Saturday, March 12, 2005


Atlanta Courthouse Shootings

Link As a native Atlantan, I must say that this is a tragedy of incredible proportions. The court reporter lived only a mile or so from me. Sitting in front of the TV most of the day switching between local/national coverage and the ACC tournament, I was struck by all of the political dodging and weaving already taking place. The police, sheriff's office and jail have all been exposed in the last few years for several escapes, mistaken releases, corruption probes, and just plain old incompetence brought on by political cronyism and indifference. Each of these departments has claimed the other is infringing on their turf but have played the "not my job mon" game when something has come home to roost. All of the scandals were glossed over with the usual platitudes and lip service. Not one of these guys today was willing to step up to the plate and state the obvious--someone screwed up- let alone admit it might be their own problem. By definition, a shooting in a courtroom means that security was not secure. Many of us in Atlanta who have been watching these antics for years have made pained decisions to stay out of downtown. I have not been near Philips Arena or the Georgia Dome (2 blocks from the Centennial Parking Garage where the car was found) in 4 years. The only functions I attend near downtown are Music Midtown (where most of the crime is underage drinking and barfing) and Georgia Tech games. In both of these instances, crowds and the police presence are enough to keep you relatively safe. This city has, as usual, not shown its best side in today's mess, and I am reminded of the scandals and fingerpointing that occurred during the Olympics. We still have many of the politicians in power who prostituted themselves to enrich their own and their friend's pocketbooks and who made the city look so bad that we are the only city not to have been proclaimed to be the best Olympics yet by the president of the IOC. Many of these politicians were on the TV today fudging and obfuscating and generally doing business as usual. The incompetence of the police department's brass is on display nationally again just like the Olympic Park bombing. Twelve hours were wasted today looking for the green Honda that was ditched 3 floors down in the parking garage five minutes after it was taken. Road signs flashed and TV ran BOLOS for something that was under the cop's noses for twelve damned hours. It is inconceivable that no one thought to search this garage and every damn garage downtown. There were no roadblocks in expanding rings coordinated around the courthouse. I don't blame the cop on the street, but the brass that couldn't coordinate a tee-shirt and jeans. All of those muckety mucks were more interested in face time on TV to do a CYA and point fingers. Watching the police run from one location to another across metro Atlanta today, it was obvious that there was little if any game plan, and if they did find this guy, it would just be dumb luck.
We native Atlantans know that this city has serious law enforcement problems. Now the whole country and the world can see it, too.

Life's Reflections

1. I'm not into working out. My philosophy is no pain, no pain.
2. I'm in shape. Round is a shape.

3. Ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you, but when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window?

4. Ever notice that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?

5. You have to stay in shape. My mother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now and we have no idea where she is.

6. I have six locks on my door, all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three of them.

7. Ask people why they have deer heads on their walls and they tell you it's because they're such beautiful animals. I think my wife is beautiful, but I only have photographs of her on the wall.

8. I've always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.
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