“Driver’s” Licenses: Throw ‘em in the Woods?

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Why do we bother with driver’s licenses at all?

They’re certainly not a measure of even minimal competence as a driver. You take a written (now digital) test that Forrest Gump could pass, along with (maybe) a cursory “road” test that takes place in the parking lot of the DMV. A 12-year-old could pass these tests. More to the point, adults far less competent than the average 12-year-old routinely pass these tests. They have a driver’s license, alright, but calling them “drivers” is generous. The sail fawn-addled, SmoooVee doing 80 in a snowstorm, Buick in the left lane refusing to move right, double-yellow-crossing, half-blind inattentive Taco-eating marginality of the average Driver Americanus is known the world over.  

So, we do we bother with them at all? Because in the U.S., a driver’s license is really an ID card. A sort of internal passport we’re all compelled to carry – and produce, upon demand. It has very little to do with driving – and much to do with herding us like the cattle we’ve become. I go too far? Well, see how far you can go without a driver’s license – even if you never get behind the wheel of a car. Banks want to see your driver’s license before they’ll open an account – which you need to cash your check from your employer -who won’t hire you unless you produce the government-issued internal passport – which you also can’t board an airplane without and do many other things besides.

All of which have exactly zilch to do with operating a motor vehicle.

Of course, it was the Germans who invented the “driver’s” license. (Stifle the PC outrage; your angry correspondent is as ethnically Volkdeutsch as sauerkraut.)

The first one was issued to Karl Benz for his Motorwagen in 1888 – and like so many other not-so-great ideas from the Fatherland it migrated to the Homeland not too many years later.

The Germans have a DNA-encoded fetish for controlling things – including other humans. Again, stifle the PC outrage. I understand the German mindset because I grew up within in it and am plagued by it myself. It takes an everyday act of will to remind myself that other people are not my playthings and that they have as much right to do as they please – provided they’re not harming anyone, of course – as I do. 

Anyhow.

We now have to carry around these infernal internal passports that have nothing to do with driving ability, in order for the authorities – government and corporate – to be able to identify, record and process us.

Like the 4th Amendment and other former freedoms we’ve surrendered over the years, the freedom to travel thus no longer exists in this country. Even if you are on foot you can expect trouble if you cross paths with a representative of the sicherheitspolizei who – for no reason or for any reason – demands you “show me some ID” – and you don’t happen to have any. Doesn’t matter that you’re just walking to the store (or whatever) and haven’t done a thing to warrant suspicion of criminal conduct (the old standard; long since thrown in the woods).

Yes, I know that technically – in some states – “the law” still says they have to have some sort of articulable probable cause. See how much that helps when the SD man is Tazering you – or worse – for “resisting” or whatever he’ll say you were doing. In fact, in the real world, possessing an ID – a driver’s license – is a functional necessity, not simply to transact day-to-day business but to avoid becoming the star player in the next YouTube video episode of Don’t Taze Me, Bro!

It’s weird. Almost none of us question the basic of idea of being made to carry a driver’s license/ID card – even as many of us have lately erupted in anger (rightly so) over the TSA’s creepy and degrading low-rent porno scan n’ feels.

Maybe we ought to.

If a driver’s license were what the term implies – proof that you have shown you’re competent to operate a vehicle, based on successful completion of an at-least slightly demanding driver’s test in an actual car on actual roads – then, ok.

Maybe.

At least then, the bearer could take some pride in the same way that a college graduate or a person who holds a sharpshooter’s certificate can take pride in a real achievement.

But the “driver’s” licenses almost all of us carry today are nothing more than the equivalent of the yellow tags you see stapled into the left ears of cows. And serve the same purpose.

I think it’s time for the cattle to question the whole business… 

Throw it in the Woods?

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  52 comments for ““Driver’s” Licenses: Throw ‘em in the Woods?

  1. dom
    January 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    That is a pretty good idea. Have a government mandated driver’s safe class for all. That could generate some decent revenue. Even if you didn’t have a driver’s license you would need a walker’s ID. I used to rock one. I like having a tag in my ear!

