Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I Can't Be Silent, Tammy's 40th HS Reunion and Garden Tour of 2016

There was a killing in St Paul last week of a black man, Philando Castile; he was in his mid 30s. His death came on the heels of the killing of another black man, Alton Sterling, also in his mid 30s in Baton Rouge. Both lives were taken as the result of shots fired by police. If you watched them, those are difficult videos to get through and not something I'd normally share here but as disturbing as they are to see, it's even more disturbing to realize that they happened at all. In the case of Alton Sterling -- the body cameras worn by the police somehow fell off and couldn't record their actions. How convenient for them and really, what are the odds of that happening? Thankfully there was other video to help tell Alton's story.

I don't want to look back at my writings years from now and find that I was silent on this issue of excessive police force if that's in fact what the videos show.

Law enforcement officers have a difficult and dangerous job to do and they do it for a not a lot of compensation. I couldn't be a cop. I have the utmost respect for those who don't shy away from putting their lives on the line each time they kiss their families goodbye and leave for work. But to those who abuse their authority and to those who would cover up or look the other way from the abuses I offer nothing but my most heartfelt FUCK YOU!

Five Dallas, Texas police officers lost their lives to a (most likely) mentally ill man who felt so much rage after those two killings that he went out with assault rifle in hand in search of his prey. He injured several others in the melee that ensued before he was eventually cornered and killed with a bomb delivered by a robot.

It's been a difficult time for those of us in the United States as we try and understand how to make sense of this in our own way or how we come to terms with how friends interpret the events often in a way much different than our own understanding.

We've been down this road before and just because nobody was found guilty in the deaths of Freddie Gray or Eric Garner (among so many others) doesn't mean there wasn't excessive force or police brutality or abuse of power or call it what you will at play. Freddie and Eric didn't survive to be able to take the stand and speak for themselves at the trials that followed their deaths and so we're left with the words of accused officers against the silence of dead men. We know how that turns out.

That's all I've got.

On a brighter note -- I had a good night at men's league last Thursday. I shot a 41 on the back 9 at Crystal Lake which could've easily been a 39. I had a lie in the bunker on the last hole that allowed me no chance to shoot at the pin but rather, 90ยบ left of the hole. I walked away with a double bogey but happy with the round overall and the progress I'm making.

Tammy and I went up north to her hometown of Babbitt over the weekend for her 40th high school reunion. I was in the beginning stages of a head-cold when we left and by the time Saturday rolled around it was full-on accompanied by a pounding headache. I missed out on most of the fun but managed to make an appearance later in the evening on Saturday and put on a smile for 90 minutes to mingle with her friends from decades ago. It was a very nice time. I only wish I could've been there for all of it earlier in the day.

We brought the pups with us and they cooled their heels at Cindy's home while we stayed at The Junction, a newer motel in town.

I usually do a walk-around of our yard each year to video our gardens so as to give me something to look back on and see how they change over the years. Here's this year's video...

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