Whilst waging war bodily against the false but deeply entrenched Baltimorean idea that pedestrians do not enjoy the right-of-way while crossing a road using a crosswalk, I have had this standard response hurled frequently my way:
“Get the fuck out of the road, dumbass.”
Regardless of his apparent social or economic class, these tend to be the first words from a driver’s lips when forced (by nothing but my raised hand) to abide by the laws of the state of Maryland and bring his gasoline-powered steel battering-ram to a halt using slight pressure applied to a hinged pedal by one of his feet so as to avoid running headlong into a foot-mobile fellow citizen who is seeking to gain lawfully the other side of a roadway. To protect myself in the event of someone violently violating my pedestrian rights in a premeditated fashion, I have taken to using my cellphone to capture video of oncoming vehicles while negotiating a crosswalk, which seems to have the desired effect of forcing drivers to stop. Otherwise, few people operating automobiles appear to find anything wrong with driving in such a manner as to barely miss hitting me as they race toward the next group of cars stopped at the next red light.
Among the worst offenders are Baltimore city police officers, who as a whole don’t seem to mind breaking state law §21-502, which is but one among many of the laws they swore a sacred oath to uphold.
americanifesto / 場黑麥 / jpr / urbanartopia / whorphan
Among the duties of citizens working for police departments is to set the example for how their neighbors ought to behave. With this in mind, here are some modified rules for operating a motor vehicle in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. (The author has personally witnessed Baltimore police officers break these laws operate according to these modified rules.)
Ignore crosswalks. It doesn’t matter if children are trying to cross the road or there’s traffic stopped at a red light ahead - if you’re in a car, you have the power to crush any living human being. Use that power to intimidate pedestrians into leaping backward out of your way. Both Maryland and Baltimore laws require drivers to yield to pedestrians who are trying to walk across a road in marked or unmarked crosswalks. Fuck those laws.
Ignore road markings. If you’re in a car, feel free to use any lane, including bicycle-only lanes. Also, feel free to cross double yellow lines and veer into oncoming traffic to avoid slowing down - even for a fraction of a second.
Ignore stop signs. As long as you’re marginally confident that no one else is coming and you’re the only person driving that day, don’t come to a full stop at a stop sign. Coasting through a stop sign is as good as fully stopping. The cops do it - why shouldn’t you?!
Don’t use turn signals. If other people can’t read your mind or accurately guess what you’re about to do before you do it, they shouldn’t be out on the road. Also, don’t put on your hazard lights when double-parked - cause a traffic jam by just sitting there.
Turn your headlights on only at night. Using daytime running lights reduces the risk of getting in an accident significantly. Fuck those statistics. Flicking one knob, once, with your left hand, is simply too much work.
Park wherever you like. If this means blocking a marked crosswalk or the entrance to a shopping plaza so you can go and get a soda on a hot day, do it. Pedestrians have legs and can walk around your illegally parked vehicle, and other drivers can hurry up and wait while you do your business.
Fit in by following these modified rules. Drive it like you stole it, and don’t slow down for nothing.
(This is a work of satire. Please educate yourself about your state’s laws regarding the rights of pedestrians in a crosswalk. Follow those and other pertinent traffic laws. The author is a defender of the rights of pedestrians; he regularly puts his healthy and safety on the line assisting others to cross roads safely.)
americanifesto / 場黑麥 / jpr / urbanartopia / whorphan
on flaunting laws
Should President Trump be impeached because he won’t relinquish ownership of his luxury resorts and golf clubs? If the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution should be at all taken seriously, Trump must be impeached. It appears, however, that the man who recently swore to defend and uphold the Constitution in its entirety has every intention of violating his oath of office.
President Trump’s unlawful behaviors are already appearing to have trickled down in the form of Alexandre Bissonnette, a white-supremacist, Caucasian terrorist who allegedly murdered six men while they were praying at their local mosque. According to various news sources, it appears that Bissonnette was inspired by the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric spewing sickly from the suckholes of fascist leaders such as France’s Le Pen and America’s Trump.
With President Trump blatantly flaunting America’s bedrock legal foundation, it should come as no surprise that his followers are doing the same, expressing their Islamophobia through both hardened boot-heels and hateful words. Why should the average citizen abide by the rule of law when the weakling occupying this nation’s highest post doesn’t, either? Why should the average citizen pay his taxes when Washington’s top mendicant doesn’t, either?
Perhaps we the American People should copy Trump’s example and do the following: stop obeying laws we don’t feel like obeying anymore; call anyone who cries foul of our incivility a liar; deride any statements that contradict our own as false news; keep heaping on the bullshit without ever admitting guilt, remorse, or compassion. Such acts would require us to stoop to his level, however, and few of us, it seems, are willing to lessen themselves to such an intolerable degree.
We still have more than one thousand, four hundred, three and one half days left in Trump’s first term. Get to it!
JPR / whorphan / americanifesto / 場黑
A lone American football player exercises his right to free speech using the public platform at his disposal. In response, an entire police department threatens to not do its job. By merely sitting quietly while others stood, this man sparked a national debate about free speech, respect, and honor. This conversation addresses questions swirling at the core of the American experiment. May citizens of this nation express themselves freely or should they be forced to stand at attention and display mindless devotion to a rectangular piece of cloth? The American flag represents a living nation. As such, it is a living thing that may not be glued or otherwise affixed to any article of clothing. Who enforces these federal flag laws that make it a crime to wear an American flag t-shirt? Will the police department in question start issuing citations to the tens of thousands of citizens who attend baseball games using the flag as wearing apparel - hats and shirts with a living thing illegally glued to them? A person walking down the street with a labrador retriever stapled to the front of his sweatshirt would be soon arrested for animal cruelty, but millions of Americans commit flag cruelty every day, and get away scott free. When a police department is allowed to choose which laws to enforce and which to ignore, when it publicly threatens to walk away from its duties and only a few citizens find that troubling, the republic for which the flag stands is in dire straits. To parrot the words of a current presidential candidate - people who don’t like free speech should leave America and find another country that works for them, a place where obedience is strictly enforced and any lack of respect for arbitrary symbolism is met with harsh and rapid sanction. That may sound like paradise to some, but it sure as syphilis doesn’t sound like one to me.
© JPR / whorphan / americanifesto / 場黑
blog updated Fridays, usually
I bicycle, write, surf, and strive.