After Not My President Joe Biden took over the Oval Office after beating former Not My President Donald Trump, we were supposed to enter a period of national unity and tranquility. All we had to do was blindly get in line behind the not my president, hold hands and sing songs as he taxed us clean.
We’re 100 days into the Not My Presidency and we are probably just as divided, and Not My President Biden is doing his part by throwing fuel on the fire.
(By way of explanation for some of the above. Some of that was satire. Some people get it the way it was intended. Some don’t. Those who take it literally want me fired because they want to hear only the speech that they find agreeable. I realized when I was about 10 that my mother didn’t appreciate my satire. But a letter to the editor is a lot less painful than her reaction was back then. Either way, I’m powerless to stop myself.)
Not My President Biden waxed long on stopping global warming by creating jobs especially those for his beloved union workers. I caught a snippet of his speech on the radio and think I heard him mention jobs for IBEW, or International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a union that dates to 1891, 12 years after Edison perfected the light bulb.
I’m wondering this: The progressives among us are generally upset about gender specific terms such as chairman, calling students boys or girls and on and on. So how does the IBEW get away with calling itself a “brother” hood when it probably has some sisters among its dues paying members? You can be assured of this; some of those dues were spent backing Not My President Biden’s campaign and to supply union officials with cigars.
Not My President Biden didn’t address some shortages, some current and some looming. First he didn’t address the fact the federal government is paying the able-bodied to stay off the job, or more recently, leave their jobs. Restaurants have had to shorten hours or convert to take-out only while hotels can’t find people to work front desks or clean rooms. Contractors can’t find people to frame, plumb and paint houses.
And it goes on up the supply chain. The price of building materials from paint to plywood have gone through the roof, if you can find them. And there are still gaps in grocery shelves.
The most alarming shortage is in law enforcement as more and more police resign or retire and few are applying to replace them. Who wants a job where split second life-or-death decisions are analyzed in super slow motion by lawyers and people cashing in on the outrage industry? Not only that, the truth gets ignored in some cases.
Now I’ve had a few unpleasant encounters with police. Years ago, a state trooper threatened to arrest me as I was trying to take pictures at a bad accident just east of Nahunta. Never mind that hundreds had driven by and shot pictures and video with their cellphones that they already had posted on Facebook while the trooper was still arguing with me.
A Glynn County police officer was poised to throw down his jail card on Spur 25 at another accident. He said I was in “his” crime scene although I was standing about 300 feet away while the general public milled around as they wanted.
Decades ago, the state DOT raised the lift span of the old Sidney Lanier Bridge to stop a guy in a chase that had started near Savannah. I got the full treatment there with threats of arrest from every jurisdiction. The Georgia State Patrol apologized by phone as did the late Carl Alexander, the county police chief at the time, who also put out a memo to his officers. I never heard from the city, but that’s OK.
I admit I have acted foolishly at times early in my career. I once got photos of firefighters bursting into a church to put out a fire. Those were good shots because I was already inside the church, but I had to pass the fire truck on the way to fire. I shoulda been arrested but wasn’t.
I admit arguing with police at times, but I can count those on one hand. Well maybe not, but I’ve been doing this since 1972, and I never argue when I’m wrong, as I often am.
Many who get pulled over complain of profiling. I’m sure that happens, but that’s not always the case. I’ve been stopped before with a burned out taillight and headlight, a tag decal expired by two days — the new one was in my glove box — pulling unsafely into heavy traffic on Frederica Road — the second car in the 20-foot gap I madly accelerated into was a Glynn County patrol car — and wandering slightly over a center line. Most often, however, police have stopped me in wanton and willful acts of velocity profiling.
Admittedly, there are some brutal people on police forces who should not have the authority of the badge. They need to go.
What we have from the federal government are promises of Justice Department oversight, and a number of consent orders have occurred to reform urban police departments. If you follow investigations, you must realize the Justice Department is among the most politicized agencies in federal government.
We need that thin blue line to protect us from mean people who will kill you for your car, the sometimes meager contents of your wallet or because you accidentally cut them off in traffic.
When dealing with police, my practice has always been my interpretation of Matthew 5:5. “Blessed are the meek,’’ Jesus said, “for they will inherit the earth.” I’ve learned the meek sometimes get warnings instead of citations.
I heard a guy on NPR Sunday morning say the federal oversight and consent orders are fine, but what’s really needed is constant pressure on police. He did not call for constant pressure on those who can’t follow the law, which is what we really need.
The thin blue line is getting thinner. Soon, it will be perforated. Do you best to stay out of the gaps.