The Speed Limit Cargo Cult

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One of the oddest totemistic fetishes of our age is worship of metal signs with various symbols imprinted upon them.cargo cult lead

Speed limit signs, for instance. People are supposed to reflexively obey them – and are subject to punishment if they do not. Rarely – to paraphrase George W. Bush – is the question asked: Why must they be obeyed?

The “because it’s the law!” retort ought by now to be so ridiculous and discredited as to hardly merit dissection. But – sigh – it is necessary to throw the carcass on the autopsy table anyhow – because all too many people still fall for it. And trot it out as a credible argument.

If it were the law that everyone had to stand on one foot and hop, would you insist on compliance? If “the law” were such that you could own another person and force them to clean your house, would you take advantage of that? There is “the law” – and there is right (and wrong). These things are often not the same things.

But are speed limit laws right?law is the law pic

Of course not. They are merely legal.

Which means, it is not necessarily wrong to disobey them. And it may be very wrong indeed to enforce them.

To start with, speed limits as they exist in America are “one size fits all” – and yet, people differ in their abilities, including their ability to safely operate a car at higher (or lower) speeds. I’ve pointed out to Clover – the ur troll of EPautos.com – that someone who is naturally (in terms of physical abilities) a better-than-average driver who has also had some training in high-speed vehicle handling and vehicle control is probably as or more “safe” (i.e., less likely to lose control of his vehicle) operating at say 75 MPH on a road with a 55 MPH posted limit as a worse-than-average driver with poor eyesight and reflexes and no training in vehicle control on the same road at 45 MPH.

Why should there be a one-size-fits-all standard? Why should better-than-average drivers be constrained – and punished – not for any harm they’ve caused but because they didn’t voluntarily accept being dumbed-down to the level mandated for the worse-than-average drivers?porky pic

What constitutes “too fast”?

In practice, it is defined as faster than the dumbed-down standard (speed limit), which comes down to faster than various Clovers are comfortable with. Their unspoken belief is that if they’re not comfortable driving faster than a certain speed, then anyone who drives at that speed – or faster – is necessarily driving “too fast.” It is exactly like insisting that everyone walk at the pace of the slowest person on the sidewalk.

And that anyone who jogs or runs is “reckless.”

The only objective measure of driving “too fast” is loss of control/causing a wreck. Clovers may believe that driving “x” speed increases the chances there will be a loss of control and a wreck, but this is a hypothetical and by no means logically established. If it were axiomatic that the faster you go, the higher the odds of loss of control, then it ought to be “safer” (statistically and otherwise) to fly in a single engine Cessna at 120 MPH rather than a 757 at 400 MPH. Yet it is the reverse.clover king

Apples and oranges? Hardly.

There is no evidence that faster drivers are involved in more accidents. In fact it is the opposite. See here  for some very interesting, if politically incorrect, data. Here’s a sample:

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that 30 percent of all fatal accidents are “speed related,” but even this is misleading. This means that in less than a third of the cases, one of the drivers involved in the accident was assumed to be exceeding the posted limit. It does not mean that speeding caused the accident. Research conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation showed that the percentage of accidents actually caused by speeding is very low, 2.2 percent.”

And:

“Federal and state studies have consistently shown that the drivers most likely to get into accidents in traffic are those traveling significantly below the average speed.”

There is plenty of evidence out there to support the contention that speed – as such – does not kill. porky last

Inattention and incompetence do – but there are no signs forbidding these. And punishment is rarely meted out to offenders.

Good drivers continuously adjust their speed to their skill level, conditions and so on – not mindlessly obeying fetishistic totems planted by the side of the road. And that’s how it ought to be. Posting signs suggesting speeds for given roads (and conditions, such as curves), in other words, as advisories can be helpful to drivers not familiar with a given road, etc.

But insisting on absolute adherence to a generic number as the “right” number for all drivers, at all times is both silly and unfair as well as counterproductive in that it encourages passive (and so mediocre/poor) driving while punishing (and so discouraging) active, attentive (and so, better) driving.

But, try telling this to a cop.

Or, a Clover.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  222 comments for “The Speed Limit Cargo Cult

  1. Darien
    December 30, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    I present by way of comment this bit I clipped from last week’s “Dino Comics:” http://www.perfectlydarien.com/personal/dino1.png

  2. BrentP
    December 30, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Eric, the way you presented this caused me to think of something.

    Not sure how many people here have been exposed to a mentality where the smart kids, the skilled kids, or artistic kids, etc and so forth are socially ostracized by the others and/or subject to violence for showing their intelligence and skills. I wonder if the speed limit is yet another version of adult HS. Where violence and social pressure are used to push the more able down.

    • eric
      December 31, 2013 at 7:24 am

      Morning, Brent!

      I think you’re exactly right. It is the same mentality: Don’t stick out, do what everyone else does.

      Maybe that’s one of the reasons it annoys me so.

      I have never comprehended the Worship of the Average that seems to have become SOP during the course of my lifetime – from “mainstreaming” the not-so-bright/lazy/disruptive kids (at the expense of the smart, well-behaved ones) to speed limits – it’s pervasive now.

      • thorfinnss
        January 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

        In Australasia, also known by the soubriquet ‘tall poppy syndrome’. I.e. poke your head above the crowd and risk having it lopped off. Humans of course, are a strange amalgam of herd beast and peak predator. Collectivism polarizes society to put the wolf in charge of herd control.

      • clover
        January 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm

        CloverEric, speed limits are not there because it is just the law but higher speeds kill. I have personally seen it. I have shown you links and you agree but then you come back with speeds do nothing? Explain? Differences in speeds also has proven to cause more accidents.

        Then there are things like double yellow or single yellow no passing zones. They are more than just the law. I have personally had vehicles coming at me 70 mph or whatever right at me. I have had to take evasive maneuvers to keep from getting into an accidents and hundreds of others have been killed in such a case. Only a law for no reason? Explain that.

        There there are things like stop lights. Yes people have blown through them and killed others. There for no reason? Explain.

        Eric you are a very good fictional writer. Maybe you better write some fictional books.

        • eric
          January 3, 2014 at 7:01 am

          What are “higher speeds,” Clover? They are as arbitrary as “lower speeds.” One day the speed limit is 70. The next, by legislative fiat, it is 55… and all of a sudden travel at a speed that was legal (and one must assume, “safe”) is dangerous “high speed” illegal “speeding.” This classic example scales, Clover. It is the pattern everywhere.

          Your argument is both incoherent and demonstrably false. That means I can proffer facts – as opposed to your personal opinions and anecdotes. To wit:

          If “higher speeds” result in more death – a universal statement – then even a single example disproves the universality of the statement. I can give you several examples, including the fact that accident/fatality rates today are less than they were when the 55 MPH limit was in force; the fact that there are fewer accidents per capita on the German autobahn than on US highways – notwithstanding much higher speeds on the Autobahn (and speed variance, too – albeit with lame discipline). There is also the fact that I drive at “high speed” (that is, at speeds much higher than legally permitted) every single day – and for decades – and have yet to “kill” (or even harm) anyone.

          Your anecdotes are not factual arguments.

          I do enjoy having you around as a kind of intellectual pinata. I just wish that sometimes it wouldn’t be so easy to hit you with the logic stick!

        • BrentP
          January 3, 2014 at 11:06 am

          higher speeds kill. I have personally seen it.

          Are you saying that the higher the number on the sign is the more likely that sign is to kill someone? How so? Sharp edges? Does it impale people?

          How exactly does a ‘speed limit’ kill, Clover?

        • Me2
          January 3, 2014 at 11:35 am

          Clover, I challenge you. Find me ONE documented case of someone dying due to “speed”.

          Better, show me your work for proving ‘higher speed’ kills.

          (yes folks, I know Clover can’t comprehend the above so his response will be nonsense.)

          • Garysco
            January 10, 2014 at 9:07 pm

            @Me2 – While certainly not one to defend clover, this just came across my email:

            Witness: Motorcycle Accident Victim May Have Been Racing
            Christina London and Dave Summers – NBC 7, San Diego
            Investigators say speed played a factor in a crash that killed a 22-year-old man Thursday. A car and a motorcycle collided around 4:10 p.m. on eastbound Interstate 8, just west of Interstate 805, in Mission Valley. Officials say the black Suzuki became trapped underneath the sedan, and a fuel leak caused both vehicles to catch on fire. Officials say witnesses attempted to put out the fire with hand extinguishers. The California Highway Patrol issued a Sig Alert. At one point, the entire eastbound side of the freeway was closed. It backed up traffic for miles during rush hour. Bystanders performed CPR on the motorcyclist, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to CHP. “He came upon slower moving traffic. He was unable to stop in time,” CHP Sergeant Jack Mears said. Mears says motorcycles cutting between lanes of heavy traffic are a common problem on San Diego roads. “They have to drive safe, just like anyone else,” Mears said.
            http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Fatal-Accident-Shuts-Down-I-8-239514221.html#ixzz2q0hkwLdW

          • Bevin
            January 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm

            The “speed kills” issue has become somewhat muddled.

            My 2 cents worth.

            I doubt any libertarian is going to argue that a given road does not have a “safe speed” for a particular driver, particular vehicle, particular weather conditions, and so on.

            For example, the recent racing film “Rush” showed that there are indeed upper limits to how fast even F1 champions such as James Hunt and Niki Lauda could drive around the Nürburgring.

            But that is not the issue.

            The issue is whether a metal sign with a posted speed limit necessarily identifies the “safe speed.”

            Libertarian car buffs argue correctly that they usually do not.

            “Clovers” argue incorrectly that if some federal, state, or local “authoritay” put up a metal sign with a specific number on it, that number must ipso facto be the “safe speed.”

    • Jean
      December 31, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Predators always head to the top of the food chain, it’s just in their nature.
      We aren’t predators; we’re merely carnivorous. Omnivores, perhaps.

      Clover is a a vegetable. ;-)
      And most sheeple… Are herbivores.

      Predators eat those herbivores; predators make the rules.
      We omnivores are the core of civilization – we CAN eat others, but CHOOSE not to (IE, are civilized.)

      Been to high school recently? Those animals aren’t civilized.
      Maybe it’s time to indulge in Predatory behavior.
      Who watches the watchers? –> Who hunts the hunters?

      Same logic, keep the packs from eating all the prey animals and starving to death. It’s more merciful…. (And the herbivores would thank us, if they were capable of independent thought.)

  3. Bryan
    December 31, 2013 at 12:23 am

    I’m going to assume that:

    1) You agree that some people, particularly young drivers, often drive to fast (particularly in neighborhoods with small children)

    If there is not some set standard that drivers can be measured against, how can the community redress the issue of unsafe driving in their community?

    • eric
      December 31, 2013 at 7:16 am

      Hi Bryan,

      Well, some people drink to excess (can’t handle their liquor) and cause harm to others – but I do not support Prohibition or even the government-run ABC stores we have in my state.

