Thursday, June 30, 2011

FBI Embarrassed by Westboro Baptist Church Meeting

Earlier this year, Westboro Baptist Church was invited to the FBI Training Center in Quantico, VA. NPR reported last week that the meetings were for training purposes, but were discontinued this spring after the Assistant Director of the FBI found out about the program and voiced concerns about having the church on their property. There has also been some public outrage since the news broke as well.

Other controversial groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, have been invited to help with FBI training in the past. Law enforcement tries to learn as much as they can about the group and their point of view to be able to effectively deal with them and similar extremest groups in the future. This is not endorsing anyone's views, it's training. Much like learning about a serial killers thought processes to help stop the next one.

The bottom line is that the FBI trainers thought this might be helpful, and probably was. It would be better left out of the public eye, and WBC certainly doesn't deserve any more attention. But let's face it, they have not broken any laws, and their idiotic speech is protected by the First Amendment whether you like it or not.

NFL Lockout Talks Resume

After the last discussions between NFL owners and players took a step backwards, talks have reportedly resumed. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith have been joined by several owners and players in hopes of ending the lockout.

The group will be meeting at a law firm located in Minneapolis. Some of the more well-known participants include Colts center Jeff Saturday and Giants owner John Mara. These will be the fifth set of "secret" talks between the owners and players. The talks are only scheduled to take place today, but could also extend into Friday if both groups feel it is neccessary.

While reports on how much progress the players and owners have made varies, both sides appear to be running out of time to get something done. Training camps are scheduled to open in three weeks, and the Hall of Fame Game is August 7.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Slumping Royals Drop Second Game to Padres

The Royals' series vs. the San Diego Padres got off to a bad start, as Kansas City dropped game one 4-3. Game two didn't go any better, as the Royals once again couldn't get their offense going, losing 4-2.

Kansas City has a disturbing trend this season of allowing struggling players to have a coming out party, and this game was no different. San Diego pitcher Clayton Richard (4-9), who had been winless in his last 12 starts, absolutely shut down Kansas City's offense. Kansas City got solid pitching once again from Felipe Paulino, who has slowly turned into the best pitcher on the Royals' staff. Paulino (0-2) has yet to record a victory for Kansas City, although that can largely be blamed on a lack of run support.

The lone bright spot for Kansas City offensively was Jeff Francoeur, who continues to make the best case for Kansas City's All-Star representative. Francoeur scored the Royals' first run, and hit a solo homerun in the seventh. He also flashed some defensive skill as well, throwing out Anthony Rizzo in the third inning for an outfield assist.

Kansas City wraps up its series with San Diego today at 2:35. Bruce Chen (4-1) will start for Kansas City, making his second appearance since returning from injury.

Planned Parenthood Sues Kansas Over Funding

On Monday, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid Missouri sued the State of Kansas over the blocking of Federal Funds to the Organization. As a provision to the 2012 budget, Governor Brownback and the Legislature diverted Federal funds that would have normally gone to Planned Parenthood and sent them to clinics across the state that do not perform abortions. At issue is a Federal rule prohibiting the use of Federal funds to pay for abortions. The State argues that by giving funds to Planned Parenthood, they are providing defacto funding for abortions because it frees up other money in the organizations budget to provide abortions. In other words, just because the actual dollars given by the Government wouldn't be used for abortions, the money still helps the organization provide all of it's services.

Other restrictions were also placed on abortion providers in the State. All clinics must receive yearly licensing including a state inspection. Abortion is outlawed after 21 weeks, unless the mother's life is in danger, or a major irreversible damage would be caused to the mother (mental issues are not an acceptable injury). Minors must get the notarized signatures of BOTH parents (with some exceptions - separation, divorce, etc). Bans private insurance companies from paying for ELECTIVE abortion without a separate rider.

Most of these provisions sound reasonable to me, with the possible exception of the special licensing. I would assume that medical facilities already have a licensing procedure of some sort. A special procedure for abortion providers would open the door to abusive practices by the state - clinic not treated fairly because of a bureaucrats opinion about abortion.

Tax dollars definitely should not be used to fund abortion, and I think the State of Kansas is right about this issue and I hope they win. Planned Parenthood, like many organizations, cares more about their agenda and money than taking care of women - they seem almost excided about providing abortions - it's very creepy. Abortion is horrible and does emotional damage to many involved. It should only be offered as a last resort when all involved understand after thoughtful consideration what is happening. And just so you know, I am not a Christian, in fact I don't believe in God at all - these views of mine are not blinded by any religious zealousness, just common sense and the view that we all have the right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Let the flaming begin!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Royals Fall to Padres

Kansas City couldn't keep the momentum going after taking a series from the Cubs, dropping game one of its series vs. San Diego 4-3. Kansas City never lead, and its comeback effort came up just short against the struggling Padres.

The Royals got off to a poor start, and found themselves in a quick 2-0 hole afterRyan Ludwick blasted a two run homer in the first. The third inning wasn't much better, as San Diego scored on a Jeff Francis wild pitch as well as a throwing error by Eric Hosmer. Despite all the mistakes, the Royals only trailed by one after six innings due to Brayan Pena's two run double. However, the offense soon stalled and the Royals never got any closer.

Jeff Francis (3-9) never got it going against the Padres, and his performance on the road this season has been downright terrible. In games away from Kansas City, Francis is 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA. Kyle Davies is ready to come off the disabled list, who has been just as bad as Francis this year. Hopefully manager Ned Yost continues to use rookie Danny Duffy, who has pitched well this year, and sends either Francis or Davies (or both) packing.

