Seeds of More Than Just Change

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Headline: Woman Drops Sunflower Seed, Pays $185 Fine. There's even video. [Link via DigitalWarFighter]

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  1. She shoulda been horse whipped – with a real horse!

  2. That was awesome!
    Way to go Eyewitness News 5 and TV-3 Where News Comes First!

  3. not in the video: “Cop finishing cigarette and disgarding butt onto side of road before stepping out of car to issue citation.”

  4. What about the invisible but non-zero amounts of shoe leather that pedestrians leave behind them on the sidewalk?

  5. Over 30 years ago I spent a week on the road with a man who was promoting the development of bison herds by Native Americans. He had success, but it didn’t come easily. In one letter he wrote to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, he stated:

    “Buffalo chips are good for the land. Let the chips fall where they may.”

    His name was Benhart Rajala.

    Sunflower scoopers, indeed…

  6. Using the municipal definition of “anything that falls out of a car,” I suppose one ought to watch their step exiting the vehicle, lest they subject themselves to a hefty fine.

  7. “. . . Officers are required to enforce all statutes and ordinances regardless of what they are . . .”

    I wonder if they pull over kids riding bicycles on the sidewalk (it’s illegal here in Nevada, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s illegal in Oklahoma, also.) Maybe one of the cops could be pulled over when they run a red light, or make a “California” stop at a stop sign, or go at least 1mph faster than the speed limit on the way to pick up some donuts. If not, then it seems to me they aren’t “enforcing all statutes and ordinances regardless of what they are.”

    Yeah, I’m just venting, and I realize that there is no way a cop is going to get a ticket for any of those things.

  8. Remember when this was a free country? That was cool.

  9. …and the pissant wonder why people don’t have any respect for the law.

  10. The absolute best tidbit: “…appeal fee should have been only twice the amount of the fine.”

    Ah yes, the “appeal fee”– in-other-words, if you honestly feel you have been wronged by this fascist prototype for a new amerika, just pay twice what they were going to rip you off for, and you can complain about it to some pig who will just uphold the original rip-off. This tripling of state income is what we refer to as “the uppity tax” Now sit just there or better yet, step and fetchet when the govenment tells you to, boy.

  11. The cop was only doing his/her job. That seed presented a clear danger to the public.. not only blocking off the street but also as an environmental contaminate.

    The cop also was looking out for the citizen. Obviously, she could stand eating less sunflower seeds and do a damned sit-up or two.

  12. We have the Nail-a-Dumper website here. You can enter information on the car of a person littering and they will get a nasty letter (but no fine).

    They have videos of illegal dumpers.

    There’s also a web page where you can report graffiti. I talked to a code enforcement guy about it, he said that if you report graffiti on private property, they make the property owner pay for removal.

  13. Shawn Smith,

    Its generally acknowledged that if the cops enforced every law that regulates our lives the system would quickly collapse.

    Neb Okla,

    I talked to a code enforcement guy about it, he said that if you report graffiti on private property, they make the property owner pay for removal.

    WTF?!?!?!

  14. “. . . Officers are required to enforce all statutes and ordinances regardless of what they are . . .”

    What an incredibly offensive comment.

    You should loathe the police. You should pay them not even the most common of courtesies. They are uniformly the very worst members of our society: the least enlightened, the most violent, the dumbest, and by far, head and shoulders ahead of any terrorist or ‘rogue nation’ – the most likely to pose a real danger to an average citizens life, liberty or property.

    Do you think I speak too strongly here? Do you, perhaps, proclaim, “nonsense! Certainly Cops don’t steal from people! And those who lose life or liberty via their actions are criminals!”

    Let me ask you this. If you were really the government in this ‘democracy’ would you have given yourself that ticket for rolling a stop sign? How about that building code violation fine? Even if you say yes, how many others would? Really, how many people would give themselves, or their neighbor, or their wife, or cousin, or anybody else that they know, that stop sign ticket, if that was their job? Very, very, very few.

