Saturday, October 28, 2006


Across the river, ol' Joe posited a question that I have often pondered, myself. Specifically, is it not time we send the state boys on their way and created a county-wide police force..... and already, I hear some sabres clearing their scabbards. But before y'all commence to wailing on your old buddy, Rat, with high-end steel, tell me why it's wrong. I asked Joel Todd one time and he rejected the idea but gave no reason.
I mean, sure I can understand that such a move would have several police chiefs looking for jobs, and Chuck Martin's rolle in county law enforcement would be reduced, but the fact is that the area is growing in population and will continue to grow. So why not have the various jurisdictions pool their resources and get a better product in the bargain.... I think it's an economy of scale..... The larger the police force, the more able it is to take advantage of state and federal assistance grants.... The larger the force, the better pool of applicants it can draw from. Pay and benefits would be the same across the county, so there would be no competition between various jurisdictions for candidates... This seems like a good idea to me... after we discuss that, maybe we can talk about a professional fire department..... yeah, that way we can piss off everyone at the same time.
And I admit that may be more problematic, seeing as the volunteers already own the equipment and it might entail a considerable outlay of money for the county. But maybe we could move to a 50/50 department-- half volunteers, half professionals-- so the stations are always manned.

Friday, October 27, 2006


News sources are reporting that elections official in the lower Easter Shore counties are being swamped requests for absentee ballots. Some counties are experiencing a two-fold increase over previous elections.... Either the whole freaking population will be out of town that day, or the population distrusts the voting machines provided by Diebold. You remember those folks- they sponsored the Repiglican victory in Ohio during the last presidential election, not to mention the cluster fuck during the primaries in September.
But if you think you an get away from the incestuous relationship between the Repigs and Diebold by casting a paper ballot, you need to think again, as the absentee ballots are also being provided by Diebold... or not provided, as the case may be. State election board official Linda Lamoane (geez, I love that name.... sounds like a character from the Fritz the Cat movie) took a flogging recently from the governor for her office's inability to provide absentee ballots to voters in a timely fashion. Reportedly, some have been waiting weeks for their ballots and are starting to get cranky...

Thursday, October 26, 2006


The local heat held themselves a PR function ( sort of a "We're The Law and We're Here to Help You" for the public thing) in Ocean Pines last night and it was well-attended. That is to say, it was well attended by Worcester County movers and shakers in their right minds. But we couldn't help noticing that the black community was seriously under-represented. Jim Purnell was absent, as was the self-appointed king of the black community, Eddie Lee.... geez, didn't he say just last month that he was the only person who could represent the Second District on the Democratic side?.... Where were these people? And don't think their absence wasn't noticed and commented upon... well at least Purnell's absence was noticed... Lee's lack of attendance was probably mutually beneficial, as his whole, "hate whitey" schtick doesn't play well in local circles, and most dems don't want to be anywhere near him. ... It's sort of like having Dick Cheney show up to stuimp for a grassroots Republican candidate.... really the kiss of death.
But his racist demeanor and spastic conduct does a disservice to minority voters in that his increasing political and social isolation means the concerns of minority voters go unaddressed. But hey, people get the government they elect.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Oh you knew Sonny Bloxom wouldn't stay in the political shadows for long... Here he is in this morning's Daily Crime (it's a crime to call it a newspaper) pimping the same old fear and conservatism. The Eastern Shore is overwhelmingly conservative, he says, and Jim Mathias and Norm Conway do not represent those values. But everything is relative and I think they are conservative. Too much so.
Mathias, in particular, has a nasty habit of supporting business interests over those of the individual, and so if he is liberal it is only in the context of say, comparing him to John Assho... uh, make that John Ashcroft, Pat Robertson, or Eastern Shore politics.... As one woman observed, "even the Demeocrats here are Republicans."
Here's the thing, the region is changing, both politically and socially. And the old ways, while they may have some merit, are going to change to meet the perspective of those who are moving here. Like it or not, things change. They changed during your parents' time and your grandparents' time, and they'll continue to change long after we're all gone. It's part of the human condition, and we can't stop it. But we can adapt.... Notice that word, adapt. It is not synonymous with "adopt." You needn't change your religion, your morals, or your ethics (although, God knows some of you should change them) in order to adapt. You simply have to change your thinking. Get past your xenophobia. Get past thinking that the old ways are the only ways. Progress.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Should the cops in Wicomico County be able to bargain collectively for salary and benefits? Hell yes, and not because they are cops and deserve some special consideration, but because their employers will pay them as little as they can get away with.
When I moved to the Eastern Shore 12 years ago, I was struck at the low salaries paid to local workers. And that cheap stinginess has not changed- salaries remain low and business owners still think $10 per hour is good money. Yet business still complain they are unable to find competent and loyal workers. ... Here's a tip, guys: If you want qualified and loyal employees, then you have to pay for them. That means, you pay realistic wages based not upon the cost of living, but upon of similar jobs in other markets, and you offer an attractive benefits package.... you don't want to do that, then don't whine when your children move away for better jobs and careers, and don't whine about not having employees. In the meantime, workers of every description need collective bargaining and union representation.