Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Those Falls Cops are at it again - and how secure do you want to be?


You need a scorecard to keep up with the antics of the men who wear the uniform of the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio police department. This week the latest chapter in the seemingly endless saga was played out when one of them was sentenced to six months in jail for beating up his girlfriend. Among other things he broke her nose. The chief says he won't be a cop any more because a convicted felon can't carry a gun.
Now that's reassuring, but you mean it's the only reason his days of wearing the blue are over? How about the fact that he's a bully who uses his fists on women? Isn't that reason enough to kick him off the force? Perhaps thinking so is naive when you have a department with far more than its share of thugs and bullies. If you don't live here, my advice is to stay out of town. I can remember back to when it wasn't that way, a time when Falls cops were good, upstanding citizens and you didn't have to be more concerned about them than the armed robbers. Guess that shows how old I am.
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Sometimes I wonder if the War on Terror isn't over and the terrorists have won. If we give up our civil liberties because of them aren't they victorious? I just watched the CNN news about a car driving into the airport terminal at Glasgow. A female reporter there said how great the security is at airports in the UK. She told about walking a hundred yards or so in a terminal and being stopped by officers eight times. If you pause and just stand still for a moment security officers rush over to ask what you're doing.
Hell, it wasn't that bad even in Nazi Germany. Old Gestapo agents must be asking, "Why weren't we that efficient?" In my opinion, however, being stopped by cops eight times in a hundred yards isn't security, it's oppression.
Some people are saying that giving up a few civil liberties is OK if it means we are more secure. Is it even possible to be secure at all times? Being cautious, being prudent about where you go and what you do is one thing, seeking permanent security is another. Only a fool would walk down streets controlled by gangs waiting to pounce. Only a bigger fool would give up walking down all streets because of fear. That's no way to live.
War taught me a lesson. Being reckless will get you killed. Being overly cautious will also get you killed. There's a distinct difference those two courses of action just as there is a distinct difference between being free and being perpetually secure. You can't have it both ways.
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Jimmy Breslin wrote a great book, "The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight." This week's terrorists in the UK belong to the Gang that Couldn't Blow Things Up. What a bunch of bumbling incompetents. For that everyone should be thankful. Hopeful, too, that the boys in Baghdad, the true experts, don't expand their sphere of operations. But don't let the thought worry you or they will have already done their job without ever leaving home.

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