The Law is the Law

Who would have guessed?  Pennsylvania passes a law that allows cops to confiscate unregistered cars, or the cars of people who are driving without a license or insurance, and, in the hands of the Philadelphia police, it leads to a rash of complaints about people being left on the side of the road—in spite of a department directive prohibiting this—after having their cars taken.  In this particular case, it was a father who was stopped while driving his 8-year-old son to the emergency room because the kid had a 104-degree fever and diarrhea.  While in the process of having his car jacked by the public servants in blue, the guy asks the cops if he can take his kid to a bathroom–because, you know, the boy’s got a 104-degree fever and diarrhea–and they tell him to let the kid shit on the sidewalk.  Serving and protecting, I think this is called.

Well, this story whipped up quite a pitchfork brigade in the comments section,* full of people outraged that a public servant would treat a poor taxpayin’ citizen in such a harsh and unforgiving manner.  Haha, no, just kidding.  Yes, there was plenty of outrage, but most of it was directed at the author of the article and the few commenters who had the temerity to suggest that the cops’ behavior might have been just a tad dickish.  After all, the man was driving around on city streets without the proper paperwork in his vehicle.   If he can’t be bothered to renew his registration on time, well, then, fuck ’im—he deserves what he gets.  Such contempt for the law cannot be tolerated in a free society!  Chaos!  Anarchy!  Etc.!

If you ever need any evidence that a police state could very well exist here in the land of the free, if one isn’t already upon us, look no further than the comments section of the nearest suburban or city newspaper’s website.  Any story involving the police, pro or con, and you’ll find a virtual mob clamoring for the jackboot.

*For some reason, the link takes you to a version of the article without the comments.   But here’s a concise example of what I’m talking about:

While I feel empathy for the father(for his sick child), he WAS driving a motor vehicle without proper papers. The law IS the law.— RiversideRam


The Phightin’ Pheels

As local TV color man Gary Matthews, aka “Sarge,” pronounces the team nickname.  Anyway, I’ve put off writing about the Phillies all summer because, well, the baseball season is long, and, aside from a couple of hiccups along the way, they pretty much lived up to all the pre-season hype, cruising to 102 wins and clinching their fifth straight NL East title with two weeks to spare.

In other words, barring the loss of Halladay or Lee’s pitching arm(s), making the playoffs was a foregone conclusion, and the 162-game regular season basically a formality (at times it actually seemed that way; they went something like two months without losing more than two games in a row).

So now here they are, two games into the NLDS, and they’re tied 1-1 with the Cardinals.  After Cliff Lee blew a 4-0 lead on Sunday and with Jaime Garcia, who looks like he’s pitching to a high school team when he goes against the Phillies, awaiting them in Game 3, things aren’t looking quite so foregone anymore.  “Hollywood” Hamels is going to have to pitch his ass off, and the regulars are going to have to figure out how to hit Garcia’s 89 mph “fastball” and his even-slower offspeed stuff, if they’re going to win this game.

Not that they’re necessarily dead if they lose today; they’d only have to beat Edwin Jackson to get the series back to Philly for Game 5, and with Halladay on the mound again, I’d say their chances are pretty good, even against Carpenter.  Still, I’d prefer not to have to test this scenario out.