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Expect More of this in the Future: The Mercenary Municipality

chicago dyke's picture

I'll keep it simple. The Federal Gov't collects lots of taxes, and spends them on lots of programs. Some of those programs used to be non-military domestic ones that kept American taxdollars in America, thereby supporting local economies when local monies couldn't do the job all alone. By cutting taxes for the wealthiest and continuing to throw away billions daily in Iraq, money for Little People at the Local Level had dried up, and it's of note that even big financial winners in the Bush economy are still not happy with the gravytrain- Intel will build a multi-billion dollar factory in China instead of SC or TX, and Halliburton is moving to Dubai. Money is rushing out of this country and not much is coming back in.

So you can expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing as those wacky folks down at the local gov't committees have to come up with new ways to keep their paychecks signed:

Florida: City to Seize Homes Over a $5 Parking Ticket

Brooksville, Florida proposes to foreclose homes and seize cars over less than $20 in parking tickets.

The city council in Brooksville, Florida voted this week to advance a proposal granting city officials the authority to place liens and foreclose on the homes of motorists accused of failing to pay a single $5 parking ticket. Non-homeowners face having their vehicles seized if accused of not paying three parking offenses.

According to the proposed ordinance, a vehicle owner must pay a parking fine within 72 hours if a meter maid claims his automobile was improperly parked, incurring tickets worth between $5 and $250. Failure to pay this amount results in the assessment of a fifty-percent "late fee." After seven days, the city will place a lien on the car owner's home for the amount of the ticket plus late fees, attorney fees and an extra $15 fine. The fees quickly turn a $5 ticket into a debt worth several hundred dollars, growing at a one-percent per month interest rate. The ordinance does not require the city to provide notice to the homeowner at any point so that after ninety days elapse, the city will foreclose. If the motorist does not own a home, it will seize his vehicle after the failure to pay three parking tickets.

Any motorist who believes a parking ticket may have been improperly issued must first pay a $250 "appeal fee" within seven days to have the case heard by a contract employee of the city. This employee will determine whether the city should keep the appeal fee, plus the cost of the ticket and late fees, or find the motorist not guilty. Council members postponed a decision on whether to reduce this appeal fee until final adoption of the measure which is expected in the first week of April.

There's this hilarious sci-fi short story, I forget the exact details now, but the jist of it is that in some future society, the only thing that the Little People have left of value is their bodies. The rich need organs for expensive medical procedures that keep them alive unnaturally long lives, and have sucked up all the wealth with their extra life in which they can manipulate the political system.

So the story is about this guy, who has to walk very, very carefully about his day. Because the penalty for any infraction of the law, like jaywalking, is instant incarcertation, which is "paid for" by the removal of whatever organ is needed most by some rich person.

This story has the same ring to it.

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

And it wasn't just one organ; the laws had gotten to the point where something like two jaywalkings plus a DUI constituted a capital offense and your entire body was broken up for the spare parts.

Even that didn't supply the entire demand, leading to the growth of a subcategory of organized crime known as "organleggers...."

I know the story you mean, can't think of the name of it offhand. It was a period of his whole future-history, covering from about now to the discover of boosterspice, which slowed aging to the point where wholesale organ transplantation was no longer necessary.

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

...who has, alas, with time become obsessed with wingnuttery.

Still, he has dreamed up an interesting universe.

Do you have any idea what a human carcass is worth in the right hands?

The whole idea of undercover technology police that seek out and suppress any new "dangerous" (i.e. non-government controlled) technology is another paranoid vision of his that may have some basis in reality. After all, Darth Cheney wouldn't want alternative energy sources developed too soon.

No Hell below us
Above us, only sky

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

I forget the name as well, but yeah, the guys dodges the law, wrecks some organ banks, goes through eight kinds of hell only to finally be caught, and story ends "the accussed did willfully ignore three parking tickets..."

All the organs from death penalty cases had been used up, so the death penalty was applied for everything.

curleygirl's picture
Submitted by curleygirl on

I believe that there is evidence that the government of mainland China has begun death sentences for political and other thought crimes and after execution via a head shot, the body is carefully harvested for a variety of organs.

Wealthy ill foreigners sign up for kidney and heart transplants and arrive days before the execution and after tissue typing and histocompatibility testing is done and get their parts replaced for cash.

It gives new meaning to the term "body shop". Does anybody know Larry Niven well enough to ask him his opinion on how organ legging et al is coming to fruition?

keimoyurimokyorokyoro's picture
Submitted by keimoyurimokyor... on

yeah, the too-fast shambling towards true third world status. and we will watch and let it happen because socialism is wrong and only a witch would question the funding of the war machine. being tax time consider david cay johnson's excellent "perfectly legal," which mentions how slashing irs budgets leaves just enough money to go after some immigrant housekeeper who made an honest mistake of a few hundred dollars, but leaves the irs without the resources to pursue the jack welches.
In other news did you hear about the four Palestinians (two toddlers and two women, one 70 years old) who drowned in Jewish feces the other day? The evil settlements that are responsible for a lot more than anyone admits are built so as to drain their sewage right into the refugee camps containing the people shoved off the land to build the settlements. It often happens that there is ankle-deep shit flooding. This time there was some kind of processing accident and the flood was much deeper than ankles. So it's bad in America, and it'll get worse, but nothing we have is like getting your land stolen from under you, then drowning in the waste of the people who made you homeless.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Hey kei&yuri! Loved the seriousness with which the NYT attempted to draw attention to the story of (at least) four people drowning in human shit, by using a picture of a man carrying a GOAT, which was remarkably clean, presumably rescuing this valuable creature from the scene of the broken retaining-wall.

Death toll is almost certainly higher than four; seems like the story I saw said that "several" others are still unaccounted for and presumably were washed away by the fecal flood.

Sheesh. At least here in the US when something like that happens it's usually downstream from one of those industrial pig farms.

Ruth's picture
Submitted by Ruth on

... since REp. Ralph Hall has been trying to cancel all regulations that are now applied to pig farming, to let pigs be pigs for fun and profit. Since he's the congressman I worked to retire, unsuccessfully, in the last election, I'm really sick of the fact he collects public funds to do this. Hall also works for deregulating the clothing mfr's in the Marianas.