No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

What do you get when you decide to head to tornado struck North Minneapolis to help out those who were affected by the storm? It seems you get harrassed by the police and fined:

For a few years, Mike Haege’s sister lived in north Minneapolis. He knows the neighborhood at least a little bit, and when a tornado tore through the area on Sunday, May 22, he took notice.

On the news he saw trees strewn about lawns and streets. Then inspiration struck. He wanted to help. His schedule for Monday, May 23, was wide open. And, since he operates Custom Cut, a tree trimming business here, he figured his services could be put to good use.

“I thought it would be the perfect chance to help,” he said. “I knew there would be people needing help.”

He was right. By 10:30 a.m. Monday, he was signing paperwork with the Urban League to be a volunteer. He signed a waiver, hopped back into his truck and headed off to help out. The Urban Homeworks sent along a couple volunteers with him, too.

Mr. Haege should be commended for his willingness to head over to a disaster stricken area and offer his skills to help out instead he is being punished for his actions because he lacked the proper license from the city:

Tree trimmers who work in Minneapolis need to be licensed with the city. It’s a regulation in place throughout many cities, and something Haege knows all about. He’s licensed in Hastings and several area cities. Since he doesn’t work in Minneapolis, he isn’t licensed there.

Because he didn’t pay his extortion fee to the city of Minneapolis Haege is being punished for being a good neighbor and helping out those in need. This is how the state creates dependence, they punish anybody who attempts to help people in need. If nobody but the state can help you then you become dependent on them and thus their continued existence is ensured. It’s sick and honestly the people of North Minneapolis should be up in arms over the fact that some people who have come to help them have been not only harassed by the police but also fined:

Officers told him to leave. They told him he was going to receive a “hefty fine” in the mail, and that if he stopped on the way out, the fine would be doubled.

Much of this exchange can be heard on a cell phone video that Haege took.

Finally, Haege was cleared to leave. He went to the volunteer hub, checked out and went home. Last he knew, he was going to receive a citation in the mail for trimming trees without a license in Minneapolis, which he heard was a $400 fine.

Of course the city was magnanimous and decided not to fine him the full $400.00:

Haege got more bad news in the mail Wednesday afternoon. He received a $275 fine from the City of Minneapolis.

That’s right the cost of trying to help people in a disaster stricken area is $275. That’s $275 for trying to do the right thing and helping those in need. What the fuck is the sense in that? The city should be paying Mr. Haege for volunteering his services to help out those the city hasn’t gotten to yet (and probably won’t anytime soon).

If you live in North Minneapolis you should be calling your “representatives” and demand the city inspector be fined and that Mr. Haege’s fine be removed.

Did Somebody Say Corruption

I have a love hate relationship going with Texas. On one hand the state is one of the few that is willing to stand up to the federal government, until they fold at least, but on the other hand they enact many authoritarian rules. Take for instance the latest executive order issued by Texas governor Rick Perry which will require all girls entering to sixth grade to get the Gardasil vaccination.

This is a major problem for three reasons; first the governor used his executive order powers to enact this and bypassed the legislation, second this occurred shortly after a doubling of lobbying efforts, and third Gardasil has been linked to paralysis. Let’s first talk about the lobbying effort that preceded this executive order:

Perry has ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff. His current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.

The governor also received $6,000 from Merck’s political action committee during his re-election campaign.

The order is effective until Perry or a successor changes it, and the Legislature has no authority to repeal it, said Perry spokeswoman Krista Moody. Moody said the Texas Constitution permits the governor, as head of the executive branch, to order other members of the executive branch to adopt rules like this one.

So it seems governor Perry received a fair bit of money from Merck which causes this entire situation to reek of corruption. Fuck the whole idea of parents having a right to chose what is put into their childrens’ bodies and fuck the possibility that this drug could cause paralysis. If I lived in Texas I’d honestly consider this action an abuse of power and look into what is needed to perform a recall on the governor. The story claims the only means of overturning this executive order is if he successor removes it thus is seems pertinent to remove the current governor as soon as humanly possible. Of course if you can make a religious or philosophical reason against jacking your kids with this shit you could get an opt-out:

Texas allows parents to opt out of inoculations by filing an affidavit objecting to the vaccine on religious or philosophical reasons. Even with such provisions, however, conservative groups say such requirements interfere with parents’ rights to make medical decisions for their children.

I wonder if parents can opt-out because the drug is potentially dangerous? That’s not a religious or philosophical reason but just common-fucking-sense. Just remember that the nanny state knows what’s best for you and your children so shut up and take the damned vaccine. If the vaccine causes your child to be unable to move afterward well that’s your problem not the state’s.

People are Catching On

The one thing I hated about high school was the fact it didn’t feel like an educational facility but a prison. Once you were inside the prison walls you apparently forfeit any rights you had and were to submit to the demands of your overseers. You may be shocked to learn this but I didn’t do well in this environment as my problem with authority stemmed back from my days as a wee lad. Well it seems others are catching onto the fact that our education facilities are actually prisons and one site has posted 18 signs that public schools are prisons.

Dancing at the Jefferson Memorial Will Get You Beaten by the Police

Let us pretend for a second that some overzealous asshole in a robe (who calls himself a judge) rules that you don’t have the freedom to express yourself at national monuments… wait we don’t need to pretend, that actually happened. Well a group of people thought this ruling was stupid and they were right. So what did they do? Did they burn down the memorial? No clearly not. Did they attack the judge who made the ruling? Thankfully no. Did they silently dance at the Jefferson Memorial as a form of protest? Why yes they did. And what resulted from this completely non-violent and silent protest? The police physically assaulted the demonstrators:


I’m sorry but I fail to see where the police were justified in using physical force against the protesters. If you or I used physical violence against a non-violent person we would be brought up on charges of assault so quickly that our heads would spin. For some reason though our society finds this type of behavior acceptable when people in government approved uniforms do it.

Thankfully civil disobedience isn’t easily swayed and there is going to be another demonstration at the Jefferson Memorial on Saturday June 4th, 2011.

Nanny State Moving Against Hookahs

We sure are lucky that the nanny state exists to tell us what is and isn’t good for us. By Thor in Valhalla if we didn’t have the nanny state people may do things that could be harmful! Well don’t worry because nanny is working to remove yet another unhealthy things from the list of unhealthy things, hookahs:

But in fact, hookahs are far from safe. And now, legislators, college administrators and health advocates are taking action against what many of them call the newest front in the ever-shifting war on tobacco. In California, Connecticut and Oregon, state lawmakers have introduced bills that would ban or limit hookah bars, and similar steps have been taken in cities in California and New York. Boston and Maine have already ended exemptions in their indoor-smoking laws that had allowed hookah bars to thrive.

Is smoking safe? No it’s not but neither is a lot of the shit we do. Eating fast food isn’t safe, driving sure as the Hell isn’t safe, drinking alcohol isn’t safe, opening a box with a utility knife isn’t safe, basically nothing is safe. Everything you do in life carries risks and it’s up to you to determine if those risks outweigh the benefits. Well it was up to you until everybody was willing to delegate that power to the state, now the state gets to use their monopoly on the initiation of force to force you to avoid things it deems unhealthy.

So what should you do if you don’t like hookah bars? Don’t frequent them. Legislation doesn’t need to be passed to “protect people from themselves.” If you don’t approve of an activity then you don’t have to participate. If something may be harmful to the participants that is their problem and they can decide whether or not the potential risks outweigh the potential benefits. What we don’t need is the fucking state coming in and telling us what is and isn’t good for us.