      As far as: “If there is not some set standard that drivers can be measured against, how can the community redress the issue of unsafe driving in their community?”

      But there is a standard – a very objective one. Has the person’s driving resulted in harm to persons or property? If it has, that is definitive proof that the person’s driving was unsafe. It is inarguable. If not, then we are talking about hypotheticals – and I do not support punishing people for not having done anything but rather because someone is worried they might.

      This is a tough one for people to swallow, I realize. But if you think about it, you’ll see that if one accepts controlling punishing people not for things they’ve actually done but because of vague/generalized assertions that “someone” might do something – you end up where we are today, with limitless authoritarian government controlling virtually every facet of our lives. The principle is critically important – which is why I defend it so fervently.

      • Bryan
        January 10, 2014 at 8:26 pm

        So would I be correct in stating that you believe:

        A driver can drive as fast, or as inebriated, as they want as they want as long as:

        1) There is no intent to harm
        2) There is no damage done

        And force (tickets -> incarceration) should not be used until some form of damage has occurred?

        I am just wondering if this is an absolute.

        • eric
          January 11, 2014 at 7:29 am

          Hi Bryan,

          “As fast as he wants” (and so on) is an attempt to portray anyone who exceeds a posted limit as reckless and a danger to others. It implies that absent “the law” (and enforcement) most people will simply drive as fast as the car will go until they wreck. That they will be reckless simply because they can be reckless. That it is the nature and inclination of most people to behave recklessly absent guidance/restraint from “the law.”

          If you think about it some, you’ll realize how silly this is.

          Most people will drive within their limits – and reasonably/responsibly – because most people are not irresponsible or reckless or suicidal. I’m sure that you, like almost everyone, have at some point driven on an empty road where you knew it was likely there were no cops around. Did you drive as fast as you possibly could? No, of course not. You might have driven significantly faster than “the law” allowed. But well within your own comfort zone.

          Will some people drive as fast as they possibly can? That is, will they drive recklessly? Yes, of course.

          And they do so now, too – “the law” be damned.

          There will always be reckless/criminal people. The question is not whether such will be out there, nor how to deal with them. It is whether everyone else should be presumed reckless/criminal, in an ever-descending cycle of dumbing-down of the definitions of reckless and criminal.

          I pointed out in an earlier post the fact that in my state (VA) and several others, it is statutory “reckless” driving simply to exceed any PSL by more than 20 MPH or to drive faster than 80 MPH anywhere – including highways with a PSL of 70 and average speeds around 75. It’s ridiculous – and it’s grossly unfair.

          Same goes for “drunk” driving.

          Despite all the Stasi-style checkpoints, some people still drive (very) drunk. But now, everyone is presumed drunk until they prove otherwise – and more, the legal definition of “drunk” has become preposterous. It is much lower than .08 in many states – and even .08 is well below the threshold associated with objective diminished capacity in most people.

          Is it fair to arrest/cage a person and impose ruinous penalties on them merely for having a politically decreed BAC level? Even if their driving cannot be faulted? Is this not exactly like passing a law that no one over the age of 80 may legally drive?

          So, yes, harm caused is my absolute. Because it’s objective. Can’t be argued.

          There is a legal saying: Hard cases make bad law. That is what we’re getting at here.

          An asshole rips through a residential area loaded on booze at 80 MPH and runs over a kid. Everyone wants to see justice served. But what often happens is that justice is not served. Instead of holding the miscreant fully responsible, people who had nothing to do with it are also held accountable via new laws that punish them for what the miscreant did.

          Most people do not need “the law” to tell them not to drive loaded on booze at 80 MPH through a residential area. And “the law” will not prevent those few who don’t care what “the law” says from doing so anyhow.

          • Bryan
            January 14, 2014 at 12:45 am

            OK point taken. I do have one quibble…

            “The law” may not prevent those few who don’t care what “the law” says from doing so anyhow. However, if that person happens to be an asshole who rips through a residential area loaded on booze at 80 MPH, and he is then locked up in a cage, for the time he is locked up at least he cannot pose a threat. A less sinister example would be confiscation of his car.

            My point is even if someone has no regard for the law there are extremes that can be pursued that would prevent him behaving recklessly. If we assume being loaded and driving through a residential neighborhood at 80 is a bad thing society can prevent him from doing it a second time. (Let’s say we got lucky the first time and nothing happened.)

            Would you possibly entertain the use of force if it is not instigated by the state?

          • eric
            January 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

            Hi Bryan,

            It comes down to one of two approaches – the objective and the subjective.

            We have a subjective system right now. One that levies punishment not necessarily for any actual harm caused (or even persuasively argued to have been imminent) but merely for running afoul of a statute. In this system, the prosecution need only prove that a statute was violated to establish legal guilt. It is not a viable defense to demonstrate that no harm was caused.

            Under an objective standard, proof of harm caused would be necessary to establish legal guilt. It would be an absolutely viable defense to assert “no victim, no crime.”

            The advantages of the objective standard are numerous, but the primary one is that “crime” has meaning. A real person was actually harmed; the offender hasn’t just violated a statute. He deserves to be held accountable. Few would deny it.

            Contrast this with the farce that exists today. For example, spend a day in traffic court and watch the parade of people who (for the most part) hurt no one, but merely violated some traffic law. Do you look upon the seat belt scofflaw or “speeder” as an ethical villain who deserves to be punished? I don’t.

            This country incarcerates more people per capita than (IIRC) communist China and maybe also North Korea. The vast majority of these “criminals” never hurt anyone. They bought/sold/used arbitrarily illegal drugs. Or they did not pay the taxes they “owed.” And so on.

            Imagine the restorative effect that having to establish harm caused would have on society.You and I and every other person would be free to go about our business provided we’ve caused no harm to anyone…

            Remember: It is a false premise that you can legislate away reckless/criminal actions. The Don Quixote-esque pursuit of this only ends up where we find ourselves today: Mired in a police state that increasingly criminalizes just about everything.

            It is the inevitable result of cheapening the definition of “crime” by broadening it to include actions that involve no harm caused to anyone.

          • BrentP
            January 14, 2014 at 2:19 am

            Except the law lets these reckless people do it again and again. It doesn’t stop them. Meanwhile it encourages clovers.

            It quite literally has harsher penalties for people who drive fast on an empty interstates in the middle of the night than it does for those who actually harm others. Especially those who harm others through sloppy, lazy, cloverite driving.

            Take a motorcyclist hummin’ along when some clover pulls out directly in front of him. Life altering injuries that by some miracle aren’t life ending. What does the clover get? A little community service and $100 fine. Why? It’s just an ‘accident’. And I am not making this up for sake of argument, this is a real story. And clover’s insurance? Well there’s going to be a benefit to help pay the bills…. These clover laws seem to fail the good people time and time again and fail to punish or more importantly hold accountable those who cause real harm.

            But what happens to someone if he drives a mere 81mph on an empty interstate at 2am in the middle of summer around here? He faces 6 months in prison and/or huge multi thousand dollar fines. Life altering penalties for harming no one. For putting no one at risk. An offense against the state justified by the ‘what about bobby buttnugget doing 80 on a residential street while high on LSD?’ Something which I think happens far less frequently than power ball winners.

            But what happens to bobby? He’ll get a slap on the wrist for whatever harm he caused and be out driving legally or not in less than a month. They always seem to be until they kill someone on their fourth or eighth offense. For some reason these harsh penalties never seem to nail the actual problem people. Probably so the penalties can be made more harsh and more profitable later. The person who was never a problem in the first place of course gets the shaft for victimless speeding because the state knows that’s where the most benefit is for it.

            The whole system is absurd.

          • BrentP
            January 15, 2014 at 12:24 pm

            “proof of harm” alone isn’t enough, there also needs to be property rights.

            In the 20th century the courts decided those whose property was polluted had to prove harm by the pollution. But they couldn’t not at the level of science then. Thus by default very nasty harmful chemicals were allowed to be spewed upon others’ property.

            I am not sure of the correct way to phrase it, but just proof of harm can be subverted as can every other way I can think of wording things.

            It’s a do on to others as oneself sort of thing, but a more enlightened version where a person takes it a step further realizing what they are ok with another person might not be.

    • January 1, 2014 at 2:45 am

      What, specifically, is this “community” of which you speak?

  4. BrentP
    December 31, 2013 at 2:50 am

    With Jan 1 soon upon us, the Illinois law that allows 70mph speed limits and 6 months in jail for 26mph over the speed limit will be here soon. The clovers are coming out of the woodwork with the usual nonsense. Never mind that the 85th percentile speed on Illinois interstates is already over 70mph and not much different between the 65mph and 55mph PSL sections. Of course revenue is at play too. So the Chicago area roads, the ones where probably 90% of the limited access highway driving is done in this state, will be staying 45/55mph as I predicted. Instead we get a little more anarcho-tyranny. Of course the state senator who introduced the bill and took this sucker’s compromise is *shocked* that the chicago area interstates are unchanged.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20131227/downtown/state-senator-idot-fight-raise-speed-limits-on-city-expressways

    • eric
      December 31, 2013 at 7:10 am

      In Virginia, anything faster than 20 MPH above any posted limit is statutory “reckless” driving. Also, anything over 80, anywhere. Including highways with posted limits of 70. Since 70 is still well below 85th percentile speeds, most highway traffic is running around 75 or so. To put a finer point on it, probably eight out of ten cars just cruising along with the flow of traffic are within a handful of MPH of “reckless” driving. This gives cops/courts legal pretext to threaten (and impose) grossly disproportionate punishments on people over what ought to be at most minor infractions.

      • BOB
        December 31, 2013 at 8:51 am

        infractions against who? no harm no foul. there should never be a oligarchy with a brutal enforcement arm or any gov above local voluntary gov. this amerika is not my America this is a distopian nightmare or an orwelian wet dream. all the talk means jack when flesh and blood human beings are not willing to stand up for there neighbors. if men do not start forming vigilant groups of respectable men to show up every time a individual gets pulled over or harassed it will never change. it takes sacrifice to fight the devil/state. i think it could be done peacefully if men were willing to stand strong together bc cops are cowards and a good show of peaceful resistance aka group of dudes with rifles slung standing behind the piggys prey would scare off the predators. talk is cheap and its getting real close to money where the mouth is time. stand strong sons of liberty fight the good fight and never forget your neighbors

      • BrentP
        December 31, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        Reckless driving has lesser penalties in Illinois than what these ‘super speeder’ laws have. They started at 40 over. Then a lighter penalized one at 30 over… that has become 26 over. Basically if we go by the real speeds, that’s about 6mph over as of jan 1.

  5. December 31, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Just for curiosity, has anyone here actually, literally, taken Eric’s advice to tell this to a cop? If so, what was the result?

    I’m still curious if anyone could drive 50+ in a residential community without endangering kids who play in the street. Ultimately those roads should be owned, and, if necessary, policed, by the members of that community, not the government. But frankly, if I chose to live in a residential area with kids, I’d be seriously ticked off if anyone chose to drive that insanely fast in the same types of areas where kids play on the road.

