The Covington Police Department has taken more than its share of heat over the course of the past year or so, largely due to a scuffle between police and the owner of a Covington pharmacy. The city boasts one of the nation's lowest per-capita crime rates, yet is nonetheless a source of controversy among media and residents, with the most common complaints being allegations of police brutality and general disrespect of citizens. This author makes no statement in defense or critique of either the department or critics with regard to these matters.
However, one thing most of us should be able to agree on is that they are due some kudos for the city's unusually low crime rate. We'd all like to believe that Covington is largely free-of-crime because its residents are such good people. However, let's not delude ourselves into thinking that the fact that our city is so safe is entirely because we're such great people and has little to do with those whose duty it is to keep the rest of us safe.
The next time you arrive at work in the morning to find your place of business exactly as you'd left it the night before, consider that there were men and women keeping an eye on your interests while you were at home in bed, and these brave citizens were prepared to thwart any effort by anyone seeking to rob, burglarize or otherwise damage or harm the establishment through which you are able to feed your family and pay your mortgage.
I work very late, and I've had several recent first-hand experiences with an extremely polite and courteous Covington police officer who thrice in recent weeks visited my business establishment in the wee hours of the morning to investigate the fact that a car was in the parking lot and the building lights were on.
For the sake of full disclosure, in his own words he "thinks the world" of my mother, Covington Primary Care NP Pamela Egan.
Granted, virtually everyone who knows, knows of or has ever met Mrs. Egan has tremendous respect for her. She revolutionized the worldwide medical/scientific understanding of the difference between Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3, as well as the medical-scientific establishment's understanding of the role of vitamin D3 in the prevention of disease (this is 100% factual and the claim can be proven by virtue of the fact that the two oldest newspaper articles ever written on the aforementioned topics were both authored by NP Egan while she was writing a weekly health column for the St. Tammany News, which at the time was known as The NewsBanner). Her first three articles on these topics have been plagiarized by literally thousands if not tens of thousands of wanna-be journalists and D-list bloggers over the past decade or so. Her website receives tens of millions of unique visitors each year as a result of her cutting-edge health columns, many of which are still referenced (without proper citation of the original author, a growing trend in today's increasingly irrelevant and untrustworthy media) as sources for reporters who assume everyone from Louisiana is too dumb to figure out how to track down copyright violators on the web.
We're not. It's simply not worth the effort and cost required to pursue litigation against a list of defendants that would number in the thousands for something as relatively trivial as copyright violations. To be clear, the word trivial is used in terms of the negligible damages and awards likely to be acquired through the pursuit of such litigation. It's not that we wouldn't be able to prove that Pam's work was plagiarized. The challenge resides in proving damages, but I digress.
The officer only learned of the relationship (the mother-son relationship between Pam and myself) toward the end of our third (and most recent) encounter, which occurred Wednesday, April 25, late in the evening. He never stays to chat with me, and I respectfully refrain from engaging him in conversation as we both know that mine is not the only business in need of an extra set of eyes watching its back while the owners are at home or otherwise away from their bread-makers.
One man and one incident do not reflect or define what I believe to be among the nation's best law enforcement agencies - particularly when the two sides of the story (the Braswell story) are in no way similar, and nobody other than those who witnessed the altercation (or were participants therein) knows what really happened and in which order those few events acknowledged as fact by both parties and witnesses occurred.
For every news story about a controversial incident involving a Covington cop and revered owner of a local pharmacy, there are thousands of unreported, untold and largely unseen instances in which the men and women of this department --- of whom I know not one by name and am in no way affiliated in any capacity --- go out of their way to ensure that OUR homes and businesses are SAFE from criminals while we're comfortably at rest in our beds resting up for the following day.
Once you've had an experience in which you hear voices outside late at night in a secluded area, attempt to identify them pistol-in-hand, only to find a police officer who is there to protect you, not hurt you, it becomes much easier to appreciate the quality-of-life Covington has to offer. No small part of that unusually high quality-of-life is the fact that our city features little-to-no serious crime in which anyone actually gets harmed beyond the point of being inconvenienced.Sure, the Tchefuncte River may be the most appealing asset the City of Covington has to offer, however let us not discount the lack of crime. Believe me (I lived in New Orleans for five years), when you're surrounded by crime, the peace-of-mind one can attain here in Covington is impossible to be in possession of for more than a few manic minutes at a time. It is this author's personal opinion that a growing number of Northshore residents in general have forgotten what life was like on the south side of Lake Pontchartrain, lest they'd be more tentative to complain about the police in whose jurisdiction there is no "real" crime to speak of.
