Official arrogance

There are 152 comments on the San Bernardino County Sun story from Mar 5, 2008, titled Official arrogance. In it, San Bernardino County Sun reports that:

Once again, government employees have arrogantly abused the people. March 5, around 12:15 p.m., the California Highway Patrol stopped all eastbound traffic near Alabama Street in Redlands to make way for a ...

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Cyndi Fehler

Anaheim, CA

#1 Mar 13, 2008
RE: Official Arrogance

Mr. Johnson I sincerely hope that if you never have to call 911 because you're having health problems , a traffic accident or your house is on fire. My family makes sacrifices every day so that men like my husband can save lives like yours and those of your family, friends and loved ones. There may be one day when he doesn't come home from a shift like the hundreds of firefighters and police officers who llost their lives on 9/11. Where would you be without us? I certainly hope you never have to find out.

IN addition to being a firefighter and paramedic, my husband gives his free time to the CAL FIRE Honor Guard to send off his brother and sister firefighters with the dignity they deserve. He contracts every virus there is out there, has been exposed to Hepatitis, Tuberculosis and HIV and still goes back to work every week because he believes in what he does. I'm so thankful that he has the ability to ignore arrograntt people like you. I can not.

Official arrogrance? You bet! We do the same thing for war heroes and public servants - ANY people who sacrifice their lives and their family time for the good of our community and country. What have YOU done lately?? A few minutes on the freeway is not too much to ask.

Yucaipa, CA

#2 Mar 13, 2008
Mr. Colella,

In answer to your question,: Yes, our Republic is disappearing right before our eyes, as noted by the loss of our Constitutional rights, and sovereignty! I, and many others, would be glad to march, with you, in the streets! It's our Republic, and we can take it back!!

I wonder how long it will take, after I hit "send", for the HR 1955 police to show up for even suggesting a so-called "subversive" act!

Sir, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for paying attention! It's a damn shame more people are not choosing educate themselves. It's sad that they don't realize that we are paying for our own destruction!!!

Del Mar, CA

#3 Mar 13, 2008
Hey Ken Johnson,
If you don't like it move to some place where they don't honor heros. And for God's sake, stay out of San Bernardino County. We shoot bad guys!
Jean Kennedy

Santa Ana, CA

#4 Mar 13, 2008
I am shocked and dismayed with the Sun's choice of including the letter from Ken Johnson about "Official Arrogance". Printing this obnoxious and cruel letter from someone who apparently was stuck on the freeway was not one of the Sun's stellar moments. Shame on the Sun

Oxnard, CA

#5 Mar 13, 2008
I think this man, Ken is it, has the wrong outlook on what happened on March 5th. I understand the annoyance of having the freeway momentarly slowed however this "one dead guy" served county fire for 28 years and passed away on a way to a call. I am positive that the family's and lives that he saved & helped in those years of service wouldn't have minded the 5 minutes delay of their day. Unfortunatly, it is people like Ken whom complain until their home is on fire or their child is sick, or their house is being robbed... Do you still complain, tell them their overpaid, while to the officers, fireman, paramedics are assisting you? And this may come as a suprise to you and the general public but I think most fire, police, and other agencies have more that one rig/car...So while some are honoring a fallen hero, another heros are helping serve the people. What do you do for a living Ken? Badge envy?

United States

#6 Mar 13, 2008
I believe the replies here are really missing the point of Mr. Johnson's letter. While I agree that the tone of the letter leads to the misinterpretation, my thoughts are, would not the same honor have been achieved through a gathering and service at each of the stations? Most often a moment of individual silent respect is the most welcomed. Certainly the honor would be recognized just as deeply by any higher power.
Way beyond Insenstive

San Bernardino, CA

#7 Mar 13, 2008
Does your job require you to possibly die everytime you do it for someone else and/or someone elses possesions? Does your family have to pick up the peices when you perish doing your job? Probably not. Next time your house is on fire or you are being robbed, do not call those arrogant police officers or firefighters, do it yourself. Then you may begin to have the right to complain. Instead of looking at those few lost moments on the freeway in disgust, why not use them to pause and thank those who do the jobs that keep the rest of use safe.
Thankful citizen,
Yucaipa, Ca
Dan Felix

Sun City, CA

#8 Mar 13, 2008
I wonder if Ken Johnson understands the level of sacrifice that emergency workers such as firefighters are willing to edure to serve the public? I think a bit of inconvienence to honor such a person is appropriate. I wonder what truly prompted such a bizarre, inappropriate and yes, insensitive diatribe against public servants. He must have another agenda because firefighters are not the enemy.
Jim Gorsline


#9 Mar 13, 2008
I wonder if Mr. Johnson took a moment to think before he wrote that insensitive letter regarding his precious time being held up due to a firefighter funeral procession on the freeway. I certainly hope not. Firefighters put their lives on the line everyday to help people like Mr. Johnson. I don't beileve any government arrogance was taking place on the freeway today, just a chance for brother firefighters to say goodbye to a fallen comrade. I also know for a fact that the emergency personnel that were participating in the procession had ample coverage at their stations to cover any emergency that should arise. I hope that Mr. Johnson was just having a bad day which happens to all of us. I accept you r apology Mr. Johnson as I am sure if you had to do it over again, you would have done differently.
Chris Harrison

