My Baltimore, My Thoughts

 

parkThis photo shows the park at the bottom of my street. To the left of this image, you’d find a road. Drive on it for about 10 minutes, and you’ll be at the now-famous CVS.

I have lived my entire life in Baltimore City. Went to public schools, and most of my professional life has been spent within the city limits. For the most part, it’s a pretty good life as a city resident. But there are major frustrations. I pay high taxes — much higher than surrounding counties. I’ve had my car stolen twice and bikes stolen. Police just shrug; not a big deal in Baltimore. I never even considered sending my children to the public schools that I attended because, well, for the most part, they are awful. I’ve watched businesses and people flee Baltimore — fleeing the taxes, crime, and public schools. I’ve stayed.

The problems in Baltimore do not start with the police department. I’ve been reading up on the brutality issues, and they are pretty awful. But who protects the “bad apple” officers? Police unions. Who give campaign money to the politicians. Who then turn a blind eye. The politicians who are all claiming to sympathize with the community’s frustration — well, what the hell have you done? It’s not like you haven’t had the power — some of you have been in power for decades. And now you’re emoting at the funeral of an unfortunate young man who was the product of the policies you liberal politicians fight so hard to defend.

It was a Democrat politician — presidential wannabe Martin O’Malley — who instituted policies that involved arresting people for piddling crimes. This caused a lot of mistrust in the community. If Baltimore police officers didn’t agree with the policy, it didn’t matter; they had to follow orders. They become the face of the “enemy.” Meanwhile, Mayor Martin could hide behind his security detail and escape the hostility. The officers can’t.

There is no excuse for police brutality. None. Bad police officers need to be disciplined, fired, and/or prosecuted — union rules be damned.

People need to understand, though, that police officers see stuff that none of us could imagine. They face dangers that none of us could contemplate. They deal with people who behave in horrible ways. They deal with people who are evil. They are not social workers. This means that sometimes, people who cross their paths get treated in ways that aren’t supportive, nurturing, or understanding. They are the line between civilization and anarchy, and should be supported for the great work that most of them do, most of the time.

Yes, the “community” was frustrated. But so is this taxpayer. I see my tax dollars going to people who make terrible decisions, which are funded by said tax dollars.

But if I criticize those bad decisions — having children outside of marriage, drug use, etc. — I am labeled as a racist. The proven importance of intact families knows no color — children deserve a married mother and father, no matter what color any of them are.

And if I advocate policies, such as school choice, that would liberate people and give them choices, as well as break the stranglehold of teachers’ unions which serve the interests of — ahem, teachers, and not their students — then I’m called an evil Republican. If I want lower taxes to attract businesses and more homeowners to build a tax base, I’m an evil Republican. If I want welfare reform to encourage people to share fully in society, and reach for their full potential, then I’m an evil Republican.

If I had engaged in “peaceful protests” to support the policies I believe in and blocked the streets to make my point, I don’t think that the Mayor would be so understanding of my “frustration.” And she would know in her heart that there wasn’t much danger of my busting up the windows of the Inner Harbor and looting Burberry to show my “frustration.” Even if I showed complete respect for the law during my peaceful protest, she’d probably call me one of those “teabaggers” [the vulgar term that the left likes to use]. Guilty. I believe in smaller, accountable government and stronger, free citizens.

There are 29 comments.

  1. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    You’d be very welcome out west.

    I might disagree with just one thing that you said. I think that there is an excuse for “police brutality.” Or maybe it’s that “police brutality” is often in the eye of the beholder. A policeman shooting a violent felon is not “brutality.” A policeman violently taking down some trash-talking criminal gang-banger who is resisting arrest is not “brutality.” It’s doing their job.

    To be clear, I am not talking specifically about the Freddy Gray case. I don’t know enough about the facts of the Gray matter to comment at this time.

    • #1
    • April 28, 2015, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Here I Stand Inactive
    Here I Stand Post author

    Totally agree. I don’t consider “rough treatment” the same as brutality. I’m using the word “brutality” to refer to activity that is vengeful for its own sake.

    And I wish everyone would wait to comment about the Freddie Gray case until they know the facts. Fat chance of that.

    • #2
    • April 28, 2015, at 2:21 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. DocJay Inactive

    Racist.

    I have no clue how anyone can live around politics like that. Seems maddening even from a distance.

    • #3
    • April 28, 2015, at 2:37 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. Chris Williamson Inactive

    Here’s Neill Franklin, former police officer in Baltimore, talking about how it used to be in Baltimore.

    • #4
    • April 28, 2015, at 4:13 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. PHCheese Member

    Baltimore is the second most famous of cities that have suffered from the “Curly Effect”.

