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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore



Archive for the ‘Comment Contest’ Category

 

Coffee may really be good for you after all

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — janice m.

***

Over the years, stories and studies have sometimes praised coffee drinking and other times condemned it.

I’ve always believed that pretty much everything can be good or bad for you depending on how much you consume, how often you consume it, and probably a host of other factors I never cared enough to discover. I figure that if I spend all my time worrying about everything, I’ll be wasting a whole lot of my life that could be better spent enjoying the many and varied things the world has to offer. So when it comes to liquid refreshment, for example, I enjoy my morning coffee without worrying that it might be raising my “bad” cholesterol or blood pressure. I also drink tea — green, white, all kinds — though mostly during the winter. And if I lived there, I’d be one of the folks getting New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg’s panties in a bunch over the evil and hated sugar drinks, which I very occasionally consume.

I just don’t worry about it. One day, I’m going to die of something so I might as well enjoy  what time I have as best I can.

What does that have to do with coffee? Well, it turns out, according to a recent study, that my coffee drinking might actually be buying me a little more time to enjoy the other things in life.

Study finds java drinkers live longer

One of life’s simple pleasures just got a little sweeter. After years of waffling research on coffee and health, even some fear that java might raise the risk of heart disease, a big study finds the opposite: Coffee drinkers are a little more likely to live longer. Regular or decaf doesn’t matter.

The study of 400,000 people is the largest ever done on the issue, and the results should reassure any coffee lovers who think it’s a guilty pleasure that may do harm.

“Our study suggests that’s really not the case,” said lead researcher Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute. “There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking.”

No one knows why. Coffee contains a thousand things that can affect health, from helpful antioxidants to tiny amounts of substances linked to cancer. The most widely studied ingredient — caffeine — didn’t play a role in the new study’s results.

It’s not that earlier studies were wrong. There is evidence that coffee can raise LDL, or bad cholesterol, and blood pressure at least short-term, and those in turn can raise the risk of heart disease.

Even in the new study, it first seemed that coffee drinkers were more likely to die at any given time. But they also tended to smoke, drink more alcohol, eat more red meat and exercise less than non-coffee-drinkers. Once researchers took those things into account, a clear pattern emerged: Each cup of coffee per day nudged up the chances of living longer.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

I drink about two cups of coffee a day and though the study indicates drinking more could further decrease my chance of dying at any particular age, I’m going to stick with the beverage I most enjoy for the bulk of my liquid intake — plain old room temperature water.

What about you?

Are you a coffee drinker? If so, how many 8-ounce cups a day?

Will this study tempt you to drink more?

And if you don’t drink coffee, will the results of this study tempt you to give it a try?

 

And so health care rationing begins

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — Susan.

***

I’ve maintained for many decades that whenever government sticks it’s collective nose into something, costs go up while quality goes down. I’m hard-pressed to think of even one exception.

When Romneycare passed here in Massachusetts, we saw costs go through the roof, even though they’d previously been driven up by government mandating that insurers must cover a host of things most people did not need or want, would never use, but were forced to pay for anyway.

All went swimmingly, from government’s perspective, while federal money flowed in to keep down the cost of providing insurance to those who could not afford to pay for it. But even federal funds are not unlimited and as more and more people became “insured,” costs began to spiral out of control.

Now, a thoughtful person might wonder if getting government out of the health care business entirely might be the best solution. Repeal all the mandates and let the free market offer insurance products people want and can afford, for those who want insurance. Those who don’t want to buy insurance can pay cash or set up payment plans should they need health care. And the truly needy will still be cared for, as they always were before government decided to play doctor.

But thoughtfulness is not generally a trait one finds in the liberal politicians who run Massachusetts. They pass a health care bill requiring universal coverage, promising it will reduce costs for everyone once everyone is insured, then scratch their heads in confusion when all those newly insured folks, especially the ones who get “free” insurance, suddenly begin flocking to emergency rooms and doctor’s offices, driving up costs across the board. So they try a tweak here and a tweak there but expenditures continue to escalate until there is only one thing left to do — clamp down on costs by legislating spending limits.

