Left on Red

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Well, why not?

If the way is obviously clear in both directions, if it’s obviously safe to enter the intersection, make your turn and proceed. . . why not proceed?

Because of The Law.

It is (usually) illegal to make a left turn on red. Sometimes, a right turn, too.

But why is it illegal?

Because The Law assumes a very low standard of competence – and applies it generally.  If you think about it, this least common denominatorism is another form of collectivism. The individual – his merits, his skill, his initiative and judgment – all irrelevant. You can literally be Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (or Danica Patrick), a superbly skilled and scrupulously conscientious driver whose actions were impeccably safe  – and still you will receive a ticket – and all that goes with it, including the smear of “unsafe driving” – if you are caught ignoring a red light – ignoring The Law – and using your own eyes and skill and judgment instead. You are expected – required – to sit like one of Pavlov’s dogs, not merely awaiting the green signal but (and this is key) paying no attention whatsoever to the flow of traffic in the lanes you are hoping to cross. You are not encouraged to monitor the situation, to use your own eyes to see whether traffic’s coming.

Just wait for the light. Good doggy!

What’s wanted are three things: Docility, passivity – and (most of all) obedience.

These are the true underlying principles of American traffic law – not “safety.” If this were were not the case, then good drivers who for good reason ignore pointless traffic signals – the classic example being an endless red light at an obviously empty intersection where it’s clear to all there’s no other traffic around for miles – would not have to fret the possibility that, while no traffic is present, there might be a cop hiding in the bushes, patiently waiting for some not-fully-conditioned individual to use his senses and exercise judgment rather than demonstrate blind obedience to The Law.

When this individual goes to court, the question at issue will never be whether his actions were safe. Whether it was reasonable to ignore the traffic signal and proceed. The accused could literally provide a video of the entire incident that clearly showed no danger to anyone; that he exercised the appropriate caution before proceeding, that at no time was he in any way putting himself or any other motorist in danger. None of that matters. Only The Law – and mindless, literally mindless, unquestioning obedience matters.

In fact, the worst possible sin (in the eyes of the system) one can commit these days is to use one’s mind – to question, and to act accordingly, based on reasoned judgment.

This subtle conditioning has had a widespread soporific effect. A dulling of the American spirit.  One sees the results not just on the road, but everywhere. People – most people – just do as they are told. They almost never ask why anymore.

Few think.

Even fewer act based on their thinking.

They just … shuffle along in a kind of stupor.

It is why driving has become such a depressing – and aggravating – experience. People are no longer expected to pay attention to anything except The Law.  Not to conditions, not to the traffic around (or behind) them. Just … wait… for … the light.

And more subtly: Do as you are Told.

This reflects the mindset of modern America – and an American people that is much more like the Weimar-era German (or Soviet) people than it would probably like to believe. A people that is reflexively deferential to authority (examples: TSA groping/scanning; random “checkpoints” – etc.) that not only does not question but gets its back up at those few who do question.

Or worse, who disobey.

Consider what the typical American would probably say in response to this column: Why, he is encouraging people to break The Law! Does he want to legalize drunk driving, too?

And yet, it was once (a long time ago) precisely the opposite quality that defined Americans. They were individuals – and they questioned. Our culture and society once upon a time encouraged them to question, too. If something did not make sense, it was ignored – and even ridiculed. People who thumbed their noses at stupid, tyrannical laws – and those enforcing them- were admired.

Today, you are expected to Submit and Obey, regardless. It is The Law.

Period.

But unlike Orwell’s 1984, the populace is not kept in check by overt force. Instead, as in Huxley’s Brave New World, the populace has been infantilized and is kept perpetually distracted by idiot games and gadgets. There is also soma for those who think too much in the form of various “anti-depressants” and so forth. In the book, non-conformists and freethinkers were exiled to an island – isolated spots around the world where they were – finally – left in peace to do as they wished.

That may be the best we can hope for – those of us who for whatever reason haven’t been effectively conditioned to automatically Submit and Obey, who dare to think – and act accordingly.

I suppose it’s better than the lethal chamber reference by Huxley’s World Controller, Mustapha Mond – and much more so than Orwell’s Room 101.

 

 

 

 

 

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139 COMMENTS

  1. A VERY high percentage of all traffic citations are about technical fouls, not hazardous actions. We have far too many artificially low posted speed limits that degrade safety, too-short yellows to cause extra red light violations, no rolling right on red turns that almost never cause a crash, far too many stop signs instead of yield signs, far too many stop lights in unnecessary locations, etc. These poor laws merely facilitate the issuance of expensive traffic tickets and insurance surcharges. The public gets an artificial sense of security in the false belief these laws and their enforcement improve safety, when precisely the opposite is true.

    • Hi Jim,

      Agree – and also, it fosters learned helplessness; basically, passivity behind the wheel. The problem is getting worse all the time, too. People are being conditioned not to show any initiative at all. Just… obey….

      • That’s exactly what the government schools are for. To condition people into that state. The entire point of the Prussian school model. Just look what happens to children who have initiative, creativity, etc. If the conditioning of the schools weren’t enough, those that run the government schools let bullies have a field day with them. Just like the adult world where real criminals that help the government’s control are allowed to operate while the rest of us are harassed over technical errors that mean nothing.

        • Brent, one of my coworkers and I were having this exact discussion Friday. The energetic, imaginative and intelligent kids are the tall nails. The system tries to pound them down. The ones that won’t conform are diagnosed ADHD and drugged into submission. I seem to recall that anyone that disagreed with the Soviet system was deemed mentally ill, institutionalized and drugged. Seems like history is repeating itself right here; we institutionalize our kids in child prison first, the ones that don’t like it are considered mentally ill and we drug them. Nice.

  2. I drove cab at night for many years. One night around three AM I stopped at a red light in a light rain. As far as I could see in every direction there was nobody else there. I was alone. I thought how ridiculous to be sitting here wasting fuel and making the gas companies richer.

    I drove thru the light, stopped, backed thru it then drove around in a circle
    …thus conclusively and scientificaly proveing that it is not always un-safe to run a red light.

    Of course as you say it’s not about safety…it’s about obey Ask
    Shepherd Fairey ’bout that. OBEY CONSUME REPEAT Think seat belts.

  3. Eric,

    Great article! I’m constantly dumbfounded at how meek and submissive most people are. Far too many people are content to simply waste through life in their paint-by-number confines.

    You’ve also got a lively site here! I’ve never bothered to read the comments before and am sorry I only now have taken the time to read other people’s thoughts.

    My daily commute takes me through two lights and four stop signs which are exceedingly onerous. My conscience requires me to completely ignore these on the grounds of liberty. Working the night shift, it is rare for me to meet a single other vehicle on the road let alone enough traffic to require me coming to a complete stop. I do as it seems many of your other readers do: slow down enough to discern possible danger and proceed according to my assessment.

    I did not read every comment above so I may have missed it, but there is a decent number of examples of traffic lights and stop signs being taken out completely. It seems that at least a few people “in charge” of traffic control has a brain and is allowing drivers to assume the risk and responsibility of driving. As would be expected, accidents have diminished in virtually every case (perhaps even every single case).

    Someone mentioned replacing traffic lights with roundabouts and I feel compelled to comment regarding this exchange. While roundabouts are certainly better than traffic lights in certain circumstances, a simple intersection with the responsibility of all drivers to yield to all other traffic is better still. Particularly so for drivers of large vehicles. America is dependent upon a large fleet of semi-trucks for the daily delivery of virtually every consumable in existence. Roundabouts are extremely inconvenient for these vehicles and oftentimes even more dangerous (for the trucks as well as other drivers) than traditional traffic lights in certain situations.

    The only solution for anyone who believes in liberty is to place the responsibility of driving upon each individual.

    • Hi and welcome to the comments section! I travel thru a few roundabouts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings on the way home from training. I go through them late at night, even then they are kind of a hassle. I can see them being a huge problem for big ole trucks for sure. Critical thinking, problem solving, personal responsibility, and just thinking for yourself in general has pretty much been replaced by Cloverism. -sad

      • Roundabouts, traffic circles, etc are usually all sorts of screwed up in the USA. They get stop signs and traffic lights plastered on them where none should be. The result is a mess.

        On my commutes I feel like I am surrounded by non-thinking zombies…. It’s getting so that I rarely can go the speed limit… and it’s WAY underposted. This morning… light rain and they are all driving like they have bald tires. ARG! I have better intersection exit speed with my bicycle than these drivers have with their cars.

    • People would be more timid when Libertarians get their way and there’s no government because Libertarians will be waving their guns around while chugging beer and driving how ever they like as they don’t hit someone.

      • As usual, Clover, you have everything reversed. Libertarians base their moral philosophy (and everyday actions) on the principle of non-aggression, which put more colloquially amounts to: Live – and let live. If my actions are not causing you harm, then leave me free to live my life as I see fit. And I likewise to you.

        But you impute aggression and violence to Libertarians; they want to “get their way” and other such nonsense.

        Yes, Gil – we want to get our way. We want to be left alone, in peace, to live our lives as we see fit, without being controlled, monitored, directed and otherwise told what to do by people such as yourself.

        By the way: Your handlers really ought to consider an upgrade. It’s too easy to stomp you. Ask them to send along someone with a little more wattage.

        • Eric, I don’t think they can legally increase the wattage on Clovers anymore. The days of incandescent Clovers are long past. The best they can do is send us CFL Clovers like Gil.

    • Thanks, TN!

      I’m not a big fa of roundabouts because they interrupt the flow of traffic. Some intersections are so busy that a signals are necessary to make it possible for opposing traffic to cross (and so on). But there’s no reason I can see for “no right on red” (or left) laws, which as far as I can tell are based on Least Common Denominatorism, i.e., because some people are too inept/timid/reckless to safely enter an intersection, then all drivers must be treated by the law inept/timid/reckless.

