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Scarier than the boogeyman

The same people who have spent the last few weeks ridiculing law enforcement for not capturing Eric Frein are now calling out hosannas to the men in blue for….capturing Eric Frein. Apparently all is forgiven and whatever they’ve said about the incompetence of the PA State Police was somehow taken out of context. Or something. Now they stand and cheer and wave signs and say “we were with you all along”.

With friends like these, look for the PSP to oversee a sudden spike in highway speed enforcement. Deservedly so.

(The vitriol I’ve read over the last few weeks has been positively medieval. More than one person has suggested that the entire scenario was nothing more than a PSP overtime grab. Others theorized that Frein was sipping mai tais on some Caribbean island, thanks to his pals in ISIS. Or that it’s all Obama’s fault. Or Governor Corbett’s. The cops were pissing on civil liberties. Behaving like an invading army. They were Jack-booted thugs. Nazis. Or just plain old Mayberry goobers trampling through flower beds dressed like Rambo….soldier wannabees searching for another soldier wannabee. They were everything, apparently, except fallible, grief-stricken, exhausted men and women doing their best under trying circumstances. )

31frein3_hp-master675All of this hypocrisy serves as a brain-numbing reminder that sometimes it’s best to stay quiet and let people who are probably smarter than we are do their jobs. Abraham Lincoln once noted that the hen is the wisest of all animals because “she never cackles until the egg is laid”. If old Abe had governed during a time of social media and insta-pundits, he might have deduced that his human subjects had degenerated into a pack of howling trigger-happy half-wits. No wonder he admired hens.

It’s become so simple to run off at the mouth. And so expected…what with opinions being like assholes and all that. Using that same metaphor, everyone with said opinion now has a Facebook and/or Twitter account. So when they are not posting grumpy cat memes, they feel eminently qualified to pass judgment on how to manage a man-hunt over a spectacularly dense terrain that the fugitive knows like the back of his hand. It used to be that only major tools opined on things they knew very little about. Either most of us have become major tools, or things have just gotten too damn easy. To be fair, we’re living in a time when we don’t dare sit on a toilet without bringing a smart phone with us, in case a sudden burst of…er… inspiration hits. Inquiring minds want to see both throw-back Thursday pics of our pets and our thoughts on the budgetary hubris of tracking down cop killers. More and more giving a human a smart phone is akin to giving a cat a ball of yarn.

So yea, I’m proud that I kept quiet and did not resort to tool-like behavior. A pat on the back is nice, and if you’re not gonna give me one I’m gonna reach around and do the honors myself. All sorts of things ran through my head, of course. But I felt no compulsion that such thoughts should come out my mouth…..or be tapped into cyberspace with my 2 thumbs. I simply do not know as much about law enforcement as the State Police and the US Marshal Department. Nor, come to think of it, am I an expert on Eric Frein’s survival skills. If you want to argue that John Prine and Richard Thompson not being in the rock and roll hall of fame is not a travesty, I’ll attack you with a fountain pen. Otherwise, I hide my teeth.

It’s hard for me, even now, not to think of the wife and children of the murdered trooper. What was their reaction when they heard Frein was captured? As children we’re constantly on-guard for an assortment of boogey-men. These children have lived for 48 days with a live monster. Imagine their thoughts when the lights went out. Where was he? Would he come back? Would he come for me? Would he take our Mom away too? Maybe now the nightmares will stop.

Now that Frein is in custody, the PSP can catch its collective breath. It can determine what it did right and what it did wrong over the last 48 days. Thankfully it’s not often a trooper is gunned down in cold blood by a survivalist who then takes to the woods. Considering what they didn’t know, the fact that this guy didn’t elude law enforcement for years (see Rudolph,Eric) is a tribute to their collective tenacity. I’m hearing kudos like this today, as those who ridiculed the effort now bask in the glow of a job well done by others.

It’s a shame is has to be this way.

We never learn.

That scares me more than the boogeyman.

In a bit…

–tf

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