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Lawsuit Targets Rapacious City Fine System in St. Louis Community

Tickets for not having curtains or screen doors used to fund government.

Those aren't love letters she's holding.Institute for JusticeMunicipal code enforcement is a scourge. Cities claim it’s all about protecting public safety from the hazards of poorly maintained property, but anybody who has ever had to interact with this system knows that it’s all about either using government force to protect property values (as though that’s an appropriate role of police authority) or finding new ways to milk citizens of money. And that’s not even getting into situations where citizens use it to tattle on neighbors to perpetuate feuds.

Head over to Pagedale, Missouri, a small suburb of St. Louis that is 90 percent black and see the town’s money-grubbing ways. Code enforcement citations there have jumped almost 500 percent since 2010. According to research by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the city has handed out more than 2,000 code citations in the past year, enough to give nearly two tickets to every single household in the city of 3,300.

Missouri law restricts the percentage of revenue cities can derive from traffic tickets. That’s not so for other types of municipal citations, so these small communities that often have no decent commercial tax base to support government end up milking its own populace more and more to pay for its own existence.

The rapaciousness of the governments of small communities in the St. Louis area started receiving massive attention following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. A significant amount of outrage was about how police and government treat black citizens as criminals, the corrupt justice system that tries to drain them of all their money, and the financial incentives that have been put into place to reinforce this behavior.

Now the liberty-focused legal eagles at the Institute for Justice are stepping in. They’re filing a class-action lawsuit against the city of Pagedale, saying its municipal system of fines is a civil rights violation. They’ve trolled through the city’s code and list the kind of absurd reasons the city will fine its citizens:

  • Having mismatched curtains;
  • Walking on the left-hand side of a crosswalk;
  • Wearing pants below one’s waist;
  • Having holes in window screens, and;
  • Having a barbeque in front of a house.

None of these are legitimate public safety issues, but they're certainly a good way to find people to fine. IJ’s initial clients are three citizens who have had to deal with excessive fines and demands from the city. Valarie Whitner has had to take out small loans with high interest rates to stay ahead of all the code enforcement fines. Vincent Blount has been handed $2,800 in fines and the city threatened to raze his home. IJ produced its own video detailing how terrible Pagedale’s system is:

Photo Credit: Institute for Justice

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  • Jordan||

    That’s not so for other types of municipal citations, so these small communities that often have no decent commercial tax base to support government end up milking its own populace more and more to pay for its own existence.

    President Obama says: "What's the problem? Government is us, so these people are just giving money to themselves."

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    These residents shouldn't be so selfish. We're all in this together, and government provides many essential services.

  • See Double You||

    Look, they have a choice: pay the fine or go to jail. Why do you hate freedom, MJ?

  • Homple||


    … remember that paying taxes is not a ‘‘one-way street.’’ When you send your money to the government, the government, in return, provides you with vital services, such as not putting you in prison.

    Dave Barry

  • gaoxiaen||

    Or shooting you if you're being harassed by the cops and your balls itch.

  • Homple||

    Thanks for the reminder about itchy balls. I always make the motion furtive if I need to scratch them in public.

  • MichaelL||

    ......(;oP......... Of course! What were we thinking of?!

  • BambiB||

    Keee-ripes! I never realized how vacuous, specious and poorly-informed is Tavis Smiley.

  • D. M. Michell||

    That's sarcasm, right?

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Justice Roberts says it is not up to the courts to protect people from their political choices.

  • Bubba Jones||

    The city officials of Pagedale are all black. Why are you so racist?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This lawsuit can't succeed. If Pagedale can't collect revenue from citizens through code enforcement, how will the city pay for all the code enforcement staff?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The general fund.

  • commodious spittoon||

    *salutes*

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Disincorporate the city.

    There's clearly no reason for it to exist.

  • Lee G||

    This. It exists solely to feed itself.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    To be perfectly honest, it was shit like this (growing up in PA) that turned me libertarian more than the big issues. Jesus, I hate being fucked with!

