Safety Inspections

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One of the hallmarks of the Clover Mind is acceptance as an article of faith that most people are too dumb to do that which is in their self-interest without the prod of “the law.”

Vehicle safety inspections are a case in point. Many states require you to waste an hour or more (in some cases a lot more) of your time every year – for every vehicle you own – waiting in line to have the vehicle given a once-over at an Officially Authorized service station. In return for your time (and money) you get an ugly little sticker for the windshield, your permission slip (well, one of them) to continue operating the vehicle.

The argument, as presented by Clovers, is that people would never check their brakes, or drive around on bald tires, were it not for these annual safety inspections. In other words, people (in the Clovers’ worldview) are just too dumb to keep track of such things for themselves. And in a way, they’re right. But not for the reasons they think.

Cloverism breeds Clovers.

That is, the taking away of personal responsibility by “for your own good” laws tends to breed people (Clovers) increasingly incapable of exercising either personal initiative or personal responsibility. Instead, they Wait to be Told What to Do.

And I think that is just what is wanted. Herd-cattle. Compliant, unquestioning.

With regard to vehicle inspections: The average person no longer takes any interest in the functional aspects of his or her car. It has become an appliance – and they’re as likely to pop the hood and check the oil (or notice that the tires are looking ratty) as they are to read up about the role of the Federal Reserve and fiat currency as they relate to our current economic woes. Let someone else take care of that.

Responsibility is not eliminated – just transferred. Instead of mentally awake people taking responsibility for themselves and their own lives, they surrender both to the Clovers – who know best. This has become so ingrained, so commonplace, that most people aren’t even aware of it anymore. Much less offended by the degradation it implies.

Consider: The mentally awake person who does take responsibility for his life – and thus, for his vehicle’s upkeep – will pay attention to such things as the condition of the tires, the function of the brakes; whether the exhaust note has changed; whether the windshield wipers have begun to streak – and so on. He will notice such things – and take the appropriate action – because it is in his self-interest to do so. Only an idiot – a Clover – would drive a car with worn-out tires or bad brakes (or both).

But because there are so many Clovers out there (more of them all the time, it seems) the mentally awake, responsible car owner who takes good care of his car – because he is mentally awake and responsible and understands that by doing so he is taking care of himself – must nonetheless join the Clover Queu at the gas station, waiting pointlessly (and expensively) in line and going through all the rigmarole in order to get his little sticker confirming that, indeed, he is not a moron.

It’s a cynical – and self-fulfilling – way of viewing the world: People are irresponsible so we’ll “guide” (that is, force) them along the proper path. Which has the effect of making people less and less responsible which in turn requires more and more laws (and more and more force).

The excellent (if not well-known) film, Idiocracy, showed us how this dynamic ultimate plays out, but we can see it all around us already: The passivity; the servile acceptance; the cow-like instinct to just go-along (and never go it alone).

This is probably the conscious ultimate goal of the uber-Clovers, the ones running the show. Orwell called them the Inner Party; Lenin the Vanguard of the Proletariat. The names don’t really matter. But the ends (and means) do.

Motor vehicle safety inspections may seem like a trivial thing. But the principle at issue is no small thing.

Throw it in the Woods?

 

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  47 comments for “Safety Inspections

  1. mithrandir
    August 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    In NJ (perhaps in other states as well) the government stopped with the safety part of the inspection. They only check to see if the car passes the emission part of the inspection.

    The state did not refund money from the yearly registration fee that was used to fund the safety inspections.

    (Although disappointing, I loved the beginning of the film idiocracy)

  2. Boothe
    August 11, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Funny you should bring this up. We have a safety inspection here in Missouri just like Virginia. No emissions check out here in the country yet. But they allow us the privilege of a two year registration and consequently a two year inspection cycle. Now I’m well over a year from my next inspection, but I noticed my Miata did a little hydroplaning the other day. When I stopped, I checked my tires and I could see the tread was a bit shallow (not down to the wear bars, but not shedding water the way Michelins should). As soon as I got home I ordered another set, because I not only don’t run on bald tires, I won’t run on even marginally worn tires regardless of when my next inspection is due. It’s dangerous and irresponsible to do so and I don’t need the nanny state to tell me that.

    • August 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      Of course – because you’re not a Clover!

