The Spokesman-Review


Smart Bombs: Citizens ready to salute

We keep hearing that it isn’t right to judge an entire police department based on the actions of a few. True, but it would sure help if this alleged good-cop majority could send some signals that it isn’t happy with the public-relations crimes perpetrated by colleagues.

Two years ago, some tone-deaf Spokane Police Department officers celebrated the acquittal of Jay Olsen in the courtroom. One shouted, “You’re coming home!” Olsen was the drunken, off-duty officer who chased down Shonto Pete and shot him in the head, violating many police policies.

Fist pump!

But rather than learn from that, about 40 to 50 officers crammed into the courtroom for a hearing on whether Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. should be taken into custody after being found guilty in the Otto Zehm case. When Thompson entered, they stood and snapped off a salute. The family of the deceased Zehm was in attendance, but that didn’t stop this insensitive display.

Maybe someday the good cops will fight back against this corrosive behavior. The community would salute that.

Seductive reasoning. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian and basketball player Kris Humphries are calling it quits after 72 days of marriage. Never saw that coming.

Anyway, it’s a good thing they didn’t get hitched in one of the 30 states that have passed defense-of-marriage legislation. Alabama is a good example, because its Sanctity of Marriage Amendment gives the actual rationale:

“As a matter of public policy, this state has a special interest in encouraging, supporting, and protecting this unique relationship in order to promote, among other goals, the stability and welfare of society and its children.”

Well, this mockery of marriage certainly didn’t achieve those goals. But, alas, states can’t enforce such provisions, so they lay out a simpler test that reveals the true intent. Is one of them a man? Is the other one a woman? If the answers are yes, then the state endorses this “unique relationship” and the special rights that come with it. If not: “No marriage license shall be issued in the State of Alabama to parties of the same sex.”

States could at least affix honest labels to these discriminatory measures, such as the Defense of Hypocrisy Act.

Divorced from reality. OK, so the states have failed to uphold the sanctity of marriage, but what about the moral leaders among us? At least they can be counted on to defend traditional marriage against the 72-day version.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry: “Not fine with me.”

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum: “It has everything to do with an agenda that is ultimately going to destroy the family, weaken the family and weaken our religious liberties in this country.”

The Rev. Pat Robertson: “The beginning of a long downward slide.”

The Rev. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family: This will lead to “marriage between a man and his donkey.”

Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann: “Today we face perhaps the greatest attack on the family in our lifetime.”

Presidential candidate Herman Cain (after considerable groping): “I am pro-traditional marriage.”

Oh, wait. Those are denunciations of gay unions, not the state-sanctioned kind that legally undermines the sanctity of marriage.

This is a fake story. In case you missed the lead-in, the following is entirely made up.

Mayoral candidate David Condon, Nonpartisan-Spokane, was outraged upon learning that the state Republican Party recently dumped $25,000 into his campaign coffers.

“I came out on Day One with those yard signs declaring I’m nonpartisan,” said the nonpartisan candidate running for a nonpartisan office who recently worked for Very Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. “Now, this contribution is going to be seen as a partisan act.”

When asked if he would be returning the partisan donations, Condon replied: “That’s exactly what Mary Verner would want me to do. No, I’m not playing that Democrat game, which would only help a partisan mayor get re-elected. It’s a shame that I must keep partisan money to promote nonpartisanship, but that’s the reality of our politics.”

Smart Bombs is written by Associate Editor Gary Crooks. He can be reached at or at (509) 459-5026.

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