    The rest of it is crap. “School zones” are crap. Its a money maker. No kid is going to be on the road just because school is in session. The odds of that are nearly zero. On a highway “Don’t recklessly swerve from lane to lane and don’t hit other cars” is enough. But in a residential area… I don’t know, would you be OK with anyone, even a “good driver”, driving 60+ in a residential area where kids play on the road? I don’t think it would be unreasonable to ask a person who did something like that not to use that road anymore.

    I’m not sure what the answer to this is beyond “free market”. I certainly don’t support government control of anything. At the same point, I think residential areas are a special concern, with issues involved that don’t exist in other areas.

    That said, if someone feels compelled to obey the speed limit, I don’t care that much (Incidentally, there are plenty of people who support speed limits that they do not obey… hypocrites). Obeying the law is fine (note that “fine” doesn’t necessarily mean “required”) when it comes to something harmless like limiting your driving speed to such and such. Its when you do something truly immoral because “its the law” that you lose your moral compass. The people who willingly deploy to Afghanistan, Iraq, or who knows where else, or drone bomb children because “its the law”… those are the people who are truly disgusting.

    Which, come to think of it, I find that the liberty movement in general is much more friendly to military than it is to police, and I don’t really understand why that is. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t defend the police, but at least they SOMETIMES do stuff that is actually helpful, like arresting a murderer or rapist. Most of what they do involves theft or kidnapping (Of course, some cops do commit murder, and while that’s all too common, its not an everyday part of the job.) By contrast, “the troops” actually outright kill people for the government, which is a far worse crime in my mind than ticketing someone for “speeding” or even busting them for drugs. Not to mention that the military tries to control the entire WORLD on behalf of America. At least the police limit themselves to the country in which they actually live.

    Again, not justifying the police, but I’m not sure why the double standard. If anything, the military is worse.

    • eric
      December 31, 2013 at 6:51 am

      I once actually got out of a “buckle up” ticket by debating a cop. A Park Ranger, actually.

      I had driven to Skyline Drive with my dog along for a day hike. They have these booths at the entrance, where Park Pork waits to snuff each car coming in. The guy says, “buckle up, please.” I don’t – and drive off on my way. He gets in his PorkMobile and pursues, pulls me over. “Didn’t you hear me?” he asks. “Yes,” I reply. “But you’ve got no more business telling me to wear a seatbelt than I have telling you to lose 20 pounds (he was overweight) and eat broccoli and steamed chicken tonight – or else.”

      We went back and forth like this for a few minutes – and he actually admitted I had a point and even more incredibly, did not insist I wear the belt nor did he give me a ticket.

      But this was years ago, before the Officer 82nf Airborne/Fallujah attitude had taken hold. Today, I have no doubt I’d have been Tazed or worse.

      • December 31, 2013 at 9:44 am

        That story gave me a smile. Kudos.

        I’m curious at what point those police who think they are doing good will wake up.

        • eric
          December 31, 2013 at 10:09 am

          I think most won’t – because today’s militarized, “officer safety” obsessed “law enforcement” attracts the bottom of the barrel. The GED, 95 IQ sort who are hired precisely because of their limited intelligence and their amenability to following orders and insisting that others follow orders… because they are orders.

          The “good” cops – relatively speaking – are a dying breed.

          • December 31, 2013 at 8:19 pm

            I’ve sort of mentioned this before, but I know a police captain who attends our church, he’s close to 50 years old, and as an individual he’s one of the nicest people I know. Not to mention he’s been exceptionally helpful to my family when we’ve had issues with a different cop who lied after someone else recklessly caused my mom to get into an accident.

            I’m curious what I’d find if I pressed him on this type of stuff. Is it worth it?

          • eric
            January 1, 2014 at 8:49 am

            Probably not!

            My bet is he’d first dismiss you on account of your age and then, if you pressed the point, he’d simply get hostile.

            It’s best not to make faces at Gorillas unless they’re safely behind bars.

          • January 1, 2014 at 9:34 am

            I have to respectfully disagree with your advice to David. Talking to a cop in a social setting such as church is the right time to do it. Some of what you say just might sink in. Talking to cops when they’ve pulled you over or are otherwise looking at your activities is usually the wrong thing to do.

      • jjb
        December 31, 2013 at 5:52 pm

        Hey there Eric,

        Excellent writing to which I agree fully. One point David made though, and I agree is there are areas where driving fast is not cool. I have two boys, three and six, who I let play in our residential street. Sometimes some asshole comes flying down the road at 40+ M.P.H.. Makes my blood boil to the point of throwing beer cans or soccer balls at their car. My wife is even worse (mama bear). I do drive at the speed I like which is generally ten above the posted limits on highways, but in residential areas, I am at ten M.P.H. out of common courtesy.

        • December 31, 2013 at 8:20 pm

          Yeah, so you basically agree with me. As far as any other areas go, I agree with Eric.

        • MamaLiberty
          January 1, 2014 at 9:29 am

          jjb and David… why do you think that good drivers would WANT to travel at speeds that high in a residential area? Why do you think they would suddenly not be concerned about children or others walking across the roads? Why would you assume that any “speed limits” would make a difference?

          Those who don’t care whether or not they harm others will not bother to moderate their behavior, regardless of the “law.” They don’t now. Elimination of the arbitrary speed limit “laws” will not change that. Good drivers will remain good drivers. Bad drivers will remain bad drivers, and they will simply have to be held truly accountable for the harm they do. That is the best way to reduce the number of bad drivers, those who harm others.

        • thorfinnss
          January 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm

          Speedlimits should go both ways. Just yesterday I motioned for a cop driving through our narrow, windy street, to slow down. He stopped and argued he was going the statutory 25mph speed limit. A one-size-fits-all citywide limit that is way too much on our street. Rules are like insurance, a substitute and excuse for lack of diligence and prudence.

        • January 1, 2014 at 5:14 pm

          When I’ve driven I drove 15-20 in the area where we lived, but then, I’m not really that good a driver (I believe the speed limit was 20, but I could be wrong.) But then, I’m not really a good driver and haven’t done enough of it, so I can understand driving faster than that. There’s a point where it becomes too much though. If you’re counting on the fact that there won’t be kids on the road, its too fast, IMO.

        • Ernie
          January 1, 2014 at 10:30 pm

          I don’t think anything in Eric’s argument suggests blowing a child filled residential at 80 is a good thing. Eric’s point is that good drivers be allowed to be just that. I always adjust speed to fit road conditions, vehicle, and my own fatigue level. I have done 80 to 100 on interstates many times for many miles. I have also done 20 – 40 when they are ice/snow covered late at night (some sections where ice was really bad even slower). My vehicle is another issue. If driving a sports car with fabulous handling, visibility, and braking, speed is a much reduced issue. Driving a top heavy van and trailer is a whole ‘nuther issue lol! Part of being a good driver is knowing various vehicles and their capabilities. I have seen umpteen Clovers commit suicide by pulling in front of an 18 wheeler in crowded interstate conditions and then hit their brakes. If the stupid idiots understood basic physics they would know this is a death wish that the trucker cannot avoid granting. Sadly the trucker is typically ticketed, loses his career, faces manslaughter charges, and “speed” is blamed. Reality, the stupid corpse in the Japanese roller skate that was “legal” should bear all blame.

    • eric
      December 31, 2013 at 6:59 am

      Hi David,

      Your premise is a false one. It assumes reckless behavior in the absence of “the law.” Do most people need “the law” to prevent them from raping people? Committing murder? Of course not. Most people are both decent and reasonable and so do not do indecent or unreasonable things. Those few who do can be dealt with as necessary, but their infrequent/unusual misdeeds cannot become the basis for regimenting society on the basis of “someone” might do “x.” If “someone” actually does, punish them. Not everyone else.

      Keep in mind that a cell phone addled (or addled for some other reason) driver wandering along at 25 MPH can be just as lethal to “the children.” In fact, he is arguably more lethal than an alert, skilled driver doing 50 in the same area.

      Moreover, kids need to learn that roads are for cars – and to be careful about walking/playing on them. And the parents of kids who are too young to know better have the primary obligation to monitor their kids – and prevent them from wandering into the road.

      On the military-police thing: America has an unfortunate Soldier Cult, just as Germany once had. “The troops” are held in greater esteem because the mayhem they commit is not committed here.

      Not yet.

      • December 31, 2013 at 9:49 am

        Eric, most people are stupid… they haven’t a clue about morality and they depend on “the law”. I know we’re better than that, but that’s not the norm, and you know it. That said, I wasn’t really advocating “law” anymore than saying “No smoking in my restaurant” is a law.

        I think its interesting how, on the one hand, you say parents have an obligation to prevent their kids from wandering on a road, and on the other hand, you say that parents are in general too paranoid when it comes to children. Even if you are right about everything else you say, I do not think you can have this both ways.

        Regarding roads, I think that really depends on where you live. On a highway? Absolutely. In a residential community? Not necessarily.

        I don’t agree with government speed limits though. That is, as you say, pre-crime. There’s a difference between private property owners setting rules with regards to their property, and the government doing it.

        • eric
          December 31, 2013 at 10:06 am

          Agreed, David –

          But, how do we make people less stupid? What encourages initiative, thinking, independent judgment?

          Mindlessly following rules – because they’re rules?

          Of course not.

          All the things we’ve been discussing come down to rewarding positive action by not punishing people for simply doing other than ordered.

          With regard to “having it both ways.” By no means.

          Parents have an obligation to instruct their kids about what to do and not to do – and children have an obligation (in varying degrees) to behave reasonably and responsibly and to be held to account when they do not. There’s no conflict. It’s two sides of the same coin.

          • December 31, 2013 at 8:50 pm

            The thing is that there are certain places (residential areas) where it is accepted that kids will play in the road sometimes and that traffic doesn’t move very fast. I don’t really see why its such a big deal not to drive 50+ in those types of areas. Anywhere else, sure.

            That said, I don’t think most people would actually drive in such a reckless, careless way just because they could. Only a small minority. Probably less if there were signs saying “drive slow, children at play” or something, even without punishment for non-compliance.

          • Keith Hamburger
            January 2, 2014 at 1:06 am

            When I was growing up it was a common insult/attack to tell a fellow kid to “go play in the street”. If they were stupid enough to play in the street then they pretty much deserved what they got. And this was in elementary school.

            Parents who encourage their kids to “play in the street” are very helpful in a Darwinian sense.

        • Jeremy
          January 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm

          “Your premise is a false one. It assumes reckless behavior in the absence of “the law.” Do most people need “the law” to prevent them from raping people? Committing murder? Of course not. Most people are both decent and reasonable and so do not do indecent or unreasonable things.”

          Hi David,
          I’m pasting Eric’s comment above because your response to it (“most people are stupid… they haven’t a clue about morality and they depend on “the law”) is disturbing.

