Friday, January 19, 2007

City of Peoria doing pretty good imitation of fascism

Oh, good God.

I read this, and I thought the Journal Star was getting its information from some raving, paranoid lunatic. But it's apparently true: The Peoria Police Department is going around telling used book stores that they have to keep detailed records of all book transactions, which includes making photocopies of the drivers' licenses of the people who sell them books.

I have now seen it all. I might as well just shut this blog down. It is impossible to parody Peoria any more. This city is a parody of itself.

Apparently, this law has been on the books for years in Peoria. Now all of the sudden, someone in city government -- the police, the story says -- has decided to start enforcing this law.

Folks, I an NOT one of the people who cry that the police ought to have better things to do with their time when they make arrests for minor crimes. But for crying out loud people! Is THIS how the city wants to devote precious police manpower? Making sure they know who "sold" used copies of old paperback romances to the Book Rack? What's the going price for one of those bad boys anyway? A buck? Two bucks? Is there an epidemic of book thievery going on? I kinda doubt it, considering all I ever seem to get in exchange for MY used books is store credit.

Is there no one in City Hall who has the slightest sense of history? Keeping a registry of what people are reading sounds like something they did in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Fascism is supposed to be dead, although communism is thriving in out beloved sister city in Red China.

Is there no one -- perhaps in the city's legal department for example -- who has the slightest grasp of the 1st amendment issues involved in this registry?

From a purely business standpoint, is there no one involved in the city's economic development office who might stand up and say this is probably the biggest bundle of red tape the city has ever dumped on small businesses?

And frankly, anyone who could put this plan into motion without realizing there would be an outburst of incredulous outrage is someone who is probably just too plain dumb to hold a job with the city of Peoria. On second thought, it would take someone who works for the government to think was a good idea.

I would suggest that someone ought to be fired for this, but as last month's botched snow removal proved, it is impossible to be so stupid and so incompetent that the City of Peoria will risk a lawsuit by firing your sorry ass.

Good grief.

I've never been happier to live in Pottstown.

Cross posted to Peoria Pundit.


Pat Hickey 8:04 AM  

'Okay, four-eyes, let's see the receipts - we know that Fat Oscar the Loan Shark reads North-Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathmatica annually along with De Senectute ( Johnson's translation folio edition 1789) and the Fat boy has a real sicko taste for Charles Algernon Swinburn - $%#%ing dope fiend as well. Let's have 'em or we'll be back with s couple of real ugly Logical Positivists - or how 'bout this, Percy Dovetoncils ? Maybe some of the DeConstructionists from Vice - want that Cupcake? - Don't make us bring in the boys of the Special Mikhail Bahktin Branch. Cough up the books!'

Anonymous,  9:58 AM  

They must be looking for who bought copies of Catcher in the Rye. :)

Anonymous,  10:36 AM  

Freedom is not free.

Pat Hickey 11:13 AM  

Nor is it Dom.

Anonymous,  12:10 AM  

/s/If people weren't wearing those damn tinfoil hats, this wouldn't be necessary. Then the City of Peoria could just use brainwave reception technology to find out who's reading what. /s/

Last time I went into one of those stores I was grabbing a couple of titles from my kid's school reading list. If I had had to throw down a driver's license for my $.35 copy of White Fang and my $.85 copy of Lord Of the Flies, I'da been livid.

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