An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates his duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.--Thomas Paine
Before I get around to hacking the nuts of the people that stupidly believe they are capable of hacking my nuts, I wanna pass on something that was brought to my attention today. Trust me, words can't hurt me, but getting hit in the face with a brick does hurt.
And what caused that shocking hurt was either one of two things. Either the Wilkes-Barre Police Department has a problem whereas proper deployments are concerned, or the police department has some serious accountability issues that need to be dealt with.
You tell me why, while the city is in an uproar over the murder of one of it's own, why an on-duty bicycle cop would be attending a basketball camp in Bishop Hoban's gym for a week straight. I really don't care whether he was scheduled to be there, or whether he was goofing off when he should have been out on patrol. Either way, that amounts to a serious waste of resources. It's not as if summer athletic seminars are known for breaking out into brawls. If the bike patrol is supposed to cruise the Bishop Hoban gym, somebody needs a talking to. And if the bike patrols are not supposed to be cruising Bishop Hoban's gym, then somebody else needs a serious talking to.
With the numerous obstacles that currently face this city, (many of which being crime-related) the very last thing we need is any member of our police department gone slacker on us. And even if the cop in question spent his lunch hour in the gym, wouldn't he be much more visible while enjoying his lunch on Public Square?
No matter how that cop came to be there, if I was running this city, I'd be hopping mad, demanding answers and considering whether a warning report, or a pink slip needs to be yanked from the bottom drawer of my desk.
That's crap, and we have no room for error in this city.
Protect and Serve.
That's the mission the way I understood it.
From that soon to be deleted meeting of the vapid minds known as the forum page:
Pathetic -- Afraid and not too ashamed to admit it............., 21:58:45 08/08/05 Mon 
"I'm certainly not happy about what happened to that lil' old lady, but I'm not going to freak out because of it. What happened there was a random, senseless, brutal act and it in no way can be construed to be the 'norm in this city. I'm sure I'll catch hell for this, but direct family members and friends aside, I think the reason that so many out there are so filled with revulsion is the fact that one of the white folks got killed"
Wow, if I were a member of this woman's family I would be outraged at this comment. People are mad because she was a white woman? No, I beg to differ. People are mad because she was an innocent person, minding her own business in her own apartment, not capable of ever hurting anyone. I don't care if she was white, black, purple, or orange and anyone would half a brain would feel the same.
Who the f**k do you think you are kidding with your supposed outrage over my comments? If an innocent black woman was brutally killed, you'd be reaching for TV remote right quick. Oh, well. Ho hum, some black lady got killed. She's probably guilty of something. She was probably trading sex for drugs. She must have done something seedy to cause her own death. Big whoop. Thank goodness it wasn't a white woman. Film at eleven. Do we have any more cheese popcorn in the cupboard?
Save your bullsh*t for some total drooler that might actually think it amounts to something coherent.
Check this snippet I snagged from WNEP.com:
While Abe's tries to get back to business as usual, residents are fighting back. A petition is circulating at South Main Plaza and across the street at the Penn Plaza. The hope is for 2,000 signatures by Tuesday.
That's when the group behind the petition, the United Neighbors Coalition of South Wilkes-Barre hopes to present it to city council.
The petition calls for zero tolerance when it comes to so-called quality-of-life crimes, such as loitering and public drunkenness.
Workers at Tropic Pet Center said they've seen great support for it.
"Pretty much everyone that's been in here has looked at it and we have four-full pages of people who've signed it. There's even half a page filled out now," said assistant manager Curtis Rost.
Other businesses report the same thing, with petitions signed by concerned residents and shoppers who said they won't let Mary Leo's death be in vain.
Wilkes-Barre police officers have also stepped up patrols in that part of the city as part of a saturation patrol. Officers want to make themselves more available to the neighborhood, hoping someone might know something about the murder of Mary Leo.
The petition calls for zero tolerance when it comes to so-called quality-of-life crimes, such as loitering and public drunkenness.
The public drunkenness part of that is an unneccessary no-brainer. When the cops find folks drunk in public, they get on the blower and request a 10-35, a wagon. The loitering part of the equation is really interesting. That's a not-so-veiled code for "get those black people away from us." Actually, I'd love to sit in on the meeting when the zero-tolerance loitering legislation is being drawn up. Wouldn't that be a hoot sure to wind up in an inconclusive heap.
What happens to the black folks that pump a slew of quarters into the washing machine at the laundromat, and then hang out too close to the pet shop while waiting for the timer to run it's course? Are their suspicions going to be confirmed when the white cops show up and hassle them for doing nothing more than what the white folks do day-in and day-out?
I can only imagine where such a total joke being put on the books would lead us to.
Scenario 1: Markie and the grandkids throw the kick-stands down in front of a city business establishment, grab the water bottles, the Skittles and take a break. The business owner eventually saunters outside and says, "Hey. Where'd you buy that thing?" (Gage's trail bike)
Scenario 2: Some young bandana-wearing black dude does much the same thing and the phone at the heavily-guarded 911 compound rings. "He's drinking something, but I'm not sure what it is."
