Calvin Sense: Michael Brown Was No Hero; Gangsta’s Gotta Go

ghettoThe disturbances in Ferguson are another example of how gangsters and ignoramuses can ruin a peaceful demonstration…

All of the evidence is in and obviously Michael Brown found what he was looking for that day, trouble.  However, he never guessed the trouble he was looking for would lead to his death.

Michael Brown’s mindset, as exemplified in his assault and robbery of a business owner, carried over into his meeting with police officer Darren Wilson.  Unlike the store owner officer Wilson was armed and would not let Brown assault him or get away with robbery.

There are incidents of police abuse toward minorities but Michael Brown’s case is not one of them.

What’s confusing to many people is they don’t fully understand that the issue minorities and whites are upset about is police abuse overall.

Some minorities need to be reminded of the difference between the Michael Brown incident and other incidents where there definitely was police brutality. Continue reading

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Leftridge: Thanksgiving Guests, Ranked

thankscoverThe holiday season is officially here. For many, this means long travels to exotic destinations like, Akron, Ohio and Tecumseh Springs, Oklahoma where, “ugh… my family lives.” It’s a time for reflection and fellowship, both of which work best with earplugs and enough wine to alcohol-poison the 50 Secretly-Drunkest Housewives of Johnson County.  No gathering would be complete without Your Terrible Family Who You Only See Once a Year and with Good Reason.

Let’s take a look at who you can expect once you’ve arrived at your destination, your ass tender and sore from brutal, endless highway driving.

11. Cousin Who Just Got Out of Jail

It’s probably jail and not prison because he’s actually a low-rent dirt-bag and not Al Capone. (Though he may spend considerable time trying to convince you of his criminal prowess.) Truth is, he probably got popped for selling synthetic marijuana to some 16-year-old kids, failure-to-appeared, got caught riding a stolen BMX, and finally did eight grueling months at a correctional facility in rural _______. While he was there, he started taking some HVAC courses, learned to play checkers and finally started turning his life around… you know, until someone at Thanksgiving cracks open a case of Busch Light. There’s a good chance he’ll end the night feebly running from the police in the 1989 Ford Taurus that his mom bequeathed him after he got sprung. The cycle will never end. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Horrible Bosses 2′ Lowers The Bar—And Then Some

MV5BNzU4OTEzNzAwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTgwODAwMzE@._V1_SX214_AL_Were there REALLY any good reason for a sequel to 2011’s raunchy ensemble comedy HORRIBLE BOSSES?

OK, I keep forgetting the business end. After all the first one grossed $118 million domesticly and another $92 million worldwide. Making it a definite candidate for a follow up.

Translation: Built-in audience = hefty paycheck for Warner Brothers and all involved.

If only they’d have come up with a better script.

As for the lame intrigue of # 2, we find the hapless trio of Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis becoming their OWN bosses in a great money making scheme. They’ve invented a revolutionary, new shampoo dispensing shower head named “Shower Buddy.”

And when it comes to marketing, they think they’ve hit pay dirt by landing a heavy hitter wholesaler. However, they’ll not only need market the device but funding for the boys’ new manufacturing plant as well.

These two sleezebags are played by the father and son team of Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine who swindle our boys out of a fortune.

Time for Bateman, Day and Sudeikis to again enlist the assistance of Jamie Foxx to kinap Waltz’s party animal son Chris Pine in exchange for a hefty ransom.

Hilarity ensues. Continue reading

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Glazer: Thank the Media for Last Night’s ‘Ghetto St. Patrick’s’ Celebration in Ferguson

2014-11-22t041729z_356846822_gm1eabm0y1y01_rtrmadp_3_usa-missouri-shooting.jpg_1718483346The jury’s in, no indictment…

And from what I’ve heard, I agree with their verdict. Apparently a jury of nine whites and three blacks said it was a justified shooting. Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson – in fear for his life – shot and killed 18 year-old Michael Brown.

Brown had just bullied the owner of a small, local store and stolen several cigars. It was all on tape. The six-foot four, 290 pound black man roughed up the little Asian guy at the store for no good reason – for kicks, I’d guess.

Later Officer Wilson saw the youth walking down the middle of the road, pulled him over and when the large youth blocked the door of the cop car and began hitting Wilson through the window there was a struggle and the officer’s gun went off inside the car, grazing the black youth’s hand. Brown then walked away, refused to stop, then rushed Wilson who in fear for his life fired.

And the grand jury believed enough of the story to not indict.