    • #5
    • April 28, 2015, at 6:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. Fredösphere Member

    PHCheese:Baltimore is the second most famous of cities that have suffered from the “Curly Effect”.

    Whoa, had to look that one up. Now it’s bedtime and I’m too angry to fall asleep.

    • #6
    • April 28, 2015, at 6:21 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. Tommy De Seno Contributor

    Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog: I’ve had my car stolen twice and bikes stolen. Police just shrug; not a big deal in Baltimore.

    People who have never lived in high crime areas find that hard to believe, but I’ll testify.

    In my town a stolen bike call might get you a cop to take a report but often times you get told they are too busy.

    Some find that hard to believe – that the police can turn you down on a call for help, but it happens.

    Not that I’m saying it’s their fault. In high crime areas there really are times where an understaffed department has to prioritize.

    My brother’s house got burglarized and there was a perfect handprint on the formica kitchen table. When we asked for prints, the officer told us we watch too much TV.

    • #7
    • April 28, 2015, at 6:22 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Karen Inactive

    I appreciate your frustration. Maryland did just elect a Republican governor who ran on low taxes and more jobs. I think more people in Maryland are on your side than you think. We’ll see how Hogan does with a Democrat Congress, but I have confidence that he’ll make great strides. I think he’s made prudent hiring decisions in his administration.

    • #8
    • April 28, 2015, at 6:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. PHCheese Member

    Fredosphere, sorry to cause you insomnia. I guess I thought more people were familiar with Mayor Curley. Anyone living in a predominantly Democratic city mainly in the north has suffered the consequences.

    • #9
    • April 28, 2015, at 6:48 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    If I were the king of the world, tell you what I’d do…

    • #10
    • April 28, 2015, at 7:43 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Kay of MT Member

    Fredösphere:

    PHCheese:Baltimore is the second most famous of cities that have suffered from the “Curly Effect”.

    Whoa, had to look that one up. Now it’s bedtime and I’m too angry to fall asleep.

    I had to look that one up as well, and then posted to my FB page. Should be mandatory reading before allowing anyone to vote. Thanks PHCheese for the heads up, and Fredosphere for the link.

    • #11
    • April 28, 2015, at 7:49 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. captainpower Inactive

    Chris Williamson:Here’s Neill Franklin, former police officer in Baltimore, talking about how it used to be in Baltimore.

    via

    http://www.cato.org/multimedia/daily-podcast/police-public-war-drugs

    • #12
    • April 28, 2015, at 8:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. Joseph Eagar Member

    Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog: If I want welfare reform to encourage people to share fully in society, and reach for their full potential, then I’m an evil Republican.

    Powerful stuff.

    • #13
    • April 28, 2015, at 8:03 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. Annefy Member

    Ok to share this on facebook?

    • #14
    • April 28, 2015, at 8:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. TempTime Member

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    So, how do we change, or perhaps just interrupt, their game plan (reference to the Curly effect)? I ask seriously. I really don’t know were to begin to attempt to formulate a plan, create a strategy, develop tactics, take action. Where are all the really smart good guys when we need them?

    • #15
    • April 28, 2015, at 9:09 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. Isaiah's Job Member

    I’ll just throw this out there: way back in that remote time known as the 1980s, I was arrested by the Baltimore police for a crime considerably more serious than petty drug dealing. (Arrested: not convicted.) And I found them to be really quite sympathetic and understanding given the circumstances. It was a rather civil affair. They said “We’re going to have to arrest you for that.” And I said “Okay. I understand.” And got into the squad car.

    • #16
    • April 28, 2015, at 9:11 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. Shelton Ehrlich Member

    A 50 year-ago run in with Baltimore’s racist cops and justice system:

    Sold my about-had-it Triumph Herald convertible for $150 to a black high-schooler, maybe he was 17. We’d deal with the paper work later. I’d gotten my first car at age 15 for $75. The young man took the convertible home to show off for his friends and got arrested for “driving while black.” The next evening two police showed up at my door on Baltimore National Pike (that was really the street’s name). I was under arrest for somethings and had to go to the jail downtown. In the 20 minute ride the two cops told n-word stories to each other and offended as I was–they had the guns. I was home in an hour.

    While we waited for our trial the kid’s mother called and asked me to unsell the car which I gladly did. The trial was held on, as I recall, Christmas-eve day and it was the first time I’d heard the charge–PARTY TO A CRIME. I’d thought it was a traffic ticket and hadn’t hired a lawyer–sell a car to a black kid and go to prison? But, on that day the Judge dismissed all charges against all the people in his courtroom–it’s almost Christmas.

    • #17
    • April 28, 2015, at 10:14 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Devereaux Inactive

    Jeremiah, you need to get out more.

