Whinery: The George Zimmerman Media Circus

tmDo the right thing…

Which is precisely what the jury did in the George Zimmerman case. Anyone who
looked objectively at the evidence of this case as presented by the State – and how could the jury do anything else? – would have found Mr. Zimmerman not guilty. The State’s own witnesses made the Defense’s case for self-defense.

When one testified that Trayvon Martin was on top of Zimmerman beating him down “MMA Style” and a detective testified that Zimmerman may have acted in self-defense, what other verdict could the jury have returned? Continue reading

Posted in David Scott Whinery | 31 Comments

Donnelly: Saad & Co. Take Toronto FC to the Woodshed in 3-0 Win

Coming into the Saturday evening match at Sporting Park, the two sides couldn’t have been in more different situations.

Sporting KC was sitting on 30 points and near the top of the East, while Toronto FC had earned only 13 points with a mere two wins.

Both sides were a little tentative to start, feeling one another out, and not really taking many chances early. Continue reading

Posted in Matthew_Donnelly | 5 Comments

Sutherland: Hate Is Not a Family Value

Journey-Inward,-Journey-OutIt’s been sixty-five years since George Orwell wrote “1984,” his classic description of the totalitarian mindset. 

Thanks to local ideologues like Dr. Robert Meneilly and his church militant, the hate group formerly known as The Mainstream Coalition (like the artist formerly known as Prince), that vicious and dishonest way of thinking survives “Right here in River City!”

Consider the slogans of “the Party” seen everywhere in the dystopian London of the future as imagined by Orwell:




Posted in Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. | 29 Comments

Starbeams: Flavor Flav Freeze, Jim Morrison Plays Mark Twain, Sporting, Google & China

val_kilmer_mark_twainVal Kilmer is doing a one-man show about Mark Twain.  He plays Mark Twain AFTER he came down with Gout.
A memorial to 2008 earthquake victims in China was just wiped out by massive flooding.  Now, the entire thing is a memorial to IRONY.
 Google went down briefly on Wednesday.  For a couple of hours I didn’t know how to spell ANYTHING!
Posted in Starbeams | Comments Off on Starbeams: Flavor Flav Freeze, Jim Morrison Plays Mark Twain, Sporting, Google & China

Paul Wilson: Overland Park Can ‘KISS’ It

KISS unleash @ Rock & Brews

KISS unleash @ Rock & Brews

Theeeey want to rock and roll and all night, and party ev-er-y day…

Don’t look now but the band KISS is poised to bestow its Rock & Brews upon lowly Overland Park in Prairiefire at 135th and Metcalf. More to the point, bandmates Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS plan to open their 11th eatery/party zone in the suburban Cowtown easrly next year.

About time OP got a replacement for Dick Clark’s Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 10 Comments

Paul Wilson: Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull Performs ‘Thick as a Brick’ @ Kauffman Center

images“Really don’t mind if you sit this one out,” is the opening line of the 1972 Jethro Tull album “Thick as a Brick.”

I could only describe TAAB as a single song opus, inside a rock musical and wrapped up in a concept album. It was one single track, broken only by flipping the album over to play side two.

Sgt. Pepper and Tommy didn’t even try that trick.

Seen by his fans and contemporaries in ’72 as eccentric, Anderson’s remained that way in my mind all these years. And now that he’s returning to this great work to remake it as Thick as a Brick II, it’s a perfect illustration of that. Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 33 Comments

New Jack City: It’s a Brawn vs. Brain(less) Weekend @ The Movies

Screen shot 2013-07-11 at 9.30.14 AM This weekend it’s a standoff between Adam Sandler and Godzilla at the movies…
Well, not really.
PACIFIC RIM is more like legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, rising from the sea to consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, director-producer-screenwriter Guillermo del Toro unleashes massive robots called Jaegers which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge.
It’s the basis for Hollywood’s latest non-sequel tentpole fighting for audience acceptance this summer.
So far AFTER EARTHWHITE HOUSE DOWN and THE LONE RANGER haven’t been that lucky. Continue reading
Posted in Jack Poessiger | 3 Comments

Edelman: ‘Flashdance’ @ Starlight / ‘Rocky Horror’ @ Crown Center

Ensemb-EdTed-487They’re flashin, they’re dancin– Not just at the musical version of everybody’s favorite ’80s welder movie FLASHDANCE (now through Sunday at Starlight), though that’s got plenty of glitz and moves, too.No, I’m talking about THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, now thru Saturday night at the Off-Center Theater in Crown Center. Steve Eubanks‘ Egads Production has once again rolled out this chestnut (make that several pairs of well hung chestnuts) in honor of the show’s 40th anniversary.

And it’s a hoot.

