Sunday, November 21, 2010

In The News

Picked up the Fishwarp Fishwrap & Amateur Democrat -- or whatever they're calling our local paper these days -- this morning, my attention caught by a headline suggesting the 2011 mayoral race could be interesting. Gee, y'think? With a police department that appears convinced its members are above the law, an unpopular New York ex-pat as Public Safety Director, pushing dreadful notions like selling the parking meter franchise for the next fifty years at a rate that amounts to pennies on the dollar, making sweetheart deals with local pro sports franchises and being about useless on property taxes, Mayor Ballard has managed to rile up everyone from Al Sharpton to a significant proportion of Hoosier gun-owners,* the latter a very neat trick for a Republican and Marine to manage.

Of course, the newspaper-like object is chortling over the fact that even this early, there are three Democrats jostling for a chance to run against him. After breezily noting that Democrats swept the county-wide offices in elections this month (word to Mark Massa: Carl Brizzi + negative "scare" ad = FAIL), the writer barely stops to acknowledge that the City-County Coucil stacks up 15 Republicans, one Libertarian and a baker's dozen Democrats before quoting a local expert about "...a Republican mayor running for office in a very Democratic [sic] county."

Yeah, we'll see. Who knows? The local GOP might even decide to run a Republican this time!


Right next to that story, a report on how the 72 DHS(ish) anti-terrorism "fusion centers" have moved from foreign terrorism to investigating domestic versions and, ultimately, to plain ol' crime. Even Tom Ridge thinks maybe they have gone too far. Y'think?

We have a lot of watchmen but none of them are watching one another. Pity.
* Unscientifically based on message-board traffic and the dearth of signups and interested browsers at his booth at our local quarterly gun show. Among other things, Mayor Ballard struck out badly over easing city restrictions on LTCH holders carrying in parks: he's against it.


Drang said...

The Fusion-Centers-Tracking-Crime thing is probably based on the apparent nexus between crime and terror, most obvious when one looks at foreign-based gangs like MS13. (Which is a nasty one.)
Whether a "fusion center" should even be tracking organized crime is a good policy question, but the nexus does seem to be there.

Roberta X said...

D.W., the particular crime highlighted as example of their "evolving mission" was the somewhat unorganized theft of plastic bakery pallets.

...Maybe it is "You're either with us or against us," but it seems the sort of thing for which we already had plenty of police-type agencies.

All this paranoia-driven security apparatus is going to do in the long run is turn on us. Checka, OGPU? Thanks, but we'll grow our own. I believe the US of coming years will rival the old USSR in its internal oppression before it collapses.

Justthisguy said...

Well, as a REAL, or pre-Bryan, or Grover Cleveland, or genuine small-government democrat, I feel so all alone here. The Republicans were the original centralizing and nationalizing party. They were the original Pwogwessive bullies.

As a REAL democrat, (there may be as many as three or four of us left) let me say this:

I am in favor of

Small government

Small farms,

Small business, and

Small arms.

Sadly, I have had to register as a Libertarian and mostly vote Repubican lately, because that's the best I can do with what I have to work with.

Justthisguy said...

I will now make the comment I intend to make, now and forever after, on any blog which has to do with politics and politicians:

Git a rope.

Old Grouch said...

Missouri's "fusion center" was the source of a report warning of dangerous third-party voters, Ron Paul supporters, right-to-carry activists and other "right-wing extremists" 18 months ago. At the same time Virginia issued a similar one which seems to be a bit more balanced, but still resembles a catalogue of someone's paranoid fantasies.

I'd say they're prime candidates for defunding.