The Abandoned Car – Daily Gleaner Newspaper
A Constable assigned to PSTEB was this morning mowed down by men occupying a black Toyota Wish motor car licensed PP 6379. Be on the lookout for this vehicle, as the occupants have resisted multiple attempts by the police to be stopped. Please help us find these men.
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The incident above was very troubling for me when I heard about it. And clearly very troubling for many others, especially on Twitter! Interestingly I heard about this vicious attack on someone, a Policeman, who represents the state, very visibly, shortly before delivering the keynote speech to the islandwide sub-officers of the Traffic and Highway Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force ( Police) on Road Safety . The Theme: Beyond a Boundary.
RENEWING OUR FOCUS: IMPROVING SAFETY ON OUR ROADS
Beyond a Boundary – C. L.R. James
UNRULY TIMES – POPCAAN TIMES. SO IT WOULD APPEAR
⁃ Minibus and taxi drivers..and others in the society …break every rule on the roads….overtaking long lines of traffic and perishing in multi-fatality crashes
⁃ Intimate partner violence
⁃ Children at school …some teachers
⁃ Corruption in high places…CMU..one example
⁃ Even in the church…some pastors are behaving shamelessly
⁃ Society has become unruly
POLICE CALLED TO SERVE AND PROTECT generally and in respect of PSTEB – Renew your Focus and improve Safety on our Roads
⁃ Hobbes …ACP Blake….OPM…….social contract…without it a society disintegrates
Before this kind of social arrangement where mankind sought protection for life and property, and undertook to respect each other and live in peace and harmony: Man lived in a chaotic condition of constant fear. Life in the State of Nature was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
This initial agreement grew and developed into another arrangement where people pledged to obey an authority and surrendered part or whole of their freedom and rights to an authority.
The authority guaranteed everyone protection of life, property and to a certain extent liberty….which was the forerunner of a system of governance by the state.
And the chief means of policing this arrangement was the enactment of laws and the enforcement of those laws by the state – the Police
So we come to the first point I wish to share: That as a society we have become far worse than unruly, as in a sense we have returned to solitary, nasty, brutish and short. How else can one explain the kinds of beheadings which have both shaken and shocked the nation to its core. The three recent cases of men on the loose killing their partners, the murdering of even pregnant women and babies without any remorse or hesitation. Aren’t these examples of a society that has grown course and wicked and uncaring; and if clearly not the entire society, but far too many of us are behaving like this.
And in respect of the 437 precious lives lost on the roads in 2019 and already 27 for this year, not missing a beat, not all, but many, far too many, are dying because, if truth be told, we simply do not care. Not about our own lives and the lives of others. Into this breech, into this steaming cauldron of societal degeneration the members of Police Force are being called to help reduce death and injuries on the nation’s road. And to help shore up the social contract that Jamaicans have entered into as we pursue this democratic ideal.
What assistance, what guidance, what encouragement, therefore are we in the NRSC offering the PSTEB as you, not by yourselves by a long shot, but in collaboration with other agencies, seek to revive the social contract and make Jamaica a better place to live, do business, bring up our children and enjoy life.
For the truth is that you in the JCF, and you specifically you in PSTEB and on the Highway cannot Improve Safety on our Roads this year, and contribute to a better outcome than the disaster of last year 438 dead and counting until the month ends, unless you have the right tools with which to carry out your job effectively……….I listed them….New RTA etc…then I cont’d:
So were are back to the social contract. Back to CLR James Beyond a Boundary – of road safety. And to the second point wish to make. Part of the challenge that policemen and women face is that they are both enforcers of the social contract and part of the society that they are called to be enforcers, or to serve and protect. Therefore they are not immune to the same forces which caused the society to enter into a social contract in order to prevent the society from descending in the the natural chaos and becoming brutish and short and nasty. In other words Uncivilized. So when lower rank policemen and I dare say even those who are ranking officers in the force, succumb to the temptation to to take a bribe from someone who is caught speeding, in exchange for not being issued with a ticket, or some other infraction the whole dolly house will come tumbling down. For in so doing, such policemen or women, are not just guilty of fattening his or her pocket, but are guilty of breaking the social contract which he or she is called to uphold and to enforce. And when we then return to being brutish and short and nasty all hell literally breaks loose in the society. So people run red lights with impunity and undertake rather than overtake, and overtake long lines of traffic and crash and many die. Yes I agree that it is not only the cop who is guilty, the politicians too in their quest for power, the dancehall artistes in their desire to get a forward, the pastor in some cases in their lust for the flesh, and the well dressed and respectable businessman in his desire to get rich, and the officer at the ITA who sells a liscences or passes a car when neither driver nor vehicle has ever seen the inside of a ITA depot. All break or bend the rules and the society descends into chaos and mayhem.
So who watches over the watchman! To whom is the cop on patrol accountable ? How does he or she Renew Their Focus as they both inhabit a society which is not just becoming Unruly but fast descending into chaos; and at the same time they are called to not only to Improve Safety on our Roads but to chase down gunmen, track down trafficked girls, and put a stop to intimate partner violence?
The challenge for us in this society under siege from our return, in part, thank God ‘ a remnant’ of civility and those who still observe the Social Contract still remains, is to link this attack on the state, with the news of corruption in the CMU, the deterioration in family life, a huge problem, murder most foul being committed daily, and in fact several times daily. For sadly most people don’t make the connection and view incidents as being isolated at best, and at worse, as a result of a society which has, all of a sudden, developed serous mental health issues.
