apple phone! Here's the fix, so you don't have to go into the store.

Have you found it virtually impossible to hear your Apple phone friends when they call?  Because of intermittent kinds of static?  Crackles?  Bad audio?  Dropped calls or ones that make you have them repeat every darn thing they say?  As Bernie Sanders might say, "I'm tired of your damn phone calls!"

Well, guess what.  It's not the NSA--listening in.  It's ATandT's fault.  Finally--the secret is out.  And now, you can tell all your Apple-holic friends how to fix it, thanks to this blog (have you subscribed yet?  Please do so now, top RH corner.  And leave a comment.)

Apple phones of many recent generations have sounded terrible lately.  But Trevor at the Apple store (he's a genius you know)  in Leawood says, it's not Apple's fault.  It's AT&T.

At first I was skeptical.  But he actually fixed the problem, in 90 seconds (during one of those appointments it takes 10 days to get.)  And he shared how you can or your friend can perform this simple fix yourself.  Now.

ONLY AT&T started bundling their cellular signals in one switch, for both data and voice.  Kind of like some of the water pipes in Kansas City, Missouri, where they co-mingle storm water and water full of shit.  (There's a reason they call it Flush Creek rather than Brush Creek.  And that's why it's only out of town tourists who will ride in a boat at the Country Club Plaza. And never step foot in the brown water.)

So all the other carriers were smart enough not to bundle oil and water, or poop and water, or data and voice.

Apple phone owners with AT&T service only:
Go into Settings
Disable LTE  (this changes it to data only, not voice and data.)
Reboot the phone.

Problem solved.  You're welcome.

Now sign up to follow this blog, and forward to your friends.  Even if THEY don't use AT&T, with an Apple phone, I guarantee they know SOMEONE who does.

Here's to world peace.  Go Royals.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

If you see only one movie in next 2 years, make it PK. Thurs. 7:30pm Oct. 15, Standee's in PV. One showing only thx to OmFilmFest.com. Slumdog/ET/BeingThere/GodsMustBeCrazy/Bollywood.

We are so blessed that Johnson County is a better film community even than Denver.  So while we read up and make our choices out of 80 docs and narratives and shorts for KIFF, Nov. 6-12 at Glenwood Arts (kansasfilm.com), we can go this Thursday for the final encore showing in this market of the best film I've seen in 30 years: PK.

Thanks to Jerome van Wert at OMFilmFest.com, (who had a sold out showing of PK in September at Cinemark on the Plaza, there will be one final encore showing of PK.  I've never been to Standee's in the Prairie Village Shops, but I hear it's super.

Did you love The Gods Must Be Crazy?  ET?  Being There?  Slumdog Millionaire?  PK is Bollywood's biggest hit, so big that Disney bought the US rights, and locked this up with their princesses.  You can't buy it on DVD, nor see it on Netflix.

So I hope to see you there Thursday 7:30pm at Standee's.  It will make you laugh, and open your heart.  Promise.  One of the few films that actually hits its dramatic arch.

OK, SMSD: follow Chris Kemper's lead at KC Public Library: get OUR libraries to use student ID's as library card, and allow 24/7 access.

Kudos to the Kansas City Library system, so ably led by Chris Kemper.  It took 3 years to pull off, (which is crazy) but now KC Public School students log in online to the library, using just their student ID.

Saves a huge waste of plastic, admin time and as the boy in the Micheal Mahoney/KMBC.com story says, a whole lot of time on the bus.

Watch Ch. 9's Mahoney's story on national first: students use library with just their student ID

I can't believe it took Chris Kemper, (R. Crosby Kemper III) the scion of United Missouri Bank, now graciously and wisely serving the public like a Medici-in-residence, to accomplish a first for the nation.

Good for him.  Now it's time for Shawnee Mission School District to follow suit.

Just what is the problem, anyway?  Isn't there an app for that?!  Someone write a computer program, to accept all verified student ID numbers the same way they accept all those old "library cards" on plastic, that either have to be made by hand, and held at the desk, while we wait in line, or mailed by snail mail.

Our libraries are one of the most archaic and obsolete institutions.  They need to completely reinvent themselves--or lose their tax subsidy.  Google and Wikipedia are far better than the World Book Encyclopedia my family paid $399 for in 1957.  (Remember when the molecule was the smallest particle?  I do!  I wrote a paper on it in 1958--and got an A from Miss Mangan.)