One wrong move by one individual can completely destroy the reputation of an entire organization consisting of hundreds or even thousands of individuals. One need look no further than the New Orleans Saints' "Bountygate" scandal to find a premiere example of how the actions of few can do so much harm to so many - including so many who had nothing to do with the actions of the few.
Few organizations in southeast Louisiana are more intimately familiar with the concept of 'one bad apple spoils the bunch --- at least in terms of public perception' than the Covington Police Department.
Over the past year or so, the Covington PD has taken quite a bit of heat stemming from a single incident involving Mardi Gras parade route parking. While this incident involved only two on-duty employees of the department, the headlines for months read as though the entire department had been involved. Forget that the facts are still a matter of dispute, the fact that it happened severely damaged the reputation of our local law enforcement organization.
I often work late, and found myself still at work one late night a few weeks ago. On that night, I was still at the medical equipment store at which I work well after midnight.
The property on which the Covington medical equipment store is located is somewhat isolated, backing up to woods in an area that gets very dark at night, and is far enough away from other establishments that cries for help may well go unheard.
Around 1:00 AM, I heard the sound of men's voices coming from outside the building. Naturally, I was terrified at first, reaching for my self-defense mechanism.
However, it was not criminals seeking to rob and/or harm me, but rather the very men whose job it is to protect me from criminals and thieves performing a routine building check after noticing a car in the parking lot so late in the evening.
Recently (long past the aforementioned incident), I observed a small note attached to the door of the store stating that the Covington PD had been by, and that the building was secure.
While the actions of one man in one instance can certainly harm the reputations of many, as a small business owner, I feel compelled to speak out about my own experience with the Covington Police - an experience that has been entirely positive. As a small business owner who works extremely hard, it brings me great comfort to know that there are brave men and women looking out for my business long after I've gone home and gone to bed.
Without passing judgment on the incident garnering all of the bad press, I will say that there are a number of good, hard-working people who make up that department. I for one sleep better at night knowing that they're looking out for my interests when I cannot be there to do so myself.
Alternate Title: Why Michael Steele Was Fired as Head of the RNC
By: Peter EganDespite the unwavering and dedicated efforts of the liberal elitists at the Republican National Committee doing everything within their capabilities to subvert the will of the voters and install Massachusetts liberal Mitt Romney as the 2012 GOP Presidential nominee, there remains an outside shot that the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of Republican voters could still play a factor in determining a nominee, averting a disaster scenario in which the Republican alternative to the Democrat incumbent is a man whose positions are nearly indecipherable from those of Obama.
For most everyone paying attention, it has become overtly clear that the RNC and the unelected party bosses who have controlled the candidate selection process for all of this author's lifetime and probably closer to a century or more have been trying their best to rig the game in order to favor Romney. That their "guy" hasn't wrapped up the nomination by now (it's April 02, as of this writing) has them beside themselves, infuriated and making no bones about their discontent with the fact that all candidates not named Mitt Romney have not yet withdrawn from the race like they were supposed to.
Make no mistake, that Romney has not yet secured enough delegates to claim decisive victory is not for lack of corruption on behalf of his buddies at the RNC. These are the same people who nearly immediately following the most successful midterm election in GOP history fired the man who orchestrated the 2010 Republican sweep that brought the party control of the U.S. House of Representatives, broke the Democrats' Senate supermajority and would have won the Senate outright had massive and unprecedented voter fraud in Nevada not gone unpunished. [Note: In that race between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Tea Party conservative Sharron Angle, Reid's opponent received tens of thousands more votes than did Reid, but the fox was charged with protecting the hen-house, with the SEIU engaging in well-documented manipulation and fraud of the electronic voting machines in which votes for Angle were switched to Reid, and a large number of heavily Democrat-leaning precincts recorded more votes than there were eligible voters registered to vote within said precincts.]
