Red Light Cameras = Proof Evil Exists

Hey Dubya, here's your proof that evil exists.

“All agree that the legislature cannot bargain away the police power of a State. ‘Irrevocable grants of property and franchises may be made if they do not impair the supreme authority to make laws for the right government of the State; but [101 U.S. 814, 818] no legislature can curtail the power of its successors to make such laws as they may deem proper in matters of police.’ Metropolitan Board of Excise v. Barrie, 34 N. Y. 657; Boyd v. Alabama, 94 U.S. 645 . Many attempts have been made in this court and elsewhere to define the police power, but never with entire success. It is always easier to determine whether a particular case comes within the general scope of the power, than to give an abstract definition of the power itself which will be in all respects accurate. No one denies, however, that it extends to all matters affecting the public health or the public morals. Beer Company v. Massachusetts, 97 id. 25; Patterson v. Kentucky, id. 501. Neither can it be denied that lotteries are proper subjects for the exercise of this power.” – Chief Justice Waite

Despite the good intentions of public officials, in its “Request for Proposals for Automated Red Light Enforcement System,” the City of Knoxville’s legislature affects to “bargain away the police power,” which is forbidden by the United States Supreme Court in the decision above (Stone vs. Mississippi, 1879). The restriction invoked hinges on the debatable definition of “police power,” which is generally accepted as “the capacity of a government to regulate behavior and enforce order within its territory.”

Beyond the obvious illegality of camera systems, there are other noteworthy aspects of original intent that pertain to automated enforcement systems like the red light cameras in Knoxville. When we consider the constitutional framework of our government, the implementation of automated enforcement is offensive to the liberty intended. In opposition the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, it assumes, searches for, and punishes the trivial moral shortcomings of free and good people-without probable cause.

The aforementioned “Request for Proposals” leaves the responsibility of policing public intersections to a private entity. This private entity is not a local company, and moreover has no responsibility to the electorate.  If the citizens do not like the way the firm operates, they cannot elect a new firm; it remains unfettered by political dissent.  Whereas the public police force has a primary objective of protecting and serving the people, the private firm’s primary objective is to earn a profit, even if at a cost to the rights, safety and happiness of citizens (as has been proven in Chattanooga’s case, among others).  With the “Request for Proposals”, the enforcement of a traffic signal is no longer for the benefit of the public, but for the benefit of a private firm.

There is a psychological change that takes place in drivers as a result of traffic light enforcement, which existed before automated camera systems, but is exacerbated by their introduction. When the rules of the road originated, it was not necessary to enforce their use. With rare and extremely unusual exception, people followed the signals out of an interest in their own safety. It is now unusual for drivers to follow signals for this reason; the reason now is to follow a law, without regard to safety. While people know the signals are there to keep them safe, they do not follow them for their personal safety. Because of traffic law enforcement, the objective of an automobile’s operator has been fundamentally altered. The driver’s original purpose, “to arrive at a destination as quickly as is safely possible,” has been replaced by a new one, “to arrive at a destination as quickly as is legally possible.” This psychological change, which can only be attributed to unnecessary and costly enforcement, has made American roads much less safe, because individuals are more apt to act for their own benefit than for the pleasure of authority.

It is unfortunate for lazy enterprises that good government practices rarely grant profitable contracts, and it is the policy of bad governments, as well as bad businesses, to reward mere association and sloth. Proper engineering and timing of signals will do much more for reducing accidents than any enforcement firms ever could, but these will require natural law and common sense to be used in place of coercion and lucrative contracts, an occasion rarely seen in our time. 

Automated enforcement contracts are a dangerous sign that we are but a step from the sort of fascism Mussolini called “corporatism,” and defined as “a merger of state and corporate power.”

Request for Proposals for Red Light Automated Enforcement:

http://www.cityofknoxville.org/purchasing/bids/0513_redlight.pdf

Stone vs. Mississippi (1879):

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=101&invol=814

Fourth Amendment text:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Letter to Representative John Duncan, Jr., (R), TN

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Congressman Duncan,

I think you are acquainted with my parents, _______ and _____ _______.  I am in college, and I have become very interested in history, economics, and government. 

I had heard your name numerous times growing up in Knoxville, but I never took the time to research your politics.  Now that I have done that, I can tell you that I am impressed.  You are a statesman in the truest sense, and you stand for those Americans who have voiced no interest in your existence, except through merely living.

