Oct 21, 2009

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience”--Albert Camus If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. How many times have we heard that repeated or even said it ourselves? What if we add a bit to it? If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear, comrade? Or, Dear Leader loves and protects us. If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. Maybe God loves and protects his children. If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. More odious, yes? The fact is that strict obedience should not be the determining factor in personal liberty, be it at the hands of the State, the Party, the Leader or the Lord God Almighty. Okay that last one is a stretch for a bunch of reasons, but you get my drift. In America our defining ideal is liberty and the personal freedom to live a life unencumbered by the fear of our establishments. What has my boxers in a bunch today is the latest misstep by the Hooterville police department. Hooterville, like most municipalities claims not to have enough police officers. Their evidence lies in the fact that they choose not to respond to certain crimes. If the average Hootervillians returns home to find his house ransacked by burglars, he or she will likely not get a police visit. Best case is that they wait hours for a response. If your car is broken into, you may file a report by phone or the internet, but don't expect a police response unless you have the criminal trapped in the vehicle. On the other hand, if you drive 11 mph over the speed limit, you will often find an officer available to ticket you. It's a matter of prioritizing precious resources, we're told. Bluntly put, writing tickets pays, responding to citizens costs. This week, the Hootervile cops found time to lend a hand to the fine folks at the State of Arizona liquor licensing board. Times are tough at the State of Arizona liquor licensing board. Budget cuts have made it difficult for them to complete their sole mission, making certain that people selling booze have the proper state permits and pay the appropriate fees. So, the liquor people stumbled on to a surefire solution. They gave a list of expired licenses to the cops and asked them to pop in on the "expirees" and "see" if they are still serving booze. Just a look see mind you, since the police have no authority in this matter. They could have used the garbage man or the meter reader, but they chose the police. And the police were happy to help out. After all, it is all about public safety, you know. Besides, people have the nasty habit of ignoring the meter reader when it comes to matters of government enforcement. One fellow who has been in business for decades, sent his license renewal in at the last moment. His renewal and his notice of delinquency passed in the mail. But, since he was on the list, he got a visit. The skeptical among us might wonder what danger to public safety he presented, since he was doing the same thing he had always done, but then again, we are not trained law enforcers. The reaction among some is predictably sheep like. If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. Call me old fashioned, but that ought not be our standard. Policing the public welfare is good and necessary function of government. Using the police to harass citizens is not. Just my opinion. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

5 comments:

Steve said...

Bravo, Merle. Couldn't agree more.

It's a dangerous situation when the police stand to profit from enforcing some laws over others.

Barbara said...

The profit motive seems to have totally infiltrated our way of life. I think there are police officers who get off on seeing people squirm. It makes them feel powerful. I'm sure there were some squirming bar owners the night of the inquisition.

Kurt said...

Hopefully, some of the cops found it distasteful too.

Bella Rum said...

Merle, with your fine writing skills, I would suggest writing a letter to your local newspaper to vent, but then you might suddenly find yourself being stopped for moving violations.

Reya Mellicker said...

I wish everyone would listen to you.