          I object to your comment because it is both demonstrably false and extremely counter productive. Please note the irony that your belief is shared by Statists of all stripes to justify their interventionist desires. Speak to an ardent interventionist long enough and their contempt for the intelligence, morality, ability, social responsibility, etc… of the “people” shines through. Of course, they mask their petty power lust by professing concern for the plight of the “common man”. But, as the great H.L. Mencken observed, “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it.”

          Whatever their level of intelligence, most people voluntarily cooperate with each other to get what they want. In fact, this is so pervasive that most people don’t even notice it. It is like air, we only notice when it is not around. Most people choose to buy or trade, rather than steal. Most people choose to charm and persuade, rather than rape. Most business people choose to deliver the promised service, rather than cheat or defraud their customers. Whether people voluntarily cooperate because of an innate moral sense, an understanding of enlightened self interest, or a combination of both, is open to debate, but not particularly relevant. Clearly, “most people” possess a moral sense and “law” is a (poor) reflection of this (not the other way around)

          Unfortunately, a small percentage of people choose (direct) violence, rather than cooperation, to achieve their goals, but they are a minority. When we ( as libertarians) denigrate “most people” as stupid, and without any moral sense, we (inadvertently) support the Statist impulse.

          Jeremy

          • January 2, 2014 at 7:20 pm

            Except that most people are OK with violence when it is “legal”.

            I don’t see how anyone could possibly support the American Empire unless they are either stupid or evil. Don’t know what percentage is in each camp.

    • ed
      January 1, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Traffic laws (and lots of other ones) exist because of two things:
      1. We don’t have a cultural acceptance of strict liability.
      2. A dead body (especially a child in a residential zone) is a non reversible event…..even if it is a statistical anomaly.

      Please don’t reply and ask me to explain, Eric. Just come by a yellow taped area sometime (the one with the body bags) and lecture me on your antinomianism.

      • eric
        January 1, 2014 at 12:03 pm

        Well, Ed – a wife beaten to death in her home by her abusive husband is also a non-reversible event (as well as a statistical anomaly).

        Shall we also have cops conduct “just in case” inspections of every home at random, too? In the interests of “safety.” After all, every husband/boyfriend might be abusing his wife (and kids, too… don’t forget “the children”).

        Yes, I’m being sarcastic. But you see the point…. I hope.

        I agree we don’t have a culture of strict liability. But shouldn’t the object be to have such – rather than presume guilt/incompetence and punish people not for anything they’ve actually done to cause harm but on the assertion that a hypothetical “someone” might cause harm?

        As far as antinomianism – that’s a religious doctrine, not a Libertarian one. I’m an advocate of “no victim, no crime” – derived from the principle of non-aggression (no first use of violence or its threat to coerce people).

        • January 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

          I’m pretty sure “Antinomian” just means “Against the law” or something like that. I agree that its normally used as a religious doctrine, but I don’t see why it has to.

          Regarding random house searches, do you really think that isn’t coming? I think it is, and I’m terrified.

          That said, I of course agree with your point. With regards to strict liability, I remember a few years ago (Clarification: I was still partially asleep at this point, but I think I was right on this issue) arguing that it should be legal to shoot a robber who is fleeing your house with your stuff, because to do otherwise is to protect criminals in the commission of a crime over and above the right to property. The response I got was “Theft isn’t a strict liability crime.” I can’t even believe people are that dumb, but they are.

    • Quartermaster
      January 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      The three groups that are the biggest scoff laws in our country are Police, Prosecutors and Judges. It irks me to see cops writing tickets for things they do routinely and, when I get the chance, I tell them I have no use for hypocrites.

  6. BOB
    December 31, 2013 at 9:08 am

    David, it sounds to me like you’re scared which of course is the reason we live in a police state. Everyone has been programed to be scared of something. NEWS FLASH: there is nothing to fear but fear itself. I guess people who are scared need to hire men who aren’t to feel better but don’t force your fear on others. If a child is struck there is a crime if a child is not struck there is no crime. The speed at which the child is or is not struck is completely irreverent. There is either a damage or no damage. (Eric, why is this so hard for people to get ???) this country is the most afraid and cowardly of all peoples of the earth; we have been brought very low bc of our acquiescence to evil and our promotion of wickedness. Please stop legitimizing the criminal cartels for freedom sake stop financing them the dollar is collapsing start using real money silver/gold stop paying taxes if people would just stop paying the gov would vanish without a shot being fired. stop buying there licenses stop begging permission STOP IT already!!!

    • eric
      December 31, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Well-said, Bob.

      Fear of “what if?” and “might happen” permeates America to such an extent it is no longer even noticed by most – much less questioned as to its reasonableness. Lots of examples, but one that pops to mind is the omnipresent fear that keeps kids (via their parents) from just being outside, on their own, exploring the world and playing unsupervised (gasp!) with their friends. Instead, they’re carted – all safely secured in their “safety” seats – from one organized, tightly scripted and supervised collective “activity” to the next. Spontaneity, adventure – all thrown in the woods – out of fear of “what might happen” if kids are left to their own devices for even 10 minutes.

      It’s sad.

      • December 31, 2013 at 9:33 am

        First of all, if BOB had actually read my post, he’d know that I did not advocate for government involvement. I don’t believe in “government” any-more than you do.

        That said, your point actually sort of illustrates mine. You can’t have kids wandering about and playing in the same streets that people are driving 50+mph in. Maybe you’re an awesome driver and think you can do it, but what if a kid runs out in front of you, or something? Now, I know that could happen any-time and you can’t live in fear of that, but I’m talking about the sort of streets that kids actually play in.

        As for fear, I’ve said the same thing. I was talking to some family members about it. They think we got “Smarter”. I think we got more paranoid. That said, there’s a fine line between reasonable caution and fear.

        Again, I’m not advocating “government”, I’m talking about private road owners putting reasonable regulations on the roads which they own.

        • eric
          December 31, 2013 at 10:11 am

          When I was a kid in those prehistoric days of the ’70s and ’80s, kids were taught to not play in the damn road. The road is where cars are. And cars are bad news if they run over you. You play in the driveway. Or in the back yard.

          If a kid got hit, the presumption was he should not have been playing in the road.

          • December 31, 2013 at 11:03 am

            That’s well and good for the highways, or even medium-size roads, but in a community, I do not agree with that. This is really just a matter of opinion though, not an absolute right or wrong issue like murder or theft being wrong ALL the time, so I won’t press the point.

          • eric
            December 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm

            Here’s the tricky thing, David – the thing many well-intended/liberty-minded people miss (and regret missing):

            If you accept the principle that a person can be restrained/punished for any reason other than his having caused tangible harm to a person or their property, you have de facto approved of limitless restraint/punishment since almost anything could conceivably lead to harm. Thus we now have the state telling people – at gunpoint – that they may only consume/buy (or sell) so much soda; that they may not smoke outside (and in some cases, even in their own homes).

            This is why the line in the sand must be drawn at harm caused – or not. If not, no crime (or offense) has been committed and the person has a right to be left unmolested, unthreatened by “the law.”

          • BrentP
            December 31, 2013 at 3:22 pm

            We played street hockey on the street occasionally. Residential street. Normally we did in tennis courts, parking lots, etc. It was probably an annoyance for some, but it worked out. But back in the 70s and 80s people still drove 20-25mph on residential streets. The erosion of the speed limit’s meaning due to wide underposting hadn’t spread that far yet.

          • December 31, 2013 at 4:12 pm

            I agree with your point, hence why I support private roads and not any kind of government regulation of the roads.

            That being said, we played football in the street this afternoon in a residential community, I took some younger kids (8, 9, and 10 year olds) out. Its a place where the speed limit is probably 25, or something in that ballpark. When cars came by, we got out of their way. Had those cars been driving 55 around a curve, rather than doing 25, its very likely that neither us nor the car would have been able to react in time. I suppose technically we shouldn’t have been playing in the street (technically cars aren’t also “supposed to” drive faster than 25 or whatever the posted limit is, not sure why one “rule” is any more sacrosanct than the other). I’d be fine with what you say, on condition that if some idiot did something like that and killed a kid because they were driving a ridiculous speed on the road and were not paying attention (Keep in mind I’m talking about residential side streets here, not highways or parkways or what have you) they be charged with murder and punished accordingly.

          • Darien
            December 31, 2013 at 9:39 pm

            David:

            You say that it makes you angry to see people drive really fast through narrow streets where children may be playing. I don’t think anybody here really has a problem with that; I certainly don’t. Driving that fast in that situation certainly betrays a lack of consideration for other people. I think the problem is that you seem to be implying that force and violence are an appropriate response to people who anger you in this way — and that I do not agree with.

            Creating risk is not a crime — not even when the people put at risk are children. And I don’t agree at all that this is a “special case” where prior restraint is acceptable; to accept that it is is to invite far too many other intrusions, any of which seems “sensible” or “acceptable” on its own, but all of which add up to a total loss of freedom.

            Another thought. If it’s appropriate to compel people to drive slowly anywhere children “may” be playing, who gets to decide where it is and is not sufficiently likely? Is there any non-arbitrary cutoff? You use the terms “residential street” and “medium-size road” as though there’s an objective difference; is there? Where I live, there are pretty much just… roads. Houses could be anywhere, and roads are all sorts of sizes and go any which way. Where does this rule apply?

          • December 31, 2013 at 10:25 pm

            Darien,

            I didn’t really say what you accuse me of. I said from the beginning that I support privatizing the roads, and that I think a private road owner would be well advised to make such a rule for his own road (his property) in this case. That’s no more “aggression” than it would be “aggression” if I asked you not to come into my house naked… doesn’t mean I support nudity laws.

            That said, the unfortunate reality is that when government owns the rules… there are always going to be rules regarding its use. I don’t think repealing every single rule should be the goal so much as repealing the government ownership should be the goal.

          • Darien
            December 31, 2013 at 10:55 pm

            Very well, I’ll yield it. It does sound very much from the tenor of your subsequent comments (“You can’t have kids wandering about and playing in the same streets that people are driving 50+mph in” and so forth) as though you’re not restricting your comments to a hypothetical private-roads environment, but, hey, you know your intent better than I do. :-)

          • eric
            January 1, 2014 at 8:30 am

            I take the position that most people are capable of acting reasonably (and will be more inclined to do so if they are expected to use their own judgment rather than mindlessly obey laws simply because “it’s the law”).

            In my lifetime, the alertness and skill expressed by the average driver has markedly decreased. Why? Because the system expects less of drivers and instead merely demands obedience to an ever-more-dumbed-down standard.

            Simple cause – and effect.

            Think about guns, a parallel issue. Who is more likely to handle a firearm responsibly – and not fear firearms? One who grew up with guns around – and people who taught safe handling and respect for firearms? Or the “city boy” who never handled a gun and expects police to protect him?

