Monthly Archives: August 2009

Cruel Winds Of Fate Earn Shawnee Man Speeding Ticket

franksterriblefateWe all hate texting, right? We hate that it’s become such a key part of our communication. We hate that our slide-out QWERTY keyboards make us look like giddy 14-year-old girls. We especially hate, though, when people text while driving. It’s unsafe, difficult, etc. But now a man from the western suburbs — the awesomely named Frank de Leon, presumably Ponce’s descendant — has a new reason to hate texting: it earned him a speeding ticket. O! why must the Fates be so unfair to Frank!

A funny thing happened to me the other day while driving south on I-29 in the Northland. I caught up with a car in my lane that was curiously drifting from one side of the lane to the other. Because of traffic passing on either side, I was forced to remain behind this car for some time. While back there I noticed that the driver was merrily switching from texting on a cell phone to dialing and talking — using both hands at the same time!

I assumed steering was being expertly accomplished by the “knees” method, so when I got the chance, I decided to pass. While I was passing, the distracted driver increased speed, forcing me to also increase my speed. After passing and returning to my lane, I noticed a Missouri Highway Patrol officer waving me over.

So, guess who was ticketed?

Woe is Frank. But riddle me this, sir: did you or did you not exceed the posted speed limit? Speeding, even when employed to pass a dangerous driver, is still speeding. Do the ends justify the means in this case? I think we know how Frank’s texting tormentor would respond: “LOL! U got tkt! LMAO : ).”

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Filed under Crime, Technology

The Tragedy Of Lisa Cordes, In Which The Local Shakespeare Festival Is Torn Asunder By Much Drama And Calamity

patronofthefestivalinquestionDramatis Personae:
Lisa Cordes, local Shakespeare leader and newly shunned civic presence
Steve Chick, festival board president and fiscal tyrant of great renown
Marilyn Strauss, festival founder and unwitting reporting source
Sidonie Garrett, artistic director and unwilling third party
Cominius and Menenius, local courtiers

Act I
[Scene 1. Offices of local Shakespeare festival. Steve Chick and Marilyn Strauss discuss finances.]

Steve Chick: Is’t a verdict, then?

Marilyn Strauss: Before we proceed with finality, my liege, pray let us consider the ill effects of such a course.

Steve Chick: Enough, peon! The gods vested power in I. Speak not maliciously, but speak the truth. Verily we cannot sustain our ducat distribution. Lisa Cordes will be no more, nor her position of executive director.

Marilyn Strauss: Your reasoning is sound, forsooth, but take we no account of ruth? The helms o’ th’ state dictate compassion.

Steve Chick: Off with you. She that will give you good words will flatter, and you know not the vast gulf o’er which I must meet fiscal goals. Lisa Cordes is gone, and that must not affright you. Be gone from me. Courtiers!

[Exeunt Marilyn Strauss, enter Cominius and Menenius.]

Steve Chick: Bring Lisa Cordes and Sid Garrett to me. I shall make worthy she whose offense subdues her. I shall break the heart of generosity, and make bold power look pale.

Cominius: Aye, my lord.

[Exeunt Cominius and Menenius, enter Lisa Cordes and Sid Garrett.]

Steve Chick: Ladies. Know ye all too well the perils and Mephistophelean constraints of the Great Recession. Even Shylock hoards his funds. Now we too must please Jupiter with such actions. Lisa Cordes, you are hereby relieved of executive director duties and exiled outside the walls of this city.

Sid Garrett: Lord, I beseech you give me leave from the proceedings.

Steve Chick: Nay! You shall remain. Your tenure as artistic director goes on.

Lisa Cordes: Lord, if I may. I have served the gods and thee with dedication. Is there nothing I can do please thy ego and regain my stature? Under my watch, the festival has seen the blessings of Jupiter grow in ways unimaginable. To cast me aside with nary a thought to my future is to create pride as big as thou art. Pray let me mak’st a final attempt to please your lordship.