How quarky was that?  OK, Shawnee Mission.  You filed your amicus brief, pleading just how broke you are, the day after you walked on $1 million in a TIF for Meadowbrook Park's "Recreational Welfare just for the citizens of PV" plus a subsidy of some luxury homes.   You gave all our students laptops and tablets.  Now get to work: hook em up to the library.

Maybe some students will use their access to brush up on economics.  And the distinction of socialist welfare.

Friday, October 9, 2015

SMSD cries wolf: feigning poverty day after walking on $1 million in taxes. Did they violate KOMA? Can Steve Howe subpoena their Ouija boards??

SM Schools --you can't act all rich on Wednesday, then file an amicus brief with the Kansas Supreme Court the next day, claiming poverty.

SM is talking out of both sides of its mouth.

So Wed. at 7:30am, the SMSD met.  The public was not allowed to speak.  And the hoped for moment, when someone dared to stand up to Ed Eilert's shenanigans and deceits, and refused to hand over $1 million in rightful property taxes to the county--for the purpose of funding Recreational Welfare: a FREE community center for PV--at the expense of every taxpayer in JoCo.

I was proud of Cindy Neighbor and Patty Mach, two board members, for even DARING to suggest ths goofy "reverse TIF" for a car dealer, was, as Commissioner Michael Ashcraft of Olathe admitted on PVPost.com, "a bad deal for SM Schools".  After all, the school board members, who work for free, are elected to protect our property values.  Not kiss up to Ed Eilert and his buddies.

It's not just to provide good schools for those of us who have kids.  But also to protect our single biggest investments, our homes.  And when our schools fail to compete with Blue Valley, we can easily lose $20,000 when we go to sell our homes.

But alas: this was the first round.  And when it came time to vote, there was no vote!  So, if the public's business must be conducted in public, then exactly how did Superintendent Jim Hinson discern that there were insufficient votes to even HOLD a vote, to possibly VETO the TIF?  And why is he so afraid of a vote, on the record?

Over the past week, before the vote, did he and the BOCC and the panicked Mayor Laura Wassmer of PV and the school board members all communicate using their district-issued Ouija Boards?

Gosh, we know emails are fair game.  Is ESP via Ouija board a violation of the KOMA?  Can DA Steve Howe subpoena every Ouija board hidden behind the librarian's desk there at every SM school?  (We knew about giving a tablet or a laptop to every student in September.  These Ouija's somehow slipped past our attention.)

The deets of the amicus brief are all covered on PVPost.com, which has done an excellent job, as usual, of reporting.  And Tonyskansascity saw merit and linked to it--for which we are grateful.

Click here to read PVPost story re amicus brief, feigning poverty

SM School District: It's not nice to fool the Kansas Supreme Court.  If you can walk away from TIF's, then maybe you don't really need more funding from the state of Kansas or us taxpayers.

This was just Round 1.  The taxpayers lost.  Cindy Neighbor and Patty Mach get it.  Hooray for them.  Now we need a few more to wake up.  In about two months, the SMSD will actually FORMULATE a policy on TIF's.  Hopefully, they will Just.Say.No.  Especially to Recreational Welfare.

Personally, it doesn't take a policy or being a Rhodes scholar to be able to make a sound financial decision.  And represent the people who put you there.  Or to be consistent in one's messages, to the car dealers and the courts.  So I am disappointed in our school board.

But then, (I was a teacher in a private school), we must remember:public education was never designed to promote critical thinking.  It was officially intended and still serves one purpose for a better work force of compliant workers: Public education teaches kids to shut up, walk in a straight line--and all hold hands.  Apparently, the SM school board got an A on learning that lesson.

Monday, October 5, 2015

PV's mayor Laura Wassmer advocates RECREATIONAL WELFARE at Meadowbrook: the only free community center in JoCo: Demands SM Schools lower our property values and boost Blue Valley's.

Oh brother. PV's new mayor, Laura Wassmer is urging residents to lobby the SM Schools before the big vote to veto the Meadowbrook TIF Wednesday night. And get her preposterous spin: calling SM Schools need to collect property tax to keep competitive with Blue Valley Schools a "short term concern"? That is insulting logic. Where did Welfare Queen Wassmer learn reasoning? Hopefully not in a classroom in a Shawnee Mission School. The fact is this: The citizens of Prairie Village are now being lobbied by Ron Shaffer, their former mayor, now BOCC Commissioner, who is trying to deliver the bacon, millions of dollars of JoCo tax dollars, to provide PV with a FREE community center. That is RECREATIONAL WELFARE. 