To me the media is as much to blame for these riots as anyone. Continue reading

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Hearne: Misguided Racism to Blame for Ferguson

Buff Craig & Lotus(1)Think of it as the Craig Glazer syndrome….

In the early days of the Bill Cosby rape controversy earlier this month, Glazer was quick to sympathize and explain away how Cosby’s charges were possibly either exaggerated or trumped up. Where were the women accusers 15 years ago when the infractions allegedly went down?

Was it all really just a money play?

“I seriously doubt that Cosby actually raped anyone,” Glazer wrote.You know, threw them down and beat on them.”

Hold it right there.

While Craig’s questions are mostly legit, his characterization of rape as solely a violent street crime is way off target. The definition of how a rape can take place is far broader – date rape, to name one.

In talking with Glazer further after additional details of Cosby allegedly drugging his victims before taking advantage of them, and more women coming forward for reasons other than money, he changed his tune.

The reason for Glazer’s initial take:

Having been wrongly accused of indiscretions by employees in the past – women seeking monetary settlements – Glazer was sympathetic to Cosby initially. However after more women came forward and further details became known, Glazer reversed his position. You know, where there’s smoke there’s fire.

But back to Ferguson… Continue reading

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Hearne: Area Investigative Journalists as Endangered Species

Borat_in_CologneWas a time investigative reporters at the Kansas City Star could phone it in

The award-winning journalists there were treated like “tribal elders” – men and women who through age and experience were respected and admired for their wisdom and held in high regard, regardless of how seldom they actually published any stories.

Housed in a far corner of the newsroom these reporters gathered daily to reflect on the news of the day, although writing just a small handful of stories each year – most of which were investigative pieces, produced in the hope they would win awards and bring recognition and prestige to the newspaper.

Media types – and newspaper editors in particular – obsess about winning awards.

The Lawrence Journal World for example, with some of the poorest basic news reporting going and a sports staff that are little more than KU basketball and football boosters, love to boast of the awards it wins each year.

Truth be known though, most media awards are little more than circle jerks.

which brings us to former Star investigative reporter Karen Dillon. Continue reading

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Calvin Sense: Obama Immigration Policy a Loser

President ObamaWhat were President Obama’s real reasons for his executive action on illegal immigration? 

There are two reasons most people have for doing something,– especially politicians. The real reason and the reason that sounds good to society.

All those bleeding heart reasons that Obama gave for his executive order for illegal immigration were not the real reasons.  The real reasons I believe are the following:

*** First and foremost Obama’s concern about building a base for the Democratic party for people who feel an obligation to the party and are really concerned about everyday persons lives.  In essence Obama is putting his party above the wishes of the American people who don’t like his immigration policy and want the borders secured before any such policy is instituted. Continue reading

Posted in Calvin Sense | 33 Comments

Leftridge: Worst Idiots Ever Jump to Cosby’s Defense

bill-cosbyAlleged serial rapist Bill Cosby– once known for his stand-up and his classic 1980’s television show but now mostly known for *maybe* being a horrific sex predator– performed for an appreciative crowd Friday night in Florida. The night was peppered with laughter and standing ovations, and afterward, the old white people leaving the venue said things like, “it was good” and “I’m still a fan, no matter what.” (I’ll refrain from pointing out that Charles Manson could probably get elected governor in Florida as long as he managed to appeal to wrinkly white people, because Florida is terribly fucked up and worse than an Ebola infected penis.)

Point being, Cosby has plenty of supporters. And while the court of public opinion will not keep him from being civilly-sued for his copious fortune, it could keep him from blowing his brains out some day in the not-too-distant future. (I honestly don’t know the odds of either thing happening; any sort of decades-old sexual assault seems difficult to prove, AND Cosby is undoubtedly an egomaniac who values his presence on this earth more than anyone else ever would. [This isn’t a condemnation, necessarily–just opinion-based narrative.])

Anyway, people STILL support The Cos. I found a bunch on Facebook, actually, thanks to a page called “BlackPast.org” which a friend (who is supporting Bill because “this whole thing seems like BS“) shared into my news feed whether I liked it or not. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge | Tagged | 19 Comments

Glazer: Run Alex, Run & This Week’s Picks

Alex+Smith+St+Louis+Rams+v+Kansas+City+Chiefs+FOhZ6wB4F5slThe pain is fading from the Kansas City Chiefs unexpected loss to the lowly Raiders

So what’s next? One reason the Chiefs offense has slowed a bit is that quarterback Alex Smith is not running with the ball. He’s been one of our key weapons, especially on third down. I know his shoulder is banged up, but he’s had four weeks rest now on the injury and his running was a big part of the Chiefs winning.