    Cow Tag

  2. Johnny Mnemonic
    January 13, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Well, if we’re being radical, let’s get to it.
    How about offering the option of a police-grade driving test available to all citizens?
    If a citizen can prove driving competence equal to or greater than that required from officers of the law, then said citizen receives a safety-yellow license plate (or whatever) that says “immune like a cop” from ordinary traffic rules and regs.
    Likewise with firearms: if a citizen proves competence equal to or above police standards, that citizen is qualified to carry concealed, use deadly force, etc, exactly like a police officer.

    Unless a state offers such options, it’s simply a two-tiered system of oppression. We have allowed luxury and material comforts to make us prisoner.
    Now, we’re about to remember what it means to work and fight for basic human rights and freedoms.
    I have faith that this whole enterprise is going somewhere worth the ride. In the meantime, tighten your belts, fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the ride if at all possible.

    • January 13, 2011 at 9:41 am

      Very good points; I hadn’t looked at it that way.

      And from what I know personally (don’t ask!) cops, in general, are not the best drivers (or shooters), either!

      Probably the best – most liberty-minded – way to deal with this is to leave people free to operate (guns, cars – whatever) until and unless they do something to give cause to believe that their rights should be limited or rescinded. For example, anyone who commits or threatens to commit an act of violence (other than legitimate self-defense) with a firearm faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, without parole – in addition to whatever punishment is imposed for the actual crime itself, such as robbery. I think that would all but eliminate “gun crime” – by deterrence and by removing from circulation those who are not deterred by laws.

      On driving: How about basing it on at-fault accidents. Unless you wreck – and are found to be at fault – you’re free to drive as you see fit. By definition, if you never cause an accident, “as you see fit” would indicate your a good – even great – driver. “Speeding” and “turning right on red” notwithstanding.

      Thoughts?

      • Jean
        June 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        Just one note, and since it was used in Russia… Bears mentioning:
        Your rights can be rescinded for multiple reasons already.
        Those who were not Communists in Russia were crazy -> no guns, sent to mental asylums for “correction.”

        Also, as we continue down our current road: Well, the revolutionary must be armed, and is automatically (by definition, armed or not) an enemy of the state: Therefore, mentally disturbed (per above), as well as, most definitely willing to inflict injury. It is a problem, but that doesnt’ mean it’s invalid response (and that has been an argument against the UN Small Arms treaty, as well, which effectively will make it impossible for citizens to bear arms, while allowing government to buy/use anything, on anyone – legally.)

        Time for alternative methods of powering energy weapon systems. (We can hope…)

    • clover
      January 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm

      Johnny Mnemonic you are missing a few things in your thought that ability is all you need. Race car drivers have more ability than any of you will ever have and they have been shown to have more accidents on the highway. The ability to shoot a gun means nothing. It is the ability to know when to shoot and not how to shoot. Driving on the highway often times has little to do with ability and a lot to do with the decisions made while driving. You can take all the tests but tests have nothing to do with what a person actually does every day. An example is someone saying they are experts at driving on snow covered roads so they drive fast on such condtions and then you find them in the ditch or hitting someone else.

      • January 15, 2011 at 11:03 am

        Oddly enough, I have never found myself in a ditch. Not even once!

        But I often see Clovers in the ditch as I motor on by…

        • clover
          January 17, 2011 at 2:45 am

          Is that true Eric? It seems to me that I remember you telling us that you hit a tree! You seem to change facts so that they all sound good.

          • January 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm

            My last wreck was back in 1987 – 24 years ago. It was a single vehicle wreck, me spinning out and hitting a telephone pole in my ’78 Camaro due to bald tires and too much horsepower applied during a full-throttle 1-2 power shift. Nothing since. A pretty good record, given I drive more than 20,000 miles annually (and in a different car every week). This had/has nothing to do with driving in the snow - which is what we have been talking about.

          • clover
            January 20, 2011 at 3:34 am

            No Eric it is about people with poor judgment and you definitely showed that 24 years ago. It does not sound to me like your judgment has changed on your luck has. How many cars do you have to total to not be a good driver? To me one is enough. There has been no one in my family that has totaled a car and I can only think of a few that did. A couple of them died in the accident so in your view they were good drivers.