Welcome to Luzerne County, where every day is a continuing sequel to Reefer Madness.
Yeah, we all want something done in a big hurry about illegal drugs and the corresponding spin-off crimes that addiction to drugs causes. But what do we want done? Forget the baby-kissing politicians. They haven't a friggin' clue. And even if they do, they won't admit to it. That's why all they offer us is well-publicized feel-good panaceas, and sure to fail crime-fighting Band-aids.
What do we want done about the drugs and all of the peripheral crimes that drugs inherently produce?
C'mon. Go ahead. Tell me. No? Okay, I'll have at it.
Do we want to see the starting quarterback from the state champion high school football team arrested? Not really. Do we want to watch video of the local high-powered attorney being led to his arraignment in chains? No. How about the school board member's kid? Or how about the school board member himself? Wanna see them sentenced to 18-30 months in a state prison? Nah. That won't end the war on drugs. That won't lower the crime rate once and for all.
No. What we have to do is to arrest each and every one of those black people. That'll end crime in our lifetimes. Besides, those white kids from suburbia didn't want to do drugs in the first place until Clem went and sold his deceased mother's house to those black folks. Goll dern right! My son would never do drugs! But if he does get caught doing drugs, I want those ni**ers arrested. Tell me I'm wrong. Go for it you anonymous cowards.
I've got some not so breaking news for ya that you've been ignoring for years on end. Where there's demand...there's supply. If some of the white soccer moms would start taking care of business at home, and stop demanding that the cops get those blacks, maybe the drug problem would be significantly reduced almost overnight. Maybe. And maybe the white ladies wouldn't be slaughtered by the menacing blacks. And maybe we'd be sickened when the black ladies get killed, too. Well...that's a stretch. Being what the state of racism is in this backward county, the day might never arrive when the majority of the populace gets itself all worked-up over the untimely death of any black person.
Consider this, if you will. I've got a block party to attend to this coming Saturday. And I've got some new neighbors directly across the street that has some of the good people living on this street on edge. Why? Because the couple that bought the home directly across the street happens to be a racially-mixed couple. Rutro! A white girl and a black guy means that the warning flags went up right quick. I've sat and talked with both of them, and they seem to want what everyone else wants. Namely, a decent house, a decent street and a decent life. Yet, despite the fact that this year's installment of the block party, the 16th, includes an off-duty cop for the very first time; the neighbors are on edge.
Why? You know why? Because in backwards Luzerne County, we prefer things to be lilly white. But much like the Planter's Peanut store, those days of tranquil segregation are long gone.
Sucks for you.
Consider this bit of insider wisdom from Fred Read:
Community-Based Policing: Round And Round And Back Again
Over And Over And Over
August 2, 2005
An advantage, or disadvantage, of having been in the news racket too long is that you see the same nostrums proposed again and again. One of these, “community-based policing,” was briefly popular during my long and fascinating years on the police beat for the Washington Times. I hear noises on the web to suggest that it may be returning. A few thoughts:
Community-based-policing is a well-intentioned cure-all for crime. The idea is that the police should mingle with the people, and come to be loved, so that the people help them to fight crime. Instead of those intimidating, remote, paramilitary, and ninja-clad Robocops in cruisers, you have Officer Krupky the kindly Irish cop (all right, O’Krupky) who knows the people, understands their culture, is part of the neighborhood, and so on. CBP has the advantage of appealing to the desire of nice people for niceness. It charms people with terry-cloth minds, and conservatives who want to be thought insightful. Unfortunately it works best in neighborhoods that don’t need it.
I remember discussing CBP with a cop with whom I was walking a foot beat near Cap Hill in DC. I forget now how many blocks he had to cover. What happens, he asked, if I’m at one end of my beat and hear a robbery-in-progress at the other end? By the time I run eight blocks in regulation shoes I’m exhausted and anyway the perps are gone. They aren’t stupid. They’ll wait till I’m as far away as possible before robbing the place. And they’ll likely have a car.
Foot-beats just can’t get there fast enough. You have to respond to calls. Unless you really think that Officer O’Krupky’s kindly manner will end crime, you have to have those cars.
In police work as in military operations, terrain and numbers count. Look around you carefully the next time you are in a large crime-ridden suburban county like, say, Prince Georges County just outside of Washington. The county is huge, cut up by highways and overpasses, chopped into sprawling tracts of housing and shopping malls. Foot-beats? How? A division of infantry would disappear.
A lot of cops I knew in DC spent years on their beats, knew the residents, often knew who had murdered whom. Crime didn’t stop. Why? The drug crews were stone killers. If they even suspected that someone had snitched, he wouldn’t last the week. The snitch lived in the neighborhood. The cop didn’t. If somebody did snitch, he certainly didn’t testify. Suicide appeals to few.
The first time I walked in a bad neighborhood with the Chicago PD, I noticed a kid, maybe twelve, on a bicycle who always seemed to be two blocks in front of us. A drug look-out, the cop explained. When we got too close to where his big brother and the guys were slinging rock, he would warn them and all would disappear. They would of course be young, fast, and know the alleys, and the rock would be long hidden even if somehow you did get close.
