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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Email Regarding The Unecessary Strong Arm Of The Unecessary Government

(Another letter from the Professor written in ink with his fountain pen, so please excuse errors. This particular rant regards the police. It is split into two parts as noted.)

I understand that nobody cares because everyone has their own problems, but don't think of this as bitching, just a short read on how this system sucks, it's an extortion racket, I don't need cops, and we don't need cops. 

Of course, the first reaction is a concern for safety (because I know if there were no police, then I for one would start killing people, as I think most would). So, since the world would surely become a scene out of Escape From NY, people who don't feel comfortable protecting themselves can hire a private security force. This IS a capitalist society, right?

I mean, I personally believe in the innate goodness of people, not the other way around, enough so that a neighborhood-watch type of set-up would work just fine. How many times have we seen just that, started by a group of people who were sick and tired of waiting for the bullshit police and wanted justice served?

How many times have you seen a neighborhood rally around the fact that a dangerous person was free in their area, and the pigs were incapable of doing the job and exposed for being a sub-standard, rag-tag operation, whose primary function is to make petty arrests and sniff out those criminals who park their car where they're not supposed to, in order to earn profits for the city and state? The answer is, "plenty," but you know what happens; they are called "vigilantes," and by doing what the useless flatfoots can't, they are BAD.

The cops, with their NARC unit (and the feds and their prestigious ATF and DEA) pride themselves on their "drug busts!" Ha Ha That is a joke. Forget about the fact that someone who smokes a little pot is labeled a criminal, branded for life, jailed and bled for his money and his dignity (unless you are the president's daughter. I am guessing that their record was expunged), and forget that the almighty statistics show that drug use is no more rampant in places where weed is decriminalized, and the only difference is in the government's revenue stream coming from marijuana-based fines. Forget those points.

The hilarity comes in the fact that the government KNOWS the drugs are coming in because they bring them in. Sure, they make some "busts" to help them look like they are actually doing something, but it just keeps on coming in, and they know it and are fine with it, because it is they way the system works! Imagine all of the jobs that would be lost if suddenly the war on drugs was a monumental success.

Imagine what would happen to a state's budget when you remove the billions of dollars taken in from drug-related fines, not to mention the cops, probation officers, state-sponsored programs and the rest of the employment based on collecting such fines? There's a reason why every time somebody with some common sense proposes to decriminalize pot and cites the 100 million dollars that would be cut from the state budget every year, they are shut down. It's not because the government cares about the public and refuses to subject it to "the gateway drug." Believe me, if the numbers worked out, they would be selling Marlboro Greens in a New York minute.

OK, I'll leave that right there, but anyone who doesn't think that the government is not only allowing, but promoting, the influx of drugs that earns them a fortune (and that's only the back end) and gives them job security, (meaning it gives the worthless gumshoes something to do like pose in front of all the drugs they stopped from coming in. Of course after the photo shoot and after it sits in the evidence room long enough to cover their ass in the particular extortion victim's "trial." Then it is thrown right back into the circulation.), should seriously think about whether these words apply to you:

naive, sucker, ignorant, denial.....for starters

So anyway, I challenge anyone to tell me what cops do for us, and why we need them. I'll probably get answers like: "What if your home is robbed?" To which I reply, again, cops do NOTHING about burglaries except give you a piece of paper to give to your insurance. I'm waiting for a story where they come rolling up to the victim's house with all their stuff and the guy who did it in the back seat.

A private investigatory group would be working to actually be the best and please the customer, rather than a bureaucracy that could give a shit less about their performance unless there's a bonus involved (or a news camera), because they make the same whether or not you get satisfaction. The former would be out of business with the pathetic, paltry, abysmal record that these vermin have. To repeat myself, are we in a capitalist society or a police state?

I hope after explaining that, I still don't hear: "What about a murder?" it again.