          • December 31, 2013 at 11:54 pm

            I’m afraid I don’t really know for sure, Darien. The problem is its simply impossible to determine what a good rule is for anything on public property. For instance, what’s a good immigration policy? Some libertarians hold that ALL immigration restrictions are inherently unlibertarian, while others hold that some restrictions can be justified because if the government is going to own the border it should act as a property owner would over the border. I really don’t know the answer to that one, and I think this issue is in an similar vein. Its simply impossible to know what a good rule is without market test.

            It seems extremely unlikely to me that speed limits would be enacted on highways, so I feel comfortable enough holding the government to the same standard. It seems more likely to me that there would be limits in residential areas, so I’m not as against those. At the same time, I know its completely, totally arbitrary to say “Well, 35 is OK in a residential area, but 36 is not.” It wouldn’t be as bad if cops acted in a relatively common-sense, accepted deviance sort of way, but they won’t, or at least, that cannot be counted on. If there’s a law, at least some cops will enforce it to the letter.

            I think if I had to come down one way or another, I’d agree with you and Eric after hearing your arguments. But I’m not sure. Its a tricky issue in a similar vein as immigration, not a simple issue in the same vein as the right to use drugs in your own home, or own a firearm, etc.

          • eric
            January 1, 2014 at 8:11 am

            The problem (in re immigration) is not the free movement of people. It is the existence of the welfare state. No Libertarian should object to a person moving from Here to There, as such. The objection – which is legitimate under current circumstances – is that mass immigration means more people suckling the teat of entitlements. It’s bad enough having to play host to native-born parasites. But bringing more of them into the country?

            If immigrants (and everyone) could not use the state to rob people, then I have no objection to immigration.

          • January 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm

            I of course agree with you. My point was that while the true libertarian answer is pretty obvious, the “second best” option is much more controversial. That’s what I’m saying here.

  7. michael.white
    December 31, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Concerning speed in areas where people are near cars that several have brought up here, there’s a study (that I can’t find) concerning curbs, pedestrians, and speed. The conclusion was that, if you want drivers to slow down and be more alert in areas where both cars and pedestrians co-exist, don’t use curbs. Sidewalks should be at the same level as the street – the curbs give an illusion of safety.

    There’s a small town in Missouri that I used to drive through that is like that – lots of pedestrian traffic but the sidewalks are at the street level. I found myself unconsciously driving slower – it’s very effective.

    A similar study was made concerning bicyclist and bicycle helmets. Drivers gave bicyclists without helmets more space than bicyclists wearing helmets. Again, an illusion that the helmet provides a high level of protection.

    Of course both curbs & helmets are often mandated by the state, all in the name of safety.

    • December 31, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Bicycle helmet laws are among the most evil laws in existence. Paternalism at its finest.

      • eric
        December 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm

        Agreed, David.

        Extend the principle and they’ll soon outlaw walking “too fast.” Or exercising “excessively.” After all, someone might get hurt – and it’s not your body or life, is it?

        • December 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

          I just hope most of the liberty movement will draw their lines at gun confiscation. If even 10% of the population became “cop-killers” overnight, could “Law enforcement” keep up?

          I don’t necessarily think these people are consciously evil until you get to the political level, but I don’t care. At some point, some people are going to get ticked off and they’re going to shoot back. And that’s valid self-defense, even if the aggressor really is an ignorant, brainwashed sheeple.

    • michael.white
      December 31, 2013 at 11:38 am
  8. Bobbye
    December 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I would caution any one; do not assume that people who support the “Law” as it is now are ‘stupid’. They have a different morality than you do. They actually believe that forcing you to ‘give’ 50% of your income for the ‘greater good’ is the morally right thing to do. That is the problem with morality and moral based systems. Each person decides for their self what is right and wrong, good and evil. A moral system requires all persons living in the system to ‘consent’ to the community morals. That requires a contract. What we now live in (under) is a ‘legal’ system, and legal and moral are absolutely not the same. Legal, as crazy as it sounds, does not require a contract; your consent is assumed!

    • Boothe
      December 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Bobbye – I don’t know that our consent is assumed, but our compliance most certainly is. And if we don’t comply with the often arbitrary edicts of those that consider themselves our moral and intellectual superiors, they will send mindless mouth-breathers with truncheons and guns to ensure our complianced. Soft tyranny is still tyranny plain and simple. With your observations about this present “legal” system in mind, even though it’s been posted here before, this quote is well worth repeating:

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

      C. S. Lewis

    • December 31, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      This is actually something that stresses me out constantly, and I’ve often wondered if liberty-minded Christians should start their own churches and leave the statists behind. I mean, most conservative (theologically) Christians would refuse to fellowship with people who believed homosexuality was “OK”, or at the very least, they wouldn’t be in good standing. But justify murder or theft and its a “different political view.” I don’t know where you stand, but talking to Eric, I know he’s an agnostic and frankly, he’s almost certainly more moral than the average person in my church, simply because he doesn’t make excuses for murder and theft in the name of “government.” I believe homosexuality is an abomination, and despite that, I agree with what Eric said about it a few weeks ago. “Christians” who oppose the gays yet support the troops frankly disgust me more than any homosexual pervert ever could. Some of them are ignorant, but I think some of them are ethically bankrupt as well.

      I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie “White House Down” but i was watching it with some family members yesterday, and a point occurred in the movie where the White House had like 60 or so hostages being held inside. The new President ordered that the white house be attacked and blown up because someone inside was shooting missiles and was able to shoot a city. In other words, they were going to murder 60 people because otherwise, millions of people MIGHT have been destroyed. I pointed out how immoral this was, and faced the reply “But millions of people might have died otherwise. What would you do?”

      Consider: This from CHRISTIANS.

      The movie ultimately portrayed the idea as being bad, so I did like the movie, but I’m kind of still scarred by this. Not mad, just frustrated. I feel alone in the world. I’m sure all of you here (Well, except clover and gil, but I don’t care about them) see this scenario as pretty much a simple issue of right and wrong. As I do. Murder is ALWAYS WRONG. Period. Christians who can’t even understand this simple concept have no right saying anything about gays or anything else. What about the liberal arguments about murdering the unborn because otherwise “The child would have a crappy life.” Is that a “Lesser of two evils” argument too?

      Money is honestly secondary for me. Theft is seriously wrong, of course, but its not even my biggest issue with this regime and the clovers that inhabit it. Its the murder, the mass spying, and the justifications for THAT that truly drive me over the edge.

      Eric, remember when I asked you awhile back how you stay sane? I’m seriously struggling to do so. I’m definitely beginning to wonder how long I and the clovers that are almost everyone I know will be able to coexist in the same families and churches.

      • Boothe
        December 31, 2013 at 5:52 pm

        David – You may find that for all practical intents a purposes you can’t peacefully coexist with the families and churches you are familiar with once your eyes are open. At that point you will either have to keep your mouth shut and go through the motions of what passes for normalcy or find new friends and family. This is what my wife and I have done. We moved away from the Communistwealth of Virginia and started a new life in Missouri. We have met a few like minded people (very few) that we can call friends, but mostly we stay to ourselves. A good portion of my “fellowship”, mental stimulation and enlightenment comes from this very website these days. Eric and the other regulars here share a tremendous number of similar beliefs and outlooks on life with me. So I feel right at home here even though I’ll probably never have the opportunity to meet many, if any, of you. People that think like us are few and far between; we are the remnanat. Since you find it difficult to relate to those that follow the traditions of man, often unthinkingly, and have found like minded people right here; you may just have to take solace in that and understand that it’s much better than feeling completely alone.

        • December 31, 2013 at 8:16 pm

          I really hope you are wrong here, but its likely that you aren’t. I’m trying to reconcile the fact that… while I certainly do not hate gays, I could never be in a church that outright glorified that lifestyle, yet I see the same thing done for the military. I’m lucky enough to have my pastor’s ear at the moment, even though he doesn’t always agree with me (Since he is my father and I live with him… I actually pretty much agree with most of what he says that DOESN’T have political implications). Most people feel like I obsess over political issues, but how couldn’t I? Other than the gospel itself, what else is more important than the fact that our government murders millions of people and imprisons millions more without cause while most people are OK with it?

          I posted something about this recently that you might be interested in. See the link below:
          http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?437218-A-confession&p=5358517#post5358517

          (I am the OP)

        • Brian
          January 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm

          Hello Boothe from another Missourian. Where abouts do you live at? I live near the Lake of the Ozarks. You can e-mail me privately at zygodactyl_1 at windstream dot net if you wish to.

      • Brian
        January 2, 2014 at 2:44 am

        You have brought up many points about the mainstream Christians that I had been saying for years. Indeed: what I have said lead to the break-up of my so-called family of origin who were Bush supporters. I warned them about him and I spent many, many hours researching what had happened to our so-called constitutional government. My FOO supposed that their watching of Fox news was equivalent to my research in terms of validity, and when iron-clad proof showed otherwise: they chose will-full blindness!
        Here is something else you can bring up to the mainstream Christians: Why do they support indecent exposure laws when man was made in Gods’ Image? Is His perfect image indecent? Nowhere in the bible does it say that man must wear clothes, and the fact that nude or mostly nude societies still exist prove that man is not hard-wired to be ashamed of his body! So Americans should stop training their kids to be ashamed of their bodies! Clothes should be viewed as very useful tools during certain seasons in certain climates; not as a required covering!

        • January 2, 2014 at 3:11 am

          Honestly, I’d be happy if I could just convince these people that the wars, military-worship, Israel-worship, police support and glorification, “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” surveillance, entitlement programs that steal trillions from one generation to give to another gun control, and control of what substances one chooses to ingest into his body are wrong. (Admittedly, some of these people do agree with me on some of these points, very few with all of them, and some with none of them. But even those that do agree with some of them usually make excuses for those who are FOLLOWING those orders.) I’d be thrilled if I could convince them that taxation is inherently immoral and that when someone defends themselves against “law enforcement” aggressors, that it is actually the aggressor, and not the person who protected himself, that is the criminal.

          What you’re talking about is kind of a peripheral issue. I of course agree with you that “indecent exposure” should be legalized, but that’s not the kind of issue that seriously stresses me out all the time. Maybe I’d feel different if there was a “War on public nudity” and people were going to jail for years and years because of it, but I don’t think that’s the case. Maybe I’m wrong. I know more than most about the abuses of this regime, but I don’t know everything that there is to know. I’m always happy to wake up MORE.

          That said, I do disagree with you theologically on this issue. You seem to be saying that “indecent exposure” is not only not a crime (Which: I agree that its not a crime, as there is nobody actually aggressed against) but also not truly “indecent” at all, and I disagree with that. Read Genesis 3 again, and you should be able to figure out why I think that. In man’s natural state, before he sinned, it was morally acceptable to be naked. But after man sinned, he had something to be ashamed of, and it simply wasn’t appropriate to be naked in public anymore. I’m glad its not socially acceptable, but I agree that it should be legal.

