Tag Archive for Swissvale

The Moral Decay of Our Society


What happened? What has happened to our society? When did people become such monsters? Yes human beings have been monstrous in the past and the present, look at wars and such, Hitler for example, but those were aberrations overall, now I’m just seeing more and more people that just lack any moral compass at all.

People are getting killed for their phones, their shoes or because they look different or they looked at someone the wrong way. That makes no sense to me at all.

When did we become a society where we just don’t care about fellow human beings?

When did it become ok for our children to idolize these music artists (if you can call them that) that rap about rape and murder and breaking the law where they make it sound like a good thing? How can we let our children idolize and want to be like these people that say things like this are ok? There are children that want to grow up to be gangsters and kill people and rape women and I don’t understand how we let this happen?

Children should not be idolizing murderers and rapists. Our children should be taught to value life and to respect others but instead they’re being taught that women are objects to be used, abused and discarded like trash. Our children are being taught that it’s ok to kill someone for looking at them wrong or saying something wrong about them. Our children are being taught that life has no real value and if you want it you can just take it and if you kill someone in the process that’s just fine. No it’s not fine, what has happened to us as a society that we condone this sort of behavior?

We live in a society where it’s possible to be killed for accidentally bumping into someone on the street. Why don’t we see how wrong that is? Why have we let it get this bad?

We now live in a society where you can be killed for the color of your skin or what nationality you are?

We live in a society where you can be killed for the god you believe in?

We live in a society where you can be killed for wearing the wrong color clothes?
– I remember, like 20 years ago now, I was working downtown and I had a guy flip out on me and chase me and threaten me because I was wearing a red shirt and he accused me a being a gang member and wearing the wrong color in the other colors territory. The shirt I was wearing wasn’t really red, it was a burgundy, it was a $100 Ralph Lauren button up dress shirt and I’m white and I had very long hair at the time. There’s no way in hell I could have ever been mistaken for a gang member, but yet this guy apparently thought I was because of my sort of red colored dress shirt. Luckily the bus came and I got on but he still chased after the bus yelling and threatening me.

I’m 42 years old and I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot and I’ve watched, over the years, the decline of society and I’m really afraid of where it’s ultimately heading. People have become just horrible.

I remember when we used to leave cars unlocked, car windows open, house doors unlocked, house windows open. Now we have to have security systems on everything and bars on windows and we have to double check the windows and doors are all locked at night. I can’t leave a window on the ground floor open at night to get some fresh air in the house. Why? What has happened to society that it’s come to this?

Last night near me a 45 year old man was hit and killed by not one, not two, but three cars and none of the drivers stopped.

Here’s the link to the story:  http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/man-45-killed-after-three-cars-hit-him-parkway-eas/njQWr/

(warning, autoplay video if you click the link, but there’s not much there really, they’re still trying to figure it all out)

When did we become a society like this? This guy was someone’s son, maybe a brother, a husband or a father. How can you just kill another human being and keep driving? The first guy probably killed him, but then he was hit two more times by two different cars. So there’s a guy lying in the road and you just drive over his body? What the hell?

Around here lately there’s been people smashing car windows for whatever reason. A lady just got her window smashed and it’s going to cost her over $500 to get it repaired. They got one dollar and some change out of her car and that’s all they took. That just makes no sense to me.

The laws anymore don’t seem to matter to people either. There’s an intersection near me that has signs that say one way and do not enter, but every single time I’m near it I watch people turn up that street to avoid the traffic light. It’s at least one person, but many times it’s more than one. Are the signs just a suggestion now? I see the police do it all the time as well, so I guess if they’re allowed it’s ok for everyone else too? How can you have laws like that when those enforcing the law don’t obey them? What kind of an example is that?

Down the street from me is another intersection with two stop signs and then the side street does not have one so they have the right of way. There are even additional bright yellow signs that say cross traffic does not stop. People still don’t stop for the stop sign. My wife and kids were hit last year at this intersection, thankfully no one got hurt though, but the lady just blew right through the stop sign. I’ve had people almost hit me and then stop and yell and scream at me because they think I did something wrong by using that street and not stopping. There is no stop sign there so I don’t have to stop!