      • Like I said before, the first time in encountered them on Cape Cod, roundabouts really intimidated me. But you are forced to pay attention and actually drive, all the while trying to figure out which exit to take. But for the folks that lived around there (and after a couple of days in the area) they seemed to work okay. I still don’t like them and we have plenty of 4 way stops around here that work just fine too. You may actually have to make eye contact with the other drivers. The one problem problem I sometimes encounter around here is excessive politeness at an intersection where we get into a “you go first”, “no after you”, “no, I insist, after you” situation. But anymore I just wave thanks and go. But I can see where many people would conclude that couldn’t work in places like Boston, Chicago and New York. So we will be stuck with traffic lights and we really do need to adjust our way of thinking to include common sense measures such as left on red.

    • Thank you Kathleen, I can relate to that video for sure. Seeing the pictures of Ghandi brought tears to my eyes. My favorite quotes of the Mahatma: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” & “God has no religion.”

      Unless the rule specifically protects our rights or prevents direct harm to my fellow man, I have no problem breaking it. Many rules aren’t even written down, they’re just limitations placed on our own existance by the hive mind. I’ve been doing things for years that other people told me I couldn’t do.

      My job often required me to work within the confines of corporate and regulatory rules, but I try never to miss an opportunity to humorously point out the stupidity and fallacious nature of every hoop we needlessly jump through. It wakes people up and that’s the last thing the establishment elite want, so I do it every chance I get.

  4. I agree with Brent that the best plots often involve heroic individuals standing up to crooked authoritarian bullies. As far as films go V, The Professional, Silverado, and Shane are good examples that quickly come to mind without much head scratching. I’m sure that there are hundreds and perhaps thousands more if television is included. The real wild west (1865 to 1890) really did have a fair number of outrageously crooked sheriffs. A couple of months ago Will Grigg did a good job covering some of them at his Pro Libertate site.

    • Marc the question that arises in my mind about crooked sheriffs and cops is how many of them were criminals before they took office? I realize some of them probably went into police work with honorable intentions, saw the basest forms of humanity, become jaded and cynical and turned bad. After all, “social janitor” tends to be a lower paying job with plenty of opportunities to turn a fast buck on the side. But I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of dirty cops were already criminals looking for an angle to beat the system. Being a cop would be tailor made.

      When I was young my grandparents lived in a small town in rural Virginia. They didn’t lock their doors. Everyone knew everyone else and people just didn’t steal….usually. I’m sure that type of attitude and outlook prevailed in many areas in the old west too. Good folks who worked all week, went to church on Sunday and paid their own way could easily be taken in by a smooth talking con man and hire him as their local LEO. Those of us that are normal (meaning we have a conscience and are empathetic) cannot understand the psycopaths that walk among us, because we impute our normalcy to them. That makes it easy for us to be taken in by a sadistic sociopath that acts like us and may even to be a “pillar of the community”. By the time we realize our sheriff or police chief has serious issues, he has probably already hired a bunch of his own kind and allied himself with the other prominent members of the community that are like him as well.

      Fortunately the experts think only about six percent of the population are actual psychopaths. But the psychos do tend to gravitate to positions of authority. So it’s very important that we start taking steps in our communities to test LEOs (and politicians for that matter) to weed out the psychos so they don’t have power over the rest of us. Now I’ll bet that thought will be really popular with the ones that are already in office….

      • Boothe I’m sure you’ve seen Bladerunner.
        Remember the “empathy test” they administered to weed out “skin jobs”?

        I wonder if we could institute something similar for all potential office-holders…

        “You’re walking in the desert. You see a turtle on its back. What do you do?”

        • Well now..Bladerunner…Let’s see…if I’m walking in the desert (Leon: “What desert? Why would I be there?”), my vehicle probably took a dump and by now I’m hungry (Leon: “A tortoise, what’s that?” Holden: “Know what a turtle is Leon? Same thing” Leon: “I’ve never seen a turtle…but I understand what you mean.”)and if I have water, I pick the tortoise up off of it’s back and make turtle soup! Naw, ain’t never seen th’ movie….that is….less than say 50 times!

          Yeah, a “Voight-Kampf” test for politicians, cops and soldiers is exactly what I’m talking about (it even worked on Rachel and she was nearly perfect, it just took longer).

          The next question is, do we actually have a battery of tests like that we could use right now? I think so, because rather than squeezing the ol’ nut sack and making grandma take off her Depends, the Israelis personally interview potential terrorism suspects and weed out the flakes, fruits and nuts before they ever get on a plane. I’m sure that interview process could be modified to identify people with no compassion or empathy before they take the reins of government.

          • Huge fan of Dick’s (also of Heinlein; the movie adaptation of “StarshipTroopers” was an atrocity, by the way).

            The problem – as you of course know – is not weeding out the people with no compassion (from government). It is government itself, which is incapable of compassion and when not bound down and strictly limited gives access to arbitrary power over others – the thing those without compassion crave most in life.

          • Ah-ha! Eric you’ve nailed the classic “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” dilemna. We have sociopaths and psychopaths running things who were able to take the reins because the system existed in the first place. Or is it that we have the system in place in an effort to protect us from and ultimately punish sociopaths and physhcopaths for their inhumane actions? So I think the answer is both: we test those people who wish to be in charge and only select the ones that are not only sane but also willing to dismantle the bureaucracy. I am hopeful that we are swinging the pendulum in that direction right now.

            No one would have even considered the possibility, eight years ago, that Ron Paul would even stand a chance of getting the nomination. Now that possibility is scaring the hell out the establishment. Even if he doesn’t make it, he’s forced the establishment players to engage in dialogue they have diligently avoided most of my life. As I’ve said before, we must remain a tireless minority continually working to spead the ideas of individual Liberty and repsonsibility. But we also need to engage in every form of peaceful resistance to “the machine” that we can think of!

          • Eric you’ve just nailed the reason I’ve relinquished minarchism. I realize it will be a long battle for society to fully embrace it, but I’ve converted to Agorism…a kind of anarcho-capitalism.

            I’d be in heaven if we could revert just to strict Constitutionalism and live under that minarchy for a while on our way to statelessness. But ultimately, you cannot expect to give a monopoly on coercion, force, and violence to any entity and expect it to remain moral. Minarchism is doomed; America proves it.

      • “So it’s very important that we start taking steps in our communities to test LEOs (and politicians for that matter) to weed out the psychos so they don’t have power over the rest of us.”

        And therein lies the nut of the problem. We have a system that naturally repels morally awake, empathetic people. Who, after all, would want to become a cop and spend his days pulling people over (and fleecing them while degrading them) over “speeding” or “seatbelt volations”? Or worse, kicking in the door home of some poor SOB whose only “crime” was that he possessed/used an arbitrarily “illegal” substance?

        Meanwhile, the converse. What sort of person is attracted to this kind of work…. ?

    • “V” was especially appealing because of the intelligent commentary rendered by the character V himself. His speech about creeping tyranny was masterful and inspiring.

  5. Doods, it has been years (maybe even more than a decade) but today I actually saw a cop doing this job. I was in the far left lane of a double lane left at the biggest intersection in Hell Town (exit 6 off 66). I was first in line and there was another fella to my right and we got the left green light. As we start to go a lady in an SUV (from the other direction) punches the red light and about took the fella and I out. I am ALWAYS cautious at intersections and even had a funny feeling this would happen. Anyhow, I stopped short in the middle of the intersection and so did the fella beside me. I put my arms out to make the WTF gesture and the lady just kept on going! Within a second before I was back on the gas wouldn’t you know it a cop appeared from fucking nowhere and proceed after her.

    • Dom, you just have to go with those funny feelings. About a month ago I was in a control systems class in Kansas City. The instructor travels all over the country and totes a small motorcycle around on the back of the van he hauls the training simulators in. He rides the bike back and forth to the hotel so his wife can travel with him and have transportation while he works. As we were leaving after class one day, he fell in behind my Miata a ways back and I got a funny feeling.

      I started watching him in my rearview. No sooner did I look in the mirror than I see this woman pull up to the intersection, look in my direction and she never even checks her left. Then she just pulls right out in front of his bike in a Le Sabre and nails him! I did a hard u-turn put the car between him and traffic. Right after I got there the police were already running out of the police station (that’s right, she him next to the cop shop). The rescue squad came and we got his wife there right away. The fire chief, a major on the police force and a coworker of mine all pitched in and we got the bent up bike loaded in the van for his wife.

      I stuck around and made sure the police took my eyewitness account and gave the lady Clover the ticket, because I know people are tribal. He was from Illinois so I wasn’t going to let the locals screw him to protect one of their own. I’ll have to say the the town cops were very courteous, helpful and seemed genuinely concerned. But what really impressed me was that man showed up and taught the last day of our class with his arm and shoulder in a sling broken in three places! I guess ex-navy nukes are pretty darned tough!

      • That is scary stuff. Riding a bike is no joke and I don’t mind giving the clovers of the world all the room they need in this universe to stay the fuck away from me. When I ride the hog my head is on a swivel and I’m a nervous wreck most the time. Out on the back roads though I’m in hog heaven. I have to confess, it is hard to see bikes. I am a biker and I am a driver. Even in my car I sometimes think my sides are clear, but they are not in some cases. I’m trained to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS fucking look and that has saved me from side swiping many a time. My last big close encounter of the vehicular kind was last year going east on 66 toward DC on my morning commute. I’m cruising at around 67-70mph, but not because it’s the limit, but because I like saving gas. Anyhow, I count cars/style/colors/shapes/headlights/ you name it. Whatever is around me I draw a picture of it in my head like a graphic plot chart, or something. So, I saw a line of cars that all wanted to haul ass and of course I say right and let them do their thing. I am stuck behind a super slow poke though and want to get over after they pass. So I am counting colors/cars. Saw a gray SUV at the end of the line and knew there was nobody behind him. After he passed I put my signal on and was about to move over, then I thought to myself “dom you always fucking look first.” Guess what.. There was two of the SAME FUCKING SUV in line together! I would have killed us both hadn’t I looked!