          • clover
            January 20, 2011 at 3:44 am

            Also 20,000 mile a year is not very much. Why do you need to drive 75 mph in a 55 mph zone with that few of miles? The few times you have slow people in front of you should make little difference with that amount of miles. I used to drive over 25,000 miles a year for work and much of that time was with 55 mph limit on the highway and that was when people followed the limit because the police did not give you 15 mph or more over the limit back then in my surrounding states. You could be ticketed for 5 mph over the limit. There were few tickets given in those days because people followed the limit except in some of the western states and probably the state that you lived in.

          • January 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

            Ah, my deep-fried and extra crispy Clover!

            Trying to edumcate you is like trying to get my rooster to give a speech like Mussolini.

            My speed should not concern you; all I ask is that you move right and let me (and everyone else, except the other Covers) pass. We’ve tried repeatedly to explain the concept to you, but to you – to a Clover – the law is the law (no matter what the law – except when it’s the law that says yield to faster moving traffic, even if it’s “speeding’).

            And as far as judgment: At least I know how many wrecks I’ve had. Your comment, “There has been no one in my family that has totaled a car and I can only think of a few that did. A couple of them died in the accident so in your view they were good drivers ” is a classic Cloverism and example of the Cloverite thinking process.

  3. clover
    January 13, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Yes what good is a license? People still do not know that they should not pass where there is double yellow line or fly past others on icy roads.

    • dom
      January 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      Double yellow lines, speed limits, etc.. are boundaries for your brain, not mine. Believe it or not there are a lot of people in the world that can make sound decisions without the guidance of double yellows and BS signs.

      • clover
        January 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm

        Yes there are people that do not follow rules and a far greater percentage of them kill themselves or others on the highway and that is a pure fact. There are a far greater number of people in rural India that do not follow any rules and the death rate is multiple times higher than what we have. If it was true that following signs or rules makes no difference then they would have a far lower death rate than they have.

        • January 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

          More Clover (non)logic.

          India – a Turd World country – is not analogous (big word; go get your dictionary) to the United States. Germany is. We have similar roads, especially our Interstates, which were modeled on the German Autobahns. They were also designed for average/routine speeds in the 70-80 MPH range… back in the mid 1950s. In other words, oh Clover, the engineers who designed our highway system designed it to be safe for average people to drive at 70-80 mph – and assuming 1950s-era car technology. 1950s-era cars had drum brakes, no ABS or other electronic aids. They had primitive suspensions and tires that by modern standards would be considered unsafe at 30 mph.

          The point being: After 60 years of geometric improvements in vehicle (and related systems, like tires) design, we surely have cars that are at least as “safe” to drive at 70-80 mph as the cars of 60 years ago. And is it not a reasonable conclusion to make that, given all these improvements, a modern car is safe to drive faster than a 1950s-era car? That, just maybe, all these tremendous advancements mean we could – gasp! – drive at 80 mph or so (a whopping 5-10 mph faster than what the designers of the Interstate system planned for) today?

          Oh, but what about the children? Saaaaaaaafety! It’s the laaaaaaaaaaawwwwww!

          • clover
            January 17, 2011 at 2:56 am

            yes Eric I understand you do not care about anyone’s childern. You have backed that up many times. As far as speed goes, what about that two lane road that you drive on with hills and curves. It is not designed for 70 mph and you drive at least that according to what you say. I understand that you do not care about others. You would rather drive 10 mph faster and have hundreds of more people die. I know you do not care about death or injuries. You have said as much many times. You have a 10 times higher chance of killing others than what I do. Your increased odds have just not killed anyone else yet at least as far as I know.

            What is the joy that you get in endangering others? The seconds that you save are not worth anyone getting injured.

    • January 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      Nor do they know that they should yield to faster moving traffic. That’s a “law” the Clover Set doesn’t seem to pay much attention to.

