Dirty cops.

Such a strange story developing around here, about a small town in one of the metro counties — only one square mile and home to fewer than 300 souls — has nearly 150 auxiliary reserve officers. The answer is fairly straightforward: The chief sells an auxiliary-reserve badge to any number of wealthy “supporters” in exchange for big donations of cash, not into his own pocket, but to the department and the village, where the money makes up a substantial portion of the municipal budget.

In exchange, the donors get a special police clearance that allows them to carry weapons into places that even permit holders can’t take them, including bars, casinos and stadiums. It’s a very mutual back-scratching sort of arrangement, but a local bar owner decided the chief was a bully and sued to get the list of auxiliaries released via a FOIA request. The release was this week, which brought the comedy to a whole new level:

With several news agencies trying to learn the names of auxiliary police officers in Oakley, one of the state’s leading First Amendment lawyers joined the fray.

But the attorney, Herschel Fink, didn’t want the names revealed. He wanted them kept secret.

Even more surprising was the reason.

Fink, who is one of the auxiliary officers, told village officials releasing the names could expose the officers to harm from ISIS, the radical Islamic group that has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.

Oops, I sprained my eyes. Fink, by the way, is the Free Press’ lawyer. Note he is low in their story, and the lead in the News’. Snicker.

The whole thing put me in mind of the New Rome police scandal in Ohio, which we discussed here many years ago. It’s a reminder that whatever you can say about big-city corruption, small towns can match it dollar for dollar.

Real America. Don’t you love it?

I see some of you were discussing the Curt Schilling story yesterday. I read the blog in question, and had the same feeling as some of you, i.e., this man may be a jerk, but he’s right about this. (Someone explain the name of his blog, though; what is the significance of 38 pitches?) I note one of the young morons who said rude things about his daughter was a radio guy, in the sense that he has a show on the community-college radio station, for one whole hour a week.

Now, I know our own Julie Robinson’s father was a radio guy, but with the exception of him and a few public-station dudes, well, all I can say is: I am not surprised. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, at al — you think these guys got into radio via public-policy think tanks? No. They were disgusting radio guys who decided their opinions need to be shared with the world. When I worked briefly at WOWO in Fort Wayne, I saw things on their bulletin board that would have gotten you horsewhipped at my own office.

If this kid is capable of learning and growth, he’ll absorb this setback and move into the big world that does not include radio.

Not much more bloggage today. You guys?

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

47 responses to “Dirty cops.”

  1. Sherri said on March 4, 2015 at 12:50 am

    I think the only significance of 38 pitches is that Schilling wore number 38 when he pitched in the majors. His now defunct video game company was named 38 Studios.

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  2. Dexter said on March 4, 2015 at 2:12 am


    After a pit bull mauled a Dayton lady to death a while back and the incidents with vicious dogs kept stacking up, the process began. I heard on WLW-AM that in Ohio a dog off-leash means an initial $50 fine with great increases for subsequent off-leash reports.

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  3. Dexter said on March 4, 2015 at 2:44 am

    That Curt Schilling story is pretty creepy. It instantly reminded me of the comments made about the great softball pitcher Jennie Finch. I wish Finch, now 34, long-married and with children of her own could talk to Miss Schillng and mentor her…but then again, when Finch played there was no Twitter.
    Miss Schilling’s BF sounds like a real hot-head. This sounds like an incendiary situation and that young man could explode and end up in prison. And how did this shit-storm start? Oh yeah…fucking Curt Schilling started it. Nice. When Curt Schilling played for the Phillies, I went to Florida for a week’s R&R to catch some Grapefruit League games one March. The Phillies train in Clearwater. Many players drive to Florida or have their luxury vehicles trucked in so they won’t have to drive cheap rental cars for 6 weeks. At the end of Spring Training, a convoy of car-haulers load up the players’ cars and truck them north to Philly. I’ll never forget seeing Curt Schilling driving his vehicle around Clearwater a few times. So guess what this air-head drove? Yep…a full-size camo-painted Hummer.

