Sunday, 10 July 2016

Fixing the Cop Problem

After looking over the Twin Cities shooting business, and the general attitude of minorities about cops today....I've come to this idea.

What the cops have done in the US over the past couple of decades is become a money-generator organization for communities and counties.  Whether they will admit this in public.....they give out tickets to reach a certain level, and that helps to keep the city or county revenue pot at the level that the mayor and city council enjoys.

So, let's fix this problem.

1.  Go to the various city council members and demand that you want a monthly tally listed on a city web page, which notes ticket number, status, fine, end-result (dismissed or fine), and the judge involved.  No names of the cop, but put his or her badge number by the ticket number.   Let the public know how much is being generated.

2.  All this fine money being generated.....go back to the city council and demand that they put this into a pot of money which is NOT spent until the last month of each city planning cycle.  Then the city must use a formula related to the overall population.  If you 60,000 residents in town, and 52,000 are over the age of eighteen....then the city can keep up to $250 per person and spend as they desire.

3.  The remaining money in the pot?  It has to be returned....percent-wise....to the guy who paid their fines.  If you had one idiot who paid $1,500 in five fines....fine.  If the return amount if 50-percent of the pot, then he'll get 50-percent of his money back.

4.  The use of cops as revenue generators would quickly dry up and be no reason to make this gimmick a lasting operation.

5.  Those city council guys who refuse to pass this change?  Dump them. ID them in public and put new people up to replace them.

6.  Take the cops out of this stupid revenue game and lessen the whole need for tickets.

A Faustian Deal

I was reading a piece today in the NY Times.....which noted a "Faustian Deal".  I had to go back and read up on the phrase.

Faust is a character in literature to some degree....a German legend in another degree....who sells the public on the idea of him being a scholar or intellectual of some degree....always successful in what he or she does.

But the story doesn't end there.  This is an intellectual who is never happy.....never satisfied....never complete.....never fulfilled.....never at a final stage of success.

So Faust makes a deal with the Devil....giving his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.

The selling point of this story and constant reminder in real life is that a highly ambitious person who surrenders his or her moral integrity.....for power and perceived success.....may never reach the ultimate pay-back position, and forever be regretting how this deal all went down.

Different Germans have picked up Faust as a character or theme, and retold the story in dozens, if not hundreds of different ways.  The thing is.....once you cross some line into this remarkable deal where success ought to be iron-clad.....it just never seems to be deemed as a five-star success story.

This Faust point was told in the Times story of the impact of the Clinton attachment to the Obama Administration.  There weren't a lot of happy characters at the point where the DNC told the Obama team that they needed to keep Hillary Clinton as part of the new team in 2008.  The Obama team did everything possible to keep Sidney Blumenthal out as a part of the State Department.  The team failed.  Even now.....forced to be energetic and helpful for the Hillary campaign effort.....there is hostility over how the email server dragged them down into a deep mess.

As much as Hillary is concreted into the Faustian Deal herself and having no desire to disembark from the deal.....the Obama team is on its own Faustian Deal, with Hillary as the prize and their success or failure.....will depend on her.

All of this Faustian Deal business is mostly a false story told to the news media and public.....selling them on a theme that no matter how stupid you appear or behave like.....it's all good stuff and you can just overlook it.

Back a decade ago.....I think the Faustian Deal could be easily sold and the news media was capable of making the public believe it.  But there's a lot of things that have occurred, and lack of trust in the news media and politics.....are at a all-time low.  A sarcastic individual might easily sit there now and ask.....which closet of the White House will the new email server be kept, and will the KGB guys have the normal access to it?

If ever offered into a Faustian Deal?  My advice is to ask a few questions and then admit it's just not the kind of thing you want some part of.

These Three Things

What do the Timothy J. Russert Highway, Major George Quamo Post Office Building in New York, and Kate Mullany Historic Site Act....all have in common?

Well....these are the only three pieces of legislation that Hillary Clinton drafted and sponsored.....over eight years....and got passed into law.

A highway name, a post office name, and a historical site designation for some Irish union gal from the 1800s?  That's it?  Yeah.

There are various positions that she took.....to hook onto sponsorship of other drafted bills.....from various senators.  But these three are the only ones that she wrote, drafted, and got passed.

There are various ways to look at this and be amused or happy.  For example.....it demonstrates that she's not really going to do much or change much.....except to name roads or buildings.  That's a positive for a anti-big government guy.

Course, you could ask.....doesn't it show that she is lazy or doing mostly nothing?  Well....yeah, but what exactly do you want a senator to do?

So if you ever get into a discussion with some right-wing guy and he asks what the heck she did for eight years.....it'll be easy for you to remember the three accomplishments.

The Patience Game

In my whole life....I've been pulled over by the cops a total of three times.  In all three, no tickets were issued.  I should note....one was on an Air Force installation and I noted to the airman that I had obeyed the traffic regulation and he was incorrect on what had transpired.....which he stood there a minute looking at the signs and agreed with me.

So I pull up this Twin Cities shooting story from last week.

It is bothersome.  This guy....Philando Castile....had been pulled over 52 times over the past decade (he was 33 years old when he was shot by the cops in another stop).

According to the various news folks out there.....from these 52 occasions....they were all for minor things like speeding, muffler noise, lights out, etc.  In terms of fines?  Well, that's a curious thing.....the city, county and state....over this decade of observing Castile.....made $6.5 thousand off the guy.  You can figure that they were making $500 a year....off a guy who was minimum wage.

Bad driving habits?  Bad luck?  Aggressive local cops helping the bank account of the county or urban area?  No one can say.

I have one distinctive driving habit that I've had since the mid-1980s......I drive mostly from sun-up to sun-down.  Probably less than five-percent of all my driving has been in the evening hours.  No one notes the hours that Castile's 52 stops occurred.  My bet would be that most are after sun-down.

The thing is.....after a while.....a guy who has paid out $6,500 in fines, gets aggravated.  Its not an awful lot but since you are only making minimum wage....you get less and less agreeable with the cops.  You argue with them.....you bicker over the fine.....you reach a level where you just aren't friendly anymore with the cops.

Castile even went into court on numerous occasions and argued his position.....getting half of the tickets dismissed.  Course, that meant two or three hours away from work and just more frustration on top of what existed already.

Maybe the cops were always doing their duty and never handed out a single bad ticket.  But the odds of a decade of driving and 52 occurrences happening where the cops confront you?

What if you traveled by air a good bit, and over a decade.....you ended up with some dimwit TSA guy who forced you to do a more intensive check-out.....say 52 times.  Would you be fairly agreeable with the friendly TSA folks as you enter an airport?

What if you often had to do business at the local bank, and over a decade....had 52 occasions occur where they screwed up some business transaction of yours.  Would you be fairly agreeable with the bank tellers as you perform your business with them?

I'm only taking a guess here, but across the nation of 300 million residents.....there's probably one million Philando Castiles existing....who've paid out $500 a year for a decade to cops handing out tickets.  While the money-generation side of urban society appears to be concreted into position....it just makes one wonder where exactly things will go with society and if they are willing to permanently accept $500 a year as part of their tax contribution to the local political game.

If you ask me.....patience is not unlimited.