Monday, August 2, 2010

You Can't Get Away With Nothin' Nohow

      With 165 security TV cameras blanketing their streets, the people of Lancaster are the most closely watched group of citizens in the country, perhaps in the entire world.
      However, this is just one example of how authorities are using technology to crack down on those who think they can ignore the law. A couple of examples follow:
      The Associated Press reports that, as in most cities, Riverhead, NY requires citizens to get the usual inspections, permits, etc. before installing a backyard swimming pool. And also as in most cities, some people just don’t like to bother with all that red tape.
    Now along comes Google Earth with its photographs of every hamlet, town or city imaginable. And the potential is not lost upon the city fathers. To date the town has located about 250 swimming pools whose owners have not filled out the required paperwork. As a result the city coffers have been enriched to the tune of $75,000.
      Riverhead’s chief building inspector says that pools without inspections of the plumbing, electrical work and fencing constitute a safety hazard.
      FYI - So does sneaking an uninspected pool into your backyard, at least in Riverhead. Look for the practice to spread.
      According to the New York Times, the city of New Delhi, India suffers humongous traffic problems as a result of aggressive drivers who barrel through red lights, ignore crosswalks, and all those other habits which can cause extreme agitation to those who try to drive carefully and lawfully.
      So two months ago the traffic police started a Facebook page as ” . . . a forum where people could express their views and suggest changes.” There was no mention of photos.
      As of this past Saturday, 17,000 people have signed on to the page and posted almost 3,000 photographs and dozens of videos of driving scofflaws. Using the license plate numbers recognizable in the photos, police have issued 665 traffic tickets.
      This takes “Smile, you’re on candid camera” to a new level.
      While there are privacy issues in both these cases, I think that if you are breaking the law in a public place, you can whine all you want, but you should expect to get caught.
      I can’t verify this, but Barbara just told me she saw a news item on TV about a parking garage authority who decided to do something about those patrons who wait until the attendant goes off duty to get their car. If they can’t get there in time to pay the attendant, they can use a credit card. If they don’t have one, they will have to wait until morning to pick up the car.
      I hope that if someone is from out of town, he has his hiking shoes with him.
      Through the use of language, man has always attempted to control real world events by the expansion of concepts.
      Man Takes Control – The Spirit Runs Through It

      The book or a free download is available in  paperback or on Kindle.

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