🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Tyre Nichols 😔
Tattoo Day ✒️
I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything but upstanding citizens enforcing law and order within the bounds of human decency.
Fast-forward a few decades and, thanks to advancements of technology, we don’t have to rely on words in rap songs and the experience of those in areas far different from where I was brought up to know that this nation has a police problem.
I have been saying for years now that this country does not just have a race problem when it comes to law enforcement. This doesn’t minimize the reality that — oh, hell yes — we definitely do have a race problem when it comes to law enforcement. It is to suggest that the problem is perhaps as much the approach to law enforcement we have in this country.
The brutal beating of Tyre Nichols has been broadcast to the world now, and though the lawyers of the accused now-former officers say there’s more to the story, there’s nothing that can be said or demonstrated that will change my opinions after watching that. That all involved were Black led a lot of white people to sigh in relief, and it’s true: Had the officers been white, we would be talking about race and only race once again.
I, for one, am glad we’re able to discuss the attitudes of law enforcement in addition to race.
The standard disclaimer: Not all cops are abusive assholes. There are good cops and bad cops, just like there are good bloggers and bad bloggers, good priests and bad priests. Sure, the blogging community doesn’t have the same bro culture that police have with its Thin Blue Line bullshit. But yeah, I get it. Not all cops are bad.
Now onto what needs to be said. Hit it, Eazy-Mutha-Fuckin’-E
America’s police forces have become increasingly militarized during my lifetime. Along with that came the same attitude our military has around the globe. We’re the bullies with the best guns and the best technology.
We also have increasingly criminalized things such as drugs and the acts of the mentally ill. Rather than treat drug crimes as crimes brought on by addiction and the crimes of the mentally ill as an outgrowth of a substandard and poorly funded mental health treatment system, we empowered bullies with increasingly brutal, torturous weapons to treat the addicted and ill as targets for their aggression.
So why are we surprised when we see a video like what we saw last night? Because it was Black officers beating a Black man? When have bullies been discriminatory. For bullies, it’s about power, not race. That sometimes there is a racial difference in the bullies and the bullied says more about the power structure in Muricah than it does about the roots of the bully’s aggression.
Not all problems have solutions, and most big problems in Muricah today don’t have solutions the populace is willing to stomach. That said, here’s what I think would help make these situations less frequent:
- Reverse many of the laws we have that target drug use and drug transactions. Instead, heavily regulate the trade of illegal drugs and use the taxes on drug sales to fund addiction treatment centers.
- Put trained drug interdiction officials and mental health advocates with police and give them as much power as police officers to funnel those currently thrown into the judicial system into the health care system instead.
- Strength penalties for crimes involving guns, tighten gun laws and restrict access to guns. Officers are on edge — rightly so — because they have to increasingly worry about armed offenders. Make guns less of a thing — like most civilized countries in this world do — and you’ve de-escalated a situation before it escalates.
Now, I recognize Muricah ain’t doin’ this. The Trumpster Confederate Flag-Waving Don’t Tread On Me morons won’t let it happen and their party is bought and paid for by the NRA. We’ve somehow wildly misinterpreted the Founding Father’s aim with the Second Amendment, and if the massacre of scores of children in schools isn’t going to change that, nothing I say ever will.
So yeah, go ahead and protest what happened to Tyre Nichols. Feel your outrage. I know I do.
But don’t expect anything to change.
Today is tattoo day! I’m heading to Deaf Dog Inc soon to get the first of two new tattoos. The second one comes in a few weeks. I’m beyond happy for this day to finally arrive.
Wifey Poo sees this as me looking forward to being in pain. Though she has two tattoos herself, she doesn’t understand that I’m not really bothered by the pain of tattoos. It’s far less than many other things I’ve experienced. People experience pain differently. I get that. I truly dig getting tattoos. I love the people I’ve met getting tattoos. I love being in tattoo studios. I love that all my tattoos have tremendous personal meeting.
These new ones will be no exception. More to come after I’m inked!
Most of us are familiar with how it feels when we find an old article of clothing in the back of our closet and make the mistake of trying it on. Bodies change. Styles change. Tastes change. In most instances, closet finds and best left unfound. I think it’s something of a truism in life…Keep reading
After work yesterday, I drove five minutes to a nearby Christian school to watch one of my nephews play basketball. He lives in Columbia, about an hour and a half away, and was in town for a varsity game. It was cool watching him play. He started the game, but he didn’t get to play much. My nephew is not the biggest, strongest dude, and this was a tremendously physical game. His coach subbed him out after about four minutes, and he didn’t see the court again.
His team won, however. It was a great game, though that wasn’t the story to me. There was this kid on the other team who was a natural athlete. I recognized his potential the first time he touched the ball. He was fluid, smooth, and had an amazingly quick first step and brutally fast trigger in getting off his shot. Later, I’d learn he’s only in eighth grade! The kid is going to be good.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Tattoo day!
- Chiefs playoff game tomorrow!
- Boy The Elder and the future daughter-in-law are coming home tonight and will be here for the game tomorrow!
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Glazed 🍩Bingo! 🖥️Disappearing Christians ⛪ I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind. First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩STL’s Homeless 😥Snake Hoo-Hoos 🐍That Was Epoch 👴 I found James huddled underneath a blanket as he sat, knees to his chest, head bowed, just outside the doorway of a CVS in the Delmar Loop section of St. Louis. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a fun place filled…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Knicks Memory 🏀JBM LLC 🧑🏼💼Brain Drain 🧠 My most memorable interaction with Paul Silas occurred when I was a 17-year-old kid with big dreams of being a sports reporter. I’d talked with Paul before — his wife and Mother Dearest were active in the local Make A Wish Foundation chapter and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Piped-In Music 🎵Astronomy 🔭Fusion ☢️ Here’s the thing about Christmas: I want to love it, and in many ways, I do. I love giving gifts and, to be honest, I love getting gifts. There’s something so cool about the magical times when someone knows you well enough to get you that…Keep reading