  • The Last American Hero||

    Libertarianism - come for the not being fucked with over petty shit, stay for the Mexicans, ass-sex and pot!

  • Restoras||

    And the guns!

  • sitnam90||

    I believe Libertarians are born not made (like the gays!). That said I would think alot of pro-liberty types would come to their personal revelations because of small stuff like this, things that could actually effect them in real life.

  • Loki||

    Government is the things we do fines we collect from poor people together.

  • Homple||

    Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together. At gunpoint.

  • Rich||

    I'll bet the Pagedale City Hall is fucking *immaculate*.

  • Loki||

    You don't want your Top. Men. ruling in squalor, do you?

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Does a dungeon count as "squalor"?

  • Rich||

    ruling in squalor

    Nice album name.

  • Citizen X||

    I think that phrase is actually on Warty's business card.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Nice.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Without government, who would protect us from mismatched curtains? I'm sure mismatched curtains are all over the place in Somalia.

  • ||

    What about gals who shave down there? Are they cited as well for the curtains not matching the drapes?

  • Terc||

    I live in a community that seems to be free of many of these law enforcement/revenue generating scourges that Reason frequently outlines in its pages: lemonade stands, tree forts, fire pits, and fireworks abound freely. But I also pay obscenely high property taxes. I suspect that things would be very different if my town had reasonable taxes. We would be just like Pagedale. Either way, the government is going to get its money.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Look, not everybody can live in Galt's Gulch.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Alternately, those high property taxes are going to drive out the tax payers and fuel the spending demand, a combination that will lead to those ridiculous fines.

  • See Double You||

    For all of those infractions listed, I'm having a hard time seeing how they are rationally related to public health or safety. It should be obvious they are unconstitutional violations of citizens' due process rights to property; alas, IJ is smart to label them "civil rights violations" since the courts have essentially rendered the Due Process Clause a dead letter.

  • Zeb||

    I think it is justified on grounds of keeping property values up. Sort of a broken widows approach.

    I'd say that they are both civil rights and due process violations. And it wouldn't be much better if you got due process and then got fined for mismatched curtains.

  • See Double You||

    And it wouldn't be much better if you got due process and then got fined for mismatched curtains.

    I was thinking of substantive due process; I know, I'm playing with fire.

  • See Double You||

    And even if these infractions rationally relate to public health or safety, I think that shows how morally corrupt (and unconstitutional) the rational basis test is. Courts need to review economic and property regulations with a higher degree of scrutiny.

    While recognizing it is not always a black and white issue, I believe that in general the state should not be in the business of protecting property values.

  • MSimon||

    mismatched curtains.

    Dadaist home decoration not allowed.

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

    That and quality of life.

    The usual excuses to keep the riffraff in their place.

  • kinnath||

    Never forget that the Social Contract has lots of fine print.

  • JW||

    I keep losing my copy. The gubmint swears they don't have anything like that on file, when I ask for a copy. I don't know why they're giving me the run around like that. Fuggin' lazy bureaucrats, amirite?

    Do you still have yours? I could make a copy and just white-out your signature.

  • See Double You||

    Valarie Whitner has had to take out small loans with high interest rates to stay ahead of all the code enforcement fines.

    Obviously the problem is those private loan sharks, not the local government.

    /Progsplainer

  • Doctor Whom||

    Nice.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Look, can you imagine the chaos if Having mismatched curtains was allowed ?!?!?! You freaking Libertarian Anarchist just want chaos !!!!

    -Proggie/derp

  • cavalier973||

    None of the curtains in Somalia match.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The wienermobile is in the ditch.