        Point of the story. Don’t drink to much and make comments on this site for one. Second, when you are on a bike it’s your OWN responsibility to exercise self preservation to the absolutely fucking utmost of your abilities. When you start that bike assume everyone is out to fucking kill you. If you can do that you’ve got a fighting chance!

        As E-roc would say. That’s the bottom line!

        Long story I know. Wine, beer, beam, what can I say!

        • “Don’t drink to much and make comments on this site for one.”

          Hmmm. You’re still able to type (and even spell considerably better than Gil….but you could probably do that under general anesthesia) so how do you figure that’s drinking “too much”? 😉

        • I practice this religious rite, too! Always, always look. Never – ever – assume. I think people who ride are especially sensitive to the possibility that someone else might be in their blind spot and so make it a point to always be sure they’re not.

      • Here’s my True Story:

        Once a month (at the least) I take my old Trans-Am out for a 30 minute drive, which consists of going into town, topping off the gas tank while there, then turning back around and heading home. About a year ago on a nice warm summer day, I was headed back home after filling up, waiting to turn left at a stop sign. Ahead of me, an older Jeep Cherokee was also waiting to make a left. I’m just casually glancing around, looking at the people/cars and so on in my small town – waiting my turn to proceed – when I notice a full-dress Harley with a man and his wife/girlfriend on board coming down the road from my left toward the stop sign where I am waiting along with the Jeep driver to make my turn. At this point, it was as though everything slowed down and something just clicked in my head. I had an epiphany; I knew the driver ahead of me – an elderly lady – did not see the bike coming at her. And just at that moment, as the bike approached the “T” – she pulled out in front of him. Bam. The bike was not moving fast – maybe 35 MPH – but it was enough. I saw something I’ve never seen before: Both the guy and his wife flew in the air and landed a few feet away from the impact. I put on my flashers, rushed over to do whatever I could. The guy was on the ground screaming; he had an obviously badly broken leg. Compound fracture of his right femur; you could see it through his jeans. Hideous. His wife was on her side moaning. The old lady was walking around looking petrified, with her hands up to her face. I shut off her Jeep, which was still in gear with the engine running. Thankfully, this happened right in town, literally two blocks from the local EMS, who arrived with minutes. The old lady meant no harm and was sickened by what had happened. But that didn’t help the biker and his wife…

        • Ya’ know Eric, my theory is that most car and truck drivers only look for cars and trucks. Those of us that ride or have ridden bikes look for everything: cars, trucks and bikes. I’m convinced that most drivers don’t perceive motorcycles as a physical threat so they tune them out. I really believe that to the average car driver, the oncoming Kenworth or even an Impala equals potential death, but a full dresser Harley equals that Junebug that splattered on their windshield 6 miles back. I make it a point to run interference for bikes when I can; it’s that deeply ingrained in my psyche after nearly getting killed by inattentive car drivers several times.

          • I put it down (mostly) to the incredible ineptitude and obliviousness that characterizes the Typical American Driver. They’re not taught to drive; they’re not expected to drive – and they’re rarely punished for bad driving.

            This is not a bike story, but still makes the point:

            The other day, I was driving a load of kittens (we work with the local cat rescue outfit) into town to drop them off for their shots/eventual relocation to their new homes. I had them in the back of my truck, in a large animal carry-crate, covered with a blanket and secured with tie-downs. I did not want to scare them anymore than I had to and also didn’t want to have them exposed to wind gusts, so kept my speed to around 40 MPH. The road is posted 55. Now, this is on the lightly traveled rural road that runs the 15 miles from our place into “town” – the one-stoplight county seat. Legal (and easily doable if not technically legal) passing opportunities abound. One often comes across slower-moving Farm Use equipment (like me, this time) and one just … passes them. If one is at all competent, anyhow. Several times, I had assholes (two of them out-of-state assholes) run right up on my bumper and then just sit there, even thought they had multiple passing opportunities – including (in one case) one long (mile-plus) legal passing zone. These dicks – these god-damned assholes – make me insane. If I hadn’t had the load of critters, I would have hit my brakes hard and given the sons of bitches a bumper sandwich.

  6. I live a fairly short distance from my place of employment and start work pretty early in the morning. On my way to work, there are two major intersections with excruciatingly long traffic signals that don’t have any control changes that are dependent on traffic flow. That is, the light cycle is just as long at 5:00 AM as it is at rush hour. Rather than idle like an idiot in a negligible amount of traffic, I scoot through one of the neighborhood streets and cross the intersection at the stop sign. I have been doing this for years and have found it to be a great time saver.

    This got me to thinking. In this world, you have traffic light people and then you have stop sign people. Traffic light people want everything regulated. They want safety and security. They want to politely wait their turn, trusting that the cross traffic will defer to them and stop when told to by the signal. If they do get into a wreck, it won’t be because they were so inept that they failed to see that there was still cross traffic in the intersection, it will be because the other person didn’t obey the light, and the law will back them up on this contention 100%. Traffic light people also like things like seat belt laws and helmet laws and mandatory insurance laws because these things help make the roads safer for everybody. Your mother or aunt or big sister (or brother) who constantly admonished you about the ease with which you were likely to “put your eye out” on the playground if you played too hard was probably a traffic light person.

    On the other hand, stop sign people have enough self confidence to be able to drive down a less-traveled alternate route, wait at the stop sign, gauge the speed and distance of the cross traffic, and make their move whenever they determine that it is safe to do so. Although their actions might look dangerous to a lower skilled traffic light person, stop sign people are generally competent enough to be able to negotiate whatever maneuver they need to be able to do without causing an accident or disrupting traffic. Stop sign people don’t like too much regulation and want to be let alone to make their own decisions about such things as whether to wear a seat belt or a helmet. They are, after all, adults who are capable of understanding and weighing the inherent risks for themselves.

    So which one are you? You can be a traffic light person who will wait slavishly for a signal controlling a deserted thoroughfare to change at 5:00 in the morning, or can you just stop, look both ways for yourself, make up your mind, and then go. Or not go, depending entirely on YOUR evaluation of the situation at hand. Not that traffic lights are in and of themselves bad, of course. If there were no traffic controls at all, we’d have perpetual gridlock. But there’s a difference between stopping for the light because you agree that you should stop and stopping just because it says to stop.

    • This reminds me of an story that happened to me, years ago during the Vietnam War. I was stationed on a Navy ship in Port Canaveral, Florida. I was traveling on my motorcycle around 2:00AM and came to a stop light at the intersection of highway A1A and highway 1. The light NEVER turned green. I think I sat there for at least 15 minutes. There was zero cross traffic and I could see up and down the road for a distance of at least one mile. I finally proceeded through the red light with a sense of guilt. I later learned that the light was setup to stay red for hours during the wee hours of the morning. The road was straight enough that you could see the cross traffic miles away down through the swamps. It was expected that you would proceed through the red light when there was zero traffic. My how times have changed. Today, we are expected to blindly follow the law even when the law is in direct contradiction with what a reasonable man would do. I wonder if that traffic light is still rigged to stay red during the late evening and early morning hours. My guess would be that it now cycles from red to green and even though you can see for miles, you are now probably required to sit at the intersection like a good automon.

      • When I used to live in Okinawa, Japan most the lights would start blinking after around 10pm at night. The main roads had a blinking yellow and the intersecting roads had a blinking red. Absolutely genius! This was almost 20 years ago and I’m sure it’s still the same way there.

      • Yep!

        Anyone who rides knows that often signal lights that are controlled by a “trip” in the pavement won’t register the presence of a bike. So, the rider faces the Hobson’s Choice: Sit like an idiot Clover through multiple light cycles, maybe indefinitely. Or, break The Law and proceed when clear – and risk a ticket if some asshole cop is around, just waiting for you to show some initiative.

        • There’s a light in the town I have to commute through every day that doesn’t always sense my Miata! I just turn right on the red, cut through a video store parking lot and proceed on. I’ll bet that if one of our local “Finest” saw me do it, he’d invite to meet the judge.

          • Ah, yes! Drives me crazy, several lights around me don’t sense the Miata. I guess they’re calibrated for what passes for transportation around here–soccer-mom SUV’s with GVW > 5000lbs only.

  7. Eric,

    Nice article. I am pretty sick of what passes for an “American” these days. In July of 2008 I went to a reunion of the 238th Arial Weapons company in which I was a door gunner in Vietnam. I have learned enough about Vietnam to know what a mistake that was but that’s another story.

    When I was leaving San Antonio I was in the airport just fuming at people in their flip flops and watching the submission all around me. They took a woman out of the line several people in front of me and I saw they were going to “search” her. I got out my camera and started snapping pictures. I had heard about this but never witnessed it first hand. Of all the people to search they chose her and not the muslims who were also in the same line. They took out a 77 year old “white” frail woman and gave here the enhanced search.

    Texas is no long part of America it is the second illegal immigrant colony in America after California. My friend at the end of the “Coats Family Pictures” Mike Hale grew up in San Antonio and said he can’t even recognize it.

    Anyway to see the TSA goons searching a 77 year old lady click the link below. When the goon told me to stop taking pictures I told him I was documenting tyranny. He gave me a puzzled look I not sure if he knew what tyranny means. I snapped a few more and left. I was expecting to be arrested and my camera taken. I guess I lucked out.

    http://coatsfamilypictures1.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html

    James

    • I’ve seen this also (and this was pre-TSA GropeFest). It incited within me a boiling rage I was barely able to contain, but what was even more maddening is that people just …. accept it. Just say “911” or “the world has changed” and they’ll supinely present their rumps and everything else to be handled as commanded.

      Welcome to the site, by the way – we’re accumulating small army of people who are “mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore”!

      • I went back to the Comm-unist-wealth of Virginia to visit family last year. I didn’t make it ten miles into the state before I saw a young man up against the guard rail with Trooper Friendly going through the stuff in the back of his SUV. I immediately remembered why I moved away. I had a neighbor in Virginia that happened to be a former Marine and a State Trooper. He said he wanted to peel the sticker off his cruiser, cut it in two and turn it around so it would read “Police State”. He claimed that would be truth in advertising.

