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Mark Clark

Mark Clark

Mark Clark is the public information officer for a law enforcement agency in the southwest. He is also a photographer and contributor to POLICE Magazine.
Patrol

Just What the Hell Are We Protecting?

It is increasingly apparent that amorphous promises of "hope and change" can have serious implications for each.

April 14, 2014  |  by - Also by this author

Sometimes it'd happen while I was inventorying some inner arm scars and looking for fresh puncture wounds under a hype light.  Or maybe in the middle of exhorting some DUI detainee to "BLOW, BLOW, BLOW!" into a breathalyzer. Such were the moments when I'd find myself entertaining the same kind of thought I'd have while chasing some burglary suspect down a dark alley in a closed business district: Just what the hell am I doing?
 
Often borne of officer safety concerns, the question was at least as frequently provoked by a niggling need to clarify my role and its import in the grand scheme of things.
 
Lately, I find myself posing the question at a macroscopic scale: Just what the hell are we doing? And on this front, both prompts apply.
 
Ubiquitous concerns such as attenuating financial support, vacillating agendas, and impossible missions have plagued our profession for decades. Probably always will. More worrisome are recent *changes*, things being done within the system in apparent *hopes* to subvert it.
 
Discussing the problem lends itself to more than just plays on political slogans, including all manner of apt metaphors and analogies...the three legged stool (i.e., judicial, executive, and legislative) that collapses under a weakened leg...the divided house that won't stand. The latter works for my purposes as its four walls allow wiggle room for the kind of things that just might flatten the stool. And no elephant in the room is more conspicuous than the Department of Justice.
 
When the man at its top, Eric Holder, is held in criminal contempt by Congress - an eventuality that, given their bar, is no small feat--you know something's wrong. Oh, the DOJ is pretty good about initiating actions against beleaguered Joe Arpaio or sacrificing one of its own (http://www.examiner.com/article/border-agent-indicted-for-violating-illegal-alien-s-rights), and can always be counted on to elevated some lessor concern (suspected suppressive voter practices) while exhibiting a curious blindness to actual problems (outright voter intimidation). And like some third strike offender, the Department has never seen an opportunity for a gun-grab it hasn't liked. Looking somewhere between Salt Lake and Sacramento one finds land grabs on the menu, too.
 
Could it be that the DOJ has done an an admirable job in screening out the Oath Keepers?
 
Whatever the degree to which its many employees are complicit in the worrisome precedents coming down the pike, the growing ascendence of politics over anything resembling justice in this country is inarguable. It is part of an escalating series of encroachments taking place on multiple fronts and from which not even our news media is immune as evinced by recent revelations of the Obama administration's desire to insinuate monitors into our country's press rooms (considering how instrumental they were in both of our Commander-in-Chief's elections and in running interference on his behalf since, I can't help but wonder if the Chris Matthews of the world regard their creation with the kind of reflective apprehension that Frankenstein did his). 
 
Smart money would lay the odds against most law enforcement officers having voted the Democratic ticket in 2008; certainly fewer did this last go-round (cops tend to learn from their mistakes). But given their role in protecting the electorate's choices and their appointees as well as enforcing the laws and agendas that ensue, I do wonder to what extent the federal employees among our ranks ask themselves whether these people are worth protecting and their laws worth enforcing? Just where are the conscientious objectors within the federal fold? Are its ranks really filled with men who are content to be given their marching orders and sent out to wreck havoc? And do they really think that all this won't some day come back to bite them in the ass?

Such men and women would be wise to remember that popular parable of a failure to act, the one that goes along the lines of "first they took Joe and nobody said anything; then they took Bob and the same thing occurred; then they took me."
 
In the meantime, those of us who exhibit a child-like proclivity for calling out the emperor's wardrobe run the risk of being suspected of having Asperger's or Tourette's; at the very least, having our sanity and tax returns called into question. My only hope is that I can stand up to such scrutiny, or at least have the IRS hit list bearing my name assigned to the same brand of federal employee that was given a head's up by the Russians re: the Boston bombers and then dropped the ball.  
Not that there aren't those who refuse to sell-out. Aside from the aforementioned Oath Keepers, you still have a cadre of sheriff's and police chiefs willing to proclaim their fidelity the sanctity of the North American gunowner's rights and make clear their refusal to enforce actions that violate our otherwise inalienable freedoms. 
Such proclamations would be redundant in any other era as a fundamental aspect of law enforcement has always been to help preserve the rights and freedoms guaranteed by our constitution. But at a time where so many of our rights are being challenged--indeed, violated--such courage needs to be heard. And listened to. After all, isn't it wise to ask just what the hell are are we trying to protect? Have we traded the wrongs of the past for a new breed of cancer, one that's determined to maintain the homeostasis of an increasingly corrupt government at all costs? 
The other night I dreamed that I lived in a country where everyone was afraid to offend anyone. A country where their every action and inaction was being recorded 24/7. A country very much like the one we live in today. 
 
