Sunday, July 17, 2011

Veggiegate Update

An alert reader at Stand Firm provided an update to the travails of Julie Bass, whose criminal vegetables drew the ire of Oak Park bureaucrats.

It looks like the charges and threat of 93 days in jail over the unlicensed vegetables in her front yard have been withdrawn. Not permanently, mind you; "without prejudice", so the city can refile the charges if and when they feel inclined (perhaps when they think the press and bloggers aren't looking). Still, Mrs. Bass must be feeling pretty good that her struggle garnered so much outraged attention, and that the city had to back down.

But did they?

The newest twist is that they've dug up something else to punish Mrs. Bass for: she was late renewing her dogs' licenses! This ALSO merits 93 days in jail, even though she paid the licensing fee in June and her dogs are entirely "legal". But to the city, "It's not over"; it's NEVER over when the bureaucratic meatgrinder gets going, until it ends they way they like, with uniform, one-sized, docile subjects standing in neat rows, awaiting their orders.

Now you see why the part of this story that annoyed me the most was the "You WILL submit!" attitude of the government bureaucrats. Having failed in one area, they immediately set about to find something, ANYTHING, to pin on this woman in order to make an example of her. An example of what happens to you if you dare to resist Authority. And it was also a lame example to blacken her reputation to the rest of the world, especially those who defended her in the garden fracas: "See? She's a scofflaw! Aren't you ashamed now, to be sticking up for such a degenerate character? She doesn't deserve your support; leave her to us."

Well, I don't think it will work, even though there are more bad-tempered comments from supposed defenders of law and community standards this time. I think they were totally taken by surprise the first time around - this sort of secret mau-mauing works so often, they didn't know what to do when the searing glare of critical attention fell on them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now see - if I were a neighbor, I would be forced to take a vacation day or week in order to have my front yard tilled and planted with signs of the season. A corn patch, a tomato patch, onions and garlic would adorn my lawn. If enough neighbors were to follow suit, this could get interesting.

As for the dog license bit, I am hoping that the young lady will take herself down to city hall and find out the names of every person who did not promptly renew their doggie license. I would expect to see equal roughshod treatment of these individuals or I would be screaming Bloody Murder.

1:09 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

I tell you, I'd be on that list myself. I registered Yin with the city in October or November one year, and paid the full one-year registration fee. THEN 3 months later I got a renewal notice - nobody told me that the city's license is for the CALENDAR year, not for a year from the date of registration! I was so outraged I just ignored the notice. Six months later a bylaw officer came by, and I paid up. I trust the matter won't be dredged up if I ever get on an "enemies list" of somebody at City Hall, but cheesy and chintzy as they might be about dog licenses, we don't seem to have the control freaks who are in charge of Oak Park.

1:34 pm  

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