Evidently the State Doesn’t Want My Money…

So let me lead off with the email I’m sending GoodToGo as I type this:

So some how I wasn’t notified as my account level got low. It’s now at -0.35 cents. I just went to go put money on it and am told “I can’t make a payment currently because the account is in negative balance.”

OK, I’ll try to call. I call and it wants some pin number that I don’t have and cannot find anywhere to set one on the website. I try to find a way to talk to a human and cannot find one.

So just to make sure I’m clear on this. I give an interest free loan to GoodToGo (WA DOT), am finally notified when I have a negative account balance because it’s run over, and when I try to go give another interest free loan I can’t? If it wasn’t for the fact this is “sanctioned by the state” I’d be calling the BBB to report a scam.

Why would I report a scam? Because at this point my assumption must be that the reason it is so difficult to pay a negative account balance is to accrue interest against the user, in which case why is my loan to the state an interest free one? And if not that to bill the user at a higher rate for using the toll bridge because my account is out-of-order. This also ignores the fact the first time I drove across the bridge I was billed through GoodToGo and sent a paper bill at a higher rate in the mail.

I have updated to a different card, although I would prefer not to have automatic payments configured on that card, but if this is going to be the way the state is going to behave I do not have much of a choice.

I had been making a habit of making one time payments when notified and this time I couldn’t.

As an additional note I will be forwarding this to my state representatives asking how this type of user interface and treatment of Washington State citizens is acceptable. Especially for those of us who purely use this in transportation to or from work. I will also be posting a copy of my experience and this letter, along with how the situation is handled on my blog.

Thank you and sincerely,
Barron Barnett

So for those not familiar with the GoodToGo system, you maintain a balance for toll roads around Western  Washington.  When you take one it subtracts from that balance.  When the balance gets low it can automatically get more from a credit card or deduct from a bank account.

The initial credit card I was using has been disabled, not because of lack of payment or anything, it just has and I’m too lazy to go call the bank to fix it.  I’m going debt free so why bother worrying about it, it forces me to not use it.

So I take to paying off my debit card when I get a low balance notice.  I get no low balance notice until I get a call and email about it this morning.  I go look at my account, -$0.35.  Well I need to fix that, I go into payments and see:

Outstanding Balance
Account balance is negative, payment not allowed. Please contact the Customer Service Center.

I then hop on the phone and start getting drug through automated menus.  Finally get to one that sounds reasonable, it asks me for my account number. I enter it.  Then it asks for a 4 digit pin.  A what?  I never configured a 4 digit pin, not that I remember anyway, and I cannot find anywhere in the online forms to find or configure a 4 digit pin.

So lets recap.  I’ve been giving interest free loans to the State of Washington so that I can drive over public roads at a non-inflated price.  I guess you could say that’s the interest, but then some pay more interest in others do they not because that becomes dependent on how long it takes for them to dwindle their account balance, but I digress.

Evidently my account ran negative and I just discovered this.  I attempt to use the manual payment system and am told to contact the Customer Service Center.  I do exactly that, and am greeted with an automated system asking for information that I do not know and cannot find a method to find out or set.

Ultimately leaving me in the following state, an outstanding balance I’m now aware of and unable to pay because their system is so screwy I could swear it was built by the same idiots that made the Obama-care website, and some would wonder why I don’t want my financial information stored within it.

And people wonder why I view the state as worthless and unable to pour piss out of a boot reading the directions off the heel.  If I can’t pay them when I owe them money, what the hell do they need the money for in the first place?

Quote of the Day – Michael Z. Williamson (2/5/2014)

It may be time to start planting claymores instead of tulips.

Michael Z. Williamson – Facebook Comment

February 5th, 2014


[The catalyst was this event.  All I have to say is there is something very wrong in the system and they are not policing their own anymore. -B]

 

Trust and Integrity…

Integrity once lost can never be regained.

Yesterday I made the following comment on Facebook.

Cops will shoot anyone for any reason even if they create or aggravate the situation.

They have been trained at this point to exercise and only use one tool in their tool box.

