Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Car break-ins: something not really discussed

Buz read with interest the recent Peter Hermann columns on car break-ins in Baltimore--no doubt a crime which is both widespread and really, really damages Baltimore's economic development and viability as a place to shop and do business.
We read:
  • complaints about the police: the lack of patrol; their slow or no appearance, the "failure" to take fingerprints or look at the cameras, etc.
  • complaints about the judges and their supposed lack of enforcing the law, with minimal sentences for the guilty thieves, etc., 
  • complaints about the lack of drug treatment for the poor thieves, so they can stop themselves from going out to steal again, etc. (Drug treatment is not like going to the doctor and taking a pill: it's a long process of psycho-social personal change and lifestyle).
  • complaints about the poor security in the parking garages, where the poor drug-infested thieves are forced to prowl to feed their tummies and bloodstream with food and other goodies, etc. (parking garages are always high-risk security environments).
But here's the thing I found missing from the articles  and letters and posts I read: um, who buys all these nice things that Mr. Sydnor and his drugged buddies steal by smashing your car windows? Huh? Anybody? If there was no market for stolen stuff, the thieves wouldn't steal your stuff. So where does it all go? Nobody seems interested in following up on this aspect. My guess is that the local gendarmes don't really spend a lot of time thinking about this or learning about where the  larceny-from-auto clowns take their stuff to get money for it. I wonder how many get arrested for larceny-from-auto each year in this town? Probably very few. And I wonder how many, if any, are interviewed with a view toward learning where they sell their stuff. Oh, I know, they might be interviewed as to who is selling drugs, or who is murdering someone, maybe. Remember, the policy priority of the city is to stop murders and shootings.

There's a "nice" store a Northern Parkway and Harford Road with a sign or two which boldly exclaim: "We buy anything of value". Hmmmmmmm.

Oh, and it's no accident that most of the folks working the counter at the pawnshop on Greenmount openly wear guns on their side. Maybe because they don't deal with only nice people.

So, when Baltimorons go shopping for stuff do they go to pawn shops or stores that sell anything valuable, or do they buy stuff off the street (hey, buddy, want a cheap GPS?), or in the rest room of a bar [or even right int the bar?]. For folks who do that, if they look in the mirror, they may see some parts of the crime problem which are the most intractable.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Leave Michael alone!

Buz just wishes that the certain members of the media-the gossip clowns-would just leave Michael Phelps alone. The latest brouhaha features a picture of him taking a drag on a bong.

It was first published by one of those infamous British gossip tabloids and I first saw it on Gawker.

Jeeez. Whoever was with Michael in that room and took that picture (probably on a cellphone) has done a tremendous disloyalty to him for what..................? money? fame? a thrill? And just think, Mike thought that whoever he was with were friends of his.

Now, Buz is no advocate of lots of wacky weed smoking (we have enough drugs already, thank you), he smells a whiff of hypocrisy by whoever took and sold the picture, and by the whole sanctimonious reaction of people who are "aghast", when marijuana is widely available almost anywhere, and apparently easily obtained by young people.

Buz to Michael:
  1.  ya gotta be careful about what friends you hang out with (you need at least one different friend), 
  2. and if you're you (Mr. Michael Phelps)  and bonging grass or hash, you must assume you have no friends while you're doing that.
We wish it weren't so, but it is. Wonder how much the bum got paid for giving the picture to the tabloid. And since the weed is still illegal in most places, people who are into that world are by nature deceptive, manipulative, and not trustworthy in that arena. We wish they would stop snitching.

Of course, this incident could spark a whole new conversation about whether or not drugs in general, or wackkkky weed in particular should be legalized. But betcha (2-1), it ain't gonna happen soon. Barbara Tuchman was so right when she said that in general politicians must cater to the right.

And a special curse goes out to the paparazzi and the gossip papers and gossip columnists. One section of Guantanamo should be reserved for them. I think that movie stars, athletes, and political leaders all deserve a modicum of privacy in their personal lives.

By the way, Buz has heard from an informed source that the whole business of bringing home the Las Vegas gal to meet mom for thanksgiving did not happen. And Michael has never worked out at the MAC in Inner Harbor East, with or without a bodyguard. So, it appears that my source and Laura Vozella's sources are somewhat in disagreement. Wonder who's right?