        • It’s pretty bad… though somewhat better in rural areas such as where we live. In the Northern VA area, on the other hand, it’s intolerable. I know. I lived the nightmare for several years!

      • My family and I are simply NOT FLYING. I will not countenance my wife or daughter–or son–being felt up by ogling pedophilic thugs.

        But the prisoner training isn’t stopping at the airport; it’s coming to trains, buses, stadiums, and malls.

        This is not for security, as most people commenting here understand. It’s not even security theatre. It is a psy-op; it is prisoner training. It’s designed to inform you of your new reality as a prisoner in a giant gulag; breaking down your personal space, teaching you to Submit and Obey in the most primal way possible.

        The veterinarian understands this; the first thing he does when your dog’s on the table is reach between his legs and palpate his abdomen. Well-trained dogs won’t flinch, but in nature this would be an affront worthy of a chunk of flesh.

        Remember the Stanford Prison Experiment? How about the Milgram experiment? We should–we’re subjects of both today!

        Don’t submit. Avoid it, or refuse the “treatment” when it’s offered and suffer missing a flight or a game. You only have the rights you’re willing to defend.

        • Me either (not flying).

          I’d really like to see my parents, who live on the other side of the country. But since I now have to drive across the country – because I will not submit to this degradation – I haven’t sen them in three years. It sucks. But freedom, as the say, is not free. The cost is something we often notice only after we’re no longer free.

          • My last job involved traveling all over the U.S., Canada & Puerto Rico. Needless to say I had to fly constantly and I watched our airports morph into the processing gates of a concentration camp! Thank God I was able to find a job that doesn’t require me to endure that anymore. I’ve made it a point to write to the major airlines and inform them that I have no intention of ever spending another dime with them until the TSA goes away and we return to Liberty when traveling. I would feel considerably more secure knowing that I and my fellow countrymen are armed on every domestic flight, than to gamble with my life at the DHS / TSA casino. By that I mean that a truly determined terrorist will find a means to highjack a flight if they are really determined, the odds are very good that the DHS / TSA / FBI won’t find out ahead of time and I won’t even be able to wield a pointy nail file in my own defense! That’s not a bet I’m willing to take. On the other hand the odds are pretty good that if I object to being treated like a piece of meat at the hands of government goons, I can very easily end up detained, beaten, tortured and even killed for “contempt of cop” as Will Grigg would say.

            I understand how you feel about visiting your parents, because mine live 1100 miles away. I can’t just jump in the car and run over to see them either. But I made the conscious choice to move away based on many factors, none the least of which were lower taxes, less government and fewer LEOs per square mile. I’ve discovered that as a general rule when I have needed the police they either weren’t available or were completely impotent to solve the problems I was having.

            Worse yet, when I really needed assistance with a neighbor who was flagrantly violating my rights, the officer they sent out was a crook! Then I find out that the “Meth cook” next door is able to steal from me and stalk my wife with impuntiy because he and his “ol’ lady” are confidential informants! So they are allowed to break the law as long as they provide intelligence to the authorities. So much for equal protection under the law.

            Worse, since most of us herere seem to take the Constitutionally mandated concept of limited government seriously and truly believe in individual Liberty, we are considered to be “lifestyle terrorists” by the people we pay to protect us! Geroge Orwell and Aldous Huxley were both right: we now have a hybrid system combining the concepts of both 1984 and Brave New World. It’s sad to watch as most Amerikan sheeple willing let the jackboot of government stomp on their faces as well as letting the iron fist at the airport grope their tits and squeeze their balls!

  8. You make a great point. The exact scenario you mentioned happened to me. I was the passenger in a van, a few decades ago, stopped at a three way intersection. No traffic, quiet suburbs. We waited a minute or so. Nothing. So I egged on the driver to just go: if we got a ticket the company would pay. He carefully eased through the red light, and in an instant a *&@#%! cop turns on his siren and gives us a ticket. Easy revenue for the township. He must’ve been doing that all day long. (Yes, the owner of our company paid the ticket. What would a judge say? “The law is the law.” Stupid.)

    • Same deal for me about 12 years ago. I was straight up in the middle of NO WHERE with NOBODY around. I mean it was a freaking ghost town in the middle of the night. I sat at a red for a couple minutes and just said fuck it. You bet your ass as soon as I did a cop just appeared with the siren on. I still haven’t a clue where the hell he could have been hiding. I got pulled out of my car, given a sobriety test, screamed at, put back in my car, and issued a ticket.

      It was sweet.

    • I think many of us here have either had The Experience or know someone who has (unfortunately).

      In principle, I want to respect cops. In practice, I see that at best they have a difficult job that if actually followed to the letter turns them into often-despicable rule-quoting automatons (and much worse besides). I could not spend my days hassling people over trumped-up BS, treating them disrespectfully and/or assaulting their liberty – all the while telling them (and myself) that The Law is The Law….

  9. Eric:

    I think you guys enjoy kicking Gil’s ass, and he enjoys getting his ass kicked. When reason doesn’t work, ridicule and laughter are the next best thing, tuning out, a close second.

    Taking Gil literally, he has difficulty writing a proper sentence. But more importantly his world view is authoritarian and, at best, paternalistic. To allow ordinary people to take full responsibility for their lives would lead to chaos, disorder, destruction of society. What is needed is an executive plan, executed by the superior man, and dedicated member of the top-down command. Or what we might refer to as a democratic dictatorship: “You too can try your hand (getting elected) at dictating to (“caring” for) the masses. Who says we aren’t free? Did the slaves get to vote for their masters?”

  10. Something else to add to the cognitive disequilibrium being experience by the Clovers reading here, but also to help them see the plain truth as it exists as others here have come to observe. Realize that what we have in this country (has been this way since its creation really) is not a justice system, but rather a punitive vengeance system. That small realization will help you understand why Eric, and others who truly embrace liberty and the freedom of the individual, reproaches so fervently against the abuses and complete idiocy of the State as it defines and enforces the “law.”

  11. How long as the traffic light system existed? Many decades. That’s government “innovation” for you. I can’t believe that this is really the best way to control traffic at intersections, forever and ever amen. It would interesting to see how privately owned roads would handle this; I’ll bet that a better system would be invented in short order.

    • Well, for openers, we ought to encourage drivers to drive – to be involved in the act and responsible for their actions. The system we have encourages passivity and submission to arbitrary authority first and foremost.

      I see no moral/ethical or other legitimate reason why a driver who conscientiously checks to make sure an intersection is clear and then proceeds through it without endangering anyone should be subject to fines/punishment – red light or no red light.

      What do you say?

      • I see no problem with this.

        I see no moral/ethical or other legitimate reason why a driver who conscientiously checks to make sure an intersection is clear and then proceeds through it without endangering anyone should be subject to fines/punishment – red light or no red light.

        If you as a driver are the cause of an accident, then you should be responsible for the consequences of your actions.

        In some areas, the lights are in a flashing pattern during the low traffic hours of the night. This is reasonable and preferable to having to wait needlessly at a traffic light.

      • I agree (in case that wasn’t clear). I only mean to suggest that there is nothing sacred about traffic lights, and that freedom will work: if intersections need to be designed to improve safety, the free market will find that design more quickly and easily than the government will. Especially since, as near as I can tell, the government isn’t even LOOKING for a better way.

    • Traffic lights have lasted so long because they work intersections of heavy traffic where half the drivers would be forever waiting while the other half of drivers would be continually moving. Roundabouts work fine for intersections with light traffic.

      • Well Gil I have to call B.S. on you for that last statement. The roundabouts out on Cape Cod work quite well with heavy traffic (the only ones I can comment on because they’re the one’s I’ve used with that high a traffic load). I will admit they intimidated me at first, but once I understood how they work, I found the traffic flow steady and the drivers much more attentive. Plus, since those are typically two parallel lanes, if you miss your turn the first time, you go back around until you reach it again. Miss your turn at a light in many cities and the one way streets can really screw you up and put you off course.

  12. People remember the letter of the law, but have forgotten the spirit of the law.
    And in states going bankrupt, look for even more enforcement of petty, victimless occurances as a revenue stream.

    • Hi Doug,

      Yep – but we also need to remember that “conservative Republicans” are equally to blame for the omnipresence of government and the evisceration of liberty. While liberal statists justify their assaults on liberty on the basis of “helping” others, Republicans do so on the basis of “security” and “safety.” Don’t forget it was a Republican (that oily shyster Mitt Romney) who gave us Obamacare) and that it was almost exclusively Republicans who pushed for the erection of a police state in the name of “911” and “keeping us safe”….

      • hi eric,
        …and Boooooooooosh flew the planes into the towers? Tell us all about that!

        What was that you said about the international banking conspiracy?

        Don’t tell me, Michael Moore, er, Ron Paul told you all about it.

        • Hi Doug,

          Not sure what you’re trying to say here; assume you’re disparaging people who have legitimate questions about what happened that day. If you want to discuss the subject seriously, we welcome your comments.

        • Doug, hop on over to mises.org and expand your knowledge about the transnational corporate thieves and how they benefit from the warfare / welfare state. Here’s a good place to start:

          http://mises.org/daily/5607/Rockefeller-Morgan-and-War

          There’s no conspiracy, the international power players do it right out in the open, audaciously, in-your-face, however you’d like to put it. Guess what? They use the ultimate power tool: money. Read Dr. Carol Quigley’s book Tragedy & Hope. He was one of Bill Clinton’s mentors. He was no Ron Paul “Tea Bagger-Tinfoil Hat-Conpiracy Theorist”. He actually thought what the elitists are doing to the sheeple is a such a good idea they should publicize it! I guess “higher education” really did work as intended on Dr. Quigley.

