07 January 2008

Monday Musings...
If you're hoping for some blogospherical pablum to go with your coffee this morning, you can just..."fagedaboudit" (as we used to say in Philly-speak). We don't do that here (at least not that we can recall...lol).

Christmas season is now "officially" over since Epiphany has come and gone (6 January), so time to put ALL the lights and decorations AWAY for another 11 months, because I DO NOT want to see those damn icicle lights hanging from ANY of your houses in MAY (guess we'll have to acknowledge those "special kind of LAZY" people this year), OK? What we will do is point out societal inconsistencies, call to task those that require chastening, and (virtually) slap the hell out of those most in need of it. So buckle up.

--I usually don't bother with the "Cheers and Jeers" part of Saturday's paper...although the wife reads it religiously. But she brought to my attention something that's curiously duplicitous in nature. One of the "Jeers" was directed at a FWPD officer that apparently pulled over a woman's daughter for driving with her car's HIGH beams on. And after explaining WHY she was doing so, producing a RECEIPT from a local store with the NEW LOW BEAM headlights in the back seat as well, (just purchased and obviously on her way home to replace the faulty headlight) and being courteous to the officer, he goes and cites her ANYWAY.
Now aside from saying that she "was" (technically) in violation of the ordinance stating that PROPER VEHICULAR ILLUMINATION must be maintained as required, and after seeing the EVIDENCE that the girl INDEED was in the process of rectifying the situation with her inoperable light, why didn't the officer just give her a WARNING? I think some officer made a bad call when he "could" have made a citizen a friend.
So much for "community-oriented policing" program (which will the topic of a future post as to why that isn't working here), eh? I know with so much IN the girl's favor, I'd manage to see MY way clear of citing her (unless she was impaired, evasive, or "tweaked" in some manner). I say tear up the ticket. And the girl should come to court and argue HER side...period. But then again, in MY book, stones should only be busted when NEEDED. It was a poor call on the officer's part, and let me explain why I think so.
In MY neighborhood (here he goes again) , I have forwarded vehicle descriptions to the proper personnel in the FWPD (on a monthly basis for the past several years) in regards to vehicles that have CHRONICALLY failed to display proper vehicle illumination. And you know what? These SAME vehicles have NOT been cited (in some cases for YEARS) because they are STILL driving around with inoperable headlights, tail lights, running lights, and license plate bulbs, and even a few MISSING bulb assemblies (due to damage).
That alone makes the best case for MANDATORY VEHICLE INSPECTION by Indiana's DOT and/or BMV, doesn't it? And it would bring much needed revenue to the state's coffers. But it's not like I've EVER said that in the past here (oh wait... I HAVE said that in numerous posts - check the archives). Of course if all these vehicles WERE to be "cited", the NAACP would most likely be back on top of the FWPD like flies on you-know-what, because the people being pulled over (down here) would practically all be ETHNIC in nature. I don't call it "driving while black"...I call it driving while STUPID. And we all know we can't pick on THEM (for skirting the law) now, can we?

--Speaking of "special treatment" (or the lack thereof), Brad Baumgartner of the street department's leaf pickup "patrol" was called by some people up north (and out in Aboite) about the leaf piles resurfacing now that the snow has melted away. Brad says his department will get back on it soon, and get that FINAL pickup done, because he states the ONLY part of town that DID get all THREE pickups was the southern part of the city.(WTH????)
Excuse me, Brad...but if that is TRUE, then WHY have I (and the rest of MY neighborhood) ALL these piles of leaves that have sat since the LAST pickup (supposedly to occur in the first week of LAST December) STILL sitting around and rotting? We down here only had TWO pickups (October & November)...time for a remedial math course. Another case of the "haves" complaining and getting something done, and the rest just have to "live with it", while being ignored. Well maybe MY email to you, Brad, will shake the cobwebs loose, and you'll get a truck down HERE to make the THIRD leaf pickup (we were supposed to get) a reality, hmm? Or would you rather I rake ALL of them out into the street, and make a REAL mess of it all by clogging up the culverts?
Your choice, Bub.
((Editor's Note - As of 1030 hrs, my neighbrohood was beseiged with a SWARM of city workers and vehicles with but ONE intent - to REMOVE all the leaves from our area, so my hat's off to Brad Baumgartner for sending his "A-TEAM" down here to get it done...WTG, Brad...let's hope the rest of the city departments are as enthusiastic this year))

