Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Traffic Cameras

In Obama city and the surrounding suburban sprawl (ex Daley Empire), there are cameras installed on nearly every intersection.

For yours and mine safety, of course.

Seems that mayor Daley took a nice looooooooong vacation , which included London, of course. And by looooooooong vacation, I mean that our lovable, huggable globe trekking mayor has been at it for years

The mayor closes out 2007 with five overseas journeys under his belt, exceeding by one his total for 2006 when ports of call included Amman, Jordan, Tel Aviv, Beijing, Athens, London and Barcelona.

Looking at the itinerary schedule of our esteemed mayor here in Obama city is like playing the kids computer game 'Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?':

Mayor Daley is currently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). And you thought glamorous international travel was only for the ultra important Washington DC set.

Apparently Chicago has over 24 companies doing business with the UAE which is no doubt the reason they've garnered the Mayor's attention.
; Published Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009.

Anyways, one thing that the grand pubah brought from these international bidness trips is.... no, not extra revenue for the city... no, not more trade for Chicago... no, he brought ideas.

Specifically, one idea - to install cameras, as many cameras as is humanly possible, everywhere, London, UK style.

So, driving home at night, I enter the intersection while the light is GREEN.
The car in front of me, of course, slows down, due to some unexplainable reason.
In less than one second flat, the light switches, rapid fire, from GREEN to YELLOW to RED.

One thousand oneeoooooohhh shit!

Snap, snap, snap, with the accompanying flashes.

Have a nice day, criminal (namely, me).

It's gotten to the point that when driving around Daley's empire at night, I look around if it's raining due to all the flashes going on around me. Is that a thunderstorm? Then why isn't it raining? Oh, of course - it's just the traffic cameras flashing, every time the light changes.

On every intersection I pass.

Yeah, you heard that right - the cameras go off every time the lights switch from GREEN to RED (in 1 second, usually, or even less).



(Without fail - I am not kidding, every time I pass an intersection at night I see camera flashes behind me in the rear mirror).

The way you drive in Obama city environments and the Daley empire limits is to gently, slowly approach an intersection, and then once you are in the process of passing it, to gun it.

Put your foot down on that accelerator!

So, you go from about 15-27 miles per hour to about 50+ lest you get cauuuuggghhtoooooh shit!

Which, of course, makes for very safe driving, which, of course is the point, riiiiiiiiight?

Exhibit A - the small town of Duncanville, Texas.

In 2008, the cameras at four intersections caught nearly 45,000 red-light runners — more than the total population of 38,500 people in the city.

Town population - 38,500.
Traffic tickets issued in 2008 - one year - 45,000.

So why so many tickets in Duncanville, Texas?

Dallas Daily News informs us that

Ford said the majority of violators aren't ticketed for speeding through a red light or rolling through the light on a right-hand turn. They're ticketed for failing to stop at the bold white line set back from the crosswalk. He said motorists can't safely turn without inching past that line to see beyond the stopped cars and other barriers to look for oncoming traffic.


Well, that certainly promotes safety.

I mean, we don't want drivers to look before they turn, do we now?

It is not illegal to turn at a red light to the right unless there there is a sign at an intersection prohibiting it, of course.

Which in this case, there isn't.

What's going on here is that the camera is used to snap pictures of cars that do not completely stop before the white line.

If you cross it, even a little bit, you are toast.

Which means that you must be a better driver than most professional stunt drivers (I mean, it is certainly easy enough to cross the horrifying white traffic line painted on the street with your bumper - say, by a few centimetreeeessssssoooooooh shit!).

According to Ford, the city will take in more than $3 million from citations issued in 2008.

Remember - it's for your safety citizen.

So kindly shit the fuck up and pay your fine.

Bonus Material.
Or not pay.

Short primer on how to beat this scam is here.

A nicely named site, highwayrobbery.net, offers some more advice.

This is simply another, stealth, tax applied to us, Americans.

So remember - drive unsafely, gun it at an intersection and damn the car in front of you or that lady with the child crossing the street.

