Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chronicle of Rogues

An MTA bus driver, Craig Ray Jr., was shot to death* in South Baltimore, killed on the block where he lived.

A homeless man with a pellet gun is in critical condition after being shot by police* outside of the city homeless shelter on Fallsway.

Two parents were arrested for child abuse after their teenage boys were rescued from their filthy, unheated boat.

On the heels of the state being given a D- for integrityJill Carter and friends have sponsored a bill that would create a state Public Information Act Compliance Board. There's already an Open Meetings Compliance Board,* FWIW, though the most they can apparently do is fine $100-$1000.

Bernstein has filed for re-election and his campaign manager is Chad Kinney, former CitiStat director. And he shares a PR/media relations specialist with the Rusty Scupper and the Prime Rib.

Sabein C. Burgess was cleared on murder charges, 19 years after he went to jail.*

Have you seen an unknown black man in a black hoodie with an unknown handgun in black shorts? You could be eligible for $$!

So they're all grandstanding about pot legalization and taxation in Annapolis. Two-thirds of gubernatorial candidates and 53 percent of MDers support it, but if you think it has a prayer of passing you haven't hung around long enough. Maryland arrests 23,000 pot users a year at the cost of more than $100 million to taxpayers, not to mention fines, fees and lost wages for the arrested. That's a lot of fingers in the .. pot. Still, it's Mizeur's time to shine!
And oh lawd, the AAC police chief's testimony against the pot has spread like wildfire and made national news! If you didn't hear, Chief Michael Pristoop cited a story from the Daily Currant, a satyrical web site (another headline: "Obama Appoints Oprah As Ambassador to Russia"). "Everyone in the room dropped their laptops," Sen. Raskin told the WaPo (wait, literally?) Later Tuesday afternoon Pristoop apologized* for repeating an "urban legend."

A Glen Burnie man arrested for a parking-lot stabbing has a really weird beard.*

Our favorite Criminal Justice Lawyer Page Croyder is running against Judge Alfred Nance, on account of his well-known inappropriateness. But does she have a full platform, or is she just a protest candidate? Meanwhile the gov has appointed 23 judges.*


mdtruth said...

Pot will never be legalized so long as the Dems are in charge.

Why? For the same reason *former* law enforcement officers support legalization but *current* ones do not. For the same reason Brown is pushing pre-K even though the best available *scientific* evidence from randomized controlled clinical trials is that it has no effect on outcomes.

Unions are in decline in the USA. The last bastion of unions are the municipal unions, and they will fight tooth and nail to save jobs - correctional officers, state police, and so on. The unions generally support Dems, and donate to Dems. Dems like O'Malley have been cultivating a tough-on-crime reputation for years to counter the fact that they are generally not very tough on violent crime.

The best hope for legalizing pot is libertarian-mided Republicans like Del Mike Smigiel, who co-sponsored the bill with Mizeur Unfortunately, the rest of the GOP establishment has not figured it out, yet.

I realize this sounds radical and crazy. But, the best hope for civil rights activists pro-pot legalization activists is to cultivate competition from the GOP in MD. Vote for a Republican? Not *any* republican. Cultivate the non-moral-majority centrist and libertarian-minded Republicans. They are out there, they need to be cultivated in both the primaries and general election. I realize in the short term it means sitting in the same room with people that may, frankly, stink.

After 50 years of the drug war, there are just too many jobs, too much money, too many careers on the line for Dems to change. Nobody votes themselves out of a job. To get politicians to move on an issue they frankly need to be threatened with unemployment themselves.

Maurice Bradbury said...

I agree with you. Though I don't care if Pre-K improves outcomes or not-- the fact is childcare is insanely expensive, like $800-$1200 a month, and that hits working families very hard, with one parent working just to pay daycare (or quitting a job). We are obligated as a society to support parents, IMO, especially if we are worried about population decline.

Maurice Bradbury said...

Also as long as a Republican is in bed with the teahadists and vaginal-probe-y woman-haters like Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz et al I could not bring myself to vote for them no matter how "correct" they may be on any other issue. It would be like a chicken voting for Frank Purdue.

mdtruth said...

I hear you. But, nobody like that is would ever win in maryland. All politicians pander to the people who actually show up to vote in their districts. Alliances are based on mutual need, not actual beliefs. When a different, louder constituency shows up they "evolve." If you want politicians to change, enough motivated people need to show up to out-shout those who want to use the govt to enforce morality. The problem with the Dems is that too many people depend on the jobs and money. Keep doing the same thing, expect the same results.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Cham said...

