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Smart Bombs: Why handcuff worker tools?

It’s become quite evident that public safety unions are different from any other.

Among the reforms suggested for the Spokane Police Department are body cameras, which would provide a record of encounters between police officers and the public. David Harris, a University of Pittsburgh professor who has studied them, told The Spokesman-Review that officers initially balk at their introduction but eventually rely on them.

“It’s a great way to gather evidence that in many ways is indisputable. It will defend them against erroneous complaints.”

The president of the Spokane Police Guild said last year that he hadn’t formed an opinion, but that their use would be “a working condition so it would need to be bargained.”

The cameras themselves are expensive. Will the city have to pay even more to get officers to accept this assistance? I’m trying to fathom this in my workplace:

Boss: “In addition to the notebooks and pens we’ve supplied, we will be adding email, voice mail, Internet, a computerized archive of articles and upgraded telephones that can record conversations.”

Me : “Hmm … I see. But what’s in it for me?”

Boss: “Well, all of this should help you gather information for editorials and columns.”

Me: “So, will I be getting a raise or some more days off if I use this stuff?”

G.E. shall overcome. Corporations are people, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, so the government can’t limit their free speech in the form of writing campaign checks. So when will the Voting Rights Act be amended to let them cast ballots? As long as they’re limited to merely buying elections, corporations will remain second-class citizens.

That’s a rap. If you missed Thursday’s Florida debate, here’s a quick recap:

Freddie and Fannie

Fannie and Freddie,

I’m not erratic,

He’s not steady.

Fannie and Freddie

Freddie and Fannie,

We need votes

from guys named Manny.

Ordinary people. Pretty tired of the “double tax” excuse for why capital gains deserve a lower rate. “It’s money that’s already been taxed,” say the apologists. Let’s look at Mitt Romney’s stint as governor.

The citizens of Massachusetts were taxed and the money flowed to the state treasury. From that revenue stream, the state paid Gov. Romney. His job-related income was taxed at the ordinary rate. Let’s say he then hired a landscaper from this income. That person would also be taxed at the ordinary rate, as would his employees. Then let’s consider their property, payroll and sales taxes. Are we supposed to add up all of these instances of taxation to arrive at some meaningful figure?

And yet, nobody suggests lowering these rates because the money has already been taxed.

Work is for suckers. Mitt Romney makes more in a day than I make all year. Just think if he had a job.

GOLDEN Safety net. Hewlett-Packard has paid out $80 million to the last three CEOs it’s fired. I’m not jealous of the successes of the rich. I’m envious of their failures.

Health careless. When Rick Santorum complains about the “top-down” health care of Massachusetts, it would be nice if he described the “bottom-up” system he apparently prefers. And, no, that’s not a proctology joke.

Santorum claims that the Massachusetts model violates “a fundamental freedom.” Sure, the freedom to duck your bills, because that’s what we have in the other 49 states. Just ask the hospitals that eat the costs or pass them along to the insured.

Everyone in Massachusetts must buy coverage or pay a penalty. It’s a law that demands personal responsibility.

Remember when that was a conservative principle?

Desert Storm. One day President Barack Obama is hugging an Arizona congresswoman who suffered a gunshot wound at a public appearance. The next day the Arizona governor is jabbing her finger at him on an airport tarmac. She’s lucky the Secret Service didn’t break it.

I’ll be brief. I’ve been using Twitter a lot lately. Does it show?

Associate Editor Gary Crooks can be reached at or (509) 459-5026. Follow him on Twitter @GaryCrooks.


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