But the erosion of the Social Contract, between People and the State, is one matter, the erosion of the Covenant established between God and mankind in and through The Grace, Who is Jesus Christ, is another, and more serious matter. And yet, the two are inextricably linked. For people who know about the Grace of God, are far more likely to observe – and in fact are duty bound as children of God to promote it – the Social Contract that promotes peace and harmony and love for each other, rather than the “ dog eat dog”, or “ crab in a barrel”, mentality which is fast becoming in the “ New Norm” in Jamaica land we ought to love.
No doubt in anticipation of this topic the Lord led me to write this week. To my church before the incident , and on Facebook, after the fact.
EMAIL TO MY CHURCH FAMILY AT STAPC
As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
In a couple of hours I am scheduled to give a speech to an all island Traffic and Highway Sub-officers conference on the Theme: “ Renewing Our Focus: Improving Safety on Our Roads”. And I am just completing the speech, right after my #earlymorningdevotions.
And this came to me, from the Gospel reading, about “ fishing for men with Jesus ”. Hopefully such an application of the Gospel will also feature in some way in our Annual Congregational Meeting at STAPC this Sunday.
That although the amount of people who died on our roads represents Charles Dickens, “ The Worst of Times”, once I am following Jesus to ‘fish for men”, the reality is that, such an ( as the song writer puts it “ High”) adventure with God, is always, regardless of the trials and troubles “ The Best of Times”. Now and forevermore ! Whether the theatre of activity be our Roads where law and order have retreated, or our Communities where murder most foul lives and thrives, or in High places where Corruption threatens to erode the very fabric of our society ( a matter on which our Archbishop has rightly shared his views.)
Lord as we follow you to fish for men, Renew thy Church, beginning with all of us; Lord renew thy church that the church may renew the nation(s) – Venezuela as only You can, through your Church, and not only the OAS.
BEFORE THE INCIDENT
My God, I love thee; not because I hope for heaven thereby, nor yet because who love thee not are lost eternally. Thou, O my Jesus, thou didst bear the nails and cross and manifold disgrace – and griefs and torments numberless, and sweat of agony; yea death itself – and all for me who was thine enemy. Then why, O blessed Jesu Christ should not love thee well – hymn for Holy Week. Words to guide our thoughts about why we love Jesus. Regardless!
AFTER THE INCIDENT
Gospel Truth: Amazing Grace. “ As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins”. Ephesians 2:1. There’s scarcely a better summary of the plan of salvation than Ephesians 2:1. Not only is it the spiritual history of mankind, but it’s also ours individually. We were dead in our sins – thoroughly dead – and God rescued us. We were as St. Paul tells us, without hope in this world ( Eph 2:12) completely helpless and unaware of or condition. Chris Tiegreen
You can’t sing Amazing Grace with honesty unless you accept St. Paul’s assessment of the history of mankind in Ephesians 2 : “ What a dreadful condition it was! Paul’s assessment of the human condition is nothing like the ‘ I’m okay, you’re okay” philosophies of our culture’s gospel of tolerance. In fact he’s terribly blunt in his political incorrectness ….Humanity, in it’s rebellion was completely, utterly lost – Chris Tiegreen. “ Saved a wretch like me”.
This was the gradual realization of the early Christians. In light of the Cross, the human condition could not be sugarcoated. One does not observe the agony of Jesus, interpret it as a payment for sin, and then minimize the sin. If a bloody beaten Savior hanging from a crude splintery stake is a picture of judgment, the sin under judgment must have been enormous, catastrophic, and deadly – Chris Tiegreen #earlymorningdevotions #AmazingGrace
Blaise Pascal comments on Grace as found in Psalm 51:1: The God of Christians is a God of love and consolation, a God who fills the souls and hearts of his own, a God who makes them feel their inward wretchedness and his intimate mercy, who unites himself to their inmost spirit, filling it with humility and joy, with confidence and love, rendering them incapable of any other end other than himself. #earlymorningdevotions
Blaise Pascal cont’d: …..The knowledge of God without that of our wretchedness creates pride. The knowledge of our wretchedness without that of God creates despair. The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the middle way, because in him we find both God and our wretchedness. #earlymorningdevotions
One of, and not the only one, the lessons, and the insights gained from the Christian faith, and which God is intent on teaching us, is this: Without Him, without being Redeemed in Christ Jesus, and becoming “ A New Creation”, mankind will always return to being “ short brutish, nasty and solitary”.
In short “ wretches” !
No matter how sophisticated a life we live with smart phones at our disposal and Netflix at our fingertips. No matter if we live in the “ Hood”, or in a “ Gated Community”. No matter if we have ( think we have) power as Politicians, Religious Leaders, successful Businessmen or women, Professionals, leading lights in the media or entertainment industry; or if we ( think we are of no account ) have no power to influence how society runs. This tendency to return to our Natural selves is in our DNA. We just can’t help it. And that’s the essence of why we have had two impeachment trials in the USA in recent times. And why there is a major issue in the Courts today involving high ranking members of the Society. People who you would expect to be enforcers and promoters of the Social Contract, rather than lovers of Hennessy and other delights, that tickle the hearts of man, while people of “ wrong address “ suffer immeasurably.
Thank God for Jesus that help is not just on the way, but available. If we confess our sins, through the “ excellency of repentance”, and seek the Grace which is available to all in and through the shed Blood of Christ and Him Crucified. Then, if is the will of the Lord, He may allow us to do bring up children, and do business in a new Jamaica land we love, under a different Contract.
Better than Netflix – Amazing Grace by Wintley Phipps