  4. January 13, 2011 at 9:44 am

    In Germany – where there are fewer accidents per mile than here – they operate on the “pass at will” basis. Unlike here, double yellow is not the rule – with “passing zones” the exception. Drivers use their judgment and pass when they feel it’s safe to do so. Here, we all but eliminate lawful passing – to accommodate inept drivers. And in the process, we have turned good drivers into lawbreakers for executing safe passes “over the double yellow.”

    Your attitude appears to be, “if it’s the law, it must be right, safe, etc.”

    Does it ever occur to you that the law may sometimes be wrong?

    • clover
      January 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      Where double yellow lines are placed it is far less safe to pass and that is why they are there. Usually they are placed on a hill or a curve where the visibility is very limited of cars ahead. If there are people like you that say it is fine to drive very fast and also pass on double yellow lines then that is a major accident waiting to happen and it eventually will and does occur many times every year.

      • January 15, 2011 at 10:52 am

        Nonsense (again).

        Most roads are not a series of blind curves or hills. Most sections of most roads are straight, with plenty of visibility/space for a competent driver to execute a quick pass when needed. The problem is that to execute a safe pass, it is necessary to “speed,” which places the competent driver in peril of getting a BS ticket for doing something that’s reasonable and safe. For example, if the car ahead is doing 44 and the speed limit is 50, to get around the car quickly (and thus, safely) it will be necessary to momentarily get up to faster than 50 MPH. If a cop is around, the competent driver gets a ticket – which no doubt you applaud.

        If on the other hand you comply with the law and don’t “speed,” then yes, passing becomes unsafe. Attempting to pass the car doing 44 without exceeding 50 is probably going to put you in peril of head-on impacting a car coming at you in the opposite lane before you clear the car you’re trying to pass.

        But to the Clover mindset, the problem isn’t that our laws are idiotic – designed for the Clovers, not the competent. It is that competent people resent being held to a Clover Standard and subject to punishment for competent driving, simply because it violates the (dumbed-down) “law.”

        I have to pass people over the double yellow almost every day. People like you – doing the speeeeeeeeeeeeeed limit (often, slightly less). It’s either accept being made to drive at the pace of people like you – or passing people like you when the opportunity arises.

        Guess what choice I usually make?

    • clover
      January 17, 2011 at 3:04 am

      No Eric,
      There are people that die every day passing in a no passing zone because there are drivers like you. In India they have a pass anywhere mentality and many die. I do not drive in Germany but I would hope that they have some kind of warning where it is not safe to pass. No passing zones are in places where the visibility of oncoming cars is limited but you do not care if someone is driving 75 mph from the other direct. You like to take the chance. You do not care about children just like you said.

      • January 17, 2011 at 11:21 am

        Gawd this is tedious!

        But let me try… again.

        Oh delectable Clover, saying “people die every day in a no passing zone” is what’s called a non sequitur. It doesn’t prove causality (big word for you, I know; go look it up).

        In Germany, the roads are typically separated by a broken yellow; “pass at your own judgment.” Drivers are assumed to know when it’s safe (and not) to attempt a pass – and do so, accordingly – and with a better accident/fatality rate than we have here.

        Here we have the opposite. Passing zones are rare. It is routine to be stuck behind a Clover such as yourself and be forced to execute an illegal pass because the law assumes everyone’s a Clover, just like you. We do not teach new drivers that it is necessary to accelerate to overtake a car in order to pass – because that would be speeding. And to the Clover Brain, speeding is the cardinal sin of driving.

        • clover
          January 18, 2011 at 1:21 am

          Eric I could care less if you speed in the wide open road when the visibility is over a half a mile and no cars in site except for using more fuel doing it. That being said it sounds as if your driving is endangering others and that I can not agree with and you should be put in jail for doing it. You say you are forced to pass a clover doing the speed limit in an unsafe area to pass. You are an idiot for saying things like that. A pure stupid idiot. You waste dozens of more minutes a day more than what a clover would slow you up on the highway. You wasted more time on this article and comments alone than what you would ever spend behind a clover.

          • dom
            January 18, 2011 at 1:57 am

            E-roc I am going to have to make a citizen’s arrest on you. LOL

          • January 18, 2011 at 10:17 am

            The cumulative cost of Cloverism to the nation is massive; wasted time, wasted effort and resources. Not to mention the intangible wastage of people’s quality of life as a result of Clovers gumming up the works.

