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Monday, November 21, 2011

Those Big Government 'Turkeys'

The ESPN talk show Pardon the Interruption always announces its "Turkeys of the Year" on the episode before Thanksgiving. These awards are given out to individuals or teams who have done stupid or boneheaded things over the past year. In a similar vein, since this is probably going to be my last post before Turkey Day, here are my "turkeys" of big government (in no particular order)

Look at those turkeys in the
field. Happy Thanksgiving!
  • The Schenectady County Court, for summoning Derrick Smith for jury duty in his own murder trial. Smith promised he would be "fair and partial", but was nevertheless excused from the jury pool.
  • For the welfare enablers who created a system where a North Carolina man robbed a bank of one dollar so he could get free healthcare in prison.
  • To Congress, for their spending "cuts". Saying they saved money is the equivalent of me saying that in 2013, I'm going to buy a $50,000 Porsche instead of a $60,000 Ferrari. Now, you might say "In 2013, you'll still be in college. How can you afford a $50,000 car?" And that's precisely my point.
  • Broward County, Florida, for issuing the sister of County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman a red-light camera ticket, three months after she died. Bonus points for subsequently declaring that the deceased woman was legally required to either pay the ticket or contest it in court. 
  • To the Ontario County, New York Police Department, for their plan to combat distracted driving. In May, they implemented a program where motorists could report drivers who were in violation of cell phone laws. Here's the kicker - the motorists had to call a police hotline to do this! So Motorist B sees motorist A on his cell phone and calls the police. Motorist C sees Motorist B on his cell phone (reporting motorist A, but C doesn't know that) and calls the police. Motorist D sees motorist C.... And now they're all distracted, instead of just Motorist A, and at some point some of them are probably going to have an accident. This is what happens when you don't think... Unless, of course, they're just trying to increase the number of tickets so they get revenue. I wouldn't doubt it.
  • And finally, one from Down Under. Twelve years and $600 million AUD ($582 million USD) later, the anti-submarine torpedoes the Aussie Defense Department ordered from Europe have finally arrived. But the manuals to use them only are available in French and Italian. So now they have to hire technical translators with security clearance, which will cost another 110K or so, and another delay. And by the time this is all done, newer and better missiles will have been developed, so they'll do it again...
To all you readers out there, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Whether you're celebrating at home or with your family, you have a lot to be thankful for. So for one day, stop worrying about what is wrong with this country, and appreciate what is right. Then go back to criticizing the government for the rest of the year.

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