Friday, April 19, 2013

Miles Davis and John Coltrane: So What

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Pamela Geller bombs the Boston Marathon. Oh, wait...

It's already becoming clear that these brothers were motivated by jihad and radical Islam, exactly what Pamela Geller is trying to warn us about. Whether they have international connections---unlikely and not necessary to carry out jihad---or were acting alone, the reality is emerging with each new piece of information. It's comical watching TV reporters bending over backward to avoid mentioning that reality.
William Saletan explains on Slate why we've been lucky in the US since 9/11, as a number of bomb plots were exposed and/or bungled before they could be carried out: "Since the beginning of 2012...Boston is the 21st case involving explosives. And when you study these cases, you realize how lucky we’ve been. The next Boston may not be far behind." 
These incidents weren't carried out by people from overseas but almost all of them by American jihadists. These lone wolf attacks are in keeping with al Qaeda's "death by a thousand cuts" strategy.
These kind of attacks can't destroy our country, but they can change the way we live, turning the country into something like Terry Gilliam's dystopian "Brazil," but without the humor. Bombings in public places could become routine, part of life in America, just like the restaurant bombing scene in "Brazil." People didn't ask themselves who did it. They just picked themselves up out of the rubble and went on with their lives.
But well-intentioned liberals and progressives will probably resist the reality of who's responsible, because, you understand, we mustn't be "Islamophobic"!
This from the SF Weekly:
It matters little what conspiracies or other leaps of logic the shameless among us will weave out of the events of the past 24 hours. Certainly, there's an Islamophobia thread to be pulled---one of the brothers had "Peace be with you" in Arabic on his Twitter profiles, and radio reports described the brothers as religious. The problem is that someone, somewhere will swallow pure myths whole and believe them---and some of the swayed may work on Capitol Hill. And worse, some may feel compelled to act upon them. Now THAT is terrifying. But at least it's nothing new. The digital native mob is still the mob.
"Myths"? It's really gets down to what's real and what's not. You can't pin these attacks on the right-wing, though militia-types do carry out one every now and then. We can continue to pretend that radical Islam is not responsible for almost all of these attacks based on some kind of twisted pseudo-tolerance; or we can face the facts and the reality: there are some people, even though a minority in the Moslem community, that want to kill us for religious reasons---and they are going to keep trying.


Fell/Masonic speed trap update

Earlier posts on this speed-trap intersection here and here. The camera was installed at Fell and Masonic in December, 2011:
Mr. Anderson,

I thought you might like an update on my situation.

I had my day in court on Tuesday. A plain clothes "officer" showed up to read a pre-prepared statement/packet that was supplied to him by the company that runs the red light camera essentially to say it was me in the picture and that the camera was working properly at the time. He was dressed very poorly I might add while I was in fairly nice clothes as one should be for such an appearance.

Although I was of course rather nervous, I stated my case with pictures from before and then after the intersection was redesigned as well as the Channel 7 news story, and also reiterated that others had been found not guilty for this intersection and therefore the precedent is set that the same should apply to my case. The judge did not agree saying that the previous cases did not matter which I find very bizarre. How could a previous case which has virtually identical circumstances not be relevant? But once he said this, I knew that I had lost.

One caveat: He was a "temporary" judge that I had to sign some paper to accept for my "trial." He also stated for another person's case who was claiming that it was not him in the picture that he was required to give the name of the person in the picture which I know is not true as I did the research on this myself. So I call into question this "temporary" judge's competence, too.

The "deal" they gave me was to take the point off of my record, but I still had to pay the full fine ($480). Still absolutely outrageous given how truly hidden and unmarked this light was at this intersection at the time, but I didn't see any other options other than an appeal which I just don't have the time for (which I'm sure the City is counting on since they of course just want the money).

BTW, the fine will pretty much wipe out what little I might otherwise be able to save for this month. I guess I and my family didn't really need to eat this month anyway...Seriously, I wonder how a person with little to no savings could afford this...kind of ironic that such a person would probably have to go on food stamps/welfare or some other government assistance program which is of course paid for by the taxpayer in the end (i.e. you and me), which would then, in turn, add to the ever-burgeoning state deficit.

And I did some more research afterwards to find out that a recent court ruling has indicated that "testimony" such as that by the aforementioned plain-clothed "officer" is now considered hearsay and no longer admissible!
Here is the link to the decision. I wish I had this evidence in my hands when I presented, but I did not. It seems to me that this decision should invalidate ALL red light camera tickets for the entire state!

I keep thinking that I should appeal, but I don't know if can at this point since I accepted the decision and have paid the fine (via credit card). And then there is the time factor of course...I just can't take any more time off of work for this matter.

So there it is...feel free to post my experience in the hopes it will help others to avoid this situation.

I for one have resolved to do absolutely no business in the City of San Francisco except when unavoidably necessary. I will patronize no restaurant, no market, no museum, no hardware store, etc., etc., until these cameras are gone. The loss of revenue to the City's coffers will ultimately outweigh this fine and I encourage all others to boycott this City similarly.

I have also taken it upon myself to cover my face with either my hand or a surgical mask I keep handy in my car now whenever I pass through any intersection with a camera present (just in case). It may sound silly, but I figure they cannot convict you if they cannot see your face in the picture (until such time as they change that law which I know that they are working on right

Hopefully the day is coming when all cities abandon these pernicious cameras once and for all!

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