          That being said, I’m actually theologically VERY conservative. I don’t just so happen to be a Christian: Christianity is my life. I’m a young earth creationist and a five point calvinist. But I can’t get past the hypocrisy of most people: I usually agree with them theologically except for “political” issues. Then you get Romans 13 being used as an excuse for all kinds of immorality and it makes me sick.

          • eric
            January 2, 2014 at 6:22 am

            Hi David,

            Some things are a matter of good manners more than anything else. No one wants to see Ed Asner in a yellow thong, sashaying down the street. But should it be illegal? Of course not.

            “Sin” is a religious concept that belongs properly to the realm of religion and concerns only those who abide by those doctrines. The Amish look askance at us “English” for having electricity – but do not try to impose their doctrinal beliefs on us. That’s how it ought to be.

            Only when force is used does it become other than an agree to disagree kind of thing.

          • Brian
            January 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm

            Read that chapter again David. Adam hid because he was ashamed of his nudity, but God did not tell him that he MUST wear clothes. As I had said in my previous post: The fact that there exists nude and nearly nude cultures proves that Adams shame did not become hard wired to all humans. Adams shame was temporary.
            This is an important topic because that culture induced shame affects individual self-perception. Europeans are not so uptight about nudity. Perhaps the American cultures nudity intolerance originated from the Puritans in England? I do not know. It is my hypothesis that our ancestors wore clothes whenever it was chilly outside, but not on warm sunny days. In a society of nudists, the rich people look no different than the poor. Then some power hungry control freak that had wealth wanted to flaunt his superiority by wearing fine silk clothing and furs while forcing everyone else to wear their cheap standard garments. This was intended to intimidate others psychologically by making them feel inferior. Perhaps this was accomplished by purposely misusing Genesis 3 like you have just done by cultural conditioning.
            Now do you see the importance of this topic? I don’t give a damn whether people walk around nude or not! I do think it is important for people to overcome that shame. Everyone looks exactly like they are supposed to look. This is the acceptance of the reality of our very beings.

          • January 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm

            @Eric- I of course agree with you. I wasn’t saying “public” nudity should be illegal, simply that I don’t think its a good idea. Although, of course, I presume you’d agree that private property owners have a right to refuse to accept customers who don’t wear clothes.

            @Brian- Its true that there’s no command there, but it seems to me based on the way that the passage is written that it is implied that people should cover themselves. Add in the fact that nudity is sexualized in this culture, and public nudity is not something I’d advocate for, even if it were legal. That said, I agree that it shouldn’t be illegal.

          • Bobbye
            January 2, 2014 at 8:26 pm

            @ David: James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
            This is the only Religion endorsed by God in the Bible. Keep yourself unspotted; NOT, keep others unspotted. Most religious people are ‘poor company’ because they suppose themselves to be the enforcers of God’s Law. The reason they take upon themselves this ‘duty’ is because they KNOW that God will not do it, or they KNOW that God does not exist. Don’t be Religious, unless it is the James 1:27 kind only. Christianity should not be your life; Jesus should be your life. Christianity is only a concept, Jesus is a real person. Five point Calvinism teaches that man has NO choice about whether he loves God or follows Jesus, or not. It teaches that God decided all before the creation. It is a doctrine for Slaves, not for free men. No wonder you are going crazy; you are 18 and know/feel that you are/should be free. Read:http://www.setterfield.org/Response_to_a_Calvinist.html

        • eric
          January 2, 2014 at 6:34 am

          Hi Brian,

          I lost a bunch of friends over that cretinous, inbred psychopath I refer to as The Chimp. One was a guy who I’d been friends with for 20 years, since we were 18. We got to where we could not stand being in the same room anymore. It almost got physical toward the end. His – and other friends’ – literally lockstep support for The Chimp (and subsequent “good Republicans”) amazed and then nauseated me. Then I realized that for these people, politics was not about intellectual or ethically consistency. It was like fuuuhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttball: Support “your team” – because it’s your team. Team Red – or Team Blue. Team Red is often also afflicted with a militant version of evangelical Christianity, which eggs on their latent (and overtly) violent tendencies; their lust to force others to Do As Ordered.

          For David: I keep sane by realizing (as Orwell wrote) that sanity is not statistical. That if even the whole world insists that 2+2=5 I know it still equals 4.

          Or, as Washington reportedly said: ‘Tis better to be alone than in poor company.

          • January 2, 2014 at 9:14 pm

            I actually enjoy football, although I don’t watch it very often. I understand Eric’s point though. I guess the difference is that with football it really doesn’t matter. There is no ethical issue at stake in supporting one team above another team, or in not caring at all. By contrast, in politics it is very, very much an ethical issue. Supporting “Team R” when they support evil policies is evil.

            @Bobeye- I don’t have a problem with Calvinism, its completely Biblical. Free will is not a Biblical concept. People being inherently evil and needing a monergistic act of God to be saved is a Biblical concept. Human nature being to do evil is a Biblical concept. But aggression and murder for the “greater good” is not a Biblical concept.

      • MikeFromWichita
        January 9, 2014 at 11:58 pm

        From the very beginning Christianity has regarded Government as an institution Ordained by G_d. Christianity and the radical individualism preached here are two worldviews in complete conflict.Clover

        • Garysco
          January 10, 2014 at 1:39 am

          You bet. One rule book (that cannot be complied with by any human) telling me to comply with other book(s) of so many rules that cannot be humanly complied with. You sir, are correct.

        • RothbardianamericanHelot
          January 10, 2014 at 2:23 am

          MikeFromWichita wrote, “From the very beginning Christianity has regarded Government as an institution Ordained by G_d.”

          From the very beginning, eh?

          You are one confused, twisted and warped individual, Mike.

          I pity you.

        • Tor Minotaur
          January 10, 2014 at 5:45 am

          Not from the beginning, but after around 300 years of difficulty and persecution, they became a protected monopoly of the government.

          It is likely that the more their institutional power grew, the more their radicality and individualism declined. Christians betrayed their roots and were corrupted by state power to willfully proselytize the weak and powerless using the full weight and force of the government.

          In the beginning, Christians were subject to various persecutions. Including the deaths of Stephen, James – son of Zebedee, and other larger-scale persecutions at the hands of the authorities of the Roman Empire.

          In the year 64, the Emperor Nero blamed Christians for that year’s great Fire of Rome.

          Under Nero’s persecution, Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome. Much of the New Testament includes passages mentioning persecutions and stresses that proselytes must endure them.

          For 250 years Christians suffered various persecutions for refusing to worship the Roman emperor. This refusal was considered treasonous and was punishable by execution.

          The Roman persecution of Christians ended in AD 313 when Constantine the Great adopted the religion, and called for the First Council of Nicaea.

          Christianity was adopted as the state religion by Armenia in 301, Georgia in 319, and in the Roman Empire in 380.

          Christianity became common to Europe in the Middle Ages and expanded worldwide during Europe’s Age of Exploration. It currently includes 32% of the world population.

          The first Christians were essentially all ethnically Jewish or Jewish Proselytes. In other words, Jesus preached to the Jewish people and called from them his first disciples.

          The Great Commission said by some to come from the resurrected Jesus, is specifically directed at “all nations.”

          An early difficulty of this claim arose concerning the matter of Gentile converts as to whether they had to “become Jewish” and undergo circumcision and adhere to dietary law, as a part of becoming Christian.

          The additional doctrines of the apostles including their claims of supernatural resurrectional doctrine brought the Early Church into conflict with Jewish religious authorities, leading to their expulsion from the synagogues. Thus, Christianity eventually acquired an identity distinct from it’s Rabbinic Judaist roots.

          The name “Christian” was coined as a derogatory term, meaning “little Christs”, and was meant as a mockery and term of derision for those that followed the teachings of Jesus.

        • eric
          January 10, 2014 at 8:06 am

          Mike,

          You ought at least to do a quick scan of Wikipedia before tapping your keyboard.

          I’m no defender of the faith. But I will defend facts – and dispute nonsense such as your latest post.

          The only authority Christians are enjoined to submit to is that of the divinity. Secular authority is not “ordained” by the teachings of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels.

          Now, you’d have been on to something if you’d argued that the Roman Church demanded obedience to the secular authorities it “ordained.”

          But that would have required some research – and thought – before you commenced typing.

    • Mark
      January 1, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Indeed, those dark skinned people should have known they were meant to be slaves.

  9. JoePA
    December 31, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I have taken hundreds of accident reports in my career. Not one involved speeding. They were all driver inattention or distraction cases. The problem is not speeding but in revenue generating and clovers. Both the officers department and insurance companies reap the huge benefits from every ticket issued $$$$$. Couple that with people that are completely brainwashed into believing speed is evil, except when they do it. There are so many falsehoods out there to even waste your time combating speeding signs.

    • eric
      December 31, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Agreed, Joe.

      The following is personal and purely anecdotal, but:

      I “speed” every time I drive, often in great excess of the posted maximum. Yet despite all this “speeding,” I have not so much as dinged a fender in decades of driving everything imaginable – from 200 MPH exotics and race cars to the lowliest econoboxes.

      Meanwhile, my Dad, who rarely drove faster than the posted limit, had several “accidents” during the last few years before he finally gave up driving. Why? His vision had gotten progressively worse and he had terrible depth perception and peripheral vision.

      Who was the “safer” driver?

      As I see it (and as I wrote in the article) there is only one clearcut, objective criteria by which one can characterize a person’s driving as good – or bad: Has he lost control of his car and had an “accident”" If he has, then he was either driving too fast for his skill (or conditions) or he was not paying attention or some other thing. The specific reason is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is that he lost control and that is proof his driving, at that moment, was faulty.

      But if he has not lost control, then it seems to me the presumption ought to be that his driving was good. Because he was in control of his vehicle.

      Clovers will say my “speeding” is “unsafe” and that it’s only a matter of time before I wreck. But until I actually do, I wish they’d reserve judgment. Or at least, not insist on punishing me as if I had actually lost control before I actually do!

      • JoePA
        December 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm

        Eric, very true. I drive very fast but never wreck. I consider myself a safe driver yet a coworker constantly tells me I’m going to wreck….any day now. This same coworker has wrecked numerous times but as is always the case it was someone else’s fault.
        The state cares about one thing hence the problem. If you have insurance all is good. By the time DMV catches on to your driving ability its always after you’ve turned 90…..lol

        • Boothe
          December 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm

          JoePA – Isn’t it interesting how your coworker judges your driving based on his own failures and incompetence. Insight into the workings of the clover mind perhaps?

        • eric
          January 1, 2014 at 8:57 am

          Yep!

          Probably, many out there can relate to this: My wife – who has wrecked two cars since we’ve been married – hectors me (who has wrecked none) about my “driving too fast”!

          Last winter, she managed to sink a car up to the rockers in mud; I had to use the truck to get the entombed car out.

          I never get stuck.

