I Got a Little More Libertarian This Week

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

(Warning: Self-indulgent, this-is-my-blog-so-I’ll-whine-if-I-want-to bitching ahead.)

So just before I left D.C., I was caught by a speed camera. They sent me a ticket for $150. The problem is that the initial ticket never got to me. I guess it got lost in the shuffle of my move. I had my mail forwarded, but there was about a 3-4 day lag after I moved and before the U.S. Postal Service’s mail forwarding kicked in.

So the first I heard of the ticket was when the second notice was forwarded to me in Nashville. And since it had been 30 days since the ticket was issued, my fine doubled to $300. I decided to challenge the $150 late fee. But you aren’t permitted to call and talk to a live person about any of this. The only way to challenge an automated ticket is to send documentation and a letter through the mail. So I sent the ticket, a letter explaining the situation, and the envelope the second notice came in, which included the USPS forwarding sticker on the outside.

Last week, I received a notice, also originally sent to me old address then forwarded to me by the Post Office, letting me know that my challenge is under review. But it could take up to twelve months for the powers that be to reach a decision. The kicker comes in the last paragraph, which lets me know that the final judgment will be sent to the address the D.C. DMV has on file for me. That of course would be my former address in Virginia. Which means the notice may come after the Post Office stops forwarding my mail. Which means it may not actually get delivered to me. Which is the reason I didn’t get the original ticket in the first place. Which is the reason I’m challenging the fine.

I called the D.C. DMV. I explained the problem. I asked if I could simply change the address they have on file for me to be sure the answer to my challenge actually gets to me. The helpful public servant told me that—and you can see where this is going—I can only change my address in person or by mail. And it’s actually even more complicated than that. D.C. got my address from the Virginia DMV. Which means they won’t change my address until the Virginia DMV does. But because Virginia has a car tax, you can’t change your address to an out-of-state address until you can prove to them that you’ve registered your car in your new state.

I explained this to the D.C. DMV public servant. All I want here is to make sure that the adjudication letter actually gets to me so I know if I have to pay $150 or $300. She said I’d have to spell all of this out in a letter and . . . send it to the same address to which I sent my challenge. I said, “And they’ll then respond to me by mail?” She said yes. I said, “And they’ll send their answer to my question to my Virginia address that you have on file?” She said yes. I said, “And that will go to the same backlogged office that my challenge went to?” She said yes. I said, “Do you see the problem, here?” She non-answered, in an automaton, I’m-done-with-you voice, “Questions and challenges to automated tickets can only be made my mail.”

Also, it’s August. And the IRS still hasn’t sent my tax refund. Helpful IRS hotline public servant told me to call back if I don’t hear back from the government in three months. She couldn’t tell me what the problem is, and she couldn’t promise it would be resolved in three months. Just wait three months. And if I still haven’t received my refund, call back.

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72 Responses to “I Got a Little More Libertarian This Week”

  1. #1 |  T.J. Brown | 

    Not trying to be flip, but why not sue the District?

  2. #2 |  Brian | 

    Personally, I prefer being mugged at gunpoint. Saves me a stamp.

  3. #3 |  Bob | 

    It looks like they’ve got you marked as an agitator.

    Only thing for you to do now is shave your head and start a website!

    Just think of the 300 dollars as the vig for getting away from DC. With monthly interest added in.

  4. #4 |  Maria | 

    I got a headache just reading all that. Sympathies.

  5. #5 |  SJE | 

    Radley: How about sending a letter to the DC DMV, explaining the situation, your new forwarding address, and attaching the check for $150. Clearly state in the letter and on the check that cashing this check will be considered resolution of this matter in full. Send everything registered mail (not FedEx) with confirmation of reciept.

    Of course, the DC govt may not allow this matter to rest. They can still ask for the $150.

    However, if the DC govt wants you to haul you before court for yet further punishment because you did not respond to additional letters sent to the wrong address, you have (a) documentary evidence that the letter was recieved (b) that you tried to be reasonable and (c) that the cashing of the check should be regarded as a contract closing the matter. The judge should waive any additional fees.

