Friday, May 27

POLICE STATE MENTALITY OR UNION MENTALITY: YOU DECIDE

"The Happy Capitalist" links to this outrageous incident experienced by Darren, a high school math teacher in California, whose blog is "Right On The Left Coast."

Darren experienced the following while participating in a public employees' rally in Sacramento protesting the Republican governor's policy agenda on education. Darren, you need to understand, was carrying a placard announcing an opposing viewpoint from that of the majority who had gathered at the state's capitol.

Not too far away from me was a group of off-duty police officers. They were wearing t-shirts from a law enforcement officer union and no doubt were there, as so many other union people were, because they or their union disagree with the governor. No problem.

One of the group approached me and called me some fairly foul names. He discussed some sexual practices in which he thought I'd be interested in participating, and threatened me physically. His friends stood by and did nothing to rein in this comrade of theirs who was displaying the most serious lack of professionalism I've observed in quite some time. I finally smiled at the guy and thanked him for his offer, but stated I could find more attractive sexual partners than him. I then walked to a shady spot about 20 feet away. He did not follow me.
Darren, of course, is a Republican and, as you read his post further, attended West Point. He's justifiably outraged.

I have a good friend who's a cop. Having gone to West Point I understand what it's like to live in a fishbowl, where everyone scrutinizes your every move. I also understand that police work is very demanding, often bringing you into contact with some of society's not-so-savory people. I even recognize that the authority granted to law enforcement officials by the Legislature is pretty heady stuff, and that it would take Supercop not to let some of that go to your head.

That doesn't explain or excuse using foul language and/or making homophobic comments to me because I carried a sign that said "I'm a teacher and I vote Republican."
In a state suffering from a massive, debilitating debt, the public employees' unions are doing their damnest to thwart Governor Schwarzenegger's efforts at restoring fiscal solvency. It's certainly within their rights to rally, but unionized, off-duty, police officers have no right to intimidate citizens who disagree with public employees' unions' hegemony in a state projected to have a $27 billion in debt by next year!

The former Democratic governor, Gray Davis, catered to these unions and helped bankrupt the state in the process. Stories like this abound from his reckless stewardship of the once Golden State (now mired in red ink). The unions had a friend in Gray Davis and see "The Terminator" as a threat. This is a state, mind you, where unionized prison guards earn six figure incomes -- three times that of the starting pay of a school teacher.