Mass. lawmakers pass health care cost-control bill

Lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a 350-page health care cost-control bill Tuesday afternoon, a compromise between House and Senate leaders that sets spending targets for hospitals and doctors in the state and penalizes those that exceed them.

Governor Deval Patrick said he would sign the bill. “This is more than a good bill; this is a great bill,” he told reporters after visiting a Roxbury organization that seeks to reduce youth violence. “This is a commonwealth that has shown the nation how to extend coverage to everybody and to do it in a hybrid system with an emphasis on private-sector insurance with subsidies for those who can’t afford it. And now we’re going to crack the code on cost control.”

He said he does not believe the legislation will lead to layoffs in the health care sector or hospital closures. “There are going to be changes,” Patrick said. “But if those changes mean we get lower-cost and higher-quality care because care is being delivered in different settings — in homes, for example, in neighborhoods, in communities, rather than in hospitals — then I think that’s something we all ought to strive for and will strive for.”

The plan allows health spending to grow no faster than the state economy overall through 2017. For the five years after that, spending would slow further, to half a percentage point below the growth of the state’s economy, although leaders would have the power under certain circumstances to soften that target.

Supporters believe the bill will help moderate increases in insurance premiums for consumers and businesses. While the measure does not spell out specific cuts, health providers are expect­ed to expand efforts already under­way to slow the proliferation of some medical procedures, better coordinate care to keep patients healthier and out of the hospital, and steer patients to lower-cost care­givers.

Providers and insurers that do not meet the spending targets would have to submit “performance improvement plans’’ to a new state commission. Failure to implement their plans could lead to a fine of up to $500,000.

“This is going to save us $200 billion over the next 15 years, and it’s going to provide better quality of care and better access,’’ Senate President ­Therese Murray said in an inter­view Monday night. “This is a big plus for us. We’re once again in the forefront on health care in the nation.’’

Murray said the 350-page bill will build on the state’s 2006 landmark health insurance mandate, which ­became the model for President Obama’s national health care legislation.

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said in a written statement that “while this bill may seem complex, its goal is simple: to cut health care costs that burden businesses and consumers while not interfering with the high quality of health care Massachusetts residents enjoy.”

Click Here to read the rest of the article.

So, let me get this straight. This bill is going to save us all money by limiting the amount of money that can be spent on health care and while doing so, will provide better care for everyone.

That sounds an awful lot like what was promised when Romneycare passed and see how well that worked…or didn’t work.

What you will not hear anyone say, because the media outlets will not report it, is that simple logic dictates that if costs are capped while demand increases, either quality or quantity must be reduced to stay under the cap.

That means, your doctor might not order the expensive test that could pinpoint the cause of your pain. Instead, you get a prescription for painkillers. It means that when the guy who had a bypass operation in his fifties returns for a second procedure in his seventies, he might well be sent home with a “care and comfort” order to wait to die.

When you limit spending you must limit care. All the shuffling and dancing in the world will not get around that simple fact.

I’ve been telling all you kind readers who don’t live here in The People’s Republic to go to school on what Romneycare has done to us because the same thing is going to be done to you, eventually, thanks to Obamacare.

Watch us closely, because sooner or later, rationing will come to you, too.

 

Poor and middle class subsidize electricity costs for the wealthy, businesses, and government

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — K Howe.

***

For the sake of this discussion, let’s say your local utility charges 12 cents for each kilowatt hour of electricity that they buy on the open market for 8 cents. You get tired of paying so much to power your home so you spend $17,000 to install solar panels. Now, the panels produce power all day long, even when you’re not home, so you get to sell what you’re not using to the local utility. But instead of paying you the going 8-cent wholesale rate, they are required by law to pay you the 12-cent retail rate! And since you’ll save $2000 a year on your electric bill, you’ll pay off the solar investment in 8.5 years and after that, it’s all gravy.