Red lights are another one, I see all kinds of people just going right through them. No it’s not yellow either, it’s blatantly red and they just keep going. Traffic signals now are just a suggestion too?

Traffic in general is just screwed up, I hate driving anymore. Every time I drive I have to swerve to avoid oncoming cars that just cross the line into my lane. It seems they just feel the entire road is theirs and theirs alone. So now people just drive anywhere they want?! What the hell is wrong with you people?

When did laws become suggestions?

The police? What the hell has happened to the police? There was a time when police were to be respected and trusted and someone you could go to for help. Now they’re feared and that’s not how it’s supposed to be. I don’t trust them at all, I fear any interaction with the police, I’m afraid to call them about anything honestly. I’ve even told my kids, don’t trust the police, and it should not be that way. They lie, they cheat, they steal, they do whatever they can to reach their quotas. They seem to kill with impunity now as well it seems.

The government is horribly corrupt and we all know this but there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it. Everything is money, if you have the money you can get your law or bill or whatever passed. It’s not about the people anymore, it’s about lining the pockets of the politicians and that’s it. What happened to a government of the people, by the people and for the people? The government could be a whole new rant post by itself, but I’m sure you know all this…the government just has nothing to do with ‘the people’ at all anymore really. I have to wonder what our founding fathers might have to say if they saw the state of the government now, I’m sure they would be ashamed though… Yes I know there are people who will say we can vote and change things, but that’s bullshit as the system is horribly broken and I don’t think any amount of votes will change anything really.

Terrorists are another good one, well not good, but a good example of just how screwed up this world is. They want to kill me because I don’t believe in their god. Really? What the hell is that about? I’m sorry but if you’re wonderful god tells you to kill people who don’t believe in him, I sure as hell don’t want anything to do with that god! (God and religion is another subject that could be a whole other post as well, but I’m not going there now.)

Anyway, it’s not supposed to be this way. I don’t want to live like this, I don’t want my kids to grow up in this kind of world. I can’t imagine what it will be like when my kids have their own kids. It’s just getting worse.

You have to have good examples for people to follow but when the supposed people in power are morally corrupt where do you find a good example?

The police are supposed to be the epitome of good, they uphold the law, they enforce the laws but they’re breaking those same laws that they’re enforcing and not getting punished for it. When people see that it’s ok for them to do this then I guess they naturally assume it’s ok for them as well.

The people that make and enforce our laws have become the ones that are breaking those same laws most often, and are not getting punished for it, so we as a society have no real examples of what good is anymore. When the morals of the law makers and enforcers have decayed, why are we surprised that the morals of average citizens have decayed as well?

The law makers and enforcers don’t value life anymore so it’s no surprise that the citizens don’t either.

The morals of society have decayed to the point where I don’t see it getting better but only worse and that frightens me….

Swissvale and the IPMC

Here’s something that would be funny if it wasn’t real. It’s something that could be the punch line of a bad joke. I live in a suburb of Pittsburgh called Swissvale and did you know that the residents here can go to jail for not painting the trim around their windows? Yes Swissvale has recently adopted the IPMC or International Property Maintenance Code, 2009 version and they recently sent out hundreds if not thousands of letters stating properties are in violation of this.  They didn’t let the citizens know they were adopting this code. It’s not even listed in their codes actually on the ‘official’ website last I checked. The last changes I see actually are from 2008. So fine, they don’t keep their website updated, not many government entities do though. Point is that it’s not readily accessible to the public to access. Doing a quick search I found that there’s somewhere around 9,000 people residing in Swissvale as of the 2010 census. I have to wonder how 9,000 people are supposed to wander into the borough building and access the documentation to know what has changed?! I then have to wonder why wasn’t anyone notified of these changes or that they were going to happen. We were all just surprised.

I got one of these letters and it states that these ‘violations’ must be address within 30 days or I’ll get a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail for EACH DAY after the 30 days that the problem isn’t fixed. So if it’s 3 days past the 30 days I get a $3,000 fine and have to spend 90 days in jail. Yes that can now happen if someone doesn’t paint the trim on my windows. Seriously I thought our jails were overcrowded? Can you picture being in jail with rapists and murderers and such and having them ask you why you’re there and you have to tell them it’s because you didn’t paint the trim on your windows?!?!