We've already covered the farcical war on drugs, which exposes the frauds as nothing but a crime syndicate, so to bring up organized criminals, who only kill each other and do it in an effort to make their own money, without paying the bully, is not only a blatant catch 22, but it is an eternal game of cops and robbers that has nothing to do with protecting or serving the public. The days of Joey Knuckles coming around and emptying out the local barber's cash register are gone (along with the days of the population living in ignorance, controlled by the propaganda machine that had previously filtered the only official news they were privy to.)  

We've also discussed neighborhood-watches, private security, and gun ownership (also known as "take care of yourself") as adequate and even superior forms of personal security, a topic I would happily discuss further if challenged. And with that, I once again ask, "Why do we need the cops?"

I have the answer:

We need them to squeeze us for more money, on top of what they already take automatically from our income and again from our purchases, which equates to about half, and we need that so the officials, whom we "elected" (out of the two choices we were given) to "represent" us (or pimp us out for cash), can line their own pockets. (Oh yeah, they also shave some off the top to maintain the roads and the crappy schools and the crappy public transportation...crap like that.)  

Of course, as you should know by now, the riches go up even higher than the puppet politicians, but that's another discussion. Back to them, though:

They don't put it directly in their pocket, because they could get into trouble if people found out, although they do give themselves a pay-raise at every opportunity. No. What they do is build the pot. More tickets, more drug busts, more money in the budget of their particular town, city, state...etc, means they have money to bargain with when the lobbyists come around and ask for some, in exchange for basically anything from campaign funds to laundered cash to Broadway tickets. (You can't expect them to get by on just their pay and what they make selling their vote that you think you had a hand in.)

(Optional virtual experience based entirely on one man's journal, written as a therapeutic exercise that was suggested by his shrink, after displaying dangerously high signs of anger towards all government workers and joking about ghastly acts of violence perpetrated against them. Italicized comments are made by Dr. Frank Plume.)

So, with that said, let's look at a first-hand example of the extortion at work:

- A guy who we'll call Simon, a dastardly fellow with the audacity to have a cell-phone to his ear when he knows the dangers it poses, regardless of his own fifteen year history of flawlessly doing so, almost daily. (This type of streak would naturally ease anyone's tensions about a particular "hazard," especially when it can be logically rationalized by science, as well as common sense. For instance, Simon understands that the act of driving utilizes his sense of sight, which is why deaf people can drive and why car stereos can be very loud, but not TOO loud, that's another fine altogether.

It is a marvel that fines are not being given out for changing the station on the radio or perhaps the air conditioner setting, two activities that share the same devices as the operation of an automobile and are far more perilous. Pumping gas with the engine running is another detriment to society, yet it occurs in this country by the minute unnoticed.  Surely, that is a gold mine waiting to be unearthed.

At least those rules involve others, unlike their favorite intrusion into the lives of their customers, I mean constituents: SEATBELT LAWS. See, this gem is what I call a "gateway fine" or a "tack-on fine," a side order, if you will. In many states now, this is all it takes to get pulled over, at which point the officer can try to find other reasons for you to give them money, on top of the nifty little fee it brings in itself. It is also fantastic for adding on to any other fine. It's an automatic bonus. Why? Because people don't want to wear their seatbelt....just like they want to eat red meat, smoke, not exercise, fly, ride a train, taxi, or bus, have sex, go outside in the rain, ignore hurricane warnings, go on amusement park rides, light fireworks, use sweet 'n low and cellphones, go tanning..... Wow! Look at all that money waiting for them! shhhh....)

Anyway, back to Simon-- He is fined $100. He chooses to contest it, but the people he is arguing against don't see it his way. Under the law, that means he is wrong, which is hard for any man to accept. However, his delay in succumbing to the whims of those in power, most likely seeded in his false belief that this is a democracy, in which rights are awarded to citizens, costs him another $100.
- At Simon's new address, around the same time, the garbage is picked up along the street where he parks. The truck comes by at around 10:00 am every Thursday morning. He often sees them as he is leaving for the day at that time or hears them out of the window.

