🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Dumb Gubment 🦅
Dawg Party 🐶
Flying African ✈️
We as modern Muricans tend to just accept that it’s the gubment’s job to educate our children. Of course, when other countries that aren’t our friends do that, we call it “indoctrination,” but that’s a topic for another day.
The topic for today is how detrimental it is to children when we let a dysfunctional government (like ours is) educate the next generation. And the sub-topic for today has nothing to do with the actual educating part, which is woefully substandard and incredibly biased and espouses a totally false narrative about our country as being something it isn’t and never has been.
No, today’s topic is about what happens when the government has our kids over lunchtime. They’ve got to feed these kids, right? But when the gubment is as dysfunctional as ours is and is as bought-and-paid for by corporations, you end up with kids who eat crap, which turns them into unhealthy creatures at a disadvantage in learning and in not being horribly diseased adults.
Proof time! Kraft Heinz’s lobbying dollars bought them the contract to provide Lunchables as the meal choice in K-8 cafeterias in the U.S. as part of its deal with the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). NSLP provides free or low-cost lunches to nearly 30 million children.
’90s kids may already be salivating, but they should know that Kraft Heinz had to tweak its original recipes to hit some nutritional targets required for school meals — such as lower levels of fat and sodium and increased amounts of protein and whole grains.
Child nutrition experts aren’t satisfied with the new formulations
They argue that the reengineered Lunchables are a red flag that the US’s standards for school lunches are simply too low … and that they may be that way in part because schools are too underfunded to raise them. Again, our gubment spends a whole lot of money on things other than turning young people into good adult people.
K-12 cafeteria budgets have been tightened by high food costs, supply chain snags, and labor shortages. One the main selling points of Lunchables to the NSLP was that they’re refrigerated, not frozen, which costs less to ship and store. So sure, why not feed kids convenient, cheap crap instead of inconvenient, expensive not-crap.
“School nutrition programs need to be reimbursed at a rate that they can scratch-cook delicious, healthy meals and not just provide the students a Lunchable because they don’t have equipment or labor,” Donna Martin, the director of a school nutrition program, told the Washington Post.
BUT IT GETS WORSE! Having healthier in-school versions of Lunchables is going to confuse the average dumb Murican into thinking what’s in the stores is somehow nutritious. And Kraft-Heinz ain’t changing the yummy-yummy sodium bombs that are in their in-store Lunchable varieties.
So who benefits from this deal? Why, it’s Kraft Heinz, of course. It now gets in with Gen Alpha, which is what comes after Gen-Z, y’all. That’s a Super Bowl-level win for Kraft Heinz. Lunchables accounted for 8.6% of the grocery-dominating food company’s sales last year, and this could boost sales even higher.
Which is why the company nearly doubled the number of lobbyists it had in 2022 from where it was in 2021. In 2014, the company spent $105,000 on lobbying. Last year, it spent nearly $800,000. And look at the results! Last year’s net sales was $26 billion. If this government deal boosts revenue by even 1%, that’s 260,000,000 … 260 MILLION dollars. Pretty good investment in lobbying dollars, I’d say.
Follow the money, people. Follow the money.
Wifey Poo and I went to Alpha Brewing Company in St. Louis yesterday evening to watch our Drake Bulldogs in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It was our first time at this bar, which we learned in advance was owned by fellow Drake alums. The venue was hosting a watch party for other STL-area Dawgs.
The back room was filled and raucous as the Bulldogs battled through the first half vs. Miami (the Florida variety, not the Ohio one) and found themselves up eight with just under five minutes to go in the game. Then, they forgot how to shoot. Miami clipped us by seven, sending us home sad.
That said, it was still a great time. We got to talk with fellow alums, current students and parents of current students. I even met a woman who grew up near where I did in Suburbia, New York. She knew of my dinky hometown, my high school and all their eccentricities. Small world.
Oh, and the beer and food at Alpha was good. We’ll be going back. Now, the Drake women’s team is the only hope we have. They play today in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament. I have an affinity for the women’s team, as I covered the then-Lisa-Bluder-led squad as a student journalist in 1992-93. Bluder has gone on to coach the Iowa Hawkeyes, one of the most successful and exciting women’s teams this year.
Top 5 Things You’ll Learn If You Read This Whole Thing: If you tell someone you grew up on a commune, be prepared for an interesting conversation. Bob’s last name was “Cockburn.” Cults aren’t like L.A. street gangs The definition of what a cult is leaves open a whole lot of room to call culturally…Keep reading
The African is coming! The African is coming! As I wrote about a few weeks ago, Dieudonne, the little boy from Burkina Faso whom we host parented in 2021, is back in the United States and will be coming to us on March 30.
He’s been in Philadelphia since arriving in the states earlier this year and has had a major spine surgery. He’s coming to us to have further leg surgeries at Shriners-St. Louis. He had about 25 leg surgeries here the last time he was with it. The one he’ll have here is to remove some of the hardware from those surgeries.
Now, he has actual plane tickets to arrive. We’ll be meeting him at the airport around 2 p.m. on March 30! If you’d like to help support his stay here, you go donate at our Go Fund Me.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Fantasy baseball season is nigh!
- I want to see if my NCAA brackets can actually finish in the bottom 10% of the country. They’re close right now. And yes, I did try.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…Keep reading
🧩 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 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 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…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 email@example.com. 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