  6. #6 |  JS | 

    I’m with Brian. I’d have more respect for the government if they’d just stick a gun in my face and say “stick ‘em up”

  7. #7 |  Big Chief | 

    And what happens if you just don’t pay? They ultimately send a SWAT team to your old address and you get to do another wrong door raid story? If I was in your situation I would either refuse to pay at all or simply send them the $150. If by some miracle you get a response to your appeal and lose then I’d consider kicking in the other $150 (not that it’s just, but it seems to be asking too much to get justice from the government).

    Traffic tickets, tax refunds, and soon our health care. Nice to know it’s all in good hands.

  8. #8 |  mpc | 

    Same thing happened to me in DC. Rather than fighting it out with the city, I just paid the amount of the fine and did not pay any of their “late fee” assessments. They sent me a few more letters seeking the remaining money, that I ignored, and eventually the letters stop. If you’re changing your car’s tags anyway, the likelihood of the DC government ever actually tracking you down is slim to none.

  9. #9 |  Dannyp19 | 

    @#5 SJE

    I did that with a red light camera ticket that I got in New Orleans. The check got cashed and never heard from them again. I was 3 months late and they sent me a letter saying the fine was doubled, thats when I sent the original amount.

    Funny thing was the address to send the check to was Jacksonville, FL. WTF??

  10. #10 |  Emily | 

    I could not even read that whole thing, what a bunch of nonsense. So typical.

  11. #11 |  SJE | 

    #9: what happened then, Dannyp19?

  12. #12 |  Jerri Lynn Ward | 

    I haven’t received my refund either. My CPA keeps saying that it’s okay, but I think that the government is out of money and trying to steal our refunds.

  13. #13 |  Maria | 

    Wow, I’ve been hearing that a lot of people are not yet receiving their refund checks. I’m even gladder now that I chose the direct deposit route. I had a suspicion that if i chose to get a check I would not see it anytime this year.

  14. #14 |  TC | 

    SJE, has a solid idea.

    In full accord and satisfaction endorsement or deposit of this instrument above constitutes final and full payment to [account# here] formally releasing [named persons] and their assigns from any further obligation and formally terminates any agreements or contracts between the parties with prejudice.

    Instructions for use……. This MUST be deleted prior to check printing!

    Replace account # with any account # or contract number that is the instrument that specifically obligates the debtor to the debt.

    Name names of any person attached to the debt.

    Use, if possible a font that is very small and color such that is almost appears to be the same as the stuff as may be printed on the back of the check. Only caveat is that it will be able to be picked up by a copy machine.

    Placement is directly below the normal signature line.

    Make sure you include the contract # on the check face.

    Remember and know that a written check is what is known as a negotiable instrument. The laws governing such are universal no matter where in this nation you are at.

    99% of businesses will endorse and accept the ( what amounts to an offer) without question.

    This is NEVER to be abused!!!!!!!! But used against those that desire to cause you harm in some way. ALWAYS RETAIN COPIES OF BOTH SIDES OF THE INSTRUMENT AS YOU PRESENTED IT, AND AS IT PASSED THROUGH THE BANK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT MISS THIS STEP! Ever!!!!

    ******

    But when dealing with ignorant govt assholes,,, they like to blow you off with additional legalese…. See they think that they are immune to the laws concerning banking of our nation!

    Govt is not required to take checks, they all do so voluntarily, but choosing to do so also binds them to the laws concerning negotiable instruments, which is what any check is. But of course forcing the issue with a govt agency will require another court to tell them so.

  15. #15 |  B | 

    If you think that’s bad, don’t marry anyone who will ultimately need a Green Card.

    The USCIS did more to make my Canadian wife a libertarian than I ever could.

  16. #16 |  Sydney Carton | 

    Why are you getting a refund to begin with? By paying too much into the IRS, you’re giving them a loan when you could be putting that money to better use. Better to pay in to the government so they get your money at the last possible moment.

  17. #17 |  Dave | 

    I was also the recipient of a photo speeding ticket from “adjudication services” in the District.
    It had my name and address, but the photo was not of my vehicle, I was not in the District on that day, and the license number on the citation was from plates I had surrendered to Virginia DMV over 2 years before the issue date on the ticket (the license in the photo was unreadable).
    It took over a year to get them to stop harassing me, I had to get my local state rep to help.
    Good luck Radley.
    Dave

  18. #18 |  JS | 

    shoot out all the traffic cameras would be one possible solution

  19. #19 |  Radley Balko | 

    Maria:

    Actually, I did request direct deposit.