    And how many cops do you suppose give their friends, their wives and the neighbors tickets? Zero. And what if they pull over the Prosecutor with whom they collaborate to jail people. He doesn’t get a ticket of course. How about a judge, or the conservative legislator who votes yea on that law and order bill that the cop supports? No ticket for him, either. I mean after all, it’s just professional courtesy, right?

    But it is much worse than just individual cops not ticketing people they know. Cops have “courtesy cards.” They hand them out to everyone close to them. And if these people get pulled over by a different cop – one who doesn’t know them – that person gives that “stranger” cop the courtesy card. And that cop says, “oh sorry. Didn’t know you were the wife/son/brother/sister-in-law/best-friend of a cop. Have a nice day.”

    So we have a class of people who are immune to traffic infractions. This group is the same as the people who give those tickets (+ their friends). Their friends include prosecutors and judges and probation officers. These same people are positioned to successfully vie for, and to achieve, other public office – from city mayor to state legislator and beyond.

    These few are the people who defined the infrations in the first place. These few set the dollar figures of the fines. These few are the only ones empowered to issue the tickets. The fines from the tickets pay for the courts and the jails and such. They pay for new squad cars and ever more invasive surveillance gear, so that the cops can catch ever more people of ever more crimes for which they charge ever more fines and for which they imprison ever more people.

    Those people, come out of jail with many fewer rights than they entered jail with. For example, did you know that it is legal to search the car of anybody who has a drug conviction on their record? With no probable cause, no warrant – nothing but a record of having previously been abused by the cops.

    These people are in the business of manufacturing an underclass from whom they can an extort money and get their sadistic jollies. Most importantly, they vigorously demonize this underclass to create the fear that justify their own existence to the rest of us.

    Law enforcement – government in general – is the single most effective organized crime family in history.

    And no regular people in this democracy actually think, if asked about a specific case involving someone they know, that justice is served by this system.

    No one is disputing that violent crimes should go unpunished. But in 99% of the cases that involve the law at any level, including traffic fines and other petty nonsense, no rational person actually believes that justice is ever served by the police or the courts.

    Of course if you actually serve on a jury, the judge will tell you with remarkable vehemence that you as a juror are absolutely forbidden from considering any issues of justice. In fact, you have to solemnly swear before many witnesses, including God, that you will do no such thing before being allowed to sit in a jury box. You are there to decide an issue of fact and fact alone.

    If the defendent attempts to tell you that the jury should find him not guilty because to do otherwise is to do a great injustice, he will be silenced by the judge. The jurors will be told to disregard those statements, and that they may not consider them in any way when reaching a verdict.

    And if a juror or two feels sympathetic anyway, and argues in the jury room in favor of aquittal, he will be yanked and replaced, more likely than not.

    Now does it feel a little more like the cops are stealing?

    And believe me, stealing is the least egregious of their wrongs.

    Welcome the grand and noble american democracy, circa 2004.

  15. “You should pay them not even the most common of courtesies.”

    Right or wrong, they carry guns. I don’t. I’m going to be polite.

    My best bud comes from a police family (though he’s not a cop himself). When we were kids, and out driving and goofing around, once in awhile we would get stopped. My friend didn’t have a “courtesy card”, but he did tell the cop his dad was in the force. He almost always got off.

    Yes, this is unfair, but the fact is, my friend’s dad is a very decent man. He was a “community cop”, and is active in the church to this day. He also put his life on the line. Cops are very sympathetic to each other and their children, because it’s quite possible those kids will end up fatherless. A traffic ticket doesn’t seem as big in the scheme of things.

    There’s no doubt there are plenty of thug police with jackboots and heads full of shit. But there are also honest and decent people who want to do the right thing, even if the pay isn’t that good and it’s stressful as hell. I don’t think one brush can cover them all.

  16. Cops are very sympathetic to each other and their children, because it’s quite possible those kids will end up fatherless. A traffic ticket doesn’t seem as big in the scheme of things.