          I seriously doubt anyone here thinks “Dubya” flew the planes into the WTC. But many of us have serious doubts about the official story (along with numerous credentialed physicists, pilots, architects and engineers). There is simply too much evidence to the contrary to ignore. Some of the questionable evidence may have been sensationalized, exaggerated or misinterpreted, but there is no other logical explanation for what happened to WTC 7 besides a controlled demolition. A demo job that size takes a lot more time to plan and stage than one day and an airplane that DID NOT hit that building certainly did not cause that kind of implosion.

          The bottom line is this: if you’ve had even half as much experience dealing with the people in big corporations, government and the military as I have, you either won’t believe a thing they ever tell you without proof or you’re remarkably gullible and naive.

          • “…gullible and naive.”? Not really. The present state of ignorance can best be attributed to willful avoidance of critical thinking. Pretending not to know and refusing to think about dangerous situations such as our growing police state are unconscious mechanisms for avoiding uncomfortable conclusions and self responsibility. Some slaves justify and/or deny their enslavement to avoid confrontation. They would rather reduce risk in the present and live with the future risk of self blindness. The fact that they are increasing their overall risk is not apparent due to lack of critical thinking.

          • You make a good point Voluntaryist. I was giving Doug the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure that willful ignorance and a lack of critical thinking are viable factors. I also believe that as we become more of a police state and prison planet, some people begin to suffer from what can be described as a form of Stockholm Syndrome. Some of the abused hostages (slaves in this case) actually begin to identify with and venerate their captors (jailers). It is both sad and fascinating to watch this play out.

    • Mm, Europe yes. More specifically, 1930’s Europe. More specifically still, that country northeast of France and west of Poland.

      We’re just waiting for our little strong man to come “save” us and make us “great” again.

      There’s one ray of hope–it appears Perry may have stumbled badly; there’s a window of opportunity for everyone’s favorite to grab the nomination. In this crowd, do I have to name him?

  13. “Because The Law assumes a very low standard of competence – and applies it generally.”

    Eric – As someone who commutes to work on a motorcycle for 8+ months each year, I find it difficult to disagree with The Law’s assumption here. This is not to say that I don’t understand or appreciate the spirit in which your article was written. I do.

    Where substandard driving habits are concerned, what I might attribute to malice can in fact be ascribed, usually, to inattentiveness or common stupidity. It’s the former that worries me the most, actually.

    • Keep in mind the law, through treating people like idiots, builds better idiots. This has been ongoing since the 1930s.

      The transition to our current state driving wise was still uncertain in the 1930s. This film, which I probably mentioned before shows the battle was still in progress in 1935:

      http://www.archive.org/details/wreckless

          • Gil, correcting you again is pointless. It is not ‘do what you want’. It’s ‘don’t harm other people’. You want (government) to do harm to other people who have done nothing to anyone else and are still within the acceptable risk distribution. You just emotionally react to certain causes of bad driving, of certain risk factors. I see total risk. And I don’t accept your argument that some sources of risk are worse than others. They all add up like in a failure modes and effects analysis. More complicated is that each person has different things in the analysis and different values for them. This is how your system punishes ‘safe’ drivers while declaring far more riskier drivers legal.

        • Gil, there is a very basic premise of legitimate law; in order for there to be crime there must be an injured party. This concept is simple basic common sense. As Eric has explained to you before, there are individuals that are better drivers after having a few drinks than many of the sober incompetents we have to avoid every day, that were somehow able to pass a driver’s license test (some only after multiple attempts, I’ve witnessed it). We are not advocating that anyone should drive impaired; that is unwise behavior at best. The point is that when an individual has an arbitrary percentage of a chemical in their bloodstream, they do not automatically become a criminal because they engaged in an otherwise lawful activity at the time (such as driving a car). I’ve dealt with you enough now to doubt you will understand the foregoing concept, but nonetheless, I’ll expound on that concept in an effort it a clear for you as I can (sigh).

          When an accident occurs (and they still do occur despite the plethora of extant traffic laws) we merely wish to see an honest and fair appraisal of the root cause with appropriate consequences for the actor at fault and reparations to the injured party. Equal protection under the law, whether you’ve had a couple of beers or not.

          Preemptive laws are similar to the scholastic penal concept that when Johnny speaks out of turn, the entire class has to stay in for recess; you punish the majority for the infractions of the individual. In addition to being totally unfair, this type of system creates and atmosphere ripe for abuse: if you’re a doctor or prominent business man and know the police chief or sheriff, you get off with a wink and a nod; if you have the money for a “connected” lawyer you walk with no marks on your record.

          But if you’re Joe Working Class and you tee-bone some Clover that pulls right out in front of you, you’re automatically considered “at fault” because you had a couple of beers. Even if you just happen into a “your papers please” roadblock situation, you may still end up deprived of property and liberty when no one was injured by anything you did. It’s nothing more than another method of extracting wealth from the public for the benefit of the parasite class. As this perpetual police / surveillance state continues to tighten its grip around society’s neck, anyone who actually engages in critical thinking can’t help but become cynical about it.

          Gil the kind of “utopia” your line of thinking ultimately leads to already exists. There is a place where not even the police carry guns. The citizens are monitored around the clock with cameras for their safety and the officers’ safety. Their schedules, travel, housing and even their diets are planned for them. Their housing and education is free as well as their medical and dental care. Almost all of the citizens have jobs. Of course violent crime, drug abuse and police brutality are still somewhat of a problem, but the authorities can actually use these as “tools” to maintain discipline and order. But no one, and I do mean NO ONE, ever gets a DUI in this utopian society. Oh…..you say no such place exists?

          Au contraire, my little Clover: this utopia is the Federal Prison System. A few more cameras, fences and cops and we’ll all be living there. Now won’t that be grand!?

          • This comment was so nice to read. It’s been years since I first made the parallel between the prison camp /occupied town punish everyone for the “crime” of an individual method used in the schools and the way ‘law’ works in the greater society. Most people think me some wild and crazy kook when I mention it. It’s just nice to see that someone else gets it.

            If there was just one thing I could pick to bring to an end, to get the government out of, it would be the government schools. The government would no longer be able to do anything with education. Nothing. Not administer it, not interfere with it, completely hands off. The damage they do to children that lasts their entire lives would be no more. And from there humanity could start to fix its problems. So long as government schools are maintained the wars, state worship, and corporatism they were designed for will continue.

          • Actually I believe you are arguing that people ought to have a right to drive impaired – as long as no one gets hurt. Even then a Libertarian has right to make sure he gets the lightest punishment possible. Then again the State is in your own side – if you’re alcohol-impaired when something goes wrong you’ll get a lighter sentence then had you been sober.

            But sure enough you like BrentP go for the dickholery that is a Fallacy of Composition in which I therefore must be proposing a Totalitarian State.

            • No, Clover Troll, that’s not what we’re arguing at all – as I suspect you know because I doubt you’re this stupid. We’re arguing that all people are not automatically “impaired” as a result of some political-legislative edict such as an arbitrarily set BAC threshold – just as people who “speed” (that is, drive faster than an arbitrarily set number) ate not necessarily driving unreasonably fast.

              Your type favors both the one-size-fits-all law as well as the dumbed-down law – wrapped up in a system that presumes guilt in the absence of harm.

              PS: You should ask your handler to give you better quality arguments to post.

          • Yes you are – alcohol is a sedative not a stimulant and all it does is weakens peoples’ inhibitions and their impulse control. They’re imparied but as long as can stay in their lane and stop when needed – it doesn’t matter, right? No harm, no foul?

            Arbitrary limits? That’s the standard reply for Libertarians when confronted by rules.

            • Troll, you deal in generalities; vague assertions intended to illicit an emotional response are the stock in trade of people such as yourself. Yes, of course, alcohol is a nervous system depressant. Just as caffeine is a stimulant. The relevant question is: How much of either is necessary to produce meaningful impairment? Our system – the system you favor – assumes that any alcohol whatsoever amounts to “impairment” – which is nonsense. Also, that everyone reacts the same to a given amount of alcohol – and that everyone starts with “x” amount of skill, physical abilities and so on.

              More nonsense.

              You’re an expert in nonsense, Clover.

          • The question Gil, is as follows: What is impairment? In your world you and those like you pick something they don’t like such as “drinking” or “texting” and decide that by itself is impairment and punish people (often severely) for doing it even if they are driving perfectly. The problem is that people of a similar level of intellectual development as yourself decide because the government has no specific law against something, it’s okay to do. So for instance, someone might decide it’s perfectly fine to play the trumpet while driving. ( http://cars.failblog.org/2011/09/17/funny-car-photos-backup-horn-creative-trumpet/ )

            Your system uses fear of punishment to function, but only on certain things. Kill a family of 5 while playing the flute while driving and you’ll probably get a minor ticket. Do the same while driving drunk and end up in prison. Neither compensates the victims. Your entire system rests on the idea that fear of consequences alters human behavior.

            The problem is that those who do these things don’t fear consequences or fear them. So your system doesn’t stop the person who gets drunk and kills a family of five. It does however put a driver who goes from “average” to “senior citizen” behind the wheel when he’s had a few drinks. Sure you can show impairment in that his driving skills declined, but your system allows tens of millions of people who drive as badly or worse on the road. So what difference in safety does a small temporary increase in drivers at the lower end of the acceptable skill level make? effectively none.

            In the libertarian system people are held accountable to their victims regardless of the source of impairment. The fear of punishment still effectively exists. Often the compensation would be far more than the punishments are now. However people are now not going to be harassed, not lose their freedom in the name of “safety”. The people who respond well to the present system still do, those that don’t, might. The only way to reach them, if any way exists is through example and persuasion. Your system punishes and thus won’t ever reach them until *AFTER* something horrible happens.

            So, it’s your system that encourages all sorts of impairment because it only goes after a few of an infinite number of possibilities. The libertarian system focuses on impairment that causes problems regardless of cause. It would thus be more effective without the anti-liberty downside. So much so, I often believe anti-liberty is why we have your system in place, that it really cares nothing for safety.