      Similarly: I will soon be replacing the tires on my sport bike; not because they’re bald but because they’ve worn to a point that is unacceptable to me. Because I value my life more than the $300 or so cost of a new set of tires.

      Clovers not only assume most people are dumb (whereas in fact only some are) they have this strange, almost religious faith in “the law” – notwithstanding the evidence all around them that dumb/reckless people do their thing irrespective of “the law,” which in fact is mostly just an inconvenience (at best) for the not-dumb, not-reckless majority.

  3. Gil
    August 11, 2011 at 11:18 am

    So pray tell – should someone have the right to drive on bald tires?

    Clover

    • August 11, 2011 at 11:28 am

      Aussie Clover, in typical Clover fashion, you make two errors:

      One, you assume that people would not drive on bald tires (and so on) anyhow, despite “safety” inspections. This is obviously false. Just as it’s false that “drunk driving” goes away by dint of police state tactics deployed against everyone.

      Two, you “package deal,” that is, you posit an example of one hypothetical person’s bad conduct as the excuse to presumptively assume everyone (or even just most people) will conduct themselves badly. In fact, it is only and always a small minority that acts irresponsibly. The right course of action is to punish them (and only them) when necessary (when they actually cause harm) rather than spew endless laws and so on directed at the responsible majority, who are not and never have been the problem.

      No Clovers

      • Gil
        August 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm

        In other words, sure let evyerone drive on bald tires.

        Clover

        • August 11, 2011 at 3:25 pm

          Can you do more than emote hysterically?

          Seriously.

          No Clovers

    • August 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      PS: Do you feel safer, Aussie Clover, because your government has decreed that no one (except criminals, of course) may possess guns? Will you be safer as a result if an armed criminal barges into your home late one night?

      • Gil
        August 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

        Guns aren’t banned, they’re licenced.

        Clover

        • August 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm

          And what does that mean, exactly?

          Can an individual lawfully buy any handgun or rifle he wishes? Or are there restrictions on the type of guns that may lawfully be possessed? Is it at the government’s pleasure? Here are the facts about gun laws over there:

          Current Australian firearm laws –

          State laws govern the possession and use of firearms in Australia. These laws were largely aligned under the 1996 National Agreement on Firearms. Anyone wishing to possess or use a firearm must have a Firearms Licence and, with some exceptions, be over the age of 18. Owners must have secure storage for their firearms.

          Before someone can buy a firearm, he or she must obtain a Permit To Acquire. The first permit has a mandatory 28-day delay before it is first issued. In some states (e.g. Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales), this is waived for second and subsequent firearms of the same class. For each firearm a “Genuine Reason” must be given, relating to pest control, hunting, target shooting, or collecting. Self-defense is not accepted as a reason for issuing a licence, even though it may be legal under certain circumstances to use a legally held firearm for self-defense.

          Each firearm in Australia must be registered to the owner by serial number. Some states allow an owner to store or borrow another person’s registered firearm of the same category.

          Firearms in Australia are grouped into Categories with different levels of control. The categories are:

          Category A: Rimfire rifles (not semi-automatic), shotguns (not pump-action or semi-automatic), air rifles, and paintball markers. A “Genuine Reason” must be provided for a Category A firearm.

          Category B: Centrefire rifles (not semi-automatic), muzzleloading firearms made after 1 January 1901. A “Genuine Need” must be demonstrated, including why a Category A firearm would not be suitable.

          Category C: Semi-automatic rimfire rifles holding 10 or fewer rounds and pump-action or semi-automatic shotguns holding 5 or fewer rounds. Category C firearms are strongly restricted: only primary producers, occupational shooters, collectors and some clay target shooters can own functional Category C firearms.

          Category D: Semi-automatic centrefire rifles, pump-action or semi-automatic shotguns holding more than 5 rounds. Functional Category D firearms are restricted to government agencies and a few occupational shooters. Collectors may own deactivated Category D firearms.

          Category H: Handguns including air pistols and deactivated handguns. this class is available to target shooters and farmers. To be eligible for a Category H firearm a target shooter must serve a probationary period of six months using club handguns, and a minimum number of matches yearly to retain each category of handgun.

