Friday, January 23, 2015

Police public relations problems are their own creation

While the media has not been particularly kind to selected police departments around the country lately, namely Ferguson, MO (Michael Brown shooting) and Staten Island, NY (Eric Garner death at the hands of overzealous police) who lead the parade, this kind of coverage is not something that comes out of the blue.

Police departments throughout the U.S. have for decades, and perhaps centuries now, brought a great deal of scrutiny upon themselves.  Criminal activity within all communities is largely committed surreptitiously, since the bad guys don't want to go to jail and 99% of the time will give it their best shot to do their dirty deeds away from the eyes of the authorities.  The on-the-spot police involvement of crimes in progress grabs the headlines every time it occurs.  It's only human nature; we want to see these conflicts and how they play out.  Will the good guys or the bad guys win?

And much like Hollywood is always prone to do, they love to portray good guys as bad guys and vice versa.  It makes for great TV viewing. Anymore, TV is not about enlightening their audience with facts.  TV wants to grab as many eyeballs and glue them to their screens, and keep them there, whatever it takes.  Facts and reporting be damned, that's not what the media is about anymore, at least not primarily.

It's the airplane crash that grabs the spot light, since there's always a great deal of destruction and loss of life.  People can't help themselves, they want to know all about it.  Don Henley of "Eagles" fame put it correctly in his ditty "Dirty Laundry" several years ago:

"We got the bubble headed bleach blond who comes on at five
She can tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
It's interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry."

That's what people want.  And the media will gladly give it to them and most police departments play right into this need and are hard wired to portray these rare opportunities out to the most outrageous end.  They want to ensure that the public, and more accurately, their bosses, sees that their guys and gals in blue win at all costs, and that at the end of the confrontation, the bad guys are either down on the ground in hand cuffs or down on the ground with bullet holes in them.  

Most police departments have a desired ratio of patrolmen/women to population within their jurisdiction.  These ratios are subject to funding by each jurisdiction through taxes levied on that municipality.  These ratios vary widely and typically these ratios are higher in rural areas than in urban areas.  Criminals are acutely aware of where the police are, and where they are not.

Accordingly, crimes are almost always committed outside of the scrutiny of the police.  Houses are burglarized, cars are stolen, convenience stores are robbed at gunpoint, and the police are nowhere to be seen.  And this is understandable.  The ratios that are affordable by any municipality simply don't enable police patrols to watch everything all the time.  Criminals know this.  

When the victim discovers that he has been burglarized, for example, the criminals have been gone long before a police response could prevent the crime.  The police are called and they come out to the scene of the crime, look around, ask some questions and either verify that a crime has been committed or not. This is the way crime is handled 99.99 percent of the time.  The cops come out, write down what they see on their reports, cast a suspicious eye on the victims (since they are there at the scene of the crime and the criminals are not), file their report and then cruise off to Dunkin' Donuts to talk about how the Bears lost to the Vikings, never again to think about the crime report they will file at the end of their shift.  

No crime is solved, no investigation is undertaken.  Oh sure, they give you lip service that a follow up investigation will be initiated, but in the end, in the vast majority of police cases, nothing happens and the victims never see any kind of justice.  

Most policemen and women's only job is shaking down the people they have sworn to 'serve and protect,' by issuing citations for speeding, littering and other misdemeanors that keep the revenues flowing into the government's hands. Their involvement in fighting crime takes up perhaps 1% of their time, since the vast majority of criminals while evil are not stupid: they will do their dirty deeds surreptitiously, and not rob and steal in front of a live police presence.  The 99% of a run of the mill police person's total time on the job involves eating donuts and writing tickets.  

They are not judged by their police supervising sergeants and lieutenants by how many bad guys they collar.  That kind of personnel review simply will not work, there is just not enough bold, blatant crime committed that involves active police personnel. No, they are given performance reviews that focus on how many citations they issue to the tax payers.  Based on these criteria, they are determined to be good police men and women by how much money in fines and penalties they can squeeze out of the good guys. There are just not enough bad guys out there committing crimes in front of squad cars to justify their jobs with active collars and arrests.

And when a bad guy pops up in the presence of a cop to do his dirty work on super rare occasions, their training kicks in and they make as big of a mess of the scene as they possibly can to ensure that their exploits are noticed by their superiors.

We are all seeing the police departments across the country squirm and squeal about the terrible coverage they are getting from the media.  That media attention they are getting is warranted; these guys and gals in blue are getting exactly what they are asking for.  

Be careful what you ask for, is all I have to say.  In the fullness of time, you just might get it.     

