Aspie with Attitude

Sure, I'm just another Southern Recovering Alcoholic NPR- and Sweet-Tea Addicted Comic Mom with Asperger's in the SFV, but I can tell you now that I don't necessarily fit the stereotype.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Random Losses of Freedom

Adoption
Celebrity adoption continues: "Sex and the City's Willie Garson Adopts" an 8-year-old. I have an 8-year-old and while, fortunately, there are other people who would be closer on my list to raise my children, were something to happen to their father and me, i.e., people I know, Willie Garson, and I'm saying this as someone who's never met him, is probably an okay person to raise a child. And many kudos to him and to Celebrity Baby Blog for mentioning the 8-year-old's natural mother, whom Garson plans to keep in the proverbial picture. But here's the problem I have with this whole scenario: You can't adopt a son! Either he's your son or he isn't. In this case, Willie ain't the dad. That fact doesn't mean that Willie can't take the boy in and raise him and love him and be a father figure to him. But Willie can never be the boy's father and he can never replace the father that the boy has, wherever that dad may be. That said, the father does not seem to be the in picture and no one mentions why. It's obvious that mainstream media likes to label adopters as parents, no matter what, as if you can sign legal papers, profess love, and suddenly be a dad. It's also interesting to read the comments and find that people are so very gung ho about adoption, just in general. Therefore, we can see that the adoption propaganda is working. Very well. I wonder about the 8-year-old's real dad and if he wants to be out of the scene or if he was pushed away. Dads are important, too, and yet mainstream media often like to leave the dads out.

Pot Stores
I have to say that while the economy is sucking, if I may so eloquently describe it, pot stores seem to be thriving. They're popping up all over the San Fernando Valley (SFV), and as I've mentioned previously, there's a discount pot store, the Target of pot (must be pronounced Tar-zhay!), if you will, in our middle-class, normal looking SFV neighborhood. The pot store in our neighborhood, like the pot store I used to visit from time to time in Eagle Rock, seems to have the whole Obama worship thing going. The Eagle Rock pot store was sure that the moment Emperor Obama came into office, there would be no more DEA tax-feeders standing at the train station, staring at what the state of California has said is a legal dispensary of marijuana. Our neighborhood discount pot store, which I have also visited (research!), has a picture of Emperor O. hanging high on the wall, near the ceiling. Accompanying said picture is some Emperor O. quote about leaving pot stores alone. Personally, I fail to genuflect before it. Nonetheless, pot stores have become much more relaxed in the past few months, though I can't help but wonder if the relaxation isn't a bit premature. After all, last Thursday's Los Angeles Times had a story on page A5 that shows what a liar Emperor O. seems to be. Unless I'm missing something here, "Pot stores raided in West L.A., Culver City" has little to do with the Emperor O. quote about leaving California's 420 marijuana dispensaries alone. Ah, but no. I guess it's kinda sorta like Emperor O.'s quote on war, that war with Afghanistan is a "war of necessity," alluding, I suppose, to globalist Richard Haass' War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars. You know, I never did much like Emperor O., but his telling me, as I heard ad nauseum on NPR today, that the Afghan war is "of necessity" and expecting me to believe it has really gotten my dander all fluffed. I'm guessing that's as big of a lie as the quote about telling the feds to leave California the hell alone, as is prominently displayed in the pot store, although obviously, my words aren't the exact quote.

The pot store story, in fact, lists a whole cadre of characters, in fact, some of them paid by our gigantic California taxes, who helped the DEA to perform these raids, showing that Emperor O. can not only waste tax money for the nation, but also for individual states:
Federal authorities and local police agencies raided two Westside marijuana dispensaries Wednesday as well as the residences of the owners. . . . The DEA, FBI, Internal Revenue Service, Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Torrance Police Department and Culver City Police Department took part in the raids.

So, you can see that these agencies grabbed a lot of loot, especially having a license to steal from the owners' private residences. I'm ashamed of every last one of these agencies, all of which I am forced to support. It sickens me to know that the LAPD, whose job should be to protect and serve, as their cars say, would be involved in such an unconstitutional raid. But the last paragraph of the story tells the real tale:

Law enforcement agencies have been cracking down on pot dispensaries for some time, but officials did not immediately say what prompted these raids.