You might wonder how the utility can pay you 12 cents/kWH and turn around and sell it to someone else for the same price. Don’t they have costs for infrastructure and labor and insurance and lots of other things? Of course they do, but you needn’t worry. Those costs related to what you sell to the utility will be paid by folks who can’t afford to install solar panels, primarily the poor and middle class.

Sweet deal for you, eh?

Now, you might think such a scheme would be illegal, but you’d be wrong. Here in The People’s Republic, they want to double the size of the program!

Wind, solar subsidy set for review
Program’s growth spurs fairness issue

Former Massachusetts secretary of energy and environmental affairs Ian Bowles, who thinks it just fine if others have to pay more so he can pay less.

The array of solar panels recently installed on Ian Bowles’s slate roof in Jamaica Plain should pay off for him in less than a decade, but the green power the state’s former top environmental official generates may cost other utility customers for many more years.

Bowles and the increasing number of homeowners, businesses, and municipalities connecting solar panels and wind turbines to the region’s power grid receive a little-known subsidy, and the cost is being borne by other utility customers, who may soon pay anywhere from a dime to as much as $100 more on their monthly electricity bills.

The surcharge on customers who do not feed into the grid has become increasingly controversial as state lawmakers this month hash out the language in a bill that would double the amount of power that utility companies could buy from those producing their own energy.

“At a certain point, there’s absolutely a fair argument about the equity of this,” said Bowles, the former secretary of energy and environmental affairs, who argues that the benefits of reducing harmful carbon emissions outweigh the relatively small costs to utility customers.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

Talk about hubris. If reducing carbon emissions are really beneficial, shouldn’t everyone have to share in the cost since everyone shares in the benefit? Apparently not in the privileged world of politicians and former bureaucrats like Bowles, whose attitude translates as “Let the suckers pay.”

I suppose it should not surprise me to discover this has been going on here in The People’s Republic, where the left is so entrenched a tsunami could not dislodge them.

How is it where you live?

Are you, too, being forced to subsidize solar installations for those who can afford them?

 

Wrong Way Corrigan

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner – Nancy.

***

Some of you may know that certain creatures are able to sense the Earth’s magnetic field. Migratory birds, for example, seem to use it to find their way back and forth from where they spend the winter and summer.

I read that some scientists think they may have discovered the molecule that is responsible for the ability to sense magnetic fields. That started me wondering what will happen when, one day, the Earth’s magnetic field flips again? You didn’t know it moves? Well, it does. Or appears to.

Douglas Corrigan

What will happen to all those migratory birds? Will they one day be lounging around picking bugs and seeds from your lawn when the magnetic field flips and they suddenly feel like they’re in the wrong place? Will they take off and head in the wrong direction, smack into a blizzard? Are all these migratory birds destined for extinction due to confusion?

Then I started wondering what will happen when scientists learn how to manipulate the molecule and whatever else is necessary for the magnetic location ability. Will they one day be inserting it into the human genome? Think of the benefits!

Guys, never again will you have to listen to your wife or girlfriend nagging for you to stop and ask directions. You’ll just know where to go! And ladies, you, too, will never again get lost on the way to an important engagement or a big sale.

Pilots and boaters and Boy Scouts will throw away their compasses.

And never again will anyone ever be compared to the infamous “Wrong Way” Corrigan.

By the way, today is the 74th anniversary of Corrigan’s “mistaken” flight across the Atlantic to Ireland.

You can read about it here. It’s an interesting story.

 

A solution to the drug war problem that benefits everyone

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — Mandi.

***

Below the fold on the front page of The Boston Globe Democrat today is a story about a prison inmate accused of running a multi-million dollar illegal drug ring from the slammer. Fourteen people were arrested. All for providing to a group of consumers a product the consumers clearly want and are willing to pay for. The story is here, if you are interested in the details, but it’s not this story I want to talk about today. The story was just the inspiration for an idea that would end the absurdly wasteful, destructive, and deadly war on drugs and provide benefits to every single person in the nation, drug user or not.

