What Happened?

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Watch old movies – you know, from the ’80s – and you’ll get a few snapshots in passing about how free we used to be, only 25 years ago – even though in those days we weren’t “fighting” for it in foreign lands and being over-run with Rules, Procedures and such like back in the “Homeland.”

Watch Rocky, for instance – and behold Stallone riding his motorcycle without a helmet. Unthinkable today. What would such a message tell the children, after all?

Or TV shows from that dreamlike era, for example Miami Vice. There’s a clip of someone going to the airport – and buying a ticket, in cash,  with no ID – while smoking. Watch some more as he strolls right up to the gate without being scanned or given a hernia exam or even having to take off his shoes.

TJ Hooker carried a six-shooter (along with his rug) not a high-capacity military piece, the standard sidearm of every traffic cop today. TJ was tough, but even he didn’t Tazer middle aged women over seatbelt violations or draw his gun on people for “speeding.” Once upon a time, ordinary citizens were largely immune from being physically assaulted by cops. You could even talk back. Honest Injun. 

Even the military was (relatively) benign in those Long Gone days. Often, it was portrayed in a humorous light. In shows like The A-Team and Magnum, PI, army people were was not the “The Troops” and they weren’t venerated – even deified – as some sort of Praetorian Guard, like today. If anything, the military’s tendency to dogmatism and rigidity – and to lusty, gratuitous violence – was openly derided.

Needless to say, we’ve come a long way in 25 years.

Today, riding a motorcycle without a hemet is not merely illegal in most parts of the country (even though you can legally ride while wearing shorts and a T-shirt) it is the sort of thing that prompts that pod people look of keening outrage when someone even suggests that maybe it ought to be up to the rider – not “the law.”

Today, well, we all know about airports. The experience is not unlike the processing a just-caught felony suspect goes through down at the station. Only now we’re all suspected felons until proven otherwise – and even when we’re pathetically obviously not (as in the case, for instance, of the crippled old person forced to get out of their wheelchair at the bark of a TSA capo). 

Keep right on singing that horse-faced song about how proud you are to be an Ahhhhmmerrikun, where at least you know you’re freeeeee. Hand held over your flag pin, the other one clutching your Bible. 

TJ Hooker is retired to doing interviews on cable. His successors are much less Officer Friendly. They wear body armor and carry Tazers as well as high-capacity military-grade semi-auto handguns. Buzz cuts make rugs unnecessary. You never see their eyes, either – as all wear mirrored Tough Guy sunglasses, which operate on the same psychological principle as Darth Vader’s expressionless helmet. But nevermind. They’re heroes and protecting us from all manner of evildoers – unless we video them doing the evil – in which case expect a wood shampoo, electro-therapy and a trip to the hoosegow for some more on top of that.

And we just loves us Our Troops. There is nothing more noble than to join up and “serve” – no matter what that “service” might entail. Killing foreigners who’ve not asked to be killed makes one a “hero” in 2011 America. Spilling the beans about My Lai-style massacres by “heroes” (as Wiki/iBradley Manning did, when they leaked video of a U.S. helicopter gunship mowing down unarmed Iraqis – plus a reporter – with Playstation-like playfulness) means a one-way ticket to Gitmo.

It’s a strange mix. Urgent – turgid – flag-waving and song-singing such as is routine background noise today did not exist Back Then, yet somehow, despite the fact that not one politician (as I recall) ever wore a flag pin or gave finger-pointing lectures about “freedom” and “securing the Homeland” we still had some real freedom – and America was just our country.

How did it go so wrong?

Throw it in the Woods?

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  40 comments for “What Happened?

  1. dom
    January 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I’ll tell you what happened! A combination of many different clovers of all races and nationalities congregating on one piece of land. Then mix in extreme greed, narrow-mindedness, consumerism, and dirty politics and wallah!

    Here is a little story, this just happened this morning.