Game two against the Padres starts tonight at 9:05 p.m. Felipe Paulino (0-1) gets the start for Kansas City, as he looks to rebound from his first loss as a Royal.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Who Will Represent the Royals in the 2011 MLB All Star Game?

The 2011 MLB All Star game is approaching, and managers will be making their player selections soon. In baseball, each team must have at least one representative in the game, which means Kansas City will be sending someone to Phoenix - we just don't know who that player will be.

Several candidates are being mentioned as a possible representative for the Royals. Many experts feel Billy Butler should be in the All Star game. Butler leads the team with a .303 batting average and a .403 on base percentage. Others feel that Jeff Francoeur is deserving of a bid, and for good reason. Francoeur leads the team in home runs (10) and RBI (46).

Despite the impressive stats of both Butler and Francoeur, Alex Gordon is leading most fan polls in regards to which Kansas City player should earn the big. Gordon leads the Royals in runs and OPS, while hitting a respectable .293. He also narrowly trails Francoeur in home runs with nine. Gordon's well-rounded game certainly make him worth of a bid, but Francoeur seems to be the man to beat at this point.

Other Royals in consideration are relief pitcher Aaron Crow, centerfielder Melky Cabrera, shortstop Alcides Escobar, relief pitcher Joakim Soria, and first baseman Eric Hosmer. The results will be announced on July 3rd on TBS.

Storms Overnight Knock Out Power Again

Two waves of severe weather this morning in the Kansas City area downed trees and knocked out power again. Almost 46,000 customers had lost power according to KCPL, many of whom lost power the last time strong storms moved through the area. In the city, and older areas with mature trees and overhead power lines were the strongest hit.

For many today will be spent cutting up downed trees, or maybe buying a generator. The good news is that the weather for Monday and Tuesday looks fabulous. Get out and enjoy it!

Northwest Missouri actually got the brunt of this storm, with a brief tornado touchdown near Maryville on Sunday evening. There were also reports of cars blown off the road, and large trees down onto power lines.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Royals Beat Cubs, Win Series

The Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago Cubs 6-3 today, giving them a rare inter-league series victory. Luke Hochevar pitched well, giving up only three runs in 5 2/3rds innings to improve his record on the season to 5-8. Joakim Soria earned another save, and has now converted 13 saves in his last 18 opportunities.

The Royals' bats were hot from the start, as Billy Butler, Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur all delivered RBI hits in the first inning. Gordon's RBI double in the first extended his hitting streak to 13 games, and the young outfielder has been playing at an all-star level the past month. Six Royals batters wound up reaching base in the first inning, as Kansas City quickly built a four run lead it would not relinquish.

The Cubs battled back, cutting the lead to 4-3 with runs in the third and fourth inning. However, Eric Hosmer and Chris Getz added RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth to give Kansas City a bigger cushion and fend off Chicago's comeback bid. It was the most runs the Royals have scored in a game since June 14, when they defeated the Oakland A's 7-4.

The win moved Kansas City out of last place in the AL Central, as they are now a half game better than the Minnesota Twins. The Royals will be back in action tonight, traveling to San Diego to begin a series with the Padres. Jeff Francis (3-8) will get the start for Kansas City.

Friday, June 24, 2011

2011 NBA Draft Recap

The 2011 NBA draft took place last night, and as expected, five Big 12 players were drafted in the first round. Tristan Thompson, forward from Texas, was the first Big 12 player to be selected. Thompson went fourth to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Colorado guard Alec Burks was selected 12th by the Utah Jazz.

One of the biggest stories from the draft was the back-to-back selections of Marcus and Markieff Morris. Most pundits considered Marcus, last season's Big 12 Player of the Year, to be the better player and more NBA ready. However, Markieff ended up being selected before Marcus, going 13th to the Phoenix Suns. Marcus was drafted next by the Houston Rockets. Markieff has a more natural NBA position, being a true power forward, while Marcus is considered more of a "tweener." Interestingly, Markieff was born seven minutes ahead of Marcus, and was also drafted seven minutes ahead of his twin brother.

Texas' Jordan Hamilton was the last Big 12 player to go in the first round, falling all the way to the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks at 26. Hamilton got a nice shot in towards his former coach Rick Barnes, showing some of the turnmoil that took place in Austin last season. Despite some alleged personality problems, Hamilton was once projected as a top ten pick, and could be an absolute steal for the Mavericks.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Census Shows White Babies are Minority

It's finally happened. According to new census data, white babies are the minority in the United States. It will now be a matter of time before white folks are the minority race in this country, and Democrats will be able to completely plunder the wealth of the United States with the help of welfare cows and community organizers.

The figures also show that the number of black households headed by women outnumbers the black households headed by two parents. This sad truth goes hand in hand with the violence that plagues our inner cities - Kansas City being no exception. The rash of shootings in Kansas City is on a record pace, while our new black mayor gives lip service to the problem.

Twelve States and DC now have white populations below 50 percent in children 5 and under, that's up from six on the 2000 census. At the current rate, 7 more states will have a white minority under 5 at the next census (in 10 years).

Our only hope as a nation is that minorities, and blacks specifically reverse their current attitudes as absentee fathers, and lazy entitlement culture that plagues the American Ghettos. God help us.

2011 NBA Draft Starts Tonight

The 2011 NBA Draft is upon us, which means we will several local players fulfill their basketball dreams as well as a few hilarious outfits. The draft will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN 3.