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  4. Dexter said on March 4, 2015 at 3:07 am

    one more…the legend begins… http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/03/03/jim-harbaugh-crash-victims-i94/24337025/

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  5. MarkH said on March 4, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Of course this was ages ago, but I lived in Columbus for nine years was not aware of New Rome, had no call to go there. According to the Dispatch, now Brice may be the new New Rome, where they write “good, solid tickets”.


    I did time in radio before I left the area. In fact, if I recall an earlier post from Julie Robinson, she and I have something in common. Julie, you wrote that you were a volunteer reader with your local radio reading service for the blind, no? My first job right out of OSU J-school, 40 years ago this summer (gulp!), was as the first news editor of the Central Ohio Radio Reading Service. Rewarding work, started by three local blind men. I was the only sighted person on the paid staff. Those three, Stanley, Fred and Irwin, raised all the funds, secured the first location on South High Street, designed the studios, and specified and installed all the equipment. Smart resourceful guys who started a valuable enterprise. I only lasted eight months after I helped them get on the air, but it was a great time. I learned a lot.

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  6. Connie said on March 4, 2015 at 8:10 am

    The tweets Schilling shared were actually rather mild compared to those sent regularly to women in the atheist/skeptic and gaming communities. Rebecca Watson has been receiving rape and death threats for a couple of years now. All for asking the atheist/skeptic community to not hit on her at conferences. Harassment at skeptic and scifi and other conferences has also been an issue in recent years.

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  7. alex said on March 4, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Bullshit cops with a bullshit legal defense. How fitting.

    Remember when Nance’s alma mater was going to publish the names of all of the licensed gun owners in the county and the uproar that ensued? This was maybe fifteen or twenty years ago and long before the NRA “owned” the paper. The information was a matter of public record. The argument against publishing it, however, was that it would invite criminals to steal guns by announcing who had them in their homes.

    There were also some interesting statistics gleaned from the record, including that the average height and weight of an Allen County gun owner was something like 5’5″ and 290 pounds, which conjured a mental image of resentful pipsqueaks who’d gotten bullied all of their lives. I think there was a good argument to be made that it would be a public service to let us know who was packing heat and how prone they might be to blowing up if they felt crossed in any way.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on March 4, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Mark, I was both a volunteer and employee over a 15 year period until leaving when my sister needed months of help after a heart operation. With Dad a radio guy and Mom a librarian, I almost felt it was fated.

    Radio is so different than when Dad was the news and sports director at WLBK-DeKalb, Illinois. He was a journalism major who came to radio after years of newspaper reporting. Remember when radio stations had news departments? Plus it was a small town, only station, and the owner had a strong sense of responsibility to serve the community.

    No one who listened to Dad on-air had any idea as to his politics. In fact, after he left he was asked to run for mayor as a Democrat. Had they checked his voter’s registration first they would have learned he was Republican.

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  9. beb said on March 4, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Twitter reminds me of various science fiction stories were universal telepathy was considered to be the gateway to an new era of peace and harmony because everyone know exactly what anyone thinks of them. Those things never work out every well because too many people (like everyone) has hateful and violent thought from time to time. The ability to think one thing and say another is the grease that makes civilization work. Twitter just enables people to say whatever they’re thinking without having to pause to consider the effect of saying what they’re thinking. It’s bring the Id-monster to the fore.

    In related police news, the Justice Dept. has concluded that the Ferguson PD has acted in a racist manner towards its black citizens. Well, d’uh. I’d like to see any police department audited like Ferguson was come up with a clean report. Racism is baked into the system.

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  10. Deborah said on March 4, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Nancy, your autocorrect seems to have made daughter into doctor. Unless I missed something new.

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    • nancy said on March 4, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Thanks for that catch. I’m ready to disable autocorrect. It’s particularly annoying when I’m taking notes during phone interviews.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on March 4, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I have no bloggage to share, though I’ll bet Charlie Pierce has a wicked great take on the Bibi bullshit of yesterday. He sounded a great deal like Dick Cheney to my ears.