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Rahm Emanual's free lunch for everyone

The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanual, has just announced an initiative that will provide the citizens of Chicago free junior college.  Just keep your high school grades up, and you're entitled to two years of college, all free.

The mayor assumes that having lots of his citizens with two year community college Associate of Arts degrees, all picked up by the taxpayers, will entice new businesses to swarm into the city limits in droves, and snap up all of these educated folks to work for them in a New York minute.  

Fat chance.  Business owners are not stupid, Rahm.  It only takes a few key strokes to determine what kind of taxes they would have to pay if their businesses relocated to Chicago, and those key strokes would spit out the dismal facts in a New York minute.

Chicago is one of the highest taxed business climates in the country, just outside of New York and San Francisco.  They have a state sales tax of 7.25% tacked onto almost everything you need to buy in Chicago, one of the highest gasoline taxes in the country, an enormous property tax burden, a city sales tax of around 3% tacked onto the state sales tax, and Cook county gets its fingers into the till as well with a county tax to boot.  

Nobody in his right mind is going to relocate to Chicago unless they get a monster sweetheart tax deal that exempts them from most of these taxes for a period of time.  Otherwise, forget it.

No business worth its salt is going to move to Chicago, Rahm.  The crime is out of control with one of the highest murder rates in the country, and the weather is just plain lousy, and add all those taxes to the mix, and this city is the last place on earth any business would relocate to.

And Rahm thinks giving away free college is the answer.  Think again. All that will do is suck more money from taxpayers with nothing to show for it other than a bunch of associate of arts degree holders (who majored in diversity studies and performance arts with a concentration in the art of mime).  

No wonder Chicago is about as broke as any city in the nation. Their leaders have absolutely no clue as to what attracts businesses to locate there.  These leaders, including Rahm, are all Democrats and have been Democrats in power since the days of Al Capone.  All Democrats know about running a government is to raise taxes and ruin a city in the long run.  Just ask the good citizens of Detroit how things have worked out for them over the last 75 years of Democrat leadership.

It's only going to get worse in Chicago.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Why do people think liberalism is good for us all?

Did you ever wonder why people who support liberalism think that this flawed philosophy is good for us all?

Even when this philosophy has been demonstrably, historically proven to fail wherever it has been implemented?  Throughout the history of mankind?

I am taken aback at how people can think this way all the time.  I have met many well-off, relatively wealthy folks who are completely enamored with liberalism and its leaders.  They themselves are not the benefactors of liberal politics which yield food stamps, welfare checks, Obama phones and rent controlled hovels.

These people are living large primarily because they worked at high paying jobs, saved their money that was not taxed away from them, invested it (and paid taxes yet again on any capital gains yielded from these investments).  And these liberals don't give it a second thought of the tax rates the rest of us also put up with, and the rampant wasted spending that Congress winds up doing with this tidal wave of confiscated tax money.

These very same people also paid accountants to ensure that they were not paying one single dime more in taxes than is absolutely required by law, not a penny more.

And yet these very same people think that we all should be taxed even more to support the unfortunate among us.  You know, the bums, alcoholics, drug addicts, and general lowlifes that don't have what they themselves enjoy in life.

According to these high living liberals, that's just not right.  That's just not fair.  And they will vote in as many liberals as they can that get up on the campaign stump and promise to make things right. Make things fair, it's only the decent thing to do, vote for me, vote for fairness.

Everyone should enjoy the finer things in life, they insist.  Why should only a tiny minority of people dine on caviar and truffles, while the great majority eat out of dumpsters?  Why should only a small minority of Americans live on the beach, drive Ferrari's and Bentley s and light their imported hand rolled cigars with $20 bills?

It's just not fair.  So let's all make it fair.   That is to say, they want their neighbors to pony up to make things fair for everyone and jack up their taxes, put limits on their freedoms and do it that way. No, no, these limousine liberals will not kick in a dime of their own to see to it that fairness reigns.  Not on your life.  That's the rest of us tax payer's responsibility, not theirs.  

They think that to ensure fairness through out our society, we ALL need to kick in and help those less fortunate than they are.  But don't pass that hat THEIR way, they have their yacht payments to deal with, you see.  They have their elite club memberships to service, and their mansion groundskeepers to support.

These liberal phony baloney hypocrites think that they are doing their part to lessen the misery and unfairness in our society by voting in liberal politicians that will see to it that their neighbors cough up the trillions it will take to make things right.

Just don't darken their liberal doorstep with your collection plate, you just better take it across the street where the money should rightly come from; not them.

I will never understand these liberal people.  And there are millions of 'em. Millions and millions of these generous liberals out there. Generous to a fault with the money of others.