      • Darien
        December 31, 2013 at 9:47 pm

        Many moons ago, when I was in college in New York, my parents were driving out to visit for some reason (they were inducting me into some dumb honor society or whatever). My father is very much a law’n'order kind of guy (ex-military, ex-government, 30 years as a low-level bureaucrat in a fascist industry), and so he simply refused to “speed” on the way out, never mind that the drive took him five and a half hours when I could do it in three.

        He got to route 17 coming through Binghamton, where the posted speed limit is 55 mph, and merged on at 55, and almost caused a MASSIVE pileup because everybody on route 17 goes at least 80 mph. Wouldn’t you know that was everybody else’s fault?

        • December 31, 2013 at 10:28 pm

          Least he’s not a hypocrite. I can’t stand people who break the speeding laws that they support.

          Personally, I never go more than five over, but then, I’m not a very good driver, and I admit that. That doesn’t mean someone else who is a good driver can’t go faster, as long as they recognize that not everyone is a top-notch driver and act accordingly.

          • Darien
            December 31, 2013 at 10:59 pm

            I usually follow the posted limits, because I really can’t afford to pay the fine if I get caught. I make exceptions when they’re completely stupid (back in Massachusetts, it wasn’t that uncommon to see actual speed limit signs — not the yellow advisory ones, but the regular white compulsory ones — declaring 5 or 10 mph limits for really no particular reason) or when “everybody’s doing it,” since it’s clearly safer to go 80 mph if that’s what traffic’s flowing at than to be a huge goofball and try to drive 55. And besides, I don’t think I’m likely to get a ticket for going 80 mph in the middle of a big cloud of cars ALL going 80 mph. :-)

          • eric
            January 1, 2014 at 8:26 am

            There is safety in numbers. Try to avoid being the car in front (the “rabbit”) and try to avoid driving a car that sticks out. I also strongly recommend buying a quality radar detector such as the Valentine 1. It won’t immunize you, but it will dramatically improve the odds in your favor!

          • eric
            January 1, 2014 at 8:32 am

            Hey David,

            If you’re interested in becoming a much better (and thus, safer) driver, I encourage you to take a class such as the one offered by Bob Bondurant (see here: http://www.bondurant.com/ )

          • January 2, 2014 at 2:41 am

            Hey Eric,

            I’ll take a look. Thanks.

          • lberns
            January 3, 2014 at 11:16 am

            “driving a car that sticks out.”

            Mini-vans are great cover

      • Bevin
        January 2, 2014 at 12:14 am

        Dear Eric,

        Re: speeding and driving skill

        Have you seen the Ron Howard film “Rush?” If you haven’t, it just came out on DVD.

        Terrific film! One of the best films ever made on auto racing. The subject of the film is the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt during the 1976 Formula One season.

        It includes a scene in which Niki Lauda “speeds” on a highway in Italy. He has hitched a ride with a woman he met at a party. Her car overheats. A couple of Italian racing fans see Lauda by the side of the road and screech to a halt to talk to their hero. They insist that Lauda drive their car.

        At first he putters along, but when the woman from the party says she can’t believe he is a world class race driver, he demonstrates, to the delight of the two Italian racing fans.

        Somehow the film flew under the radar, or I would have seen it in the theater.

        Incidentally, here’s what Lauda said about the film:

        Niki Lauda was pleased with the overall look of the film. He was quoted as saying: “When I saw it the first time I was impressed. There was no Hollywood changes or things changed a little bit Hollywood-like. It is very accurate. And this really surprised me very positively.”[12]

        The casting was remarkably good. They actors look their parts. Chris Hemsworth in particular really looks like James Hunt.

    • garysco
      January 10, 2014 at 2:03 am

      I have to disagree Joe. Take 100 real world traffic collisions. Subtract excessive speed for conditions as a primary cause, and you will end up with a number much less than 100.

      • eric
        January 10, 2014 at 7:40 am

        Hi Gary,

        But it’s not necessarily the speed, per se, that led to the wreck. The driver may have been on his cell phone, as an obvious example. Did the speed increase the severity of the accident? Probably. But that’s a separate issue.

        And then there’s the underlying assumption Clovers always hold dear: That because “Smith” wrecked at a given speed, “Jones” (and everyone else) are also likely to wreck at that speed.

        This is extremely tenuous – belied by every incidence of “speeding” that does not result in a wreck.

        • Garysco
          January 10, 2014 at 4:24 pm

          @Eric – I think we are talking angle of view here. I am not talking posted speed, but excessive of conditions. My view is – the collision (primarilly) could have been avoided if “x” had not occurred. What is the “x”?

          Imagine driving along a country road, no traffic, in the winter when there is some ice and snow on the road. You go along for several miles just fine at 50 MPH when you see a fallen tree blocking the road. You try to brake to a stop but can’t, you spin off the road and hit a drainage channel wiping out your front end. What is the primary reason the crash was not avoided? A slower speed for conditions would have allowed for a stop before collision.

          You pull up to a “T “intersection, stop sign for you, no stop sign for through traffic. You look both ways and safely make a left turn onto the through roadway and accelerate when you are rear ended. What is the “x”? Excessive speed by the driver of the car doing the rear ending.

          • eric
            January 10, 2014 at 5:53 pm

            Hi Gary,

            Yes, but it works the other way, too.

            For example, the deer strike. It is just as true that the strike would not have happened had the driver been going faster as if he had been going more slowly.

            Also, there’s a presumption in your examples above that every driver will wreck under those conditions at that speed. This is speculative. I agree that probabilities may be higher, but when we’re talking about enforcement – controlling and punishing people – my position is that it’s wrong to base such on speculation, on what might happen. It’s inherently subjective – and thus, inherently unfair.

            I think posting signs as advisories is a fine idea. But codifying them as absolutes and punishing people for no other reason than that they exceeded a velocity decreed to be the “limit” is on the face of it wrong.

            If, for example, it’s a fact that I did not lose control of my vehicle, did not wreck, then it is strongly persuasive that I was operating within my limits, the car’s limits, the limits of the road – and so on. To prove this was not so, I think you’d need to demonstrate, factually, that I was not in control, that I almost “lost it” – and so on. Absent that – absent some evidence of harm caused – any charge levied ought to be dismissed in my view.

  10. libertyx
    January 1, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Nullify ridiculous laws through Fully Informed Juries http://www.fija.org

    “The primary function of the independent juror is not, as many think,
    to dispense punishment to fellow citizens accused of breaking various
    laws, but rather to protect fellow citizens from the tyrannical abuses
    of power by government.”

    The Constitution guarantees you the right to trial by jury. This means
    that government must bring its case before a jury of The People if
    government wants to deprive any person of life, liberty, or property.”

    Jurors can say no to government tyranny by refusing to convict.”

    • anarchyst
      January 1, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Not in Michigan…in order for the state to extricate more money from us mundanes while denying us the right of a jury trial, traffic infractions are now “civil offenses”.

      • libertyx
        January 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm

        Next step – Grand Jury

        Important Grand Jury info – opening up the system in Florida:

        Part of court Appeal, Case No. 1D13-2322:

        “While the Grand Jury is usually perceived to be a tool of the criminal prosecutor to return, or not return, “criminal” indictments, it is also a tool of free citizens to investigate the “King” when the King refuses to investigate him or herself and his or her agencies. Even the judiciary, as seen above, is not immune from the investigative powers of the Grand Jury.”

        See: https://edca.1dca.org/DCADocs/2013/2322/132322_275_12062013_10385854_e.pdf

    • RothbardianamericanHelot
      January 10, 2014 at 2:47 am

      libertyx wrote, “The Constitution guarantees you the right to trial by jury. ”

      Well, unless you’re in a state like Illinois, in which case, if there’s no jail time attached to the charge, out goes the window that jury thingy.

      …Don’t believe me? Just ask an Illinois judge and their sidekick in crime, the prosecutor.

      • eric
        January 10, 2014 at 7:30 am

        In several states, traffic tickets are “administrative” and thus, the normal rules of evidence (and your rights) do not apply because nominally there is no jail time attached to the charge. But if you ignore it – or refuse to accept the verdict and do not pay up – then guess what happens… ? They add new charges. Some of which eventually entail jail time. Now you can appeal/get a jury trial. From the clink.

  11. Gil
    January 1, 2014 at 2:38 am

    CloverUh huh, the magic words are: public streets: you’re free to own your own private land, create a racetrack and drive however fast you like. Once you are out in the public then it’s another story. Saying “I’m free to as I like until someone gets hurt” is laughable as you clearly mean that you’re free to heighten the riskiness of any behaviour until someone can show definition harm (as opposed to having their sensibilities offended). If you lose control of your vehicle at extreme high speed and crash into others then you’ll do more damage and kill more people than if you were shooting a gun at signs in the public streets.

    • eric
      January 1, 2014 at 7:37 am

      “public streets”

      Yes, Clover – they are magic words. Because “the public” is a fiction, a rhetorical device. Like “corporation.” No such creature exists. What you really mean is: The relative handful of people who have arrogated unto themselves legal authority to dictate to everyone else what goes on (and does not) in a given area. In other words, a mafia.

      That this mafia occasionally submits to a vote is as irrelevant as the fact that in the mafia, the capos periodically select a new don.

      Groups do not have rights, Clover. Only individuals have rights. And no individual has more (or fewer) rights than any other.

      I’ve gone over the rest before – at length.

      Asserting “someone might!” is insufficient justification to impose violent control, to commit aggression against them. People such as yourself always resort to trotting out over-the-top/extreme examples, such as the “maniac who drives through a kid-heavy suburban cul-de-sac at 100 MPH” to try to justify treating everyone as a presumptive maniac. It is absurd.

      It’s also silly. Because your premise is that such laws will eliminate such “maniacs” – which of course they do not.

      There will always be unfortunate incidents; it is part of life. But they’re usually the exception, not the rule. And you know what, Clover? Any social system that encourages people to think independently, to develop a critical faculty and use it – and to be rewarded or held accountable according to what they actually do – tends to encourage civility and responsible action.

      Has the flowering of “safety” laws and the attendant police state made life more or less civil, more or less safe?

      The less neurotic, control-freak America I grew up in was a much fairer, more friendly, decent place than the America that you and yours have succeeded in replacing it with.

      • Gil
        January 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm

        CloverYeah right. Your attitude is more of a criminal. You want to break the law as you see fit and people don’t like that then they can go hang. It’s interesting to note that Conservatives seem to make up the majority of the population (if only for the fact that they’re the only ones to actually bother to have children) and even Conservatives have their limits. It’s always refreshing to note the Libertarians are virtually unheard of outside of the Internet.

        • eric
          January 3, 2014 at 7:05 am

          How many times, Clover, will it be necessary to parse your lies?

          It’s rather pathetic that you have to resort to such to try to impugn what I actually do advocate – which is decriminalizing any action that does not involve aggression toward another person. As opposed to “doing whatever I want to, irrespective of the consequences.”

