You'd think people would learn.
Instead, they'll rebuild. More Plaza condos and downtown lofts. A beautiful performing-arts center and a fancy arena.
Why not just put a gun to your head?
The way the Reverend John E. Russell of Fair Grove, Missouri, sees it, to invest in a city is to flirt with disaster.
"Natural disasters kill less people when people are spread out," he tells the Pitch. Same with asteroid impacts and terrorist plots. "If you aren't there when the disaster happens, you can't be hurt!"
Such logic lies behind Russell's "Proposal to Reduce the Size of Kansas City," a seven-year plan that would cut the city's population by three-fourths. Among his prescriptions for what hails us:
· Move poor people in substandard housing to rural areas or small towns "about 100 miles away."
· Send juvenile criminals to boot camp at Fort Leavenworth.
· Remove unnecessary bridges, roads and power lines, then beautify the areas left behind (presumably for visitors who don't need bridges, roads and power lines).
Russell, a retired Army chaplain turned e-book author, used his military training in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare to analyze other dangers to "population centers." He maintains that spreading out the population reduces crime, disease and pollution as well as the death and destruction caused by natural disasters such as tornadoes.
That last part sounded strange to us. So we consulted KCTV Channel 5 meteorologist Bruce Thomas -- because of his award-winning tornado coverage and because he looks like Tony Soprano.
"What is true is that tornadoes come from severe thunderstorms. Severe thunderstorms form out here on the plains because the right weather conditions come together."
Although tornadoes don't have a preference for populated or unpopulated areas, the media do. For example, Thomas says one May 8 tornado attracted little attention. "It was as powerful or more powerful than the tornado we had on [May 4], but it went through mostly open country," Thomas says.
Yeah, but less than 100 miles away.