No, "we" are not obligated to support parents. That is the nation's biggest fallacy. If you don't want to pay for childcare then either have enough money not to work or don't have children. Population declines are a fantasy, the US population is increasing at an alarming rate spurred on by poor women who see the value of government giveaways and immigration, legal and otherwise.

Contrary to what every parent wants everyone to believe, children are not our future.

Maurice Bradbury said...

The U.S.'s fertility rate is below the replacement rate.
And if children aren't the future what is? Robots?
And I agree one should only have children one can afford, but what happens when one is born and, say, a parent loses a job or dies? We should let children starve for their parents' bad luck?

Cham said...

The US population is at 317 million and booming, up 27 million from a decade ago. We don't need to worry about fertility rates at all. I don't mind robots, they are cleaner and cause less crime.

Dave said...

How can you say that children are not our future? Supporting parenthood just makes sense, aside from the fact that children are most definitely our future. Children raised in homes where both parents are around are less likely to commit crimes, etc. and end up wards of the state, which also costs a lot of money.

Cham said...

Every smug parent thinks that everybody without kids owes them. I say we don't. If you want kids fine, but don't make what you create my responsibility. I like immigrants. They cost much less and behave better. Robots are step up from immigrants.

Kirk River Mud said...

Cham, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the reason that the US population is growing is due to immigration alone. Once people arrive, they commence having fewer children then their parents. Many of our recent immigrants are also transient or seasonal. Hardly the stoutly growing American population you seem to think exists.

You clearly are not someone who hires people as part of your job. If you were, you'd know how full our communities already are of people who are woefully unqualified for jobs (the only ones who get a pass are those who are unqualified but politically connected). Spending tax money on job training - which starts at the Pre-K level with TEACHING CHILDREN HOW TO BE ADAPTIVE AND LEARN - is an imperative that everyone from the Green Party to the Tea Party pretty much agrees on. How much funding, and for what jobs, is a separate question.

Maurice Bradbury said...

Oy, there's a whole other subject, but a pertinent one-- kids are not being taught critical thinking skills and often not even the basics to get by. They study "to the test" but that is not the same as really understanding a subject to the degree that you can apply that information in different situations.

Somebody on Facebook said of an arrested guy, "moms, don't let your babies turn to the streets" or some such, but is it even possible to go to college from schools like Douglass High/ Digital Harbor/ Patterson High?

Cham said...

Pre-K really has no impact on the future success of any student. Pre-K is a feel-good program designed to make the school system and taxpayers warm and fuzzy, but doesn't really benefit any children. http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/pre-k-promise-actual-evidence-article-1.1587022

Yes, Maurice, it is possible to go to college out of Douglas, Digital Harbor or Patterson High. College cost $50K a year, and the universities now view the students as customer. The average grade at Harvard is an A. Anyone can go, anyone can get a diploma, but don't count on graduates being about to write, read and communicate.

I gave a lecture at Morgan a few months ago about some of my research. After I finished the students thanked me but lamented, "I'll never be able to do what you do." This is the state of education.

Maurice Bradbury said...

Ok, but not in dispute that the extra $8,000+ it saves parents on child care helps parents.

Also I have an MA and can't do what you do right now!

Kirk River Mud said...

Uhhh, the vast majority of studies coming out, including one that came out of some correspondence school called "Harvard" or something, show that there's a substantial benefit to students who attend SOME TYPES of pre-K education. To your point, yes, Obama's proposed approach is widely panned.

It's pretty easy to take a group of 6 year olds and see, based on listening skills and cognitive response (in speed), which students have been learning for two plus years and which ones stayed at Ma-Maw's house until age 5, watching Spongebob all day.

The reality is that many (if not most) kids who don't attend pre-K also are not getting any structured learning (i.e. reading a book) in the home. That makes the difference a statistical landslide.

In the past few years, I've met 6 year olds in our City neighborhood (two of them) who do not attend school at all. They aren't home-schooled. They just hang out. Another kid, whose parents (I found out) fought to avoid kindergarten, nearly failed the 2nd grade. Another kid, 5 years old like my son, responded to my son's greeting "Hi what's your name" with "Shut up, Bitch."

There is value in institutionalization. Their are costs and problems associated with it too.

But with around 50% of City students not finishing high school, (62% finish...of those who reach the 9th grade...which is less than 70%) can we really afford to poo poo pre-K?

Kirk River Mud said...

Karma strikes. In a post about ignorance and education, I used "their" instead of "there."