Just a few things that need to be said:
Cameras, cameras everywhere... - We've all seen the videos of cops acting up in most-unprofessional ways. Running away from the police is almost always a crime, but it shouldn't be punishable by death. I wonder whether those two most recent videos of guys running away and getting shot to death (in the back) will make the next guy more likely or less likely to run.
What we can probably be sure of is that the explosion of cameras (security, cell phone, etc.) is bound to bring about a change in the way law enforcement personnel go about their business. We all hope that it makes the tiny minority that can best be described as the more reckless and trigger-happy among them think twice before letting their urges overwhelm their training. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that it may cost the lives of some good cops as they hesitate in that life-or-death split second, worrying about how it might look on the 6 p.m. news.
All over the national news this past week was the dashcam video of the Marana police officer who ran down a suspect with his car. The video is pretty graphic and, not surprisingly, it has prompted a fair share of criticism. A local preacher says it's just another case of police brutality, while the human pinball—one Mario Miranda Valencia—already has a lawyer ready to sue the Marana Police Department.
The case will work itself out in the courts, but in the meantime, I'd like to make this public proclamation. (This is just for me and not for anybody else.) If I commit an armed robbery, start a fire at a church, break into somebody's house, steal a car, rob a Wal-Mart, and walk down the street shooting a stolen rifle in the air, I hereby give any and all law-enforcement personnel the right to use their car bumpers to knock me 40 feet in the air before I can commit another crime. And when I land, if one or both of my arms are still attached to my torso, you have the right to put me in handcuffs and take my punk ass to jail.
And I won't sue.
On Tax Day, April 15, I was driving south on Shannon, getting ready to turn left onto River. Someone has put up a sign that read "Taxes Are Revolting! Why Aren't You?"
Well, I have to admit that I am sometimes, especially after a couple hours in a gym on a summer day. As for why I'm not revolting against taxes, my response is that I'm an American and I realize that things like roads and bridges and Army people cost money.
I have been blessed with a long and healthy life and lots of free time with which to observe my fellow humans. Over the decades (with very few exceptions), I have come to view people who complain about taxes to be (in the immortal words of Denis Leary) whiny little maggots. Or skeezy politicians, if you'll pardon the redundancy.
For the amount of services that the average American wants and expects (and, for the most part, deserves), we are probably under-taxed. I know nobody wants to hear that, especially around this time of year, but it's true.
¡Viva Batista! I found Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's big political coming-out party last week to be sadder than anything else. First off, he tries to portray himself as a Republican champion of the middle class that is shrinking almost entirely because of Republicans. You have to understand that Republicans care about the middle class like truck drivers care about gravel. Every now and then, they can't help but notice it, but it's never more than a minor inconvenience.
The extra sad part was that Rubio is still beating that tired old drum about Cuba after President Obama did what an American president should have done two or three decades ago. It's a disgrace that we have allowed a tiny group of people in South Florida to dictate American foreign policy for the past half-century.
Now, Fidel Castro was no hero (and neither is his brother). And young people who wear Che Guevara shirts need to be lined up and slapped like a scene from a Three Stooges movie. But I've always wondered what these Cuban ex-pats want—the return of Fulgencio Batista, one of the two or three worst tinhorn Latin dictators of all time? (And that's really saying something, considering the existence of Anastacio Somoza, Augusto Pinochet, and Manuel Noriega.)
For those of you who don't know the history of Batista (who was propped up by American government and corporate money), here's a dictator who suspended all civil rights and political parties, and was simultaneously in bed with drug kingpins, the CIA, and the American Mafia.
Yeah, we want THAT guy back!
And finally, a shot in the arm. A Spokane, Washington school district removed 100 kids from school because their parents hadn't provided vaccination records. It's about damn time.
Let's go through this again. You have every right as a parent to not have your kid vaccinated. At the same time, you have NO right whatsoever to have your little unvaccinated disease factory interact with kids who parents have brains in their heads.