Remember - drive unsafely, and slow down to a crawl before the intersection, so that the car behind you smashes into your car's rear.

Remember - it's for your safety, citizen!

Since the uncorruptible (giggle), honest (snort), ethical (bwahahahaha) mayor Daley learns a lot on his travels (chiefly how to screw us out of more money to pay for the crony based Chicago political appointment system), I sincerely hope he does not travel to Duncanville, Texas.

Otherwise we might be in real trouble here.

Legal disclaimer: The snickering, giggling, snorting and guffawing after the words, uncorruptible, hones and ethical has nothing to do with those words, nor Mayor Daley himself, who is the greatest Chicagoan, nay, American, nay, human being in the whole wide world!

Because I do not want the gentle, lawful and professional Chicago police to come to my bar and beat the snot out of me:

Off duty policeman, circa 300 pounds, brutally beats a young bartender woman, circa 70 pounds:

Although I am not a petite woman who can't defend herself, which probably means I will be shot.

End of legal disclaimer.

Bonus Material Two: the honorable Stroger family (and their many, many friends)

WGN radio show, letters to Stroger (excerpts):

The big news in Chicago is....Taxes. Taxes, the new 10% or more sales tax we pay in Cook County.

Yesterday, our daily web question, the News Click at wgnradio.com, asked who is to blame for Cook County having the nation's highest tax rate and the #1 answer was: The County Board!

My listeners and I were talking on my major market radio show the other day about that plan to increase the Cook County sales tax from .75% to 2.25%. Newsman Steve Bertrant – who is no one’s peppermint Peef, by the way – said that this would raise the total sales tax in Chicago 2%, from 9 to 11%. I am wondering if we shouldn’t tell our listeners that this would be a 22% increase.

See a pattern developing?

Dear Todd Stroger or the Person reading this, possibly his PR or sposepersons or a forest ranger, (...)

Today’s paper has a story about Chinta Strausberg, who is pulling in $110,000 per year. She’s the Directory of Communications over there but those responsibilities are now being handled by a guy from the Forrest Preserve District. Here’s the thing that kills me: She gets $110,000, the Forrest guy gets $75,000 and the Deputy Communications guy gets $86,000. So that’s about $275,000 a year worth of Communications people but we still can’t get Todd Stroger on our show.

Now if you don’t want to come on – and that is your prerogative – please communicate that to my Deputy Commincations Lieutneant who will tell his supervisor of …lieutenants who will tell my Producer’s Communications liason who will tell producer Matt.

The way I see it, you're making about $180,000 per year right now and a 17% reduction would take you down to about $150,000. Since the median wage earner in Cook County is making about $45,000 per year, your $150,000 would still be over three times what your constituents are making. Never a better way to lead than by example, eh?


And finally, this is how things really work in the uncorruptible (hee hee), ethical (heh) and highly moral (bwahahaha) weird world of the Daley empire:

January 8, 2007
Are you one of those people who thinks there is no such thing as bad publicity? I sure hope. Not that the Tribune has been bad to you, but boy are they nit-picky!

First, they write about the elevator in the County Building that you had reserved for your personal use. Then the story about your dad's doctor getting the top $391,000/yr job at the county health bureau. Then you're promoting your buddy's wife to be the county's purchasing agent at $126,000. So then today the Trib writes about Cedric Giles, the cousin of one of your big supporters, getting the $103,000/yr job as County Assistant Comptroller.

And then, just to show they don't like you, the Tribune story mentioned that you have already promoted longtime friend Kim David Gilmore - note the sinister three name reference - as the county's new Chief of Human Resources Bureau. To pile on, they went to Commissioner Forrest Claypool, who said you're a great guy and should be left alone. NOT.

Claypool said you're telling the county to cut 17% across the board while you hand out 6-figure jobs to friends. Where he gets this stuff I don't know.

Tell me more.
Chicago Tribune, May 14, 2008:

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger must pick four new nominees for animportant new health board, and critics said Tuesday they hope he uses theopportunity to create a more balanced, independent slate.