          Target shooters are limited to handguns of .38 or 9mm calibre or less and magazines may hold a maximum of 10 rounds. Participants in certain “approved” pistol competitions may acquire handguns up to .45″, currently Single Action Shooting and Metallic Silhouette. IPSC shooting is not “approved” for the larger calibres, for as 9mm/.38/.357 hanguns meet the IPSC rules. Category H barrels must be at least 100mm (3.94″) long for revolvers, and 120mm (4.72″) for semi-automatic pistols unless the pistols are clearly ISSF target pistols: magazines are restricted to 10 rounds. Handguns held as part of a collection were exempted from these limits.

          So, in fact, it is extremely difficult for an individual to lawfully possess a handgun or rifle; virtually impossible for weapons suited to self-defense. And self defense is itself de facto illegal. It is not legal to carry concealed unless you wear a government costume.

          For all practical purposes, then, the average Australian has been denied the legal right to own guns for self-defense.

          No Clovers

    • mithrandir
      August 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      I would think it better as follows:

      If you cause damage then you need to provide restitution to those you damaged. I would also question someones wisdom in driving on bald tires.

      I would also think that I would be dumb if I drove unsafe tires when I could replace them.

      This could also be applied to brakes, rotors, lights, oil or any number of other systems that are needed to safely operate my car. I maintain my car because it is in my interest to keep up with the maintenance not because someone else tells me to do so.

      I have been pulled over for a nonworking rear tail light. Thankfully the officer just gave me a warning. I fixed the light the next day. I would not wait up to 2 years till my next inspection to replace my light.

  4. RebelKnightCSA
    August 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    OK – I dont like safety/emissions checks, either. Unfortunately, they are still needed. There are a LOT of a-holes out there who simply refuse to maintain their vehicles. Id like to think that I have the right to use the road without being choked by someone’s bad exhaust or being T-boned at an intersection because the brakes on some d-head’s hooptie dont work. Im going through the inspection line this Monday, 15 August, and I know my car’s clean. Less than USD$50.00 to prove it, too. Call it a scam, a slippery slope, or whatever, but I prefer to think of it as a necessary evil. I wish we could trust everyone to maintain their vehicles, but some dont, and thats the problem.

    • August 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      But here’s the thing: Once you’ve accepted the Clover Premise (there are generic “assholes” out there who do irresponsible things) then you’ve ceded any argument against endless regulation and control of anything and everything because, after all, someone “might” do this or do that. And yes, some do in fact do reckless/irresponsible things. But why should those who aren’t reckless/irresponsible be treated as if they were? Think about the “sobriety checkpoints” and TSA gate rape most of us here loathe. Same principle. Clovers say – we must do something about dangerous drunks (and terrorists) …. and, viola, we live in a Nanny-Police state.

      The kicker is that despite all these laws, the assholes – the reckless/irresponsible – still do their thing. Why? Because “the law” doesn’t mean a thing to them. Go to court sometime and check out the multiple DWI offenders. All the laws about not driving drunk, about not driving without a license – they just don’t care. How about the violent felons who have no trouble getting – and using – guns, despite all the “gun control” laws? And so on…

      • RebelKnightCSA
        August 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm

        H’m…a valid point. I suspect that what we really need is what Bill Engvall called ‘Heres Your Sign’. The idea was that if you routinely did stupid things, you wore a sign on your forehead reading STUPID. I wish we could brand repeat offenders – requiring them to carry special ID cards identifying them as stupid, or maybe having them wear little badges on their clothes (how about a scarlet S?), &c. The ones with the badge would be the only ones targeted by the police state. All others would be left alone. The only question is, how do we keep stupid people from judging who is stupid and who isnt? One look at our current judiciary and I have to wonder…who will keep the same moron who came up with the ‘implied consent’ scam from distinguishing the moronic from the sane?

        Ultimately, I believe we have one hell of a Sophie’s Choice – either lose our liberty or let the retards run riot. Your call. Vigilanteism might work temporarily; but even the best of the vigilantes will become thugs, eventually.

        Sigh…I believe George Carlin was right when he said that humanity became irreversibly doomed when the clergy and the politicians got ahold of power. The human race is just a big turd swirling around the bowl, and the final plunge down the drain is inevitable. It’s enough to make me a nihilist. I am willing to fight for freedom, but have resigned myself to dying as Stonewall Jackson did – one finger on the trigger, and my side lost.

