Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Your papers please ...

Today, I found that I needed some information from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to prepare for an upcoming media appearance. Rather than calling the director’s office in Oklahoma City and doing it over the phone, I decided to just run down to 440 South Houston and talk to a local case worker. That was a terrible mistake.

I thought I was familiar with the Oklahoma State Office Building in Tulsa. I have visited the various state agencies there for years. It was never really that bad. You just parked up front and walked into the building, just like you would at any other office building. BUT NOT ANY MORE. The first thing I noticed was that all of the parking close the natural entrances was now reserved for EMPLOYEES ONLY. At the moment I thought, “That makes no sense at all. Why not make the more accessible parking available to people who are coming and going rather than to people who park in the morning and stay for the day.” But, I was to learn that there was a method to their madness.

Apparently, either a revolution or a terrorist attack is imminent and it is going to begin at 440 South Houston. All of the entrances to YOUR STATE OFFICE BUILDING have now been closed but one. That entrance is on the basement level and is guarded by about ten thousand dollars a day’s worth of Oklahoma State Highway Patrolmen. I was not in great mood after circling the building four times before I found the da***ed entrance and was certainly not happy when a surly trooper was not satisfied that I had placed my three hundred dollar smart phone, the keys to my car, my wallet and all of my money in the filthy tub that was offered. He also demanded that I surrender my eyeglasses and the hundred dollar Mount Blanc pen in my shirt pocket. Foolishly, I said, “I’m not very likely to stab anyone with a hundred dollar pen.” The trooper, dripping with attitude, then said,”How would you like to carry it back to your car?”

Having barely made it through security, I noticed that the door to DHS was directly outside on the other side of the building. I walked through the door onto the patio and up the steps to the DHS door, only to discover that the only entrance to DHS is now internal and to re-enter, I would have to walk all of the way around the building and go back through security again. At that point, I said the h**l with the OHP and DHS, walked all the way around the building again to my car and drove away.

I have a few suggestions for Governor Henry. First, read the constitution. The Fourth Amendment says that all citizens have the right to be secure in the persons, papers and property from unreasonable searches and seizures. It is totally unreasonable to require every person entering a state office building to surrender all of their belongings as a condition of entry. Particularly, I would prefer that personal items like my eyeglasses, pen and wallet not be placed in a greasy tupperware tub that has contained the sometimes dubiously clean belongings of every other entrant to the building that day. Second, you should run our state government in such a way that you don’t need ten grand a day’s worth of state troopers to guard the bureaucrats. If state employees are really that afraid of the people they serve, something is really wrong with the system. Third, if you can’t do either of the first two, at least put the troopers back into their cars where they are needed and contract the security out. You will at least save some of my tax dollars. It makes no sense at all to use expensive OHP troopers to guard an office building when everyone else, including the City of Tulsa, does it much more cost effectively with private security firms.

America is quickly becoming a police state. Everywhere you turn some jerk with a uniform and an attitude is demanding your papers and your property. Thomas Jefferson is rolling over in his grave.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Why Lawyers Are So Guarded With Clients ...

Just about everybody in modern society agrees that lawyers are the scum of the earth ... They tell tasteless lawyer jokes and allow themselves to be convinced that legislation that will strip them of their basic constitutional rights is wonderful because it will take income away from lawyers. Well, it could be that lawyers treat clients the way they do because clients are the way they are. The video found at the clip below is a classic. Notice that the "masked man" blames the lawyer for his mother's injury even though HE kicked the lamp that struck her in the head.

This attorney showed a lot of restraint. I would have shown these people the door a lot sooner ....