Several local players are expected to be drafted in the first round, most notable Kansas' Marcus and Markieff Morris. Most draft experts expect Marcus to go somewhere around tenth in the first round, while Markieff will likely be selected a few spots later. Milwalkee and Golden State have been listed as two likely destinations for Marcus. The Morris' one-and-done teammate from last season, Josh Selby, will likely be a late-first rounder at best. Most projections include Selby going in the second round.

Colorado guard and Kansas City native Alec Burks will also likely be an early selection, and could possibly be the first true shooting guard selected. Burks lacks a consistent outside shot, however his ability to drive and finish at the rim could be a big boost for an NBA team that needs to add some size and scoring to its guard rotation.

Two other Big 12 players will likely be drafted in the first round, and both played for Texas last season. Wing Jordan Hamilton and forward Tristan Thompson could both be top-15 picks, as Thompson's draft stock has risen steadily since he earned strong reviews in pre-draft workouts.

Overall, this is arguably the weakest NBA draft since 2000. The weak talent pool means that the former Big 12 stars listed earlier will all be guaranteed a decent draft position and starting salary, as well as an opportunity to see early playing time in the league.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Royals Drop Game One of Series vs. Diamondbacks

Kansas City gave up a homerun to Wily Mo Pena - the same Wily Mo Pena who hadn't hit a major league homer in over three years - en route to an embarrassing 7-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar gave up five earned runs in seven innings, earning the loss for Kansas City.

The big story from the game was Pena, who has bounced around the minor leagues for the past couple of seasons. Predictably, he broke the game open with a home run with two outs in the fifth inning. Before Pena's blast, Hochevar had only given up one hit, and appeared to be cruising towards a rare victory. The Royals former first-overall draft pick has made a bad habit of pitching well for several innings, then imploding later in the game. It is his flashes of dominance that make him so frustrating, just when it looks like he is in control, he gives up five runs in an inning and the game is over.

The lone bright spot offensively for Kansas City was Alex Gordon, who fell a single shy of hitting for the cycle. Gordon's homerun and triple accounted for the Royals' only runs, and the young outfielder has raised his average to .287 for the season. Kansas City fans had waited patiently for Gordon to break out, and the former Nebraska star seems to finally be putting it all together.

Kansas City hosts the Diamondbacks again tonight at 7:10 p.m. Jeff Francis (3-7) will get the start for the Royals.

New Cigarette Warning Labels to Include Graphic Pictures

The FDA has released their new Cigarette Warning label pictures to the public. Nine pictures were chosen for their graphic images and shock value. The new images will cover the top half of a package of cigarettes beginning in the Fall of 2012, leaving only the bottom portion of the package for brand labeling. The new labels are part of 2009's Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

The photos are graphic depictions of dead bodies, people with severe health problems, and my personal favorite (shown above), the smoke billowing out of the tracheotomy hole in the neck! The pictures are designed to get people to quit and more importantly stop young people from starting. As a catalyst to getting the smoker to quit, this is an absolute waste of money, as Denis Leary once said, "you could brand the smokes 'tumors' and put a skull and crossbones on the package and people would still buy them".

A bigger problem is probably the legality and the cost of this. This is a great example of government overstepping it's bounds. The Tobacco companies will surely fight this. Their contention is that having their brand labeling only on the bottom of the pack would keep customers from seeing the brand. They have a good point. All cigarette racks in the country cover the bottom part of the package. Brands would be impossible to distinguish from one another without major changes in display racks.

Either way, the real winners in this deal are the litigation attorneys as more tax dollars are pissed away.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rory McIlroy Wins U.S. Open

After an epic and unforgettable meltdown at the Masters, Rory McIlroy showed the golf world he has no problem closing a big tournament. McIlroy won the U.S. Open in record fashion, erasing the Masters meltdown and making many golf fans and pundits wonder if he is the next Tiger Woods.

While it is certainly too early to compare McIlroy to Tiger, the young Northern Irishman's dominance this past weekend at the Congressional was very Woods-esque. McIlroy set an open record for a 36 hole score, and never was challenged the entire tournament. It wasn't just the numbers that tell the whole picture, it was McIlroy's performance on the course. Time and time again he played flawless golf, nailing fairways with his drives, hitting chip shots that stopped inches from the hole, and never letting up. It was truley a performance for the ages, and could be the beginning of a very long and storied career.

It is still too early to compare McIlroy to Woods, who has won 14 majors and dominated the sport for several years (and may not be finished). At the very least, someone has stepped up to be Tiger's young, gifted challenger. Golf feels a lot like Tennis did several years ago, when Rafael Nadal was emerging as a threat to Roger Federer, who had single-handedly dominated the sport for several years. The competition between the two was good for tennis, and a potential McIlroy-Woods rivalry would be great for golf.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Royals Fall To Cardinals, Lose 1-70 Series

After winning game one of the 1-70 series, the Royals lost two consecutive heart-breakers to their Missouri rival. Kansas City lost two straight games by a 5-4 score to the Cardinals, falling in each game due to late St. Louis home runs.

Sunday night was a back and forth affair, and appeared to be heading towards extra innings thanks to more hot hitting from Alcides Escobar. Escobar tied the game up at 4 in the ninth inning with his first home run of the season, continuing a unprecidented offensive performance from the plate. Escobar's batting average has skyrocketed over the past few weeks, and it appears that Kansas City has finally found a shortstop that can both play defense and hit. Escobar's heroics were not enough, however, as St. Louis' Skip Schumaker hit a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth to give the Cardinals the win.