No other community got a free community center paid for by ALL of JoCo taxpayers. Not Shawnee, not Lenexa, not even the big dog, OP, altho they are getting a stupid one room yoga studio inside the $32 million King Louie, (we paid $4.5 million for the ugly asbestos filled building and a year later it appraised at $430,000.) which is seven blocks south of the functional OP community center, Matt Ross.
Our schools protect our property values.
So it doesn't matter one whit if you have kids.
Your home is your biggest single asset.
A rec center with subsidized day care COMPETES with private industry, which is well capable of offering yoga or pilates classes and day care.
If you want the economy to improve, (so your kids and grandkids can get a job and move out of your back bedroom there in PV!) then stop allowing your governmental lackies to transfer private tasks to public tax financed efforts.
SM Schools should STOP allowing businesses to demand TIF's.
The Meadowbrook TIF is a phony head fake--pretend the tax is for the county not the car dealer, when it is just an account transfer.
By one vote, your inept JoCo Commission, including Ron Shaffer, allowed the VanTrust car dealer to set an inflated price, sans appraisal.
And because the car dealer is building things that don't generate much property tax,
the TIF is phony, because it will likely never be paid off.
It's a gift disguised as an incentive.
So like a Trojan horse, but now with 8 cylinders and 350 HP, VanTrust is muscling its way into NE JoCo to build what they want,
on the GOOD land, while sticking the county with the worse half, the inside, in need of a giant detention pond,
and then using former mayors and Welfare Queen Laura Wassmer to brand it as "long term good"
and now trying to guilt trip the SM Schools into taking it in the shorts.

PV Mayor Laura Wassmer wonders:  Where do I sign?
To get SM schools to give $12 million of our PV property taxes away?
Forget your declining resale values.   I want my name on a brass plaque
at my new Meadowbrook Recreational Welfare Center!  

Personally, I think if PV wants a community center, their residents should pay for it, and not accept RECREATIONAL WELFARE from the rest of us in Johnson County.
I think the SM School Board should man up and demand their fair share of property taxes. Period. And if you agree, and are getting to that point where you will want to sell your home, you will realize, you don't want to have to lower your selling price by $20,000 to compete with a homebuyer who believes they absolutely must move to the Blue Valley School district...for the RESALE VALUE.
So, PV taxpayers, it's your call.
What is more important? YOUR resale value of your home? Or dressing in your yoga pants to go to the Meadowbrook Welfare Rec Centerin PV instead of 30 other private health clubs?

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

JoCoPost.com salutes the late Dr. Wayne Dyer--who beat cancer, despite the skeptics. He made a difference here in JoCo...on Channel 19.

Many in Kansas City watched KCPT-Ch. 19 fundraiser weeks, year after year, and got to know Wayne Dyer that way.  He might be public television's greatest, most generous fundraiser.  KCPT featured his interviews for years.  Oh they tried other fundraiser hosts.  Do you remember Andre Rial?  He was a violinist conductor who looked, to me at least, like a pirate.  But I believe Wayne Dyer's presentations generated the most revenues, which have happily kept KCPT on the air, despite Congressional attempts to cut off funding for Sesame Street.

Wayne was a story teller.  His interviews with Anita Moorjani were especially moving and believable.  He discovered her.  Then introduced her to his publisher, Hay House.  Then he took her on tour and made her a bestselling author.  Moorjani had a very vivid "I came back from the dead" story and the two of them told that to the world.

You may also recall that Dr. Dyer shared how he was diagnosed about five years ago with leukemia.  He was given about 7 months to live.  Instead of traditional medical treatment, he took a spiritual healing treatment from John of God.  John is a celebrated holy man in south America.  According to Wayne, he was healed.

To all the skeptics out there: Wayne Dyer died...but not from leukemia!  He had a heart attack.  Now that is a much more electrical exit from this plane of existence.

Wayne Dyer went out like a firework.  Here is a link to Katy Perry's remarkable song, Baby You're a Firework.  It has been viewed 613 MILLION times.  Go ahead, make it 613,xxx,xx1.  It is a gorgeous video.  The lyrics Wayne's life view.  And get this: one line is: "some day, like a lightning bolt your heart will blow..."