For all of the hard work and heavy lifting Eubanks’ talented cast undertakes, it’s the audience that brings the energy to this ROCKY. Monday night’s show may as well have been a friggin Frank-n-Furter convention. Armed with their prop kits, the riff raff (not to be confused with the character in the show) kept up a call and response with the actors and each other that would put the Reverend Al or Aretha to shame. Continue reading

Posted in Mark Edelman | Comments Off on Edelman: ‘Flashdance’ @ Starlight / ‘Rocky Horror’ @ Crown Center

Paul Wilson: The Weak in Review; Midterms


Attention Royals & Chiefs Officials – No More Bad Calls

Police in rural Brazil detained one man and were seeking two others in the slaying of a soccer referee who was killed by spectators after he stabbed a player to death mid-match Monday.

The 20-year-old referee, Otavio Jordao da Silva, kicked Josemir Santos Abreu, 31, out of the game in the small town of Centro do Meio. Abreu threw Silva to the ground and as he tried to get back up, Silva pulled a knife and stabbed Abreu in the chest; he died on the way to the hospital.

Players and spectators then rushed Silva, tying him up by his arms and legs, hit him over the head with a spike and then broke a bottle on his face. One of the suspects then took the knife that had been used to stab Abreu and stabbed the referee in the neck.

This comes under the International Soccer Rules, Section 103.2 – Turn About is Fair Play, but they took it one step too far. Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 19 Comments

Sounds Good: David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Crossroads, LFDF @ Bottleneck

Did all you music lovers catch the biggest release of the summer so far?

Jay-Z‘s Magna Carta… Holy Grail.

It features cameos from Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, Rick Ross, and of course Beyonce.   And it was hyped by that movie-like three minute commercial during the NBA Finals a few weeks ago. A commercial that was sponsored by Samsung, who bought and gave away 1 million copies to some of its smartphone users, making the album platinum before it was even released.

Hey, no one ever accused Jay-Z of being an unintelligent businessman.  Heard the album?  If so, whaddya think?     Continue reading

Posted in Matthew_Donnelly | 2 Comments

Hearne: Paradise Lost — The Crown Center Story

IMG_2577Once upon a time it was magical…

It was Crown Center – the ultra upscale, urban shopping mall the mighty Hallmark Cards built. It was one of the Cowtown’s top tourist draws, ashopping Mecca. Forget about the miniature LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Aquarium.

They may be kiddie magnets now – more so for visitors from Wichita and Des Moines – but in the grand scheme of things they’re small potatoes. Mere shadows of the full blown LEGOLAND Lee’s Summit tried to land a few years back. Or the real deal, twin tower aquariums that tower over the riverfront in tiny Chattanooga, Tennessee.


More to the point is the effect of the years of diminishing returns Hallmark has experienced in greeting card sales.  Effects likely to continue to the card company’s dying day. Effects that have rendered downtown’s once-proud, crown jewel little more than a tattered semblance of its former self.

The Crown Center of 2013 is shopworn, long in the tooth. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 8 Comments

Leftridge: TV Time: “The Bridge,” Because Who DOESN’T Like Mexican/American Crime Dramas?

bridge1FX’s original programming is to the point where I’m fairly certain they could air a promo with nothing but a black screen and the words “TV SHOW COMING SOON”, and I’d be hooked.

And to be quite honest, this doesn’t seem all that far-fetched given the inconspicuous effort they put toward launching new shows.

They did it with the magnificent Justified a few years ago, and last year, they began airing a cryptic, 30-second spot showing a car driving slowly down the street of a calm (though eerily empty) neighborhood in Anytown, USA. As the car passes the house on which the camera has been trained, and transmitted radio ghost-sounds crackle in the background, we see that it has been painted with a large, red sickle and hammer.  THE AMERICANS flashes briefly on the side of the screen, and that’s it.

And I watched, because HOW AWESOME WAS THAT PROMO? And the show had a brilliant first season that fully surpassed my expectations.

So when I began seeing teasers for their newest effort some four or five months ago (maybe I’m exaggerating, but it feels like forever), I immediately knew that I’d watch it. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Hearne: New Accuser Says Not Only Did Paula Deen Use N-Word, She Used Gay Slurs

PaulaDean_621_480x360Look, I know what some of you guys are thinking…

You’re thinking Paula Deen didn’t do it. She got a raw deal on her alleged use of the “N Word.” I know because Paul Wilson as much as told me that last week. After all, Deen says she only uttered the word at knifepoint a couple decades back.

And black people get away with using – not just that – but the word “cracker” and all sorts of pejorative terms for whites. Color it, the White Man’s Burden, a double standard that won’t quit. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 37 Comments

Paul Wilson: How Kansas City Mayor Sly James Can Solve the Murder Rate Problem

rockwell_shattered_rectLast week I traded emails with KC Mayor Sly James as he and I are in the process of setting up a meeting to discuss the murder rate in KC for an upcoming story on KC Confidential…

That’s the main topic, with a secondary one being my disgust and bewilderment over him taking the blame for not doing enough to stop it.

