Money Well Spent
California’s overseers of worker’s compensation awards have determined that Lt. John Pike, the University of California cop who pepper-sprayed non-violent student protesters as they sat peaceably on the ground, is entitled to $38,000 from state taxpayers in light of the actual pain and acute stress suffered as a result of the incident. Seems Officer Pike got thousands of unpleasant emails, text messages and letters questioning his fitness to protect and serve the students of California, which really bummed him out. He filed a claim over the summer.
The state Division of Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board said the ruling “resolves all claims of psychiatric injury specific or due to continuous trauma from applicant’s employment at UC Davis.” The decision, “is in line with permanent impairment as calculated by the state’s disability evaluation unit,” UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell announced.
Great! That explains everything perfectly. A brave defender of our sacred laws had his feelings hurt for doing nothing more than performing his job excellently — and the compassionate among us understand that it’s our duty, some would say our honor, to care for a fallen hero in his time of need. When one of our nation’s finest protectors of property and propriety is feeling a little down and unappreciated, we’re there with an encouraging pat on the back (and a five-figure check).
Apparently, not everyone fully appreciates this gesture of support. A local attorney and advocate for the demonstrators, Bernie Goldsmith, told the AP that this decision “sends a clear message to the next officer nervously facing off with a group of passive, unarmed students: Go on ahead. Brutalize them. Trample their rights.”
Brutalize? Trampled rights? If that were really true, Officer Pike would have been charged with a crime. He’d be a criminal. That hasn’t happened, so, ergo, he’s an innocent man, guilty of nothing but having an abiding respect and love for the laws that help keep unwanted nuisances from annoying people who have better things to do than sit on sidewalks.
Indeed, this may be the best $38,000 the state of California has ever spent. Because in addition to helping a great role model heal up so he can get back out there and inspire young citizens to grow up to be peace officers, the amount confirms to demonstrators that, as we suspected all along, it just doesn’t pay to misbehave. The miscreants who got sprayed were awarded around $30,000 to wash the sting out of their eyes. They would have made eight-grand more if they were the sprayer.
Lesson learned? Unfortunately, probably not. Americans just don’t seem to understand the value of money well spent. Why, just this week the Union of Concerned Scientists objected to the Energy Department’s plan to modernize it’s aging nuclear weapons complex. Updating the seven hydrogen bomb designs in our peaceful nation’s arsenal would require $60-billion in investments. The scientists, most of whom are allegedly “nuclear weapons experts,” think that the plan is unreliable, unsafe, and fiscally imprudent.
Most of our nuclear weapons are 25 years old; many are more like 40. They’re getting old. What are we supposed to do, throw them away? We already spent billions of dollars on them. Not using them would be wasteful, especially in these lean, budget-cutting times. Since we don’t seem to have the backbone to drop a load on our enemies, we might as well get them ready to defend us permanently in their silos. These old girls deterred the Reds for decades; surely with a few billion here and there, they can get spiffed up nice and shiny enough to scare the taboulleh out of the Mullahs in Karachi.
Keeping us safe from terrorism? Money well spent. Maintaining our supremacy over distant heathens? Money well spent. Reminding taxpayers what kind of admirable person puts on a uniform, straps on a gun, and joyfully upholds our rules and regulations?
Money very well spent.