    My fear today is that the Supreme Court will put a torpedo amidship to the Affordable Care Act, all because of an awkwardly written sentence. I heard a legal scholar on the radio yesterday saying if SCOTUS overturns this based on a badly written phrase, it will be reversing a 1984 precedent involving some kind of case with Chevron. In that ruling, SCOTUS decided the intent of the law was more important than the actual verbiage. I get the sense that Roberts, after rescuing the ACA in the first test, will bow to his conservative backers and try to kill it this time around.

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  12. Jolene said on March 4, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Jeff, I share your fear re the ACA, but have to hope that Roberts will see the blatant cynicism of King v. Burwell for what it is. I can’t imagine the level of chaos that will ensue if they find in favor of the plaintiffs.

    As you suspected, Pierce does have a few things to say about Bibi’s speech, but he is not, in my view, critical enough. I am still angry about the disrespect and irrationality of the invitation and the speech. Really wish I could have John Boehner, Bibi, and Ron Dermer hung out to dry.

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  13. adrianne said on March 4, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Curt Schilling was a great pitcher and an A-1 jerk. Unfortunately, the two are not mutually exclusive. But he was right to hit back at the online bullies harassing his daughter. These toads flourish under the rock of the Intertubes. They need to be exposed for what they are.

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  14. Bitter Scribe said on March 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Glenn Beck was a shock jock before he got into politics. In my moral universe, shock jocks occupy a place between maggots and mildew.

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  15. Sue said on March 4, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Can anyone tell me why the Supreme Court would have taken this one to begin with?

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  16. Deborah said on March 4, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Bibi and The Donald, both have quite the comb-overs. I read somewhere that Netanyahu and his wife spend some ungodly amount of money on hair and make-up per year. I’m sure Trump doubles that amount. Makes you wonder how people who spend that much money can have such bad hairdos.

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  17. coozledad said on March 4, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Bad people, badly made:

    The Joni Ernst hairdo and dead man’s suit should have been a tell, in addition to the R after his name.

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  18. Rob said on March 4, 2015 at 11:10 am

    On Oakley, it seems to me the Freep and the News are very late to the party. Brad Devereaux of the Saginaw News has been doggedly working this story since at least early last summer, with many lengthy pieces posted on MLive. The stubbornness with which the powers that be in this BFE little town have fought, inch by agonizing inch, to kill the story and hide the names of the “reserve officers” makes it clear at least to me that a) something really stinks, and b) the whole story has yet to be aired. Writers like Devereaux encourage me to believe that there are still honest to God journalists around.

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  19. adrianne said on March 4, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Sue, here’s all you need to know about King v. Burwell: Torture boy (AKA John Yoo) wants Chief Justice Roberts to “atone” for his sin of supporting Obamacare: “This case will give the Chief Justice the opportunity to atone for his judicial sin of two years ago. Not many judges have the chance to make up for the mistakes of the past. Let’s hope he takes advantage of the opportunity.” Former Bush administration lawyer John Yoo.

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  20. Sue said on March 4, 2015 at 11:46 am

    adrianne, but don’t all the judges (or some kind of majority) have to decide to take a case? Why would the liberals on the court agree to take something this shaky? Why would the conservatives on the court use a case that hinges on, what, 8 words? – to bring ACA down?

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  21. Jolene said on March 4, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Lower courts had made contradictory decisions on the issue at stake in King v. Burwell, so the issue rose to the Supreme Court. Also, it only takes four votes for the Court to take up a case.


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  22. Deborah said on March 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Sue, I think it’s only 5 words.

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  23. brian stouder said on March 4, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    And leaving aside the Supremes, Fernando Alonso won’t be racing in Australia next week, which is at once troubling and re-assuring


    and the good ol’ House Republicans shift the political thing into overdrive, the better to over-play their hand, again!


    The lead –

    A House investigative committee is preparing to send out subpoenas later today to gather a deeper look into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s nearly-exclusive use of personal e-mails to do her official business as the government’s top diplomat, according to people familiar with the probe.