Granted Thursday was a mess with the rain, but…

ONE BIG RUN might have made the difference.

Think back to us only getting 3 not 7 on the Raiders fumble at their 11 yard line in the second quarter. An Alex run might scored and saved the game. The final five games are all going to be tough. The three at home must yield at least two wins and we need one on the road.

Arizona and the Steelers will be uphill.

The Raiders here is a likely win and then we have Denver and the Chargers. Three wins in 5 games puts the Chiefs in wild card dance…..again. This year is insane though that anything can happen. And it no longer feels that good. A Chiefs win at home with Denver is nearly a must now. Continue reading

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Hearne: Journal World Shoots Arrow at Roy Williams, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little

11Remember that line about walking softly and carrying a big stick?

That’s hardly the case in Lawrence, Kansas where the walking is almost always pretty darn soft and the size of the stick is not only small, it’s all but invisible.

That’s the sad reality for a town that by virtue of its proximity to Kansas City and the presence of the University of Kansas desperately wants to believe that it’s big time but all too often falls far short of the mark.

Narrowed to a single reason, owing to a lack of leadership at the local newspaper.

That said, even the proverbial blind sow find an acorn every now and then.

Case in point, an editorial earlier this week in which the Journal World calls out KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little for her silence on former KU coach Roy Williams academic scandal with the North Carolina basketball team. Continue reading

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Sounds Good: Hembree @ Bottleneck, Loretta Lynn @ Uptown

Saturday, November 22nd

Hembree and Your Friend at the Bottleneck in Lawrence

Most of you probably have at least heard of Your Friend, the Lawrence based singer songwriter who recently won The Pitch award in that category for her atmospheric, dreamy, noise pop.  However you likely haven’t heard of Hembree yet.

That’s because they are pretty new, with only a couple shows under their belt.  The band consists of most of the members of the now-defunct folk rock band, Quiet Corral, that disbanded earlier this year after their lead singer Jesse Roberts split from the group.  Which may have been a blessing in disguise really, because QC was built in the mold of that trendy, Mumford and Sons folkie thing that happened then thankfully got taken behind the woodshed a few years back.

From what I can tell, this new version is edgier, with more of an indie rock vibe, but still pretty melodic.  Also performing is Bonzo Madrid, the new project from Cowboy Indian Bear’s CJ Calhoun that I know very little about.  So it should be pretty cool.

Continue reading

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Hearne: Legendary Audio/Video Store Kief’s ‘Business Liquidation’ Auction 9 a.m. Saturday

John Kiefer

John Kiefer

A moment of silence, please for the Kansas City/Lawrence area’s finest electronics retailer…

After more than half a century Kief’s Audio Video is no more. The store closed quietly a few weeks back and at 9 a.m. tomorrow Kief’s will liquidate its assets via an auction at its longtime home at 2429 Iowa in southeast Lawrence.

Needless to say it’s a major loss for the Kansas City area, given that local retailers such as Brandsmart, Primus, SoundFX, Audio Renaissance, David Beatty and a host of others – both national and local – have fallen by the wayside over the past 10 to 15 years. Continue reading

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Glazer: The Rain, The Raiders, The Result; Chiefs in Trouble

raider-nation-fansWell, we all know that it rained and rained hard…

But Oakland had to play in the same weather as the Chiefs. And yes, it was a road game. And yes, it was a trap game. However great teams have to beat the teams they are suppose to beat, and the Chiefs were a huge favorite to destroy an Oakland team that had ZERO wins this season. Zero.

The fact we had the national stage and so did they also was a factor.

Plain and simple, Oakland just wanted the win more than we did.

The first quarter the Chiefs looked hungover. Meaning, “We don’t want to be here.” Who would? That stadium is snake hole and the fans are well, ‘Raiders Fans.’

The rain, the ugly city – I get it.

Still it was a monster loss. Continue reading

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Star beams: ‘Spirit in the Sky’ Day, Cheap Gas & a Tale of Two Bills

shirtfront1Royals designated hitter Billy Butler accepted an offer from the Oakland A’s.  He’ll be selling hot dogs in section 320.

                                                   *******

A gallon of gas is now cheaper than a gallon of milk.  Ironically, both give me gas.
  *******

Gas prices haven’t been this low since 2009.  I can finally afford to get a hummer.

