Sunday, July 20, 2008

Alabama Justice?

We Get the News we Deserve

Front Page News: It has often been said that Americans get exactly the government they deserve. In 2000 a candidate arrived on the scene with plenty of flair and a good ole boy Texas accent, even if he was from Kennebunkport. Some say he had gotten into college thanks to Daddy’s juice. He was no athlete. Not a scholar. Did like to party, though. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, same as many other college kids whose families were unable to buy them a legacy. Never was very successful in a career. He was well liked as a baseball team owner but otherwise bumbled his way through businesses. Went bust in the oil business. That should have been a clue. But with the help of his family legacy he was able to get nominated and maybe, maybe not, won the election. Four years later he won again. Today our country has a record debt although he started with a record surplus. We’re in the longest war in memory after invading a country that posed no threat to us. His rating is at a record low and our country faces the biggest economic challenge since the depression. We deserve the government we elect.

Ditto the news: We have become a nation of briefs. Texting has a nu language u can not c. In depth news media has been reduced to 10 second sound bites. The printed media is bleeding red ink. Friday’s paper was an example why. Page one teased a new Batman movie, “Cool Crossover SUV,” a potential Emmy winner, and a quarterback. Buried on page two is the most outrageous story since the Selma debacle. A trucker was hauling onions through Alabama when he was pulled over on his way back to California. He wasn’t speeding. No safety violations such as a broken taillight were observed. He wasn’t driving erratically. He was simply pulled over for “a routine inspection.”

You in a Heap ‘a Trouble, Boy: For years Alabama was the butt of jokes about its uneducated cops, speed traps, and hillbilly justice. Those days were thought to be a distant memory until Manual Castillo was pulled over. His crime? The trooper didn’t like what he heard from Castillo. Did the trucker curse? Was he disrespectful? Did he refuse to comply with the commands of the man with the gun? None of the above. Castillo, a legal U.S. resident with all the appropriate driving documents, did not have language skills to meet the standards of the trooper. So he was given a $ 500 ticket!

Conclusion to Truckers, Avoid Alabama: Keep in mind that Castillo passed all oral and written exams to be a legal U.S. resident plus all written, oral, and driving tests to earn a commercial license and drive an 18-wheeler. He speaks well enough to pass the road test and inspections along the way. He was quoted as saying, and NOT through an interpreter, “It just doesn’t seem fair to be ticketed if I wasn’t doing anything dangerous on the road.” Sounds like plain English to me. Maybe Castillo was searching for a translation of, “Y’all gotta gimmie yo’ license, boy.” He plans to pay the $ 500 and not return to Alabama. If the judge is related to the cop who pulled him over, his choice is probably a wise one.

A little blogging music Maestro... The Cops TV theme, “Bad Boys, Bad Boys.”

Dr. Forgot
See me also at

No comments: