Friday, April 25, 2008
Buz went to hear Marc Steiner speak at Goucher College last Wednesday. His topic was: the state of the city.
Marc emphasized the state of "hopelessness" of the black community today. Buz felt pretty hopeless by the end of the talk. He remarked that the streets of the Inner City are different now than they were when he was growing up. There used to be a certain amount of respect for old people, women, the church and police, now there is little to none.
He asserted that a "prison culture" has taken over the streets, with something like a 90% chance that a black male will end up eventually on parole or probation, or in jail.
Buz sees that in his everyday dealings with citizens and clients. The long white T-shirts and no belt with your pants hanging down is "prison": they only order one size of T-shirts (large), and they take your belt away. Plus there is the sexual component of prison life, with your pants hanging down below your belt. I wonder how many of the young people I see (and adults who still haven't grown up yet) wearing this garb realize where the ideas came from. And how many young guys showing off their butts for "fashion" realize what that signifies in a violent prison culture where normal sex and women aren't available.
buz thinks: The juvenile justice system often sends kids the message that there are no consequences (except for a few); thus, when they become adults and rack up 2 or 3 arrests, some with convictions, they arre shocked when they cannot get a real job. When they could get a real job, there are often surprised when the boss is displeased when they miss work, or are late, or start fooling around.
Marc said that some hip-hop and rap which idolizes violence and contempt for women (ho's), is a degradation which pulls America down. And more than 95% of that music is bought by white suburbanites.
Marc believes the solution to these problems is WORK: turnaround can only occur if families have stability through jobs. But he said the changes must be systemic, and he pointed out that many advances in this country occurred because government funding fueled them. He cited as examples the past building of canals, railroads, and highways, not to mention space flight and the New Deal programs.
Buz sees no large systemic improvements such as these on the way, and feels most of the blame lies on the silence of so-called "leaders", failing to follow Bill Cosby's call for some sense of parenting and responsibility.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Man, there's a lot going on with crime in Baltimore!
- Buz was interested in some recent plea bargains in Baltimore's Court. In one a doctor driving drunk the wrong way on I83, crashed into a car and caused the death of one woman who died at the hospital and seriously injured another person, who has had several surgeries, and will probably never fully recover. The doctor whined and cried and said "I'm sorry". What BS. He's only sorry because he got caught. He'll only do a year in jail. Betcha: 7-1, he will not successfully complete his probation and go back to the juice, but he'll not go back to jail. And the judge said he could get his "conviction" erased!
- The woman pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the methadone poisoning of her daughter and got a completely suspended jail sentence; the prosecutors went for this because they couldn't prove she actually gave her daughter the methadone. Then her lawyer gets out front in front of the cameras to say the poor thing didn't do it, and had to plead guilty to get some help. Well, duh, the lack of responsibility here is astounding. One of the things a judge reads to defendants when they plead guilty is: "you are pleading guilty, because you are in fact guilty". Betcha: 24-1, she won't get the help she needs, without the push of some actual jail time. (Many people sentenced to treatment stop coming to it.) Her lawyer would have better served her by having all but say a year of jail suspended, then after a few months taken her to Marian House, so she has an inpatient type of support system to help her break out of the miasma of ills in the Inner City. Of course, the good sisters at Marian House will not introduce her to birth control, though. But otherwise she would have what she needs there, along with a drug treatment regimen. Betcha 5-1 that she gets arrested again, but does not complete what a reasonable person would call a successful probation, and betcha 8-1, she still does not get violated. Betcha 3-1, she'll get pregnant again.
- Buz notes that in the two above cited cases Baltimore prosecutors declined to take their chances with Baltimore juries, in the first case thinking the jurors might have felt the doctor did not cause her death because the family is suing the hospital for negligent treatment. Well, she would not have been in the hospital if the doctor hadn't slammed into her car. In the second case, the defense would have said one of her many boyfriends at the party might have given the baby the methadone--by mistake of course.