Steve Chick: Spoken well, patriot, but verily spoken too late. The gods have ordained this. You come not in the shame of others, but shrouded in your own. I am lord o’ th’ field, and you my servant. You depart for Denmark tonight.

[Exeunt omnes save Lisa Cordes.]

Lisa Cordes: Who would bear the whips and scorns of Steve Chick? The recession does not make paupers of us all, and thus the native hue of dismissal is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of new opportunities. Enterprises of great pith and drama await. With this regard I turn away from Steve Chick and the festival, and lose the name of executive director.

[With deepest apologies to Shakespeare.]

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Olathe Woman Trumps Health Care Opponents With Wild Misreading Of Bible

marygoodwinssaviorYou know who hated Obamacare? Jesus. No, it’s true! The lackluster carpenter and sometime savior — curiously, also one of history’s most prominent liberals — was a committed opponent of the Big Government solution. Don’t believe us? Just ask Mary Goodwin of Olathe, the metro area’s holiest hamlet. In a letter to the Star (via the Unfettered Letters blog, which is perhaps the greatest source of comedy in KC), Mary offers both a searing indictment of government-run health care and a perplexing misinterpretation of everyone’s favorite story book. Mary plays the antepenultimate trump card (assuming the penultimate and ultimate trump cards can only come from Jesus and God, respectively — in nomine patris et filii, after all): we shouldn’t support health care because Jesus wouldn’t support it. Poor logic, thy name is Mary Goodwin.

I have found recent letters in The Star implying that God would be in favor of a government-run health care plan ridiculous. One of those letters (8/16) purported to be from a minister who had seen several people suffer because of a lack of medical insurance.

I would urge these individuals to read the Bible again. Not once did Jesus say it was the role of government to take care of the needy. He said you should do it. Expecting the government to take money from one party and give it to another is to support a violation of the Eighth Commandment, “You shall not steal.”

Next time you are concerned about someone in need, don’t call for the government to empty the pockets of others to take care of that person’s needs. Empty your own.

Where to begin? First, it’s true that Jesus never said the government should take care of the needy (render unto Caesar, etc.) — but let’s remember that J.C. was operating under a Roman pseudo-dictatorship, not a pluralistic republican government. While we’re at it, let’s recall that Jesus never addressed a great many things, abortion among them. Second, saying that public health care violates the Eighth Commandment is simply a befuddling misreading of that particular portion of the famed dectet. What the big man meant that day on Mount Sinai is that you should not actively take things from your neighbor, not that wealth cannot be redistributed in equitable means.

Further, by this reasoning, our entire tax structure represents a violation of the Eighth Commandment — aren’t my tax dollars being taken and being used to support roads in poor neighborhoods? Blasphemy! Finally, we’d gently remind Ms. Goodwin that we’re already paying for the care of those who cannot afford it, via emergency room and indigent care, which is often bizarrely overlooked by opponents of public health care. So is it an idea Jesus would support? Maybe. Maybe not. What we can be certain of is that Mary is no expert in exegesis.

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In fair Kansas City, where we lay our scene!

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Dr. Whitlock Uses Mopey Athlete’s Downfall To Call For Draft Reinstatement

whitlockssolutionfortroubledathletesHey, who is that over there behind the sports desk? You know, that guy behind the plant discussing his posterior preferences? Is it Dr. Phil? Close! It’s Dr. Jason Whitlock, newly minted therapist and former sports columnist for the Star. Today Dr. Whitlock would like to discuss with you a troubling plague in professional sports: the rise of the immature athlete. A legitimate concern, to be sure: as Dr. Whitlock notes, we ask these young men and women to assume the full responsibilities of adulthood at age 18 or so, then dump millions of shekels in their laps. So what’s the solution? Delays on entering professional leagues, or perhaps mandatory financial training? Nope: let’s send them all to Basra instead. Um, yeah.

