The Blog

Apr 5, 2009

On Bad Parkers and Police States 

by Maxim Porges @ 6:19 PM | Link | Feedback (0)

Since I own a larger-than-average vehicle that I am typically able to park in a single space without issue, this one struck a chord. I am amazed by how many people can't get an average size car in to a single spot.

And while we're on traffic-related items, Jimmy Justice is my new hero. I had MSNBC on yesterday as background noise while I was cleaning up the lower half of the house, and I saw a special on this guy and other "video vigilantes."

Jimmy Justice hangs out around New York catching cops and city officials on camera as they blatantly disregard the laws that they ticket everybody else for breaking. I have nothing against cops when they are keeping us safer and upholding useful and sensible laws, but I do believe that 90% of traffic/parking tickets are total bullshit, imposed at the whim of the officer issuing the infraction and very infrequently actually causing anything useful to happen other than revenue to flow in to the coffers of the local city council. Frankly, I'd rather they just taxed me more and let me do whatever the hell I want on the road; the only place speed limits make any sense is adjacent to and within residential areas.

I have often thought about whipping out my video camera and grabbing shots of state troopers doing 90+ on the FL Turnpike or speeding down I-4, and I wish I had had my camera on me yesterday night when a cop turned on his lights to run a red light and make a turn instead of waiting for the light to change like the rest of us have to (and no, it wasn't an emergency because he turned his lights off as soon as he cleared the intersection). This is exactly the kind of hypocrisy that gives lawmakers and cops a bad rep.

On a more serious note, I was sent a news article recently by a friend that discussed how UK anti-terrorism laws make it illegal to photograph police. Seriously - WTF? If you can't photograph the police, you can't photograph them breaking the law, which means they are finally as unaccountable as they have always wanted to be. This is simply unacceptable for a democratic society. Anybody who has lived in the UK and seen the movie "Children of Men" knows the chilling authenticity of their depiction of Britain as a police state, and if you ask me, Britain's a mere hair away from becoming one. It all started with the traffic cams, and now the everything cams, and now laws preventing the photographing police officers.

I'm no conspiracy theorist or freedom nut, but this kind of nonsense gives me pause. Keep your eyes peeled, because this same nonsense is coming to the US. They've started installing traffic cams in a number of states for "the good of the populace," and it's a slippery slope to cameras everywhere - just look at the way the UK is going. Pay attention to what is happening in your state and make sure the camera laws being passed have your freedoms in mind.