With how heavily qualified immunity protects them I’ve lost all faith and trust in law enforcement. When a cop can create a dangerous situation unnecessarily, shoot someone, have it declared unjustified in the review and not face a single punishment other than being fired after committing homicide the system is broken.

The article that sparked my mini rant, was this:

Two North Carolina parents are in shock after local police shot and killed their 18-year-old son in their own home, while they watched helplessly.

Now this is not the first time I’ve seen or heard of something like this and it is merely another added to the list.  Not to mention incidents like the Seattle PD incident where the officer didn’t like someone carving some wood, proceeded to close the distance to someone he, as he stated was “armed”, and when the person finally turned around to see who was yelling at him the officer shot him.  The officer claimed the knife was open and that’s why he shot, it was determined however it was in fact closed.

Ultimately that shooting was ruled unjustified however the officer was not charged with any crime because “he was acting in a public capacity” at the time.

One of my friends then posted the following comment on my wall:

“Cops will shoot anyone for any reason…”. Every cop? You knew me as a safe fellow gun owner in college who stood along side you with an empty holster on the campus open carry awareness days. I’d like to think that I haven’t turned into a mindless killer now that I choose to put on a badge and serve the public

Initially the response was just going to be there except this is a serious problem and it’s a matter of trust and integrity, and I’m not going to go completely Kevin Baker this isn’t going to be short.

The problem is the police have no trust or integrity left.  I may trust my friend because I know him and don’t have to worry about him just shooting me because I know him and his character.  The problem is I don’t have that kind of rapport with most police officers, in fact most of them are a blank sheet that I know nothing about.

Just the same when an officer approaches me they know nothing about me, unless they pull me over.  Then they see that I have a concealed weapons permit when they run my license plate.  Fun little thing there is then the officer knows I am generally most likely an upstanding citizen.  Except some officers treat concealed permit holders as criminals because they dare exercise their rights and an immediate threat to the officers safety and everyone else.

But we’re not talking about their perspective, which is interesting since officer fatalities are at an all time low:

The annual report from the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund also found that deaths in the line of duty generally fell by 8 percent and were the fewest since 1959. 

According to the report, 111 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide this past year, compared to 121 in 2012. 

Forty-six officers were killed in traffic related accidents, and 33 were killed by firearms. The number of firearms deaths fell 33 percent in 2013 and was the lowest since 1887.

Yes you read that right, officer friendly is more likely to die in an a traffic accident than be shot by Sumdood.  Interestingly the number of justifiable homicides committed by officers far outpaces that rate, but what is disturbing is the burden of proof for their justification is far less than a citizen who may be found in similar circumstances.  But this is ultimately neither here nor there it’s just an interesting piece of information when viewed in the additional context of the following incidents raises serious concern.

Because what this subject is really about is my perception of officer friendly.  Can I trust him?

All that I have to go on is the fact he’s been issued a badge and a gun by the state.  Neither of which vouches for his character, mental health, competence, or respect for others.  Approximately 1% of police officers will be found to have committed misconduct,  this doesn’t include unreported incidents or incidents where misconduct was likely but could not be proven or the officer was protected through judicial fiat.

Let’s look at the Canton PD incident, because honestly it is a fantastic example of why integrity and trust is being lost and why just because it’s only 1% doesn’t inspire confidence in them.

Officer Harless, while operating as a law enforcement officer and protected as such by qualified immunity,  threatened and harassed people on more than one occasion.  Watching the video that made him famous there is something even more disturbing, the complete inaction of his partner to do anything to protect the victim.  Instead of reigning the out of control officer Roid-Rage in he just sits off to the side and does nothing, silently complacent in the actions of his partner.

It gets better though because lets now investigate the fallout from that incident.  First we had a city council member justifying Harless’s actions and defending him.  That’s right, the out of control behavior was defended by a man elected to represent the public (victim) at large.  He was only brought in for a disciplinary hearing and no charges were filed due to his threats and actions, of which there was a history of misconduct.  He was eventually fired and a minor amount of faith restored as he was at least fired.

Except now the fun begins.  All of his fellow officers banded together to support him and the police union forced the city to hire him back.  This is about that, all those officers were OK with that behavior and the obvious pattern of it.  So much so they forced the government to hire him back and put that man who destroy the trust back in a position of power.  That is how you destroy integrity.