    Oscar Mayer employees and government officials struggled to come to grips Wednesday with the news that the meat processer’s parent company will shut down its Madison headquarters, wiping out hundreds of jobs at a company that has been a part of the community’s fabric since 1919.
    Kraft Heinz Food Co. said the Madison Oscar Mayer offices and adjoining processing plant is one of seven plants in the U.S. and Canada that will close as part of an effort to save $1.5 billion in costs.
    The headquarters will shift from Madison to Chicago; the other plants slated for closure include facilities in Fullerton, California; San Leandro, California; Federalsburg, Maryland; St. Marys, Ontario, Canada; Camp­bell, New York; and Le­high Valley, Pennsylvania.
    The company plans to shed a total of 2,600 jobs. About 300 corporate workers in Madison will be offered jobs at the company’s co-headquarters in Chi­cago; the remaining 700 or so production workers here will lose their positions in three waves of layoffs over the next two years, Mayor Paul Soglin said at a news conference.

    Kindly old Grandpa Buffett says, "You're fired."

    Consolidation high, productivity, excess capacity. Those damn shareholders, expecting efficient use of resources.

  • Rich||

    NOOOO!!

    What if they promise to use tofu instead of meat?

  • Lee G||

    What a bunch of baloney

  • Rich||

    "... 'cause if I were an Oscar Meyer wiener everyone would take a bite of me!"

  • Jimbo||

    NOOOO! Not San Leandro, CA...my hometown.
    Although it actually won't have any effect on the number of wieners in SL.

  • ||

    the headquarters will shift from Madison to Chicago

    That's sure to be cheaper!

    *rolls eyes*

  • Jimbo||

    Come on, you know the drill: Chicago/Illinois are providing "incentives" to move there. We all know they are swimming in cash, so providing a little cash is a no-brainer, duh!

  • gaoxiaen||

    Just increase the offal content.

  • Jimbo||

    That's awful.

  • MSimon||

    Hebrew National.

  • Zeb||

    I can't imagine living in a place where the city can come fine you for shit like this.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the city is now attempting to tear down the house of the people featured in the video

    PAGEDALE • A public interest law firm is suing in federal court in St. Louis to stop Pagedale from incessantly ticketing residents for things such as high grass, mismatched curtains and sagging pants — a lawsuit spurred by a Post-Dispatch article that highlighted the city’s practices.

    The civil rights suit, filed on Wednesday by the Institute for Justice’s office in Washington state, is seeking class action status. The lead plaintiffs are Valarie Whitner and Vincent Blount, who were featured in the newspaper article after facing an onslaught of violation notices from the city for minor housing code offenses at their home on St. Charles Rock Road.

    When Whitner and Blount couldn’t keep up with the repairs and fines, Pagedale officials threatened to demolish their home of nearly 20 years, while acknowledging it presented no public safety threat and was merely a nuisance.
  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Also: "If the government does it, it's not illegal"

    Alton said that the city was not using the demolition process as a threat and that “to say that something is unconstitutional or illegal — I’d have to see the specific allegations about that — but until there is a finding that a specific violation in the code is unconstitutional or illegal, well, frankly, it’s not.”
  • Juvenile Bluster||

    (and I misspoke. They're not currently threatening to do it. They were threatening to do it until the IJ got on their asses about it, now they've rescinded it for now but still say they might do it.)

  • The Late P Brooks||

    For all of those infractions listed, I'm having a hard time seeing how they are rationally related to public health or safety.

    Listen- if I'm driving down the street and see a house with shutters painted two different colors, I'm liable to drive right up on the sidewalk and crush some small child. It's distracting, dammit!

  • DK||

    None of these are legitimate public safety issues

    Having mismatched curtains;
    - Obviously, from meth lab residue.
    Walking on the left-hand side of a crosswalk;
    OK, I've got nothing. Must be the ultimate FYTW,
    Wearing pants below one’s waist;
    - Duh! Sex trafficking!
    Having holes in window screens, and;
    - Clearly, from gunshots.
    Having a barbeque in front of a house.
    - CO2 in plain sight!

  • Rich||

    Walking on the left-hand side of a crosswalk;
    OK, I've got nothing. Must be the ultimate FYTW,

    Obviously it's because you could walk into someone using the crosswalk correctly.

    That's *assault and battery*, DK.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Valarie Whitner has had to take out small loans with high interest rates to stay ahead of all the code enforcement fines.

    Wells Fargo?

