Police Use Scare Tactics To Get Their Way
California, as many of you know, is in the depths of a budget crisis the likes of which is almost unimaginable. In case you haven't heard, the state is giving out IOUs in lieu of cash. (It's a great idea! I'll be paying my bills that way.)
Almost everything is on the chopping block. The poor, as is usually the case, are targeted, as are libraries, city services, police, fire and state parks. Furloughs have been extended to yet another Friday, and astute citizens are beginning to choke on fear as it were an oversized penis being slowly shoved down the throat of the populace.
The police are not taking this sitting down.
Instead, police are doing the usual. They claim they won't be able to "serve and protect" (which we already know is a joke), and 9-1-1 calls won't be answered in a timely manner (and in some places already aren't). Talk has been made of issuing more concealed weapons permits. They are painting images of the poor accosting citizens in the streets and drug dealers breaking into your home to fondle you and make off with your flat screen television.
It's the same images they only use, only know they paint them with the budget crisis brush.
Why should the public fall for this other than the whole public be sheep angle? The answer is: They shouldn't. When the police have had larger budgets most still haven't been able to do anything with crime. The reason is fairly simple in that police aren't the reason crime drops. Yes, they can change their tactics (not increase their budget) in order to target crime better (something which has worked), but police presence just drives crime somewhere else. Crime drops for various different reasons, and police have so very little to do with it.
Citizens need to protect themselves. End of story there. The police, who as a group seem to enjoy fanning the flames of fear, need to take their cuts like the poor they most fear. Mayors, who are no strangers to the fear mongering, need to do the same.
Or do they?
Are these cuts to the budget necessary? California has other avenues of revenue. Avenues that are starting to be looked at, and while they may not help with this budget crisis (treated like a game of Risk by our elected officials who should be strung up by their intestines at this point and beat like pinatas). Decriminalizing drugs and prostitution and paying serious attention to green energies could be the key out of this. God knows that if you tax pot and poon you'll get a decent chunk of money (and can help keep those ladies disease free making less likely that dad brings home HIV to the wife). Drug users won't stop using pot because it's taxed. And green energies are the future.
Of course, police will balk at this. They will use the same tired arguments meant to boost their budgets, ranks and egos. Most of the public will buy it, shivering with fear behind closed doors as reruns of Two and a Half Men tickle their child-like funny bones.
At some point in this budget crisis, my job may be on the line. Because elected officials (those same ones who deserve the lynching) can't stop pissing in the sandbox, my daughter and I and a lot of my friends may suffer. The people whom we call our clients will suffer. And heads haven't rolled yet.
Maybe we should start using the police's tactics. Start telling the politicians that if they don't pass a reasonable budget, we'll be sneaking into their houses and making way with their computers, credit cards and attractive females. We'll be shooting up in their bathrooms, leaving dirty needles and heroin vomit in their tubs. The wolves will come home to feast.