The game was eerily similar to saturday's game, in which Kansas City lost another 5-4 game due to a late home run. On saturday, the Royals actually held a late lead, thanks to Alex Gordon's home run in the seventh inning. Kansas City would fall behind in the eighth inning due to Matt Holliday's two run blast and was unable to recover. A disappointing end to two games the Royals were in position to win.

The Royals will continue their interleague portion of the schedule tomorrow, hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks. Game one starts at 7:10 p.m., and Luke Hochevar will get the start for Kansas City.

Multiple Father's Day Shootings in Kansas City

Happy Father's Day Kansas City! For some reason many around town preferred to celebrate Father's Day by shooting someone and leaving them bleeding in the street. At least four people were shot and killed over the weekend in Kansas City. Not to be left out, early Monday morning KCK tried to get in on the action, failing miserably, as a man was found with non life threatening injuries due to a gunshot.

The festivities started early with the discovery of 19 year old Scott Smith dead of as gunshot wound inside a house in the 8300 block of Lydia. A few hours late, two men were found dead in the street around the 3300 block of Indiana. Later Sunday evening, a fourth man was found dead in the street in the 4100 block of Agnes while police were responding to a report of gunshots.

Bad jokes about Father's Day and Harlem not withstanding, the ghettos of America are filled with children (and adults) who have no father. It's probably the single biggest problem facing blacks in this country; deadbeat, absent father's are more the norm in the urban core than two parent households, and consequently kids are allowed to run the streets.

Maybe the thought of white people celebrating Dad's was just too much to take. Another hot summer in the city -precisely why I don't live in the city anymore.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Royals Win Game One of the 1-70 Series

The Royals held on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-4 in the first game of the annually-hyped 1-70 series. Alcides Escobar continued to stay hot at the plate, contributing two hits and a run for Kansas City. Escobar is now 14 of 24 from the plate over the past seven games, with eight runs scored.

Escobar was also involved in the game's deciding play during the eighth inning. Escobar hit a hard ground ball towards gold-glove first baseman Albert Pujols, however Pujols was unable to make the stop. Mike Moustakas scored the go-ahead run, and Pujols was charged with an error. Pujols had a chance to get revenge on the Royals in the ninth, as he faced closer Joakim Soria with the tying run on first. However, Soria was able to get the out, and Kansas City stole game one of the series.

Kansas City raced out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to RBI hits from Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon, only to watch St. Louis roar back and take a 4-3 lead in the third. Game two of the series starts tonight at 6:15 p.m., and Vin Mazzaro will get the start for the Royals.

Riverside Blast Concert and Fireworks Tonight

Tonight will feature one of Kansas City's first full blown fireworks shows of the year at the City of Riverside's annual Riverside Blast concert and fireworks show.

Riverside Blast 2011 is produced by Adam Blue Productions and this year will feature live music from Lipriddle and also headline act Perpetual Change.  The fireworks will "blast off" at 10pm following the concert.

Riverside BLAST 2011 Info
Saturday, June 18, 2011
6 to 11 p.m.
Intersection of Gateway and Vivion
Riverside, Missouri

Riverside BLAST Event Schedule
6 p.m. - Kids inflatables, kids firework safety workshop, food and beverage vendors, beer garden and photo booth.
6 p.m. - Music by Lipriddle
8:30 p.m. - Music by Perpetual Change
10 p.m. - Professional fireworks show
Parking: Event parking will be in designated areas around the festivities and the Riverside City Hall parking lot.
Food/Drink: Food vendors will be available and the Riverside Chamber of Commerce will be selling beer, but outside coolers are welcome!  If you plan on bringing your own alcoholic beverages, please note that you will be required to purchase a wrist band for $5 from the Chamber tent OR you can receive a wrist band for free with the purchase of one beer from the Chamber tent.

Friday, June 17, 2011

University Tuition to Increase in Kansas

The Kansas University system will raise tuition for the next academic year. The Kansas Board of Regents approved a plan to raise more than $26 million through the tuition hikes. The additional revenue was needed to bridge a $24 million budget gap that was created by reduced funding from the state's general fund. Tuition across the entire system will increase. KU, which has the highest tuition in the state, will see a 5.6% increase for next year.

The largest percentage increase will be seen by Emporia State students. Their tuition will increase by 6.8%, but will remain the second lowest cost institution in the Kansas system. ESU's cost for a full time student including fess is around half of what is costs to attend KU in Lawrence.

Fort Hays State remains the leaset expensive University in the system. It costs a full time student a reasonable $2041 per semester to attend the school. FHSU also had the lowest percentage increase at only 3.8%.

These increases are just another sign of the economic times we live in. Budgets are being slashed at the state and hopefully soon, the Federal levels. As Lt Lockhart said in Full Metal Jacket "It's a huge shit sandwich, and we're all gonna have to take a bite."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Boston Bruins Win Stanley Cup, Vancouver Erupts in Riots

The Boston Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions. In a much-hyped game seven showdown, Boston defeated the Vancouver Canuks 4-0 to earn its first NHL title since 1972.

Boston was lead by a magnificent performance by goalie Tim Thomas. Thomas didn't allow a goal while registering 37 saves, capping one of the best finals performances from a goalkeeper the NHL has seen in quite some time. Thomas got plenty of help from his offense, as Patrice Bergeron and rookie Brad Marchand each scored two goals.

Both Boston and Vancouver had plenty of opportunities to score, yet only the Bruins were able to capitalize. Vancouver's Roberto Luongo had no chance on the first goal, and gave up a third goal when Bergeron crashed into him yet the puck somehow rolled into the net. The goals were a bit flukey, but in the end Boston found ways to put the puck in the net. Every time the Canuks had an opportunity to score, they were denied by Thomas' heroics.