God, I hate to sound old, but America needs to reinstitute the military draft. Eighteen-year-olds used to spend two to four years in a disciplined, supportive environment before being given the freedom to ruin their lives.

Great basketball players used to spend two to four years in college learning about the real world before being handed wealth and fame.

Yeah, that makes… no sense at all. And have we forgotten, sir, that what you call “a disciplined, supportive environment” often meant, uh, dodging sniper fire in the jungles of Asia? It doesn’t seem quite logical to assert that a lack of immediate maturity requires basic training at Fort Bragg. Fear not, though: Dr. Whitlock’s readers let him have it in the comments section, as Star readers are wont to do.

As a Vietnam veteran, Jason, I have long supported some notion of mandatory national service for young men and women — without deferments — but your context here is suspect and Mr Beasley in particular would be ineligible to serve on at least one ground…

Come on Whitlock, your big ol’ fat badoonka never been to some type of military training ,so STFU…

Jason, I appreciate your message, but I’m not sure how “supportive” the military is…

Where you ever in the Military Fatlock?…

By the way since you endorse compulsory military training…what service did you
join to sort your life out..you must have missed a good opportunity…

Bravo, readers. Comments are always more persuasive when you use “badoonka.”

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Filed under Jason Whitlock, Media, Sports

Mark and Gloria Buy Themselves A Whole New Woooorld…

funkandgloriaonthenewcarpetProfessional litigant and occasional mayor Mark Funkhouser has finished remodeling his office — you may recall it was damaged by the trodding of bare feet rain — and the cost is… well, it’s a lot. Now, the 70 large figure may jump off the page as the very definition of extraneous costs, but bear in mind some of it was basic upkeep and maintenance. However: the Persian rug? Bought from out of state? For 8 grand? Really? You can’t find something decent at NFM for a couple hundred bucks? Here’s the complete list, courtesy of the non-blinking Russ Ptacek:

$8,000 Antique Kashan Persian Rug 13’ x 16’

$9,750.00 Custom stained walnut flooring

$1,287.99 Sofa 3 Seat

$3,082.59 7 Guest Chairs

$811.24 Lounge Chair

$498.68 Ottoman

$146.25 Yards Cappuccino Fabric

$60.00 Desk Lamp

$245.00 Floor Lamp

$648.00 2 French Gate Lamps

$652.08 2 End Tables

$40,000 Ceiling Repair

$2,495.00 Furniture Refinishing

$2,500 Removal of old carpet/clean up

$70,177 Estimated Costs Total

French gate lamps? A $500 ottoman? Look, we understand that there’s a certain amount of decorum that accompanies a chief executive’s office, but must our culture’s execs always buy such expensive stuff? The rest of us shop at Target — can’t these guys do it, too? Might be a nice way to avoid spending controversies, eh?

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Filed under City Government, Economics, Funkhouser

Kennedy’s Passing Greeted With Typical Reverence In Star Comments Section

starcommentersreactiontokennedypassingThe passing of the youngest Kennedy brother has certainly attracted the attention of the media, but what about the real source of the vox populi? We refer of course to the Star‘s comments section, always the reliable source of reason, calm, and fairness. Here is what the voices of Kansas City are saying about the death and the accompanying political consequences, all sic‘d for delightful authenticity:

The headline should read: MARY JO KOPECHNE finally get justice…

Great American/ fat drunk/at last…

Drunken, misogynous philanderer finally runs out of appeals to a higher authority…

Ted Kennedy was a drunk liberal who killed a woman when he ran from an accident he caused.
He was never jailed and it was swept under the rug…

He has done more harm to the American people than any foreign enemy could…

HE F***ING KILLED SOMEONE, so spare me the bleeding heart BS…

Sorry Libs, but America is a tad bit more safe from demise with Kennedy out of the picture.

Ah, how lovely. Today we tip our cap to you, Star commenters, who can always find the voice of reflection in a time of upheaval. Truly inspiring.

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