  • Free Society||

    OT: THREE MILLION migrants will arrive in Europe by 2017 as more continue to flee Syria and other war zones

    In addition, European Union economic commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that the influx of refugees and migrants from 2015-2017 will end up boosting the EU's economy. 'There will be an impact on growth that is weak but positive for the EU as a whole, and that will increase GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 0.2 to 0.3 percent by 2017,' Moscovici said.

    'That will combat a certain number of received ideas and backs the politics of President Jean-Claude Juncker,' who has pushed for the EU to do more to help migrants, Moscovici added.

    The migrant arrivals would create a short term boost to growth from higher government spending on new asylum seekers, the Commission said.

    That would be followed by a medium-term boost because of an increase in the number of workers available 'provided the right policies are in place to facilitate access to the labour market,' it said.

    So the millions of refugees are going to be a boon to the economy because of all the additional government spending and new labor regulations that will follow them. Multiculturalism and economic illiteracy go hand-in-hand.

  • Rich||

    'provided the right policies are in place to facilitate access to the labour market'

    You know who else had the right policies in place to facilitate access to the labour market?

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Gaius Julius Caesar?

  • ||

    Slavers?

  • Jimbo||

    The maternity wing of any hospital?

  • Swiss Servator||

    WIN!

  • gaoxiaen||

    Willie Wonka?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It absolutely could be a boon to the European economy, which has been griping about low population growth to feed it's rapacious ponzi-scheme cradle-to-grave welfare system.

    Yes, it's ironic, but if Europe does it correctly, it could be just what Europe needs. Hard-working foreigners willing to provide the starving European system of much-needed revenue.

  • Free Society||

    I wouldn't say that immigration policies designed to feed the rapacious welfare state qualifies as the natural migration and free association of people. What the welfare state needs to survive comes at the expense of Hans Q Bürger's needs, and that of his children.

  • ||

    Hans Q. Bürger is, in this case though, the main welfare recipient, and he didn't have any kids to pay for his pension.

  • Hugh Akston||

    So what was he doing during his mandatory month-long holiday if not banging Brünhilde ß Deutscher?

  • Free Society||

    Yes the welfare state benefits some people at the expense of others. That doesn't mean it works as a system, or that it should be fed or that Hans or Dietmar or Jimbob owe it to recipients to craft policies to feed it.

  • Jimbo||

    His real name is Burgermeister Meisterburger.

  • ||

    +1 Christmas without a Santa Claus.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    That would make sense, if Europe didn't have structural unemployment already that puts US to shame. There are countries with 20%, 30% or more youth unemployment - how the fuck are people who don't speak the language or know the customs help or make them more employable than locals? All the problems standing in the way of hiring locals (low wages compared to welfare, difficulty of firing, not the right education, whatever) are simply magnified when migrants come.

  • commodious spittoon||

    "We're already in the toilet economically, what's another few tenths of a percent?"

  • Cytotoxic||

    Immigration does not increase unemployment. These new immigrants will plug holes in the labour market and better yet might contribute to the 'informal' economy.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Must have skipped over this part - All the problems standing in the way of hiring locals (low wages compared to welfare, difficulty of firing, not the right education, whatever) are simply magnified when migrants come.

    How is Mustapha supposed to get hired in a country where Hans can't get hired because of the crappy over-regulation, expense and inability to fire people?

    A million migrants won't cure European malaise, but some reform might - then you can gedt

  • Swiss Servator||

    *get* migrants to help.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Well, to defend (gasp) Cytotoxic, a million migrants who
    A) are qualified
    B) speak the language
    C) aren't eligible for welfare
    D) do not have citizenship

    Could be what Europe needs. I call that "Poles in UK" approach. They genuinely take jobs local populace is incapable of doing (for reasons why, I recommend Life at the a bottom By Theodore Darlymple).
    That, however, is not on offer.

  • MSimon||

    How is Mustapha supposed to get hired in a country where Hans can't get hired because of the crappy over-regulation, expense and inability to fire people?

    Underground Economy. AKA Black Market. But you can't say Black Market in the US. It is a trigger term.