Oxnard, CA

#10 Mar 14, 2008
RE: Offical arrogance
It was very disturbing to see the lack of compassion, respect, and blatant dissrigaurd that Mr. Johnson has for his public servents. It saddens me to see that someone could be so selfish and inconsiderate that he could not spare 15 minutes of his time to show respect for someone who lost his life in the line of duty, serving the public that he was sworn to protect.
Next time Mr. Johnson before you start trashing these public servents you should do a little more research because you are severly missinformed. No city was shortchanged and no "Real Emergency" call was missed every one of those fire departments had the proper coverage that is required by each of their city's. The fact is though some of those men and women you saw were on duty, many donated their own personal time to attend that funeral.What you don't understand Mr. Johnson is that the fire service is in itself one huge family. And when something happens to one of its men or women it affects all of them. And if I might add in what screwed up world does showing support and compassion for someone considered "Narcissism". I just hope Mr. Johnson that when the day comes that you call upon these public servents to help you, that they treat you with the compassion and respect that you would not give them or anybody else for that matter.
John Weir

United States

#11 Mar 14, 2008
I can't believe the Sun would print such an letter. Ok this person has a right to say things but we don't have to listen to him. Why would you want to hurt Vances family and freinds. It just made me sick and mad.
Terry Thompson

Los Angeles, CA

#12 Mar 14, 2008
Perhaps when this idiot's house is on fire, or he is robbed, assaulted, or otherwise becomes the victim of some crime or disaster, he will call some of his friends instead of the well paid public servants who risk their lives every day protecting his community. Oh, I'm sorry, idiots don't have any friends. I guess he is stuck with the firefighters and police officers after all. Welcome to society Ken.
Bill Ansbaugh

Lompoc, CA

#13 Mar 14, 2008
Ken Johnson's letter is simply a small, petty person's way of lashing out at what he cannot control. His whining is so typical of the powerless who have accomplished little and are envious of those who serve. Would you have complained if it had been the patriarch of a local family with lots of friends and family in the procession?

Ken, I'll bet you were absolutely thrilled to learn that while the funeral procession caused you 12 minutes delay, someone broke into and stole all the valuable's from the "another firefighters" home. The "narcissistic family" went home and had to deal with that.

Keep your spineless whining to yourself. Your lonely and forsaken life should not be trumpeted in public places.
Another Firefighter

Plumas Ntl Forest, CA

#14 Mar 14, 2008
Mr. Johnson with all due respect. Go take a hike on the interstate. That was probably one of the most self absorbed pieces of crap I have even had the displeasure of reading. First of all what you saw was a symbol of gratitude for someone that gave 20+ years to his community. I would think that after 20 years of giving his life to the community. That maybe the community could give 15 mins of their time back to him. Doesn't really sound arrogant and abusive to me. Second it is part of our firefighter tradition and culture which you obviously know nothing about. Lastly I can promise you that none of the cities and municipalities that were in the procession went uncovered or were in anymore danger than normal.
To The Editors at the Sun:
Did you think this was good news? Did you think it would help you sell more papers? You're already being boycotted by some of the Public safety agencies and I am sure more will follow. Pretty poor choice in ethics. Hasn't the family suffered enough with the death and break in?
Patrick PB

Eureka, CA

#15 Mar 14, 2008
I offer two remarks in response to "Official Arrogance"

First, I must respectfully disagree with the attitude expressed by Ken Johnson. I only hope the deceased's family member doesn't come across his words, which describe the deceased as a "dead guy," and suggests that the bereaved are narcissistic.

Mr. Johnson is mistaken because funeral processions HUMANIZE the government, if anything. They show sensitivity, grief, and respect. This is a far cry from "arrogant," as Mr. Johnson suggests.

I suspect his opinion was more a product of his emotion than his reason--at any rate, his assessment is mistaken.

Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public service workers in all capacity (governmental or otherwise) who help keep our society running. I also extend to the family, friends and co-workers of the deceased my sympathies for the sadness of your loss.

Arrogance- unbelievable

Tustin, CA

#16 Mar 14, 2008
Mr. Johnson, perhaps in your comment "Official Arrogance" , you were unaware that the funeral procession that you had the fortune to observe pass was for a gentleman who died in the line of duty. He was a volunteer firefighter, who unselfishly gave his time, and his life, in the service to his fellow man. He died a hero, and he died for a job he loved and not for any salary. You apparently were rushing that day with indifference to do whatever was centric in your life, in contrast he died while rushing to help another in a time of need. Apparently you fail to appreciate the sacrifices that he and others in public safety make to better our society daily. Your response is jaw dropping in its disrespect. After the procession passed that you failed to offer condolances or appreciatioon for, at least you got home that night. He won't be making it home again. If by some quirk of fate crisis strikes you tonight, lets hope that good men and women with the same spirit of public service are willing to take up your cause in your time of need, despite your callous understanding of what it all means.
Mike Rohde
Orange County

Saginaw, MI

#17 Mar 14, 2008
Wow I wish I had a subscription to your newspaper so I could cancel it right abut now. Thank goodness for the Internet so I can show my Brothers around the nation what a sick person this guy is and the ridiculous newspaper that would publish this filth. Stay Safe everyone.

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#18 Mar 14, 2008
Ken Johnson must be the kind of guy who spit on soldiers coming home from war. That "dead guy" dedicated his life so you can drive on that road matter how slow during a funeral. Mr. Johnson, your family and neighbors must be SO proud to know you!
Carol Stevens

Lompoc, CA

#19 Mar 14, 2008
What a pitiful creature you must be to have such hatred bottled up inside of you. When the procession came by us, people got out of their cars and put their hands over their hearts. Shame on your shallow and spiteful vitriol.
One of the Guys

United States

#20 Mar 14, 2008
Mr.Johnson, were you aware that while his family was mourning the loss at his ceremony that some low life robbed his home? Thats right when his family went to his home afterwards they found that his home had been robbed. I wonder if it was you? If not you are as low as the guy that did. Life finds away to pay people back for being disrespectful.
P.S.- I am proud to say I have been a volunteer firefighter for 24 years and do not receive any pay for my service to the community. I was there out of respect for a guy who gave his all. What have you done for your community lately? Oh thats right your a low life who only cares about himself!

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