    I had to refile manually because of an “invalid Social Security number.” The same one I’ve been using all my life.

    But now that you mention it, I really hope this delay doesn’t mean when they finally pay me it’ll be with a paper check. Because they’ll almost certainly send it to my old address.

  20. #20 |  Dannyp19 | 

    Nothing happened. They cashed my check. Never heard from them again. Could still have a warrant for all I know.

  21. #21 |  dhmosquito | 

    Radley:

    The smartest thing you have ever done was to put manymanymany miles between yourself and DC. If you were never going to return, I’d forget about paying the ticket. I guess, unfortunately, your position with Reason magazine will require travel to that godforsaken place occasionally. It’s all about revenue! (But you and every reader here knows that.) Are you a member of the National Motorists’ Association? http://www.motorists.org/

    I left VA a year ago and live in a state with no income tax or personal property tax. Sweet.

  22. #22 |  SJE | 

    Dannyp19: keep all your paperwork until the statute of limitations passes. You never know.

  23. #23 |  cApitalist | 

    I’m sorry you continue to be a victim of the state’s ongoing theft Mr. Balko. This is an ideal time take the anarchist plunge, taking solace in your newly discovered logical consistency.

    Some of Walter Block’s fine work on free market roads can be found here:
    http://mises.org/daily/3416

  24. #24 |  Lew | 

    All of this brings to mind the saying: “just be glad you aren’t getting all the government you’re paying for.”

    How true.

  25. #25 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Have you ever read anything by Franz Kafka?

    This is what I think is happening here. You’re challenging the government and they are responding with a technique designed to frustrate you so badly that you eventually take your own life. It’s an adaption of the technique used by cable companies when you call about a problem and they connect you to someone in India who doesn’t quite speak intelligible English.

    As you already probably guessed, you have probably been flagged as a trouble maker which explains why they are withholding your tax refund. Next you will find yourself on the no-fly list.

    Glad you hear you’re becoming more libertarian though. If you can actually become more libertarian, then you clearly weren’t libertarian enough.

  26. #26 |  travis | 

    Your red light tickets are only $150? They are close to $500 in Los Angeles

  27. #27 |  pris | 

    What they want, as you know, is to cause you so much frustration, you pay the fine. If you pay the $150,and they send you future bills and you do not pay, you run the risk if you are ever in DC again, of being picked up or receive a traffic citation. You could be arrested for not paying the additional ticket. Legal advice for this and the IRS might be helpful.

  28. #28 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Ah, customer service democracy-style.

    You get what you vote for.

    Try not voting. If everyone did it, customer service might improve.

  29. #29 |  Marty | 

    This is how we should be dealing with traffic cameras:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iprAsCibZtM&NR=1

    http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/31/3134.asp

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Bw2C_XR64Y

  30. #30 |  wtfo | 

    Screw them, don’t pay it. Even if they want to arrest you, they’re not going to do it unless you’re there. Solution? Don’t go there.

    We had a similar issue where a state that shall remain unnamed activated their automatic toll gantry cameras for a new stretch of road without, you know, actually telling anyone. Or even indicating with signs that the section of road was intended to be a toll road at all, for that matter. Several months and two in-state moves later, we suddenly receive a letter indicating that we owe about $25 in toll fees, plus a few hundred dollar per item “processing fee”, for a total of several thousand dollars.

    Like a couple hundred thousand other people, we told them to go pound sand.

  31. #31 |  Burdell | 

    @#30 wtfo:

    Name the state. I need to know where never to go.

  32. #32 |  Balloon Maker | 

    I’ve managed to avoid speeding camera tickets by only speeding when I’m driving my wife’s car. Works like a charm. I don’t look like a “Julie”

  33. #33 |  Chance | 

    I don’t understand why in this age of electronic, or “e” mail, why that can’t be the means by which citizens are contacted, if that information is on file. Sure, there may be some bugs to work out with security and such, but at least there are no doubts of forwarding. You can even get a read receipt on both ends.

