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Friday, November 14, 2003

Why Would It Be a Problem

East Cleveland is the most depressed part of all of Cuyahoga County. The schools make the Cleveland City Schools seem top notch. A city of just 3 square miles, East Cleveland is completely broke. Years of mismanagement of the city finances and an ever shrinking tax base have taken such a toll, that no one really knows what to do about it. Boarded up houses and plenty of crime abound. A very unsafe and poorly run city. So, you would think that any type of legal business would be welcomed. No.

[Police Chief Patricia] Lane wants City Council to ban firearms sales in East Cleveland as a pre-emptive strike against a man who recently asked about operating a gun shop at Euclid Avenue and Noble Road.

"The last thing we need in this city is another gun dealer - legal or illegal," Lane told council members Wednesday.

Presently there are no legal gun stores in East Cleveland. So when the man asked about operating the shop, the police department couldn't even give him the necessary forms to start filling out, because they don't have any.

I just don't see how a gun shop, legally operated -- that requires a federal license, approval from the city's Board of Zoning Appeals and the police chief's permission -- could possibly add to crime and problems.

Police have investigated more than 80 gun-related incidents this year, including seven murders.

Officers have seized 99 guns

Too bad they don't say how many were legally owned firearms.

I'm just not seeing how it would actually add to crime to have a gun store that has to register firearms and enforce the waiting period and background check requirements. It's not like the lack of a gun store in the city has been much of a deterrent.

You are how dumb?

A year after law school, a good friend of mine quit his firm. He realized how much he disliked domestic relations law. He ended up as a city prosecutor. I was a bit stunned by the turn of events, especially considering I knew his feelings on marijuana. So I asked him how he could put pepole in jail for the very thing he smoked in law school. He responded that, "These people who get busted are stupid. You have to be pretty stupid to get caught. I like putting stupid people in jail. That feels like real public service."

He would have loved to have prosecuted these geniuses.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Here a BID, there a BID

I don't know enough about them right now, but this is an overview (from a libertarian perspective) concerning Business Improvement Districts.

So What

So George Soros and Peter Lewis are planning to give several upon several millions of dollars to 527 organizations that have a liberal Democrat agenda for purposes of defeating George Bush in 2004. Big shock that the supposed dam that was the BCRA merely diverted the money stream to organizations that aren't political parties or a particular candidate. It's always been the way with campaign finance "reform."

I can't find myself too upset, though I would have preferred the two of them to have stuck to working to get marijuana legalized -- a much more worthy goal, and better use of their money.

I've seen some comments that it sucks that a lot of the money will go to MoveOn, a group created to help defend then President Clinton against the impeachment (and then argued that AH-nuld's past behavior made him unfit for the job of California Governor, he notes snidely). Big deal. It beats the money going to ANSWER or those kind of groups.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Browns Decide to Tank the Season

I don't care how much he didn't get along with the head coach, releasing the best receiver on your team with a modest contract in the NFL is complete idiocy and raging egotism from Butch Davis. Bill Livingston tries to figure out how Davis thinks, and concludes that the key is to have been drafted by Davis.

Management gets the last say in these spats. Always has, always will. Clearly, Johnson failed Davis' loyalty test. Actually, that test is graded on the curve. You get extra credit for being drafted by Davis for the Browns, or for being recruited by Davis for the University of Miami, or for playing in any conference south of the Mason-Dixon Line where they have more speed than Daytona has good old boys.
They wondered what, besides earning the official Butch Davis Seal of Approval on draft day, Quincy Morgan had done. Yet when Morgan dropped a deep ball late in the Chiefs game and failed even to jump on an interception, Davis never said a thing about it.

In his last game, Johnson caught one pass for 3 yards and cut the pattern off just short of a first down. A fed-up Davis took thinly veiled shots at the receiver, saying that as a coach, he "didn't care about stats" or about "who gets a piece of the pie." The day Davis reviles one of the players he brought in will be the 12th of Never, but the attempt to make Johnson into a bad guy didn't work.

If Johnson lacked the character to block away from the ball, he still had enough of it to steer clear of the police blotter. You can't say that about two of Davis' three first-round draft choices, Gerard Warren and William Green.

The Browns argue that Kevin Johnson didn't want to block, was selfish and didn't get along with the coach. No one is buying their excuses. The wife, a huge Browns fan, is really bent. I mean, she is just pissed.

Me, I'm hoping the Eagles sign him. Reunite him with McNabb and get that old 'Cuse connection going. The Eagles could use a good receiver like Johnson.

UPDATE: Damn, the Jacksonville Jaguars claimed him off of waivers. I figured teams would let him go rather than take his contract. According to the story though, Johnson can still declare himself a free agent after this season if he wants.

Appalachian Creep

Here's when you know that a federal program has just become a regionalized gravy train (via The Hillbilly Sophisticate).

Ashtabula, Trumbull and Mahoning in northeast Ohio and rural Fayette County in southwest Ohio are not exactly known for mountainous topography. But the bill by Rep. Steve LaTourette, a Madison Republican, would qualify those areas for grants and highway money from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

"Is it weird? Yes," said Rep. Tim Ryan, a Niles Democrat who represents industrial Youngstown and supports the legislation. "I don't think anyone other than the local officials, who see it as an opportunity to draw other money, think much about it."

The Appalachian commission was formed at the urging of President Kennedy to address persistent poverty in the Appalachian region.

All of West Virginia and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Ohio are considered Appalachian.

To qualify for the funds, counties must demonstrate economic need and abut counties already designated as Appalachian. Each of the four proposed counties is next to a commission member, either in Ohio or Pennsylvania.

The Appalachian Regional Commission includes counties from 13 states (including all of West Virginia). You can see a map, here (counties in red are "distressed" counties).

The ARC has just become just another way to grab money for local governments.

Tough Town, Thin Skin

I don't think I even bothered to write about the pathetic dust-up in Cleveland over the Harvey Pekar cartoon that appeared in the New York Times a couple months ago. Essentially, it was Pekar's look at Cleveland, and it pissed off a bunch of "civic leaders" and local pols. Really very sad, that they felt so thin skinned and defensive.

Well, here's another case of a cartoonist pissing off image conscious paranoid guardians of their fair city's rep. All based on the smell of the town -- as some reference to smokestacks and steel mills. Articles written, letters bitchin', artist apoligizin', and editorials wishin'.

Oh, wait. It wasn't Cleveland this time. It was Pittsburgh.

The same sort of outcry. Dumb and stupid.

Other Things

Sorry about the lack of posting. Most of my posting the last week or so -- and likely to still be the bulk -- has been over at the group blog Pitt Sports Blather. Even moreso, as we get ready for the annual "Backyard Brawl." (Just page up from there.) Got a few things on my mind, I'll try to push through.


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