Thursday, March 4, 2010

Even a broken clock is right twice a day

Ald. Pat Curran complained Monday night about the design of a bridge for Mayor Morrissey's river-walk project. He's a buffoon, but he was right this time. People are going to look at it, not only a hundred years from now, but 5 years from now, and wonder, "What were they thinking?"

Seriously, take a look at the conceptual drawing and tell me this suspension bridge looks like it even remotely belongs with the arched bridges it's attached to. As my daughter would say, "WTF?" A half-baked plan by a completely-baked council.

Never mind. It's not their money they're pissing away. The state is going to pay for most of it, or so our city fathers want to believe, so that makes it OK to do it half-assed. We in Rockford are used to that. We are the champions and patron saints of mediocrity.

Tim Dimke, head of the Rockford Park District, likened the project to Rockford's version of Disneyland. The paper didn't specify, but I suspect he said it with a straight face that needs to be sullied by a drunken, angry Irishman.

Has anyone pulling the strings in town actually lived outside of Rockford? I doubt it, and they certainly don't care to listen to anyone who has. No one, I mean no one, is going to be impressed by this floating turd. Certainly not anyone from out of town. It'll be just one more place for Rockfordians to end their Forbes-confirmed miserable lives.

Then there's Ann Thompson Kelly. She spent several minutes telling everyone how she's completely against the project. Then, she voted for it. Thanks, Ann. Your lip service proves how good of a friend you are to taxpayers.

She based her support on the $3,400,000 the state is pitching in. Guess what, Ann. Those dollars come from us taxpayers, too.

The underlying theme during discussion Monday night was the support of "stakeholders," namely the Burpee Museum. Supposedly, they like the bridge design because it fits in with their own expansion project.

Jesus, let them pay for it then. They're obviously the only ones the city is trying to please with this thing. Despite being a seat of culture, it's clear the museum folks have poor taste.

The taxpayers of Rockford have roundly rejected the whole river-walk idea from its inception, and no one is listening (unless you support it). Despite the state paying for much of the cost, we could use those dollars for other things. Members of the public during the council meeting aptly noted our roads are a much more deserving cause.

Downtown is a good cause, too, but we've spent more than enough money in that ghost town lately. Let's spread it around a bit for the rest of us who travel in other parts of the city. Before any "tourists" ever reach the river, all they're going to notice is the shit quality of our roads.

Isn't it ironic that the company who builds the roads is the same company that destroys them with their huge trucks?

My derelict friends began filing in hours ago for the mayor's 5th state of the city address later today. We will be ruthlessly drunk and sleep-deprived by the time the speech hits the airwaves at 6:00. We'd considered going down to the Coronado to witness the horrors in person, but they'd never let us near the place in the condition we'll be in. Instead, we'll be huddled around the radio like it's the 1940's.

The wife was displeased with me even before our "guests" arrived, but the kitchen is her happy place away from me. The less we see of each other, the better we get along. She'll leave me any day now, and probably take the kids, but that's the way it goes for true Patriots. Sometimes, we have to sacrifice our personal lives for the greater good. I have to believe that.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Take crooked aldermen down a notch; legalize drugs and prostitution

"I don't understand why prostitution is illegal. Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. So, why isn't it legal to sell fucking?" - George Carlin

Spring is in the air. I can tell because my allergies are awakening as my hibernation comes to an end.

It seems love is in the air, too, especially in the Broadway district where, apparently at the behest of Ald. Elyea, police have turned their attention from rounding up crack-whores to singling out the johns instead. They're the ones who can afford to throw money into the local corrupt justice system after all. Makes perfect sense for those who stand to make a buck, I suppose.

The Rockford Register Star, this town's version of Pravda for city government, has clearly signed on to the embarrass-the-johns initiative. Much to the Register Star's chagrin, one of its own reporters, Chris Green, was the subject of one such arrest for solicitation of a sexual act during the second of several recent prostitution details to take place in midtown.

As part of the police department's priority of arresting lonely men, the daily has seemingly also agreed to publish photos of the johns. If I was Linda Grist Cunningham, I'd make the department pay for that ink and space if they insist the photos be published, considering the police should have bigger fish to fry. Instead, those of us who subscribe to the paper are paying for it. The Star didn't implement this photo-publishing practice until the third wave of arrests, however, saving Green a smidgen of embarrassment. Poor bastard nonetheless.

So, who stands to benefit from the crackdown on street-level prostitution in the Broadway area? Glad you asked. Just a few blocks away, there are known establishments which cater to lonely men under the guise of "lingerie modeling" or "massage" parlors. These places never seem to get busted, do they? But we all know what goes on there. I wonder who the owners, and more importantly the silent partners, could be that police protection seems guaranteed. One former 11th Ward alderman was very closely tied to such an establishment. I hear that's even where he met his bride. Big surprise.

Also, by turning the focus away from arresting the drug-addicted prostitutes, who stands to benefit? Glad you asked that, too. Well, those who sell drugs would certainly benefit by keeping their customers out of jail.

Starting to connect the dots?

Considering the very serious and violent crimes we face in Rockford, is this what our police should be focusing their resources on? As they say, it's the world's oldest profession. You're never gonna put a dent in it as long as the human animal has instinctual desires. And, as for the ladies, let's not forget the need to survive.

Let's take a closer look as the long-standing tradition of prostitution in the 11th Ward. These ladies deserve to make a living, too. Most, if not all, are drug addicts, unfortunately. Still, they have no skills (or teeth) with which to get a "real" job. And let's get real. They have no opportunities to turn their lives around. Unless you'd like to shell out more taxes for social programs that won't work, just leave them and their customers the fuck alone. We've got bigger issues to solve.

Hell, I don't even have a problem with the drug trade in most respects. Let adults do what they will as long as no one else is getting hurt. On the other hand, those who peddle their poison to children, and use children to do so - well, they're a different story. That's about as low as you can get. Since police don't want to do anything about it, they need to step aside and look the other way while us parents take it into our own hands.

On that note, one of my daughters goes to Keith Country Day School and has VERY interesting things to say about what one local alderman is involved in. I'd encourage other parents who know what I'm talking about to contact me.