Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at www.twitter.com/brianhickey Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/people/brianhickey/. Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court: divorcecourting.blogspot.com.

15 February 2009

Weekend Roundup (additions made on Mon. morning)


Yesterday, me and the Bride took a little field trip up the Boulevard. To Wal-Mart, so I could purchase more Thank You cards to send out to those who have been overly kind to me since a dirtbag hit me with his car and ran.
(An aside to dirtbag: do you think people have stopped looking for you? You better not. Because we're going to find you.)
In any event, not only did the crowd at the Blvd. Wal-Mart infuriate me with their rudeness to a guy in a helmet, for crissake, but the store itself did, too.
For one, the cashier swiped the Bride's Glade Plug-In air fresheners.
For two, I purchased a DVD to watch last night, but when I got home, I realized just how the corporate overlords are trying to control our minds (and with mine, it's a little easier than it was before Nov. 28). The DVD I purchased was titled "Zack and Miri," and while I knew that Kevin Smith titled it "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," I didn't realize that Wal-Mart had imposed its will on a piece of art until I got home. A fine movie despite the negative reviews I heard, but the least they could've done is warn me that I was going to be forced to see sober Jay's manmeat!
(Like I said, I'm not quite back at a Nov. 27 level. Yet. But I will be. So, keep hiding, dirtbag.)


At least Police Commissioner Ramsey -- I've met him several times so I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is a stand-up guy -- took the P.C. filter off his vocab choice when talking about murderous scumbag Rasheed Scruggs, who knowingly ended the life of a 25-year-old cop. From a heartbreaking, but excellently done, Inquirer account of the latest cop killing ...
When Ramsey was asked at the news conference about the injuries to Scrugs, pain and sadness clearly overwhelmed his usual discretion and decorum.
"He wasn't hit enough. That's the only thing that matters," he said. "I don't care." ...
Scrugs was admitted to the hospital in critical condition and underwent surgery. His condition was so grave, police said, that his heart stopped twice during the night, but he was revived. Found in his pockets, police said, were 19 .357-caliber bullets and 19 packets of crack cocaine.


Sorry, but had justice prevailed, that dead heart wouldn't have been restarted once, let alone twice. A savage animal, Scrugs is.
Since I had two visits today (the first from a guy who I was with at the Collmont on Nov. 28 and his wife and young son to whom Charlie Dawg took an immediate liking and the second from a former A.C. Press co-worker/long-time friend and her husband about whose run for N.J. state office I'll get into here soon), I haven't gotten to the Times. Yet. [But I'll get to it at the bottom of the post!]
But, the Inky featured a piece about the bane of my Facebook addiction, 25 Thinks I Don't Want to Know About Anybody. And, two stories about Jers': the fight over a state song (even though I think I heard it sung outside a strip joint under the Goethals Bridge a few years back) and the fight to keep A.C. alive ...
"Atlantic City was knocking at the door of becoming a destination resort until this confluence of recent events set those efforts backwards," said Joe Weinert of Spectrum Gaming Group L.L.C., a global gambling consulting firm in Linwood, N.J. "There is a real downer mood in Atlantic City right now."...
"Atlantic City could become a tale of two casino markets - those that have and can continue to reinvest in their product, and those that cannot," said analyst Weinert. "This tends to lead to the self-feeding phenomenon in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."


As for the Times, a few pieces that caught my attention. Like the one about Mayor Nutter turning to the public for advice on how to financially save the city.
Or the Arkansas pastors who just don't think allowing guns in church is all that godly a decision.
Or the seems-like-a-necessary-decision-to-me to patch up The Tubes by, among other things, forcing people to use their real names when commenting or posting.
And finally, a special-ops professor at the Naval Postgraduate School really hammers the point home that it ain't the economy that serves as a looming disaster, but the preparedness for "Mumbai Model" swarm attacks that leaves a nation at risk.
Nightmare possibilities include synchronized assaults on several shopping malls, high-rise office buildings or other places that have lots of people and relatively few exits. Another option would be to set loose half a dozen two-man sniper teams in some metropolitan area — you only have to recall the havoc caused by the Washington sniper in 2002 to imagine how huge a panic a slightly larger version of that form of terrorism would cause.
So how are swarms to be countered? The simplest way is to create many more units able to respond to simultaneous, small-scale attacks and spread them around the country. This means jettisoning the idea of overwhelming force in favor of small units that are not “elite” but rather “good enough” to tangle with terrorist teams. In dealing with swarms, economizing on force is essential.

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