Food Trucks Coming to Fat City?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 will see a measure brought up before the Jefferson Parish Council to allow food trucks to operate in Fat City in Metairie on Tuesdays between 7am and 10pm. While the proposition is laughable, it’s at least a step in the right direction.

However, the same, age-old, debunked myths surrounding food trucks continue to be spread like infectious disease. This time from Drago’s proprietor, Tommy Cvitanovich;

“But it has to be a level playing field. They’ve got to be safe. They’ve got to be inspected.”

Mr. Cvitanovich, food trucks are already regulated exhaustively for health and safety purposes by the state. Also, what do you think isn’t level about the playing field? You have a brick and mortar building, an established clientele, and years of experience running an extremely successful restaurant. And you’re worried about people serving food on private property out of trucks? Sounds to me like you’re not as interested in a level playing field as you are about using the government to protect yourself from competition.

Also, conveniently not mentioned is the fact that Drago’s has their own truck for special events and festivals. Care to explain Mr. Cvitanovich?

Our Policy Is We Have No Policy

Those are the words reported to me this week by NOPD relayed through the New Orleans City Attorney’s office in response to my public records request from July. Yes, July. Never mind that the Louisiana public records law requires documents to be produced in 3 days. That’s not the big issue here though.

In case you missed it this summer, there was a story about a burglary suspect who was caught as a result of an NOPD vehicle that is able to scan license plates and run them through a computer while driving.

According to Uptown Messenger’s reporting:

“The reader, affixed to a normal patrol car, automatically scans the license plates it passes and checks to make sure they aren’t on stolen cars, but it also maintains a geographical database of the tags it passes.”

Overall I have no issue with the technology. But it’s that last line that got my attention because of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, United States v. Jones. As a result of that decision I seriously wonder if NOPD could have some major 4th Amendment problems with their use and/or storage of the license plate data they collect.

So, I requested the full NOPD policy regarding the use and storage of data associated with any and all departmental vehicle license plate scanners. The city attorney’s response:

“Please be advised that the Police Department has informed our office that no such record exists.”

This terse, 4 1/5 month late response will certainly not be the end of this. All I want to know is exactly what NOPD uses this data for and how long they keep it. I don’t think that’s asking too much.

Libertarianism and Christianity Compatible?

In response to several comments I’ve received, I will be spending the holiday season working on a longer piece that explores the question of whether libertarian politics is compatible with the Christian faith.

I look forward to the finished project and will share when it’s completed.

Movie Review of Silver Circle

This weekend, Nov. 30, 2012 – Dec. 2, Wizard World’s Comic Con was in town. Usually, that isn’t something I’d really bother to mention here, but this year Lineplot Productions brought their new full length animated film, Silver Circle, to the convention for its second public screening before it is released in theaters in January 2013.

The plot focuses on America in the year 2019 in the wake of financial collapse. Prices have skyrocketed on most consumer goods and fuel in response to the Federal Reserve’s continued printing of money. Additionally, the Fed is directly engaging in managing home prices. In fact, the Fed regularly employs SWAT-like raid squads to forcibly evict homeowners who refuse to sell their homes to the Fed at Fed mandated prices.

The story is told through the eyes of a Fed arson investigator, Jay, searching for clues after several recently Fed-evicted homes burn down in a single neighborhood. Along the way he meets Zoe and a band of rebels who illegally mint silver coins in their attempts to undermine the Fed and stabilize the economy.

Being that this is a subject near and dear to many libertarians and Ron Paul Republicans, it’s refreshing to see the message of the dangers of the Federal Reserve system told through an untraditional medium that remains compelling. If you’ve ever attempted to explain these concepts to someone you understand the challenge that Silver Circle faces.

Fortunately though, their team is comprised of several talented artists who have provided the Fed fearing community with another valuable tool to use in spreading the message Ron Paul has worked so hard over the years to get out. With Dr. Paul retiring from Congress in January, what better timing than now for the release of the film.

2012 LA Congressional Run

I am announcing my candidacy as a Libertarian for US Congress in the 2nd District of Louisiana. As a result, my postings may not be as frequent on this site over the next few months. I will certainly still be keeping an eye on things though. You can view my campaign page at www.calebtrotter.com. Next week I will issue an official Press Release. Thanks for reading and your continued support.

-Caleb Trotter