          • BrentP, I couldn’t agree more with your statement: “….I often believe anti-liberty is why we have your system in place, that it really cares nothing for safety.” I wrecked my truck several years ago, went to sleep at the wheel and parked it in the woods at about 45 MPH. The Virginia State Trooper wrote me a reckless driving ticket because I was honest with him and told him what actually happened. When I went to court and told the judge that I didn’t feel tired or having any indication I would go to sleep, he responded that I must have consulted with an attorney who knew the Virginia Supreme Court precedents on falling asleep at the wheel. In one case the driver had worked long hours, was tired, knew it, went to sleep at the wheel and wrecked: reckless driving because knew he was impaired and treated the same as being intoxicated. The other driver felt fine, wasn’t tired when he embarked on the trip, fell asleep and had an accident: not reckless driving, not impaired at the time of departure. It never occurred to the judge I was simply relating what happened honestly, but that’s another matter. The thing that bothered me the most about it all was right after the judge threw the ticket out, the sheriff called me off to the side. He said: “Don’t be telling people about this, ’cause you’ll cost the county money.” Yeah….right…..they’re really concerned about our safety.

            • Back in the ’80s. when I was in college and the highway speed limit was still 55 MPH, I got half a dozen “reckless driving” tickets for the god-awful crime of driving between 76 and 80 MPH on Interstate I-81. It was an absolute farce (today, this same highway, with much more traffic, is posted 70 and most traffic is running 75-80) except for the fines, lawyer bills and insurance ass-rape that came with it. Now that it’s “safe” to drive 70 MPH on these same roads – 15 MPH faster than it was Back in the Day – I wonder whether I can petition Virginia to give me back the thousands of dollars it took from me? I could sure use the money for this S1 resto I’m doing….

          • I’ve got a story along those lines. A former neighbor of mine went down while making a turn on his motorcycle. Nothing hurt but his ride and his pride. As he was picking it up a cop came by and wrote him a ticket.

          • Yeah right BrentP. Your system is the one that doesn’t do anything until something goes wrong but it’s peoples’ right do whatever they want – until soemthing goes wrong. Currently the sentences have shown drinking while driving is a great way to get your sentence reduced should something goes wrong apparently because “you didn’t mean to hurt anyone” as opposed to someone playing the flute beause they were totally sober and should’ve know better.

            • And your system, Trollveroni, assumes everyone will will “do something wrong” (that is, cause harm) a priori, and treats them as though they had in fact caused harm even when they have not. In your system, there is no limit to what The Law (the government) may do – that is control, regulate, police, forbid – since it is always arguable that someone might do something to cause harm in any given situation.

              Your system is a police state. Our system is a free society in which people are left in peace until they actually cause harm.

          • Your system welcomes narcissists and psychopaths who would relish the idea you get do whatever you want until something gets hurts and even then you can anything do to minimise your liability.

            But I s’pose the system is a “police state” – it’s a nation-state and there’s a police force. What do Libertarians want? No government or police but people sorting things out themselves – much better!

          • Gil the system we currently live under attracts narcissists and sociopaths in droves. As technology advances and ever more surveillance equipment is installed in our cities and communities we’re going beyond a mere police state and headed for “pre-crime” enforcement like The Minority Report, except it will be done with face recognition software and a behavior analysis algorithm rather than psychics in a big toilet bowl. Won’t it be great when you can get tased and beaten by Officer Friendly just for what the computer postulates that you’re thinking? As Eric pointed out earlier, you can’t be this stupid; you have to be working at it.

          • Yes Gil, in the libertarian system a sociopath may do something bad and only be punished after the fact, just like the present system. However the libertarian system does not have a very powerful government intruding into people’s lives like yours, the one we live under that gives sociopaths a playground in which to harm/murder people by the millions. And that’s the difference. A libertarian system does not allow a single sociopath or group of them to wield power. Their ability to harm people is very limited to what they can do with their own two hands. Your system puts them in charge of vast militaries and weapons of mass destruction. The result of your system has been the last 150 years of incredible destruction and murder.

          • Brent, I think the real problem is that we are trying to convince a sociopath (or at the very least a secondary psychopath) that his way and the way of his ilk is wrong. It’s like trying to teach a pig to sing; you waste your time and annoy the pig.

            Gil is probably just a minor bureaucRAT or LEO that was bullied in school, wants to take it out on the rest of us and likes things just the way they are. He wants to make sure there’s no danger that he’ll ever have to use his limited skills and intellect to compete in the open market or even make any decisions for himself for that matter.

            I had a “Gil” in Uncle Sam’s Air Plane Club as my Senior Enlisted Career Advisor (translation: the career E-6 that blows smoke up your ass to convince you stay in). He took me aside and tried to scare me by explaining how tough it was in the civilian world, I wouldn’t be able to make it out there, I’d lose my time in grade if I got out, etc. He was a “Cloveris Ultimatus” if ever there was one. I wanted to puke.

            I explained to him that I wasn’t a social misfit that needed Mother Air Force to feed me, clothe me, house me and tell what to do; I could take care of myself. And furthermore, if I had to drink a whole pitcher of beer at the NCO club every night just to face going home to fat woman that hated me, that didn’t seem like the kind of life I wanted (yeah, he did just that and had the belly to prove it).

            His face got red, his knuckles got white, he shook his finger at me and told me I wouldn’t make it 3 months, I’d see, I’d be back! Hmmm. That was 1981. I paid more in taxes in the private sector the following year than he made as a Master Sergeant.

            You can’t reason with a Clover, you can’t expose them to the truth, show them facts and statistics or convince them of logical cause and effect relationships. Their outlook is skewed, perhaps even by a physical defect or deformity of the brain. As Lobaczewski explains in Political Ponerology, some of these people literally suffered brain lesions or other brain damage, usually as children. Although the brain has a remarkable ability to reroute signals and compensate for the damage, it never seems to work quite right again. Hence problems with logic, reason, empathy, decisions, etc.

            Consequently, this type of individual finds comfort in routines, organizations and rules; in other words they become “institutional man”, just a cog in the machine. It’s much easier for them to deal with life by following the signs and arrows than to figure thing out for themselves. When they see one of us drive over the curb and park in the grass it drives them nuts.

            Clovers have a skewed perception of reality, so they want the rest of us to conform to how they think things ought to be for their own peace of mind. Clovers believe (and I mean that in the religious sense) that if we can ever pass enough laws and enforce them with an iron fist, then the world will finally come into equilibrium and everyone (that hasn’t been executed) will do what’s right (in the Clovers’ eyes) from then on. As I pointed out before, a world like that is nothing more than a dystopian prison. I’ll take my chances with freedom……

            • This analysis is spot on; the essential distillation of the problem we face. Now… what to do about it?

              These people you describe – the ones we call Clovers here – are irremediable. They can’t be fixed. To paraphrase Reese in “The Terminator”: You can’t reason with them, you can’t bargain with them and they absolutely will not stop, ever”… until you (and me and everyone else) are entirely under “control.”

          • What do about it? Nothing. You Libertarians weren’t the Libterarians of the late 1700s who understood that you had to literally fight fire with fire. They knew you had to win a war to be free while you are waiting for all public sector employyees to wake up one day and move over to the private sector.

            • What we’re doing about it, Clover, is intelligently discussing it – laying bare the fallacies of Cloverism and all it stands for. Cloverism cannot stand up to reason – to facts, to logic. And more so, to moral argument.

              Your type is on the way out. You’ve got nothing in your armory except emoting, hysteria and a craving to control (and to be led).

              In the end, you will fail.

              Because you and your ilk represent failure.

          • Gil, your preoccupation with violence tells us a lot about who you are. No one in their right mind wants violent revolt and warfare. Only psychopaths and woefully naive young men with romantic notions of war wish for blood in the streets.

            You don’t strike me as a “combat romantic”. You strike me more as one of Sherman’s or Sheridan’s camp followers. Why won’t you tell us what you do for a living little Clover? State Department got your tongue? Did you take an oath of secrecy Gil? Or are you just afraid that if there is a successful initiative to implement empathy testing that you’ll find yourself looking for work? Come clean Gil.

            • The little prick seems to be trying to get someone to post something suggestively violent; something that the little prick’s handlers would love to get their hands onto as a way of showing that this site is “extremist.” I never used to give it a lot of credence, but I am coming around to the idea that Gil and his type are paid agents provocateurs – because the alternative (that he really is that stupid; or that he’s this disturbed) is even more difficult to accept!

          • Exactly what I see Eric. But what is really disturbing to me is that although he may be paid to do this, he is ALSO stupid enough or has been sufficiently brainwashed to believe people like us, who believe in non-aggression / non-violence are the evil ones and he and his ilk are “doing God’s work”.

          • agents provocateurs–that tried-and-true trick of desperate tyrants everywhere.

            Every supposed “terrorist” attack in the US since 9/11 (and that one too) has been instigated by the Powers That Be through agents…FBI stoolies practically holding the hands of the would-be terrorists and leading them through the dances. It would almost be funny if it weren’t so tragic seeing these poor lackluster boobs like the Lackawanna Six, the Christmas bomber, or the drugged Underwear bomber being paraded about as Frightening Terrorists, looking confused and bewildered.

            Many intelligent, hard-hitting libertarian/pro-liberty sites are crawling with infiltrators. PrisonPlanet.com’s comments section is full of them.

            Best thing? Ignore them. Repudiate violence.

            The PTB are just itching for the resistance to become violent; they dream of it because it’s their entire modus operandi and they’re GOOD at it. They WANT it. They PLAN for it. It’s something their psychopathic little personalities understand and relish–not this mamby-pamby voluntary exchange or reasoning and persuading thing. Gods, the schlep! Just force’em!

          • Way in the past on the internet there was usenet. This was way before america ‘changed’ in 2001. People like Gil and Clover where there too. Government agent… I doubt it. He is just invested in the system and then must hold these incompatible thoughts or that emotional investment will be for nothing.

            I don’t know how old Gil is but the WW2 generation and a good hunk of the baby boomers are the ones most invested in the status quo. They are ones who thought controlled competition, government regulation, etc and so on were good things. They are the ones who largely want this system.