Thank you for taking a stand for fiscal responsibility and non-intervention, in the interest of the people, and in opposition to a self-interested, powerful minority.

My generation is one that grew up with many of its needs met, and many innovative extravagances available.  We have had cell phones in our school years.  We have had the Internet, allowing us to experiment with our identities and networks at an early age.  We have been coddled and rarely restricted in our behaviors.  We are going to college in droves, and many of us are going free of expense.  A superficial light on the circumstances of my generation will bring some glaring negatives into view; but there is a net positive that I know you will appreciate, and that is individuality, and an insatiable thirst for individual freedoms.

I have a message I would like you to send along to your BIG spending friends in Congress.

Our generation will not be treated like imbeciles, which appears to be the intent of many of your colleagues, who ignore deficits, (former) GAO head David Walker, foreign policy failures, reality, or anything that does not carry an oversized checkbook or promise media exposure.  We know about the fiscal gap, what it means for us, and we know failure when we see it.  We know too much, and we have seen too much, and we communicate independently online too regularly, for their scheme against us to succeed.  The expense of all the government’s irrational exuberance is ours, even though we had no representation in it.  How American is that?  Thomas Paine is turning in his grave.

Washington’s elect have a MORAL obligation of divine origin, to minimize the expenses of, the international hatred toward, and limits of freedom on our generation.

If the current assembly will not act on our behalf, we will suffer tremendously, and you know that.  But we will fix your errors ourselves, eventually.  We do not notice old media (television, print, radio, etc.), and we communicate directly with the source (Iraqis, Israelis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Africans, etc.) on the Internet.  The activists, thinkers, and educated members of our generation have flocked to the Ron Paul Revolution.  The heart of political activism is changing–pumping backward (or more appropriately, forward again), all the way to the eighteenth century, and our faith is in individuals–not government or corporation.  With a free Internet, we currently have all the necessary facilities at our disposal to put America back on its proper path, regardless of the interests of the power elite.  We have it in our power to begin the world over again.  In my limited position, I do all that I can, and I hope you do the same in these trying times.

Please help us while you can.  Stave off attempts to indebt us further and deny us liberties.  Do so with all of your might and creative power, because our interests are your interests, and I believe it is your God-given duty, as a member of humankind, to fight for what you know, in your heart and in your head, is right.  The fight for a free America is a fight for the good of humanity.

Sincerely,

KNS swings, whiffs

The Knoxville News-Sentinel’s butchered version of a solid argument (the original is in the blog below this one):

“Your presidential primary preview was incomplete. It is clear that your newspaper–if it can be called that–is nothing more than a collusive extension of status quo government largesse which no longer represents the people of the United States. Only one candidate proposes to reduce spending. The same candidate is the only one that has strongly advocated the removal of troops from Iraq. That candidate is Ron Paul, and your newspaper has pretended he does not exist. On behalf of the people of the state of Tennessee, thank you for nothing.

If I may comment. I allowed Knoxville News-Sentinel editor Jack McElroy to trim my letter as he saw fit. Given the rudimentary capabilities shown by his publication in the past, I report with little surprise that Mr. McElroy’s version of “fitness” is what any logical person would call emptiness. He elected to include my points, but not the facts that made them so painfully evident to him. As an “editor,” Mr. McElroy is a professional by position, and not by practice. Whenever Mr. McElroy encountered a stubborn fact, he chose not to publish it; whenever he encountered a bold conclusion, he left it standing alone, without support. I am not sure what his intent was, but the result was to marginalize a good argument by making it seem inappropriate. Applying his journalistic style to observing and reporting the behaviors of a sports fan, when he observes a fan yelling “goal” upon a team’s score, Mr. McElroy reports that a person cried “goal” for no particular reason, perhaps during opening warm-ups or half-time, or in a coffee shop downtown; only Mr. McElroy knows the setting of the declaration, and he keeps it carefully out of public knowledge. If he considers it his job to inform, he has, in this instance, failed entirely, and the result of his reporting is bewilderment, the opposite of his purpose. By leaving out the reason behind a beneficial argument, Mr. McElroy has proven that his skill with written words can be used to negative ends. It is unknown whether he has used this skill to contribute to society in positive ways, but his status has certainly afforded him the opportunity.

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