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Showing posts with the label policeState

Amerika's Most Obscene National Holiday

Is "obscene" too harsh of a word? It could be. For many years I called Christmas the most obscene national holiday. But that was a mistake. The commercialism (and endless, stupid music) of Christmas might be objectionable on the basis of taste, but it doesn't really offend important values held by serious and sincere people. After all, Christmas really isn't a Christian holiday; it never was. It's simply about fun.
But the hypocrisies of the modern Fourth of July do offend the values that most Americans used to take seriously. What could be more disgusting than pretending to care about "freedom" one day a year when, in fact, freedom means little to the average Amerikan today.
Too bad I haven't paid more attention to politicians' speeches; it would be great to have statistical proof of a mere suspicion of mine that Democratic politicians don't even bother bloviating about freedom -- nobody would believe them if they did. The whole notion seems …

Update on Surprise Speeding Tickets in the Mailbox

When I got together with a Tucson friend yesterday my first question was about the photo-surveillance cameras used here; then a ticket is mailed to the citizen-criminal. I was concerned about tardy payment penalties being added to the speeding tickets of travelers who only get snail-mail forwarded every month or two.
My Tucson friend has indeed gotten a camera-based ticket the past year, and his wife got three. Each was over $200. Hers were at the same intersection, but on different days, which helped her think that they were repeated notices of the same "crime". (She didn't read the dates or times apparently.) She didn't pay all three tickets and got her driver's license suspended.
The good news is that theTucson reich sends somebody to your house before raising the stakes. At another time they called on the telephone. What a relief that was. It keeps the citizen-criminal from being completely at the mercy of snail mail delivery, which alarmed me the most.
How …

A Surprise Speeding Ticket in Your Mail Box

In Tucson yesterday I noticed a sign alerting drivers of photo-enforcement of the rules of the road. As a bicyclist I should probably approve, but I don't have the guts or the foolishness to ride my bicycle on these busy highways anyway, despite all their efforts at putting in shoulders for bicyclists.
What happens to a traveler who is caught by one of the surveillance cameras going ten miles per hour over the speed limit? Is a $350 ticket mailed to his mail box in South Dakota or Livingston, TX? There must be a time limit for paying the ticket. What if the traveler only requests his junk mail be forwarded every month or two. Has the speeding ticket now become a $1000 ticket? Does he need to appear in court because the ticket is unpaid? Will he need to hire an attorney?
At the end of the year, I wonder how the traveler would categorize that expense? I would put it in the "transportation" category or whatever you call the cost of being mobile.
Now please don't tell m…

Discontented Canadians near the Border

In Ajo the other day I noticed a nice-sized fifth-wheel (small but practical) and I complimented the owners on it. As it turned out, they were from British Columbia. One thing that you notice on the Snowbird Trail is a type of prejudice that could be called "longitudinalism". People migrate as efficiently south-ish as possible, with little veering to the east or west. Some of this is to save fuel, but much of it is geographical and cultural affinity. There are cultural differences between the Left Coast and the so-called Hinterlands or Fly-over states. From the point of view of the former, the Great Lakes and the Texas coast are still isolated in the hinterlands, despite being accessible to ocean-going vessels.

But the prejudice works in both directions. For instance, "BC" is not my favorite province. Too many trees. In the winter most of the Canadian ex-pats in Mexico are from BC. They are stereotypical left-wingers, whose praise of Mexican culture really comes do…

Should I Go to an OWS Rally?

No matter how much a person might like their mobile lifestyle, there must be times when it seems frivolous and vacuous: when it degenerates into "channel surfing with gasoline". In the back of his mind, the traveler might yearn for experiences more substantial and challenging than mere sightseeing. But it would still be nice if mobility enabled these deeper and richer experiences.

For instance, during the Arab Spring, I was in the habit of reading bicycle touring blogs. Most of them were pretty boring: "...yesterday I was there, today I'm here. This morning I had instant oatmeal instead of corn flakes for breakfast." Then they photographed the oatmeal.

In contrast, one of these cycle tourers was staying in a Bed and Breakfast in downtown Cairo, right next to Tahrir Square where all the demonstrations took place. What an experience he had!

Driving to an "Occupy Wall Street" rally could be one of those experiences, and one that an RV is uniquely advanta…

An Early Fourth of July Celebration

After the threats and warnings that prospective jurors get about talking about the questions on the questionnaire, the next step is to drag the prisoners -- I mean 'citizens', patriots, lucky Americans -- halfway across the state, so that lawyers and judges can subject them to enhanced interrogation techniques. Try this one on:
We welcome you as a Juror in the United States District Court for the District of [X]. The United States jury system is among the best in the world. Its success is due largely in part to willing participation of citizens such as yourself."...due largely in part to..." Let's hope that the federal government presses a new prose stylist into their service.