A few days ago, in the mail, I received an oddly named "Administrative Citation" from the also oddly named Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), a (and I quote) "local government public entity," which oversees certain designated park lands in Los Angeles County, California. The citation, issued under MRCA's "Stop Sign Enforcement Program," (that's government-speak for a shameless and likely unenforceable revenue-generation scam) included hidden-video-recorded, black-and-white images of my dark-gray, 2009 VW Jetta and its rear license plate, and informed me that I owed the MRCA a $100 "Penalty Amount" for "failing to come to a complete stop" at a stop sign posted in the MRCA-administered Temescal Canyon Park, off Sunset Boulevard, in Pacific Palisades, a coastal enclave that clings to an unsustainable way of life within Los Angeles city limits. The fact that my vehicle and license plate had been videotaped on park grounds without my knowledge, to be used, in my educated opinion, to extort my money, stirred my ire.
As I examined the citation more closely, my suspicion was aroused upon reading that the citation was "not issued for any violation of any provision of the California Vehicle Code." Nor, as the citation informed me, would my non-payment of the $100 penalty be reflected on my official driving record (no points would be assessed), nor would non-payment affect my driving privileges. Nor would my auto insurance carrier be notified of my citation. Nor is the MRCA affiliated with the City of Los Angeles. In other words, my fellow citizens, the MRCA makes its own rules. The MRCA Photo Enforcement Program is extrajudicial.
Not only does the MRCA's extrajudicial rule-making and threat of financial repercussions for non-payment piss me off, but, more to the point, I have a serious problem with quasi-public, pseudo-governmental agencies, such as the MRCA, making up their own rules regarding private activities and behaviors that ordinarily fall under the jurisdiction of universally recognized regulatory, law enforcement, or legal authorities, within the boundaries of a universally recognized judicial system.
O.K. I am dealing with my particular situation. I have filed a formal request for a hearing with the MRCA, following MRCA's official-sounding, concocted procedures. Odds are, my hearing will have the predictable outcome of a kangaroo court.
Not O.K. is the abuse of extrajudicial powers, which has become a signature tactic of leftist-leaning, Democrat-dominated local agencies, such as the MRCA, all the way up to the U.S. Department of Justice and the White House. Here are two recent, widely publicized examples of the abuse of extra-judicial powers:
- The town of Ferguson, MO, where, with the incitement of the White House and the facilitation of the U.S. Department of Justice, a local police officer was virtually indicted and convicted without due process.
- The State of California, where Governor Jerry Brown announced passage of a new law, consistent with Federal Title IX regulations, requiring that students (i.e., male students) on State of CA University campuses secure (and I jest, only slightly) a signed and notarized authorization and release of liability before touching another student (i.e., a female student).
Why get all worked-up, right? This is just about good people at the federal, state, local and private level doing the right thing, in the name of justice, whatever that means (hint: it means whatever makes you feel enlightened, get elected, keep your job, and/or keep the money flowing). No due process? No problem! Potentially unjustifiable and irreversible defamation of character, non-recoverable loss of livelihood, loss of friends, loss of relationships? Not a concern! Unintended consequences? Not a chance.