A Sign of|the Times

     At last, dangerous criminals are being taken off the streets of Los Angeles.
     Well, one of them at least.
     In case you missed it, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office had a 49-year-old criminal mastermind arrested and bail set at $1 million after he allegedly committed three misdemeanors!
     Justice at last!
     No wait, did I say three misdemeanors? Did I say $1 million bail?
     What did this guy, a fellow named Kayvan Setareh, allegedly do?
     He had an eight-story sign advertising a movie put up on a Hollywood building near the site of the Academy Awards.
     Shame on him! Is the death penalty an option?
     There is a small problem with this picture, however. Sure, recidivist sign posters should be dealt with harshly. But is this the right way to go about dealing with a horrible offense against society?
     Say, for example, this guy was a loan shark and he’d ordered his sign posters – that is, henchmen – to beat someone up. Should the City Attorney have the loan shark arrested immediately or maybe should he send someone to stop the beating first?
     If you to want to hurt someone who posts a sign illegally, shouldn’t you take the sign down?
     Maybe they’re doing that by the time you read this, but I’m not counting on it. After all, that would be way too much trouble for something so trivial.
     No, wait, it’s a major crime….
     I’m so confused.
     
     MORE ENFORCEMENT. This, naturally, got me to thinking and that’s always dangerous. What other criminals ought to be dragged out of their homes and forced to put up $1 million in bail?
     Well, as Ko-Ko would say, “I’ve got a little list.”
     Companies/people who sell you service warranties and then insist you fix things yourself.
     Anyone you don’t know who calls you at home.
     Tailgaters (the freeway kind).
     Really slow people (both freeway and in lines).
     Know-it-alls who are always wrong.
     People who use really strong perfume.
     Doctors who can’t resist pushing drugs they got from those young, flirty sales reps.
     Cranky people who want to put everyone else in jail. (No, wait, I’m not that cranky. Really ….)
     They’d none of ’em be missed.
     
     PRIORITY SETTING. If you’re not already depressed enough about the state of judicial affairs, you might want to take a look, for just one sad example, at a recent report from the Florida Supreme Court on the state’s need for more judges.
     I won’t go into all the gory details except to note that the loss of judges and resources seems to have come at the same time as a huge increase in court filings – much of it a result of the “mortgage foreclosure crisis … which continues to overwhelm Florida’s court system.”
     Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
     Put one judge – just one – in charge of foreclosure cases and free up everybody else to take care of other stuff. Concentrate all the congestion in one spot. It’s just resource allocation.
     Homeowners get a break, banks have to think twice about foreclosing, and there are resources for important things.
     Like prosecuting guys who put up signs.

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