    I’m driving to work, there was a clover in front of me dragging ass. They were doing right at, or below the speed limit. I passed them. After I passed they seemed to then be upset. They sped/tailgated me doing 20+ over the speed limit the for next 4 miles. When I got to a stop sign I saw the passenger jotting my plate down.

    Pretty sweet right!

    • clover
      January 13, 2011 at 2:10 am

      It seems to me that if someone was driving so badly that someone else needs to report them, they must have been driving very poorly. Maybe they had someone tailgating them and honking their horn at them and then passed them and cut them off. It seems to me that they probably had a pretty good reason to do what they did.

      • January 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm

        It doesn’t seem like that to me at all.

        • clover
          January 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm

          Ok Patrick. Does it make any common sense for somone driving the speed limit and somone passes them so they speed up like crazy to take the license number on the car? It does not make any common sense to me. The chances of that story being true is one in a few billion. There is a 99.999% chance that dom was driving like an idiot and causing a danger to others.

          • Denise B.
            January 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm

            You’ve went completely off track, missing the point completely. Maybe, because you’re younger and just don’t know any better in today’s dumbed down graduates.

        • January 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm

          That’s because you’re not a Clover!

    • Timefighter
      January 17, 2011 at 2:24 am

      If your question isn’t rhetorical, and if you really wants a one-word, summary answer, it’d be Ronald Reagan. THAT is “what happened.” He and his simpering ‘Moral Majority’ BEGAN the totalitarian epoch we all now ‘enjoy.’

      HE and ilk brought us the War on Drugs (a/k/a rights), the subsequent destruction of Mexico, et central and south American al and ESTABLISHED the policy of drug testing both on the job and off. By so doing, HE and ilk also CREATED the vast and malevolent drug cartels which are now overtaking cities and towns all along the southern border of the U.S.

      HE and ilk *also* CREATED the monsters Osama bin Laden/al Qaida by A) financing the Mujahideen’s war against Russia, and B) completely abandoning same after they’d done his dirty work. (Never mind his contribution to the creation of Saddam Hussein.)

      In short, if you don’t like the fact that America has turned into a police state and is at war with every towel-wearing dickhead on the planet, remember to thank a Republican–a
      fundy Christian Republican in particular. As you drive through the suburbs replete with SUV’s, uber-anal soccer moms and dads, shopping malls and mega-churches, you’ll be the
      HEART of “what happened” to America.

      Yeah, sure. America was eat up with all manner of problems left over from the Carter years, but it was still a fairly free place to live. It was a libertarian’s Utopia compared to now!

  2. kman
    January 13, 2011 at 12:57 am

    “Even the military was (relatively) benign in those Long Gone days. Often, it was portrayed in a humorous light. In shows like The A-Team and Magnum, PI, army people were was not the “The Troops” and they weren’t venerated – even deified – as some sort of Praetorian Guard, like today. If anything, the military’s tendency to dogmatism and rigidity – and to lusty, gratuitous violence – was openly derided.”
    In those days I was being refused service in public establishments when in uniform or for (gasp)having short hair. Carter had defunded the military to the point that there was no ammo to shoot in the weapons and no fuel or spare parts for the vehicles gathering rust in the motor pool. Married soldiers collected food stamps to feed their families. We stole toliet paper from other units for our latrines. At times the messhall handed out C rations in lieu of cooked meals. 16 active duty and 8 reserve divsions were faced off against the 62 Soviet and Warsaw pact divisions in Europe. Enjoy your freedom of speech. Courtesy of someone OTHER THAN YOU.

    As for the assclown at the CBP check point refusing to get out of his vehicle? you can find sympathy in the dictionary, between Shit and Syphillis!

    • dom
      January 13, 2011 at 2:03 am

      Nice, I like that last bit on the dictionary!

    • January 13, 2011 at 9:31 am

      If the military serves its constitutional purpose – defending the United States from foreign attack – then it is worthy of our support. But what’s going on now is not “defending our freedom of speech.” Or anything else legitimate. The military has become the Roman Legions – enforcing Pax Americana around the globe, for the benefit of the corporate munitions makers and related industry and to consolidate the power of the state. There is nothing noble about it. Indeed, the “blowback” is catastrophic. We are less free here at home – and much less secure abroad – since our invasion/occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. This is obvious. Don’t you agree?