When people don’t want to accept responsibility for their own actions they resort to pointing fingers, because that’s far easier. And in the past few weeks, the blame has turned to our Mayor; that supposedly he hasn’t done enough to slow the murder rate.

My contention is, a city mayor can’t legislate that into decline. It’s not about stronger gun laws, it’s not about more places to play “basketball” on weekends in the inner city and it’s not about curfew parties to keep kids off the Plaza. Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 60 Comments

Starbeams: Southwest Grounding, BRGR Vowel Search, Twinkies Return, KCI Terminal & Nugent Meets Clinton

Obama GolfingA Southwest Airlines flight from Baltimore to Las Vegas was forced to land after the pilot reported an engine was out.  Most passengers said they thought that was enough gambling for one day.
BRGR is opening a new location downtown.  They’re hoping to make enough money to buy a couple of vowels for their sign.
Twinkies return to store shelves next week.  Finally, a win for Type 2 diabetes! Continue reading
Posted in Starbeams | Comments Off on Starbeams: Southwest Grounding, BRGR Vowel Search, Twinkies Return, KCI Terminal & Nugent Meets Clinton

Hearne: Are Facebook & Twitter the New Snail Mail?

shutterstock_81656434“Is there no semblance of permanence anymore?

There was a time when somebody invented something like the wheel, the lightbulb, telephone, radio, you could count upon them remaining relevant for decades, generations even.

No mas.

I remember in the early 1990s when Kansas City Star FYI editor Ellen Foley crowed about how great email was. What an amazing communications tool, Foley crowed. Let’s all start using it more and more and put an end to needless phone calls, voicemail messages, post it notes and personal encounters.

That was somewhat cutting edge thinking in 1993 when Foley ruled the features section roost. And from her lips to God’s ear the message hurtled and now who doesn’t live and die via email today?

I’ll tell you who, my twin 16 year-old daughters. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 13 Comments

Hearne: Coming Soon; Beware of Twinkies Bearing Baggage

Hostess Twinkies Celebrate 75th AnniversaryEt tu, Hostess?

First Monsanto, now Twinkies…the ongoing death march of prepackaged, processed foods into day-to-day lives continues.

Starting next week we’ll be getting new, improved, longer lasting Twinkies snack cakes, courtesy of a reconstituted Hostess Brands.

The investors who bought the right to make Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, etc. will return the snack cakes to the marketplace starting next week.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is the Twinkies “shelf life” will soar from 26 days to 45 days. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 11 Comments

Hearne: Barnes & Noble Joins Best Buy on Endangered Species List

ap_george_zimmerman_jef_130430_wgThe jury is no longer out…

Not George Zimmerman’s murder trial, I’m talking about the pending demise of bookstores (and down the road libraries). You don’t have to drive very far to pass the fossilized remains of once booming businesses like Blockbuster Video. Drive into Lawrence on K10 for a KU basketball or (shudder) football game and you’ll pass one.

Blockbuster didn’t even have enough pride or cash left to strip the signage off its building, so it stands as a high profile reminder that DVDs and retail video rental are not long for this earth.

Kinda makes you feel sorry for what remains of the once giant corporation. Until you think back to the thousands of mom and pop video stores Blockbuster ball-busted. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 7 Comments

Hearne: Birmingham Negro Leagues Museum Controversy More Complex Than Reported

tumblr_m1qf60x2xz1qm76qjo1_400About that Negro Leagues museum controversy Kansas City Star readers were treated to yesterday…

For starters it’s a rehash of a story that ran on Alabama.com last fall. Minus, of course, some of the positive points the proposed Birmingham Negro Leagues museum will have that KC’s Negro League’s museum doesn’t.

“What we don’t want to happen is a museum just for the sake of history,” says Chuck Faush, chief of staff to Birmingham Mayor William Bell.  “It has to be living, breathing history.”

A museum with fewer static artifacts like KC’s and “more focus on interactive technology than stagnant displays,” Fausch says. “We’re taking a 21st Century approach that historians and enthusiasts alike are going to want to be interactive. It’s going to have to be an experience.”

That’s undoubtedly one reason Kansas City’s Negro Leagues museum is worried.

And opening up a satellite branch in a former YMCA on the Paseo hardly seems a cure. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 21 Comments

Donnelly: Two Early Goals for KC Seals Win at Chicago

Fresh off the announcement that Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, and Aurelien Collin had been named to the starting 11 for the MLS All-Star Game, Sporting Kansas City picked up a much needed win in steamy Chicago.


And all three of them had good days on the pitch.  Zusi picked up a curling goal in the 7th minute, on what looked at first to be a cross.  But the ball bent and bent, and Kei Kamara provided just enough of a distraction to the Chicago keeper, allowing the lob to find the side netting. Continue reading

Posted in Matthew_Donnelly | 5 Comments