Thursday, November 30, 2006

Update: Lojack® and the NFL

I've been getting a lot of hits to two pieces I've posted, so I thought a little clarification might be in order.

First, in the piece entitled "Love Thy Brother", I mentioned the case of the St Louis Rams drafting a college player, Ryan Tucker, who was awaiting trial on some very serious assault charges. The piece generated about 50 hits from an NFL discussion group at While this may be considered apostasy, I know next to nothing about football. My point was that the Rams -- and the NFL in general -- need to stop rewarding such anti-social behavior (and that Texas Christian University should have thrown Tucker's ass out). Not that the NFL is the only sports organization with law-breakers in its ranks, of course: baseball has its share of troublemakers (Darryl Strawberry's drug problem, and Pete Rose's gambling), boxing has been infamous for years for its thuggery (Mike Tyson playing Hannibal Lecter on whats-his-name's ear a few years back), the basketball players accused of rape (although I wonder how much of that was racially motivated).

In a similar vein, the entertainment industry has to stop rewarding anti-social acts. Rappers involved in shootings should have their recording contracts voided, and actors who act out should also be punished. I'm not saying we should go back to the blacklistings of the 1950's (which were, after all, about Communism), but it's insane that people like Chris Noth and Robert Downey, Jr, continue to get high-paying, high-profile gigs for behavior that would leave the rest of us incarcerated.

And don't even get me started on the politicians who get in legal trouble...

Another piece, "Hojack, Lojack®, and SVU" also generated a ton of hits (at least, a ton by my modest standards), including a couple of visits from Lojack's corporate headquarters in Winchester, Mass.

I have mentioned that I was a police officer for many years on the East Coast. While I had no direct experience myself with Lojack, the anecdotal history within the law enforcement community was almost invariably positive. The system allows cops to track stolen vehicles using a radio transmitter concealed in the vehicle (even the owner doesn't know where it is, and I've been told Lojack installers are evil geniuses at hiding the things). The primary advantage is that the thief does not know he's being tracked, and hence is less likely to strip or torch the car, and is more likely to be caught in possession of the stolen vehicle.

Coincidentally, the same evening the SVU episode aired, I had also watched a rerun of "Cops" on CourtTV, in which the Jersy City, NJ, police picked up a Lojack signal and followed it to a construction company garage. The stolen vehicle in this case was one of those honking great air compressors -- the trailer-mounted ones -- used to power jackhammers, etc, so you can see the use of a Lojack is not restricted to cars and trucks.

Lojack's website also points out the possibility of a significant reduction in your auto insurance premiums if you install a Lojack. This is because it is much less likely the insurance company will have to pay out on a major loss (ie, the insurance company pays for the tow from the scene, instead of replacing your 2006 Expedition).

Since, as I've mentioned before, bloggers are held to very high disclosure requirements, I am not now, nor have I ever been affiliated with the Lojack Corporation. In fact, I've never had a vehicle worthy of being protected by Lojack. I did, however, pick up a Lojack baseball cap somewhere along the line (probably at a yard sale).

But, brother, if I ever do get a decent ride, I'm slapping a Lojack in that sucker so fast, it'll make your head spin.

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