      I don’t have a beef with individual soldiers, most of whom join for what they think are noble and virtuous reasons. But the reality is something else.

      Ever read Heinlein? He had some excellent suggestions about how armies should be raised, wars declared – and fought (and by whom).

      PS: Why is an American citizen who has given no evidence of having committed a crime an “ass clown” for refusing to comply with an order to get our of his car? Do you think a free country should have internal checkpoints that randomly – and arbitrarily – force people who just happen to be traveling down that road to submit to a physical search of their persons and property?

    • January 13, 2011 at 9:56 am

      FYI:

      by Fred Reed

      Pondering Whither America, I reflected on a story, probably apocryphal but which I am going to believe because I like it, about catching monkeys. Tribesmen somewhere craft a heavy pot with a hole in it large enough that a monkey could insert an open hand, but not withdraw a closed fist. They then put monkey food in the pot. The monkey reaches in, grabs the food and, refusing to let go when the hunters approach, is caught and eaten.

      Here we have our politics in a paragraph. The American national monkey can’t let go. The party is over, boys and girls, but we aren’t going to adapt.

      For example: When people recently found that they could no longer afford the SUVs, the McMansions, the buying of absurdities in a frenzy of competitive consumerism, they just put it on the credit card. The monkey can’t let go. And now they are screwed.

      Same-same domestic policy. The US has played War-on-Drugs for half a century, with no results but to make drugs an integral part of the economy. The evils engendered are great. Yet the monkey can’t let go.

      It is internationally that the monkey principle really bites. The country is well on its way to being a merely regional power militarily, economically, and diplomatically. Short of a miracle, short of a conceivable but unlikely catastrophe in China, Americans will soon be medium potatoes. There is nothing we can do about it, but we will bankrupt ourselves trying. We can’t let go.

      If you look beyond the Reader’s Digest patriotism of Fox News, and the high-school cheerleading of little Sarah Palin, if you look beyond the national borders, all of this is obvious.

      By Chinese standards, America is a small country, having a quarter of its population. Their economy grows at close to double digits. Yes, it may slow down, or it may not. Short of unforeseen disaster, the question is not whether but when the Chinese economy will dwarf the American economy. Tell me why this is not true.

      All power springs from economic power. While America decays, plays, and sucks its thumb, China invests. Everywhere. There is nothing unprincipled in this. It is just intelligent commerce.

      Do not underestimate these people of the epicanthic fold. I have lived among the Chinese, in Taiwan years ago. I liked them, and still do. I know them to be smart, disciplined, studious, practical – as well as nationalistic and very racially conscious. No, we do not think these attitudes proper. It doesn’t matter what we think.

      Note that China has that perfect government, an intelligent dictatorship concerned with advancing the country. The American government consists of self-interested lobbies and Wall Street looters. China is run by engineers, America by lawyers. Watch.

      The US is midway through an inexorable suicide. If a country does not manufacture things, it does not have an economy, and manufacturing has fled American shores. Ship-building, steel, consumer electronics, railroads: gone. You may think your HP laptop is an American product, but in all likelihood every component was made overseas and it was assembled in Taiwan.

      The country as a whole, as always, looks inwards and doesn’t understand, doesn’t know what stirs without. Communism no longer protects America from Chinese competition.

      America is the world’s greatest debtor nation, China the greatest creditor. We cannot possibly repay what we owe, so we must either default or inflate. If another choice exists, I am unaware of it. And yet the government spends, spends, spends, and borrows, borrows, borrows. No one is in charge. No one cares. All line their own pockets. Wait.

      Rationally, this would seem a good time to let go of unaffordable luxuries. But no. The US continues to buy things it can’t pay for, to play roles it can no longer maintain, because it pains the national vanity no longer to be the biggest kid on the block. The monkey can’t let go.

