Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Newsweek has a scapegoat

Notice how every Newsweek statement states that they gave the article to the Pentagon to review? The inevitable final declaration is that the Pentagon did not correct the item.

What is the Newsweek staff getting paid to do?

Excuses, excuses! The saddest part is that this smoke-screen will work.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Ticket Crazy

Occasionally I read the local-local news (that would be the free newspaper covering the towns immediately around my area). This newspaper is always full of interesting tidbits. When is the next town meeting? How much land is going to be taken off the market so the town can pay year after year to have it converted into parks to preserve ‘open space’. It also includes the police blotter.

I first started reading the police blotter because there was a rash of purse-snatchings, of which I was one of the targets. What I have noticed, over and over again, is the number of tickets given for motor vehicle incidents. Along with the usual drunk driving (a lot of those!), there are also tickets given to people who drove into someone’s bushes or ended up in a ditch and had to get towed out. At first I thought the tickets might be used to assign ‘official’ blame so someone whose property was damaged could sue for compensation. But I’ve seen more and more of the second case. Someone did something that caused them to damage only themselves or their own car and they’re written up.

In the case of a person ending up in the ditch, the officer wrote the ticket for not staying in the designated lane. As far as I’m concerned, everyone has swerved outside of their lane for one reason or another with varying degrees of consequences. Of course one should make a concerted effort to stay on the road to avoid other people and to keep oneself safe. If there is no one else on the road, I wouldn’t have a problem with someone weaving across four lanes. I also think there is a matter of payment. When your car goes into a ditch, you have to pay to get it extracted. It will likely need some repair and at the very least you’ll worry about it constantly for a week or head to the mechanic to have it checked out. Isn’t that enough for something that didn’t actually hurt any one or damage anyone’s property? Do you have to throw some ticket on top of it?