    • #18
    • April 28, 2015, at 10:15 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Cow Girl Thatcher

    Jeremiah: my son lives in Baltimore for the last 14 years. He lives in the arts district and has a recording studio in a renovated battery factory. He loves that city. I loved to go up there too from our home in Southern MD. I hope everyone can just just take a deep breath and relax. I want both of you to stay safe. Is there any chance at all that someone in that city or police dept will be held accountable?

    • #19
    • April 28, 2015, at 11:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. Chris Williamson Inactive

    Baltimore is a wonderful town. I was there a couple of weeks ago for the Greek parade and took some pictures (granted, there’s not much left of Greek town; I think most of the paraders were out-of-towners). It’s loaded with history, and there are many walkable neighborhoods. (For a good movie about the immigrant experience in Baltimore, see Barry Levinson’s film Avalon.)
    IMG_3645

    My wife and I have ridden bicycles into town a number of times for festivals, and if you want to experience the best art museum in the US, piece-for-piece you can’t beat the Walters.

    • #20
    • April 29, 2015, at 3:01 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. Kay of MT Member

    Annefy:Ok to share this on facebook?

    I posted the article from Forbes about the “Curley effect” on my FB page.

    • #21
    • April 29, 2015, at 5:37 AM PDT
    • Like
  22. PHCheese Member

    Chris W, Barry Levinson is from Baltimore. He is a down to earth kind of guy. Mrs.Cheese and I met him when he was making the movie The Bay in Georgetown Sc. In fact we were extras in the movie. We each had one line and the scene lasted about ten seconds. It was a lousy movie but we had fun and got paid on top of it.

    • #22
    • April 29, 2015, at 5:59 AM PDT
    • Like
  23. Matthew Singer Member

    Another good link on the Curley effect and Baltimore

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903480904576510794280560566

    • #23
    • April 29, 2015, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • Like
  24. Kay of MT Member

    Matt Singer:Another good link on the Curley effect and Baltimore

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903480904576510794280560566

    WSJ is behind a paywall.

    • #24
    • April 29, 2015, at 6:10 AM PDT
    • Like
  25. PHCheese Member

    I first became aware of the effects of the Curly Effect when the tax assessment on my farm in Pennsylvania doubled,three years in a row. I appealed and lost. It was fixed. I took them to court.it took two years for a court date,all the time paying the outrageous taxes. Finally my day in court came. There were so many appeals that they set up a special room at the court house. I arrived early and noticed a lot of my neighbors. I went to everyone waiting and to a man they were registered Republican. I had prepared a sound argument for my appeal and I added this fact about voter registration. I immediately upon bringing this up, won. I had my assessment lowered by two thirds and was given a check for past overcharges. They didn’t want that information out there. The Judge that heard my appeal is now the District Attorney.

    • #25
    • April 29, 2015, at 7:19 AM PDT
    • Like
  26. Johnny Dubya Inactive

    As it happens, I just finished reading a chapter in Andrew Breitbart’s Righteous Indignation that has to do with baseless charges of racism leveled against the Tea Party (including the infamous N-Word Congressional Black Caucus Capitol Hill Walk), the use by the liberal media of the vile term “teabagger,” the astroturfed, violent union goons sent by the Democrats to play dirty tricks against Breitbart and the Tea Party at a rally in Searchlight, Nevada, etc.

    Though the Tea Party is a leaderless movement (and that is considered one of its strengths), it sure did have an effective protector in Breitbart. His loss continues to be a major tragedy for the conservative movement. Imagine if William F. Buckley, Jr. had died after founding National Review but well before helping to usher in the Reagan era. That is what we have lost.

    • #26
    • April 29, 2015, at 10:36 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. Chris Williamson Inactive

    PHCheese:Chris W, BarryLevinson is from Baltimore. He is a down to earth kind of guy. Mrs.Cheese and I met him when he was making the movie The Bay in Georgetown Sc. In fact we were extras in the movie. We each had one line and the scene lasted about ten seconds. It was a lousy movie but we had fun and got paid on top of it.

    That’s a great story. Ricochetti that are paid actors!

    I’m thinking Avalon has a lot of Levinson’s family history in it. It would be great if someone sat down and interviewed him some time about his growing up there. It would make a great podcast….

    • #27
    • April 29, 2015, at 2:42 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. PHCheese Member

    Chris W, I had a college friend whose father was a Tin Man. We went together to see Levinson’s “Tin Men” with Dreyfuss and de Vito. It was about aluminum siding salesmen in Baltimore. Although his dad worked in Pittsburgh he claimed the Tin men were depicted to a tee. It is a great movie. Check it out.

    • #28
    • April 29, 2015, at 4:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. PHCheese Member

    Chris , I just watched Avolon. God bless Barry for making such a movie.

    • #29
    • April 29, 2015, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • Like