M.W. Guzy | St. Louis Public Radio

M.W. Guzy

M.W. (Michael William) Guzy began as a contributor to St. Louis media in 1997 with an article, “Everybody Loves a Dead Cop,” on the Post-Dispatch Commentary page. In addition to the St. Louis Beacon and now St. Louis Public Radio, his work has been featured in the St. Louis Journalism Review, the Arch City Chronicle, In the Line of Duty and on tompaine.com. He has appeared on the Today Show and Hannity & Combs, as well as numerous local radio and television newscasts and discussion programs.

Fresh out of graduate school, Guzy joined the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. He spent five years as a uniformed patrol officer and seven as a detective before being promoted. He subsequently spent two years as a patrol supervisor before returning to the Bureau of Investigation as a detective sergeant in the Homicide Section and later in the Intelligence Unit.

He has served as first assistant to the St. Louis sheriff since the mid-2000s He is also an instructor in the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Guzy is a 1971 graduate of the University of Missouri in St. Louis (political science, cum laude) and holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago (1972).

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

--Upton Sinclair

The quote  was cited in Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” to explain opposition from the energy industry to the theory of human-induced global warming. People who profit from fossil fuels are understandably reluctant to embrace arguments for the abolition of their use. Fair enough. A recent Associated Press article, however, indicates that Sinclair’s observation may be a blade that cuts both ways.

From left: Sarah Palin, Cindy and John McCain
Rachael Dickson | Wikipedia

Sarah Palin has profoundly influenced my view of politics. She persuaded me, for instance, to vote for Barack Obama in 2008.

Before her introduction as the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate, I’d thought the resume of the first-term, junior senator from Illinois was a bit thin for the Oval Office and his vision for the nation’s future seemed disturbingly vague. The prospect of Sarah sitting a heartbeat away from the nuclear launch codes, however, convinced me that it was indeed time for change…

house leaning against dollar
sxc.hu

There is a discouraging circularity to folly. The tendency to repeat mistakes, I suspect, is born of forgetfulness. We usually remember the catastrophic failure itself, but often overlook the seemingly minor missteps that led to calamity.

Ragesoss | Wikipedia

Epistemology is the study of knowledge. The dictionary defines it as “that department of philosophy which investigates critically the nature, grounds, limits, and criteria, or validity, of human knowledge; Theory of cognition.” Woody Allen once called it the intellectual discipline that asks the question, “can we know what we know and if not, how do we know that?”

Wikipedia

Allow me to confess that I am a Winter Olympics junkie. This is an unlikely affliction for a man who doesn’t ski or skate and hates cold weather. As is often the case with perplexing addictions, I got hooked as a kid.

Rams media

Stan, baby, you’re busting my chops. Every time I write about your Rams and their on-going stadium contretemps, I go to great lengths to remind the readership that without you, the team would have never come to St. Louis in the first place. Back in the day, you were a civic hero.

Flickr | alancleaver_2000

It’s been my experience that people are normally murdered for one of two reasons: money or sex. When I share that observation, somebody will invariably suggest that I add narcotics to my short list of prime motives for slaughter. That idea seems reasonable at first but upon further review, it turns out to be redundant.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Let’s begin by acknowledging that the words “legal” and “wise” are not synonyms. It would be legal, for instance, to install aluminum siding on my brick home but that would probably not be a wise course of action. Just because there is no legal barrier to doing something, it does not necessarily follow that it’s a good idea to do so.

Robin Hood statue in Nottingham, England
Wikipedia

In America, we celebrate our thugs. They’re entrenched in the popular culture as familiar threads in the social fabric —collectively speaking, an integral part of who we are. After all, who didn’t like Tony Soprano?

Because they exist in the shared imagination as mythical figures, it really doesn’t matter that much whether the thugs are real or fictional. Al Capone and Don Corleone are equally well remembered.

Lou Gehrig chewing gum card
Wikipedia

You may not have heard of him but baseball historians well remember Walter Clement “Wally” Pipp. He was the starting first-base man on the 1925 New York Yankees.

One day, the story goes, he arrived at the ballpark complaining of a terrible headache. Manager Miller Huggins overheard Pipp asking the trainer for aspirin and subsequently told him to take the day off to recuperate. 

photo of Barack Obama
Pete Souza | White House | 2010 photo

You can be just or you can be merciful but it’s damned hard to be both simultaneously. Barack Obama may have pulled off that difficult trick when he recently commuted the sentences of eight people serving extended time for crack cocaine violations.

Perhaps moved by the holiday spirit, the president exercised his constitutional authority to “grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States” and released the federally imprisoned octet in time for its members to be home for Christmas.

Photo of Nancy Pelosi
Wikipedia

A Words to Live By award goes to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who reportedly advised her fellow Democrats to “embrace the suck” and vote for the budget agreement crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

It seems that liberal colleagues objected to certain provisions of the compromise but Pelosi believed a flawed deal beat no deal at all. Her half-a-loaf-is-better-than-nothing approach was reminiscent of the practicality that once characterized negotiations on Capitol Hill.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Convenient ignorance explains most of the folly in human affairs. The things we don’t know really can hurt us. Worse, the things we think we know are often wrong.

Once a misconception gains general acceptance, calamity is all but assured because the flawed assumption allows us to logically proceed to absurd results. Unquestioned belief, masquerading as common knowledge, provides a kind of lazy wisdom — it relieves us of the burden of critical thought while lulling us into the delusion that we’re in control of events.

This commentary first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When I was a kid, Halloween was the day we gave thanks for attending Catholic school. Because the day after is All Saint’s Day in church liturgy, we were off for a holy day of obligation while our public-school counterparts attended classes as usual after a night of trick or treating. (Suckers.)

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. -  I really didn’t want to write about it. In fact, I intentionally avoided the subject. My previous column, which ran on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the DAY THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING, dealt with the hazard posed to Thanksgiving by the commercialization of Christmas. I thought it was a topic worthy of discussion, but admit that it was also a dodge.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Listen, Sarah Palin is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore. At least, that’s the impression I got from news reports surrounding the roll-out of her latest intellectual treatise, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - It’s been 148 years since we’ve had a civil war so maybe we’re about due. In 2009, while gearing up for a presidential run, Texas Gov. Rick Perry hinted at a Tea Party rally that his state retained the right to leave the Union at its pleasure.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - On Friday, Nov. 1, one Paul Ciancia walked into Terminal 3 of Los Angeles International Airport. According to the Associated Press, the 23-year-old unemployed motorcycle mechanic carried a duffel bag containing a fully loaded AR-15 rifle, five additional 30-round magazines and hundreds of rounds of spare ammo in 20-round boxes. How he planned to find time to reload his magazines with the extra ammunition is anybody’s guess.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Pessimism is often confused with cynicism, which taints the mindset with an undeservedly negative connotation. A cynic is a person who delights in the ill fortune of others and celebrates the fallen plight of the human soul. It’s probably some form of externalized self-loathing: Being a loser is more tolerable if everyone else is one too.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Pessimism is often confused with cynicism, which taints the mindset with an undeservedly negative connotation. A cynic is a person who delights in the ill fortune of others and celebrates the fallen plight of the human soul. It’s probably some form of externalized self-loathing: Being a loser is more tolerable if everyone else is one too.

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