Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Lincoln Park Pirates

I don't get to the city much. Been there, done that, got the car alarm.

But all over the great State of Illinois, a great confluence of allied actors presents itself to the average person as a monolithic force with the malevolent desire to trap him into paying a hefty fine for whatever infraction he can be charged as having committed.

In Chicago, which I think is on a whole other planet from the rest of Illinois, the cabbies have been asking permission to raise rates. No, that's not right: they've been asking the Mayor Daley to raise their fares. Why on Earth does Hizzoner Da Mayor set the prices for what is ostensibly a private enterprise? The socialists in the Democrat machine are why.

It seems that if you park your car in the wrong place in Chicago, it will be ticketed and towed. There is a $50 fine, but you get your choice: pay the $50, or pay $25 and go tell the judge, who will either order you to pay the other $25 or give you your money back on the first snowy day in Baghdad this summer. Not such a bad deal, unless you want to park your car somewhere other than your driveway, which you don't have because you foolishly live in a city.

And yet, somehow, there are reports of people sending in their $50 fine, getting a receipt for it, but the ticket gets filed as a $25 contested one. Bah. Cities. You can have 'em.

Rod Blagojevich wants to be the guy who provided health care to everyone in Illinois, maybe so someone will like him. Hard to say. But guess what, Rod ol' boy: when the Feds get through with your dirty campaign and even dirtier governance, you will be known as "George Ryan II".

I drive a lot on a particular stretch of Interstate in Illinois. I know where the Illinois State Police have their speed traps, so I'm careful not to exceed the speed limit where those traps are. I also know that when I see someone pulled over by a State Trooper, the motorist is usually Black or Hispanic.

Is it racial profiling? I don't know. All I know is what I see, and I usually see a lot more melanin in the face of the one pulled over than in the one standing under the Smokey hat.

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