Let’s look back on the whole of the state sponsored criminal count.  There were a lot of very screwed up instances, that the story was darn near always the same.

Nonetheless, she says: “In violation of NISD police department procedures, Alvarado drew his weapon immediately after exiting the patrol car. With his gun drawn, he rushed through the gate and into the back yard. Within seconds from arriving at the residence, Alvarado shot and killed the unarmed boy hiding in the shed.”

Hell, I had created a special tag, “hiding in plain sight“, because I was finding so many school resource officers who were screwing girls in the school.

This boils down to a matter of trust and integrity and honestly the police have lost it.  Due to their job and position they should be striving for excellence and be dealing immediately and harshly with any misconduct.  Instead many officers are intimidated into not reporting misconduct.  This is a problem within the system.  I don’t know how to fix it but it is a problem and it’s destroying the trust and tarnishing any integrity that people see left.

Why should I not be afraid of someone I don’t know who’s been given a badge and a gun by the state and have a free pass to shoot someone one, even unlawfully?  You want to fix this problem, bring the police and the people back into line at the same bar.  The public are the police and the police are the public.  Between the laws and behavior that is no longer true.

If there honestly isn’t a problem, why is there such a high domestic violence rate among police officers?  Is it because many of them are so heavily trained on relying on their use of force to get their way they forget the other tools at their disposal?

I am more fearful of the police than I am of criminals.  I can at least fight back against a criminal.  The police however can kick down my door in the middle of the night, shoot my dog, shoot me, shoot my wife, and then say oops wrong house and they all get a pass.  Why didn’t they just !@#$ing knock on my door and show me the warrant?

Oh the criminal is dangerous and he might destroy evidence.  Here’s a !@#$ing idea then, catch him on his drive to work or when he’s away from the house.  The majority of no-knock warrants are unnecessary and merely used to continue justifying funding.

Do police have a right to go home safe at the end of the day, sure, but they have no more of a right to that than the people they serve.  Honestly in signing on the dotted line, they sign on for the additional risk their job brings.  If they can’t handle it they need to go work someplace else.

Shooting a grandfather in the back while he’s lying on the ground isn’t acceptable, neither is shooting a little girl in the face, or shooting a child’s dog in a cage in front of the child.  The people aren’t the ones creating this attitude, it’s the actions and behavior of police officers.  If they want the support and trust of law-abiding citizens, they need to earn it.  Letting incidents like this happen on a regular basis without the uproar of other officers just makes them all complicit.

They are also consistently exempt from laws that are applied to the rest of the general public, that is not acceptable and is yet another example of Tyranny, and the police are happy enough to enjoy it.  Again, destroying trust, faith, and integrity one step at a time.

The actions and behavior of the police have created this rift and it’s going to take them changing their behavior to fix it.  Even then it will take a long period of time.  They need to collectively step up to the plate push out the corruption, embrace the suck and ensure that laws are applied equally across everyone, including themselves.  If some officer says, high capacity magazines should be outlawed, he should be planning on surrendering the ones from his patrol car, his house, and his locker as well.

A man of character will stand up and do the right thing, even if it hurts him personally.  I do not see men of character in law enforcement.  I see a group of men, some of whom are corrupt, but overall who operate as a “brotherhood” and will defend their brother even if he has done something wrong.  Brotherhood serves a purpose, but there’s a point where character should take over.

Quote of the Day – Phssthpok (1/6/2014)

Cops take full responsibility for each bullet that leaves their gun,  the same way that Attorney general Janet Reno took ‘full responsibility’ for the Waco massacre…

Phssthpok – GBC Chat

January 6th, 2014


[It was in reference to this among other similar incidents.  I have nothing else to ad. -B]

 

Today’s hour long educational presentation…

Even if you don’t really speak tech, watch it.  He doesn’t really go into deep details, though it does require some understanding of how networking works.

If you still don’t want to take the hour let me synopsize it into one single sentence:

Nothing is safe.

And there isn’t much of a hope for immediate improvement either because the NSA is leaning on organizations to leave a lot of this crap in place.  Not to mention they do not report security threats instead they want them left open for exploitation.

