Oh, my. Scrabble gets pwned.
One of the things that most confused me when I moved to Pennsylvania was the structure of local government.
As a native Virginian, I understood Virginia, and, frankly, many aspects of Virginia’s structure make sense, even as the persons who fill elective offices often do not. “Independent cities,” for example, are a great idea. Cities are not part of counties. Therefore, if you are in a city, the only jurisdiction to hold accountable is the city; bucks cannot be passed back and forth between cities and counties. If the governance of the independent city is incompetent, there is only one government to blame. If voters do not turn them out, it’s their own damned fault.
Pennsylvania counties are divided into townships and boroughs for no good reason that I could ever figure out (“borough” is a term for a “township” that is a little more urban than the surrounding area, such as Narberth, the wonderful place where I lived; it’s a “township” on steroids that, anywhere else, would be called a “town”).
After a while, I figured out that most local governance was provided by the township; that’s where I registered to vote, for example. As far as I could figure out, counties existed mostly to create
I did a little research and learned that, after the American Revolution, there seemed to be two schools of thought regarding how to promote democracy. One school advocated concentrating power in the hands of elected representatives as a way of guaranteeing “democracy.” The other believed that the more elected officials, the more “democracy”; New England’s town meetings are perhaps the extreme example of this.
Pennsylvania seems to have opted for the latter choice. There are lots of little jurisdictions with lots of elected officials (one of the elected officials was a “prothonotary”–never did figure out what that was, a notary with a big nose, maybe, though Wikipedia tells me it is what anyone else would call “Clerk of the Court”). I remember reading somewhere that Pennsylvania has over 44,000 state and local elected officials, second highest in the nation, though it is a middling-sized state in both area and population.
Now, a couple of decades after I lived there, Pennsylvania’s system of local governance seems to be collapsing under its own weight.
One thing is certain: No solution that involves reducing the number of jurisdictions or elected officials will be brooked. The number of Babbitts must be held constant.
They were not caught in the act, but they did match the description. Funny how, when stuff like this happens, the suspects always “match the description.”
Two stepbrothers suspected of trying to steal beer from a grocery store were not armed with guns when they were later shot Thursday by a police officer who confronted them in the state’s capital city.
Officers split up to search for the suspects. Donald encountered two men with skateboards who fit witnesses’ descriptions, and moments later, he radioed in that shots had been fired, the police chief said.
In radio calls released by police, Donald calls dispatchers once he spots the men and again to report that he fired shots.
But I’ll take one any day of the week over those stupid “ducks.” My Daddy rode in an amphibious vehicle so I don’t have to.
Their target was PedalPubs in downtown Minneapolis. Their weapons of choice were squirt guns and water balloons.
What they didn’t know was that there were off-duty cops among the passengers.
Two of the people-powered, 16-seat vehicles were hit Saturday in the late afternoon in the Warehouse District, said Lisa Stanplin, manager of Twin Cities PedalPubs.
In the light of recent events, in which a few black looters in Baltimore were designated “thugs,” while many not-black bikers trying to kill each other in Waco were designated “overly-enthusiastic partisans,”* Tony Norman struggles to understand the meaning of the word “thug.” Here’s a bit; read the rest (emphasis added):
So a few pundits rushed to call these bikers “thugs,” too, though there was some hairsplitting about that by the most incorrigible racists. After all, while the scene contained nine deaths and the presence of 118 handguns, an AK-47, 157 knives and 43 miscellaneous weapons, nobody was arrested for looting — which somehow makes these losers superior to the “thugs” in Baltimore.
From what I can tell from this arbitrary distinction, the act of looting is what qualifies a person for designation as a thug. . . .
That’s why I was puzzled by an article in Thursday’s Post-Gazette that failed to identify as thugs four major banks that admitted looting the world’s global exchange markets between 2007 and 2013.
*Okay, so I exaggerated a wee bit, but only a wee bit.
Practice that politeness.
Just the sort of fellow I want to see carrying a concealed firearm, yes-indeedy-do.
After all, what could possibly go wrong?