      The millstone around the American neck is the Pentagon. The direct cost alone of feeding the military contractors is almost mortal to a sinking economy: $720 billion this year, plus another $120 billion requested for the unending wars, plus huge black programs, the Veterans Administration, and so on. A trillion wilting green ones, call it. The more perceptive note the opportunity cost of wasting so much engineering talent, so much money for research and development, on martial zoom-wowees.

      China, Russia, the Moslem world, Latin America and all the rest who detest the US must be enjoying the spectacle. Spend on, spend on, oh round-eyed fools….

      Vanity. We do not garrison South Korea because Pyong Yang may send its troops across our common border into Arkansas. We do it because we think it our birthright to rule the world. The monkey cannot let go.

      Our practical choice is between retracting the military or going down hard. But we cannot retract. Once you have made your economy dependent on huge unproductive expenditures, there is no quitting. It might seem wise for example to reduce the military rolls by the 30,000 troops in South Korea. But they would simply increase the rate of unemployment, already dangerously high. Since most of the military contributes nothing to the defense of the United States, releasing all unneeded soldiers into joblessness would probably precipitate an armed rebellion.

      There is worse. Towns spring up around large bases to supply the troops and their families. Close the bases, and the towns die. Closing Camp Lejeune would kill Jacksonville; Fort Bragg, Fayetteville; Fort Hood, Killeen. Further, huge companies – Lockheed-Martin, much of Boeing, and dozens of others – being unable to compete in the civilian economy, have become obligate military suppliers. Cut their big programs and you unemploy tens of thousands for whom there are no civilian jobs.

      The federal bureaucracy is much the same, employing vast numbers yet producing nothing. Politicians drone about wanting “smaller government.” How? Eliminate the Departments of Education, or Housing and Urban Development, or Commerce – and where do the people go?

      We can pretend that the current recession is temporary, and not a manifestation of dying opulence, just as a fading beauty can pile on the make-up and hope that men don’t notice. We can spend while others grow, buy their goods on credit – for a little while longer. The monkey can’t let go.

      And any who say that we ought to put our house in order and come to terms with reality? They will be said to Hate America. Well and good, until the bill comes due.

    • January 13, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      Your comment validates Henry Kissinger’s comment that military men are a bunch of dumb animals. Shouldn’t you be cleaning a latrine somewhere, you military dick?

      • January 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm

        It definitely doesn’t help!

        The attitude that the military is sacred and never to be criticized, no matter the “mission” is a symptom of a fascist mindset. What, after all, is the military? It is organized force. If it is used only in defense, as a last resort, it is a worthy – and necessary – thing. But today’s military is a monstrosity. It is a globe-bestriding enforcer of the American imperium -and it is killing us in the process. America is earning enemies all over the world – and it is bankrupting itself at home to support its bloated “defense” establishment – which has about as much to do with “defense” as the TSA has to do with “keeping us safe.”

        • dom
          January 14, 2011 at 5:17 am

          Yikes! Yeah it’s completely out of control and there doesn’t seem to be a thing we can do about it. Actually, yes there is something we can do about it. -pay more taxes

        • clover
          January 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

          Our military is defending eric’s and dom’s right to drive big gas hogging V8s. Our trade deficit is being increased from eric’s and dom’s high use of foreign fuel. Our military is protecting people like eric and dom that try everything they can do to kill everyone else in the US. They want drunks on the road, no traffic rules so they can drive 40 mph over the current speed limit, pass where it is not safe, drive through red lights and it goes on and on. They get mad if someone is driving legally and safely. They want everyone to drive poorly like they do. They are the problem rather than our solution. They like to complain but offer no solutions. They say let ot the terrorist go and kill as many of us as possible so the roads will be more open for them to speed.