To have a deterrent effect on alley crime or to win love, particularly with people who are either skeptical of cops or hate them, you need a whole lot of O’Krupkies. This implies greatly raising the budget for the police department, and also implies being able to find enough good recruits. This typically means raising taxes on prosperous people in safe neighborhoods to police downscale neighborhoods that the prosperous people don’t care about.
The police are terrible at hearts-and-minds just as soldiers are, and for the same reasons: They are incorrigibly authoritarian, clean-cut blue-collar believers in personal responsibility and self-discipline who find themselves shepherding anarchistic, often ethnically disparate people who don’t care about anything the cops believe. Drill instructors and hippies. The two come to hate each other.
When I rode some years back with the LAPD in bad neighborhoods, we stopped a car for some minor infraction. The cops were shaven-headed and hung with mace, night-sticks, cuffs and such, looking like martial Christmas trees. They leveled their guns at the car, then ordered the driver, a middle-class black man, to get out, step backward toward the cops with his hands in the air, and kneel to be searched for weapons. It was the worst possible approach to community relations.
On the other hand, a week before, a cop they knew had parked his cruiser on a street and had his head blown off by someone never caught. Brutality breeds brutality. It also breeds caution. A common phrase among the police is, “I’m going home tonight.” They will humiliate a citizen before they will take a round in the head. Given the choice, I would too.
The intractability of crime in the bad sections does not arise from having police in cars instead of on foot or on bicycles or motor scooters or roller skates. It arises from ghastly social necrosis that the cops didn’t cause and can’t change. The rot is heavily, very heavily, racial.
To understand this you have to know, as many white Americans do not, just how segregated the United States really is. In large parts of big cities, in LA, DC, Chicago, Boston, on and on—you can ride for eight hours with a cop and never see a white face. In the highly segregated satellite towns around Chicago, the police cite figures of eighty-five percent unemployment. The baby carriages hold the fourth consecutive generation on welfare. Selling drugs is the only industry, often regarded as no more criminal than copyright piracy.
These places amount to Kenya and Tijuana distributed in pockets across a European nation. They see the cops as an occupying force. The police are always carrying the young men off to jail, usually on drug charges. I can’t count the times I’ve watched young black males leaning against cars and being searched. The locals know that whites in the suburbs use drugs and don’t get into trouble. The locals know that if they drink a beer in the front yard or roll dice on the hood of a car, here comes a cop. They feel…occupied.
Yes, I know that there is a large, growing, and law-abiding black middle class in its own suburbs, to which none of this applies. Yes, I know that the city governments that make and enforce these laws are often black, and I know the theory the preventing small crimes discourages large ones. No, hostility is not universal or always intense. I’ve been with cops to black block-parties in DC and been very well treated by the not so young. (“Glad to meet you, Mr. Reed. Lawsy, Sandra, don’t just stand there. Get this man some chicken.”)
It doesn’t matter. Underlying human decency doesn’t prevent hostility. Consider Ireland.
Community-based policing comes and goes, like the tides. I wish it well, without much hope. I suppose people have to have something to do.
We want Sambourne Street cordoned off and fire-bombed. And we want the new neighbors replaced by a more racially acceptable couple on Thompson Street. If only anthracite coal would make a big comeback someday soon. A return to the 1950's is exactly what this area seems to want.
I'm certainly not happy about what happened to that lil' old lady, but I'm not going to freak out because of it. What happened there was a random, senseless, brutal act and it in no way can be construed to be the 'norm in this city. I'm sure I'll catch hell for this, but direct family members and friends aside, I think the reason that so many out there are so filled with revulsion is the fact that one of the white folks got killed.
Okaaaaayyyyy!!! "Tell them they are being attacked?" Or have them watch the attack go down live on CNN???
Instead of nipping at my ankles, why not head upstairs to your kid's room and find his bong? Nah. Forget about it. It's better to not know.
Keep your perm in the sand.
This is beautiful. I snagged this from that content-starved SaveMyCity blog.
I hope we can get as many as possible to the Council Meeting on Tuesday at 6pm. One of our dedicated member's had a great idea. Wear your T Shirts and sit in different areas of Council Chambers. We want to make sure that wherever they look , they see us!
Expect some fireworks when the 911 report from the Empire St. Fire is discussed.
See everyone Tuesday, Aug 9, at 6pm.
Ah..the 911 tapes. Yeaaaahhh. Remember, George Armstrong Custer was also supremely confident when he rode into his eventual demise at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
General Denise is leading her troops to the slaughter tonight. It's about time. What started out as a noble cause has, sadly, devolved into a personal vendetta.
The Injuns are primed and ready for this slaughter.
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.--Bertrand Russell
Gotta go. I've got some push-ups and then some isometrics on the schedule, which will be quickly followed by a massive liquid protein influx. I don't want to get too soft with so many people obviously needing a beating.