        Homo Sapiens delenda est.

        • August 11, 2011 at 6:51 pm

          I vote for what we used to do – hold stupid people accountable and leave everyone else alone.

          So, if Mr. Asshole causes a wreck (for whatever reason; inept driving or bald tires – or both) then hold him criminally and civilly responsible. But leave me the fuck alone!

          The problem we have is that we’ve gone soft on the stupid people (and assholes, which includes criminals). Very little in the way of consequences for being irresponsible – or even criminal. Meanwhile, we henpeck to death everyone else – and over increasingly petty things, too.

          Example: Mr. Asshole can be convicted of multiple DWIs, driving without a license and so on. What happens? Typically, nothing. He has no money, so fines are meaningless. Rarely do we put him in jail for any length of time (unless he kills someone – and then it’s typically for a few months; maybe a couple of years). Meanwhile, you or I, not harming anyone but driving unbuckled or faster than the speed limit – well, we get ass-raped with fines (both by the state and then, later, by insurance companies). If we don’t pay, they ratchet up the charges – and (lately) screw your credit rating.

          Crime: The typical violent con gets recycled through the system multiple times, even after committing horrible crimes than ruin the lives of his victims. (See, for instance, the case of pedophile and child rapist Philip Garrido.)

          But if you, as a parent, had beat the shit out of Garrido or killed the SOB, you’d go to prison for the rest of your life – even though you’re no threat to society and in fact did society a service.

          Etc.

          • mithrandir
            August 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm

            I vote for what we used to do – hold stupid people accountable and leave everyone else alone.,

            Unfortunately there is no/little money in doing what you suggest.

            In some respect, what is happening today similar to Les Misérables. The protagonist Jean Valjean gets punished out of proportion to his crime. The common citizens get punished out of proportion to their offense.
            /======================================/
            note: Under Crime //crimes THAT ruin// instead of //crimes THAN ruin//

          • Edward King
            August 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm

            Holding people accountable in modern society is akin to saying children should be raped. Most people hear these words and are appalled that you would even consider uttering them. The vast majority of the human population are what I call “state idolaters”. They worship this secular deity with religious fervor and hold suspect anyone who dares questions its motives.

            Time and time again these worshipers of the savior state trot out straw men claiming that when anyone questions a law or policy enacted by the state, that they necessarily are being anti-social. They say you don’t believe in gun control, then you NECESSARILY want people to shoot up elementary schools. You don’t believe in arbitrary speed limits, then you NECESSARILY want people to go over 100 mph in a residential neighborhood. State idolaters must emote and exaggerate to make their ideological opponents seem like sociopaths and misanthropes. They must always state that our motives are inherently evil, with our ultimate aim the destruction of society.

            State idolaters have to caricature the blasphemers of their state religion because they cannot engage in logical debate and intellectual honesty. If they did, many of the sacred shibboleths would be exposed as the frauds that they are.

          • August 11, 2011 at 10:00 pm

            Boy, Ed – you hit that one right outta the park! Post o’ the day!

          • Gil
            August 12, 2011 at 1:16 am

            What wrong with wanting to do 100mph in a resendial area? As long as no one gets hurt right?

            Clover

        • BrentP
          August 13, 2011 at 12:32 am

          Gil, how do you come about the idea that government stops people from doing 100mph in a residential area? Government does no such thing. Nearly all people are responsible enough not to. That’s why it doesn’t happen but extremely rarely. Cops rarely bother running speed traps on residential roads unless there are complaints (and often the complainers get the tickets). Why? They aren’t going to make their performance objectives there.

          You can’t bring about civilized society at the point of a gun. You can only bring it about by convincing people, showing people, that it’s better if they just behave well in society in general. Force only makes problems worse. Unless you want North Korea. Is that what you’re aiming for Gil? A police state with a wrecked economy because the state has total control?

          • Boothe
            August 13, 2011 at 2:39 am

            Brent, apparently Gil isn’t familiar with the work of the late Hans Monderman and the removal of traffic signs and signals in the Netherlands and Germany. It seems that when the traffic controls are removed, everyone becomes more cautious, they make eye contact with each other at intersections and overall, civility and order happen spontaneously. Statistically the police report that accident rates have gone down where this is implemented. To quote Monderman: “When you treat people like idiots, they’ll behave like idiots.” A concept lost on most clovers I fear.