            Most areas are safe to pass, incidentally. Maybe illegal, but perfectly safe. I do it every day. So do other good drivers like Dom and Freon and Jayne.

            Safe, that is, for competent drivers.

            Which of course excludes all Cloverites.

            WWWWWW (That’s me – waving to you as I blow past you over the double yellow at Top Speed …. keep on thinking of the children!)

          • clover
            January 20, 2011 at 11:33 pm

            The cost of accidents including property and personal injury and death are billions of dollars each year. You can not say that the loss of a few seconds driving on the highway can compare to that.

          • dom
            January 21, 2011 at 4:23 am

            Found a little fertilizer for the clover patch this evening. Got home late from training tonight and was watching Fox News while eating dinner. I would like you to listen closely now Clover! A professional study of the DC area said the average person spends 70 hours a year and over 50 gallons of gas in traffic. Think about the time and money lost over a lifetime, you do the math bro. The combined cost of cloverism is insane. Not sure what the numbers look like out in Illinois though.

          • January 21, 2011 at 10:53 am

            Oh, Clover… Clover, Clover… let’s try some very basic logic, shall we?

            Correlation does not mean causality. In plain, Clover-level English, the fact that “The cost of accidents including property and personal injury and death are billions of dollars each year” (sic) does not prove that higher speed limits are the cause – or that lower speed limits (and slower, Cloverite driving) trigger the opposite.

            I pointed out to you previously that when Congress repealed the 55 MPH highway limit in 1995, and highway speed limits rose, Cloveronians such as yourself predicted with much sturm und drang it would mean more accidents and higher fatality rates. In fact, fatality rates continued to decline – as they had been for years. What does that tell you about your girly shrieking about speeeeeddddding?

            No answer.

            And: Cloverism eats up a lot more than ” a few seconds.” its not just the slower speeds of Cloverism; it’s the multiple delays and bottlenecks caused by Clovers who do things like stop on freeway on-ramps, fail to notice that a traffic light has turned green, demonstrate daily their inability to merge/turn into traffic – etc.

            You keep bringing a very dull knife to a gun fight….

    • Jayne W.
      January 17, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      My husband is an engineer from Germany. Has been here 6 years. I have visited Germany and driven on their mountain roads (in an Audi station wagon – and it was awesome). I have found from experience that what my husband says is true. He says, “Americans can’t drive.” He’s right. Americans (most of them anyway) can’t drive. Idiots. Here in Illinois we’ve recently had snow. Either you get stuck behind somebody who is driving s o s l o w l y that they’re going to get STUCK in the snow or some dillhole zings past you at 60 mph. Where are the cognitive reasoning skills? Absent. People here can’t drive.

      • January 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm

        Amen. I couldn’t agree with you more. In general, American drivers are terrible. The irony of that is they’re driving around in cars that are capable of cruising all day at 100 MPH or more (and often a lot more than that). There’s a special brand of idiocy about putzing along at 45 mph in a 300 hp sport sedan (all new sedans strive to be “sporty”) or – worse – a 400 hp SmooooVee!

        Welcome to the site; hope you enjoy the rants!

      • dom
        January 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm

        Nothing pisses me off more than getting stuck behind a slow driver in the snow! That is the absolute worse, especially on mountain roads. People just don’t have the decency to get out of the way and others don’t have sense to slow down!

        • Jayne W.
          January 17, 2011 at 9:34 pm

          Oh Eric and dom…you guys sing my song! I grew up in the country riding dirt bikes, 3-wheelers (still miss those), snowmobiles and everything else I could get my hands on….full throttle, too, man. Just doesn’t make sense…especially like Eric said about a 300 hp sport sedan at 45 mph. Dude! Put me behind the wheel of an Audi A8 and watch me RAWK! LOL ;)

          • dom
            January 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

            Interesting.. I still ride three wheelers! Even have a three wheeler enthusiasts site.

            Here is my rig.