  • In League with the Dark Ones||

    The black market is what's going to keep the US economy afloat when the US raises its minimum wage.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    how the fuck are people who don't speak the language or know the customs help or make them more employable than locals?

    A bit of snark, I admit, but I would hire an ESL immigrant from the ME before I'd hire one of Europe's famously impossible-to-fire locals who are going to immediately take three months leave because they know the system all too well.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Well funny thing is

    However, once unsuccessful asylum applications have been taken into account, this will only represent a 0.4 per cent population increase.

    'There will be an impact on growth that is weak but positive for the EU as a whole, and that will increase GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 0.2 to 0.3 percent by 2017,'

    So, overall GDP will rise, GDP per capita will fall, so, if you give a shit about the measure, effect will be, people in Europe will be poorer than before.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Also, the 0.4% number assumes that more than half the applications will be declined, and once they are, unsuccessful applicants will be deported. Which, yeah.

  • Free Society||

    And doesn't assume the relative rates of birth between demographic groups.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    It does stop at 2017, so far as the article goes, those are not relevant. Anything afterward cannot be spoken of, because you can't predict what people will do based on past behavior under any circumstances ever. That would be collectivizing, which we know socialist countries abhor.

  • Free Society||

    Ah no, statistical inference is not ideological collectivism. It's not ideological at all. In the same way that facts can't be racist.

    You can extrapolate birth rate trends among populations, with a range of estimates. Taking even the most reasonably conservative among them, you can predict a minimum rate of fertility for refugee immigrants that will far outstrip that of the indigenous European populations. So you can make some very safe assumptions about future population growth among those populations.

  • Free Society||

    under any circumstances ever

    I missed your over-the-top absolutist qualifier here, thus I missed your sarcasm. It's all so clear now. Sorry.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    I thought the idea of Socialists abhorring collectivizing would be a better hint...

  • gaoxiaen||

    Is that because of the Mayan calendar thing?

  • Cytotoxic||

    So what? That is totally misleading. Nobody is actually poorer, you just averaged them and thereby distorted the data.

  • Free Society||

    Increased government spending necessarily takes away from the economy's productive output and/or it's future capacity for productive output.

  • MSimon||

    Only libertarians believe in crazy ideas like that.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    So, overall GDP will rise, GDP per capita will fall, so, if you give a shit about the measure, effect will be, people in Europe will be poorer than before.

    Isn't Greece handling the GDP sitch all by itself?

  • Cytotoxic||

    "new labor regulations that will follow them"

    Speaking of illiteracy.

    Newsflash: there is no correlation between immigration and welfare spending. None.

  • Homple||

    So how are the million or so immigrants to Germany this year going to be fed, clothed, housed, receive medical care and be transported without welfare spending?

  • Free Society||

    That's not the case at all. Half hour long, skip through at your leisure.

  • Homple||

    The EU is running a large scale open borders experiment. Keep your lab notebooks up to date because there will be much to learn.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Nope, because they sure as he'll aren't allowing people to travel anywhere by air without permission. For that matter, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Croatia have reinstituted border controls. It's just that migrants give zero fucks. They are LARPing Goth arrival to Roman Empire.

  • Homple||

    What I mean is that the borders are de facto open and the countries, at least Germany, are providing accommodations for them instead of sending them back whence they came.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I find it interesting that the IJ is stepping in here. Is the ACLU just not a thing any more?

  • Hugh Akston||

    The ACLU focuses mostly on cases that are clearly constitutional/civil rights in nature. The IJ is more focused on economic cases.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    This seems to be more in the civil-rights band of the spectrum than the economic one... to me at least. More so than the system of professional licensing etc.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The IJ is pursuing it as a civil rights case as a strategy, but the two main components of the issue are the absurd fines the city uses to generate revenue, and the threats to seize/demolish their home. Whatever due process/civil rights issues are at play, the main effect on the plaintiffs is economic.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The ACLU focuses mostly on cases that are clearly constitutional/civil rights in nature. about forcing people to bake cakes for homos.

