Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jack Bauer or Jack Welch

I was outside with my son yesterday evening, raking the lawn with my son. Did I say that right? No, I wasn't using him as a rake. We each used the appropriate tools for the job. While we worked, we chatted.

"Dad," my son said, "I don't think I would want to do this for a living."

That led us to a lengthy discussion about work in general, about types of work, developing a work ethic and, most importantly, respecting work of any kind. I have more respect for someone who digs ditches or cleans toilets for a living than for someone who is too lazy to work and who lives as a sponge on society's largesse instead.

My son has his mind set (for the moment) on becoming a businessman like his dad but, no doubt, on a grander scale. I think he would be a good businessman, but will leave his ultimate career decisions to him. At age 13, he has a long time ahead to make his choices. Still, it would be fun to work together in business. Much of what I am planning to do over the next several years is in preparation for having something to do for a younger, more energetic partner, just in case.

We have recently started to watch the TV series "24," and have gone so far as to rent past seasons so that we could catch up with the earlier adventures of Jack Bauer. It's all great fun to watch, but is hardly representative of any reality I know. During our conversation last evening, my son allowed that were he not so determined to become a businessman, he might instead consider being a government agent like Jack Bauer.

Now, that is something I wouldn't like much. I know that such a scenario is highly unlikely for my son, but I still find it scary. In my opinion, police and other enforcement agencies attract a disproportionate number of bullies who love being able to tell people what to do. Not all police officers are bullies of course, but I have certainly run into my share of those who are.

In general, my experience is that police neither serve nor protect. I'll save tirades on the subject for another time, but will say that many officers do not think of themselves as our servants. In fact, they think quite the opposite. Police also cannot possibly protect you or me from being robbed, assaulted or killed. Usually, by the time the police arrive, the damage is done. The real problem then becomes trying to get them to find and arrest the culprits, and the judicial system to convict and imprison them.

So... Jack Bauer or Jack Welch? My preference would be the latter.


  1. I attend the church with one of the families of the 'fallen four'. And, I do not want my child in law enforcement, either. Ever.

  2. There was a time when the police actually did protect and serve...I witnessed it firsthand as a young boy.
    My neighborhood had a "beat cop" in 1971, one that actually walked the streets on foot instead of riding around in a luxury gunboat with the guts of Darth Vader's kitty-car like the lazy bureaucrats with badges do today. He was called to my downstairs neighbor's house because the drunk had come home after a morning at a tavern and started beating his wife - again! This time, a neighbor couldn't help overhearing and observing, and had called it in. Officer O'Shaunnesy took the bastard around back and let's say, "sobered him up real quick" without laying a hand on him. He then advised the lady to get a divorce and referred her to some agencies that could help her in the transition. It was surprising how quiet things were downstairs the rest of the day.
    In the years since, the Atheist, Communist and Leftist Union or ACLU for short, have done everything possible to prevent Police from doing anything like protecting or serving, relegating them to historians, custodians, and tax ("fine") assessors.
    Every once in a while you come across the aggressive sort on a power trip, but they usually get

  3. Sorry, galt-in-da-box, your comments were truncated somehow, perhaps because I inadvertently set comments to be moderated when I was modifiying some of my settings. I re-set it to the way it should be. In any event, I agree with what you are saying. Where I grew up, there were the same beat officers you desribed, around when you needed them and a real deterrent to mischief makers. They were also polite and helpful. Where I live now, they drive around, often two to a car, and hand out tickets.