06 March 2009

Weekend Roundup...
Funny as it seems, we've made it through another week here on Bizarro World, relatively unscathed.
That alone amazes the hell out of me, and at my age, I don't get amazed all that often.
--First off, if you want to see a really good take on the whole superhero genre, then get thee to a theater this weekend and see WATCHMEN.
This is based very closely on the graphic novel, and it explores what goes on under the cape, as it were.
I found the series intriguing as all hell, when it first came out, and this movie looks to take "superherodom" to a new level.
It's not your run-of-the-mill Superman, or Batman, or even Spiderman, but it is good escapist fare, that happens to spin a damn good yarn in the process, by asking the question:
"What happens when a superhero is MURDERED?"
That alone should get you thinking.
And that's what we like to do HERE...get people thinking. The worse that can happen, is that you come away with a slight headache...LOL.
But that's what aspirn's for...
--Next, the Economy:
BWAHAHAHAHAhahahahahaaaaaa...yeah, that's laughable!
Seems every time Obama puts his name on some piece of paper, Wall Street watches the DOW tank another several hundred points.
For God's sake, Mr President...STOP...SIGNING...SH*T...!!!!
--And speaking of WASTE, nuclear or otherwise...
Bet you thought that Yucca Mountain location for nuclear waste storage in Nevada was a "done deal", didn't you?
Think again.
The 60,000 TONS of waste material should remain at nuclear facilities (says the Obama administration) until a "comprehensive" disposal plan is developed (note to self - email the President and tell him NOT TO SIGN anything). And all this AFTER over $13.5 BILLION bucks has been spent over 22 years to get Yucca Mountain ready to roll.
Oh, this has the word "PROBLEM" written ALL over it.
Many of the nuclear plants in this nation have reached their DECOM dates, and will be shut down. The spent fuel is "supposed" to go to Yucca Mountain or some holding facility, due to the half-life of the fuel material rods (think a LOTTA years...your KIDS won't be around when it fully depletes). Now, the fuel rods have to be kept AT the closed facilities...more security for EVERY SINGLE plant that is NON-OPERATIONAL (and that still costs a lot of money for those people, even if it's the military, which would be MY first choice).
How's about we take this depleted fuel, and make NUCLEAR-POWERED VEHICLES? Hop in my nuke-mobile and roll around for say, TWENTY YEARS before I have to "fill up" again...sounds reasonable to ME.
Helps the car industry, we get rid of fissionable material by driving it around into depletion, we "green up" the world (Gore is creaming his pants), and any terrorist that tries to attack us, we just drop a few of OUR *NEW* CHEVYS on his frigging country...problem solved!
Well, we DO live on Bizarro World , remember?
Everything is Back-Assward!
--Lastly, I saw a story last night on the 11PM news that ran me through a gamut of emotions.
You know the drill; first you're in disbelief as to what you're hearing, then you start snickering at the situation and those involved in it, and THEN, you become down right indignant that you heard what you heard, when you know the REAL story.
Janice Allen reported about the "efforts" going into "improving" the Southeast side of our city (that would be where I happen to dwell).
Now Janice is (imho) a VERY good reporter who happens to also be VERY easy on my eyes. Yeah, she's hot!
But I think it was rather unfair to saddle her with a story like this, in lieu of certain aspects attached to this part of town.
Sure, we have the highest number of ethnics down here, AND we also have the SECOND HIGHEST spending capacity in the four quadrants (must be de drug money).
We ALSO have the HIGHEST CRIME RATES, as well as some of the most LACKLUSTER politicians when it comes to getting ANYTHING of lasting substance done.
We have the highest amount of RENTAL properties, Section 8 and HUD housing, as well as the highest dropout rate for students.
But those aren't the reasons this story bothered me...
The story focused on rehashing what has been done ALREADY down here, as a sign this part of town was turning around, and that's simply NOT the case, because in spite of the fact that we DID have a Menards and a Wal-Mart placed down here, we STILL maintain all of the issues I just mentioned, with no end to them in sight.
We have a police department that is doing the very best they can given the constraints in which they have to operate, and by that, I mean the FACT that THIS part of town can prove to you, on any day you choose to name, that Community-Oriented Policing, in and by itself simply CANNOT work to the efficiency level that city admins would have you believe.
It takes a COMMUNITY for something like that to work, and in too many of our neighborhoods, there is no REAL sense OF community. There are only pockets of sub-cultures, devoid of participation, and answerable only to each other, as proven by the manner in which they handle their own affairs. Police are "used" as an adjunct, rather than the first-line "go-to" people they should be.
Only through a third party, does much of the FWPD involvement with citizens take place.
THAT is NOT Community-Oriented Policing.
That is called desperation.
