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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 43° Partly Cloudy
Opinion >  Syndicated columns

Smart Bombs: Help! It’s for a good cause

At home the bell rings, it’s a teen at the door

More magazines? Same pitch as before.

I just bought a book ’cause the school needs new drums

Coupons and discounts for tacos and Tums.

Then there’s the gift wrap and candy sublime

I enter my digits at Foster online.

My son seeks donations for circling a track

It’s for a good cause, so I cut him some slack.

Then off to the store, but no matter the routes

Traffic is jammed by big rubber boots.

I say, “Where’s the fire?” but nary a snicker

I drop in some change and they give me a sticker.

Drill teams and cheer squads covet my ride

They’ll spray off the dirt if I flip them a five.

Outside the stores are Moroccan bazaars

Where shoppers run gantlets of chocolate bars.

At work, it’s the annual United Way groan

Just take all my cash and leave me alone.

Don’t forget the coupons. Roy Bedard, a use-of-force expert from a Florida police academy, had this to say about the threat of Otto Zehm holding a 2-liter soda bottle: “I don’t mean to make light of it, but if an officer can’t recognize a plastic 2-liter bottle as a nondangerous item … then we have a training problem.”

I’d imagine that such a bottle could inflict some pain, just not as much as bullets, batons, Tasers and self-defense training. So it bears repeating: Officer Karl Thompson told a police investigator that the plastic bottle gave Zehm a “huge tactical advantage.”

If so, the Spokane Police Department could save taxpayers a lot of money by shopping for weaponry at grocery stores.

Steer crazy. Driving while texting? That’s nuts. Even libertarian-minded Idaho lawmakers are discussing a ban for the 2010 legislative session.

Idaho Democrats also want to add a law that allows only hands-free cell phone use while driving.

But rather than add a law for every possible distraction, why not just stop people for any kind of dangerous driving?

That goes for driving while applying makeup, driving while rearranging CDs, driving while squeezing hot sauce onto chalupas and driving while trying to knock loose that last bit of Slurpee.

Just pass a blanket law that allows law enforcement to stop all dangerous behaviors.

And, please, none of this secondary offense nonsense, where the driver has to have a broken taillight or commit a less dangerous act before being pulled over.

weathering Bad science. Record or near-record temperatures are forecast for today.

I don’t know how much more of this “global cooling” I can take.

What? Weather and climate are different?

Funny how that point is lost on cold days.

Smart Bombs is written by Associate Editor Gary Crooks and appears Wednesdays and Sundays on the Opinion page. Crooks can be reached at or at (509) 459-5026.
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