Sunday, September 21, 2008

Take My Liberty...But Leave Me My Car In Portland, Oregon Photo

The content of this blog rests beneath a kind of thesis, visible on what might be called the "masthead" of this website: in modern America, it is often preferable to lose a day or two of freedom than to lose your vehicle.

A sad story from Portland, Oregon drives this point home...

Contia Orsby, 58, was living in her vehicle after a series of hardships that were NOT her moral fault, including being injured while working in a nursing home. (She attempted to keep a man in his 90s from falling, a common enough way to get injured while working this kind of job) Orsby ended up living in her car, and made the mistake of using a pair of brass knuckles as a "key ring."

To me, that makes sense if you're a 58-year-old woman desperately living in your vehicle and waiting for the Social Security Administration to decide, yup, you really do have slipped discs in your back, just like all the doctors say. Police doing a so-called "welfare check" called the brass knuckles a "concealed weapon." But (and here is the key sentence in the whole story) "instead of taking her to jail, they towed her car."

Why? Because towing a car is usually a much more draconian punishment than a night in jail (like I've been saying since Day One, Blog Entry One) but Americans lack the legal and constitutional protections for their VEHICLE which they have for their HOUSE or their PERSON.

As a result of this tow in lieu of arrest, Orsby spent six weeks sleeping outside. Good thing Oregon is much more temperate than Minnesota. Only through the intervention of a church did she manage to get her vehicle slash home back...with some serious delay caused by the authorities losing her keys, then wanting Orsby to pay to have the piece-of-junk 1988 rekeyed.

(No offense to 1988 was a piece of junk, and I just recently rid myself of it, click here)

The previous blog post just put Oregon on the towing utopia map, but now I see the state has been making up for lost time. Thanks, once again, to The Mercury for this informative piece about Orsby's ordeal. (Click here)

P.S. Yes, the illustration was indeed taken in Portland, Oregon.

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