          • BrentP
            August 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm

            The Monderman approach does work, but I think it’s limited in application to the low speed villages, down towns, etc where it has been tried. (and perfectly smashes Gil’s cloverite view above)

            For big cities, limited access highways, etc I think we need rules to establish predictable behaviors and high efficiencies. While Germans are known for following rules, most of their driving rules are sensible and -understood- by the driving public as to why they exist. The result is much better traffic flow. There is no babying, and no tolerance for idiocy like in the USA. Thus drivers are largely competent because nobody caters to poor driving.Drivers aren’t treated like small children. Everyone is expected to follow mutually beneficial rules and stay within their and their vehicle’s limitations. Have a supercar, know how to drive it? 200mph on the rural autobahn… a-ok. Have a mediocre car, can’t drive worth a damn? Expect to get pulled over. The USA turns that on its head.

      • Boothe
        August 12, 2011 at 3:42 am

        I was still in the Air Force down in Florida (30 years ago) when they repealed vehicle inspections. Did bald tires and failing brakes start killing people left and right? No, that’s what retirees and snowbirds are for. But seriously, there was no difference in the accident rate. Why? Because (a) most people have a sense of self preservation (for you clovers, that means we won’t put our asses on the line in a dangerous vehicle) and (b) the accountability was still there if you had an accident: improper equipment as determined by the investigating officer established fault.

        Let me explain it more clearly so the cloverite mentality (an oxymoron methinks) may begin to grasp it. A member of my wife’s family built a house and a few years later it was thoroughly infested with termites. After lots of money to exterminators amd extensive repairs, this person told me the county should have had an ordinance requiring them to treat the soil prior to construction. They wouldn’t have had this problem if there had been a law…..

        I built a house in rural Virginia in 1985. I had the soil under the house and around the foundation treated with (OMG!) Chlordane. I sold that house in 2000 and neither I nor the exterminator I hired to inspect my house (every 5 years) ever saw a termite. No Law made me do any of that, it just made good economic sense.

        Many of the common sense things we do are economic in nature. I don’t insure my vehicles because Missouri has a proof of insurance law. I keep insurance on my vehicles for my own sake. I don’t wear a seat belt because it’s the law. I wore one long before it was mandatory, because if some uninsured clover side swipes you because he was texting the unemployment office over his late check, you are more likely to retain control of your vehicle if you stay in the seat. Then can you chase him down, get his personal information and find out that the student loan he took out for that political science degree prevents him from being able to afford car insurance on the mere pittance he’s extracting from the rest of us in unemployment payments. At that point you’re darn sure glad that you put that “uninsured motorist” rider on your policy even though the state didn’t make you do it. See clovers, this individual responsibility thing is easy….y’all should try it sometime!

    • BrentP
      August 12, 2011 at 12:02 am

      The problem is that nothing really stops the a-holes. All cloverite “logic” ends up doing is harming people who weren’t a problem in the first place.

      Illinois has no inspections other than emissions in some counties. There’s no greater loss of life and property from equipment failure and neglect here than in states with inspections. I used to live in next to a VERY poor neighborhood in Chicago. The stuff I saw on the road would give Gil and Clover heart attacks. And yet I never saw one these cars having harmed anyone.

    • Boothe
      August 12, 2011 at 4:10 am

      Reb, when I go to get one of my rigs inspected, the guy that does it has me pull in to the bay, scrapes off the old sticker, puts on the new one and takes my $11.00. He knows that he doesn’t have to check anything, because he knows me, knows how I take care of my vehicles and knows I wouldn’t bring it to him if it wouldn’t pass inspection.

      On the other hand, my grandfather owned a service shop in a small Virginia town for many many years. He did inspections and the state police came in and questioned him about some vehicles with his stickers on them that had bald tires. Being a scrupulously honest man and a perfectionist, he was genuinely puzzled about this, because he knew he hadn’t passed any cars like that. So he did a little checking, found out that some of the local boys had pitched in and bought a set of new tires. They were swapping them from one vehicle to the next to get their inspections done. My grandfather marked the tires and when they showed up again on another car, he put a rejection sticker on it. The owner indignantly took the car to another shop whose owner passed it (but ultimately lost his inspection license over this ongoing charade). The point is, if someone really wants to flout the law, they will find a way. And you will always have people that see it as a challenge. Hence, even in the Muslim countries where they execute you for selling drugs, you can still buy hashish and opium. Go figure……

      • methylamine
        August 12, 2011 at 7:07 pm

        But Boothe heroin is against the LAW so therefore, nobody uses it. Duh!