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  24. coozledad said on March 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    “Liberal” enabled fishing expedition.

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  25. Deborah said on March 4, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Oh, and lets not forget Sheldon Adelson’s hideous comb-over. Another mega rich guy with a really bad hairdo.

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  26. coozledad said on March 4, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Deborah: His wife dropped her purse from the balcony onto the floor. I’m frankly surprised this didn’t result in the Republicans slitting each other up a treat to get hold of it. Like a pilot episode of Open Secrets TV.

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  27. brian stouder said on March 4, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Cooz – wow!

    I’d not heard that, and then googled up this:


    an excerpt:

    She had slightly better aim than her husband, who was unsuccessful in knocking out Ashford’s campaign against incumbent Rep. Lee Terry in the 2014 general election. Adelson gave $5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC that spent $35,000 in that race, according to OpenSecrets.org’s Russ Choma.

    Informed after the speech that it was Adelson’s wife’s bag that fell on him, Ashford joked to Omaha World-Herald’s Joseph Morton, “I wish I’d opened the purse. Do you think she carries cash?”

    You just cannot make this stuff up!

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  28. brian stouder said on March 4, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    …and I forgot one more goodie –

    Ashford had no idea what kind of purse it was, but he described it as “reptilian of some kind,” his spokesman said.

    Late thread-win, for Cooz!

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  29. Jeff Borden said on March 4, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    There’s a segment of Israeli media that believes Sheldon Adelson is funding a lot of Bibi’s campaign. Some of the lefty papers there even referred to the GOP-controlled Congress as being under Adelson’s control because of his incredible wealth. He has publicly called for the destruction of Iran, of course. Unfortunately, stories I’m seeing say Netanyahu got a pretty good bump in the polls from his little visit to Boehnerland and has a better chance of retaining his post, which will certainly continue to complicate things in the Middle East.

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  30. MarkH said on March 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Jeff Borden, let’s assume Netanyahu gets voted out, what would you have Israel do then?

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  31. David C. said on March 4, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I know you asked this of Jeff, but it seems like the first thing Israel should do if they voted Bibi out would be to form a new coalition without him. But seriously, how about they calm down the rhetoric, stop building settlements, do a land for peace deal with the Palestinian Authority (nothing would undermine Hamas in Gaza more than a peace deal with Fatah in the West Bank), improve the Israeli economy. Basically, take whatever Bibi was doing, and do the opposite.

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  32. Sherri said on March 4, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Speaking of bad cops, here are the lowlights of the DOJ Ferguson report: http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/doj-ferguson-pd-report#.vuW2ZL5j8

    So much for all those arguments about “if you just cooperate with the cops, you won’t have any problem.” Maybe that strategy works if you’re white, but it doesn’t work quite so well if you’re African American. I bet not many white people have ever been arrested for “Manner of Walking.”

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  33. Jolene said on March 4, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Some potentially interesting things on the tube this evening. Though Hank Stuever gave it only a mediocre review, I’m planning to check out the second season of Broadchurch beginning at 10:00 PM EST on BBC America. And, at 11:00 PM on TBS, Conan O’Brian will tell us what happened on his recent trip to Cuba. Saw a clip on Jon Stewart’s show last week, and it looked like fun.

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  34. Deborah said on March 4, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I’m currently across the river from St. Louis, we have a meeting tomorrow with the donor and the city park administrators for the playground we’re designing. I picked up the Post Dispatch in the hotel and the front page is all about the Ferguson report and former Senator John Danforth’s eulogy for the guy who was going to run for Gov (GOP) who killed himself. It was a good eulogy, I’ve heard Danforth speak before and he’s good. He has a lot to atone for though in his support for Clarence Thomas for SCOTUS.

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  35. Sue said on March 5, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Deborah, when I read about the “words kill” eulogy, my first thought was: Lee Atwater has been gone for decades, Karl Rove still makes the Sunday morning rounds, and you guys are JUST NOW figuring out, and speaking out, about devastating Republican campaign tactics?
    I’m surprised there’s been any introspection or shame at all about this. I’m surprised they didn’t just close ranks and start another whisper campaign about insanity in his family or something.