Well, I can't tell you what prompted them, of course, but I can tell you who didn't stop them: Emperor O. I kinda doubt he's going to be ending any wars soon either.

L.A. Water

When we moved here, our first apartment manager, Scott, told us that there's always a big controversy about water in Southern Calfornia and SoCal is always fighting with Northern California about water, et cetera. Well, as it turns out, SoCal has used that fight, and the recent supposed draught (How can you tell? It never rains here anyway!) to have another reason for the government and neighbors to snoop and snitch on you. I am quoting here from a story in last Sunday's Los Angeles Times: Among the new Department of Water and Power (DWP) "limits on water use," are these dandy guidelines:
-Automatic sprinklers are limited to Mondays and Thursdays before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
-Sprinklers must not run more than 15 minutes per watering station.
-Hand watering is allowed any day before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m., but only with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
-Cars may be hose-washed only if a shut-off nozzle is used.
-Water may not be used to wash hard surfaces, such as sidewalks, driveways or parking areas, except for health and safety purposes.
-Runoff into streets and gutters is prohibited.


Now, Mr. Thinking Mama and I try to watch water consumption and we certainly read what's happening in our water bill. We'd read these guidelines--which went along with a changed tier structure, one that strongly encourages use of the guidelines--and I thought that they were mere suggestions, guidelines meant to be followed but not necessarily enforced. Or as my 8-year-old put it when we were discussing them prior to June 1st, when the guidelines went into effect: What are they going to do, give you a ticket? Not only was he indeed perceptively correct but the DWP has also tacked on a $100 fine. Here's the cautionary tale language that the Times reporter uses:
"Try as they might, offenders can't hide the evidence. The previous commodity is already flowing down gutters and driveways, glistening off blades of grass and rosebushes . . . "

In other words, resistance is futile. It's not nearly enough, evidently, that the LADWP is raising our rates. Nope! We must use this opportunity to provide more snitches, for something that used to be a common sight: runoff. Now, I'm not saying that we should waste water and, in fact, nary a drop of mop water here at the Gingerbread House goes to waste, as I take the mop water outside and give it to some needy plants. I'm not saying we shouldn't conserve water; I am saying that the government shouldn't have another excuse to step on my private property and give me a $100 fine for something that I am paying for.

Pot stores and private property are two things that the government should stay far away from. However, as the police state continues to infiltrate our lives, this kind of government and neighborhood snooping will continue:

Since the restrictions took effect, fewer than 30 water users have actually been hit with fines, which begin at $100 for a first offense. Most of the citations issued so far have been only warnings.

With water conservation officers patrolling only during regular business hours, some self-appointed vigilantes have stepped in. They watch for mysterious puddles, broken sprinkler heads and after-hours hand-watering across neighborhoods and business. Then they send complaints--more than 4,200 so far--via phone, e-mail and most recently on Twitter.


Yep, Twitter.

Doesn't it do my heart good to know that our fine L.A. neighbors may just be a Twitter away from having us fined for $100, or at least from having us snooped upon.

It's interesting that when I was growing up, I heard all this stuff at church about how lucky we were that we didn't live in the Soviet Union. We'd watch films and hear stories about those poor, poor folks under Communist rule. This kind of propaganda was a mere reflection of what was going on in our society at the time: A push to make us so very thankful for living in the free and wonderful United States when people in the Soviet Union, Cuba, and other Communist-ruled places were having such a hard life. No doubt, I'm extremely thankful that I don't live, today, in someplace like Communist China, which would have forced me to give away at least one of my children, or kill one, or abort one. And yes, I am thankful to be living in what I'm assuming is the freest country in the world.

But what happens when that very free country that you grew up thankful to live in turns itself into a state that's much like that of the former Soviet Union, with state-paid volunteer informants on every street corner and no respect for private property or the free market system?

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