    It’s like the offices that require you to fax something to them. I’ve asked whether I can just scan and email it, and am always told no. Considering the fax is essentially just a scanner connected to a phone line, I’ve never understood how it is more secure.

  34. #34 |  RGD | 

    I agree you’re in a ridiculous web of beaurecratic tape, but you were speeding, got caught, and now the government’s evil? Hrm…

    Anyways, I’ve had similar experiences, though with private companies or individuals and not the government (the few weird things I’ve had with the court system over traffic fines were always cleared up by calling the district court and talking to someone), regardless, it’s a complete pain. Just document everything, letters, calls, everything, and you can point out you tried to be reasonable if they become belligerent.

  35. #35 |  Jack | 

    $150 for a speeding ticket? Is that typical?

  36. #36 |  Damon | 

    I really don’t feel sorry for you. First, you were speeding. Second, you failed to file a forwarding address in a timely manner. Third, why the hell aren’t you having your tax return direct-deposited? The fact is that you are in a mess of your own making, and you just wanna blame someone else. LOL

  37. #37 |  Radley Balko | 

    First, you were speeding.

    Guilty!

    Second, you failed to file a forwarding address in a timely manner.

    Not sure what you mean by “timely manner,” but I sent the change of address form well ahead of the notice the USPS recommends. There was still a gap.

    Third, why the hell aren’t you having your tax return direct-deposited?

    If you had read the comments, or the post I linked to in the post above, you’d know that I did request direct deposit for my return. The delay has nothing to do with paper check vs. direct deposit.

    So you’re one for three. But don’t fret, I think that’s still a C in most public schools!

  38. #38 |  bobzbob | 

    Assuming we believe that traffic enforcement through fines is a necessity (setting aside the issues of traffic cameras), you complaint is that the system has insufficient customer service. I agree. But what you need to do is stand up and demand that the system implement a more robust customer service organization to meet the needs of the public, even if this costs more. The problem most likely is that “libertarians” have put such pressure on the department through legislative budget cuts that it no longer has the resources to serve the public in a timely and efficient manner.

  39. #39 |  kishnevi | 

    1) Withhold as little as possible, so the government has to wait for your check instead of vice versa.

    2)Most companies are smart enough to include on their bills some fine print that says something like “if you try to play smart and send us a check with that “final payment” endorsement thing, we will not be bound by it”–which let them totally ignore the “final payment” endorsement thing no matter how you write it on the check..

    3) Be glad you no longer live in DC.

  40. #40 |  kishnevi | 

    The problem most likely is that “libertarians” have put such pressure on the department through legislative budget cuts that it no longer has the resources to serve the public in a timely and efficient manner.

    More likely, they prefer to channel their money into stuff that increases revenue, like more traffic cameras. If you’re the only game in town (which government is, almost by definition) you don’t need to bother about customer service.

  41. #41 |  Radley Balko | 

    The problem most likely is that “libertarians” have put such pressure on the department through legislative budget cuts that it no longer has the resources to serve the public in a timely and efficient manner.

    Of course! Any time a government agency fails, it’s because libertarians cut the agency’s budget! Stupid libertarians. This is particularly true in Washington, D.C. where the entire city government is run by the Cato Institute.

    Crappy customer service from government agencies has nothing to do with the fact that they have no competition, or that no one ever gets fired, so there’s no incentive to treat people well. It’s all about libertarians cutting their budgets. Why look at D.C. public schools, which have the highest per-pupil spending in the country, and produce some of the worst results, both in terms of test scores and parent satisfaction. But again, this is because the city council is dominated by libertarians, who slashed the city’s education budget, which really should have been twice as high as any other city.

  42. #42 |  Tom Barkwell | 

    You haven’t had a near death experience until you receive a notice from your bank of a tax lien filed by the state of Virginia (a state you last lived in in 1998) against your account in the amount of eleven thousand dollars. This happened to me about three weeks ago, and I nearly had a stroke.

    Turns out they filed the lien because my wife and I had a Virginia mailing address on our 2007 federal return, a “diplomatic pouch” address used by the State Department for Americans assigned to a U.S. Embassy in the African region of the world. Even though I proved to them that neither of us were legal residents of Virginia at any time during that period the same day I got the letter from my bank, it still took another eleven days for us to wade through the bureaucracy and get the lean released.