A large crowd had gathered in downtown Vancouver to watch the game, which soon turned into a riot after the Canuks lost. Soon after the game, Canuk fans were seen setting cars on fire, tipping cars over and hurling beer bottles. Hopefully the police were ready, since these fans seem to have a need to destroy their city every time they lose a meaningful sports game - Vancouver fans also rioted when their team lost a game seven in the 1994 finals to the New York Rangers

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NFL Lockout Talks Take A Step Backwards

Just when it appeared that the NFL and NFL Players Association were getting closer to striking a deal, the talks took a wrong turn. The talks regressed to the point that the hearing was described as "close to blowing up" by those who attended.

Lawyers from both sides were brought in for these talks, which many interpreted as a sign that a deal could be close. However, after further failed negotiations, NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith instructed his lawyers to "stand down." Unfortunately for the public, the content of these discussions remains private, which means we are still left in the dark in regards to what really goes on in these meetings.

This latest development pretty much sums up the NFL lockout: just when NFL fans receive some good news, bad news immediately follows. The back and forth characteristics have grown increasingly frustrating with the regular season getting closer and closer. The lesson here? Don't get your hopes up until a deal has been reached and the ink is dry.

Parents of Baby Whose Fingers Were Eaten by Ferret Arrested

Back in January, we told you the terrible story of the baby in Grain Valley that had 7 fingers eaten off by a ferret while the parents supposedly slept nearby. Well, turns out the two WERE NOT EVEN HOME at the time of the attack. That's right, they left their 4 month old baby home alone. Nice. Cell phone records obtained by Grain Valley Police showed the two exchanging text messages and were not in the vicinity of their Gran Valley home.

Ryan and Carrie Waldo will not be in the running for parents of the year this year because they are in jail to answer 1st degree child endangerment charges, a class C Felony. Bond has been set at $10,000. More charges could be added as court documents allege the couple tampered with evidence (they cleaned the baby swing and moved furniture) - Not to mention lying to police.

What a couple of white trash losers. Of course, as soon as I knew they owned a ferret, I could have told you they were white trash. If you own a ferret, you are white trash, no exceptions! My guess is the kid didn't stand much of a chance in life with these parents even if he had all ten fingers. Poor kid. The baby and an older sibling have been removed from the home pending the outcome of this case. If they're lucky, mom and dad will have to do several years and they can get some real parents. Fuck, this pisses me off!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NFL, Players Resume Talks

The NFL and NFL Players Association met earlier today in Washington D.C., with hopes of moving forward in their talks to end the lockout. Sources described both groups as being in "deal-making moods," which could be a positive sign that the the 2011 NFL season will start on time.

This is the third consecutive week that the two sides have had "secret" talks in hopes of ending the lockout. The major subject of discussion this week is the amount of the revenue that will go to the players; the NFLPA has reportedly asked for 50% of the revenue.

One major positive sign from these talks is that lawyers were present for both sides. The presence of lawyers could signal that the talks are becoming more serious, and that some sort of agreement could be reached soon. At the very least, both sides appear to be trying to find a middle ground, which is good news for every NFL fan.

There is a possibility that talks could continue into Wednesday or longer. It is unclear why the NFL has prepared to extend the meetings, but more details could come from the extended negotiations.

Diana Exhibit at Union Station Sets Record

Diana, A Celebration, recently closed at Kansas City's Union Station setting attendance records. Officials thought they might sell 75,000 tickets, but attendance turned out to be over 105,000 - more than 10,000 in the exhibit's final weekend. Organizers are ecstatic about the final attendance figures, and financially it was a badly needed infusion of money into the complex. The break even point was around 60,000 tickets, so you do the math at $10 - $23 per ticket.

The Diana exhibit and the recent Dinosaur exhibit were both financially beneficial for Union Station as it continues to on a path to fiscal viability. 2010 saw the largest surplus dollars the Station has ever seen with more space leased, cost cutting measures and exhibits that were popular with the paying public.

Union Station currently has an exhibit of roller coasters from 1980 Worlds of Fun. basically miniature models that will bring back memories for those my age. The exhibit is free and runs through August 11.

The Art of the Chopper opens June 24th. It is the "first comprehensive collection of custom motorcycles created explicitly for contemporary art." The exhibit will run through September and features more than 30 motorcycles. Tickets range from $9.50 for children and seniors to $12.50 for adults.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dallas Mavericks Win NBA Title

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in game six of the 2011 NBA Finals, 105-95. The win gave Dallas its first title in franchise history, and gave future hall of famers Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd their first championship rings. Miami's Lebron James, hailed by many as the best player in the league, will have to continue his search for a title next season.

All season long, Miami has been the target of criticism, mostly from Lebron James' announcement that he was leaving Cleveland for Miami to how the team was constructed. With the finals over, most of the media again are turning their attention to James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat rather than giving the Mavs their due. Despite the talent on the Heat, Dallas was simply the better team this series. Nowitzki played better than any other player on the court, and his supporting cast gave him all the help he needed to pull off the upset. Give Dallas the credit it has earned - the Mavericks stood toe to toe with the most hyped NBA team in the league's history and played better basketball.

Despite the way the Finals ended, the Heat have to be the favorites to win the title next season. James and Wade are both superstars, and Miami got a big boost in the finals from young guard Mario Chalmers. If Miami can add another asset or two and continue to gel as a team, there is no reason why they can't win several titles in the future. The team got two wins away from the championship this season, and one would think they will be even better next year with more experience playing together.

