America’s Shame

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Count them people, count them! In the period of eleven days eight, eight line of duty deaths that did not have to happen. Eight lives taken in the blink of an eye, countless families now experiencing the nightmare that all law enforcement families’ dread, that phone call or knock on the door bearing the news their loved one has been killed in the line of duty.

Where is the outrage, where!! Good men and women are being slaughtered at an unprecedented rate, yet I neither see nor hear no public outcry. I guarantee that if eight doctors, lawyers, judges, politicians, etc.; had been killed in eleven days there would be pure outrage. Well, here is my personal venting of what I think:

Oh, I forget! They are cops, and dying is part of the job! Now over the years I have heard some of you say just that. “Hey, that is part of the job, the job you chose to do.” Now let me tell you what my reply is and always has been to that asinine statement. Bull! My job is to stay alive so that I can help those in need. Sure, I knew the risks involved, but also understood the rewards of the job, which certainly does not involve money. Dying is never, nor has it ever been part of the job, and it never will be. The majority of us who have been on, or are still on “the job” understand this after some years of seasoning. Those who do not, well, they need to find a new profession. Those of you who have never served in the military, or worked in law enforcement haven’t a clue what the job, or we are all about. Your perceptions of law enforcement and its people come mainly from Hollywood and television shows like CSI, NCIS, etc. Not many of you actually know a cop, or his family. You might be their neighbor, yet do not know them up close and personal. You stand off from us, judging us by standards that you cannot live up to. When you need us, we are the good guys. Hell, even the very thugs we do not hesitate to dial 911 when things go south on them. But until something happens that requires our presence you ignore us individually and professionally.

When we step in to take control of the situation, and sometimes that means using an authoritative manner called establishing command presence. You lie to and mislead us, disrespect us, and yes, sometimes you are just downright nasty and belligerent, hurling insults and making threats when things do not go your way. Usually our command presence is established simply by our presence and the symbols of our office (uniform and badge). At another time, it may become necessary to issue verbal instructions or commands to gain some control of the situation. Our first and foremost objective is the well-being and safety of all parties concerned, as well as securing the scene if a crime has been committed. Including the safety of us and all officers at the scene, this in my career took priority over anything else, PERIOD! Sorry folks, but we are not there to socialize with you, be your friends, or to agree with you because “you” called us. We were dispatched to handle an unknown situation with unknown people who called for assistance and/or intervention requiring law enforcement presence. We have no idea of who you are, what you are capable of so, therefore, our trust level is at an all time low. The ball is now in my court, and I am going to handle the situation MY WAY! At the end of the day you may not like how I handled everything, but we will all go home safely my way.
My physical well-being, my life is on the line, not yours, and it all depends on my decisions made at times in split seconds. My life is mine, and mine only to give, and is not something that I took lightly during all those years on the streets. My life was not part of the job for you; that belonged to me and my peers, who I would have gladly laid it down for because they are my FAMILY! My life is not a blank check for you to use any time you desire. It is not part of the job people; it is solely mine to give to those who deserve such an act and in my opinion there are not too many civilians out there who so deserve. Eight good people died! Eight good people who this time next week you won’t even remember their faces unless you are peers, family or close friends. Why? Because there is no outrage over cops dying, it is just something they do for you. I certainly have heard a peep out of Obama’s White House. No expression of concern for the fallen or their families. Not a word from the Attorney General! Why is this? Is it because there is no political value or gain there for those people? Not like Ferguson, Mo, Zimmerman, or Trayvon Martin eh?

Shame on you, shame on America! Neither one of you deserves the protection you receive!

JohnT

(Psalm 23:1-6; Ezekiel 34:11-24)

1Truly, truly, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. 4And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6This parable spoke Jesus to them: but they understood not what things they were which he spoke to them.
7Then said Jesus to them again, Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees: and the wolf catches them, and scatters the sheep. 13The hireling flees, because he is an hireling, and cares not for the sheep.14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Plan B

Daily living in Nicaragua is an adventure unto itself. I guess this depends on where you are originally from. Being from America where we tend to take everything for granted, I have had to make many adjustments in not only how I think, but how I live. I am lucky enough to have lived and traveled to several different countries during my military days, so the adjustments I have had to make came with minimal pain. In the most progressive countries of North America and Europe, the people are used to stable utilities such as power, water, communications and cable TV. Here in Nicaragua, as well as most of the other Central and South American countries stability means being lucky enough to have those things on a part-time basis at best. Also, if in America or Europe and I happen to need something, let’s say some spices or herbs for cooking, I can just run out to the nearest grocery store or specialty shop, buy what I need, and that is that. Again here in Nicaragua those simple things can become a frustrating chore to say the least. Very few items are made or manufactured here in Nicaragua, and items that we normally have are imported here, which most Nicaraguans cannot afford with the exception of the cheap junk brought in from China, India, Pakistan, and other places.
Bottom line is that as an expat if you are going to live here, or any other third world country, you have to prepare for just about anything, you must have a PLAN B for just about any and everything. Welcome to Nicaragua!!! A perfect example is today, a Sunday here in Rivas. I like to live simply and that I do, but sometimes even simple becomes complicated. I have morning routine, one that I not only enjoy, but it is a must for me and anyone around me. I have to have, and I mean that literally, my morning coffee and shower. If not, then that cranky old man within me comes to the forefront, and life becomes miserable not only for me, but everyone or anyone around. Now I have been here long enough, about 2.5 years, and although somewhat slow on the uptake at times, I have come to understand how things go around here. On Sundays, you can rest assured that when you get out of bed there will (a) Be no power (b) Either no water or very low water pressure (c) It will last all day and sometimes well into the night. So Plan B is important!! My Plan B is damn simple; I keep a few gallons of bottled water available at all times, I take a shower before bed on Saturday. Here everyone uses propane stove, so cooking is no problem. I have a way to make my coffee, the old-fashioned campfire way. About seven cups of water in a tea kettle, seven scoops of ground coffee thrown in, boil, strain it and now I have my perfect coffee. The teas kettle is used because I have never found an old-fashioned percolator coffee pot, but the kettle is perfect so no sweat there.
Now I am prepared for the rest of the morning, and with a bit of luck the utilities will only be out for half a day. However, today we are at the 10-hour mark and still no sign that it will be available anytime soon. Luckily, I have a full battery charge on my laptop and can pound out my thoughts today. About the only disappointment for me today is that I am missing some pretty good NFL games now, but at least got to see my team, GO IRISH, take Michigan apart last night in what could be their last meeting for a very long time. Being a tar heel, born and raised one, of course, am an ACC fan. I find it exciting that Notre Dame is now a part of that fine conference and look forward to watching them against my boys the North Carolina tar heels.
John TS Words of Wisdom: Always have a PLAN B!!