        Here in the Great State of Texas the inspection stations hook your car’s OBD to a computer, which communicates the results real-time to a State computer…AFAIK there’s no faking it. I hope I’m wrong, because I sure do want to rip the cats off my Miata and run a hot cam!

        We even have roadside pollution monitors randomly popping up; cool technology, they run an IR spectrum analysis of your exhaust as you go by. Unfortunately in the hands of the State it’s yet another way to rob you at gunpoint. And, of course, it goes after that portion of the populace least able to afford a new car. I suppose it’s all for the Greater Good(tm)–those folks should just use public transport! For The Environment(c)!

        • Boothe
          August 13, 2011 at 2:14 am

          Methyl, I’ve been an instrument & controls tech since 1981. I’m the primary CEM tech (Continuous Emissions Monitoring) at the power plant where I work. I don’t doubt that the inspection station can log live data from the OBD on your car and send that data to a state server. The technology is certainly available. I’m just not sure why they’d bother because the EPA and state DNR doesn’t require that for power stations (huge, fixed installations emitting tons of NOx, SO2 and C02 annually). We log emissions data and store it for years and we’re subject to audits, but so far the bureaucRATs don’t bother monitoring us on a daily basis (although the Sierra Club would most likely love it).

          As far as setting up some type of IR spectrum analyzer road side and getting any kind of valid reading seems like a stretch to me. Accurate gas analysis requires a carefully collected sample passed through an optical bench (for CO / CO2 it’s IR absorption) or a reaction chamber (UV fluorescence for NOx). This is why they actually connect the exhaust pipe of your car directly to an analyzer where emissions tests are required.

          If they are setting up some kind of device on the side of the road and claiming that they are able to determine that your car is exceeding its emissions limits as it drives by, you probably need to move to another state. That’s just a naked money grab, worse than shortened yellows where the red light cameras are or plain old fashioned country speed traps (they still do that down in Arkansas).

          You are absolutely right on your assessment though: the push is to make private transportation, electricity, firearms, land, small businesses and health care very expensive and hard to come by. The middle class is under attack here just as it has come under attack in every previous culture. The wealthy don’t want to compete with us (after all, they’ve got theirs, screw the rest of us) and the underclass wants what we have, but don’t want to learn, work and wait for it. What they do want to do is control us and extract our wealth from us. So we have to figure out ways around the snares they set.

          I bet there’s a way to fool the ECU on the Miata into believing that the cat actually has guts in it and that the outlet O2 sensor is seeing proper catalyst efficiency (the signal would have to track the inlet O2 sensor by a percentage I expect). I’m primarily concerned with the solution so I can get rid of that confounded check engine light from a “catalyst efficiency below threshold” code. Where there’s a will there’s a way……

          • BrentP
            August 13, 2011 at 7:11 am

            Private gizmos need to be accurate and carefully operated. Government gizmos do not.

            There’s a long list of inaccurate, badly operated, and/or badly cared for government gizmos from which data is generated to ruin people’s lives and/or take their money.

            Aft O2 sensors to make it think the catalyst is working fine… just search for MIL eliminators and whatever car. Here’s how to do it on mazdas:
            http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showthread.php?52498-How-TO-CEL-MIL-Eliminator!

            There’s probably model specific plans out there, I just grabbed the easy one.
            Breathalyzers, radar guns, naked body scanners, just to name three.

          • methylamine
            August 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm

            @Boothe–very interesting, glad to hear from someone with real expertise! I assumed it was transmitting live because I saw a LAN cable snaking to the inspection computer, and the screen status said ominous things about “Connecting…” after the test but before it spit out the “pass” print-up. But you’re spot-on: being a gubmint thing, it’s probably full of holes.