While the future may belong to Miami, the title this season belongs to Dallas. The Mavs erased a bitter finals defeat to the Heat in 2006 and took down the biggest NBA's most dispised team. A fitting end to a wild and exciting NBA season.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wichita Doctor Drives Three Miles With Corpse on Minivan Roof

A respected physician at the VA in Wichita was involved in a bizarre hit and run accident on Friday morning. It seems Dr Mohammad Sarrafizadeh hit a 32 year old man who using a weed eater near the street. The impact was severe enough to crush the hood, shatter the windshield and deposit the victim on the roof of the Toyota Sienna that Dr Sarrafizadeh was driving. According to several witnesses, the Doctor then continued driving more than three miles to his home. Police responded to the man's driveway to investigate.

Dr Sarrafizadeh was arrested for leaving the scene of a fatal accident and posted bail. A Google search shows that the Doctor is a 1970 graduate of Tehran University and subsequently moved to the US to start his medical career at a New York Hospital.

It's hard to imagine what was going through this man's mind as he was driving three miles with a corpse on his roof. Maybe he went into shock. Obviously not a stupid man, but something went wrong on Friday morning and it will be interesting to see what happened in this guy's head. Nevertheless, another tragic accident.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Five Year Old to be Charged With Murder?

In a sad story out of Kansas City, an 18 month old boy drowned in a bathtub Friday night in what seemed like a tragic accident. Upon investigating the incident, Kansas City Police questioned a five year old girl who was present at the residence. Her answers were shocking to say the least. She told investigators that she didn't like the little boy, he made too much noise and cried too much. She told Police she drowned the boy on purpose in an undrained bathtub.

Little Jermane Johnson, Jr was from St Louis, but had been living in a home in the 2600 block of Elmwood in Kansas City with relatives for the last several weeks. The adult who was present left a sixteen year old, who reportedly has mental disabilities, in charge of several young children. The older girl went to sleep and the five year old dragged the little boy into the bathtub and drowned him.

Murder charges on a five year old would be near unprecedented. They would have to show the perpetrator knew what she was doing, and knew that death was a permanent condition. I don't think a five year old knows that, but she certainly needs help, and someone should have stopped this from happening.

I will reserve judgement on this case until all the facts are in, but something is fishy. The adult supposedly left to get someone at the bus stop. It really doesn't take that long to get to the bus stop from that part of town. Did they leave the bathtub full of water before they left? Why did the 16 year old go to sleep if he/she was in charge of the other children. What is the severity of the mental disability of the 16 year old? In any case, this child needs to get some help.

Royals Fall to Blue Jays 9-8

Kansas City's comeback effort came up just short, as the Royals lost a back-and-forth slugfest to the Blue Jays, 9-8. Despite three run home runs from Melky Cabrera and Billy Butler, Kansas City was undone by poor pitching. The loss dropped the Royals to 26-36 for the season, nine games behind Cleveland in the AL Central standings.

Early on, it appeared that Kansas City was in a good position to pick up the win. After falling behind 2-0 early, Cabrera blasted a three run shot to give the Royals a 4-2 lead. That lead would disappear quickly, however, as Jayson Nix hit a three run home run of his own to give Toronto the lead. The Blue Jays then seemingly put the game out of reach in the sixth inning, as Adam Lind hit a grand slam to give Toronto a 9-4 lead.

The Royals wouldn't quit, and made an impressive late charge to get back in the game. Butler's three run homer in eighth cut the lead to two runs, and Alex Gordon doubled in the ninth to make it a one run game.

It is a shame that such an impressive offensive performance came in a losing effort. The Royals get another shot at Toronto this afternoon. Luke Hochevar, who has really struggled over the last couple of games, will get the start for Kansas City.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Royals Draft Hometown Boy Bubba Starling

Just as our Royals have hit mid season form, at least we have something else to give us hope for the future, because really that's all we ever have. The Kansas City Royals selected Derek "Bubba" Starling with the fifth overall selection in the MLB June Draft on Monday Night making the Gardner, KS native the highest pick ever from the Kansas City Metro Area. Starling plays outfield, specifically Center Field and was widely considered to be the best athlete available in the draft. Speculation was that the Royals would take one of a few college pitchers if available, or High School phenom pitcher Dylan Bundy from Oklahoma. As fate would have it, none of those pitchers were available making drafting Starling a no-brainer.

Starling has also signed a letter of intent to play football at Nebraska, though that is looking more and more like a back up plan now that he will be guaranteed millions to sign with the Royals. Bubba hinted to as much when he said "I was definitely a Royals fan growing up ... I knew whatever team got me was going to be special, but the Royals drafted me and I feel blessed." Sounds like it's sayonarasville to the Cornhuskers. He has until August 15th to sign, and many times athletes will take their time making a decision.

Starling should forgo the suspense and sign right away as the first 60 days can yield valuable experience to a young player. By all accounts he's a good kid and an incredible athlete, the Royals are lucky, it seems to have him.

NFL Prepares for 8 Game Season

With the NFL lockout in full swing and no end in sight, the league's officials have begun planning an alternative eight game schedule for the 2011 regular season. The NFL has not had a shortened season since 1987 - the last time the league suffered a work stoppage.

The league's current plan for this new eight game format is to have games start in November; if a settlement occured in October, the league would still have time for a free agency period, training camp and eight games. The league took previous measures to prepare for a late start, designing a schedule that could drop bye weeks and the week before the superbowl and still play all 16 games.

