Sunday, January 31, 2010

One More Reason NOT To Live in California

I was born in Caifornia. Grew up there. Went to UCLA. And promptly left as soon as I found a job elsewhere. Clearly, I didn't like what I saw there. Now, I grew up in a nasty little area of Los Angeles so I'm sure that my experience is not typical of the entire state. I found the people (in South Central Los Angeles) to be racist, hateful, self-centered, greedy, cruel ... etc. I left and have no desire to return. Ever. Granted, I have to return to visit the elderly relatives but that's the only reason and I stay as little time as possible and spend as little money as possible.

Here is just one more reason not to live there - corruption. When found out, rather than vote to eliminate it, legislators in CA voted to expand it.

Class War
How public servants became our masters
from the February 2010 issue

In April 2008, The Orange County Register published a bombshell of an investigation about a license plate program for California government workers and their families. Drivers of nearly 1 million cars and light trucks—out of a total 22 million vehicles registered statewide—were protected by a “shield” in the state records system between their license plate numbers and their home addresses. There were, the newspaper found, great practical benefits to this secrecy.

“Vehicles with protected license plates can run through dozens of intersections controlled by red light cameras with impunity,” the Register’s Jennifer Muir reported. “Parking citations issued to vehicles with protected plates are often dismissed because the process necessary to pierce the shield is too cumbersome. Some patrol officers let drivers with protected plates off with a warning because the plates signal that drivers are ‘one of their own’ or related to someone who is.”

The plate program started in 1978 with the seemingly unobjectionable purpose of protecting the personal addresses of officials who deal directly with criminals. Police argued that the bad guys could call the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), get addresses for officers, and use the information to harm them or their family members. There was no rash of such incidents, only the possibility that they could take place.

So police and their families were granted confidentiality. Then the program expanded from one set of government workers to another. Eventually parole officers, retired parking enforcers, DMV desk clerks, county supervisors, social workers, and other categories of employees from 1,800 state agencies were given the special protections too. Meanwhile, the original intent of the shield had become obsolete: The DMV long ago abandoned the practice of giving out personal information about any driver. What was left was not a protection but a perk.

Yes, rank has its privileges, and it’s clear that government workers have a rank above the rest of us. Ordinarily, if one out of every 22 California drivers had a license to drive any way he chose, there would be demands for more police power to protect Californians from the potential carnage. But until the newspaper series, law enforcement officials and legislators had remained mum. The reason, of course, is that the scofflaws are law enforcement officials and legislators.

Here is how brazen they’ve become: A few days after the newspaper investigation caused a buzz in Sacramento, lawmakers voted to expand the driver record protections to even more government employees. An Assembly committee, on a bipartisan 13-to-0 vote, agreed to extend the program to veterinarians, firefighters, and code officers. “I don’t want to say no to the firefighters and veterinarians that are doing these things that need to be protected,” Assemblyman Mike Duvall (R-Yorba Linda) explained.

Exempting themselves from traffic laws in the name of a threat that no longer exists is bad enough, but what government workers do to the rest of us on a daily basis makes ticket dodging look like child’s play. Often under veils of illegal secrecy, public-sector unions and their political allies are systematically looting the public treasury with gold-plated pensions, jeopardizing the finances of state and local governments around the country, removing themselves from legal accountability, and doing it all in the name of humble working men and women just looking for their fair share. Government employees have turned themselves into a coddled class that lives better than its private-sector counterpart, and with more impunity. The public’s servants have become our masters.

The entire article is here and it's far worse that immunity to traffic laws.


@eloh said...

Wow, I think you are the first person ever to "speak of" the mind set of the typical southern Californian.

AFTER I had lived and worked narcotics and crimes in several countries to include those with open sewage ditches to caviar balls in european castles....

I lived in "swank" Redlands for a year while attending the University.

Southern California has more filth and really horrible people by far than anywhere else I have ever lived.

Kirly said...

maybe. i've been saying it for quite some time. over 20 years in fact. once you experience a normal placed with decent, ordinary people (who wouldn't stab you in the back for no reason), you can't live someplace like that.

@eloh said...

Good way to put it.