    The kicker: The original notification the state of VA sent of tax owed was mailed to an address we last lived at in 1998 (ten residences ago). When we didn’t respond to that single letter, they added on a bunch of fines and fees and came up with the ridiculous number of eleven thousand and instituted the lien as their very next move. If they would have just sent the notice to the mailing address we had in 2007, it might have actually reached us.

    So consider yourself lucky, Radley.

  43. #43 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    But what you need to do is stand up and demand that the system implement a more robust customer service organization to meet the needs of the public, even if this costs more.

    I had a friend who once broke both his legs in an accident. I suggested to him that a third broken leg would improve his condition. This idea failed, like the one above, on several levels.

  44. #44 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    legislative budget cuts that it no longer has the resources to serve the public

    Even with unlimited resources, they will still suck. The principle ingredients to not sucking are not present.

  45. #45 |  JS | 

    at least you aren’t working for wikileaks, look what happened to this guy:

    http://news.antiwar.com/2010/08/01/key-wikileaks-figure-detained-phones-seized-by-us-customs/

  46. #46 |  JS | 

    you see what I did there? It was like a seguway into a threadjack

  47. #47 |  Standard Mischief | 

    OK, I only read about half of the comments.

    Radley, just file another “temporary” change of address notice when the first one expires. Do this as long as needed.

    Filing a “permanent” change-of-address puts you on a list for every third class mailer. They’ll get your new address if they have your old one whether you like it or not. Oddly enough, this seems to work great for the junk mailers but not so hot for the gummerm’t

    Filling a “temporary” one will get your first class mail forwarded only. Except it seems to fall quite a but on your local carrier. I hope you bribed^H^H^H tipped him last Christmas.

  48. #48 |  Joe | 

    Sorry I didn’t read all the comments, but…

    Like most of my generation, I say F em. If they can sort through all their own bureaucratic bullshit to find you, then they deserve the 300 that they would come to collect. Not like I’ll be keeping a checking account, or buying a house, or starting a family in this f’d up future anyway.

  49. #49 |  Xenocles | 

    I had a similar situation happen to me. I bought my car in Maryland the year I graduated from college. I was then transferred to three different states in the course of a year and a half (military training). I finally wound up in Washington, where I finally got new plates for the car. Within a month, I got a letter from the Maryland DMV assessing me for a $3,000 fine because, according to them, I had no insurance on the car from a date one week before I owned the car (!) until the date I mailed the plates back. Never mind that this was the first I had heard about it, almost two years after the fact.

    Thankfully, all it took was a call to my insurance company. At least, I never heard from MD again. For all I know the next time I get pulled over there I’m going to jail.

  50. #50 |  mark | 

    i’m just glad this ish happens to everyone and we’re all in it together.

  51. #51 |  Detroiter | 

    Sorry, meh.

    Living in Detroit, I’ve learned it’s just not worth the mindless aggravation to follow up on these things. I pay and get on with life; it’s even worth an extra $150. Try getting redress on a parking ticket at a broken meter here.

    Terry Gilliam is more germane than Kafka. They’re just too bafoonish to be taken seriously.

    Try as I might, I cannot get my local witholdings adjusted to allow me to owe the city. Instead, I wait and wait for the refund. . . still waiting on 2008, not to mention 2009. . . . Last year, I got 2005, 2006, and 2007 refunds in the span of a week, but the amount of one check was wrong. I thought I’d try to collect the additional $300 owed, but I gave up when I arrived at an office overflowing with paper and was told that, although the IBM 486 showed record of my taxes being filed, no one could find the hard copy: Please refile.

    Life’s too short.

  52. #52 |  Spleen | 

    Funny thing was the address to send the check to was Jacksonville, FL. WTF??

    Hmm, those Nigerians are getting cleverer and cleverer…

  53. #53 |  Tom G | 

    You have my sympathies, Radley. I agree with those who are hoping this pushes you towards an even more radical anarchist world-view.

    Also, JS @6 – it was either Albert Jay Nock or Lysander Spooner who first pointed out that a robber – unlike the State – simply takes your money, and doesn’t follow you along afterward insisting they are doing you a service.