In order to clear the street, there is no parking on that day from 8am to 1pm, which makes sense because they can not have a different time everywhere, so everyone who lives on a route is bound to the same time frame. Mind you, the goal here is supposed to be to keep the road clear that day for the garbage truck, and the fines are there to deter people from doing so.

-The ticket-writers in the area are also very familiar with the local garbage routes, and they are also familiar with certain cars in the area, especially a purple VW like Simon "used to" own. So, they are aware of who the residents are on a small residential block, such as Simon's.

After two years of strict obedience, Simon schedule is shuffled. Still, following the spirit of the law, but not the letter of the law (which one, are we taught in school, is the more important? I forgot.), Simon was certain that by 8:45 am, a full hour and 15 minutes before the garbage truck arrives, per their route, his car is not in the 'no parking' zone, because that is when he leaves in the morning according to his new timetable.

Certainly, it makes no sense to walk outside to move his car 45 minutes before he leaves when he is leaving anyway. Certainly, the ticket writers, who stalk the area every single day with one mission, to find illegal parkers, are familiar with such a car and not once, in around 104 mornings, has that purple VW interfered with the garbage route.

Still, the car was ticketed once at 8:00am and also once on the backside, on a day-off in which Simon had a 1:30pm departure and made a decision not to make two trips, especially seeing the emptied garbage cans and hearing the truck earlier at its usual time. Again, Simon felt this was simply a snow-job.

-They gave him another frivolous ticket along the way that he contested, as usual, yet as usual, in the eyes of the people who fined him, lost the argument to the people who fined him. With the addition of late fees, once again added because of a hesitation to remove his spine and surrender to the whims of the "collector," his total added up $600.

Simon makes enough to pay that, technically, but the government takes half of his income. He couldn't swing it on time. Because of that, his license was suspended, as was his registration. More fees began to compound. Because of the suspensions, Simon was not able to drive and had to spend hundreds on mass transit and cab rides to get to work and fulfill other responsibilities. The uncertainty of his transportation caused him to lose his job. 

-He now sat at home, unemployed with a car he couldn't drive out in the street. He still had to move it twice every Thursday. One Thursday, following a four hour subway/bus ride to his doctor on the other side of the city the day before, from which he was still exhausted, the whole thing became too much for him. So, when he went out that day to move his car, he decided that he was not going to walk to the pharmacy that was about a half mile up the road, and instead, he drove to the pharmacy, figuring it wouldn't really matter because it is only a few blocks away. He was wrong.

-He was pulled over by the boys in blue and arrested, despite his pleas and his attempt to politely explain, to which they mocked him. His car was also impounded. A "spare," but still relatively new, computer was in the car as well. (Simon lazily left it in the hatchback covered, figuring it was just as safe there as inside.) When he saw the judge he was asked how much time he needed to clear up his fines and when he said a month, the judge said, "How about two?" He was forced to pay $200 in bail, returnable minus a house-fee, when he returned, or he would sit in jail. He paid, figuring he would try to explain to his landlord why he was short, as he must be more receptive than the police, who are here to serve.

He was to return in two months to prove he had satisfied his fines and reinstated his license and renewed his registration, at which time he may retrieve his vehicle. As it stated very clearly, the vehicle could ONLY be released to the registered owner, Simon, when he presented a valid driver's license and valid insurance, meaning Simon had to continue to pay his insurance premium for the two months the car was impounded.

As if it was a practical joke being played on poor Simon, his computer broke down three weeks into his penance. He asks the court to kindly allow him to reclaim his computer, which he felt was simply an innocent bystander in the whole situation,
first through a string of unanswered letters and then in person for the ten seconds he was allowed after sitting in a court room all morning

He  tried to actually EXPLAIN the predicament, but there is no compromise when it comes to the city's funding, and they have simply no time for "favors." As far as they were concerned, they owned everything in the vehicle, and not one person, from the employees at the impound to the judge, was willing to budge. Simon was told, with the sinister scowl of a comic book super-villain, to come up with the scratch, and he would see his precious computer again, maybe.