I don’t think I’ll get any argument about pointing out that providing recreational drugs to people who want them is a multi-billion dollar industry. In addition, the illegal drug trade has probably produced more well-paying jobs in America than the trillions in stimulus money Our Dear Leader has thrown away. But it’s a dangerous job. You could be captured by the government or killed by competitors or the government. Still, despite all the risks, the rewards are so great, that whenever government arrests one dealer, another steps right in to take his or her place. Which is why the drug war fits perfectly into the classic definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome.

But I have a solution and I think it might be a good one.

Most recreational drugs, especially narcotics, cost next to nothing to produce and could be sold very profitably for a low-enough price to allow those who become addicted to live with their addiction, including holding down a job. Such was the case before government stuck it’s nose into the drug trade. Were all drugs legal to sell, those doing the selling would stand to reap huge profits. So, let’s legalize all drugs, regulate them, and designate the existing drug companies as the exclusive providers. And in return for the multi-billion dollar windfall, the companies will have to sell their medicinal drugs for a set percentage over production costs.

What will happen if we do this?

The cost of medicinal drugs will be sharply reduced, which will benefit everyone. Medicare and Medicaid expenditures will plummet.

The violence associated with the drug trade will end.

Addicts will no longer need to rob and steal in order to support their habits, A job at Burger King will pay enough to keep them high when they’re not working.

Government will no longer be killing innocents when they smash down the doors of wrong houses.

Billions will be saved by not having to incarcerate anyone for selling or using drugs or committing crimes to get the drugs.

Tax-paying jobs will be created at all levels, from manufacturing through wholesaling through distribution down to retail. And let’s not forget the local, state, and federal inspectors who will be checking to make sure the products are of advertised purity.

And speaking of taxes, think of how much new tax revenue will be generated, taxes that can go toward helping addicts, if such is society’s desire, or toward other worthwhile endeavors.

Is there a downside to this plan? If so, I’m not seeing it.

Some will say that legalizing drugs will just create more addicts and further burden society. I think more people will indeed experiment but I also think anyone who really wants to experiment can easily do so now given that most recreational drugs are readily available in most places. And some will suffer due to the lack of quality control.

What do you think?

Would you be willing to let drug companies produce recreational drugs in return for lowering the cost of your Lipitor and other medicinal drugs?

Do you see a downside to the plan that I’ve missed?

And if all currently illegal recreational drugs were legalized, which would you try, if any?

 

What do you know — a judge who can read the Constitution!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner — Elizabeth Martin.

***

Those who lament the ongoing destruction of rights and freedom in America often point to politicians and judges who apparently are incapable of understanding the plain, simple English  in the United States Constitution. We all saw one horrendous example of that last Thursday, when the Chief Justice tortured all logic, reason and language to twist his way into supporting Obamacare. But today, I’m pleased to report that in New York, there is at least one judge who may actually have a copy of the Constitution and who appears to have read it.

Fed. Judge Rules Churches Can Stay in Schools for Now

A federal district judge says the city can’t evict churches that have been renting space for Sunday worship services. It’s the latest in a case that has gone back and forth between different courts, with a different result each time — but ultimately little change.

District judge Loretta Preska issued an injunction that allows religious groups to continue to worship in public schools.

Lawyers for the church groups argued that since schools allow student groups to hold prayer meetings and other religious activities on site, it should not be denied to church group when school is not in session.

Judge Preska on Friday again agreed with them and upheld their right to worship.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

I don’t dare predict what some judge in a higher court will rule one day, but Judge Preska got it exactly correct.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The New York and other states’ laws or rules that prohibit religious organizations from using or worshiping on public property are all based on the big lie that the words above don’t guarantee freedom of religion but freedom from religion. It’s a lie that’s been pushed on America for far too long and I’ve never understood how anyone who got through the sixth grade could not see that it’s a lie.

Laws like those in New York violate not one, not two, but three separate parts of the First Amendment, quoted above.

