Sunday, January 04, 2015

Back To Normal Hours In An Abnormal World

     With something very like a feeling of relief, I work up at six this morning and actually woke up.  I've been stumbling around in the morning, feeding the cats and heading back to bed.  Today, I was awake.

     ...Just in time for some interesting weather, gusts of wind that shook the house!   The forecast said it would be gusty, along with sharply falling temperatures, and so far, they have been right.

     I have been resolutely avoiding politics.  There's no good news there.  Sure, one side is much worse on issues that immediately impact me -- but over the longer view, the other's about as bad.  These days, neither one is especially willing to leave people be and that's a pity.

     There's been a big push on to show support for the police but I find myself leery.  Most LEO's are decent folks, who face both dire risk and appalling boredom, along with working hours at least as lousy as those of my own trade -- but their baddest apples are very rotten, and many don't get tossed out until they have done great harm.  Faced with a choice between rioters and police, I'm most likely to side with the police but I'm nagged by the feeling that if civic officials had done their jobs just a little better -- and that includes running the police department -- we might not be having riots.  An old saw has it that the rot runs from the head down: hand the Long Arm Of The Law an untenable situation and you're going to get unpleasant answers -- and unpleasant people providing them.  I'm left with great sympathy for good cops and little inclination to screw in a blue porch light: changing light bulbs is not gonna help.  Might as well be rearranging deck chairs while the band plays Nearer My God To Thee.  --And you know where it all starts?  Most of those "civic officials" are elected.  You can blame a lousy pool of nominees or a damfool electorate (probably both), but it's a marginally-circular process, made all the worse by those who didn't bother to show up at the voting but are only too happy happy to get in on the looting and/or head-bashing end.


Anonymous said...

People love to say that "most LEOs are good people."

In Chicago, when I was growing up, you could buy your way out of just about any traffic ticket that didn't involve damage to the vehicle.

Shaking down tow-truck drivers was so commonplace, that they were shocked it was against the law, when the feds finally stepped in.

Calling 911 after a gay-bashing was almost guaranteed to make things worse - no matter what jurisdiction you were in. I have seen them arrest the guy bleeding on the sidewalk... I have seen the lights shut off, and them drive by when they realized the call was from a gay club.

Most of them may be decent folks, but the minority that isn't so decent is pretty large. And the prejudices are there. Add in the War on (Some) Drugs, and it is a mess.

And if you set the way-back machine for the 1960s, well gays and blacks probably would have even more stories about how it isn't a few bad guys having bad days.

Tam said...

"People love to say that "most LEOs are good people."

In Chicago..."

I hope I don't need to draw a more detailed picture.

You name the subset of society... slice it off by whatever occupational, skin color, gender, education bracket, whatever, that you want ...and I will tell you about the large subset of Those People that I've met that are Pure-T farging iceholes.

Why would police officers be any different from gays, teachers, Hispanics, left-handers, or Justin Beiber fans?

Roberta X said...

Police -- like most of us -- tend to be as honest/fair/good as the society around them. There have been times and places in this country where police not only turned a blind eye or took bribes, but were pleased to hand out a few lumps (or more than a few) whenever the individual officer thought that might be the thing to do.

Now ain't then. Police work probably attracts just as many bullies as it ever did but the times have changed and keep right on so doing.

Yes, it's a mess. It always was. It always will be -- just like everything else. Life is a series of poorly-understood negotiations between individuals who are only barely aware of the entire transaction.