Pastures outside of Preston, Kansas

Pastures outside Preston, Kansas

Photo taken this past Sunday evening. I see here in August the moon rises at just the right time for a certain dramatic effect. I was in Preston, Kansas, a tiny, and regrettably foundering town of which I have some ties to. I stop there every once in a while when I’m visiting my grandmother who now lives in Stafford, roughly twenty miles to the north.

This photo is different than my normal in a few ways. I deactivated the telephoto lens’s auto-focus and manually trained it on the moon, allowing everything else to blur, including the foliage. I took several varied exposures for HDR to display the very subtle differences to be seen in color and contrast across parts of the photo. Actually I do that kind of thing frequently, but manually focusing on blissful, pastoral country settings take a bit of getting accustomed to for me. Normally I leave the serene nature photography to people who have more practice at it. I imagine those photographers are of a more serene and content personal nature in general as well. It makes one wonder.

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Stafford Train Depot

Stafford Train Depot

The old unused train station/depot in Stafford Kansas, this past Saturday evening, 08/21/10. Maybe old unused depots are cliche subject matter, but whatever. This one has the red glow of the exit sign inside showing through the windows. I was out there in southern Kansas for a long weekend.

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Photowalk at the Union Station Pedestrian Bridge

Back on July 24th was the Worldwide Photowalk Day – there were two in Kansas City, one in the morning and one in the evening  starting in the Crossroads area. I took this one around the beginning of the evening, looking westward with some geometries of part of the pedestrian bridge across the train tracks.

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John Paul Garcia

For as much as this photoblog and my own collection of pictures are KC-centric in one way or another, it’s logical not just to illustrate only the up-to-date seven story buildings and whatever other pleasantries reside here – there’s also the abnormally high murder rate per capita that the urban core of KCMO has to deal with year after year. This past weekend on early Sunday morning, John Paul Garcia was murdered without any evident purpose at Mercier and Avenida Cesar Chavez in the Westside.

More facts of the situation are detailed in a Channel 4 video. A part of the video I thought was especially interesting was when Channel 4 reporter Eric Burke observed that this gathering was seemingly the biggest turnout he has seen for all the post-homicide vigils he has covered in this city over the years. If I had actual hard statistics in front of me I would do some analysis, but I’ll make do as best I can and say that random homicides are rare enough in this section of the city that one wonders what’s transpiring minute by minute in the concentrated parcels of homicide on the East Side of Kansas City. It seems like the blunt but factual conclusion is that homicides start to feel more part of the routine if you’re stuck around them long enough.

The Mattie Rhodes Center’s Latino Advocacy Taskforce organized this gathering on Wednesday evening, Aug. 11, 2010.

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The Monahan Brothers

I went and photographed a gathering at Mill Creek Park on the Plaza on Monday, this one concerning last January’s Supreme Court decision  Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in that, in what I imagine must have to be a pile of legalese and mumbo-jumbo, it was ruled to expand the legal definition of a corporation into something with the legal rights and status of a sovereign citizen in ways, specifically, this corporate personhood concept arose because now corporations can spend an unlimited amount of money on political campaign donations. Citizens United was a nonprofit 501(C)(4) organization that evidently didn’t do anything else besides distribute TV commercials promoting a film called Hillary: The Movie. I haven’t seen the movie but I’m told it’s not flattering. The breadcrumbs can lead to corporate interests funneling money through nonprofit groups in order to manipulate political campaigns.

Robin and Laird Monahan, brothers and Vietnam veterans are walking across the country, from San Francisco to Washington D.C concerning the Supreme Court decision, and Kansas City was one of the stops. The webpage covering their trip is at MoveToAmend.org.

Link to podcast of Tell Somebody on KKFI 90.1 with discussion of the supreme court case and corporate personhood.

1) Robin and Laird Monahan

2)

3)

4) Laird Monahan

5) Something to end with.

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