          • dom
            January 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm

            Just an FYI, my carbon footprint is extremely low. I drive a 1994 4 cylinder car to work (which gets 35 miles to the gallon), or a motorcycle daily! -never a V-8

            Additionally, I drive my V-8 (which by the way gets 25 miles to the gallon if I don’t open up the secondaries) about once every two months.

            Also, I was unaware the military was fighting for my rights to drive a gas hog! Considering I don’t drive one..

          • January 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm

            Clover, you’re always all over!

            My two vehicles (on four wheels) are compact-sized, four-cylinder trucks that get close to 30 MPG on the highway. Like Dom I also have motorcycles and they range from a “low” of 45 MPG to a high of 60-plus MPG.

          • clover
            January 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm

            Dom and eric, I like it that you quote what your vehicles are capable of and never get. There is no pickup no matter how compact that gets 30 mpg driving the way that you say that you do. 25 mpg also is very poor any more and that is what your v8 is capable of and I am sure what you never get. Your 4 cylinder vehicles may be capable of fairly good gas mileage but I would bet they never get close to what they are capable of. Driving way over the speed limit like you say that you do you will never get what a vehicle is capabable of. I would also bet that you never see up to 45 mpg in your motorcyle unless you bought a moped to drive.

          • dom
            January 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm

            Look up the specs on a full dressed Harley Davidson. 50 miles per gallon off the show room floor. Last time I checked a Harley is not a moped. If a big Harley can to that, just imagine how well the smaller bikes do! I think you are just trolling dude!

            Additionally, when I dog my four cylinder car I still get over 30 miles to the gallon. Same with my motorcycle! Verdict is in man, you’re just talking out your ass.

  3. January 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Clover’s clueless – per usual. His statement about the mileage of compact trucks, small cars, etc. and most especially motorcycles proves it (again). My 1200 cc sport bike – capable of 170 mph – never gets less than 40 MPG. Even if it’s being run hard. That’s better mileage than virtually any car on the road, Cap’n Planet. It also uses less of everything else, such as oil/lubricants as well as produced a fraction of the “greenhouse gasses” that the Cloverobile (whatever it is) did during its manufacture.

    The trucks – Nissan Frontiers – well, it’s like Dom said.

    You’re just talking out of your ass, making asinine statements with zero support or logic behind them, apparently just to be argumentative.

    It reveals the same mentality that parks in the left lane doing just exactly the speed limit – or slightly less.

    A Clover through and through!

    • clover
      January 14, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      Eric are your numbers changing again? First you say your motorcylces get at least 45 mpg and now you say one of them does no worse than 40 mpg. What I am saying is that you will hardly ever get the gas mileage that you say your vehicles are capable of.

      Also dom you say that a Harley is rated at 50 mpg off of the showroom. You would never get that. That is all I have been saying. Even if you or eric have a vehcile capable of good gas mileage, your numbers will be 10 to 25% less than those stated off the showroom.

      • dom
        January 14, 2011 at 10:16 pm

        Hmm.. so perhaps the same laws of physics don’t apply to Eric and my vehicles?

        My Saturn consistently gets 35 miles per gallon, or more! My Harley does the same. I don’t understand your confusion.

        • clover
          January 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm

          Now dom you say your harley get 35 mpg. I am sure you do not know how much you get with your vehicles because your numbers keep changing. You probably check your gas mileage on the downhill side of a huge hill. The law of physics are always correct. If you drive like an idiot your gas mileage is going to drop a lot.

          • dom
            January 15, 2011 at 3:48 am

            LOL this is pointless!

            I’m going to start leaving your posts in the moderation queue. Enjoy!

      • January 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm

        Amazing, oh Great Wise All-Knowing Clover, that you somehow know what mileage my motorcycles (and Dom’s) get, given you clearly know nothing about motorcycles and aren’t even familiar with the models we own.

        Here’s the deal, pinhead:

        Virtually any high-performance sport bike – even “liter class” bikes that run 9 second quarter miles and have top speeds of 170 mph or more – will get at least 40 MPG, even when ridden at high speeds. At lower speeds, such a bike will get even better mileage. Mine average around 45 MPG.