1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

Congress, and by extension all government, may not favor one religion over another or prohibit the practice of any religion. Even Scientology.

Can government force everyone pray in school? No. Can they stop everyone from praying in school? No. Want to put the Ten Commandments on the wall of your courthouse? Fine, provided you don’t try to stop someone else from putting their commandments, or whatever, on the wall, too. It’s simple. Equal access, equal freedom to all.

2. or abridging the freedom of speech

Clearly prayer is speech. Do I really need to explain any further?

3. or the right of the people peaceably to assemble

Again, pretty simple. If your group wants to peaceably assembly in a school classroom once a week to worship L. Rom Hubbard, green aliens, Norse Gods, or anything else, and you can pay the rental fee, why is it the business of anyone else? You can even gather and discuss the non-existence of a deity to your heart’s content in the classroom next door if that’s your thing. Equal access, equal freedom.

The beauty of the Constitution the Founders gave us is that it provides the greatest amount of freedom to the citizens of the nation.

I understand the selfish and greedy and evil reasons why some people want to limit or take away that freedom.

I don’t understand why so many of us have let them do it for so long.

The Founders would long ago have taken up arms and shot the bastards.

We sit around watching Jersey Shore and Dancing with the Stars.

Your thoughts?

 

The insanity continues: Mom arrested for excessive cheering! And there’s more!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner – Connie.

***

I don’t know if it’s political correctness gone wild or or some sort of power trip or just downright, plain stupidity that’s infecting schools across America, but whatever it is, it’s getting worse.

A South Carolina mother was arrested for cheering too loudly as her daughter’s name was announced and she received her high school diploma. And in Ohio, a senior was actually denied his diploma by school officials and “sentenced” by said officials to 20 hours community service before he can get the diploma, not for anything he did, but because his family and supporters gave him a rousing reception.

South Carolina mom arrested for cheering too loudly at daughter’s graduation
Police say they warned parents they would be kicked out if they got loud

South Carolina mom Shannon Cooper, who was accused of whooping so loudly during her daughter’s high school graduation Saturday night that cops charged her with disorderly conduct and placed her in a detention center.

Beach balls and bullhorns are commonly banned from graduation ceremonies, but some schools also want to silence the screaming — going so far as to have overzealous audience members arrested.

That’s what reportedly happened to South Carolina mom Shannon Cooper, who was accused of whooping so loudly during her daughter’s high school graduation Saturday night that cops charged her with disorderly conduct and placed her in a detention center.

Click Here to read the rest of the story.

What, exactly, are these idiots afraid of? That some kid might feel bad because her mom only clapped instead of cheering? That his delicate self-esteem might be irrevocably damaged by someone else’s graduation being celebrated more enthusiastically than his?

I don’t care how loud a proud mother cheers for her daughter or how much noise a family makes as their son walks across the stage. Such goings on used to be part of the rite of passage kids worked and studied for. But now, being wildly happy for your child in South Carolina is a crime and in Ohio, it’s an offense serious enough to deny him or her a diploma.

If these edu-dopes can’t stand loud cheering, let them buy ear plugs. Better yet, let them find another job.

I really believe public schools have outlived their usefulness. Far too many seem to have been converted to indoctrination camps ruled by rigid authoritarians without a milligram of compassion or common sense. Not only do they fail to truly educate their charges, now they treat them and their taxpaying families like criminals.

It’s insane. And we continue to put up with it.

Why?

 

I had a nice weekend. Did you? Also, some videos.

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner – DeAnna.

***

I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. I had to work for part of it, but I also got to spend time outside tending to some long-overdue trimming of various shrubs around our yard. I also had the pleasure of spending time in my workshop building a platform on which my son’s large window air conditioner can rest. I really should have spent time cleaning the aforementioned workshop, but where’s the fun in that? I even got to watch a movie last night, something I’ve not done much of this month thanks to Martha monopolizing the TV at night with Red Sox games. I can’t say she’s their biggest fan, but she’s definitely part of the 1%, fan-wise. I did waste some time on YouTube, though, and found a few videos I thought worthy of sharing. All-in-all, I had a pretty nice weekend.

