Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Meth heads and shotgun shells

So my property manager calls me this evening and tells me that some meth head stole the copper wiring out of one of my properties. He started at the disconnect from the power company and just ripped out the main feed all the way back to the breaker box.

He said he called the cops, but nothing would happen. Yeah, I know the feeling. Personally, I don't even bother calling the cops anymore unless I need a report for the insurance company. As far as I can figure, all that cops are good for nowdays is catching the occasional drunk driver and writing up reports for the insurance company. It's not as if they actually solve crimes or anything like that. That would be, like, work. The only time a crime ever gets solved is if the victim puts out a reward and someone calls and narcs out the perp. Otherwise, well, the donut munchers get paid the same whether the crook gets caught or not, so why do they care?

So anyhow, I'm out several hundred bucks to get my main feed put back in so that he can move my next tenant in (previous tenant is in the hospital and, alas, doesn't seem like she's going to get out except in a coffin). At least they didn't rip out the conduit or anything, that's all still there. Folks wonder why I have such a piss-poor attitude about cops. It's mostly because they haven't done shit for me except take reports. The only time a crime was ever solved was when I solved it myself -- by noting that the thief had cut his hand on the glass when he smashed in the patio door, then following the blood spots to the door of another apartment in the complex, and gosh darn it wouldn't you know that the cord of the stolen stereo was poking out from under the door? Even there I had to practically cattle-prod the donut-muncher to actually follow that blood trail. Anything else... nada.

So anyhow, Hugo Zoom wonders why folks in rural areas are getting pissed and talking about shooting the meth-heads themselves. Of course they're getting pissed. Of course they're talking about administering justice via the barrel of a gun. That's what happens when the normal machinery of civilization just doesn't work anymore. Folks fall back on an earlier model, where justice is what you render out yourself via the barrel of a gun. Problem is, the final result of that is the situation in failed states like Iraq and Somalia. Something that our Bushevik leaders ought to take heed of, because they aren't going to be any better off than Sheik Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha if things get that bad here in the USA.

-- Badtux the Uncivilized Penguin


  1. yep. i count heavily on the effectiveness of my prickley pear fence (no, it's not a spiked barrier it's authentic desert landscaping) which is backed by dogs. most of us rural folks take that attitude. so far the only person who has managed to get past all three has been an illegal who was more thirsty as hell than anything else. i let him sleep in the barn, stocked up his water, gave him some food and directions to the nearest home depot.

    on a 911 heart attack call, on a fire, or most other emergencies, our deputies response time is around 15 minutes. that's a long time to have to bleed.

    one of the things the cops are good for that you left out is that they can taze the shit outta students.

  2. Prickly pear, not ocotillo? How... unconventional!

    Unfortunately the meth heads in the rural area where my property is are driving around, looking for houses that look unoccupied, and just going in and ripping off shit. Electrical feed wires between the meter and breaker box are real popular with the meth heads right now because the price of copper has gone out the roof. (Most homes in this rural area are mobile homes, which means that there's a meter on a pole outside with a disconnect underneath it, then the feed wire goes under the home and up to the breaker box via a big piece of conduit). They'll also steal shit like toilets and sinks and such if they're in good enough condition that they think they can sell'em. Luckily I have PVC pipe and not copper pipe for my water lines and the toilet and sink aren't worth anything, copper pipe would have gotten ripped out too. It almost wasn't worth his while to rip out the feed line, honestly, but he was there so I guess he figured he had to rip out *something*.

    I try to prevent this by keeping a tenant in the house, preferably a tenant with dogs and a shotgun. The previous tenant, alas, is in the hospital and not likely to recover. Her father got her stuff out of the place last week, after it had been vacant for a while, and my property manager checked up on the place yesterday to start prepping it for the new tenant and that's when he noticed that the meth-heads had hit it and did the useless act of calling the cops, which accomplishes absolutely nothing except causing another tree to get chopped down to make paper for a report.

    Go to "YouTube" and type in "taser". You'll see cops tazing students, handcuffed guys lying on their face in the street, a guy handcuffed to a gurney, all sorts of things like that. Yep, them cops do like their tasers. A taser is, of course, just a relabeled version of that old favorite of third world torturers everywhere, the cattle prod, with shootable probes rather than fixed probes. Third world torturers love cattle prods because they call enormous pain but don't cause loss of blood or damage to internal organs, thus they can torture without worry of killing their victim. What it says about America that you have cops running around using torture devices on students, guys in gurneys, handcuffed guys, etc., and most folks not only don't mind but actually *condone* it, is something that isn't pleasant. We have become a nation of torturers, and nobody seems to care.

  3. i thought about cholla. but realized that every now and then i would have to go in there to do maintenance on the drip system. also, i loves me some prickly pear fruit. jams, jellies, syrup all from a cool ass fence. nopales when the leaves are tender. . .it's all pretty good. we have the same problems out here. the construction guys are having to have pretty beefed up patrols because the copper wire and pipes are often ripped out the evening they were installed. and property that is not occupied is pretty much deemed up for grabs.

    in my drugging days i never got much into the meth. it made my hands shake so that i couldn't play and even through my fog of polysubstance abuse i knew that if i couldn't play there would simply be no excuse for my being anywhere. since being in recovery though i've seen what somebody trying to break off that shit has to go through and my heart often goes out to them.

    i tell folks that i probably would have been a crack head except i kept getting sidetracked by the ether. . .

  4. Since I don't respond to things like meth and morphine like most folks, the appeal of those drugs eludes me. Stimulants make me nervous and paranoid and I can't think, they don't give me that full-of-energy hyper-smart top-of-the-world feeling that others report. And morphine practically has no effect on me at all, it slows my breathing down but doesn't seem to kill any pain (or rather my breathing slowed down below what the doctor was comfortable with so he quit giving me morphine before it had any effect on the pain, but more morphine would have probably killed me). So I'll just have to take your word for it on what things like meth do to "normal" people. All I know is that it must be some powerful shit, because there's a helluva lot of white trash (and other kinds of trash too) that'll do practically anything, no matter how vile, to get it.

    As for a chollo fence, yeah, that could have been a bit, uhm, *difficult*, to maintain the drip system. For those of you not familiar with the desert, cacti like prickly pear and chollo have a widespread root system so "in the wild" they do not grow up close to each other. They also don't get very big under normal desert conditions, or, rather, grow so slowly that they die of old age before they get very big. The only way to get'em big and close together is drip irrigation. Water'em once a month during the summer and once during the winter and they'll grow like weeds and close together too. Unfortunately Arizona water is so full of minerals so every six months to a year you end up having to take out the drip emitters and plop'em in undiluted vinegar to dissolve the minerals. If they're underneath chollo, that might be a bit painful :-).


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