The Boulder County Sheriff ’s Office and the Longmont Police Department have a new toy.
Thanks to a $273,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security, some of our local cops get to feel even more macho rolling around in something called the “Bearcat.” This bad boy is an armored, bulletproof “rescue” vehicle that will purportedly only be used to transport citizens and officers safely in dangerous situations. It can withstand blasts, bullets, bricks and bottles, they say.
Oh, and apparently, the Boulder Police Department already has one.
Since it doesn’t have any guns mounted on it, it won’t be used to mow down protesters who stray from their assigned free speech zones or to take out undesirable homeless people who accidentally wander into yuppie territories. Nor can it be used effectively to oust Occupy members from their tents.
Maybe CU could afford to buy one, if it were to end its heavy-handed military crackdown on 4/20, which this year cost them about as much as a Bearcat.
Then, after a few years of using that money to buy Bearcats, fearful administrators could use this fleet to be transported safely across the smoke-filled campus each April without being harmed by those wild-eyed, vicious pot smokers.
THE “I WISH I HAD A FARM” BILL
At what point can we quit calling this thing a “farm bill”? It’s 1,000 pages thick and authorizes the expenditure of something like $80 billion. But guess what? Only $16 billion of the $80 billion goes towards anything having to do with farms. That’s because this economy is still doing pretty poorly for most folks these days. Once you get outside of Boulder, one out of every seven Americans is now on food stamps — one out of seven. That’s where most of the money in the farm bill is actually going.
I guess it would look bad to our friends and enemies around the world if we were over here debating the passage of the $64 billion “hungry families bill” or “our citizens can’t afford to eat bill.” But it does seem a bit disingenuous to hide billions of dollars in food aid to prevent millions of families from going hungry inside a farm bill that pays farmers not to grow crops on a good portion of our farmland. This has to be a government operation.
YOU DOWN WITH WNV?
That buzzing in your ear means de Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt.
Yes, it’s that time of year again. This week state health officials confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes in three Colorado counties, including two of our neighboring ones, Weld and Larimer.
No human cases yet, and most who contract this mosquito-borne illness won’t show any symptoms, but one in five will experience fever, headache, tiredness and body aches. Only about 1 percent experience symptoms like coma, convulsions and paralysis, so we’ve got that going for us.
The thing is, keeping clear of Nile-infested mosquitoes is actually pretty easy if you follow a handy dandy guide that state health officials refer to as the “five Ds:” Drain all standing water in your yard, Dress in long sleeves and pants at Dusk and Dawn (or even better, stay inside on the couch during those times), and use DEET, even though it may be even more hazardous to your health than the bugs.