It remains unknown how this shortened season would play out. It remains likely that teams will still play all six interdivision games, and the remaining two games would be decided later. This format obviously helps teams in a weak division tremendously.

The league remains adamant that its focus is on a full 16 game regular season, but it isn't a bad idea to start drawing up a plan B. After all, some football is better than no football.

Monday, June 6, 2011

USC Stripped of 2004 National Title

The University of Southern California has been stripped of its 2004 NCAA title in football. While this is one of the most severe penalties that a football team can face, many fans and pundits feel USC ultimately got what it deserved. The record books will now have no BCS champion for the 2004-05 season.

Although the news was expected, USC losing the 2004 title is yet another black eye for college football. This news comes off the heels of the Jim Tressel scandal and resignation at Ohio State, and rumors have been swirling about a scandal involving Cam Newton and Auburn, last year's national champion. The situation feels a bit like the steroid scandals in major league baseball that took place a few years ago - a lot of bad news seemed to surface at the same time and the public learned more and more as time progressed. Fans must now wonder if Auburn will lose its recent title, or if any other championship teams will face a scandal similar to what USC has gone through.

USC lost more than just its national title. The BCS also stripped the Trojans of their 2005-06 season, including the memorable loss in the national title game to Texas. Several years ago, USC was the premier dynasty in college football and in the mix for a national title every year. Now, all the Trojans are left with in the record books is a partial national title from the 2003-04 season. The BCS sent a clear message with the USC ruling: cheaters never win. At least not in their official records.

Extreme Heat, Humidity Hit Kansas City Area

Summer weather has hit Kansas City already. The Forecast calls for extreme heat and humidity through Wednesday of this week. Highs will be in the mid 90's with heat indexes over 100 degrees. These conditions have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a heat advisory for the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The Kansas City School district, one of the few still in session, has sent students from East and Northeast High Schools home for the day because these two facilities do not have air conditioning (I never went to an air conditioned school - my how times have change - wussification of America). Cooling centers have been opened throughout the Metro area to help those who do not have air conditioning. People are also advised to check on neighbors, especially the elderly and make sure pets have adequate water and a shady place to hang out.

If you have to be outside, make sure you drink plenty of water - and though beer is mostly water, it will dehydrate you in this kind of heat. Loose fitting, light colored clothing is also helpful. And for God's sake, DO NOT leave any living creature in a vehicle with the windows closed - cars can get to a deadly temperature in a hurry.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Royals Swept by Twins

Kansas City earned a rare sweep of Minnesota earlier in the year, and the Twins returned the favor over the weekend. Kansas City couldn't get anything going against Minnesota's Brian Duensing this afternoon, and fell 6-0.

There weren't many positives that emerged from the disastrous weekend, but the Royals have to be encouraged by the sudden improvement by Joakim Soria. Soria has now had two impressive outings since losing his closer role, and he may be promoted back to that spot now that he appears to be pitching at an all-star level once again. The Royals were right to take Soria out of the closer spot, as he quickly went from one of the game's best to a disaster in a terrible two week stretch. Luckily, Soria has responded, and he should find himself closing Kansas City's games again soon.

The loss dropped Kansas City to 25-34 overall and nine games back of Cleveland in the AL Central. The Royals begin another home series Monday night against Toronto, and Felipe Paulino will get the start. Paulino has yet to give up an earned run as a Royal.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Royals Fall to Twins

Fresh off a dramatic walk-off win over the Angels, the Royals fell flat on their faces last night. Kansas City got embarrassed by the Twins, 8-2, as starting pitcher Sean O'Sullivan continued to struggle.

I'm not sure if it is possible for anyone to pitch as poorly as Sullivan has recently. He gave up five home runs in less than three innings of work last night, and he has struggled all season long. It is time for Kansas City to explore other options and to cut ties with Sullivan. He has proven he doesn't have what it takes to make it in the big leagues, and Kansas City has plenty of prospects ready for a shot.

The lone bright spot for Kansas City was Jeff Francoeur, who had a big day at the plate. Francoeur hit two doubles and a triple, and was responsible for batting in both of the Royals' runs. Francoeur now leads the team with 32 RBI, and continues to be a pleasant surprise for the team. Joakim Soria, in his first appearance since losing his closer role, retired all six batters he faced.

Kansas City will face the Twins again tonight at 7:10 PM. Carl Pavano, who has struggled this season, will get the start for Minnesota. Danny Duffy will get the start for the Royals, as he continues to search for his first major league victory.

More Problems for the Kansas City Catholic Church

Thursday night Bishop Finn of the Kansas City-St Joseph Diocese of the Catholic Church removed Father Michael Tierney from his position as pastor at Christ the King Church in Waldo. The Bishop cited allegations from Credible sources that Tierney was involved in sexual misconduct. The alleged misconduct occurred in the 70's and 80's. According to Finn, Father Tierney denies the allegations, but has been cooperating fully.

Tierney's "Pastor's page" has been removed from Christ the King's website, but according to a cached version, he has been at Christ the King since January of 2010. A Kansas City native, he attended St Peter's Elementary School, and bounced around from church to church in his priest career, all of which has been spent in the Kansas City-St Joseph Diocese.