Baby, You're a Firework

Some of you may find me, in particular, a bit dark in my writing some days.  But I can assure you, I am motivated to nudge all of us to speak out and make Johnson County a much better place.   I launched JoCoPost.com, plus a sister blog, KCMOPost.com, out of a burst of anger at the 1%'ers (like Stan Kroenke, this week's Public Enemy #1, who keep making tax grabs.  I am committed to devising strategies and organizing the silent majority into stopping those practices that are destroying the middle class here.  It won't always be pretty.  We will name names. But I hope that it will make a difference.

My former minister at Unity of Overland Park, Rev. Mary Omwake, now lives on Maui.  She often went to the movies with Wayne, and Deepak Chopra.  She hangs with some very cool company. And is a confidant of 84 year old Ram Dass, also on Maui.  Mary emailed yesterday that a gathering spiritual team is at work organizing big sendoffs for Wayne--around the world, including a big event in New York Nov. 14.

Not bad for a kid whose single mother sent him and his two brothers to an orphanage at age 3.  You may recall his story: At age 50, Wayne quit his tenured professor job--walked away from a job for life that did not light him up.  How many of us would do that?  Then he immediately drove to Alabama.  He found the cemetery and for the first time, visited the grave of his father, who had abandoned the family--and FORGAVE him.  

As he tells it, that day, he 'invented a more empowering interpretation' for what happened to him and his brothers.  He made a decision to affirm rather than to resent.  To accept the blessing of what is.  And that is what  allowed Wayne to say: "My father's abandonment of me, and my brothers and my mother, was the greatest gift I have ever received."  And as we saw, it launched the whole second act of his great life.

Just now I learned that through his publisher, Hay House, (thank you, Louise Hay and Reid Treacy) they are allowing the world to view Wayne's most popular movie, THE SHIFT, online FOR FREE.  Originally it was allowed for just one week, but now has been extended THRU SEPT 30.

So even if you watched it years ago, I invite you to check it out.  It may be worth another viewing. Or sharing with a loved one.   Since it is more auditory than visual, I listened to the voice track while writing this post.

And may you find the courage to do something outrageous this week.  Insist on living a life that lights you up, until you, too, burst into sparks, LIKE A FIREWORK.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Thank you, Sly James! Your ill-reasoned plan to pay $15/hour minimum wage across MO will boost JoCo and save the KS economy!

Hosannas and praise to Sly James, Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.  You are doing MORE with your left-handed bungling than even Kansas Governor Sam Brownback thinks he is, to support the stalled economy in Johnson County, Kansas!!!

Sly James commenced his second term in August, kissing up to a local push from an organizing group of people all wearing red T-shirts to raise the minimum wage, just in KCMO, to $15 an hour.
Sly loves anything in a red shirt.  Just like he donned a red KCMO Firefighters button down shirt the night that JJ's Restaurant exploded and killed a worker--the night the KCMO firefighters drove away without turning off the gas leak, themselves, claiming (with a perhaps falsified FAX), that was somehow justified or prudent, because of some goofball policy that the "gas company had it covered"...no need for the Fire Department to actually do their tax-supported job.

So Mr. Big Red Jacket, we all know you love being on the news.  And so you supported the $15 an hour organizers, as well.  You made the news.

But that puzzled me.  Because Mayor James has a day job, as a lawyer.  It is illegal in Missouri for a city to pass a law controlling the minimum wage.  It must be a statewide thang.  So shouldn't he know better?

But oh well.  Details are not Sly's thang.  Like how to build a hotel downtown, without violating securities law, because your secret research report told you and the council that it won't pay for itself.
As of August 29,2015, the City of KCMO is claiming they don't have to release the secret research report, "because it was embedded and bundled inside a request for a sealed bid".  So even tho the taxpayers PAID for the report, they can't see it.  Details.  "It's a secret!"   (More on that soon.)

Another pesky detail this week:  Sly James now is scheming to borrow money from the Zoo Bond Fund to pay for a completely different project.  Might that be the same downtown hotel?  But wait.  The ballot issue promised the taxpayers when they voted for the penguins that the money would only go to the Zoo?  Details.

So when I read that Sly was grandstanding for the $15 an hour minimum wage, I just smiled.  Four years is a LONG time for him to campaign to replace Congressman Emanuel Cleaver in Congress.
He's gonna need alot of free headlines.  Like Donald Trump's race, it's far too early for details.