        The point is that even at its worst, a sport bike (or any other type of bike) will return much better fuel economy than virtually any car. My cruiser bike gets 50-plus MPGs; my dual sport in excess of 60 MPGs.

        If you knew anything about motorcycles, you would know all this. But instead, you mouth off like the Clover you are about subjects that are obviously terra incognita to you.

        Stick with what you know – like driving at 56 mph in the left lane, refusing to yield.

        • clover
          January 15, 2011 at 12:13 am

          Well have fun driving your motorcycle home tonight then. You must own a good motorcycle if it can do 50 mpg at 170 mph. It must be nice to drive a 4 wheel drive truck with snow tires that gets 30 mpg at 75 mph or more also.

          • dom
            January 15, 2011 at 3:44 am

            Dude, why are you such a hater?

            I’m not quite sure you know who you are dealing with. Eric is a professional columnist and author of books on..wait..wait for it.. CARS!

            I have a vocational degree in automotive tech, three ASE certifications (all of which are expired now) and ran three car shops.

            What are your credentials, if any?

          • clover
            January 15, 2011 at 4:58 am

            Dom my credetials are that I am a far better driver than you or Eric. I have never had anyone take down my license plate number because I was driving so poorly or do dumb things like passing in no passing zones or pass someone on a steep icy hill. You are the haters. You hate anyone that would follow any kind of laws. Eric does not do things because the government told him to even though it is better for him and everyone else. You are the haters. I just do not want you distributing your ignorance.

          • January 15, 2011 at 10:32 am

            Let me try to walk you through it – even though I realize it’s as pointless as trying to get a cinder block to stand up on its hind legs and beg:

            The bike is capable of 170 MPH; it is not ridden constantly at 170 MPH. But even if it were, it would probably still get better mileage than the Clovermobile, because the bike’s engine is close in size to that of a subcompact economy car (around 1.2 liters) but instead of having to haul 2,800 pounds or so (the weight of the typical subcompact) it only has to pull about 500 pounds.

            Even at a constant 75-80 MPH, the bike will get better mileage than the Clovermobile – or just about any car, including hybrids.

            On the truck: I do not have snow tires. Like so many of your other statements you just pulled that one right out of your Cloverhole. And at 70 MPH or so, the truck still gets better mileage than the average car – and I’d bet the Clovermobile, too.

            Know why, oh delicious, scrumptious, oh-so-tender Clover? Because like all modern vehicles it has an overdrive transmission. This cuts engine revs to a fast idle at 70 mph – around 2,000 RPM. This enables it to get about the same mileage at 70 or so that a similar vehicle without OD, like a ’70s-era truck, managed at 55.

            That’s the reason, oh Clover, why Congress pushed the 55 limit back in 1974. Because back in those days, vehicles were more fuel efficient at 55 vs. the formerly commonplace 70-75 speed limits.

            But today, overdrive transmissions have made it possible for vehicles to get the same/similar mileage at70-75.

            But as a Clover, you don’t know that – or just don’t care.

            Because you’re a Clover!

            You really ought to quit bringing a (dull) knife to a gun fight…

          • January 15, 2011 at 10:40 am

            My credentials? I qualified for an SCCA road racing license. I have taken several high-performance driving courses, including Bob Bondurant and the program GM used to run (and still may) for the FBI and other law-enforcement. I test drive new cars for a living and have done so for 20 years. Everything from Geo Metros to Ferrari Enzos. I have driven cars (and motorcycles) on race tracks. I haven’t so much as scuffed a fender in 20 years.

            What, pray tell, are your credentials as a driver?

            As far as “hating” the law:

            Yes, I hate stupid, unjust – and tyrannical laws. They do exist. Do you believe otherwise?

          • dom
            January 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm

            Not even to mention, like we discussed on the forum, some vehicles have two overdrive gears!