            Honda 350x

          • January 18, 2011 at 10:14 am

            Excellent! How ’bout bikes? (I have four right now… )

            We’re in rural Virginia; great place for anything off-road (and on, too).

            Just watch out for the Clovers!

          • Jayne W.
            January 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm

            I had a few ATCs back in the day. One was a little Honda 90 bored out to 120. It was orange and had those big balloon tires. My buddies and I would try to float it across the Salt Fork creek. I made it as far as the sand bar (which was further than the guys, I’m proud to say) and then had to wade across, waist deep in water pulling the thing along. LOL Good times. My KLT, was that a 400? or a 500?, would RAWK on the country roads. I could ride it in plowed cornfields (riding on one tire at a time, of course) and race the boys who were on the track next to the field on their 125s and 150s. Those were the days. Course the state of Illinois has become so fascist now, opportunities to ride are few and far between. :( Sounds like I belong in Virginia. :D

          • Jayne W.
            January 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm

            So, what’s this 3-wheeler website?

          • dom
            January 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm

            I own Honda200x.com, Honda250r.com, and Honda350x.com.
            Only Honda 350x.com has anything going on. The others just link to it. Those are my three favorite trikes, so I purchased the domains! -doh

        • January 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

          Clovers are timid and timidity and bad weather driving mix like shit and vanilla ice cream.

          Maintaining momentum is key; as good drivers know, sometimes you have to operate on the edge of control, with the vehicle slipping a bit, even – in order to maintain directional control.

          The overcautiousness of Clovers is what does them in. For example, they’ll hit the brakes when going around a slick curve; or they’ll slow down or even stop (like my Clover did) when trying (such as it is) to get up a snow-covered mountain road.

          We used to live in the DC area and I had to commute into town from the ‘Burbs. Traffic was bad but it was the Clovers that made it a nightmare – especially in poor weather.

          Here (rural SW VIrginia) it is still possible to mostly just motor around the Clovers.

  5. Agorist
    January 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for the auto insurance companies to provide some form of driver licensing as part of the insurance certificate? After all, it’s the insurance company that can best gauge my ability to drive safely, and I’m required by the same goons to have proof of insurance anyway, and the insurance companies actually have an incentive to have safe drivers on the road and could therefore provide price incentives and the like to encourage study and safe driving even more than they do now.

    Not to mention that there are probably a dozen offices for my insurance company within as many miles, and they have far better customer service than the DMV.

    In fact, why are we required to effectively relinquish ownership of our cars to the State through licensing and registration on the vehicle as well? If my car is insured with, say, Farmer’s Insurance, they could provide an identification plaque for my car’s bumpers almost as easily as they provide me with a slip of paper for the glove compartment. And all of this could be done without threats, fines, arrests, and general violence.

    My 2 cents.

    • dom
      January 17, 2011 at 12:00 am

      I hear you, but don’t think the insurance companies want to know who is better than average to excellent driver. They don’t want to give us discounts on jack shet bro! I thought about this exact same thing lots of times and have come to the conclusion the current setup maximizes profits.

      • clover
        January 17, 2011 at 3:09 am

        You are wrong Dom. I have many discounts and very low insurance costs. There are even drivers classes that you can take to lower your cost at many insurance companies.

        • January 17, 2011 at 11:28 am

          If it were true that insurance companies base their premiums on “safe driving” then they would not raise their rates based on trumped-up tickets for things like “speeding.”

          Case in point (and to revisit the 55 MPH issue):

          From 1974-1995 (the period when maximum highway limits were set at 55) if you got a couple of tickets for doing say 67 and 70 mph (speeds that were legal, prior to the passage of the 55 law), which countless millions of people did, the insurance company would jack up your rates, claiming the tickets as evidence of your “unsafe” driving. This went on for 20 years. Now that scam is over and people can once again drive at almost-reasonable speeds on the highway again, legally – and without fear of being jacked up their insurance company over BS tickets.

          But on secondary roads, the problem persists.

          Of course, all you can see is that glorious black and white speed limit sign – which you worship like a pagan idol. Whatever the number on that sign, it’s Holy writ.

          And it must be obeyed!