At the time of Steele's firing, the decision seemed as baffling as it was unprecedented. Here was a man who as leader of the party helped orchestrated an unprecedented and record-setting midterm election for the GOP in which the party picked up 63 seats in the House and six in the Senate. There was a net change of 126 caucusing members in the House, giving the Republicans a majority with 242 of the chamber's 435 seats, and barring Nevada's election fraud of historic proportion would have evened the Senate at 50 a piece.
Why would a party chase a man out the door who had just led them delivered a majority in an election in which the odds of doing so based on the numbers seemed virtually impossible? While at the time the decision appeared to make no sense whatsoever, in April of 2012 as the Republican Presidential primary calender moves into the homestretch, the answer is plainly obvious. It is also beyond disgusting.
In August of 2010, Steele implemented a new set of rules governing how the party elects its nominee for the November Presidential general election. Rather than have a handful of liberal states plus South Carolina (for the misguided appearance of fairness) determine the nominee before the overwhelming majority of the country even gets to vote, Steele spread out the calender, implementing penalties for states that broke the rules and held their contests prior to Super Tuesday. The penalty for doing so would entail the loss of 50% of a state's total delegates plus the proportional distribution of those delegates rather than a winner-take-all vote. This enabled states that actually vote Republican in the general election to play a role in determining who the party's nominee would be. Hence the RNC's fury and the reason they angrily replaced Steele with the relatively obscure Reince Preibus.
The result of Steele's rule changes have extended the contest at least into April, and have forced the RNC's hand-picked liberal to spend hundreds of millions of dollars battling conservative candidates whose combined vote totals far outweigh that of the liberal former Massachusetts governor. The race appears headed for a brokered convention, at which, at least in theory, a candidate other than the liberal supported by the RNC could emerge as the party's nominee.
Not that the party elites will go away quietly. They've already been rigging things to the best of their ability to favor Romney, hitting the airwaves and doing the talk-show circuit proclaiming that his nomination is "inevitable". Naturally, the "Superdelegates", mostly RNC members or other top party officials, are nearly all lining up behind Romney. Of the 37 who have committed as of the time of this writing, 32 of those 37 have announced they will be voting for Romney.
Additionally, the party elites saw to it that Virginia's rules were drawn up in such a way that the two conservatives in the race were excluded from the ballot altogether, handing the state to Romney by default while denying the voters of Virginia their say in who the party's next Presidential nominee should be. There was a primary in Missouri, which conservative leader Rick Santorum dominated winning 55% of the vote, but there were no delegates awarded. Instead, a second "nonbinding" caucus is to be held over a period of several weeks. Nobody seems to fully understand what a "nonbinding" caucus is, but from everything this author has read, it is apparently a vote in which the delegates awarded are not necessarily done so in a manner consistent with the vote of the people. Thus, Missouri will have held two elections in which neither determined how the state's delegates will be allocated.
Florida's 50 delegates were supposed to be distributed proportionately due to the fact that the state moved up its primary to January 31. However, Romney outspent his opponents 20-1 after a backroom meeting with RNC officials in which he was instructed that if he won the state, they'd award all delegates to him. He spent an obscene amount of money, and the RNC broke the rules and gave all 50 delegates to Romney. Had any other candidate won Florida, the delegates would have been proportionately assigned.
At this point, we the people had better start to put an enormous amount of pressure on the RNC as well as on state party officials and state delegates. Our only hope to defeat Obama with a candidate that's actually to the right of him politically is to thwart the RNC's corrupt attempt at rigging the election for the Massachusetts liberal whose policies as governor were strikingly similar to Obama's Marxist agenda as President.
Had Michael Steele not pulled the wool over the eyes of the people who've helped lead the nation down the path of destruction, what fleeting hope of electing a leader capable of restoring our country to sanity, much less greatness, would be nonexistent. While we've still a long uphill battle to fight in ensuring that the party recognizes that 2/3 of Republicans are voting AGAINST Romney, rendering him unfit to serve as the nominee, it's more than we'd have had the man on whose watch the 2010 63-seat blowout of Congressional Democrats occurred not taken measures to protect we the voters from the likes of those whose agenda is to see to it that the two candidates squaring off in November would be completely and totally indecipherable were it not for the color of their skin.
Mr. Steele, on behalf of red-blooded Americans all across the fruited plain, thank you.