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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When Serfs Don't Play Nice? Retaliate!

Back on the last day of last year, I did a post ("Outlawing Cash") on how the government would be pleased as punch if we didn't have cash, gold and silver around as mediums of exchange.  It makes tax collection difficult at times.

Well, there's another reason:  It gets in the way of tracking your enemies.

It seems that a small town here in my neck of the woods has decided to no longer accept cash as payment for city services.
Starting in May, residents no longer will have the option of paying for town services, including public records requests, with cash.

The Discovery Bay Community Services District board voted this week to ban cash transactions for all services, including water bills and park reservations.
Of course, the official reasoning is the safety of the government workers.  Yeah.  Forget the whole, "for all debts, public and private" printed on our fiat currency -
Board members said the new policy will ensure the safety of town clerks and save the district time and money, but some say it is also a response to anonymous requests for public records the town has received. Those requesting records anonymously have been using cash to pay for the cost of copying the documents.
So what?  What could possibly be wrong with anonymous records requests?
But former director David Piepho, who retired from the board in December, a month after the no-cash policy was introduced, says the change was designed to put an end to anonymous requests, which he believes are inappropriate.

"You'll find that a lot of the rules that the CSD deals with are created because of the same four or five antagonists," he said. "They're made because people acted in such a way that a rule needed to be made."

Board member Brian Dawson called the anonymous requests "cowardly" and indicative of "bad intentions."

"It's happenstance that I don't really care for," he said.
"Cowardly."  "Bad Intentions."  "I don't really care for."

Well, Bri, we certainly wouldn't want to offend your sense of self-importance, would we?  How dare these mere common citizens want to gather information on your performance and intentions without you knowing who made the requests.  You'd think they're all paranoid that you might retaliate against them.

Just like you did with the rule changes.  Hmm.

Hey, I guess the former director didn't get the Democrat talking-points memo on non-gun references -
Piepho says he hopes the new policy will make it harder for antagonistic residents to use records requests as a weapon.

"They want to be like snipers and take shots," he said, "but they don't want the spotlight on them."
Ah.  We mustn't have antagonistic residents.  When they talk back, compare them to snipers, hiding in the shadows.  Break out the character assassinations and ad hominen attacks, big time.

We're only interested in compliant sheep.

It will be interesting to see how the local residents respond to this slap in the face when the next election rolls around.  Baaaaah, baaaaaah?

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suek said...

It is no longer possible for an employer to take a check to the bank and pay for the withholding, FICA and SDI of his employees. It is now mandatory that you give the Feds your bank account routing number so that you can transfer funds by EFTS monthly.

Chief Instructor said...

Sue, yeah, don't I know it. I see monthly offerings going to both the feds and state at our PM shop. I also get to do quarterly sales tax payments and corporate taxes.

Gotta be efficient in transferring that wealth...

suek said...

Quarterly sales tax payments? we do ours monthly. EDD?

We don't have the EDD usually, for 2 months out of the quarter, but generally do in the third month. Sometimes we end up with it for the second and third months - but not usually. It's the sales tax that I find most irritating...

Chief Instructor said...

EDD is the employee taxes, and we pay them monthly. The quarterly sales tax to the Board of Equalization.

BTW, who the hell came up with THAT name for the sales tax folks?!

MikeH. said...

I say fight fire with a flame-thrower. The residents in that town need to flood that office with records requests and let the spotlights shine and the cameras film.


Tracy Dear said...

Wouldn't it have been oh so much easier to just change the rules to say "no more anonymous requests?"

Shy Wolf said...

Yet, if someone with half a brain and a reasonable amount of guts, would walk in the room, make their request, and offer to pay in cash- pointing out the little words on front of the money 'legal tender for...', there'd be absolutely nothing the town masters could do without a court battle. And if that person had a camera along for the ride, it'd be a wonderful sight to see in the Supreme Court.
I'm just sayin'...

Chief Instructor said...

Mike, yep, they need to push back hard. I'm thinking of going over to their next public meeting to watch what happens. These are a bunch of arrogant public servants that need to understand who's their boss. There is a core group in the community that has had enough, and I'm guessing sparks are going to fly. I'd like to see that!

Mama, I don't think government has any need, and certainly no right to know who requests public records. With their new rule, it's requiring a de facto name of the requester because your name is on your credit card or check. I'd like to see some sort of strawman be set up. An attorney or paralegal that would make the requests on behalf of the actual requester so they could retain their anonymity.

Shy, I would not be surprised if something like that were to happen. The area, Discovery Bay, is pretty affluent. Lots of money. I could easily see one of them taking this to court if for no other reason than to just piss off TPTB!

suek said...

Attorney's cost a bunch. Sounds like a job opportunity for someone..."Will physically request FOIA information from city for $10 per request. You pay me cash, I'll pay them by check" (or whatever) On the other hand, attorney's do have attorney/client privilege, and our opportunist wouldn't. But then...why would s/he need it?