Friday, October 17, 2014

One Thought...Just One Thought

It is my belief that being a city official in Santa Fe Springs, California, must be the easiest job in the world, even easier than being a writer for Game of Thrones ("OK, Tyrion something something, and then Sean Bean dies, and then all the women strip").

I say this because a city official in Santa Fe Springs, California, decided to cite the Miranda family for the playset they had in their back yard. It was not made of plutonium or old oilfield equipment or used concrete imported from Chernobyl. Just plain old cedar. But its presence represented the storage of items in the family's yard, according to a citation, so the family got a ticket.

Oh, did I mention that the playset was given to the family for their 10-year-old daughter Tiffany, who suffers from seizures because of a rare and incurable condition called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome? And that the playset had been donated by the Make-A-Wish Foundation? Four years ago?

Yes, that's right. Someone in the city government of Santa Fe Springs, California, decided to write a ticket to the family to get rid of their playset. Entropy will increase to infinity and our universe will end some few milliseconds earlier than it might have otherwise because of the energy used up by a person who wanted a family with a disabled 10-year-old daughter to tear down her swing set donated to her by Make-A-Wish.

The city manager, of course, has backed off the citation, saying it was just to make the family clean up debris around the swing-set. Which is, of course, not what the tickets given to the family say.

Now, the weaseling done by the city manager and other officials is to be expected. As spineless as are most elected officials, they are towers of strength and constancy compared to the GrĂ­ma Wormtongues hired to run things. What blows my mind is that at all of the steps of this process, there was no one -- apparently not a single person -- who connected the family in the citation with the fairly well-publicized donation of the swing set from the not-exactly-low-profile organization Make-A-Wish.

Or heck, leave that out. Just fit your mind around some soulless suck of a code enforcement officer somewhere writing a family a ticket saying they had to get rid of a backyard swing set, even if the child had no disabling conditions and the swing set had been bought and erected solely by Dad, his wallet and his extensive colorful vocabulary.

I believe in original sin, which means I believe that government-less anarchy is an unworkable form of human society if we want to protect the weak and safeguard everyone's basic human rights. But there are some days when I wonder just how in the world it could be that much worse than what some people in power do now.


fillyjonk said...

City officials - any petty bureaucrat, really - can be incredibly high-handed and insensitive.

Because of a rule change I was not notified of, I became responsible for clearing brush on the alley behind my house - land I do not own. After I did it, the city official, peeking over the fence, saw grass taller than 4" but shorter than 12". I was cited for that. Because I couldn't get my hardworking butt out to mow as fast as they wanted.

I later found out it was meant to be a "friendly warning" to me to mow the grass before it got taller, but the letter I received sure as heck wasn't "friendly."

I used to do some volunteer work for the city; I have since given that up. Yes, it's pique, I don't care.

Friar said...

Indeed -- why help them, when everything that you might do allows them more free time to go out and measure grass height?