There are couple things that desperately need to change, one of the biggest is security needs to stop being an afterthought in software and systems development.  I’ve said it before folks, we’re in a cold war and one side just doesn’t want to admit the truth of the matter yet.

SSCC–Hancock County

Six years ago, Assistant District Attorney of Hancock County, Maine, Mary Kellett, used the awesome power of the state on behalf of a woman who was seeking custody of her two children. Ligia Filler was afraid that, in her impending divorce from husband Vladek Filler, she’d lose custody of her children. She was right. Ligia Filler did lose custody of her children for the good and sufficient reason that she was a mentally unbalanced woman with a propensity for harming the kids. When it came to it, the Hancock County family court had no trouble deciding who was the better parent and awarded primary custody to Vladek.

What the family court and child welfare workers recognized – that Vladek Filler is a fine and loving parent and that Ligia is a danger to herself and her children – escaped Mary Kellett completely. Or, it may not have escaped her; she may have seen it clearly, but went to bat for Ligia anyway. If the latter, she not only used the power of her office to hound an innocent man, but she used it to attempt to keep innocent children in an abusive environment. Whatever she knew, it seems clear that Mary Kellett acted on the basis of a misandric worldview. This is a woman who seems to use state power to conduct personal vendettas against men. The Filler case is far from the only one in which this tendency has apparently come to light.

Go read the whole story.  It honestly makes me sick.

State Sponsored Criminal: Mary Kellett

Because when you’re a prosecutor and you purposely violate rules and ethics of the bar, you get a suspension which is then suspended.  Punishment, who needs it when you’re the state!

via Rob H.

SSCC–LASO

James Spinks, then 60, was injured when a deputy repeatedly kneed him in the side after knocking him to the platform floor at the Rosa Parks/Willowbrook train station, attorney Thomas E. Beck said. Witnesses loudly complained that deputies were beating an "old man," and one captured the encounter on a cellphone camera, Beck said.

The jury made the decision and found against the police officers.  What bugs me is they don’t state what the reason for the initial contact by police officers was for.

I think the most telling part is this:

"We still stand behind our deputies," he said. "Just because this verdict has come in doesn’t mean this is over."

Yup, just like they stand behind officers shooting at a couple ladies delivering papers for no reason.

State Sponsored Criminal: Mark Collins and Ermina McKelvy

Because when you’re a cop you can detain people without cause or warrant and beat them if they refuse.

SSCC San Marcos

A San Marcos police corporal is in custody after police say he injured a woman while illegally arresting her in late May, causing her to lose at least two teeth and suffer a concussion.

Cpl. James Angelo Palermo, 40, was booked at the Hays County jail on a charge of aggravated assault by a public servant, a first-degree felony. Jail records show bail was not set as of Tuesday evening.

Go read the story on that one.  The reason he assaulted that poor girl was because she was walking on the sidewalk past a traffic stop near a business.  But it gets better, you see this department has come up before.  Not only that but I stumbled across a second current incident!

A San Marcos police officer was arrested Wednesday morning after he turned himself in on two arrest warrants for obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Officer David Amerson surrendered at the Hays County Law Enforcement Center shortly before 6 a.m. and was released about 9 a.m. His bail was set at $10,000. The charges stem from an investigation by the Hays County Drug Task Force in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety.

Now everyone is innocent until proven guilty and the law is there to protect the innocent so sometimes the guilty may go free.  That said that is with regards to the state incarcerating someone and depriving them of their rights.  In this case the officers are on administrative leave, and we know if it looks like they are about to really get burned they will just resign and go work some place else doing the same job.

Here’s what bugs me more than anything, it is yet another data point in my theory that departments as a whole are encouraging this type of behavior and it isn’t just a “lone wolf” issue.  We are seeing many repeat incidents at the same departments, largely stemming from the fact that they don’t cut the fat until it becomes a serious liability.  Even then they don’t cut the fat in a way to terminate it, they just allow it to become someone else’s problem.

State Sponsored Criminal: James Angelo Palermo

State Sponsored Criminal: David Amerson

Because accountability serves no purpose within the police force to discourage bad conduct.