  • cavalier973||

    The...American Cakes for Limp-wrists Union?

  • Lee G||

    Unless you're a member of a designated victim class and threatened by a member of a designated privileged class, no.

  • See Double You||

    The ACLU isn't all that interested in protecting property rights.

  • ||

    I don't know how much litigation the ACLU actually engages in. I think they're great at fundraising and maybe producing papers and pamphlets, but I don't know how much they're actually in court.

    IJ is in court all the fucking time. Love them.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Hmmmmmmm

    "This extensive investigation has concluded with an overwhelming amount of evidence that Gliniewisz's death was a carefully staged suicide," says Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko. "This staged suicide was the end result of the extensive criminal acts that Gliniewicz had been committing."

    Gliniewicz, a 52-year-old father of four, oversaw the Fox Lake Police Department's Explorers program, which engages youths interested in police work with various aspects of the field. The investigation found that the officer had been stealing and laundering money from the group for seven years, Filenko says.

    "Thousands of dollars were used by Gliniewicz for personal purchases, travel expenses, mortgage payments, personal gym memberships, adult websites" and loans to friends, the task force commander says. "Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and to the law enforcement community. The facts of his actions proved he behaved in a manner completely contrary to the image he portrayed.

    "This is the first time as a law enforcement officer in my career that I've felt ashamed by the acts of another police officer."

    Thin blue line.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Obviously you have no shame.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Hmmmmmmm

    "This extensive investigation has concluded with an overwhelming amount of evidence that Gliniewisz's death was a carefully staged suicide," says Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Commander George Filenko. "This staged suicide was the end result of the extensive criminal acts that Gliniewicz had been committing."

    Gliniewicz, a 52-year-old father of four, oversaw the Fox Lake Police Department's Explorers program, which engages youths interested in police work with various aspects of the field. The investigation found that the officer had been stealing and laundering money from the group for seven years, Filenko says.

    "Thousands of dollars were used by Gliniewicz for personal purchases, travel expenses, mortgage payments, personal gym memberships, adult websites" and loans to friends, the task force commander says. "Gliniewicz committed the ultimate betrayal to the citizens he served and to the law enforcement community. The facts of his actions proved he behaved in a manner completely contrary to the image he portrayed.

    "This is the first time as a law enforcement officer in my career that I've felt ashamed by the acts of another police officer."

    Thin blue line.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah. You're supposed to steal from little people, not fellow cops.

  • MSimon||

    He sole from Explorers to watch porn.

    There is a message here.

  • sarcasmic||

    The solution here is quite simple. Disband the police force. A town of 3,300 residents has no need for its own cops. They can easily contract out with the Sheriff and State Troopers to answer emergency calls and enforce state law. It's a lot cheaper than maintaining an entire police department. Unfortunately for the assholes in the town government it would mean they would have no way to enforce petty bullshit, but I think the people who live there might like it better that way.

  • See Double You||

    Proactive policing (encouraged by the types of infractions for which residents can be fined) seems to lead to all kinds of violations of individual liberty. But the public at large wants that over reactive policing, so what can ya do?

  • sarcasmic||

    People want laws for everything but can't understand that that's why cops are such dicks.

  • MSimon||

    There ought to be a law for that too.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Proactive policing of real crimes is a good idea. If there's a troubled area, posting a patrol there to stop graffiti or smashing of bottles is right. The problem is always policing of non-crime and policing for profit.

  • sarcasmic||

    The problem is always policing of non-crime and policing for profit.

    Because that always takes precedence over actual crimes with actual victims, in practice proactive policing amounts to little more than harassment.

  • wef||

    The solution here is quite simple. Disband the police force.....contract out....

    If you're going to run a successful extortion and protection racket, you have to have enforcers who are beholden to you for their livelihood.

  • Bubba Jones||

    They should unincorporate. One the reasons my hood hasn't incorporated is to avoid paying for a police force.

  • sarcasmic||

    My town incorporated in 1786, and we still don't have a police force. The town has a little over five thousand people in it, and pays the Sheriff and Troopers to have two guys available to respond to calls. That's it. And it works just fine.

    The best part is no petty laws. Troopers and Sheriffs won't enforce them. They only enforce state law. A while back a resident complained at a town meeting about noise from newly-legal fireworks. The town council informed her that they can pass all the ordinances that they want, but without a police force they can't be enforced. The council added that the residents of the town like it that way. I like living in a small town.

  • dantheserene||

    For that matter, get rid of the entire court structure--judges, administrators, district attorney, the works. The whole thing exists only to pay for itself at the expense of residents.

  • Cytotoxic||

    If those fuckers try to raze that guy's home the Oath Keepers should turn out just like all those heavily armed folks turned out for that cattle grazing guy.

  • Lee G||

    I think his quality of writing is the derpiest thing about that article.

    But Carson’s opposition to science doesn’t stop there. Global climate change is a major issue affecting the future of human life. International conferences take place in order to determine how quickly this process is proceeding, and studies show that 97% of actively publishing climate scientists conclude human activity has caused climate warming. Yet Carson says he has not seen “overwhelming science” that proves climate change is manmade. This head-in-the-sand approach could prove disastrous to the country’s survival, never mind the Earth’s. This comes on the heel of his refutation of the Big Bang theory based on the second law of thermodynamics; physicists responded by explaining that Carson misunderstood and misstated the actual law. His judgment as a man of science was also compromised last February when he blamed an outbreak of measles on illegal immigrants from South and Central America; the Centers for Disease Control concluded that the strains were genetically similar to those found in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Further, there was no way of knowing whether it came from an immigrant, legal or not, or from Americans traveling abroad or even just from here.
  • Cytotoxic||

    97%

    They're still quoting that. Still.

    The sentences in that block quote are not connected well at all.

  • Lee G||

    The entire thing is written that way. It's like reading a middle school social studies report.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Did you see the video of Ted Cruz grilling Sierra Club president at a congressional hearing about 97%? These people will never, ever admit that 97% is wrong.
    BTW, "these people" include our new cabinet, go Canada!

  • commodious spittoon||

    What percentage of actively publishing UFO hunters insist that UFOs are extant and extraterrestrial in origin?

    What percentage of police union reps insist that cops are unfairly maligned in the press and just want to do their jobs?

    What percentage of water-carriers in the employ of the current administration insist their boss is the greatest president since FDR?

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    International conferences take place in order to determine how quickly this process is proceeding

    Oh, well, in that case...

  • ||

    If you have trouble with Kareem's writing allow me to translate it for you.

    Carson is a cornball brother and is not black enough.

  • buybuydandavis||

    We are just cattle on the tax Ranch.
    Say it with me: moo!

  • Mr Lizard||

    Well the intent is to turn you into actual cattle soon...

  • gaoxiaen||

    Oscar Meyer needs cheaper ingredients. Win-win.

  • ||

    Want to look up your city's municipal code ? Of course you do, so follow this link:
    https://www.municode.com/

    hugs, your favorite law nerd.

  • BearOdinson||

    "Valarie Whitner has had to take out small loans with high interest rates to stay ahead of all the code enforcement fines."

    I fucking hate this bullshit. But from a purely pragmatic standpoint, don't you think she could probably fix the things that were cited than take out high interest loans to pay the fines?

  • MSimon||

    She can't afford to fix things. The interest on the loans is killing her.

  • D. M. Michell||

    Wearing pants below one's waist? Do they even know where the waist is? It's the narrowest part of the torso, just below the ribs. Even cops don't have their pants pulled up to their waist.

    But more, this is just another example of why no one can truly own property in the United States. The biggest anti-property-ownership scheme is property taxes. If you don't pay them the "government" will take your so-called property from you. If you resist the government will send agents to arrest you. If you resist them they may, and probably will, kill you...because they were fearing for their lives. (How dare a peasant...er...citizen resist authority?) The truth is that in America you rent property from the government and pretend that you own it. All hail the Imperial Government! (Dissenters will be shot.)

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