                                                   *******

Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Mockingjay-Part 1′—Franchise Forges Towards Cliffhanger

hunger-games-mockingjay-trailer-comic-con-2014-lionsgateEven though you KNOW that the movie version of the final HUNGER GAMES book has been split into two parts, it’s still jarring when it actually occurs…

A sigh of disappointment swept through our screening audience.

However it sure isn’t the first time Hollywood has split a major franchise finale into two parts. It happened with, among others, HARRY POTTER and the TWILIGHT SAGA as well.

This cliffhanger type ending gives the studio the opportunity of double dipping—getting twice the bang for their bucks, especially since the movies were filmed back to back.

Hey, it’s called ShowBUSINESS for a reason! Continue reading

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Glazer: Kansas City’s Forgotten World Series

Texas Rangers v Kansas City RoyalsYes, it was unexpected…

Kansas City Royals fans hoped the team could maybe get a wild card game. And then, perhaps even one playoff series before it all ended. Instead Kansas City was treated to a month of playoffs and a World Series that went to Game 7 right here at The K – one run short of a world championship. But hey, we’re champions of the American League now and that’s something we haven’t done in 30 years.

BUT WHERE’S THE NOISE NOW?

It was decided there’d be a parade the Friday after the series ended win or lose, but that was cancelled.

I know a parade was in the mix because I got called to help get it done. Continue reading

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Paul Wilson: Rainy Day Books Presents Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott

Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to Rainy Day Books honcho Vivien Jennings

For those of you who may not know her, Vivien is the woman behind bringing nationally recognized authors, politicians and celebrities to Kansas City for readings, lectures and book signings for the past three decades.

And tomorrow – Wednesday November 19th at 7:00 p.m. – she is hosting author Anne Lamott at the Community Christian Church on the Plaza to talk about her new book, Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments.

Vivien’s done hundreds of these, but tomorrow night is very special to me.  Continue reading

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Glazer: The Dismantling of the Bill Cosby We Thought We Knew

3225002Actor/comedian Bill Cosby was the modern day Bob Hope

From the late 1960’s through the 1990’s it was all Bill. His comedy albums were a must in the early 70’s. His hit television series “I Spy” in the mid-1960s was a trendy, pre Miami Vice. Cosby followed that up with a number of hit movies and THE COSBY SHOW from 1984 to 1992. It was a family show about a wealthy black man and his ups and downs with kids,wife and family – a huge, huge hit.

However as Cosby aged he began to have issues.

Cosby had been a handsome, brilliant, rich Hollywood star and a ladies man who openly cheated on his wife. His son was killed on a hillside road in Malibu while changing a tire in 1997. Bill then went back out on the road to cheer up America and is thought to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Since President Obama wouldn’t scold Black America for bad behavior and lack of family values and eduction, Cosby decided to try and set the record straight. He wouldn’t accept any Tomfoolery, no sir – get an education, be respectful and fly right was his message.

Now at age 77 Cosby is being accused of sexual assault on at least 16 women. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Deck the Halls, Hollywood’s Gifts to Mankind

19ezabi6u2ekxjpgI give you, Kansas City’s 2014 Holiday Grid of major movie releases:

Starting this Friday, Nov. 21—“THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay-Part 1″ (Lionsgate)—Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Philips Seymour Hoffman.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Wednesday, Nov. 26—“HORRIBLE BOSSES 2″ (Warner Bros.)—Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston.

“PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR 3D” (Fox/Dreamworks)—Voices of Benedic Ctumberbatch, John Malkovich, Chris Miller, Tom Mcgrath.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Friday, Dec. 5—“THE PYRAMID” (Fox)—Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O’Hare.

“THE HOMESMAN” (Roadside)—Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | 1 Comment

Valentine: Cracking The Political Code

Code

Original art by Mark Valentine

Words take on different meanings when politicians use them…

Sometimes it’s a clever twist meant to put on a better face. Pro-Life sounds so much better than Anti-Abortion. And Pro-Choice sounds much better than Pro-Abortion.

Sometimes the official words seem disconnected from the concepts. How did the expansion of government spying on private citizens become part of The Patriot Act? A stronger central government that invades privacy seems contrary to the Constitution.

Should an assault on The Constitution be branded with the word Patriot?

Sometimes code words are a deliberate smoke screen.

Was it a really surprise when Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, said lowering health care costs to citizens was never part of the planning sessions? So they called it The Affordable Health Care Act. Continue reading

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