But now the news is reporting that Sly apparently read the state law, and perhaps had a "duh moment".  So now he is joining hands with union workers in St. Louis, and the new battle cry is "Raise the minimum wage across all of Missouri--to $15 an hour."  Coming soon to a red T-shirt near you.

To my mind, Sly James' campaign is the best news that Johnson County has had in a long time. Because every business that CAN migrate across our itty bitty and oh so close State Line Road--into Kansas for regular minimum wages--will do so.

The truth is this.  The economy has not recovered from 2008.  Businesses large and small are doing everything in their power just to survive.  And they are holding off on actual hiring.  Because we don't trust Congress not to jack up the tax code and the labor laws even worse.  And let's not even go there regarding Obamacare.  It's too big to repeal, too hard to repair and too soon to tell.

The second Big Truth is: newbie workers are not worth $15 an hour.  Period.  It doesn't matter if you exclude kids, late teens.  A greeter at Walmart is not worth $15 an hour.  They don't earn their keep. It's nice that they hire retirees.  But really, what do they do but check for shoplifters and point toward the return desk?  I want falling prices, not rising ones!  A rising tide floats all boats.  Imagine having to raise everyone's salary because the new hires start at $15 and hurt morale.  What would really happen?  Work the people you have to death, that's what.  NO new hires.

A new kid out of college, just learning their trade as a copywriter?  Not worth $15 an hour.  A new kid who just graduated from SM Northwest, learning how to load up trees at my favorite nursery, Family Tree Nursery in Shawnee?  Not worth $15 an hour.  (Ask for Woody.)  A newly hired empty nester Mom, seeking her first job in 18 years, anywhere, since the kids went away to college?  Not worth $15 an hour.  She might be, soon.  But not on Day 1.  So the franchisees and the entrepreneurs and the big box stores in Johnson County are not going to lose money, they just won't hire anyone starting out at $15 an hour.  Including the marcher carrying his sign UPSIDE DOWN!

So please, Sly James.  LET THE MIGRATION BEGIN.  You keep wearing your red T-shirts and your red KCFD button down shirt.  And send ALL your businesses over to Johnson County--it's in the Red State.


Tracy Thomas, publisher of JoCoPost.com
New publisher of KCMOPost.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Metcalf South was always gonna become a SuperWalmart. It WILL be. Only now, without your tax subsidies...

Today's heroes, in Round 1, are the quiet folk who toil for free on the OP Planning Commission, and the Planning Commission staff.  They had the courage to stand up to Stan Kroenke, the billionaire hubby of a Walmart heiress--and owner of five national sports franchises.  And say NO to his pathetic and dated little plan for the third biggest intersection in Overland Park, Metcalf South at 95th and Metcalf.

And of course the biggest loser is Kroenke's smiling, overconfident batboy, "Oily" Owen Buckley, the president of one of the worst landlords in JoCo, Lane4.  (more on that in a future post.)  He failed.  Big time.  The smirk has been wiped off his face.  And he slunk back to meet the great and powerful Kroenke, trying to keep his contract intact.

I told you so, Owen.  To your face.  At the end of your February "drink the purple Koolaid" community meeting at Matt Ross Center.  It was about as 'unstructured' as a Hillary Clinton Listening Tour.  You were all Little Opie, from the Andy Griffith Show.  "Gosh folks, we have no idea what this is gonna be.  Not a clue.  We are here for YOU to tell US!"

I had led off the feedback.  I had jumped up at the VERY beginning, before you could get everyone singing from your hymnal, "How Great Thou Art, Stan Kroenke, How Great Thou Art."

I was there as a volunteer for taxpayers, and as a volunteer with dozens of others, to offer better ideas.  We kept saying, "Don't close my movie theatre, the Glenwood Arts.  Incorporate them into your plan."  But of course we saw that your little meeting was all for show.   You only pretended to ask for input. As if some retired folks and starter families would have any ideas about multi-million dollar real estate development.  Which they didn't.  Or they might not still be living there next to your ugly fence.  They might have moved to the Blue Valley district where houses are appreciating dramatically.

It wasn't taped by TV, but as I recall, I said something like, "Are you kidding me?  Why would you ask us?  Why would you think untrained neighbors, with no wealth, and absolutely no training in land planning or development, have the answers for YOU?  Let's not kid ourselves.  This is gonna be a Walmart.  Period.  Your client builds Walmarts.  Period.  This is a tax grab.  You're the Music Man here to sell us some trombones, but this is all about you pretending that "but for" the city of Overland Park and the state of Kansas giving you tax breaks, you can't even afford to do anything with this property you just bought."  