All of this comes on the heels of Father Shawn Ratigan being charged with child pornography. Interestingly, Tierney spent 4 and a half years at St Patrick's Church in the Northland in the late 70's - the time of the alleged misconduct. This is the same church that Ratigan worked at when he was accused of child pornography. It seems the Kansas City-St Joseph Diocese has decided it's time to come clean with all the dirty priests now. I wonder how many more of these perverts the Bishop knows about.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jazzoo 2011 at the Kansas City Zoo Friday June 3rd

Jazzoo 2011, Kansas City's largest charity event, gets underway at 6:30pm Friday night.  Jazzoo 2011 tickets are still on sale and range in price from $175.00 for an individual ticket all the way up to $15,000.00 for a group donation package.  We opted this year for the corporate package and will be sponsoring The Kansas City Zoo for the 4th year in a row.  We have requested that our donation go toward the Panther cage as that cage is the most pathetic cage in the entire zoo, (although we know that we cannot "direct" our donation dollars, we joke about this situation with the FOTZ every year - sometimes over the microphone on the main stage).

Information about Jazzoo 2013

Entertainment for Jazzoo 2011 will feature local 80's tribute band The Zeros, who have requested their own stage this year to separate their fans from the old folks who typically stay near the main stage.  We interviewed "Shawn Zero", The Zeros band leader and he remarked about last year's Jazzoo problems with The Zeros sharing the main stage with elder band ELO.  "Yeah, we opened up for ELO, or whatever they are calling themselves, they weren't even the real ELO, more like an ELO tribute band with most of the original members long gone [notably the band's founder, main songwriter and lead singer Jeff Lynne] and they were bitchin' at us about our stage show.  We had our light boxes on the stage for the hot girls to dance on and they were backstage throwing a fit about it.  The manager was yelling at us trying to get us to get the girls off the stage but we were like 'hey man, this is part of our show, you old fuckers are just going to have to deal with it'."  So this year, The Zeros were given their very own stage.  The entertainment on the old folks stage for Jazzoo 2011 will feature The Little River Band and The Rainmakers.

Jazzoo 2011 will once again feature a wide array of Kansas City cuisine, represented by over 50 Kansas City restaurants including The Oak Room Intercontinental, The Skies Restaurant, and one of our favorite plaza fine dining restaurants Fogo De Chao.  It will be a hot one out there so dress appropriately.  Dress at Jazzoo is notoriously referred to as Creative Black Tie, you are supposed to improvise on some form of tuxedo or formal wear.  You will definitely see some strange get-ups at Jazzoo 2011, and some of them will probably be us.  See you all there!

Lee's Summit Downtown Days This Weekend

Friday kicks off this year's Downtown Days in Lee's Summit. Downtown Days is an annual festival held at the beginning of summer in Downtown Lee's Summit, MO. The event is free, and live entertainment will be provided, but don't worry you will have plenty of chances to spend money as well - carnival rides, vendors selling food and other items.

Live music this year includes Oklahoma based pop-rock band Sownds, and local classic rock band Flashback on Friday night. Clint Martinez Band, Four Roads Crossing, and the Kansas City Drum Tribe (hippies beating on drums and playing with fire - what could be cooler than that?) perform on Saturday night.

New for 2011 is the 3 on 3 basketball tournament - this takes place on Saturday and you can still register here. Also new is the Happy Hour for all you lushes out there. $2 off beers from 4:30-6:30PM on Friday only. A Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned Bar-B-Q contest will also be held on Friday with winners announced on Saturday.

Billy Butler Hits Game Winning Home Run, Royals Beat Angels

Billy Butler hit his first walk off home run to give Kansas City a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. The victory gave Kansas City a much-needed series win, and improved the Royals' record to 25-30 on the season.

Butler's ninth inning blast was originally ruled a double, as the ball bounced off some padding past the outfield wall and landed back in play. Officials later correctly ruled that Butler had hit a home run after watching a video replay of the at bat.

While Butler won the game with his homer, the Royals' Alcides Escobar kept Kansas City in the game with a tremendous defensive play in the eighth. Los Angeles loaded the bases, and former Royal Alberto Callaspo hit a hard grounder that appeared out of Escobar's reach. However, the shortstop not only made the stop but threw Callaspo out at first, preventing the Angels from scoring and keeping Kansas City in the game. Escobar has been brutal at the plate this season, but his defense has earned him a spot in Kansas City's starting lineup.

While Butler and Escobar made the big plays, Kansas City's pitching staff deserves most of the credit. Since being aquired from the Colorado Rockies, Felipe Paulino has pitched extremely well. He only gave up four singles in five scorless innings yesterday, and has yet to give up a run as a Royal. Kansas City's pullpen finished off what Paulino started, and Tim Collins picked up the win.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Topeka Man Drives Car into Grocery Store

In a colossal display of idiocy, an as of yet unidentified man drove his car through the front doors of a Dillons Grocery store in Topeka. Police were called to the store at 801 NW 25th St, Topeka, at around 9:30PM on Monday to investigate.

Witnesses said the man was shopping in the store, and upon returning to his car noticed it had been damaged by a shopping cart. In a rage, he then picked up the shopping cart and attempted to throw it through the store window. That didn't work, and apparently only enraged this moron enough to drive his car through both sets of doors and come to a stop in front of the Pharmacy counter. The man then drove away and is still at large. Police said they suspect his vehicle sustained substantial damage. No Shit.

Obviously this mental midget was having a bad day, but it was a damn good thing for him that it was a holiday evening and the store was relatively quiet. The fact that there were no injuries will save this guy a lot of time in prison, and they WILL catch him.

This does bring up a good point though. Are you people so fucking lazy that you can't put the shopping cart in the little rack things that the store provides in the parking lot? Come on, have a little respect for other people's property and act like you give a damn! Pricks!


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