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Housekeeping, Odds 'n Ends, and Love in the Air

What's crackin, folks? It's Friday, and I don't care if Jimmy cracked corn, smoked crack, or whatever. I'm just thrilled it's the end of the week. Plus Mrs. B and I are slowly and methodically, but surely closing in on our next dog. We're going for the same breed as the late great Cheko the Dog, 'cause we both dig Border Collies and Australian Shepherds and Cattle Dogs. Plus we'll be able to rescue one from one of several farms here in Florida whose sole purpose is to rescue, mind, nurse back to health, and adopt out abandoned dogs of those breeds, of all ages. As soon as we have the new pup I'll post a pic or two...so you'll get a good look at teeth you'll feel if any of you ever shows up at Burnettiquette World Headquarters uninvited. Kidding!

Anyway, thanks much for everyone who came by and weighed in yesterday on the post about tough love, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama, black communities, and the media. It was one of my highest traffic days ever. Still, it was a tough topic to write about. I found myself in one of my "Mookie Moments." That's what I call those times when I'm conflicted over something I believe and how that belief, if shared publicly, is going to be received. It comes from the old Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing, in which Lee's character Mookie found himself torn during a neighborhood riot between loyalty to his boss, pizza shop owner Sal (Danny Aiello) and loyalty to the friends and neighbors who were tearing up the neighborhood over the police killing of a young man in the neighborhood. Whenever I write about a topic involving race I always have a nagging in my gut that someone who relishes racial strife is going to try to take and twist my words to support his or her position. Most of the time that doesn't happen. But I can't lie. I still worry about it sometimes. Still, we all have responsibilities. And I feel like mine sometimes include talking about uncomfortable things.

Moving right along, if you need some inspiration heading into the weekend, take a minute and read this article, but not 'cause I wrote it. It's about one of the most generous people I've ever met.

So onto travel stuff. Not next week, but the following I'll be in Chicago most of the week. If you're in the city, and I can break away from the convention I'll be attending, and you have access to the Loop, let me know and I'll try to meet you to tip a pint and share a nosh or something.

Finally, the story I'm most curious to get your opinion about going into the weekend: Love!

I'm being a "little" facetious. If you live outside South Florida, then you might not have heard that the new police chief for the City of Fort Lauderdale, Frank Adderly, was awakened the other morning to the sound of gunfire in his home. His wife, Eleanor, was standing at the foot of their bed firing in his direction. I word it that way on purpose, because she missed him by inches and later insisted to authorities that she wasn't firing "at" him but was just trying to scare him. Naturally, the chief didn't know right away that he was just supposed to be scared. So he jumped up and ran. And although it wasn't included in the police report or our articles, I'm sure he had either some begging or choice words for her as he ran. She fired at him more as he fled the house, and missed each time. The chief made it to a neighbor's house, where he called for help, and his wife was arrested.

Here's what I'm baffled by: The chief and his supporters seem to be downplaying the whole thing and characterizing it as simply a domestic issue, a spousal argument gone awry. He even quickly posted her bond and told the judge he didn't want her to be punished. I could be crazy, but I kind of see this as attempted murder. But the state attorney's office only charged her with assault with a deadly weapon and and firing into a dwelling. Some folks in the police department and courthouse in Fort Lauderdale say its favoritism. Probably is. I don't know. But I'm still hung up on the fact that the chief and friends are sorta downplaying this thing. I guarantee you if Mrs. B ever fired a gun at me, I'd assume she was trying to kill me. I like to think she'd never do that. But...I'm kidding. Seriously, if you just want to scare your spouse I recommend you sneak up on them and yell "boo!" 'Cause despite the attitude the chief's supporters are taking toward this incident, pointing a gun at your significant other and pulling the trigger is not a normal domestic dispute. What do you think?

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Jeni Hill Ertmer

A "Domestic issue," huh? The urge to sweep any family issues under the rug, especially when one person is in a public-type position I suppose would cause that type of response from the chief -kind of like a woman, abused, who doesn't press charges against the spouse or significant other. Usually a move that many folks don't ever understand the logic behind things like that either. I'm betting in this instance, she either has some really "heavy-heavy, hangs overhead" stuff on him that would really eat away at his job or she found out about another woman. Either of those scenarios, or possibly she has issues of her own that he wants to keep underwraps as well. Hard call as to why anyone would, in their right mind, NOT press charges where gunfire has been involved though, isn't it?

The Sarcasticynic

The whole "just trying to scare him" argument falls apart when she continued to fire at him after he left the bed and ran for his life.

The CEO

Rather than reiterate what has been said before, shall we look a little deeper? The Chief is the one who wants to hide something, plain and simple. This is because he's the one that has the Prosecutor's Office reducing charges. I doubt that he could get the whole thing dropped since a gun was discharged, and that, in and of itself, is pretty serious these days wherever you have population. Otherwise, explain why any other rational human being would be fighting to get the charges dropped on a person who had repeatedly fired a gun at them. Would you want to get them reduced charges so they could work on their mark(wo)manship?

Kim

You know what? This is why I love to read your stuff. You plop in this unbelievably gravitasy sort of stuff, and then you intertwine strange happenings, and you connect it all. What's great about this police chief story is that it is SO flipping bizarre (i.e. no normal person would just, oh, pass it off as a fit of pique or something)that we can all make fun of it/them. I mean,you have to, because it's just so stupidly stupid.
Which also applies to some of the other stuff out there that you so eloquently have discussed. You just have to treat it as fodder, not serious life-changing news, and get onto the next great joke-maker.

Post pics of the doggie soon.

C

I guess he figures he will be ready next time with a gun of his own and can use this incident of proof to previous need to use deadly force in self defense.

C

I think he really wants a crack at killing her so he won't have to deal with the obligatory visits while she's in jail.

Pamela

I'm going with
#1- she has something on him (what Jeni said)
#2- she's mentally ill and maybe he loves her enough to get her help rather than punishment
#3-we'll find out she was taking @mbian.

claudia

Regarding the police chief...who knows what has gone on in the house before-maybe he's done something like point the gun at her before, or abused her in some way and this was her way of getting him back? I doubt we'll ever find out, but seriously, how stupid would she be to fire from across the room? The closer you are, the better your chances are of not missing, no?

Alex

I'm just as puzzled. For what's worth, my father in law (who is a DA) says it comes down to intent and what the detective on the scene determined.

He was also laughing as he said that.

Really, anybody doubts that had it been anybody else they would have been charged with attempted murder and possibly no bail? Don't try it, kids. The state shouldn't even allow the victim to have a say on what the charges are.

The real test will be the result. If she does not time, then you know something is up.

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