To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Friday, December 04, 2009

World Cup Draw, Drugs, Bodies

--Find a comfortable seat near a TV at 12 pm EST for the 2010 World Cup draw. Similar to the NCAA basketball bracket, the draw either gives hope to teams like the US or makes 3 years of hard work during qualifying seem utterly pointless in a matter of seconds. What's not to like?

If you're a US fan you're hoping for a draw that puts us in a group with South Africa as the top seed and avoids dangerous unseeded teams like France, Portugal and the Ivory Coast. Saying that, we'll probably end up in the famous Group of Death consisting of something like Brazil, France, Paraguay...Or something dauntingly similar that has you immediately looking forward to Brazil 2014. Speaking of which...How amazing will the World Cup be in Brazil? Could there be a better venue for a month long party? Cheap hookers, drugs, beautiful weather --- It has it all.

--Failure in the drug war takes many different forms.

I need to move to a place where failure in the drug war takes the form of pointless marijuana eradication, and not dead bodies. Seems like a better morning read. Here's Sun crime reporter Peter Hermann reporting from a memorial for an officer who was killed in a drug bust gone bad 25 years ago:
At the ceremony outside the house in which Marty had been shot, 1829 Frederick Avenue, cops gathered and talked about continuing the drug war and "standing the line" but it was clear that 25 years of seemingly futile work has made little headway. Above, in a picture by The Sun's Lloyd Fox, Officer Efren Edwards salutes).

The best that could be said came from Gary Childs, who was the lead cop on the raid team when Marty was shot. Standing back at the house a quarter-century later, Childs told me: "Imagine what it would be like if we didn't do what we did. We try to put a lid on it and make it OK for the people who have to live here."

In other words, we're barely keeping pace. We're struggling to maintain the status-quo. As as several police officers told me on Thursday, the amount of heroin Marty was negotiating for in such an elaborate and dangerous sting is roughly the same amount cops today get in standard street rips.

"Baltimore will never change," one city police lieutenant told me.
No shit. In Baltimore we've had an especially violent November giving us an annual homicide total that is now on pace to top last year's 20 year low of 234. Both figures more than the total US fatalities in Afghanistan in 2008. It would be nice if people pointed out this collateral damage from the drug war a bit more often.

--New York Times takes the occasion of the putrid New Jersey Nets starting the season 0-18 to remind readers of the 0-23 1988 Orioles. Thanks for that.

Labels: , , ,