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Government employees who despise you

A fundamental change occurs in the psyche of most people who work for the government. They begin to develop a superiority complex. After a while, they begin to believe they can do whatever they want to anyone who isn’t part of their exclusive club. And to an extent, they’re right: they have all the guns, after all. Here are a few examples of government employees showing their disdain for the ordinary people whose money they live on.

We begin with a cat up a tree. Not just any tree, but one in the yard of a Phoenix, Ariz., police officer. Michael, who did not want his last name used, says his cat Brutus got away from him December 21. When he finally found Brutus, the cat was up a tree in his neighbor’s yard. But the neighbor, an unidentified Phoenix police officer, refused to allow him to go on the property and rescue the cat.

After nine days and numerous calls to the police chief, six Phoenix police officers finally got a ladder and rescued the cat. “The officer did everything he could, he bent over backwards,” said a police spokesman. Bending over backwards, in this case, consisted of the officer taking his dog inside for one day, allowing the Humane Society one attempt to rescue the cat, and chasing away another non-profit group with his gun out when they showed up.

Worst of all, we have no idea who this cat-hating (and apparently people-hating) person is. Though realistically it could be any of them. The excuse the officer gave? He could be sued if anyone was injured on his property while trying to rescue the cat. Perhaps that’s so, but it does illustrate that this police officer gives higher weight to words written on magic paper than to just being a normal decent person.

Lake County, Ill., prosecutor Michael Mermel is the sort of prosecutor who wants a conviction at all costs, even if the accused is innocent. Even if the DNA doesn’t match. This spring he will take not one, but three separate cases to trial where DNA evidence excluded the defendant in the case. And he’s got some strange explanations of, for instance, how DNA got inside an 8 year old girl who was killed while playing in the woods. Some couples have sex there, he says, and the magic semen somehow got off the ground and inside her, even though she was fully clothed.

In the case of Bennie Starks, who went to prison for raping a 68 year old woman and is now looking at a third trial after DNA evidence excluded him as the source of semen found on the victim, the prosecutor said, well, maybe the victim had consensual sex with someone else, and that’s whose DNA was on the rape kit.

Actual DNA experts, and anybody with half a brain, think Mermel is out of his mind. Perhaps. But he’s got a good thing going. He gets to punish people for crimes, whether they’re guilty or not, and he’ll say anything, no matter how outlandish, to put anyone in prison. Being innocent and even having the DNA to prove it will not save you from the likes of this person. And he’s just one prosecutor in one county. There are thousands more like him out there.

In Galveston, Texas, three men jump out of a van and run toward 12 year old Dymond Milburn, screaming, “You’re a prostitute. You’re coming with me.” They grab her and try to shove her in the van. She screams and kicks for all she’s worth and winds up being beaten badly enough to be hospitalized. Her father runs out of the house and tries to stop them, and he is also injured. The three men, it turns out, were plainclothes police officers who apparently got lost on their way to go investigate three white prostitutes and a black drug dealer. The Milburn family are African-American.

Of course there was a police “investigation” which found that the officers acted appropriately in getting lost, failing to identify themselves when they approached some kid minding her own business and beating her senseless. To top it all off, both she and her father are facing charges for assaulting police officers.

Even with the charges hanging over their heads, the family has filed a federal lawsuit against the officers in an attempt to hold them accountable. Their lawyer seems hopeful. “I don’t think a jury will find a 12-year-old girl guilty who’s just sitting outside her house,” Anthony Griffin told the Houston Press. “Any 12-year-old attacked by three men and told that she’s a prostitute is going to scream and yell for Daddy and hit back and do whatever she can. She’s scared to death.” I’m less optimistic. Today’s court systems aren’t designed to dispense justice.

Neither are today’s police departments and district attorney’s offices, as we’ve seen. And nor is the office of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., of which Phoenix is a part. Known by some as “America’s toughest sheriff” and by others as America’s corruptest sheriff, Arpaio has goten his own television series. “Smile . . . You’re Under Arrest!” debuted December 27 on the Fox Reality Channel.

The show, which was shot in 2007, is supposed to be a cross between “Punk’d” and “COPS.” It features common yet elaborate police sting operations where fugitives are mailed an invitation to an event such as a movie shoot or an offer of free tickets to a sporting event. When the fugitives show up to claim their prize, they find out they’ve been busted instead. Hilarity ensues. Or at least that’s the idea. The show is so bad that even after two episodes have aired, nobody’s bothered to put it on BitTorrent.

Which is probably what you’d expect. After all, the producers reportedly approached several law enforcement agencies before going to Arpaio as something of a last resort. For his part, Arpaio says he’s not after fame, which is good, because this flop of a show isn’t going to get him very much. Still, it did let Arpaio harass a bunch of people who were wanted on non-violent crimes of one drug or another, most of which shouldn’t even be crimes in the first place. And all over the country millions of people are being harassed, extorted from, and thrown in cages, all because some government employee didn’t agree with their choice of recreational drugs.

Of course, the kings of the hill, when it comes to government employees who despise you, are Congress. While everyone else is being laid off or having their salaries cut, they get a nice pay raise this year. Ironically, none of them voted for it; it’s automatic. The voting took place so long ago that almost nobody even remembers who voted to make Congressional pay raises automatic.

So the next time you see a government employee, remember that what’s most likely going through his head are ideas on new and innovative ways to make your life a living hell.

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