"You're here pretending you have no plan.  But I call hooey.  You have a plan, you just won't tell us. You don't spend this many millions of your rich client's money without having a plan.  You, Mr. Buckley, are not the owner. Mr. Kroenke owns at least 90%.  You just work for him.  And he is a billionaire.  He owns 1% of ALL Walmart stock in the universe.  Plus five sports franchises.  And his game is, he always wants to be subsidized by the poor taxpayers and neighbors."  

"Stan Kroenke wants his hands in the taxpayers' pocket. That is his game.  Out of $108 million in current tax abatement deals Kroenke has done, $59 million was just to build Walmarts!<> He wants--and fully EXPECTS  a TDD/Tax Development District, just like you' at Lane 4 have done at Cherokee/95th &Antioch and elsewhere.  Raise the sales tax another 1%, but give that to YOU, to pay for the construction.   Waaaaaa. Poor baby.  And then your rich boss, Mr. Kroenke also wants and EXPECTS STAR bonds from the state of Kansas. "

Owen, you had ringed the room with your staff.  There were more Brooks Brothers suits leaning on the walls than they have in inventory at Brooks Brothers on the Plaza.  I never saw so many $80 haircuts in one room.  This was your little "we care" Kumbaya show.  And when the comments got too hot for you, you shut off the microphone.  It was time for Divide and Conquer.  Your Stepford staff swarmed in and broke us into "small groups of 10", just like kindergarten.  Rearranged the chairs.  And they pretended to take notes.

And then, honest to God, you served cookies and Koolaid.


Mayor Carl Gerlach sat right behind me. He looked ashen.  Tall.  But ashen.


The week after your Listening Tour, your team, aka the 'Blonde Sopranos',  booted the Glenwood Arts out of their space, telling Brian Mossman and his partners that you expected to start demolition a month later.  Gosh, how could you do that?  Without a plan approved by the OP Planning Commission and a permit?


Then you concocted the worst least inspiring ookie cutter real estate plan since Levittown after World War II. With a Walmart on the south side of 95th, where Macy's at Metcalf South stood.  And just as I predicted, in order to grab tax subsidies to pay for your construction, your crack team of architects drew a stupid little fountain about the size of an above ground pool in KCK, and called it a "unique attraction".  That was so you could go lobby some Kansas legislators for STAR Bond subsidies. Your architect even sketched 15 tiny little people walking around on the parking lot with those fakey trees.  I knew then, it was a fantasy.  Folks in JoCo don't stroll.

Let me tell you, Stan and Owen, we are onto that STAR Bond scam.
Cabela's built an antler museum inside their sporting goods store in KCK.  All of us Kansas taxpayers OWN it.  Inside of private property.  But I can't get anyone to admit who dusts the antlers.  I doubt that it is Sam Brownback.

Then there was Mission--that flood zone that was bulldozed about 10 years ago.  And still hasn't been built.  That was supposed to be an aquarium.  And then a Walmart.  It's still just an eyesore.

So now what?  Owen, you slunk away.  Praised us all for the great input.  And issued a statement that you were out on this deal.  Of course, that is all strategy as well.  Shakespearean drama.  This is just the end of Act One. Send the citizens out to the lobby for intermission, all worried!  What?  Another Mission empty hole?

The fact is: you have your retail zoning for the south half of 95th.  You don't need new zoning to build your Walmart there, just as you always intended.  Just some building plans.  And the Planning Commission will approve those.  Maybe fight you about which side of the Walmart will house the noisy air hoses in the automotive department.  (That happened in OP at 79th St. Walmart.  They secretly flipped the plans and built it before the inspectors caught it, (or were paid off).  And golly gosh.  So sorry.  Oh well.  Plant a few more bushes.  The 'mistake' got approved.  Because Walmarts generate sales tax.

Lane4 and Mr. Kroenke, you aren't stupid.  Just greedy.  Now you will have to just build it WITHOUT tax subsidies.

And for leverage, (a Trump word), you will now "punish" Gerlach and the OP Council, by announcing you will be closing the neighborhood Walmart by TJ Maxx at 91st and Metcalf, AND the SuperWalmart out south at the Blue Potato Chip at 121st.  Two anchor stores.

