- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
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- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
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- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
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Not much stupider than a 15 year old boy. And yet...
There are really not many species dumber than the animal adolescence testosteroneus. The animal, otherwise known as a high school boy, is reputed to have to short term memory of a goldfish, the bravado of a peacock, and a level of testosterone equivalent to a rhino. I pity the parents of the world that have to raise these creatures. (Or, like my poor parents, three of them.)
I go through all of that because of the latest stories on the most recent "flash mob":
The scene was laid-back yesterday afternoon in the 900 block of South Street - no trace of the teenage flash mob the night before - as Michael Solomonov reflected on the teeming crowds that had coursed through the block like a bad case of raging hormones.
"You don't think about this sort of stuff when you're making a business plan," he said.
He was eating lunch at Percy Street Barbecue, which he co-owns in addition to other restaurants and, where, for a few minutes late Saturday night, startled customers were left teary from pepper spray that police used to disperse thousands of teens who had swarmed South Street east of Broad, summoned by text messages and Twitter.
By 10 p.m., crowd control had become a cat-and-mouse game, the overflow on South Street shooed away only to resurface near the Clothespin sculpture at 15th and Market, where one witness reported a peak of 32 police cars and helicopters with searchlights.
I understand that whether it is Mt Airy hippies walking down Germantown Avenue protesting the Iraq War, or what happened on South Street over the weekend, police should be around when there are large crowds. Especially when those crowds involve mostly teenage boys. (And one person did get beat up, which is totally unacceptable.)
But, the article points out this, too:
No property damage or major injuries were reported, and police said they made only three arrests - two for disorderly conduct and one for aggravated assault.
In other words, the vast majority of these kids were not participating in some crime. They were walking down South Street.
I don't want to minimize that this was a problem, especially for business owners on South Street. And, it seems like it was out of control. But, this was mostly a group of high school boys- generally a pretty dumb sort- absolutely breaking no laws, and simply gathering in a crowd. The issue then, is one of serious crowd control. Not the need for some terror-driven, punitive response.