            As for roadside spectrum analysis being accurate, I wholly agree. I suspect what they’re doing is just looking at gross hydrocarbons. There’s a reflector across the street from the test equipment, so maybe it’s a quick-and-dirty…either way, inaccurate and another roadside robbery technique!

            Yep: destroy the middle class; that trick is thousands of years old, and it works every time. They’ve got us right where they want us this time again–working as hard as we can to hold on to what we’ve already worked for, too little time on our hands to marshal an effective defense. And, setting the lower hordes against us, such that the naive among us will clamor for gubmint protection. It’s what they’re doing in the UK–let the yobs riot, terrify the middle class, middle class begs for “protection”, y voila, Police State…next victim, the very same middle class. Problem, Reaction, Solution.

            Unfortunately my Miata’s pre-OBD II so they actually sniff test it. Perhaps someone (not me) would put in a removable cat for inspection time, hypothetically.

            The damn BMW computer actually sweeps the mixture a bit to verify the post-cat lambda sensor is actually working, clever bastards! Supposedly there’s no way to fake it.

            I bet someone could make a good living off OBD II port interceptors…”nothing to see here…move along…”

          • methylamine
            August 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm

            @BrentP: Mine’s pre-OBD II so I have to do a sniff test. See comment to Boothe above.

            Have ya’ll heard of a tasty device called a “laser jammer”? Unlike the radar jammer–which is expensive, unreliable, and a federal felony, these are legal.

            I’m using the Laser Interceptor, which is supposedly the most advanced. Let me tell you, it works! It doesn’t throw a “jammed” code on their gun; you’re just invisible.

            The expression on the cop’s face when his laser gun quits working?

            Priceless.

          • BrentP
            August 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm

            I’ve seen the laser jammer a few times over the years. I just can’t bring myself to drill holes in my car to put those ugly things on it.

            Best look I ever got from a cop was when I was bicycling and went through his radar trap mid sprint…. The gun probably showed a speed over 30mph…

          • August 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

            The main thing that keeps me from getting any sort of jammer is that – as I understand it, correct me if I’m wrong – these are considered transmitters under the law and the use of an unlicensed transmitter is a felony if they catch you. Then again, I’d probably still use my detector – and will never give them my guns – no matter what “the law” says.

  5. methylamine
    August 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    @Eric:

    …these are considered transmitters under the law and the use of an unlicensed transmitter is a felony…

    For a radar jammer yes. But there’s a loophole for laser; it’s not regulated by the FCC, but by the FDA. Ah! Hoisted on their own petard! Yes, as long as it doesn’t injure dearies’ wittle eyes, the laser device on these jammers is Just Fine in our Master’s view.

    Now, for some of the more primitive ones–I believe including the “Blinder” series–they’ll throw a “jammed” code on the gun and the Exalted One might take an interest. But the Interceptor AFAIK interferes with the gun’s ranging function by a series of subtly mis-timed pulses.

    Either way: twice after a good jamming I’ve seen one of our confused Betters looking down at their instrument of oppression with bovine bewilderment, akin to seeing a Neanderthal handling an iPad.

  6. August 15, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I got an interesting statement from a judge recently on a seatbelt charge in North Carolina. Now, in NC, you canot be stopped directly for a seatbelt charge, but it can be used as a secondary charge if you’re legally stopped for something else.

    I was stopped at a license check, and the officer gave me the ticket. I took it to court, quoted “Delaware v Prouse” showed why the license check was unconstitutional and even showed why it was unlawful by Section 20 of the NC Constitution’s Declaration of Rights. I had the judge beat on every argument while he flipped hastily through his big red law book, and he finally stopped me and said “Your Constitutional rights come second to the compelling interest of the state”.

    He simply dismissed every argument and acted as a prosecutor from the bench(violation of law) by dema nding to know if I actually fastened my seatbelt(violation of 5th amendment self incrimination clause), and even ignored it after I reminded him of it.

    IOW, you don’t have rights any more.

    • August 15, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      It’s a similar situation here in Virginia. We don’t (yet) have “primary enforcement” of seatbelt laws, but they can (and do) stop people for any reason or no reason at all and then give you the ticket anyhow.

      Rights are not negotiable. You either have them – or you don’t.

      And we no longer do.

    • dom
      August 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      Not surprised. If you had a lawyer saying the same thing you might have stood a chance.