            Those of us born from the mid-late 1960s to the early 80s can remember freedom. We largely know the system has ripped us off. That the baby boomers ahead of us will consume everything if there is anything even left for them. We remember what it was like and how much fun things were before the safety culture. Even those in this age range that believe in the system know things have changed for the worse.

            Those who have been born from the mid 80s on have had very controlled childhoods for the most part. The schools are so prison like they stifle everything. This is the age group where Ron Paul has the most traction. Why? This 76 year old man is offering them something they haven’t experienced… freedom. Those of us in our 30s and 40s remember the old days, we lived through the tail end of the decline. They never had it, but they hear about it. Many of them don’t have the illusion of being free so they aren’t inclined to invest in the status quo at all.

            The fist got too tight awhile back and it’s getting tighter. More and more are squeezing through. It’s just a matter of time and degree of pain before the status-quo ruling class fails one way or another.

            The government is waking up those that did get conditioned by sending them to war to die. Military suicides alone indicate the severe image problem within the military. Not just of the military but within it. People know they are doing wrong.

            Gil and clover’s status quo’s days are numbered. It’s just a question of how long and if their rulers decide to destroy the planet rather than give up their power.

    • Hi James,

      Yes, but the problem is The Law does not curb or cure idiocy – in fact it encourages more of it.

      Meanwhile, the people who aren’t inept or are treated as such for no reason at all (other than that they ignored The Law) as in my example of the driver who makes a left (or right) on red when the way is obviously clear enough for him to do so.

      • This notion that people on the roads are idiots and need to be coddled is patently false. Numerous European countries have proven this. In Britain and a few other northern European countries, they decided to see what would happened if road signs were removed. And a not so startling thing happened. People became better drivers. Traffic accidents decreased. Traffic was no longer an issue. People became more courteous. Everything one would expect when you treat people as responsible human beings.

        By removing red lights, stop signs, and other useless impediments, people were forced to have to pay attention to their surroundings. Drivers were now on their on to navigate the “jungle” and had to negotiate with other drivers using eye contact and other cues. It was a beautiful thing to see the look on some of the peoples faces as their bullshit notions of the idiocy of the average person was smashed.

        I’ll try to find a youtube of the British example. Sorry couldn’t find it. If someone has seen it and knows where it is could you please post the link for everyone to see.

        • I’m sure Libertarians would be quick to argue that removing that laws against all gun-control and the right to shoot people and people will get civil to one another quick smart. Just like the shows set in the Old West – start getting rude and you risk getting shot so you apologise quickly and leave.

          • Troll, your lack of knowledge of facts – and of history – is always startling. Did you know that the “wild West” had a much lower rate of violent crime, including crimes involving guns, than current gun-controlled paradises such as Detroit and Washington, DC? That where it is legal for citizens to own guns – and specifically, to carry concealed – violent crime, especially crimes involving guns, is much lower than in areas where it is illegal for citizens to own guns, or very difficult to own them legally? Facts. Like 2 + 2 = 4. Not debatable.

            As always, your premise is that most people will behave like sociopaths (just shoot one another over petty slights, etc.) if given the slightest free reign to be responsible adults – which is rubbish. Merely your emoting, hysterical, fact-free opinion. And as such, utterly worthless.

            But that’s what trolls such as yourself are paid to peddle.

            How’s life treating you in that little Internet cafe? Have you received your latest government check yet?

          • Once again Gil, you are wrong and Eric is dead on. More guns in the hands of the public equal less crime. Here little Clover, study up on Sagra, Russia for an object lesson in the people’s right to defend themselves:
            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/world/europe/05village.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

            I realize that you disagree with Robert A. Heinlein’s observation that “An armed society is a polite society”, but I can assure you it is true. Last year violent crime dropped six percent in the United States as firearms ownership and concealed carry permits burgeoned. The “usual suspects” in the media that have consistently predicted dire consequences for our “gun culture” have been repeatedly proven wrong.

            By contrast we have numerous examples of civilian disarmament leading up to mass democide by an armed government; in Russia, Germany, China, Argentina, Viet Nam, ad nauseam. Millions upon millions of disarmed civilians were murdered by their own governments in the 20th century alone. I find it difficult to believe that you cannot make that logical connection unless (a) you have a physical or mental defect that prevents critical thinking, or (b) you have a political axe to grind on behalf of the people you work for, or (c) both.

            In 1987 a serial rapist broke into my home in rural Virginia. My (now ex-) wife shot him after he chased her into our bedroom with a knife (and straight to her handgun). At that point he lost all interest in rape and ran back outside. I can assure you that when he was laying on our deck bleeding out, he had become very “polite”. BTW, it took the police 50 minutes to arrive after she called.

          • Aw shucks so you too would agree let people defend themselves and they’ll do a better job than the police?

            Did, you Libertarian historian take a contrarian view on everything is history? On the other hand, yes most people probably deduce that most Western shows are romanticised however a lot about people taking the law into their own hands is based on history. Whether they took things too far plenty is hard to know since there was no formal body to complain to.

          • Oh woefully misinformed Clover, most historians interject their personal biases and opinions into their work. Just as politicians, teachers, scientists, doctors and practically anyone that we categorize as humans do. I have tremendous amount of faith in the fallibility of my fellow man, based on over half a century of first hand experience. So consequently I take all things I read (historical or otherwise) with a grain of salt unless they can be proven or at the very least make sense to me.

            I am possessed of a healthy skepticism of all things “official”, since the group of people pushing the “party line”, like yourself, typically intend to relieve me of some of my hard earned property or restrict my liberty even though I have done nothing to you / them. Your rights, little Clover, end at the tip of your nose. You have no right to anything that is mine or that you did not earn. That’s simple enough, isn’t it?

            A good example of valid historical skepticism is this question: What military or strategic purpose was served by Union soldiers burning numerous courthouses throughout Virginia during the so-called “Civil War”? There was no military purpose for this, obviously. However it did allow the officers’ and nothern politicians’ friends and family members (a.k.a. “Carpet Baggers”) the opportunity to buy cheap land after the war because title could no longer be proven by the rightful owners. This is just one more example in the sordid list of crimes by the select few using state wielded force to misappropriate private wealth.

            But surely, it couldn’t have been merely a land grab? The wealthy northern families supported the war due to most of the federal budget coming from tariffs paid by the Southern States. These families in turn collected the interest off government bonds and were so highly principled they often paid (including Teddy Roosevelt’s father) to have substitutes take their place in the military.

            When the Southern states decided they would be better off independent, thereby keeping their money and actually opening free ports (no tariiff) to stimulate trade, suddenly Mr. Lincoln became very concerned about preserving the Union. Here is how concerned he was when the South attempted to avert war through peaceful compromise: Lincoln, when asked ‘Why not let the South go in peace?’, replied: ‘I can’t let them go. Who would pay for the government?’ ‘And, what then will become of my tariff?’ Abraham Lincoln to Virginia compromise delegation, March 1861.

            So why is any of this important now and how does it relate to our discussion of late? Simple: Lincoln gutted the sovereignty of the states in favor of a national government. This in turn led to wars of aggression over resources worldwide. King Lincoln set the stage for what is now an empire presided over by the U.S. government, whether “We the people” like it or not. Just as even evil individuals cannot do near the harm that a mob can, the individual states had nowhere near the capacity to do worldwide harm that the federal government can and does on regular basis. It always is and has been about greed and the lust for power. The victors invariably write history to impute guilt to their victims, just a criminals attempt to hide evidence of their crimes. It’s human nature little Clover, and it does not change over time.

            Consider this little Clover; if someone sticks a gun in your face and takes your money (being disarmed as you are) you’ll let them, but undoubtedly will consider it a crime and take umbrage at the act. But when state sanctioned actors do the same thing to “We the people”, then try to cover up the deed, you seem to want to believe their version of the story and even cheer them on. I think the real issue for you is, as I’ve pointed out before, the cognitive dissonance you experience when your dogmatic ‘pub-a-lick skule’ indoctrination is confronted by the truth.

          • As Eric pointed out the police are not usually around as a crime is happening. Criminals generally make it a point not to do whatever crime they’re planning in front of the police (crooked cops themselves being one exception). I actually have real life experience with this scenario and it took nearly an hour for the first police officer to arrive after my wife dialed 911. If she hadn’t been armed and able to defend herself, she’d have been a statistic long before the police arrived! So the victim is infinitely more likely to be able to defend themself from crime for the simple fact that they will be present when the crime occurs, and the police will not.

            • Amen.

              Your wife’s experience is precisely why I taught my wife to shoot and encouraged her to get her CWP. She does not travel alone unarmed. And when she’s with me, I am armed. Doesn’t matter how big/strong you are – or even if you’re a Ninja, like Dom! If the scumbag has a weapon and you don’t, probably, you are going to lose.

              Just recently in my area a young couple – students at VA Tech in their early 20s – were killed (and she raped before being killed) by a psychopath who found them alone and unarmed on a hiking trail. When we go hiking, I bring my .45 with me – “country” being potentially just as dangerous as the inner city.

              Fuck being a victim.

              And fuck relying on the police.

          • Gil, the police do not have any obligation to protect people. NONE. Their obligation is to their bosses in the government and the police departments who decide the performance objectives and promotions.

            The (government’s) courts in the USA decided long ago that police have no contractual duty to protect anyone or anyone’s property. Perhaps the government’s property, but not yours, not mine, not Eric’s, not anyone’s.

            As to cultural references… I miss shows like the A-Team, The Rockford files, Knight Rider, and countless others where a typical episode was often the hero(s) helping the little guy against corrupt government and/or a government-private partnership. There is something about what americans wanted to be about that that basic plot type. A sense of fairness and justice, the real kind. But those plots also reflected real life. The part that was ‘hollywood’ about them is that the hero(s) saved the day. In reality the government criminals and their budies usually win… because of people like yourself that believe in “authority”.

