“One function of the income gap is that the people at the top of the heap have a hard time even seeing those at the bottom. They practically need a telescope. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt probably didn’t waste a lot of time thinking about the people who built their pyramids, either. OK, so it’s not that bad yet — but it’s getting that bad.” –Molly Ivins
Oh Molly, I’m not so sure! You’ve been gone a few years, and you were always an optimist. Maybe things really ** ARE ** that bad now.
Are these damn people for real? I live within range of maybe a dozen dumpsters, most of which are emptied every morning, sometimes starting about 3 a.m. Ask how many times I’ve called 911 to bitch about the noise. In 25 years, it never even occurred to me! My only thought before drifting back to sleep is always, oh good, maybe the guys can finish their routes before it gets too hot and nasty.
And this happened in greater Atlanta, where even mad dogs and Englishmen would damn sure want to avoid collecting garbage in the noonday sun. Seems like too much money makes folks fucking heartless … and brain-dead too.
Daily Kos * Tue Mar 10, 2015 at 07:07 AM PDT
Think there is a class war? There is. Guess who is winning:
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — A sanitation worker says he was thrown in jail for picking up trash too early in the morning.
The city of Sandy Springs says he violated an ordinance aimed at keeping workers from waking up residents.
The city solicitor says he’s tried everything to get sanitation workers to stop coming to communities before 7 a.m. He says he’s tried fining the companies they work for, but it doesn’t work; so now he’s decided to haul them off to jail.
“The solicitor said it’s automatic jail time. He didn’t want to hear nothing I had to say. I said it’s my first time,” sanitation worker Kevin McGill told WSB-TV’s Tom Jones.
The Sandy Springs ordinance says sanitation workers must haul trash between the hours of 7 in the morning to 7 in the evening.
McGill was cited for picking up trash just after 5 a.m. one morning. When he went to court, chief prosecutor Bill Riley asked the judge to sentence him to 30 days in jail.
“I was stunned. I didn’t know what to think. I was shocked,” McGill said.
Riley doesn’t apologize for locking up sanitation workers.
“Fines don’t seem to work,” Riley said. “The only thing that seems to stop the activity is actually going to jail.”
Riley says 911 lights up when trash haulers come before 7 a.m.
block quote end
I know the city of Atlanta well from the rowdier days of my Freakniking youth. I also know Sandy Springs, which is your fairly standard issue affluent Sunbelt suburb. Complete with mall, ample parking, ridiculously huge interstate highways, office parks, and a sterile manicured landscape dotted with standard issue mini mansions. Also quite conservative, as this is the home base ok Newt Gingrich and now Tom Price. The place was noted a few years ago by the New York Times for its noted privatization of literally its entire government. Including and especially its sanitation services.
I must say I am not shocked when I hear that the type of people who call 911 because of a trash truck arriving at 5 am would also proscribe jail time as a punishment for doing it. The types who live in these places WANT such things to be the only emergencies they ever have. That and perhaps washing your car in the front yard or planting inappropriate flowers. Overdoing the Christmas lights and what not.
But what is shocking is that the executive in charge of the trash hauling nor its shareholders were hauled in and thrown in the clink. Nope. Just the lowly black guy out doing his job, probably for a pittance and a fraction of what a Sandy Springer earned yesterday on the markets.
After news of McGill’s punishment went viral, the solicitor’s office announced Monday that prosecutors would amend his sentence, saying in a statement, “The actions of the court with regards to Mr. McGill’s sentence for violating the city’s noise laws was disproportionate to a first-time offense.”
“As such, the court has amended its sentence to time served and further probation (is) suspended,” the statement said.
Chief prosecutor Bill Riley told WSB that the jail sentence was his idea because, he said, “fines don’t seem to work.”
“The only thing that seems to stop the activity is actually going to jail,” McGill said.
Still, McGill said being locked up with “real criminals” was hard, and so was being away from his family.
“I just want this to be over with,” he told WSB before getting word of the “time served” adjustment. “I’m away from my family, my wife, and she’s got to take care of the two little boys and I have four dogs.”
block quote end
Two weekends in jail, a clean rap sheet now blemished, a man and his family humiliated and distraught. All because a bunch of lousy rich suburban fucks don’t want to be awoken from their Ambien induced guilt retreats.
Class warfare? Indeed.