Reciprocal Golf Problog by Peter Baumann

WHAT PRICE OUR FREEDOMS?

I was driving my son's car down from Oregon to Los Angeles to deliver boxes of his college textbooks and his car to him at USC last Fall. Interstate-5 allows the traffic to move along around 80 to 85 MPH from Stockton to the Grapevine without the California Highway Patrol getting into action, so I was making good time.

As the traffic lanes went from two lanes to five lanes near Newhall, I noticed that local drivers had joined traffic from northern California, and that the left lane was moving at 90 MPH. My car was heavy, being loaded with all those books, and I knew I could not stop as quickly if necessary, so I turned on my right turn signal, looked in my right mirror to see if my blind spot was clear (which it was), and then started to move one lane to the right. A small white sport car came out of nowhere and whipped past me on the right, so I returned to my lane!

I looked again in my rear view mirror, where an orange Honda Element was riding close to my rear bumper, and to my right, where there was no vehicle in sight, made sure my right signal was still on, then moved toward the lane on my right. The orange Honda Element flew past me on my right, so I stayed in the left lane once more.

It appeared to me that I was holding up traffic even though I was already moving with traffic at 90+ MPH! My third attempt to move to a lane on my right and slow down finally paid off. From the second lane I again looked to my right and was able to again move right and slow down.

As I drew a big breath to relax I noticed a CPH cruiser moving out from the right side of the road. Then he pulled in behind me and turned on his red light! I slowed down, then stopped on the right shoulder and started thinking how I was going to tell the officer why I had been holding up traffic.

The officer came up to my right window, so I lowered the window. Imagine my surprise when he said he had stopped me for speeding! I started to explain to him my predicament of trying to get out of speeding traffic in the fast lane when he barked, "License and Registration!"

I handed him my license and Registration while continuing to try to explain to him what had happened. He wasn't interested, and walked back to his cruiser. Five minutes later he returned with a speeding ticket made out for me to sign. I was shocked that he was more interested in writing the ticket than in listening to my explanation of how and why I tried to make my trip more safe! I decided then and there that I would "fight" the ticket.

A week later I mailed the ticket to the L.A. Court with my letter of explanation asking to contest the speeding charge. I had also learned that I could file a complaint against the officer online, so I did so. A week later I received a phone call from a CHP sergeant asking me to tell him my side of the story, and why I wanted to file a complaint against the officer, which I did. A few days after that I received a letter from the same sergeant asking me to put my explanation of my complaint in writing and return it to him in the mail. I did so.

A few days later I received another phone call from the sergeant. When he asked me to explain one more time why I was filing a complaint against the officer, the sergeant stated, "The video and the recording of your conversation with the officer do not agree with your statement!"

I asked, "You video tape and record traffic stops? Is that legal?"

"It is."

"And the officer does not have to tell me he is videotaping and recording at the time?"

"No, he does not."

"What did he videotape? Our conversation?"

"No, he videotaped your car with your Oregon license plate in the second lane clocked at 90 MPH."

I said, "that makes sense if he caught me while I was changing lanes to get out of the faster traffic."

Then I said, "I'd like to see that tape, and listen to the recording of our conversation."

He replied, "You can't do that!"

"Why not?"

"It requires a court order."

"So, now our law enforcement officers may videotape and record traffic stops without telling the driver he is doing so, take a spot video segment that does not tell the whole story but takes a moment out of context, and the driver can't see the video?"

"Correct."

"When did this come about, with the Patriot Act?"

He replied that he did not know exactly when the rules changed. Then he asked if I still wanted my complaint to proceed, or if I wanted to cancel the procedure.

"I want to file the complaint against the officer, and now I will file a complaint with your new procedures that allow officers to videotape and record a standard traffic stop on an honest American citizen! This isn't Nazi Germany in 1939, it is the United States of America in 2010! I don't know how much longer our freedoms will last in this country at this rate."

I thanked him for his calm demeanor during the phone call, told him I did not blame him for the apparent current rules under which law enforcement may act, and then hung up.

I was reminded of my section on Americans losing their freedoms in my book, LOVE WAS NOT ENOUGH, to be published in a few weeks. In the book I explain that dishonest law enforcement officers in this country are one of the two cancers that will move our nation into the category of a Third World nation. I explain why I feel this country needs an experienced businessman in the White House, not another attorney and politician.

I go on to suggest that during our next Presidential race that we have all of the contestants compete in a golf tournament against each other instead of holding more debates, because the game of golf brings out the best and the worst in all those competing. In one day we can learn more about which contestants are honest, who has a temper, who can handle adversity with calm and who cannot!

Most importantly I explain why we do not want more attorneys in Washington, because attorneys are, next to doctors, the worst businessmen in the country.

I close with my explanation as to why I hope Donald Trump runs for the Presidency, and why I encourage all Americans to vote for him if he decides to run.

Our nation can no longer tolerate attorneys in the White House if we are to survive as a nation, and if our freedoms are to survive for our children!
Comments