    • January 18, 2011 at 10:32 am

      It would – if the object of the exercise weren’t maximizing their revenue stream. The whole system is an exercise in cant and payola. They – the insurance companies – pantomime about it being a “safety” issue. Please. I grew up in the “Drive 55″ era – and got literally dozens of tickets in the ’80s for doing 60s/low 70s… which in turn caused my insurance premiums to be “adjusted” upward – allegedly because these tickets reflected “unsafe driving” habits (even though I never had an accident or filed a claim/had one filed against me). Then highway speed limits were raised again (after 1995, when Congress repealed the Nixon-era 55 MPH maximum) and suddenly, at the stroke of a pen, it was once again legal to drive at speeds that, just the day before, subjected one to “speeding” tickets and all the rest of it. Were the millions of dollars in fines issued for “speeding” during the “Drive 55″ era refunded? Were all the drivers who got dunned with insurance premium “adjustments” compensated for the money extracted from them under contrived pretenses? Of course not.

      Guess who belligerently supported the “Drive 55″ law? Insurance companies. Guess who helps fund the use of red light camera and photo radar? Insurance companies.

      Insurance – mandatory insurance- is just a form of legalized theft.

      So long as it is mandatory, they have us by the balls. If we could say, “no thanks” and decline to buy their “service,” they’d be forced to offer fair and competitive rates. Instead, they charge us whatever they like – because they know we can’t (legally) say no thanks. We have to buy their “service.”

      Which is why their “service” costs what it does.

      • Agorist
        January 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm

        I agree that any service provided at gunpoint with mandatory participation under threats of punishment is criminal. However, the insurance industry does have the existing infrastructure and resources to retool toward a freer mechanism for driver certification and identification.

        Suppose further that we do eliminate the mandatory aspect of insurance, cease blocking new industries for identification, and generally stop crippling society with top-down protectionist regulations. Who knows what innovative system may arise.

        • January 23, 2011 at 11:36 am

          Wouldn’t it be something? Kinda like America, circa 1965. In that long-gone land, one could travel without producing “papers” (other than cash) and you bought insurance if you wanted it – otherwise, not.

          The irony (lost on Clover types) is that “laws” mandating this or that – from having car insurance to not using guns to shoot people – have no effect on people who ignore laws on principle, who also happen to be the ones creating problems for the rest of us. These laws are very effective, though, at hamstringing (and imposing costs on) people who aren’t the problem.

          But despite the obvious truth of this (almost all mass shootings have occurred in “gun free” zones; how many illegal alien Mexicans are troubled by laws demanding they buy insurance?) Clovers push for more and more new laws, in a never ending quest to solve the problems created by others by punishing the rest of us!

      • Mithrandir
        January 21, 2011 at 12:39 am

        “Which is why their “service” costs what it does.”

        Reminds me of the George Carlin bit. To paraphrase: The businessman carefully positions himself behind his client to “Service” the account.

        It is how I feel about government and business at times.

        It would be nice if insurance was not mandatory. I probably would still get similar level of ins. that I currently get, but it may be better priced if it was not mandatory.

        • January 21, 2011 at 11:02 am

          Modern language is often, well, Orwellian. We “contribute” to Social Security. We are “customers” at the DMV. And mandatory insurance is a “service.”

          One of the things I resent most about mandatory coverage is the coverage required on vehicles that are barely used. For example, I have one antique motorcycle and a dual-sport motorcycle. The antique sees maybe 500 miles of road use every year, all on local (country) roads. The dual sport only goes on-road long enough to get to the off-road trails. Neither is likely to be involved in any sort of accident that causes damage to another person’s vehicle or person. All my bikes are pretty much garaged during the winter – a 3-4 month period. Yet thanks to mandatory insurance I spend around $400 annually covering these bikes, which amounts to many thousands of dollars over a 10-20 year period when you add it all up.

          “Insurance” and “finance” are the two pillars of the con that is modern America.

    • January 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      That is what they do in Uganda – there is a little disk that goes on you car’s windshield.