Used to be a time when officers where a LOT more PROACTIVE...patrolling areas, getting to know the people, the habits, the trends of a patrolled area. Ain't like that today, m'boy...
Officers are run from call to call to call.
That's COMPLAINT-DRIVEN policing, plain and simple.
How is THIS method of policing MORE effective than being proactive?
It's like fixing the gate WHILE the horses are getting the hell out of the corral.
"And that dog just ain't gonna hunt...!"
The officer walks into a situation AFTER the fact, and in many cases DURING "the fact".
And while a good collar works well to diffuse a potentially hazardous situation as it unfolds, it's not the best way to manage a city's population. It's only a net result.
After someone's been stabbed, you can't just wave your hand, and make the wound go away. You can't call back a bullet after it leaves the muzzle, and you can no more "un-bludgeon" someone than you can change to color of your skin.
If the department took a few pages from the Problem-Oriented policing handbook, it would go a VERY long way to heading off a lot of crime before it even occurs. THAT'S how you utilize departmental resources BETTER, SMARTER, and MORE PRODUCTIVELY.
You tackle the PROBLEMS that cause crime, not constantly react to them after they've happened.
That makes the citizenry safer, provides safety for the officers, and keeps the criminals on the run, or gets them caught a helluva lot sooner.
Can't argue with that, can you?
--In a related story, Parkview Hospital is "donating" a building they own (for a nominal cost of $10 a year) to the FWPD to be used as an outpost up on 2730 E.State Blvd, as a possible solution to the recent spate of robberies at businesses along that stretch of road. If you recall, about 20 robberies have taken place around that area. Officers will be coming and going from the building 24/7, so the PRESENCE of those LEOS should go a long way to alleviate criminal activity there.
BUT...what about DOWN WHERE I LIVE?
On ANY given day, you will see the SAME NUMBER of calls for robberies, burglaries, fights, domestics, disturbances,etc., and NO building is able to be "donated" or otherwise utilized to combat crime HERE.
(and we've more than OUR share of "vacant" dwellings, believe me)
Why is that?
We have those 20 crimes EVERY DAY of EVERY WEEK, of EVERY YEAR, and...NOTHING.
Somehow the city can cater to SOME people while (once again) ignoring others...and they do it damn well, too.
Over 30% of the FWPD's resources are used JUST for my quadrant alone (which will be expanding NORTH to include center city and the "Costaplenty/Harrison Square area soon).
As some people stated at a meeting at the Academy (regarding S/E side "progress"), We don't have those "sit-down" restaurants HERE.
Why is that?
Robberies chased them all AWAY. We have NO bookstores, NO "real" music stores, just a plethora of dollar havens, rent-a-centers, and assorted specialty ethnic stores.
Glynn Hines spoke about the "dilapidated Southtown mall", and I wanted to smack him right in the kisser.
Glynn, WHY THE HELL do you think that mall BECAME dilapidated?
It was the damn CRIME,you idiot!
I came here when that mall still had about 50% occupancy (1996-1997), and watched it DEVOLVE over a decade, due to theft, shooting, and fear from the store owners and shoppers, until it finally closed. The management couldn't keep the place viable when thugs kept tearing it apart,and even they threw up their hands in disgust. Hell, we were broken into at Willow Creek Crossing during the damn day (when we were both at work), and that was in 1998. The apartment complex STILL has major issues with it's tenants, but you never hear about that either.
When the hell are people going to search for the TRUTH in all of this?
The (societal) alarm clock is going the hell off, and too many are just hitting the SNOOZE button and rolling the hell over.
And "ROLLING OVER" seems to be something MANY have developed into an annoying ART FORM! Well, we each have to live with ourselves in the end, don't we?
In the meantime...
Do have a good weekend, and stay safe out there, America.


indy said...

i've noticed most break ins happen normally during the day when people are at work. they first case the joint. by knocking on doors, watching cars etc. then eventually rob ya. and southtown mall is still standing? i thought they tore that thing down about 8 years ago or so. i still remember when they put the "new" addition on there back in the 80's. where the mcdonalds was. my parents never really liked me going there even back in the 80's.

Bob G. said...

Nah...that was an old picture. It was torn down around the time you mentioned...and it sat VACANT for afew years with a "developer" that DID NOT DEVELOP IT.
Sadly, I got to watch it crumble, thanks to the crime.

Before that, we used to shop there every Christmas (before all the stores left), and that was a terrible thing to see happen.
It was a damn fine mall, and I come from the Philly-Jersey area (land of malls)...lol.

And as far as the criminals "watching" the neighborhood...see it ALL the time.
Well, most of them are home all day with nothing to do BUT watch everyone else and their habits.

That's why I like to mix things up...not stick to too many routines.

Keep 'em guessin'!
That's me.

Thanks for your thoughts and comment.