            • “the police do not have any obligation to protect people. NONE”

              Exactly. This has been specifically stated by the Men in Black, too.

              Each of us is ultimately responsible for our own security and that of our families. To depend on cops is both silly and unmanly.

          • “Fuck being a victim. And fuck relying on the police.” The problem is that where many people live, the mostly like threat to them is the police. Especially in places such as where I live where non-criminals are effectively disarmed.

  14. I once heard there is a proverb that goes something like ‘the tall nail gets pounded down’. It stuck with me because it feels like I’ve been taking a pounding since early grade school from the american majority that Eric describes.

    The average american can drive sloppy, break rules through out life and usually not have a problem because of the selective nature of the enforcement. Those who stand out as different, those who can see through the scams that define life in this country tend to be selected for enforcement in excruciating detail. At least that has been my experience from a particularly young age. I find it remarkable that so many here can do so much in violation of the letter of the law and not get “pounded”.

    I think this may be intentional conditioning. How often have you heard that maturity is ‘obeying the rules’? To be like everyone else. That it is immature, juvenile, to make what is a personal choice that is outside the the letter of the law? I am not sure if the “pounding” is to tire a person into obedience or make them into sheeple? It may be both. But I don’t think surface obedience is considered good enough. That alone doesn’t seem to be enough. It appears that a person actually must lose individuality for the “pounding” to stop.

    That said, the traffic laws are so out of touch and often so absurd that I tend to believe that the best way to protest them is to obey them. The system now *requires* law breaking just to function. I think the only effective way to protest it is to break it and we break it by obeying -all- the traffic laws. When it starts costing those with power money then maybe things can change.

    As to left turns… I hate left-turn-on-arrow-only. I can see if something is approaching or not. At one intersection I used to go through fairly often I would turn right, do a u-turn and then go straight. It was faster than waiting for the stupid arrow.

    • Holy smokes! I passed three clovers on the way home this evening.

      First one, no problem. Second one decided he wanted to tag behind a scooter going 20mph under the speed limit, so I pass his ass first chance I had. Then he decided he wanted to teach me a lesson and he tailgated me with his high beams on doing 15mph over the speed limit with me. Third one wanted to take the law in his hands and block the road, honk his horn, flash his high beams, and then tailgate me. He was my favorite one! I’ll miss you asshole in the 20 year old Honda! Hugs and Kisses..

      Can’t wait for you assholes to make an appearance on this site. I know you all see my EPAUTOS.COM magnet on the back!

      I dream of the day you pussies stop using your car as a weapon/shield and actually step up to the plate!

      YOU NEVER WILL THOUGH

      @Brent
      I think it’s “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.” I don’t know why, but I want to say it came from Japan.

  15. Well said Eric. Another consequence of statism, or collectivism–the dulling of the human spirit and a robotic adherence to even the most stupid of laws.

    I take great pleasure in my daily commute. There’s a light crossing a two-lane road on my one-lane road that takes forever to change. Almost every morning I assess the traffic and go for it, regardless of the state of the light.

    Because really–what keeps me safe, my own good judgement or a $1.00 timing circuit in a traffic light and the good judgement of the other drivers? Yeah, me too–I’ll take the former.

    I then proceed onto a lightly-trafficked tollway and make it my goal to double the limit every morning; it’s far superior to a cup of espresso hearing the animal wail of a highly-tuned engine pulling hard…and thumbing my nose at the idiotic “laws”.

    Our legal system has failed because we’ve abandoned common law, or malum in se (bad in itself) for administrative law or malum prohibitum (prohibited bad). I think we’d be much better off with an attitude of “no victim, no crime”.

    And in 3….2….1…we’ll hear some moronic clover wailing and gnashing teeth that “I suppose you want drunks driving at 100mph and if nothing bad happens it’s OK will I don’t want….” Blah, blah blah. No Clover, I don’t want that. The fact is, laws don’t prevent it today; only the fact that 99% of people have common sense and personally choose not to do things like that prevents it. And that’s what I DO want: the exercise (and sharpening) of my fellow humans’ common sense and decency over nanny-state legalisms.

    • . . . 0

      I suppose you want drunks driving at 100mph and if nothing bad happens it’s OK . . .

      It sounds like Eric Peters has to drink while driving otherwise he’d get too depressed and deliberately ram his car full speed into a power pole because he can’t drive the way he wants to.

      • The premise that Gil and those like him operate under is that people who lack self control will develop it if there is a risk of a life altering punishment attached to a particular behavior (if caught). Yet, the vast majority of these behaviors will have a life altering effect if things go badly, which is often more likely than getting caught.

        If the later doesn’t cause a development of self control neither will the former. Thus the police state that people like Gil want and are cheering on will achieve nothing with regards to actual safety. It will simply negatively alter the lives of a lot of people who wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place and hassle many many more.

        The problem with drunk driving in the past wasn’t a lack of punishment by the state, it was a lack of the state holding people who caused harmed accountable. The state treated a drunk driving crash as an “accident”, some sort of “act of god” instead of holding the drunk driver accountable. So the cure for the state’s failure is as always something that greatly expands the state and the wallets of many close to it.

  16. Once again Eric you have pointed out a serious problem with the psyche of the American mind. Follow the law…..even if it is wrong or makes no sense.
    This particular example you give was something that learning and driving an eighteen wheeler finally broke me of. With such a large vehicle it is not always possible to “stay in the lines” during turns, or manuvers that a passenger size vehicle has no trouble doing. (well shouldn’t anyways) It was like something clicked inside and forced me to realize that it was only paint….it could not actually control my actions or decisions. What a concept. 🙂 But that we all try to “stay in the lines” without much thought about it is what is truly troublesome to me.(I’m not talking about traffic anymore, of course) Thanks Eric, for your insight.

  17. Excellent points, all. I am as guilty as anyone of this level of obeisance as anyone else. Of course I have driven faster than the speed limit before, sometimes several multiples of it, and I think most people would admit to at least a routine 5mph over posted limits. Surprisingly nobody’s head explodes and the world continues, apparently having failed to notice our blasphemy. Yet for some reason it’s much harder to safely break other traffic rules when appropriate.

    Some would argue that to do so is increasing the risk of something bad happening, such as drinking and driving. I don’t disagree. But following that logic, cars should be outlawed on principle because so many people die in car wrecks every year. It’d be safer if we all stayed home.

    And that is the foundation of most modern regulations. They are based on what “might” happen, not what did happen. I agree that drinking and driving is poor judgement. However, the way to discourage it isn’t to punish everyone, but to increase penalties for those who actually commit a harm while drinking. Increase the risk-reward ratio on those who choose to drink and drive and leave everyone else alone. Punish no one unless there is actual harm or attempted harm done.

    • SojournerMoon – I totally agree with what you said. Most people don’t “get” this. But, then, most people don’t think about things much either.

      • Kim, most folks here in New Prussia (a.k.a. the USSA) have been taught what to think in the pub-a-lick skules, not how to think. Critical thinkers make really poor factory worker drones, burger flippers and cannon fodder. Our would be masters try to intentionally condition the masses to only drive with the arrows on the parking lot, pay “your taxes”, keep your head down (tall nail theory) and your mouth shut. Critical thinkers and rugged individualists will do things like super gluing an officious bureaucRAT’s coffee cup to his desk when no one’s looking or evening sending the British red-coats home minus a few men. It’s kind of hard to maintain a good pseudo-socialistic oligarchy over a bunch of liberty minded thinking folks.

  18. Well stated. I guess part of the reason for one size fits all rules, is that it is too much work for the LEO to decide if it is safe or not to ignore the law at a particular point and time.

    It is similar to the distracted driving and cell phone law. It is easier to see if someone is using a cell phone than to determine if they are driving while distracted.

    • The path to combat this is environmentalism. Stationary cars burn fuel to no benefit, wasting it. Many of the stoplights in my town could be set to blink red one way and yellow the other during low-use hours, and then work normally when needed. In fact, until a few years ago many of them did work that way, but more than likely some control freak or one of those I call the “cronically safe” put an end to it. You could do some calculations and demonstrate how much the unnecessary stop is negatively impacting the environment, or how much more productivity would be gained merely by changing the programming of the lights. Governments don’t like it when citizens stick up for individual rights, but tell them your motive is to make the situation “more green”, and they may just perk right up. The bastards.

      • This is a brilliant idea!

        Use their own tactics against them!

        And seriously – you’re absolutely right. Ill-timed signals and needless (and needlessly long) reds, etc.,probably waste an ocean of fuel as well as time.

        • on the surface, this comment does indeed seem intelligent. but what william jeffreys is proposing, is to use legislation, to combat legislation. idiotic. environmentalism is just as idiotic as those who stop at a light just because it is red. and really william jeffreys, what exactly is environmentalism, but a word for controlling HOW you use the environment.

          • Neon, I agree that environmental law is more about controlling us (and killing potential competition to established corporations) than it is about protecting the environment (therefore idiotic). However, the environmental laws are already in place and if you can use the system against itself (which is what I believe William Jeffreys is proposing) then so much the better. Suppose you are in a fire fight, your weapon jams and the enemy’s weapons are laying around at your feet. Would you look upon those weapons with disdain and fail to defend yourself with them merely because the enemy built them?

          • The system has an ability to ignore the discontinuities in it’s own system and the great masses just go along with it. Cash for clunkers was horrible from an environmental / conservation of resources point of view (and an economic one), yet it went forward anyway.

            Plus the government already has its half-assed solution to this problem. It will simply demand a system that turns the engine off when stopped and restarts it when the driver wants to go again. Decreasing intersection throughput even further and creating even bigger traffic jams.

            The government’s solution to any exposed problem (if it can’t or decides not to ignore it) like that will not be to reduce its power. It will be to increase it and further regulate our lives and reduce our standard of living, well-being, etc.

          • There’s the way we think the world should be, and there’s the way the world is.

            Cultural Marxism has been wildly successful at using the system it despises against itself. There’s no reason we can’t do the same.

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