  6. January 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

    We used to laugh at dictators like Idi Amin. Now we’re ruled by very similar mentalities. Obama may not be actually eating people (yet) but he has claimed the right to kill people at his whim – building on his Chimpy predecessor’s “nacht und nabel” policies.

  7. Rich in Illinois
    September 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    A license is permission from some authority to perform an act that would otherwise be illegal. For instance it’s 1850 and you are a white man who wants to marry a black woman. You have to go get permission to do that because it’s illegal, and the marriage license is proof of the “authority’s” permission.

    A “driver” on the other hand is defined as a person engaged in interstate commerce. Being a driver for a living, I could not understand how I personally was engaged in interstate commerce as I see no additional increase in my pay relative to my usual hourly or mileage pay. But that’s beside the point.

    A “vehicle” is strictly defined as any conveyance used in the performance of that commercial activity. Even the horse used to pull logs across state lines would have been considered “a vehicle” requiring a license. The commerce clause in the constitution opened up this can of worms and the states followed suit as it’s a money making public policy gold mine. Public policy isn’t positive law except to those who consent to it. If you go apply for the privilege of “driving” instead of traveling where and when you see fit as free people do, then expect to be treated like a privileged “driver” and pay all the fines associated with that taxable/revokable privilege. The required signature on one’s diver’s license is proof that you agree to abide by the conditions (ever changing as they are) that are set for in your states vehicular code.

    What I’ve learned in these last few years of research is that freedom isn’t really lost it’s more… forgotten about. Since about the 1950′s there has been a concerted effort to obscure the exercise of rights. The second amendment is a prime example. People think that their right to keep weapons comes from some document. It doesn’t! The birth right to own one’s self is the highest natural law there is. That being stated the second obvious right is the right to defend that one thing by whatever means one chooses. Naturally the 3rd right would be to own one’s own labor and the 4th would be to travel as one sees fit. This is how freedom prevails and unfortunately people don’t understand natural law but yet run to worship statute law(public policy) as the end all be all of fairness and equality. When it’s nothing more than an ignorance tax.

    Any compelled performance like buying insurance or eating apples or paying taxes requires a contract stipulating what you will do in return for the granted privilege. The driver’s license is your signed contract and that’s why you have to have it with you at all times. When you show the cop that agreement, he now knows that he has jurisdiction over you. Your rights were traded away years ago for this new private law nexus with the state. Like the rules you have at work, they are private laws that only apply to workers on the job and the company. The cop at the window is a rent-a-cop for the biggest company “the state”. His position may have historically been to protect and serve, but now it’s only to harass and generate revenue.

    like Eric said somewhere else, the best you can do is ask “Am I being detained?” and “Am I free to go?

    Sorry to be late on the comments, I just found Eric’s great site.

    • September 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Hi Rich,

      You’re absolutely right, in principle… unfortunately, the system no longer recognizes our rights; indeed, the opposite. What we have now are conditional privileges. The driver’s license is a perfect example. As much as you’re correct insofar as what the law should be, in practice, it is something else entirely. If the enforcers find you operating a motor vehicle on the “public” roads without the requisite conditional permission, they will arrest/jail you. Yes, you can fight – but you’ll still be in the clink (and probably need to pay a lawyer to bargain for you as most laymen are not sufficiently versed in the Talmudic parsings that constitute “the law” these days) and the process will take a long time and most people (as the system well knows) have neither the resources nor the time to “go all the way” fighting it.

      The Big Question before us is: What do we do to recover (and assert) our rights? Is the only option going to the mattresses, as they say in the Mob?

      • Jean
        June 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        eric,
        How do you make a bully stop beating on you?
        Back down, and back down, and back down, and… (infinite recursive loop)?
        Or, give the bully such a beat down his great-great-great-great-great- grandchildren are born feeling it? (7th son when you count out the greats.)

        Justice, and the bully himself, both demand the latter – a trip to the mattresses.
        And we’re barrelling right along to it, as your recent posts note. Sad thing is, I’m certain those elites WANT that very event. Of course, I don’t think things will QUITE go as they expect when that happens, but it’s going to be one HELL of a mess when TSHTF. EVERYONE will get covered.

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