So on the northern half, here's my prediction.  No senior housing, luxury or not.  No little fountain.  You can either build more retail there yourself, that won't compete with Walmart, or sell it off to another developer.  My guess?  You have the prospective buyers lined up already.  I bet you even had them at hello in February.  In their Brooks Brothers suits.  Again, it's already retail, no new zoning needed.  As for the price, well you know what Walmart always says: 'Beware of falling prices!'  Stan Kroenke, even tho you own five sports teams, you gambled and you lost.  Next...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How Facebook nearly made me falter on my search for JOY today…how about you?

I live in a great place, the most successful suburb in the Midwest, Johnson County, Kansas.  And yet, despite all my blessings, including the respite from too much rain, I keep noticing how little it takes to knock me off my game of living a life filled with joy.  Last weekend, with some uncertainties on the calendar, I set my deliberate intention to experience some pretty consistent happiness for three days in a row.  

My ‘mental FitBit’ average is about two days max.  I don’t wear a bracelet—I just pinch myself—and ask, “Am I happy?”  It’s very low tech.

Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband
(haha, I'll figure out this margin thang eventually.)

This time I made it to four days—including a great outing across the state line to First Friday, not getting shot in Westport, discovering a great new Italian diner, getting my favorite table at Urban Table, buying a ProBook on Newegg.com for $214 and a glorious surprise visit from a friend.

http://giphy.com/gifs/otnqsqqzmsw7K/html5joyous penquins

Perhaps four days was pushing it.  I finally launched this blog.  I found myself thinking the world’s most dangerous thought of expectation, “Surely THEN my life will work!”  Ha—do I never learn?  Father Alfred d’Souza said it best:

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life.  But there was always some obstacle in the way, some ‘thing’ to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.  Then life would begin.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

Ten hours after I launched JoCoPost.com, the reality set in, “I just birthed this thing.  This helpless, unclothed, barely formatted and not SEO optimized baby.  Now there’s just a whole lotta work to be done until it grows bigger and graduates—eg is bought up by Huffington Post, the Koch Brothers or Donald Trump and elChapo.  

I don’t know enough.  And the mean boys are already massing against me on Tony’s site, www. tonyskansascity.com,  http://www.tonyskansascity.com/2015/08/tracy-thomas-launches-joco-post.html hating on me anonymously.”  (For the record, that pic was from a costume party.  I'm not that colorful when you spot me at The Aldi or The Costco.)

It is true: anonymous bad karmic acts and comments by others can take a psychic toll, even if one is like me.  I am not burdened by the usual High Affiliative Need-- to be liked.  Being the daughter of two critical parents was a blessing.  I ignore a lot of rejection.  I’m driven by the need to make a difference. Yet, the Butterfly Effect of global reaction remains a powerful vibratory force: actions on one side of the world make butterfly wings tremble on the opposite side of this planet.

Image result for image, blue morpho butterfly

Today I noticed something else: the power of Facebook to shake the leaves on my tree.  So there I was, reading a friend’s Facebook—announcing impending travel plans which  greatly saddened me. I fell out of joy.   For several hours, until I phoned my friend, I believed what I read.  Because Facebook said so! 

Now I am a Facebook virgin.  For five glorious years following a crippling telescoping Louisville ladder collapse, my lawyers had forbidden me to use social media.  Because jurors lie.  Despite every judge’s instructions, jurors Google or Facebook you.  During lunch or in the potty!  They don’t need to discuss with other jurors—Facebook just enabled them to form unshakeable biased opinions about the social causes you do not agree on.  That alone can often sink a verdict right there. 



Facebook is insidious and dangerous.  Using your permissions, it ferrets out travel plans and posts them-- not “thinking” to delete them when they change.  Not only can that make your home vulnerable to burglars, it can affect relationships, hurt feelings--or get you in serious trouble at work Facebook also lies—almost daily, to gin up your addiction to checking it.  It emails you: “Your friend XYZ just updated their status.”  Not true!  Made ya look; made ya look!   

If Facebook can create this much souris in Johnson County, Kansas, with their intrusive spying and sharing and annoying false notifications, just how disruptive are they being to the US economy?? 

Bear with me, JoCoPost readers.  I am on this roller coaster of life.  Just like you.  We won’t always agree, but my intention is to generate discussion, invite more input, and together maybe we can right some wrongs, fix some broken systems—including local government.  Celebrate good people doing neat things.  And be better informed and connected like we used to be when we had a newspaper and local media that supported our need to really KNOW what is shaking our trees.

Tracy Thomas, Publisher