Thursday, July 05, 2012

Living in Lee Greenwood's Amerika

One of my weekly activities involves spending a morning over coffee with a friend for a book based discussion on theology and politics. Today, the day after Independence Day was celebrated, he showed me a copy of a letter, or rather an extortionist threat, sent to him from the local Building Code Enforcement Commissar. Apparently, my friend who has an investment property had let his grass get a touch too long for the liking of these busy-bodies and has consequently incurred their wrath.

Like all government enactments spuriously demanding money from the mundane the threat of death is implied if the mundane should resist the state. If you don't believe this lets walk through this real quick. You get a seatbelt ticket, in your outrage you decide not to pay, at that point they will probably suspend your right to drive, as you continue to exercise your right to drive you are pulled over for driving without a license and an armed man in a government issued costume begins to tell you that you're under arrest, however you don't want to be arrested and don't plan on being put in a cage...I'll let the reader fill in the blank.

The letter to my friend is no different and one can see how the code enforcement crew is ready to do what it takes to get my friends money and force him to do what they want. It ominously reads:

"FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS NOTICE WILL RESULT IN THE CITY OF GREENVILLE TAKING ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS, AS APPROPRIATE: Any violation not corrected within the time frame given will be charged a penalty of $10 per day for the next 30 days and $25 per day thereafter until the violations are corrected and re-inspected. A fee of $50 for each re-inspection will be charged when corrections have not been completed...In addition the City may take other actions to include demolishing structure(s), removing vehicles, cleaning property, placing a lien against the property for the cost of the City's actions, Summons, Warrants, and any other legal actions as necessary."

Apparently the local zoning code enforcement officers have a couple of things in common with angry internet debaters, they both have a deep affection for the use of "Caps lock" and they both are bullies. The primary difference here is that the zoning code commissar can hurt you, the jerk on the internet can not. As I said earlier, implicit in all of this frothing at the mouth and arrogant patronizing instruction is the threat of lethal violence, the Swat Team is standing by. We don't need to look to Washington, Obama and Pelosi, or Bush as the faces who are destroying this country and robbing the average man of his freedom, we need look no further than Greenville Building Code Administrator Steven A. Landrith.

As if the fact that we have no property rights in this country weren't enough another gem in this feculent extortion letter is the source of these laws, which reads:

"A recent inspection of your property determined that it is in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code, which was adopted in 2005 by the City of Greenville." (bold emphasis theirs)

So it would seem that now in Lee Greenwood's Amerika people are having their property rights eviscerated on the basis of International Law.

It seems to me that every time local governments have budget shortfalls in typical Mafioso fashion they place before the citizenry two unsavory choices, stuff like, "Either we start a new car tax or we are going to have to get rid of Band, Gym, and Art, at the schools." or crazy threats like, "Look we can do one of two things, raise property taxes or turn off the street lights." I would like to propose in contrast to these false alternatives that next time there is a budget shortfall (ie: the next time someone looks at the financial books) we do away with the real blight on our cities, the Building Code Enforcers, and the Zoning commissars, effectively un-employing the Steven A. Landriths of the world and the whole cloud of nebulous chair moisteners that surround them.

That seems far more sensible to me, and it would be a step towards rolling back the totalitarianism that now besets us. Sing it with me now:


Paul Berry said...

Driving is not a "right", it is a mere privilege granted to those that qualify to exercise that "right". If it was a "right" then there would be no need for licenses or any need to ever suspend a license for unruly driving.

R.S. Ladwig said...

Paul, what you are asserting is what I would argue against. You beg the question when you assume that we "need" licenses. Licenses exist to control people, nothing more (yes I know people will dither about safety but that's poppycock). Freedom of movement is a right, is my point, the State takes that away through licenses.