Posted On: Friday - May 25th 2018 7:32AM MST
In Topics:   US Police State  Curmudgeonry  Liberty/Libertarianism
(This is the 4th part in a series starting with this First Responders post.)
These are soldiers of an internal standing army, not cops, no matter what their badges might say. Peak Stupidity's US Police State topic key will lead the reader to > 32 posts about this slide into police state stupidity. (Yeah, it's stupidity, because 240-odd years back even, our founders understood that this is a bad thing and started a war about it - apparently, people collectively don't learn squat!)
The word "cops" for police officers is just slang and not any kind of slur at all. There are plenty of slurs if you need them. However, they are part of the main "First Responders" triad, though a reader has clued me in on another use of the term (yep, post to come). As a matter of fact, the cops ARE usually the FIRST to respond, no matter what the problem is, as there are more cops, and more cop cars, than all the rest of the 2nd or last responders. It can be a guy who fainted on the sidewalk, or a car on fire, yet the cop will come first to write up whatever kind of ticket comes closest to what the hell is happening (OK, that's a bit unfair - there are plenty of decent ones ... read on...)
Besides on the road, during which I have had too many to recollect, this writer has not had too many bad incidents with the cops. As for the big picture, there's not enough room in this post to summarize the change in American law enforcement people into an arm of the Feral Police State anyway (again, click on US Police State) The causes, however, can be summarized as big Feral Gov't involvement and enticements with free SWAT equipment and the like, the War on Ingestible Substances, and the public's laziness and stupidity in not standing up for their rights over the years.
More than 25 years back, in the big city, I got "pulled over" in current parlance, while walking to the mailbox (one of the rapidly disappearing big blue boxes on street corners) late at night. Keep in mind, though in the city, this was a neighborhood with houses and max. two-story apartments, so there wasn't anybody much around. This cop was walking, at least for a stretch, as he didn't pull up in the car. Already, that was a more decent situation than having the bright lights flashing in my eyes. When the guy asked, I told him, "No, I don't have an ID", as I tried to stand up for liberty even in my younger days. Actually, I didn't used to carry anything but my keys and some cash back then, so very likely I didn't have a driver's license on "my person".
I talked in a friendly manner to the guy because he did not come off like the guys in the pic above, as a threat to me, that is. I had been causing no trouble to anybody, but the guy just told me he thought I might be up no good, in particular burglary. Why? Because I was grimy with dirty, greasy clothes and dirty hands from working on the car.* "Where are you going?" "To mail this letter." I had it in my hands, as the letter would get even greasier if I tried to stuff it in a pocket. "Oh, OK, so you live around here?" "Yeah", and I showed him the return address. It made sense, so "Sorry, see you later." "Yeah, no problem." The guy was doing his job, but what made this a decent encounter with a cop was that he started off treating me like a human being, not a "PERP!", and I treated him like a human being.
The second story is from the same city, and did involve vehicles. (For a number of years, I couldn't go a year without one or two warnings, tickets and appearances in traffic court or school, one or the other!) My refusal to get my new state's license plate was due to the advantage I had in the realm of parking tickets. I ripped them up, left the pieces on the street, and never paid them. I had been warned a time or two already that I really needed to get the car registered there, so by this time did have the new state plate ... it just wasn't on the car yet .. it was on the floorboards ... been a month or two.
When this cop stopped me, he asked me about the old plate. "Oh, I GOT the new one. I just haven't put it on yet. Here." "OK, let's put it now, then." "Yeah, well I don't have a screwdriver." I did show him the trunk and that I didn't have tools (I can't believe I operated like that - tools should be there.) That was no lie, at least. "You got a screwdriver?" "Nah, well, there's a hardware store, right there. Let's get one." Haha, I liked this guy already. The store was only 100-200 yards from we he'd pulled me over. We walked over there and I had to break it to him: "They're closed." "You change the plate out when you get home, OK?" "OK" I did, because I wouldn't feel right having lied to a decent guy like that!
Alright, the Peak Stupidity blog has written about the old days, decent regular-guy cops and Andy Taylor (also here) before. Yeah, I know, that was Hollywood, not Mt. Airy or Mayberry, North Carolina. Still, I've been around to see this branch of the "First Responders!" morph from mostly regular guys you could talk to (this guy was in the big city even) to the "Sir, can I help you!!" "Put down the (whatever's in your hand) Sir!!" police state goons of today's standing army.
The way things are in America today, for most cases of trouble, you'd better think a lot before calling these guys. Make them your LAST Responders.
* Just friendly advice, but you've gotta do it this way. DO NOT do a dirty job in clean clothes while trying to keep clean! It just makes the job slower, and more worrisome, as you can't touch anything the wrong way, and you end up messing up your clothes for good anyway. It's worth the 5 minutes you're trying to save on each end.