- Buz heard Marc Steiner out at Goucher last night, and agrees with him on the sense of hopelessness which pervades the inner city now. And for young adults, especially, it's the thug culture of toughness and fighting and contempt for the rest of us. Marc stated that conditions for the black underclass are probably worse now than at any time since slavery. Dunno about that, but it is pretty bad.
- Read the Sun article today about comments Judge David Young said at the sentencing for the bus beaters and one becomes overwhelmed with anger, contempt and hopelessness oneself.
- A friend was driving back from Columbia the other day, and cut thru the West side and was driving along North Avenue, when she was shocked by the thugs driving All Terrain Vehicles all over the streets: "terrifying" in their intimidation of all others.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
- A friend called to say one of her co-workers in Anne Arundel county had her house broken into and a lot of stuff was taken. Burglars are active everywhere.
- Buz learned that during the Friends school burglary, the alarms did work, but they were silent, so the dummies didn't get scared away from the oldest building on campus. The Facility Director, who lives on campus, arrived and saw the criminal's' flashlights inside. He called the local gendarmes, who were already responding (this is 3:30 in the morning, so some of them were awake). Apparently, about 8 Baltimore po-leece (this is Balamorese:) responded. They insisted, however, that they were going to wait for a k9 unit, before going in the building. Good move, guys, but if you're going to wait, ya gotta surround the building. The miscreants got away, and took a projector with them. Buz thinks they spotted the Director of Facilities and left right away, probably before the first officer arrived. These burglars don't like to work normal jobs, but they always plan their escape when they break into someone else's property. Their biggest concern is getting caught!
- A lot of people on Baltimore Crime blog (Baltimorecrime.blogspot.com) really are into this concealed carry stuff. This is worth a whole blog post by itself, but I think the idea that somehow, on the street, you will shoot it out with street thugs is kinda ludicrous. You're more likely to shoot an unarmed street thug. Yuck for you. Remember, street thugs have nothing to lose; law-abiding citizens have everything to lose.
- The nice neighborhoods of Bellemore Road and Poplar Hill continue to be victimized by burglars, sometimes losing a lot of stuff.
- The Soundscape store on West Coldspring Lane was broken into by smashing the glass front door with a rock. Again, this was about 3:30 in the morning; betcha the alarm went off; betcha they didn't care; they got several pieces of electronics before the p0-leeces got there. Buz always wondered about that glass door (and doors of glass at other places too, with computers and such perfectly handy.)
- Buz wonders if our blogger Carol Ott has witnessed Pigtown fighting Pratt Street yet this year. When I was a young officer on post in Pigtown, I saw this huge crowd of kids coming down Carey Street and over the railroad tracks. When I could get one of them to talk to me, she said oh, it's nothing, just Pigtown fighting Pratt Street: we do this every year. Oh. Buz wonders if this quaint practice is still going on each spring.
- There will be a crime conference at Goucher this Thursday. Sanford Ungar, the President, will moderate. The panel will include Marci Brennan, creator of Baltimore crime blog, Judge John Prevas, a good, stand-up guy, a WYPR reporter, and Margaret Mead, one of Bmore's top defense attorneys.
- There's a story about Baltimore in the Economist this week. Don't know if I agree with the writer's declaration that Baltimore has "a couple" of bad areas, but the rest of the city is nice. Yeah, Baltimore has a lot of nice areas, but more than a couple bad ones. And the picture of the officer with an M-16 was kinda weird and misleading. We don't, even here, have cops standing around with assault rifles. Clearly a high-profile bad guy was coming into the federal courthouse.
Buz has learned that this past week was National Crime Victim's Week, and he didn't do anything about it. Yikes!
So, to make up for it, Buz, an Independent Security Consultant who is non-product-related, will offer crime victims answers to one little tidbit of a security question-free. Bloggers can comment and ask right here on my Blog or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll do my best to answer crime and security-related questions with a "tidbit" of an answer to all you crime victims out there. (Sorry, I won't give away the store---a detailed analysis of your complex problem.)
Of course, there are hardly any crime victims out there, are there?