How was your weekend? Did you have to work? What did you do? Let me know after you watch the videos.

First up, the marriage of the Hawaii 5-O theme song and Star Wars. I remember watching the original 5-O as a teen and I was a big fan of the first three installments of the latter, so I thought this kind a cool.

I was also a big fan of the original Star Trek series, probably because, back then, I consumed sci-fi novels at the rate of two or three a week. A decade and a half later, NBC brought the world The A-Team.

Finally fans of Star Trek, The Next Generation know Brent Spiner as the android Star Fleet officer Commander Data. Before that, he appeared in a number of other TV shows, including Night Court. It was his last role before getting the part of Commander Data, so maybe his “Bob Wheeler” really did help to make him famous.

Do you have some favorite YouTube videos? If so, and if they are appropriate for a family website, please link to them in the comments section. Thanks!

 

Feds harass coffee shop over pretty girls. Seriously!

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner - Estes Mills.

***

You know how politicians and bureaucrats are always lamenting the fact that there are not more women who run their own businesses? Could the following be one of the reasons more women do not go into business?

Let’s say you’re a woman and you do decide to open a coffee shop, and it grows to 29 stores thanks to you hiring attractive, outgoing young women to serve the coffee while wearing snug, pink t-shirts. You better watch out because the goobers in the the government might decide to pay you a visit.

Marylou’s hit with discrimination inquiry
Coffee house chain bitter over federal ‘witch hunt’

South Shore coffee chain Marylou’s is singing the blues over a federal employment-discrimination investigation, crying foul that the feds are going after its long-standing practice of hiring bubbly young bombshells to peddle the shop’s trademark joe.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been quietly probing Marylou’s’ hiring practices for nearly a year, the Herald has learned, with investigators pulling reams of job applications, interviewing company brass and grilling the 29-store chain’s pink-clad clerks about their co-workers’ gender, age, race and body type, according to the company.

Marylou’s execs deny any discrimination.

“We have never had a complaint against us for age discrimination or any kind of discrimination,” founder Marylou Sandry wrote in a plea for help to state Sen. John F. Keenan (D-Quincy). “We feel that the EEOC is on a witch hunt.”

EEOC officials would not comment, and Keenan said he would not intervene in the federal agency’s ongoing investigation.

Sandry declined to comment, other than to say, “I don’t want to say anything. I just want it to be over with.”

Company vice president Ronnie Sandry told the Herald that Marylou’s hiring is limited by its pool of applicants, who tend to be young women from the heavily white South Shore.
“When you’re hiring a police officer, certain people show up,” Sandry said. “When you’re hiring a Patriots cheerleader, certain people show up. When we’re hiring, certain people apply, and we have no control over it.”

Katherine J. Michon, a Boston lawyer who specializes in discrimination cases, said the length and scope of the investigation indicates the feds are serious about cracking down on the company.

“It sounds like they’re trying to explore every possible protected category to see if there is a race-discrimination case, a sex-discrimination case or an age-discrimination case … whether people are being chosen for the position because they’re white, young and female,” Michon said.

According to Sandry, EEOC officials told the company the investigation started over Marylou’s local TV spots, in which perky young baristas prance about and sing the company’s bluesy jingle boasting that its roast is “the best coffee in town.”

 Click Here to read the rest of the story.

Apparently, the EEOC thinks business owners should not have the right to hire those people they think will give them the best chance of making the business successful.

What I want to know is why a government on verge of bankruptcy is wasting tax dollars investigating a successful business that nobody complained about. Did some tight-ass prude in the agency catch the store’s commercial and decide pretty girls singing and dancing, or whatever they were doing, just wasn’t right? Perhaps so. A local talk show host opined:

The problem is that people are happy. They like being served by fun, attractive people. Men in particular like being served by fun, attractive women.  And that’s why it’s bad. You’re not SUPPOSED to like it. 

