Phoenix Buries Another Cop:
Here’s What Cops Really Are…

 By Jim Berlin 

My Phoenix PD buried another brother yesterday, Dave Glasser, shot in the line of duty. Four thousand citizens and officers from as far as Colorado and Illinois came to salute his sacrifice.

A beautiful young wife widowed, two little kids left without a dad – killed by garbage disguised as a human. Garbage sent to hell on the spot by other officers.

When you mention cops most folks recall a ticket they got that was, of course, never deserved. Believe me: real cops in big cities have neither the time or desire to write traffic citations.

They spend their tour of duty “chasing the radio” – racing from one criminal call to the next. On weekends in the precinct Glasser served (400,000 residents) it wasn’t uncommon to have 50 priority calls waiting when they hit the street. I know…because I ran that very precinct 40 hours a week for six years as a night shift lieutenant. It was the busiest shift in the busiest precinct in Phoenix–America’s sixth largest city.

I spent the first 35 years of my life not really knowing what cops are about. After college and  the Marines I dove into the heady worlds of journalism and advertising. Both pursuits were staffed with clever, intelligent people – folks I considered the Crème de la crème. But as Elton John sang in “Border Song” – Holy Moses, I had been deceived.

When I took my place in the The Thin Blue Line I discovered cops to be the wittiest, brightest  and most clever beings I’d yet encountered. A shiny cross-section of warriors, adventure-seekers, humanitarians and Mother Teresas with daggers beneath their habits. Partners I remember…

Patti, a 120-pound woman I never worried about once the fight was on. She turned into a crazy saber-toothed cat.

Jimmy, a black dude offered major-university scholarships in football and baseball, who would have taken a bullet for me. And I for him.

Anonymous, the funniest guy I ever met…who once dramatically raised his hands during a vicious multi-family fight and demanded silence: “I need to use your bathroom!” he shouted. The combatants waited in silence until he reappeared three minutes later and proudly announced: “I just dumped the Father of all Turds in your toilet. Do you have a plunger?”

That was the end of the family fight.

Big-city street cops…God, I loved them so.  And so did Dave Glasser. I’ll see you at the next call, Brother.


Are Extraterrestrials Out There?
Yes…A Trillion Times Yes!

 By Jim Berlin

Astronomers, who announced this week the recent discovery of another 1,200 planets in our galaxy, say it’s probable every one of the 100 billion stars in our Milky Way has at least one or more planets in tow.

And 10 billion of those orbiting globes are calculated to be neither too close or too far from their Mother suns – just the right location to support life as we know it. Or life as we don’t.

Okay…let’s extrapolate: Our galactic home, the magnificent Milky Way, is but one of the known 100 billion galaxies that stretch to infinity and beyond. If each of those 100 billion galaxies has a similar number of Earth-like planets (10 billion), we need only multiply the two figures to find the number of Earth-like planets in the entire cosmos.

The answer: One trillionHow much is a trillion? It’s a number so daunting that upon hearing it geniuses like Einstein and Stephen Hawking curl into the fetal position and scream for their mommies.

It’s a helluva lot and then some more.

And yet we still have people who rub their

foreheads and agonize over the question, “Are we alone?” Are the humans of planet Earth the only life in the universe?

Please. The cosmos is boiling and teeming and rocking with life. It’s everywhere.

We may meet them tomorrow. We may not meet them for a long time. We may never meet them.

But if you think we’re all that there is…I have a flat Earth I’d like to sell you.


Millenials’ Love for Bernie:
Someday They’ll be Sorry

 By Jim Berlin

The human race is actually a slow walk, an endless column plodding through time. Each day some of the oldest marchers falter and fall by the wayside, only to be replaced by fresh young faces at the end of the line.

And each generation of those fresh faces believes itself the first humans of consequence to inhabit the Earth.

They acknowledge their parents and grandparents, of course, but the old folks’ major contribution was to bring this finest of new generations into existence: Thee generation – finally! – with all the answers.

The current crop of fresh faces are called Millenials (ages 18 to 34) and they have lined up like lemmings behind Bernie Sanders.

Bernie has promised them not only free breakfast, lunch and dinner, but free college, free health care and a complimentary weekly massage by a masseuse with magical fingers.

The old people in the human race know that Bernie is blowing unicorn smoke up those

eager young noses. But wisdom is wasted on the elderly; their voices never carry to the back of the line.

But as I said, the human race never stops plodding. To their sad surprise the Millenials will eventually see their hair grow thin and gray as the line lengthens behind and grows shorter ahead.

And one day, surely, they will recall their brief flirtation with Bernie and wonder…

What the hell were we thinking?

Our Presidential Candidates
Are a Breath of Stale Air

 By Jim Berlin

After a lifetime of inhaling the toxic fumes of U.S. politics, Donald Trump seemed an amazing breath of fresh air.

A financially-independent straight-shootin’ sonofagun, beholden to no one and nothing but the American dream. A leader who could restore our reputation after a president who is a stranger in our midst…a man who speaks more reverently of Islam than Christianity.

I wanted to believe in Trump – I still do – but he is a broken faucet emitting drip-after-drip of ignorance and asininity. If what we see is what we’d get, Donald would not simply be in over his head as president. He would be a bottom-feeder, sucking up mud and muck and spewing the concoction on the world stage.

And then there’s Ted Cruz. Suitably conservative, smart as hell and always on message.

Except…he rarely speaks as a normal human being. Almost every utterance is delivered as if he sees an angel at his side, busily chiseling his words into stone for the ages to revere.

Bringing up the Republican rear is John Kasich, a gent who never tires of telling us, and telling us, and telling us…how he turned Ohio into heaven on Earth.

On the flip side of the coin are the stirring images of Hillary and Bernie Sanders. A woman who lied to the grieving family faces of the heroes killed in Benghazi (“It was the video”)…and an old socialist who is an ideological inch from being a Communist.

A lifetime of inhaling the toxic fumes of U.S. politics, and once again I’m forced to ask: Where have all the leaders gone?

Gone to graveyards – every one.

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