11-27-2006 What’s not to like?

I have heard of “Take Your Bisexual Cantaloupe to Work Day,” but I missed this one. I imagine, by now, they must have a National Paperclip Day, a Penile Abuse Awareness Day and probably a day devoted to making politicians take up the fight against forcing the homeless to show up for free food, when it could easily be delivered to their tent cities. In this country, every perceived plight either has it’s official day or soon will have. That’s what happens when logic takes flight.

When grown men are openly lobbying Congress for the right to explore the orifices little boys have to offer, I figure we’ve just about seen it all. Still, I ain’t never heard of no National Drunk Blogging Day.

Truth be told, judging from the usual content, I figured drunk blogging was the ‘norm and not the exception to the rule. It is little wonder that my liver shut down a while back when you consider that I’ve been blogging since December of 2000. Well, all I can say is, load up on the fermented weeds and such and let it rip on Friday, December 29.

Can Drunk Bloggers Anonymous be very far behind?

This is messed up. I was talking to one of our city cops the other day when he told me he was training for the SWAT team or some such wild thing. Yep, Special Weapons and Tactics, which kind of translates into less than ambiguous code for cease and desist or some high-velocity rounds just might be in your very immediate future. Chill, or play Fallujah II with the guys with the training, the experience and the ‘spensive hardware to boot.

Being the idiot that I am, I volunteered to join the team. I figure I can batter the door down, pop my head in and see if anyone wants to make nice like. And if I take a round or two, that’d be a major hint to the big dogs huddled behind me, and expensive training and such will not have gone for not. Translation: Let that blogger dunce go first, man. No great loss.

Anyway, I got to reading about all of that He-man stuff, when I came across some interesting data compiled by the Cato Institute.

Botched Paramilitary Police Raids (By Location)

I snagged the following from the summary of the book that accompanies the Cato data:

Americans have long maintained that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.

This paper presents a history and overview of the issue of paramilitary drug raids, provides an extensive catalogue of abuses and mistaken raids, and offers recommendations for reform.

Funny, no mention of the attack dogs with their vocal chords and nails removed so the inrushing police officers can’t detect their presence until they are all but pounced upon. And nary a mention of the readily available automatic weapons the druggies seem to gravitate to.

Nope. Apparently the cops should knock on the door armed only with slingshots, stuffed Teddy bears and an inviting smile, and then hope like hell the druggies aren’t in the mood to shoot anyone on this particular day. What the hell. Why can’t the cops hit the place outgunned and outflanked so as to not cause any unconscious tension in the minds of the folks perpetrating illegal acts? Whatever.

As far as I’m concerned, you’re less likely to get caught up in a botched police raid than you are to be killed by some moron who refuses to yield on the on-ramp. You know the morons I speak of. Statistically speaking, they are operating nine out of every ten motor vehicles currently on the roads. And probably doing so in SUVs loaded with small children, no less. The cops are militarized? Good! So are the bad guys.

What did Tommy say about the Tennessee Highway Patrol‘s attitude? Oh, yeah. We don’t enforce the law…we are the law.


Yeah, since Peace and her brood are relocating to Tennessee, Tommy, who had previously done so sent the following along.

From the e-mail inbox Dude,

Tennessee isn't that bad. unless your a Jints fan this morning!!!! Where exactly are the Grand rodents and parents moving too. I am in Murfreesboro right smack in the center of the state which is about three hours southwest of Knoxville.

I work in Cookeville which is about 2 hours from Knoxville. Call me…

(The rest was deleted by me. You don’t need his phone numbers and such.)

The aforementioned Tommy was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, but decided to vacate the local scene a couple of years ago. Sucks though. I’ve known the guy since I was 19-years-old and always enjoyed his company much more than most. Plus, he’s a fellow veteran of the Franklin’s midnight shift days, which is a very small, but tight-knit group of folks who never grew weary of the ongoing war. I talked to him last night and he filled me in on what life is like in his little corner of Tennessee. And after listening to him for a hour or so, I got to wondering what the heck I’m still doing in this ass-backwards, overtaxed state.

This is from memory, but I’m confident it’s very accurate.

It was 70 degrees in his back yard last night. He mowed the lawn when he got home from work.

Good-paying jobs are in great supply. (Toyota, Saturn, construction, etc.)

His downtown is filled and vibrant, while the local malls are smallish and boring.

The national “big box” concerns are basically not welcome.

The average folk are very small-business oriented.

Sonic rules and Burger King and McDonald’s outlets are harder to find than in PA.

This is mind-blowing. His town has 5 theaters and get this…2 drive-in theaters.

“Meat & 3s” are what you are likely to encounter when visiting the local eateries. Pick a meat of your choice and 3 sides for only $5.95.