You’re supposed to be just as content being served by a Roseanne Barr as you would be a Reese Witherspoon. And if you’re not, you’re a bad person.

Instead of sending Marylou’s a note of thanks for providing jobs for lots of people in their 29 stores so the stores and employees can pay taxes to provide the EEOC bureaucrats with cushy jobs, inflated salaries, and great benefits, they harass them. It’s insane. It’s is the kind of thing that happens when government grows so big and bloated that bureaucrats have to do something, anything, no matter how frivolous or foolish, to justify their budgets

Maybe Our Dear Leader will take pity on Marylou’s and stop by for a cup of coffee the next time he’s here in The People’s Republic.

If Michelle let’s him, of course.

What do you think about this story?

If you’re a woman, would this kind of treatment dissuade you from taking the risk of opening a business?

 

News from the Nanny State: Police will now lock your car for you.

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Congratulations to this week’s Comment Contest winner – Dan.

***

Frankly, I’m surprised this story isn’t being reported from here in The People’s Republic of Massachusetts. I guess it just goes to show that Nanny Staters are everywhere.

New Troy Police initiative aims to reduce theft from parked vehicles

TROY – With a recent spike in thefts from parked cars, the Troy Police Department is looking to roll out some preventive measures it thinks will not only reduce the amount of thefts but also make some residents more aware of what they’re leaving in their cars.

In this effort, if a police officer does notice a valuable item laying out in plain view in a parked car, the officer will then check its plate numbers, and if the address comes back locally, the officer will go to the registered owner’s place of residence and leave a blue card in the entrance way of the building. If the car does not belong to a local address, the officer will then leave the card on its windshield.

If a car is found to be unlocked, according to Police Chief John Tedesco, the officer will lock the vehicle.

Tedesco said the plan was developed over the last several months and has been approved by Mayor Lou Rosamilia.

Troy PBA President Bob Fitzgerald said these measures raise several concerns for not only officers but also the city as a whole. He agreed there has been an increased problem with larcenies from vehicles in the city, but while saying there needs to be a proactive approach taken, he said this particular plan could land some officers in trouble.

First, he said putting the card on the vehicle is merely signaling to a criminal there are valuable items in the vehicle. Tedesco said they have modeled Troy’s program based on similar initiatives used in both the Syracuse Police Department and the City of Yonkers Police Department and said there had been no such incidents created by the cards.

Fitzgerald also criticized the plan as he said officers have no business being in someone’s car as it is their private property. He also said if residents have knowledge police officers are going into cars to lock them but come back to find property missing, they could place blame on the police.

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Isn’t it great the Troy police have so much spare time they can drive or walk around looking in people’s cars to make sure they’ve not left anything valuable where others can see it? It seems to me that if crime is low enough in Troy that officers can spend their time locking car doors for folks, Troy could probably get by with fewer officers and lower the tax rate  a bit.

What’s next? Will citizens be able to call the police for rides when they’ve had a bit too much beer at a local watering hole? Will they start checking front doors around town in case someone left theirs unlocked in their haste to get to work? And why stop there? They might as well check all the doors and the windows, too. And the garage. And shed.

What’s going to happen if you normally leave your keys under the seat with the door unlocked and a helpful gendarme locks he door, locking you out? Who pays for the locksmith to come and open the door?

I appreciate that Chief Tedesco and Mayor Rosamilia may well have had the best interests of the townfolk at heart when they cooked up and approved this scheme, but the PBA president had it right when he said the whole thing is problematical on several levels.

Locking one’s car in a city is something most folks understand is good practice. If others disagree, or believe themselves to be immune to bad things happening, then I believe it is not the business of the police or anyone else to correct them

Most people learn from their mistakes. The first time someone loses a camera or computer or watch or some other valuable, they’ll learn the lock their doors.

Experience is a great teacher. I say we should let it instruct those who most need the lesson.

And the police should keep their noses out of and hands off of private property.

What do you say?

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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