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  36. brian stouder said on March 5, 2015 at 11:59 am

    So here’s a little ditty that I learned from Harold Holzer’s (genuinely wonderful!) book about Lincoln and the press. Back when Abe was in congress (1849), Members of Congress got a travel allowance, coming from and returning to their district (in Abe’s case, from DC to Springfield); it amounted to about $8 per 100 miles.

    In late 1849, Horace Greeley got the honor of serving out a term (he spent 3 months in Congress), and – newspaper guy that he was – began combing over records and so on – and compared travel allowance payouts with the official distance (according to US postal routes) between DC and various member’s home districts….and he found (what everyone already knew) that these numbers were pretty inflated! Rep Abraham Lincoln, and his wife, for example, went to Niagra Falls, and he made eastern campaign swings into Massachusetts (amongst other places) – and he turned in all that mileage, and was remunerated to the tune of about $800 more than he should’ve been.

    Greeley’s efforts in this area were universally rejected (not to mention frowned upon, sneered at, and/or ignored)….but it got me chuckling. Newsies will always do the most damnable things…and (one way or another) the cream will still rise to the top

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  37. beb said on March 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    This is so cool:

    A terminally ill woman in Amsterdam wanted to visit their art museum one last time so their version of the Make-A-Wish foundation organized a team to push her through the museum on a gurney.

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  38. coozledad said on March 5, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Hornrimmed phenobarbitol dollop sticks foot up own ass:

    It’s high time we had a look at Colin Powell and Dick Cheney’s emails.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 5, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Cream isn’t all that rises to the top, as you quickly learn in a milking parlor.

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  40. brian stouder said on March 5, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Jeff – good point!

    Indeed, the same system that produced James Polk and Millard Filmore also gave us A. Lincoln

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  41. Dexter said on March 5, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Just a test here…had to re-install Windows…

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  42. alex said on March 5, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Scum rises to the top is what I learned at one former place of employment. Sometimes it tap dances its way there, sometimes it elbows its way there, but it gets there.

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  43. MarkH said on March 5, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    David C. – entirely logical in my view, as well. Stop the settlements, reduce rhetoric, pursue peace. But how likely is a deal with the Palestinians with Hamas and Hezbollah lurking around holding a knife to their throats? From what I’ve read, the PA is sympathetic to a deal otherwise. But how likely is anything positive to happen, realistically, no matter who wins the election.

    I should have been more specific in my question, though. Going further, what would you have Israel do in response to the massive Iranian contribution to terror throughout the middle east, specifically backing Hamas and Hezbollah at Israel’s doorstep. The Iranian government has repeatedly stated its wish for annihilation of Israel, and we know they have increasing nuclear capability due the the already acknowledged violations of current agreements. It’s not a Dick Cheney WMD guessing game, except how much, not if.

    But after watching Netanyahu’s speech, it became clear that his only offered alternative was no Iranian nuke agreement at all, instead of what John Kerry is after. Iran’s government is not trustworthy, but having SOMETHING in place allowing for inspections is better than being shut out completely, leaving them to do as they wish. Then no one will know what’s going on with the centrifuges. Iran will continue to trick the system no matter what and Netanyahu is justifiably afraid of that. If Iran does pull a massive post-agreement trick-fuck, what then?

    Just my $.02.

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  44. Jolene said on March 5, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Should have posted this earlier, but here’s a review of what sounds like an interesting new show called American Crime, premiering on ABC at 10:00pM EST tonight. Sounds like it’s worth checking out.

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  45. devtob said on March 5, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Can a $500/month police chief in a no-account tiny village really sell “reserve police officer” status to wealthy nonresidents who can then use that BS status to bring guns into crowded public places outside that village?

    That sounds more like Alabama than Michigan.

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  46. alex said on March 5, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    No, she did not say that!

    Just caught the tail end of this new Petsmart ad about naming puppies.

    I’ve heard animals called B.O. Detectors but “Smeg Finder”?

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