What is wrong with our government that they can do this to us?

I’m no constitutional law professor but in my opinion this is unconstitutional.

The Bill of Rights is part of our Constitution, it’s basis of it really. It’s undoubtedly one of the most important documents in history, it outlines our rights as citizens and these rights are being trampled upon by the borough of Swissvale, the IPMC and any others that adopt it.

The average income, last I checked, for Swissvale residents is about $38,000 per year. Yes we’re not exactly a rich community, of course we’re not including the local drug dealers who make tons more than that. There is a point here and I’m getting to it.

Amendment VIII of the Bill of Rights states: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Now read that and think about that $1,000 PER DAY fine and the fact that the average income is $38,000. I think it’s a very ‘excessive fine’ for what it actually is. Think about it, that fine can be for something as simple as not painting the trim on your windows. In that case, and most cases, I believe it’s extremely excessive. I even wonder if obtaining a high profiled lawyer with an equally high profiled legal assistant would help or if they would find a way to join the “dark forces”!

My question of course is what if one can’t afford to fix the ‘violations’? Essentially people are going to be sent to jail because they are poor and can’t afford the materials or afford to pay someone to fix the violations. How is that even fair and/or constitutional?

The next part of that would the ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ part of our rights. I don’t know about you but I consider the minimum 30 days in prison for not painting the trim on your windows to be cruel and unusual punishment. I thought the punishment was supposed to fit the crime?! What crime is being committed here exactly? I thought the point of prisons or jails was to protect citizens from those that might harm others. You know, for actual criminals like murderers and rapists and such.

Essentially what can happen here is that if we or any other resident can’t afford to do these repairs, they’ll be fined and go to jail. To me this means I lose everything, my life, my home, my family. My business or livelihood will be done and gone. Then of course if I’m in jail they’ll take my children from me. Then being in jail I won’t be able to pay the mortgage so I’ll lose my home and all of its contents as well. I would have to say that all of that can be categorized as ‘cruel and unusual punishment’.

I have to wonder though how they’ll manage the last part. The IPMC states that I cannot sell, transfer etc my home until the repairs are made. If I’m in jail the repairs can’t be made therefore the mortgage company can’t the take the house. I wonder what law they’ll pass to get around that one?!

The IPMC itself violates the constitution in that it says, and I quote: 104.3 Right of entry. Where it is necessary to make an inspection to enforce the provisions of this code, or whenever the code official has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in a structure or upon a premises a condition in violation of this code, the code official is authorized to enter the structure or premises at reasonable times to inspect or perform the duties imposed by this code, provided that if such structure or premises is occupied the code official shall present credentials to the occupant and request entry. If such structure or premises is unoccupied, the code official shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person having charge or control of the structure or premises and request entry. If entry is refused, the code official shall have recourse to the remedies provided by law to secure entry.

Amendment IV of the Constitution states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The IPMC says I have to let these people in my house to search it without a warrant. That doesn’t make me feel very secure that these people can gain entry into my home or castle whenever they feel like it.

Call me paranoid but it seems I’ve just given up one of my rights without even being asked about it. There is quite a lot of potential for abuse of this little section of the IPMC. The police could easily ask the inspector to gain entry, without a warrant, and ‘look around’ to see what he sees. The police can then come back again later with ‘probable cause’ because of what the inspector saw. I might sound paranoid, but read the news, stranger things are happening.

And of course let’s not forget the first amendment the whole freedom of speech thing, which this blog post is covered under.

As I mentioned I’m not a Constitutional professor or lawyer, this is just my interpretation of things.

To me this seems very HOA or Home Owners Association like in these laws and ordinances.

To me this also seems very communist like as well. What’s next for Swissvale? All houses are going to be required to be a certain color? It can happen, all they have to do is pass the ordinance.

What ever happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Our rights are being stripped away without our consent or knowledge and it’s all being done to supposedly make our lives better. How is denying and removing our rights making our lives better?