Apr 22, 2009

I am fascinated by how many sounds one bird can make. Longtime readers will recall that Merle Wayne Sneed is often critical and always distrustful of the motives of the agents of government. I'm not "tin foil hat" distrustful, but distrustful nonetheless. The basis for my distrust can be summed up by the proverb, "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile". It is in our nature. Yesterday the US Supreme Court ruled on a case called Arizona v. Gant. The justices said that the police do not have the right to search a car simply because they have arrested its owner. In this case, Mr. Gant was arrested after arriving at his home. He was out of the car and in custody, when the police decided to search the car. They found cocaine and he was charged with possession. At the original trial, one of the cops testified that he seached the car, "because he could". SCOTUS ruled that search illegal in its ruling for Gant. That seems reasonable to me. Did the arrest give them the right to search his home, his desk at work, his gym locker, without warrant? Give them the car and they will take the gym locker. It is in our nature. I read in the paper that the Illinois state police stopped a truck last week for speeding and even though they didn't cite the driver for the speeding violation, they brought in a drug-sniffing dog because they thought the driver was "acting nervous". The dog alerted the cops to the possible presence of drugs and the truck was searched on that basis. They didn't find drugs, but they found $2.7M hidden in a box. The cops took the money, pending an investigation. The suspects were allowed to go on their way. Does anyone else think "acting nervous" is kind of subjective? I think I might act nervous if the cops stopped me. Lastly, something from the buffoons running Hooterville. Hooterville is broke; We got more cash going out, than what is coming in. The best and brightest at City Hall are working overtime, cipherin' and figurin' ways to right this wrong, but always with our best interests in mind. This is what they have come up with. Follow closely, it is convoluted in the way that only government can achieve. The City runs our water service. The City owns the property needed to run our water system (buildings, wells, pipes, etc.). This City property is exempt from property taxes since the City cannot pay itself. It would sure be nice if the City could collect property tax on its own property because we really, really need the money. Therefore, they have come up with the idea to institute a tax on water service equal to what they would collect in property taxes, if their property was in private hands. They call in an in-lieu tax, as in a tax in lieu of property tax. I'm pretty sure this is an interim step on the road to an in-lieu tax on everything the City owns. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

9 comments:

Kurt said...

I don't understand the tax thing. I also agree with you that the police should not be able to arrest me for having cocaine or stolen money. That just makes sense.

Squirrel said...

Are the police still allowed to plant drugs, or no?

R.L. Bourges said...

squirrel: only if they plant them in the ground and for their private use.

Merle: that's how the income tax was introduced in Canada - as a 'temporary measure' during World War II (which has been over for awhile - I think?)

You're right. Once the tax is in place, it spreads like kudzu.

sigh.

Steve said...

So in other words, you already pay government-operated utilities for your water service, but now you're also going to pay for a tax on those utilities' property? And that tax goes back to the government to help...you? That does sound pretty suspect!

Nan Patience said...

AND there's another case having to do with schools' rights re strip searching students for "contraband!"

Barbara said...

Water is the key to everything in your part of the country since there is less and less of it. It will be hard to fight it since you can't very well opt out of the service altogether. Arghhh!

Human liberties are being violated right and left in this country. I think it started when we got so paranoid about terrorists.

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

I stopped listening to the news because I couldn't stand to hear stories like that anymore.

alphabet soup said...

An in-lieu tax. What a clever idea to extract more money for the city coffers.

I hope no one in the public sector here in my city reads your blog Merle or they will be onto that right away and before we can bat our collective eyelids it will be appearing on our water bills. As if we don't have enough add ons to our water bills as it is.
Ms Soup (the Whinger)

Bella Rum said...

Our city raised the price of our water because we used too much, then last week they announced they would be raising the price of water again because we're using less than what they thought and I guess they're not getting enough money. You can't make this stuff up.