  54. #54 |  cliff | 

    >>>Try not voting. If everyone did it, customer service might improve.<<<

    Since a candidate needs only one vote to win and can vote for themselves, how would this work?

  55. #55 |  Marty | 

    #34 | RGD
    ‘I agree you’re in a ridiculous web of beaurecratic tape, but you were speeding, got caught, and now the government’s evil? Hrm…’

    It’ll be poetic when you’re driving through Ohio and some cop ‘visualizes’ you speeding, or you’re driving through any number of towns that reduced the yellow light time on their stop lights and you get nailed by a camera for running a red light, or the new ‘tire depth’ decide your tires are a little too bald and you get nailed with a $100 fine for that… http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/24/2463.asp

    We don’t know he was speeding- there’s no due process. We don’t know that the cameras were calibrated correctly. We don’t know that the speed limit was posted correctly. Radley will never know, either. He’s just the sap stuck with the bill.

  56. #56 |  Tom G | 

    Just found it – the reference I was thinking of was to Lysander Spooner, in his brilliant essay “No Treason” comparing government to a highwayman and preferring the highwayman. Too long to quote here, but that essay is online in several locations and if you haven’t read it, you really should.
    Spooner and Benjamin Tucker are two of the greatest Americans from the 19th century, and it’s a shame their writings aren’t better known.

  57. #57 |  Gary Chartier | 

    Tom G #50: it was Spooner–

    http://praxeology.net/LS-NT-6.htm

  58. #58 |  Gary Chartier | 

    OK, Tom: this went up while I was posting. Sorry to be repetitive. You are so damned right about Spooner and Tucker.

  59. #59 |  Maria | 

    @Radley
    Ouch. Sorry to hear. Then I was even luckier with my refund then I thought.

    Someone up thread suggested .gov should be using email to contact people and conduct business. They should, they should be using all that is available… but, I used to have hopes that technology would streamline government and their agencies. After working on an IT project for a state transportation agency my hopes have been nicely shattered. I can’t help but feel that mostly these projects are badly managed, badly defined, never ending, money pits. Don’t get me wrong, there are some stellar examples of govs (usually local & county level) leveraging appropriate tech for the betterment of their constituents and their operations, but it seems really really rare.

    Further to shatter my hopes that technology can cure kafka moments I can’t help but think of the 2010 census as an example. During the census, they had a down-loadable example form as a PDF, they also had a generic hard copy you could pick up at local police precinct but they did not have a down-loadable generic form as a PDF?

    I didn’t believe it, i just assumed I couldn’t find it, so I called asking where I could download the census form. The census worker gave me a URI to download the example form (the wrong URI) then she informed me that the census did not have the technology to provide down-loadable forms. Oh, ok, thank you.

    Technology will not save the government or us until the government changes how it operates. And that, will not happen any time soon. I feel that it’s just going to get weirder and more bloated and a hell of a lot more dangerous as glitches and technology errors get blamed for everything from incompetence and laziness to corruption and cheating.

  60. #60 |  Mattocracy | 

    bobzbob,

    You are the worst troll ever. You’re most likely scenario is libertarians are responsible for budget cuts? If you’re dumb enough to make that statement, you’re obviously too dumb to understand why it’s idiotic. Do you just pretend that the overwelming evidence of waste and mismanagement by all government agencies just doesn’t exist?

  61. #61 |  The Catch | Whiskey and Car Keys | 

    […] But this morning Radley Balko has a story about becoming more libertarian. See, he moved out of D.C., but has to deal with a speeding ticket that never reached his mailbox. […]

  62. #62 |  Gaunilo | 

    First, we are way behind our British brothers in not putting up with this crap:
    http://www.speedcam.co.uk/gatso2.htm

    Second, Radley, I have a suggestion that might make some compelling blogging for you.

    Recruit some willing legal help (surely there are some young lawyers in the
    D.C. area reading this blog who could help out with this) and mount a full-on legal defense, and document the steps and the outcome on the site as an on-going series.

    I would start with full evidentiary proceedings, and when they are ignored as they will be, do legal appellate work. They will eventually dismiss the case to get you off their back.