    Um, actually (and I’ll stand corrected if I’m wrong) there are many, many occupations considered riskier than law enforcement. Rarely, though, is it the case that, if a member of these other professions finds himself in trouble, the other members drop whatever they’re doing (regardless of the consequences to those other jobs) and rush to the scene; nor are they typically known (though there are certain exceptions) to march en masse in the event of an on-the-job death of one of their own.

    JMJ

  17. “Officers are required to enforce all statutes and ordinances regardless of what they are … because what to one person is very insignificant (is very significant) to someone else,” Sgt. Charles Phillips said.”

    This would come as a huge suprise to about 99.9% of all police officers. Every good police officer uses judgement in law enforcement every hour of every day. The world would come to an end tomorrow in massive beaurocratic gridlock if every police officer enforced every stupid regulation on the book.

  18. Mr Joy

    You are correct, there are many occupations riskier than law enforcement. And furthermore the event most likely to render a cop’s kids fatherless is an automobile accident.

    A few years ago cops from all over the country converged on Orlando for the funeral of an Orange County deputy. The cortege snarled traffic for hours. How had this gallant lost his life? The fat middleaged pig had keeled over from a fucking heart attack AT HOME.

    Only public school teachers have come close to creating such an “indispensible to society” myth.

  19. JMJ and Isaac Bertram,

    Great comments! What wit! 🙂

  20. I found this over at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the BLS, for 2003 anyway, rates of fatal occupational injuries (per 100,000 employed, selected occupations):

    Logging Workers: 131.6
    Aircraft Pilots & Flight Engineers: 97.4
    Farmers & Ranchers: 39.3
    Driver/Sales Workers & Truck Drivers: 26.7
    Construction Laborers: 25.1
    Police & Sheriff’s Patrol Officers: 20.9
    Miscellaneous Agricultural Workers: 16.5
    Grounds Maintenance Workers: 13.6
    First-Line Supervisors & Retail Managers: 3.7

    FWIW, 43% of the “fatal events” for police were highway-related.

    JMJ

  21. Today’s cops have forgotten SIR ROBERT PEEL’S NINE PRINCIPLES (if they ever knew them).

    http://nwpolice.org/peel.html

    Most police forces would like to be armed, equipped and manned like an armored division and regard the public as an alien enemy to be disarmed and subjugated.

  22. The sunflower woman should move to NYC. Here in darkest-blue territory we apparently don’t give a crap what you toss on the ground.

  23. Normally, I can’t stand cops ( too many tickets). For the first time in my life I experienced a “Cops” moment at a Subway. I had just paid for my food when a big, black (this matters for the story) guy goes up to the lady at the register and says his food is cold. Well, to make a long story short, this subway is not in the best of neighborhoods, it is manned by a thirty year old woman and then two high school girls. The only other patrons are two little old ladies. After his first comment, the man begins to flip out about how this b$tch didn’t heat his food because he’s a n$gger (yes, he used that word). Then he dropped a few f bombs. The little old ladies mouth to me to call the police. I start to do so when I see a cop car outside. Well, I hightale it out there to get the cop who ends up being a woman who was probably 4-5″ shorter than I. I tell her the situation and she radios in and then drives up the road to pull her car in to the parking lot. I go back to the store to witness the Guy smashing the register and trying to punch the lady across the counter. I thought to myself, “oh sh$t. I’m going to have to jump in.” Then I looked at the cop who was tiny to me and I was I thought to myself, “you have a pretty crappy job”. There is no way you could pay me enough to go into these types of situations day in and day out. Since that point, I’ve been much more open to the usefulness of cops and sympathetic to their position in society.

    PS- you should check out the history of the police in big cities such as NY around the turn of last century. Interesting to be in a place with a weak or non-existent police force.

  24. I wouldn’t have a problem with cops if they learned and practised Peel’s Nine Principles. Especially number 7.

    “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

  25. we need someone in OKC to follow that cop and judge around till they toss a butt, or McD wrapper, or KrispyKreme wrapper out of the car.

    here in Dallas, the cops plant FAKE drugs on people. they are so crooked and lazy they can’t evem plant REAL drugs.

    thugs in blue

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