    • methylamine
      August 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm

      Wow. Just, WOW. There it is–naked tyranny. “…second to the interests of the State.”

      Did this asswad judge even blanch a little at his own admission? Or is he so inured to his own totalitarianism that he’s immune to conscience?

      Thanks for sharing. That’s really frightening.

      • Boothe
        August 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm

        The problem is that the judge sees it as HIS courtroom and if you weren’t doing something wrong, you wouldn’t be there in the first place. If you don’t like his decision and dare to say so, he can hold you in contempt and give you a few days of free room and board down at the Hotel Graybar to remind you how to act toward “public servants”. They single us out and pick us off one by one if we dare demand our rights. So unfortunately Methyl and Eric are both right: in effect we no longer have any rights in the eyes of the state and it is naked tyranny.

        Dom, an attorney is an officer of the court so you come in third behind the court and their law practice even though you’re the one paying the shyster. The judge can even slap the lawyer down. If he’s a “smart” lawyer (meaning he belongs to the same country club and plays golf with the judge) don’t worry, he’ll never raise the issue of your rights to begin with.

        • dom
          August 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm

          I just always figured if you get the lawyer (even over small stuff like this) it shows the judge you are playing the game and helping support (financially) the system they came up in.

          P.S. I love that all traffic tickets have a mandatory court cost attached. Even if you mail in the money pre-court date.

    • spirit splice
      August 15, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      Regarding the interests of the State

      “No public policy of a state can be allowed to override the positive guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.” 16 Am.Jur. (2nd),Const. Law,Sect.70.

      “The state cannot diminish Rights of the people.” Hurtado vs. California,110 US 516.

      • August 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

        Except when the state deems otherwise…

        This is part of what comes from the victory of the federal Leviathan over the states (that is, the people) in the War of Federal Aggression. But it began much earlier than that, when the robed tyrants decreed in Marbury v. Madison that the robed tyrants have the sole and final power to determine what is and isn’t “constitutional.” Which means, the Constitution has been null and void since least that time, more than 200 years ago.

        • Spirit Splice
          August 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm

          Which would be always. It makes me laugh to hear people talk about fixing things or “taking the country back”, as if you could make cancer good again.

        • spirit splice
          August 16, 2011 at 12:12 am

          Another I found

          “The right of the citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city may prohibit or permit at will, but a common law right which he has under the right to life,liberty,and the pursuit of happiness.” Thompson v. Smith,154 SE 579.

          • dom
            August 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

            There it is, we’ve seen this a few times before. I understand what it says and it does sound good. This case and these words are meaningless though.

          • Boothe
            August 16, 2011 at 1:10 am

            I knew a man in Virginia that “travelled by right” in his “private conveyance” over the “public roads”. He carried the transcript of the court case where the judge ruled in his favor with him at all times. He had a homemade plate on the little beat up Opel he “travelled” in with a case number on it as I recall (may have been Thompson v. Smith, the language rings a bell). He said he could usually talk his way out of arrest and incarceration, but young unreasonable cops locked him up and towed his car about once a year.

            Usually just an overnighter but if it was Friday he spent the weekend in the pokey until he could see a magistrate or judge on Monday. As my Dad was so fond of reminding me back when I was poking the IRS in its soft white underbelly, it’s not what they “can” do to you under the law, it’s what they “will” do to you under color of law.

            Now I’m all for liberty and prudent civil disobedience: resisting tyranny is as Virginian as it gets. But sitting in a jail cell with some fellows that might find me attractive over a license plate and inspection sticker doesn’t advance the cause of liberty in any meaningful way. It is ludicrous and not nearly as productive to our cause as writing our ideas for the world to see. We will affect societal change as we change the hearts and minds of those around us.

  7. Diane
    August 15, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    And if you drive away from the station with your shiny new sticker and get stopped for having a light out, how much good does that sticker do you? You could still get a ticket.
    Add inspection stickers to the list of state-required things that cause people to think they can drive and have nothing to lose: insurance, seat belts, child car seats…

    • dom
      August 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm

      It does all the good it was intended for. State has your money for the state inspection and now they got you for the infraction. Two for me, none for you! Thank you have a nice day and please enjoy the random traffic stops and other various inconveniences, time, and money we steal from you! What a joke..

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