--Finally, a few thoughts on urban violence (I promise this will be a small can of worms). I was watching a History Channel program on the (what else?) "history" of the KKK, and I got to thinking about something very disturbing. Has anyone else made a connection between the way the Klan terrorizes while promoting their "message", and the way urban street gangs terrorize (and promote THEIR message)? Is the intimidation factor of the KKK and say, the Latin Kings, the Bloods, or even the "Seven Points" (a local gang in Fort Wayne) pretty damn SIMILAR in nature, while different in subject? Are their motives both the same, but with differing racial divisiveness? I'd have to say that street gangs are getting a "better rep" than the Klan ever has, and yet ANYTHING done by the Klan would get all the press, while inner city gang activity is played down a bit, except in cities where it's so blatantly out in the open even BLIND PEOPLE can see it.
Now don't get me wrong...I despise BOTH groups equally (how's that for embracing diversity?), and want absolutely NO part of either. But while the government has all but disbanded the Klan (less than 10,000 members nationwide that we know of), what is being done about street gangs (where in some cities the number of active members is well OVER 20,000)? At least the Klan is not supplying drugs to kids and funneling money to terrorist organizations for weapons and more drugs. And while having a black person hung (by the Klan or any other fringe group) is a heinous crime, what about all the crimes made BY blacks (in gangs or not) on other races, especially whites? That again is played down by the media...but statistics would show otherwise.
The "good" news is that black-on-black crime STILL has the highest frequency of occurrence (everyone else is breathing easier...I know). I sure hope all the "hate-crime" legislation is a TWO-WAY street. If this sounds a bit biased, so be it. I can only relate the truth from what I see, hear and experience on a daily basis in my little corner of the "ghetto". And I can say that if you're any other color than a shade of brown, expect to be intimidated, singled out, and most anything ELSE...except LEFT THE HELL ALONE (unless you're part of the white trash brigade that is an alcohol abuser, thief, or druggie...then they LOVE you...and want to spend time with you). That's what 10 years has taught me.
Still, there is one thing in ALL of this that we can always rely on, it's that we have way too many "two-edged swords" in the wrong hands, metaphorically-speaking.
Yeah...you just tell it's a Monday, can't you?
Have a good week...in keeping with the situation.


Fr. Fozy Bear said...

I did a two page in depth expose article in 2003 on the snow plowing issues and I have to say that for Brad when things are brought to his attention acts quickly while he may not always respond in writing but he gets the job done, promptly.

When I did the sit down interview with him and several other city officials one of the last main questions I had for him was regarding productivity rates and he couldnt answer the question only saying they had never reviewed the issue. I then asked him if I along with the magazines research staff could review the numbers and get back with him for comment. While I never received comment back, I have noticed that side streets are getting cleared faster and more often then they used to once the very poor productivity stats were shipped to the PIO for the City.

Bobby G. said...

Yeah...sometimes it just takes that little "nudge" to get things going.

Several city agencies have been on my "fav" list over the years:

Street Lighting
Pothole Patrol
Street Cleanup (snow/leaves)
Waste Management
Animal Control

And while I support (and defend) the FWPD to no small end, they "just miss the mark", because they COULD be a LOT more PROACTIVE, and personally, I just don't see it.

I've got an upcoming community-oriented-policing post that you might find enlightening.

Didn't know you did such in-depth coverage.
"Maybe" if city workers on the street were paid COMMISSION instead of hourly, productivity would rise even faster?
(just kidding.)

Thanks for the comment and the insight.