So, with no car, no job, and no access to his computer, the headquarters of his world, Simon was expected to pay his exponentially growing fines. He did it. He accomplished his mission. He satisfied the court two weeks early; however, his bail money, needed to pay the towing fines and have the car released, wouldn't be returned until his scheduled court date. As he learned, there is no extra credit for finishing early.

-When the court date rolled around. Simon proudly stood before the judge and showed his receipts, totaling $840, that he had managed to collect, despite the aforementioned obstacles. He was ready to finally see his baby, his purple VW. 

Of course, he figured that there would surely be a towing and storage fee, but he assumed it could not be too much, considering he was given two months to come up with the fines.He also recalled asking the storage place what they estimated his bill would be given the time frame, and he was told that they had "no idea," as it was handled by the courts. How could any reasonable person or entity expect him to pay much more than a couple hundred dollars? 
Well, he couldn't understand why they had "no idea" because the fees were posted on the window of the records department, an area Simon was directed to at the back of the police area, downstairs from the court room in the "all-in-one" court house/city hall/police station/mafioso club house for scumbags. He had no idea that this area existed. 

Unlike most establishments we are used to in this country, there is no such thing as "customer service." In other words, unlike most business structures, they don't even make the experience of being ripped-off easy or comfortable. They are the only game in town, and they don't give a shit. There is no handbook given out to tell you your options and state a clear policy as to the anal rape that is occurring.

-In hindsight, Simon wishes he had been more diligent, which would have been easier with the help of his computer. While Simon scrambled to meet the demands of the neighborhood bully, thankful at least for the extra month given to him by the kind judge, the bill for his car being stored on the lot of the impound was $1,300. 

He was given 10 days from that date to come up with it, or he was to kiss his car goodbye. As a "favor" from the officer who supervises this particular wing of the brute squad, he was able to have his computer back...for a small fee of $115. 

Not too surprisingly, old Simon simply couldn't muster one final surge to rescue his beloved car, whom he had silently promised that he would (a silly gesture that strangely meant something to our hero.). The joke was on him, though. He paid his fines as promised, but he was never really going to see his car again. It's the dirtiest trick in the book.


Simon has since made no effort to recover from the losses in the way that you would expect. He has no car, and no plans to own one. He has no job, so he does not pay milk money to the bully. He lives by exploiting loopholes in the system, like making fraudulent claims for government services. 

Although he only  amasses enough to get by in life, he is aware that his behavior is frowned upon by true patriots, who feel he is ripping off the country and stealing  the "taxpayers money," a nice catch-phrase instituted by the institution to make you feel as though you taxes are some kind of noble contribution that is carefully counted and every dollar goes to your child's school.

Simon knows, of course, that he plays as vital a role in the system as any Joe Public and is content to know that he can help employ even one person in the fraud department of the particular entity he "supports." He realizes that, because of him and those like him, government agencies are validated and able to be funded, and funding makes everyone happy. So, much like the Colombian drug syndicates, he is a friend to the country.

Simon understands that his fellow citizens are brainwashed.

He enjoys things that not controlled by any agency and cost nothing but his unconditional love and his total acceptance of life, two things he has plenty of and can never be taken from him. He enjoys those qualities in things so much more than a big price tag. Simon lives life as if he is the richest man on Earth, which he literally would have been in the year 1AD. What's the difference?

Simon would also like you to know that he is thinking about you, and he feels your pain. He said everything will be just fine.

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Thanks for reading that. Please add some comments, give an opinion, ask questions, disagree. I would love a healthy discussion on this, not to find a winner in this debate, but to find the truth.

- Professor Plume

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