A throng of people milled about and stared at one another evaluatively, with some being auctioned off to others as "proven excellent benefactors." I found myself addressing some of member of the prevailing authorities.
"And all these people that are currently being sold they walk about their daily lives," I asked. "What are they?"
 
The man in the pristine uniform smiled.
 
"They're survivors"
 
"Of what?"
 
The man gave me his best Bolshevik chortle.
 
"Why, their government, of course!"
 
Upon awaking, I told myself that it was only a dream, and not a premonition.
 
But in an era of hope and change, one never knows.

Tags: Oath Keepers


Comments (24)

Displaying 1 - 24 of 24

Laurin Dykstra @ 4/14/2014 2:07 PM

What if 250M were having the same dream?

Troop @ 4/15/2014 1:54 AM

Disgraceful conduct by the BLM in Nevada.

Greg @ 4/15/2014 4:33 AM

BLM isn't done yet, there is still a "no-fly" zone over the area. Harry Reid (who's son and himself are up to their armpits in this disaster) wanted it silenced...although I sure haven't seen much info on any of the networks strangely.

Officers are losing the citizens support. More and more SWAT teams are wearing military uniforms vs. the black ninja crap. Police are being militarized and most laws federalized...we're seen as an occupying force not the old fashioned, "Peace Officers". This will not end well.

Rick @ 4/15/2014 3:09 PM

If the BLM had just declared the cattle as 'illegals', they would have been able to leave them there, provide them food and give them vet care at taxpayer expense; that's what is happening with illegals sneaking into the country now.

Grant @ 4/15/2014 3:52 PM

@Rick - And don't forget Common Core cow training and protection for anchor-baby calves.

AJ @ 4/15/2014 4:13 PM

How can Illegal Aliens have rights if they've criminals? I hate all the Pro-Illegal Alien Newspapers like Gannett. When people disagree they're called Nativist, well the Opposite of a Nativist is a Globalist. The same people who gave us NAFTA, etc. Any action that is opposite of the US Constitution, is an Illegal Act.

Look at the Gov. they fine Bundy One Million like it's a BIG DEAL, for so called illegal grazing. But the Illegal Alien supporters don't mind Illegals using false SS#s, killing people, and other crimes etc.

Obama & Co. is like Bush taking orders from Globalist puppet masters. Like Soros, Brezinski, and Kissinger. The policy is Bush II on steroids. I guess the Globalists want Illegals to run everything and eventually the POLICE. So they can be the strong arm enforcers. To a corrupt and despotic Gov.

Lloyd Reese @ 4/15/2014 4:55 PM

While I'm sure many in Federal LE are upset by many of the issues you mentioned, there's another factor to consider. Still, no federal pay raise for the past few years, due largely to a Republican dominated House. While this made sense in the worse years of the recession, it's gettin old now. Sorry but bread and butter issues are usually more important than policy ones.

JJ @ 4/15/2014 5:43 PM

While pay raises and benefit are important, when I came into LE in 1963 pay was a consideration, but not the most important reason to become a cop! We all take a oath to serve and protect our. Communist and respect an enforce the Constitution of the state and federal government against all enemies, foreign and domestic. As an old retiree, I feel the same way, and would join any fight against our government's attempt to destroy our democratic way of life, under a republic rule of law. All of us, past and present need to continue to fight the good fight to maintain our liberties. My best to all of our BP agents!

Caspt. Crunch @ 4/15/2014 5:44 PM

My thoughts are that Pres. Obama and staff does not like the police and congress wants the police not to have a good pension and make less money. What we need is a new president and new congress. When we have a president and a congress that works for the people not for themselves then we will be ok.

JJ @ 4/15/2014 5:50 PM

RE my recent comment.....to serve and protect our COMMUNITIES ......not communist! Just a iPad typo!

Jack Betz @ 4/16/2014 4:17 AM

A great man said those who trade liberty for temporary safety/ comfort deserve neither and will lose both. I'll add health care to the list.

Dano @ 4/16/2014 6:29 AM

We all took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. I heard somewhere, "I was just following orders" may not always work as a defense.

Don/Fl @ 4/16/2014 7:46 AM

Dano, Yep the Nazi's tried that defense and what a despicable bunch they were!

Mike @ 4/16/2014 8:19 AM

This nation came within a hairs breadth of a "Concord Incident" last week and all that "leaders" like Harry Reid can say is, "It's not over yet".
I'm afraid that Mr. Reid had better hope with all of his heart that it is over. The Government must realize that this nation was founded by "We The People", not "We The Cash Cows". The very thing that sparked the American Revolution, excessive Government taxes, is once again the reason that working Americans are fed up. The resistance to the Unconstitutional firearms laws in NY, and the stand off in Nevada, are merely the beginning. Colonists did exactly the same thing when The Crown tried to burden them with onerous taxes and locate, and confiscate, their weapons. As Mr. Lincoln reminded us at Gettysburg, we are a Government "Of the People, by the People, and for the people."
Washington DC would do well to remember that.