  4. Freedom
    January 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Clover – portrait of a typical liberal .

    Rule 1) If you don’t know, pretend you know more.
    Rule 2) If you are losing an argument, nitpick details that wouldn’t change the argument anyway.
    Rule 3) Always claim more expertise in a subject then who you are speaking to (and make sure you are the only arbiter of credentials as well).
    Rule 4) After being proven wrong, just move the goalposts.
    Rule 5) It doesn’t matter because an opinion beats facts any day.

    This is why I don’t argue with american “liberals”. You can’t possibly follow their tripe if you have the ability to understand facts and logic, so that means they are arguing emotions and opinion. It is impossible to beat emotions and opinion with facts. This is called “invincible ignorance”.

    To be fair, I feel the same about most american “conservatives”. I am a “paleo-liberal”.

    • January 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      Oh thank God… I’m not alone!

      The Clover mindset makes my teeth hurt… we fled the DC area to try to get away from them. But even here, they’re there….

      Elvis help us!

    • dom
      January 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Hi John. Eric allows re-posting of his rants as long as you include his name as the author and provide a link back to this page (or whatever page you cite from).

  5. Paul
    January 16, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Getting back to the article eric wrote, “What happened?”

    Just the usual. This is the way of the world. See Ecclesiastes, for example. Soon we will have our revolution, or the US will break up, and we will be free again. For a while. Until the population of parasites and bureaucrats overwhelms us again. Then another revolution…

  6. Christopher
    January 17, 2011 at 10:02 am

    In PA you don’t have to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. But one must wear a seatbelt in a car. Great logic there.

    Also, in PA, fireworks that shoot into the air can be sold to out of state people, but not to people in the state, since they are illegal to use, but not to sell. More great logic.

    • January 17, 2011 at 11:15 am

      Yep!

      We have a mandatory helmet law in VA – but you can legally ride a bike wearing shorts and T-shirt. Technically, you’re required to wear “shoes” (though not riding boots) but I have never heard of anyone being pulled over for riding wearing flip flops or loose sneakers – which I see all the time.

      None of this ought to be illegal, though.

      The Nanny State is much more of a physical threat to us than the threat of bodily harm resulting from not wearing a helmet or “buckling up for safety”!

      • dom
        January 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm

        If you want to put your life at risk, I believe, that is your right as a human being. If you are going to put others at risk that is a problem. Me, I wear my helmet and seat belt. It should not be mandatory though.

  7. January 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Agree completely!

    The whole concept of crime (in a sane and reasonable world) assumes a victim. Someone who is actually injured (or very well might be) as a result of what I do.

    Who is victimized by my decision to (for example) ride without a helmet? Or smoke pot? (Not that I do; just making a point). Answer (obviously)… no one.

    Cloverites will “argue” (if you can call it that) otherwise, of course. They’ll start by assuming a socialist/authoritarian premise: That if you get hurt by, say, not wearing a seatbelt – then “society” will bear the costs of your injury. That argument only flies, though, if you accept the socialist/authoritarian – Clovernian? – premise. Which I don’t. I neither expect nor demand that others be forced to pay for anything I need or want. I believe it is up to each of us to provide those things for ourselves and that to force others to provide them is no different, morally, than beating someone up in the street (or threatening to) in order to get his wallet.

    I think every individual has the right to do whatever he chooses to do with/to his body, etc. He also has the responsibility to bear the consequences – if any. Thus, if a person is injured as a result of not wearing a seatbelt or helmet (whatever) then his medical bills and so on are rightly his problem and no one else’s.

    Unfortunately, the Clovernian mindset seems to be the dominant modern American mindset.

  8. Ombibulous
    July 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Soon the tyrants’ loot will run out, government will disband, and rule again return to men of ability and property. We will have the ip addresses and phone numbers of these clovers, so eager to bear false witness against their neighbors. The week after Sturgis will be cloverfest. These gutless Judases will face their victims in a field with nothing but their own fists. The rolling hills of the badlands will become goodlands again, washed with the blood of tyrants. “Crimson and clover over and over crimson and clover over and over…”

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