The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Let's suppose that Attorney General John Ashcroft implemented a program whereby Americans would tip off Homeland Security whenever they saw someone suspicious. If you saw someone who looked like a fanatic, you would be encouraged to report them to an anonymous hotline. What would a big-city newspaper like the San Jose Mercury News think of that? You could probably hear the cries of outrage from your home with the windows shut.

Or let's suppose the recording industry encouraged people to report on their friends and neighbors who might be downloading music illegally. See a guy at the computer store with a hundred blank CD's? Call a tip line! I don't think the Merc would think much of that either.

But when citizens are asked to snitch on tax scofflaws -- thus benefitting not national security or corporations but rather the coffers of the Western hemisphere's third-largest welfare state -- then the Merc twirls its hair and applies fresh lipstick:

SACRAMENTO - The California Highway Patrol has started a major crackdown on state residents illegally driving vehicles with out-of-state plates.

The agency officially kicks off its license plate sting Tuesday, asking motorists to jot down suspicious tags and enter them into an anonymous CHP Web site. Commissioner D.O. "Spike" Helmick estimated the state could bring in up to $10 million in additional revenue if the project succeeds.


An earlier enforcement crackdown at CHP's South Sacramento office netted nearly $575,000, said Officer David Costantini. Six officers searched parking lots at shopping centers, apartment complexes and college campuses for out-of-state plates.

"Everybody got excited about it. Even the secretaries are writing down plates," said Helmick, who said he typically jots down three or four suspicious plates during his morning commute.

Six officers searched parking lots at college campuses. If the FBI were to poke and pry at college students' cars, the Mercury News would call for California to secede from the union. Repeat after me: There is no liberal media bias.



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