Anybody remember Bill Clinton’s pledge to put a 100,000 new cops on the streets of America?
Maybe he did but no one knew exactly what he meant.
Even as we watch the Olympics in our easy chairs, cops and former cops and wannabe cops fan out over the Internet and the countryside communicating their talking points about what constitutes the behaviour of a “Good American”
In the latest example it seems Marshal’ette Halloway, a moderator on the Downrange TV message boards,got a midnight call from Officer Friendly at JBT.Gov who chastised her for her failings as moderator.
:But a very good friend of mine( retired undercover cop) had read the posts…… and he called me.. He scolded me for being stupid and posting something like that and ..after talking to him .. I decided to make sure everyone else “thought ” before they got ‘way out there” with their emotions. I deleted the “dab”..and wrote my post. ”
Which, in turn, prompted her to write one of the most Kafkaesque posts I have witnessed in my 10 + years on Internet Message Boards-complete with incoherent code phrases urging us all to
avoid “racially charged” posts and not to “advocate violence” as though some how we all plot and plan to create mayhem at the drop of a hat. ( I thought Democrats already cornered that market anyway.)
All this brought to mind Mark Penman,our very own modern day Kafka, who scribed this little parable about a year before his untimely death. Remember, he wrote this before 9-11 and before Patricia Konie got mugged in the Hurricane Katrina debacle, before a SWAT Team shot a 92 year old woman in her home, before another SWAT Team got medals for their violent assault on an innocent family and even before we routinely strip searched Grandma at the nation’s airports.
When he got home, he found that his side door had been bashed-in. Fearing the worst until he found a note from his wife, he then raced downstairs to check out his gun safe. It was ruined. And his prized pair of over-and-unders, the Perazzi and the Browning, were gone.
On the front of what remained of the safe’s door was a summons to appear in court. The firearms had been confiscated because he’d failed to re-register them as required under a new law passed a few months before.
So he charged over and confronted Franklin, and the screaming went on for almost an hour. Bob took it stoically, like the professional he prided himself on being. Over and over again, Bob emphasized that Steve should be thanking his lucky stars that the seizure took place under the new rules set down by the embattled Mayor, who wanted to cut down on negative headlines by reducing direct confrontations between the police and voters. Seriously, would Steve have preferred a night raid, with his wife and daughter at home? The Misdirection Detainment program was a perfect way to get at grow lamps, computer hard drives, guns, and the rest without the risk of generating unfortunate accidents. (Bob did not add, “or embarassing video,” but WebCams were becoming extremely popular home appliances, and you never knew where they could be hidden.) Finally, exhausted and shaky, his neighbor went home.
Bob had gone on his share of raids in the old days, and still had nightmares about the old hillbilly bat who thought that she should’ve been able to keep her beat Remington slide-action .22 in her kitchen cabinet because her Daddy had always done it that way back on the farm. Bob froze on the trigger when she started yanking the rifle out, but Phillips dumped half a magazine from his MP5 into her, knocking her out of her wig.
After four or five shots of bourbon at the cop bar by the precinct house, after the back-slappers finished sharing in his new celebrity and went away, Bob got the chance to ask Phillips why he’d been so cool under stress.
“Well, Linda’s coming up due with another boy, and my first kid is already seeing the orthodontist. You’re a single guy, so you probably stopped listening after hearing that Compliance Patrol gets you a fatter paycheck — but they also bump the caps on your Health bennies way up.
“I guess I can kinda feel a little sorry for the bitch, ’cause maybe she didn’t know the drill. But I can’t afford to get put back on wuss duty.
“If we’d left her standing after she pointed a gun at us, there woulda been hell to pay. Like they keep saying, the Patrol can’t work if we let perps fuck with us.” Bob nodded, and had another drink.