The Sweet Tea is addictive according to him, and the waitresses are always suggesting bread puddin’ for dessert. Oh, and damn near every menu selection is smothered in gravy. Waitresses are always hovering nearby waiting to top off your beverages.

The local hardware store puts the Home Depots of the world to shame when it comes to product knowledge, prompt service and a genuine smile. Being in a more temperate weather region, they offer no snow shovels, snow blowers or rock salt.

There are still many dry cities as well as dry counties, so bootlegging is in demand. The cops look for a black moss of sorts growing on trees, which is caused by brewing yeasts and such. The bootleggers are known as “Revenuers.”

All traffic, out of respect, comes to a complete stop until after the hearse in a funeral procession passes by.

There is no such thing as political correctness, and people freely speak their mind.

Golf courses are few and far between, and fishing is king. As Tommy put it, “You better have a rod and a bass boat.”

Despite a lack of blue laws, local businesses do not open on Sundays. In fact, many of the downtown businesses close early on Saturdays so the employees can go fishing.

Drunk driving? Try this on for size. Those convicted lose their license for 90 days. Then they do 4 months-worth of weekends in jail. And then…then they do 4 months-worth of weekends picking up trash on the side of the area roadways sporting tee-shirts that say “I am a drunk driver.” Practically a chain gang. I love it. What we have here is a failure to…

Minority groups assimilate, mind their manners and get along just like everybody else.

The state has no property taxes, instead, a higher sales tax. So, everybody pays their share fair be they illegal immigrants, or those who work under the table. If you consume, you are paying your taxes. No underground economies.

The police forces are county-wide. Yep, you heard right. One county, one unified police force.

The school districts pretty much follow suit. One county, one school district.

The pace is much slower than up north. Long, long work days are not expected. And employees usually respond to a kick in the butt from management with, “Don’t worry. I’ll get ‘er done.”

The state’s governor likes to shop in the downtown, and without a state police escort.

And like I said, the highway patrol will not take any guff from anybody.

Then there’s the Tennessee Valley Authority which provides all of the state’s hydroelectric and nuclear power. According to Tommy, his home is entirely electric, and his highest monthly utility bill was $130.

Now I ask you, what’s not to like?

I figure we could form one long caravan of rental trucks and head south together?

Anybody up for a new locale?

City of Murfreesboro


I have been invited once again, and this time I fully intend to participate. Not a one of you suspected that I was heavily into opera, did you?

I absolutely adore Igor Muckanov. But my favorite is still the Italian tenor Giancarlo Fettuccine.

I’m the blogger of Seville!

I don‘t freaking know.

I snagged the following passage from Leaving Iraq, Honorably, which was written by Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel.

The time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq. Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation -- regardless of our noble purpose.

We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Honorable intentions are not policies and plans. Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. They will decide their fate and form of government.

Wait a frickin’ minute! Well, I’ll be! Honorable intentions are not policies and plans? That’s an awfully peculiar thing to have slip out of the mind of a politician on the national stage.

If so-called honorable intentions are not policies and plans, then how do you explain the ill-fated, ill-conceived laundry list of entitlement programs the Fedrule Govmint has doled out to practically all able-bodied takers?

He’s funny.

Whatever. The government spends most of it’s time looking for solutions to problems that it created.

Here‘s a good one.

From the e-mail inbox Mark

O’Donnells wants the charter fixed so his bro can make a run on council?

The e-mailer is referring to this story published in today’s Leader:

Charter in W-B criticized for error

WILKES-BARRE – City officials have yet to fix an error in their city home rule charter and face legal action unless they correct it soon, a county representative said Monday.

The city’s charter states that council is composed of five members elected at large and not by district, a change voters approved in 2001.

City officials said the mistake is simply a “typographical error.” But those same city officials have tried for years to overturn the elect-by-district system, which will force several council members to face each other in the next election, guaranteeing some will lose their seats. A court ruling last month upheld the 2001 change, which was approved by a referendum.

Neil O’Donnell, the solicitor for the Luzerne County Board of Elections, who successfully argued in court that the change approved by voters should be upheld, sent a letter to city attorney Bill Vinsko on Monday, asking that the city’s position on the matter be placed in writing within 10 days.

I don’t give a flying fornication what the election board solicitor is ultimately after. What I want is the charter amended, and amended like pronto. I’m sick of the constant squabbling back and forth on this drawn-out issue, and I want it put to bed already.

I say we--the voters--give city council ten days to get it done or we start egging them after dark.

Hey…there goes Jim McCarthy! Splat! Hey, Kathy…duck!!! Zip! Take that, Phil! Oh, you want some, Bill?

Get it done.

Done, I say.

Januzzi‘s Downtown Pizza