Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Thursday, April 07, 2005

From The Texas Department Of Really Bad Ideas

The Texas Legislature has long been known for the quality and quantity of its elected nitwits. In fact, when the TX Lege is in session, the only way to get a higher dose of nitwittery is to go to Washington D.C. for a Congressional gathering.

One prime example of a Grade AA nitwit is this piece of armadillo dung, Rep. Larry "Hermano Grande" Phillips of Sherman/Denison. Rep Phillips wants to put transponders in all our cars. He says it's to make sure we all have valid insurance. Yeah, right, Larry. Got a bridge you want to sell me, as well? The device would transmit information like the vehicle’s VIN, insurance policy number, and license plate number, and the car’s owner would be mailed a $250 ticket if their insurance was found to be expired.

Now, I'm a big fan of people carrying liability insurance. I've been hit twice by uninsured motorists, and it's a pain in the ass to get your car fixed on the proceeds from selling their blood, gold fillings, jewelry and eyeglasses after you've beaten the shit out of them. That's not what this bill is about, though.

Aside from the jack-up of insurance premiums to pay for this boondoggle (if it passes), here's some other scenarios to keep in mind.

These transponders will need base stations scattered around, much like cell phone towers. They need to provide coverage over most TX roads, otherwise uninsured folks will avoid the transponder checkpoints.

So, match up cellphone-like coverage area, and GPS technology, and what do you get? The Man is now watching you wherever you drive.

So, didja tell your insurance co. that you only drive 3 miles to work, but it's really 30? Pony up more cash, Jack. They're on to you!

Park in the dodgy section of town while at the baseball game? Whoops! That's unacceptable risk for theft and vandalism! Your rates just jumped!

Exceed the speed limit a bit driving around town? Uh oh... There goes your 'Safe Driver' discount! GPS knows all, & sees all!

Nah, this is another suckup to the Insurance lobby, pure & simple.

Y'know, most times when our lawmakers go to felch on the insurance industry they at least have the good sense to disguise their actions a bit. In this case, Rep. Phillips is in prime anus-polishing mode, and his tongue is making a high-pitched hum as it speeds around the posterior of Big Insurance. One can probably assume Rep. Phillips is getting a world-class reacharound, too.

Via Engadget