    At this point, you should sue them for illegal operation of the racket and for violation of your constitutional rights, and make sure to sue everyone in a position of authority. Don’t sue the poor schmucks who are actually processing the paper unless they take their position of power too literally and urinate you off.

    I think you can stretch this our for several years of fun and jollity if you can get the legal work done on the cuff.

    I think you should have some privileges for being our surrogate raiser of hell and taker of names.

  63. #63 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #54 | cliff
    >>>Try not voting. If everyone did it, customer service might improve.<<<

    "Since a candidate needs only one vote to win and can vote for themselves, how would this work?"

    So, Cliff, you think that democracy would still look like a bright, new, shiny penny if the only vote cast were by the winning candidate?

    More likely, the emperor would be seen for the naked SOB he is. Bye bye democracy!!!

  64. #64 |  Jim Collins | 

    You should get your driver’s license suspension notification any day now Radley. I got one a few years ago for a traffic ticket that I supposedly got in Florida. I hadn’t been in Florida since 1989. Pensylvania gave me 60 days to get it resolved. I got a letter from Florida DMV that said that there was a mistake made. Pennsylvania refused to accept it because it was mailed to me and not them. Then they wouldn’t give me the address to have Florida send them a letter, because they said that Florida had their address. I got it all sorted out on the 61st day. They suspended my license for a day, I had to pay $26 for the reinstatement and $36 for a new license. Then they gave me 5 points on my license, just 1 point under the threashold for suspension.

  65. #65 |  Barnes | 

    Shit is kafkaesque.

  66. #66 |  JOR | 

    “More likely, the emperor would be seen for the naked SOB he is. Bye bye democracy!!!”

    There are plenty of countries where the elections are purely for show. Maybe democracy goes bye bye but the stuff about the state that is actually objectionable remains in all its purified glory.

    It’s not the voting that makes democracy bad. It’s the enforcement. Take away all the armed thugs and their enablers and people could throw ballots around all day and nobody would get hurt. But take away the voting and the thugs will still be there – and they’ll find something to enforce. Take away the order-followers and the order-giver would just be another shouting buffoon; take away the order-giver and the order-followers will find another (or just revert to undisguised freelance banditry).

  67. #67 |  Jeff | 

    I’m jealous those tickets are only $150. Here in California, they cost $500.

  68. #68 |  Duncan20903 | 

    My wife got notified a couple of years back that since she hadn’t paid her parking ticket in a timely manner that the fine had doubled to $40. The problem was the ticket was issued in far NE and her car was never in that neighborhood. So she wrote them a letter explaining that there was no way that could have been her car. They decided to waive the penalty. This really had me beside myself as the ticket was either good in which case we owed them $40 or not, in which case we owed them nothing. Yes, by that time it was time to ‘just pay the two dollars’ and get on with our lives. Then there was the time a few years back when DC suspended my driver’s license for having unpaid tickets. I thought it was rather interesting because I’d never in my life had a DC operator’s permit. Regardless it would have resulted in my real Maryland license being suspended under some Interstate compact deal, and I had to pay almost $200 to ‘reinstate’ the license I had never held in addition to the other monies I ‘owed’.

  69. #69 |  Duncan20903 | 

    My wife got notified a couple of years back that since she hadn’t paid her parking ticket in a timely manner that the fine had doubled to $40. The problem was the ticket was issued in far NE and her car was never in that neighborhood. So she wrote them a letter explaining that there was no way that could have been her car. They decided to waive the penalty. This really had me beside myself as the ticket was either good in which case we owed them $40 or not, in which case we owed them nothing. Yes, by that time it was time to ‘just pay the two dollars’ and get on with our lives. Then there was the time a few years back when DC suspended my driver’s license for having unpaid tickets. I thought it was rather interesting because I’d never in my life held a DC operator’s permit. Regardless it would have resulted in my real Maryland license being suspended under some Interstate compact deal, and I had to pay almost $200 to ‘reinstate’ the license I had never held in addition to the other monies I ‘owed’.

  70. #70 |  Steve Verdon | 

    You get what you vote for.

    And good and hard.

    Why people keep on thinking voting will change any of this nonsense is beyond me. Do you guys really think there is a pony in there?

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