On Sunday we were on our way to church, when I remembered that I had heard on the radio that the Illinois State Police were going to make a big push to arrest drivers who had committed the greatest crime against man and God known to the modern police, that is, they had failed to buckle up. I almost drove off the road in making a desperate attempt to appease the forces of public order while driving in six lanes of traffic. What a great laugh we would have had, as we died in a fiery crash.
“Click it or Ticket” is the current slogan. But there is also Drive Hammered, Get Nailed. Slow Down or Pay Up, Buckle Up, IT’S THE LAW. There has been a lot of discussion on websites about the ineffectiveness of these campaigns, especially when they are promoted by police officers, who are among the worst drivers in the country and who, despite privileges that come close to immunities, are at least as prone as lesser men, to driving under the influence. Anyone remember Eliot Ness? The sanctimonious alcoholic who failed to convict Al Capone? He was involved in a drunk-driving accident, though he did escape the consequences.
But it is not the futility or the hypocrisy of these campaigns that disturb me so much as it is the bullying tone. We the taxpayers who pay the salaries have to be preached at by a set of goons, many of whom could not hold a job selling shoes at the mall. Imagine the effect these slogans have on the mind of an overpaid unionized patrolman who already resents the entire middle class for failing to give him the even higher salary he thinks he is entitled to.
Yes, yes, I am only talking about bad cops, though funnily enough they make up the overwhelming majority of the cops with whom I have dealt with in the past decade. But, if we did have any residual belief that we were citizens in a free country, these ad campaigns should eliminate them. But where is the outcry from elected officials?
Oh well, as the belle used to say on Hee Haw, life’s not all bad. We got to take a scenic tour of Rockford on the way to St. Mary’s. The annual Rockford Marathon was being held, as always, on Sunday. The pagan flesh-worshippers, protected by a legion of overtime-working police officers, shut down the entire downtown as if their main intention was to discourage the locals from going to church. Then, as I was pulling into St. Mary’s parking lot, a cop whizzed by me going about 15 miles over the speed limit. What was the hurry? Hot pursuit of a felon? Actually, he was racing to pull into the parking space created when the local cops shut down a main thoroughfare in Rockford just to give themselves more parking spaces. It was, they said, a security measure designed to prevent a terrorist attack on the police station. But if the cops cannot protect themselves against terrorists, what in the world do we think they can do for us?
I’d address these questions to the mayor and the chief, whom I have met on a number of occasions, but I don’t like to draw attention to myself. The last time I became a celebrity in Rockford, the cops put a tail on me, hoping to give me a DIU as I left my favorite watering hole. Let’s all sing together: This is my country!