to the editor from this week's Chronicle:
Peace Officers or Revenuers?
Based on recent experiences and observations, I can only conclude that
we in America are moving ever closer to a military/police state.
I am seeing more and more law enforcement, many in very expensive,
even unmarked vehicles.
At the same time that I hear and read about real crimes like burglaries
and assaults, I see that our sheriff is using his peace officers to chase
down violators of the invasive species inspection station near Kooskia.
I also read about what appears to be an increase in what are sometimes
referred to as "C.S." citations or pull overs. "I need to see your
papers," they say. "Probable cause" could be perhaps a burned out
tail light, or simply swerving to miss a rock in the road.
A short time ago, I even had an experience out on Dworshak Lake.
My son and I were in my boat troll fishing, when pulled over by two sheriff
deputies. In compliance, we shut everything down, and one of the
officers set about with his clipboard, recording my hull number, and checking
for current registration, etc.. The second officer started the Q
& A routine: "What is your name," "Where are you from?"
"Show me your life jackets." "Blow your horn." "What color
is showing on the fire extinguisher?"
I believe in safety, so please don't miss the point that I am trying
to make. The lake conditions were very hazardous at that time, with
an extreme amount of floating debris, including logs, one of which we impacted
on our return, damaging my out drive. Some of my thoughts turned
to these: Could our tax dollars be better spent? For example,
instead of funding the survey that the aforementioned officers said they
were conducting, it seems they might better have been doing the jobs that
we actually hired them to perform, such as pursuing and preventing real
criminal activity, or even simply working to clean up some of the hazardous
conditions we encountered.
Anyway, needless to say, that particular fishing day was not a very
good one. My boat is now broken for the season, but I was not defeated....not
yet anyway, for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must go on.
So next, I invite a friend on a fishing trip to beautiful Deer Creek.
But before that fishing day was over - yes, you guessed it: We're
confronted by a gunned-up fish and game officer, driving a very expensive-looking
vehicle, replete with a light bar on the top, and a four wheeler in the
back. Picture this, please: The officer is wearing a military
style uniform (along with a very intimidating attitude), and displaying
three extra double-stack magazines for his sidearm. I get the same
demands again of "I need to see your papers" - looking for more revenue,
I see U.S. Forest Service, BLM, Fish & Game, and Port Authority
officers everywhere, all of whom are now able to issue citations,
collecting revenue dollars. Just who was it that authorized police
powers for all of these agencies? I don't recall voting for
all the changes. Taxation without representation? Yes!
No. 172 - 8/6/18
Hey! It was kind of nice, commenting last week on the "Pause that Refreshes!"
Purpose at that time was to get away from discussing the many negative
things which we see in the daily news! And it would not hurt once again,
to remind ourselves that we are the best fed people on this earth,
we are blessed with perhaps the best medical care anywhere, and we can
claim to more freedom than any others around the world! Constant
pressure of people wanting to come here by the millions is proof enough
for all three of these claims!
Though tempted to tackle irritating events that have grabbed my attention
this week, it is a decision made here to take a completely different path!
One which might sound crazy!
But regardless, here it is! It is dawning more and more on me lately
that I AM 81 YEARS OLD! The unbelievable age of 81! Arrived
at that venerable age in June this year! Hate to admit it, but that means
I am on the way to 82! My wife and I are now the "Old Ducks" that
sat behind us in church years ago! Of course, my wife is not yet
80, but It is getting close, and will come sooner than expected!
And of course, we did not call old folks "Old Ducks,"
but I substitute the second word because I am not sure how to spell
the actual word used!
But for you young folks out there, here is a bit of wisdom that you
only can appreciate once you find yourself roaring past 60 and 70, finding
all of a sudden that it takes the number 80, then 81, to record your age!
It comes to my attention immediately that old Dr. Dick Orr, who delivered
some of our children, and was a good friend with his wife to my wife and
myself when we first came here, told us on several occasions, that life
speeds up the older you get! Hard to believe when we were in our 20's,
but certainly true now that we are here!
And another reminder was a video put together by our kids on my 80th
birthday, put together professionally by our picture taking daughter
Shelley, and bringing together many old and memorable pictures of the past.
The music which accompanied the video included two songs which you really
must listen to, to understand the impact they made on me! The first
entitled MY OLD MAN, and the second, LEAVE SOMETHING BEHIND, drove home
the reality of the event we were celebrating! The first, just how
ancient this "old man" was really becoming, and the second, which nailed
exactly projects I have been working on the past several years!
The projects? Bugged for years by my kids and especially son
Bruce to record places we had lived and things we had experienced, and
with the help of "editor," cousin Bill Wren, a book recording these events
was called A CAMAS PRAIRIE LIFE (Title suggested by Bill), and was first
published in India by a company called POTHI, owned by a friend of Bill's.
Since then an updated version of the book by the same name has been put
on Amazon, again at
the suggestion of Bill, because of the cost and ease of obtaining,
and is available there. Thus finished a first attempt to LEAVE SOMETHNG
Since then to continue leaving SOMETHING BEHIND, a 52-page booklet
has been printed and is available at the Chronicle, containing several
articles I wrote and saved by my mother from articles in the Chronicle
in the 1980's, entitled LET FREEDOM RING. Also, by request made by
a few, the first 50 of current REDNECK REVIEWS have been printed, and are
also available at the Chronicle. Later Reviews will be there also
in the future, and another, a
CAMAS PRAIRIE book entitled PROSE AND POETRY will soon be available
All attempts to LEAVE SOMETHING BEHIND!
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