Sunday, January 15, 2017

Extortion Racket in Blue Uniforms

For the second time in two months, and fourth time in five months, I was pulled over in the City of Binghamton for an alleged driving infraction. Two times, I was let go without a ticket. The last two times, I have received tickets for offenses that have not historically been offenses, and thus I am fighting both of them. One for an alleged non-stop at a stop sign, and tonight's was for a no-turn signal--while I was in a right-turn only lane. This is on top of a speeding ticket I got last November, not in Binghamton, for allegedly doing 71 in a 55 zone--when my cruise control was set at 62 MPH.
I am currently carrying 8 points on my license (only four of which were deserved), and it is conceivable that I may lose it for a short period if I don't fight them. And it is particularly galling because before October 2015, I had not gotten as much as a fucking parking ticket in over a decade. I most certainly did not turn into the world's most ornery and careless driver in the fall of 2015; something else is at work here.
And what might that be? It is, simply, another manifestation of the extraction economic model that has become the norm in post-Cold War America. Municipalities need more and more money to make the wheels go round, and since no one in political office will dare raise taxes on those with an ability to pay, instead the money is being squeezed from the peasantry,  like we are living in 1780 France or something. And I'm not the only one that has noticed this or is having it happen to them. A friend of mine was stopped for a bogus infraction on New Year's Eve for either a fishing expedition to see if someone had been drinking or because the passenger in the car was African-American. The Traffic Nazi has run amok for years now, without much recourse. Not a day goes by when you cannot see some poor slob pulled over by three cars and three jarheads during the waning daylight hours in Binghamton because the driver had the misfortune to fit whatever they decided that afternoon was "suspicious" behavior.
This are the seeds of eventual revolutions--this petty harassment for no other real purpose than finding inventive ways to get into people's pockets. I would rather be strong-armed than deal with this mockery of "law enforcement." One of these days, I'm going to get enough courage to ask someone who pulls me over whether, when they were kids dreaming of being a cop, whether that dream included writing seventeen hundred traffic tickets a year. Cops always deny that they have quotas or targets of tickets to write--except some regain a moral compass upon retirement or otherwise leaving the force and tell the truth: they certainly do.
And the final indignity is that the cop that gave me the ticket was the more respectable scion of the embattled chief of police. His other son has been in and out countless rehabs, has caught every break in the book, and even when he was finally arrested on what  had to have been his fifteenth violation of probation, he got to go to a cushy rehab. I can relate in some ways, I really can. But many years ago, I stopped trading on my daddy's money and influence and made my own in the world. Junior Ziksuki is poised to be sucking on the public tit for the last four decades, all because his dad ended up kissing enough butt over the years to end up living proof of the Peter Principle. Nepotism is an ugly thing, and it's even worse when the offending family is turning the notion of "Protect and Serve" into a morbidly ironic farce.
See you in court (eventually), Officer Zippy.

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