Msall, a few civic leaders and some commissioners have been critical ofStroger’s initial nine health board nominees, noting a majority representedpolitical and union interests and few had experience overseeing large healthsystems.


Commissioners rejected F. Daniel Cantrell, an aide to U.S. Rep. Danny Davis(D-Ill.) who once ran a West Side clinic that failed to pay more than $1million in payroll taxes as it went bankrupt, and union attorney BarbaraHillman.

So this is how guys who do not pay taxes become people whose duty it is to oversee collecting taxes (think recent Obama appointment who resigned in shame from being considered).

Public defender: Stroger gave me unqualified workers , dated May 1, 2008:

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has forced unqualified people into jobs on the public defender's payroll.

Those charges were made Wednesday by Public Defender Ed Burnette, who is fighting to keep a job he was appointed to five years ago by Stroger's father, John Stroger.

OK, sooooo.... ummmm

One supervisor hired by Stroger was so unqualified, Burnette said, "I had to find something for him to do" because he couldn't do public defender work. Attorney Richard Velazquez was hired to defend the poor but never saw a courtroom, instead becoming Stroger's attorney.

Tell me more, please...

Burnette said while his office defends the poor, Stroger believes certain jobs there "belong to him and he can fill them as he sees fit." He adds that people were "sent to our office" for jobs based on their political connections, not legal background.

Ahh, Chicago style politics.

I dare say Chicagoland needs more traffic cameras.

I mean the ones already installed barely pay for Stroger's family and friends in government jobs, and the ones getting government contracts (and if my math is a little fuzzy, and about $70 million is not enough, or perhaps too little, to satisfy Mr. Stroger, his friends and family, and Mr. Daley, and his friends and family and... and.... well, anyway, forgive me - am a product of the public school system, after all, and running for my life from gang bangers took priority over my 'rithmetics).

Drive unsafely, everyone!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


In my part of the world, there are traffic cameras on many lights. If you pass through the intersection once the light is RED, the camera is activated and will flash. It does not activate if you pass through on yellow. The cameras are located behind the intersection. You actually have to run the light "pretty badly" before its set off, as Ive seen plenty of people in the middle of the intersection when the yellow-changed-to-red and the camera did not flash. One has to be in the front half of the intersection (here anyway), while the light changes to red before its activated.

They have not (at least in the burbs of this area) "sped up" the yellow light or made it shorter. In fact the yellow lights are fairly generous here (or so it seems to me).

What is miffing is the ubiquity of the recording cameras atop the intersections that basically watch the whole street. The public access channel here has from time-to-time, shown the view they have. Its like a surveillance state. I mean your face can be discerned. I know this will be used to fight crime and indentify suspects "in the area" post-facto, but is it worth the trade-off in our loss of privacy?

In other news..............and I suppose this IS good news, one scientist is confidently predicting (and I don't doubt him from what Ive read about DNA), that they may able to formulate a very close fascimilie of someone's face if they can merely get some of the suspect's DNA. How your cranium and jawline, nose, hairline, et cetera, all form in fetal development is pretty much gene driven..................so when the particular genes that encode for these things are identified, they may be able to extrapolate a really good picture of what you look like merely by your DNA.

Hang with me now............it gets interesting. If they can do this, with the aid of the traffic-recording cameras, they may be able to look back through the footage and find faces that match what they "expect" the perp to look like, get his plate number, and try to get a DNA sample from him.............to see if it matches the DNA left on the crime scene.

Some facial recognition technologies that can mathematically mark jawline points and the like may make evasive maneuvers like wearing hoodies and sunglasses ineffective in the future. I suspect professional criminals (like the hoodie-wearing chavs of England), will then resort to large beards or whatnot. In Michael Crichton's last book, State of Fear, he noted an environmental terrorist was using pancake makeup on his forhead and taping his ears to evade existing facial recognition technology that would identify him via surveillance footage.

1984 creeps ever nearer to us.

The government, by simply allowing a few bad things TO HAPPEN, will probably get the public's PERMISSION to bring it closer still.