tedb @ 4/16/2014 8:44 AM

Capt. Crunch: I totally agree, but (and I'm not saying you are doing this) there are many out there who believe that the magic word is "republican". I still remember when the Dems got so corrupt by 1994 that the Repubs swept in and had a chance to straighten everything out, but themselves became so corrupt that they were in turn swept in 2006. It seems that it is the individual honest politician and not the party hack that we must find this time. Also: DEAN: Looks like you were really PO'd this time. Well said. The beginning of the end was when we lowered the LE hiring standards in the late 70's and now have a majority of easily-controlled robots under the badges, with no standards and who truly represent the "community they serve." Meaning there is the same percentage of criminals behind the badge as in front of it. Readers, please look at www.NAFBPO.org for some common sense approaches to the border security issues.

Old enough to know better @ 4/16/2014 12:07 PM

The answer to the border issue is so easy but big business doesn't want it to happen. All you have to do is levy large fines to any business hiring someone that is in the country illegally. No jobs they go home. All but the criminals and we know what to do with them.

TheRookie @ 4/16/2014 8:54 PM

I loved my career & profession, but I'm so glad I retired in 2008. I don't have to serve in todays world. I took an oath to uphold the U.S. & Colorado Constitution and prided myself on doing so. In the day you put an INS hold on an illegal and the INS would do a pick-up. I started out in my career with DOJ-BOP. Attending the F.L.E.T.C. in Glynco/Brunswick, GA I got to see first hand what the Feds. are somewhat about. But they have became a 1000 folds worse today. BLM is Bureau of Land Management not Bureau of Law Enforcement. They legally and literally have no/zero L.E. Powers granted to them via Congress. They are Jack Boot Thugs for Federal politicians of the likes of "Dirty" Harry Reid.

Ordinary Joe @ 4/17/2014 9:48 AM

I do not frequently post to this open forum. When I do, I get called names. A juvenile reaction to telling the truth, an attempt to divert the conversation away from the real issues.

Now if we could just get the name callers to open up and truly see what is happening, I think they would change their tune. Problem is they have not yet been affected. They believe they are immune from requirements imposed on the "civilians."

Well guys, I am here to tell you that you are not immune. You may delay the inevitable while wearing the uniform, but that uniform will eventually come off and guess what. You are now a civilian and the current holder of the uniform will not give a flying F* that you once were a cop. They will put you down just as fast as anyone else and they will not give you quarter.

My advice is that you wake up, look into your future and act accordingly. Your job is to protect and defend the constitution, not follow unconstitutional orders. Time to cowboy up.

Keith @ 4/17/2014 11:01 AM

Holder needs to go it is an embarrassment that he is the AG.

While I agree that we have some major problems in our governments. I live and work in NY and the Governor and Legislature might just be worse than the President and Congress. Don't get to wrap upped in the Nevada incident. Bundy, wanted to pay a much smaller amount to the State government and not to the people who actually use the money to manage the land: i.e. provide protection from overgrazing, fight wild fires etc. Essentially, he was trying to extend his government handout. He is the last rancher in that part of Nevada. There might be many reasons for that, but one is that it is in a pretty marginal place to cattle ranch.

We don't need a revolution. We need people to educate themselves about the issues and vote. Talking, or worse, hoping for a revolution is something all Americans will regret and suffer for. As cops we'll feel the pain first and perhaps pay the highest price. Think about it for awhile.

CJ @ 4/17/2014 9:46 PM

This LE site should be for law enforcement articles not political propaganda. Not all of us LE officers see the 'boggy man' and the 'sky is falling, the barbarians are at the gate" mentality of the anti-govt. types, such as the author, who have been drinking too much "TEA".

AJ @ 4/19/2014 12:48 AM

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message2382946/pg1

More about John Titor not... John TEAtor! LOL! It's supposed to be a FREE COUNTRY! Dean can drink, Coffee, TEA or anything he WANTS! Prohibition doesn't work! Neither does being THE THOUGHT POLICE! Pun intended!

Some people don't even know what an "Opinion piece" is! It's a LE article. As far as Boogy men go, it's people who have their own version of Emmanuel Goldstein, who they blame everything on the Tea Party etc. Big Brother is watching YOU! Cheer UP! It's like 1984 again, but no rubix cube or Duran Duran LOL!

Opinions are free, so are choices. We live in times where we need dissenting voices! Like Hillary Clinton who said Dissent is the Highest form of PATRIOTISM! So I guess that makes Dean Scoville right in HER EYES! It shouldn't matter who's YOU show dissent against! Bush, Clinton or Obama should it? No Labels?? Like the Liberals want?? Eh??

Chris @ 4/20/2014 8:10 PM

The Obama administration is using DHS money to militarize LEO departments all across the country, to coerce various localities to enforce his agenda. The corruption runs all the way to the oval office, currently occupied by a usurper.

Cal Green @ 5/4/2014 9:39 PM

CJ has a point.

Ed @ 6/30/2014 5:28 PM

Nice to see others think like me.

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