          PS: You might want to recheck your premise that Libertarians are “unheard of” outside the Internet. Who was that nice old man on the stage with Mittens Romney during the last presidential election? And why is it that the GOP feels compelled to at least acknowledge the presence of us Libertarians?

          Our day is coming, Clover. And the sun is setting on yours.

          • January 3, 2014 at 11:21 am

            Of course, that nice old man (Ron Paul) was mostly only supported by people who are actually intelligent, which was a minority.

            Eric, maybe your experiences are different than mine, but in my experience, most people aren’t exactly very receptive. I was given a “When you have a kid maybe you’ll feel differently” argument by my uncle (Different one) last night when I said that killing some people for the “greater good” was always wrong. Another person at the table said I was “thinking too deeply into it” when I made a distinction between killing someone who is trying to kill you, and killing innocents in order to save more lives. If a concept THIS simple becomes a 3 on 1 (I stood alone in this debate), how the heck do we expect to get anywhere with the more complicated issues?

            Much as we might wish for the clovers to surrender their power complex: they won’t. Gil and Clover (Are they the same person) are even dumber than the people I was talking to last night. I’m guessing the average American is somewhere in that range.

            Maybe if all the Ron Paul supporters moved to the same location, we could put up a fight. Even then we’d lose, but maybe at least we could take a few of “them” down with us, either that or they let us secede, and we all win. But I don’t see that happening either.

      • January 1, 2014 at 8:14 pm

        I think the maniac who drives 100 MPH in a kid filled area is worth addressing in some fashion. Not that everyone who speeds is like that, or even a sizable minority of them. Its very, very few. But… there might be some.

        Shooting guns at a sign is another interesting case that gil brings up (unfortunately, he only brings this up as a “haha I’m right” hypothetical rather than a serious point.). If public property doesn’t exist, should it be legal to do that on a “public” road?

        Hmmmm…. wow this place makes me think, but I love it, lol.

        Did Gil actually put “governmentrolls.com” as his website, or did you do that for him?

        • BrentP
          January 1, 2014 at 10:13 pm

          The problem of the ‘speeder in the kid filled area’ was caused by two things.

          1) Absurdly low speed limits being used widely destroyed respect for the posted speed limit. 20 and 25 mph speed limits meant something once upon a time. When speed limits are widely set by the 85th percentile method the low speed limits gain meaning. They are big clues there is a reason to go slowly. They have the meaning they should have. But when most speed limits are no less than 10 mph lower people get the idea they are all very low and you get people doing 40mph on a residential street.

          2) the speed kills, the enforcement crowd equate rolling a stop sign on the cross of a T intersection at 2mph with ‘reckless driving’. By calling so many things reckless driving, it loses its meaning. Same problem results. People start not seeing the difference between 2mph rolling of a stop sign that probably shouldn’t be there at all with driving 100mph in front of a school.

        • eric
          January 2, 2014 at 7:11 am

          Hi David,

          I already addressed the “the maniac who drives 100 MPH in a kid filled area ” straw man. I hope I did so satisfactorily.

          Shooting a sign? Well, whose property is it? Was anyone harmed?

          Did you ever see the (pretty awful) sequel to the sci-fi movie, Pitch Black (which was excellent)? A race of ruthless conquerers invade planets and send down from the sky “conquest icons” to assert their ownership of the place. Would it be a violation of ethics to disfigure/damage such?

          • Bevin
            January 2, 2014 at 9:02 am

            Dear Eric,

            I must be one of the vanishing few film freaks who liked “The Chronicles of Riddick,” the sequel you’re talking about.

            I thought all three of the Riddick Chronicles were good. Word is there’s going to be a fourth one too. Good news!

            Basically TCOR was a political allegory, a critique of the Neocon/Christian Fundamentalist axis determined to make the world safe for democracy/Christianity.

            The “Necromonger faith” was basically soul deadening religious dogma. The Necromongers were similar to the Knights Templar in Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven.”

          • eric
            January 2, 2014 at 9:08 am

            Morning, Bevin!

            True, that.

            There’s a wonderful scene you probably remember: Riddick is among the crowd of people being hectored by the Necromonger leader; he states: “I’m not with these people.”

            Then proceeds to kill a Necromonger warrior, described by the leader as “one of his best men.”

            “If you say so,” is Riddick’s retort!

          • Bevin
            January 2, 2014 at 9:37 am

            Dear Eric,

            I do remember that scene indeed!

            Very cool!

            The Necromongers remind me of Neocon warmonger such as Ann Coulter, and the chickenhawks associated with the now defunct Project for a New American Century or PNAC.

            Ann Coulter Invade Countries and Convert to Christianity

            Aereon: They are an army unlike any other… crusading across the stars toward a place called UnderVerse, their promised land – a constellation of dark new worlds. Necromongers, they’re called. And if they cannot convert you, they will kill you.

            Come to think of it, “Necromonger” sounds like an anagram of “Neocon warmonger.”

          • January 2, 2014 at 10:05 pm

            I think your answer to the maniac was satisfactory enough. “What ifs” aren’t an excuse to take a given action.

            As for the sign issue, yeah, I’d agree that it isn’t an ethical violation to destroy them, but I think this contradicts your previously shared view that taking money from the government is inherently immoral. I asked “Who’s money is it” in exactly the same way you asked “Who’s money is it.”

            That said, this kind of thing shows how being a libertarian is much harder, and much more fulfilling, than being a liberal or a conservative. Libertarianism is an ethical system that does not, cannot, limit itself to electoral politics. Liberals and conservatives do not have a logically consistent ethical system.

          • eric
            January 3, 2014 at 6:40 am

            One of the beauties of our ethics is they can be applied logically – consistently – to any given thing. The authoritarians’ ethics are situational and subjective; ends-justifies-the-means stuff.

            Watch them debate each other. Never are principles batted about. The Republican will criticize Obamacare for being “less efficient” than the private sector, that guns in the hands of citizens reduce crime. True. But beside the point. Never will you see, on a major network TV show, a pundit challenge the premise of Obamcare, nor assert the the right of self-defense that flows from self-ownership.

            And of course, the Democrats are just the same.

          • January 2, 2014 at 10:08 pm

            I don’t know much about Coulter, but I saw in one of her books (Yeah, I looked at one… forgive me… in my defense, I was in a bookstore, I did not buy the book, and I did buy Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” that same day) that she thought the US should attack FRANCE. Her reasoning? France didn’t support the US’s war on Iraq.

            Any possibility she’s actually a PARODY of the “right”?

          • eric
            January 3, 2014 at 6:35 am

            Coulter is a smart but incredibly cynical hack who (like Limbaugh) has made a fortune by cheerleading for Team Red. In her case, Team Red is as desperate for semi-attractive females as it is for presentable blacks, which doubles her return.

            These people are secular televangelists. They fleece the sheep – and live like sultans on the booty.

    • Darien
      January 2, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Oh, also? Yes, you’re correct: “heightening risk” is not a crime. If it were, how on earth would it be legal for anyone to act at all? Everything you do heightens some risk or other.

  12. senior citizen
    January 1, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Received a speeding ticket, was in the passing lane when a sign said it ended just ahead, I exceeded the limit to get in front of a semi trailer truck on the crest of the long hill, the officer was waiting on the side of the road for such dangerous drivers as myself, did say though he would only give me a ticket for speeding, not dangerous driving. A survey was done here, the majority wanted to keep the speed limits the same rather than the government plan to raise them on some of the provincial highways, also they wanted the return of speed cameras. I personally do not believe there is any hope.

    • eric
      January 1, 2014 at 7:22 am

      Cops like that are why I do not like cops. Who spends his days stealing (in behalf of his employer) fellow human beings who’ve done nothing to merit it? It’s disgusting – and few of us would tolerate anyone else doing it. But give a douchebag a special outfit (and a gun) and call him a “law enforcement officer” and most people sigh and accept it.

      The day the light goes on in enough people’s heads that this “LEO” is just a douchebag with a special costume – the day the myth of authority dissipates – it’ll be the day the con is finally over with.

      • January 1, 2014 at 8:17 pm

        I hate to be a downer, but that day isn’t coming. More and more people are going to worship government as time goes on. Because people are sheep.

        • eric
          January 2, 2014 at 7:08 am

          Maybe so, David.

          But we have to try – and hope. Right?

          • Jean
            January 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm

            Hope is overrated.
            Bullets make hope worthwhile again… :-D

            Remember, when dealing with Zombies, shoot them in the head….
            (Zombies = Sheeple = Boobus Amoronconus = average low-information voter / tax parasite who will wet their panties the moment they don’t get government cheese)

            The NAP is good for dealing with the civilized; doesn’t work for the domesticated. Fails utterly when dealing with wolves. I’m not sure what the Sheeple are any more; passive-aggressive wolves? Or domesticated?
            More and more I lean towards passive-aggressive predators of some sort. Deep sea angler fish perhaps? http://www.fiboni.com/2013/02/the-top-10-most-crazy-ugly-extreme-amazing-deep-sea-fish-creatures/

          • January 2, 2014 at 10:12 pm

            Yep, that’s the same argument I use on people that tell me I’m wasting my time trying to change things. (Incidentally, those people are often standing in our way themselves.)

            I just don’t expect we’ll actually succeed.

            I can’t remember where I saw your post on the “Historical lens”, but I’m sure people who argued against slavery in the 1700′s did indeed sometimes feel the way I feel right now.

            That said, I think people thought more in the era of America’s founding than in this era. I don’t know why, but I suspect this is the case. That generation revolted against British tyranny. This regime is far worse and nobody seems to care, or at least not enough so to actually condemn the agents who execute the evil.

            And you know what: its hard as heck to acknowledge that nice people who you know personally can be part of the problem.

          • eric
            January 3, 2014 at 6:32 am

            Indeed, David.

            However, don’t forget that a majority of the colonists were Tories and loyal to the crown. Those who had determined upon separation were a small minority at first – and there was never close to universal support for the cause. New York, for instance, remained a Tory nest right through to the evacuation of British troops.

            On friends/family: I have experienced this, too. It is one of the downsides of coming to terms with the reality of “the system.” Bear in mind this system is almost all-encompassing, that most people grow up immersed in its premises and thus rarely question them. This is the principle though rarely spoken of object of government schools – but social pressure also exerts tremendous gravity on people to go along/get along (and do so unconsciously).

            The original Matrix was a brilliant allegory. People like us have gone down the rabbit hole; we’ve consumed the red pill – we see reality for what it is – and there is no going back. Meanwhile, those still within the Matrix are unconscious of their condition and resentful/fearful of anyone who tries to wake them up.

  13. Clay Hamm
    January 1, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Here in the Collective of Illinois the speed limit gets raised to 70 mph today. Well, kinda. In the most congested part of the state, Chicago, the limit remains at 55 – for safety concerns of course.

    • eric
      January 1, 2014 at 7:15 am

      Hi Clay,

      There’s another poster here from IL who wrote earlier that while the limit has gone up, they’ve also defined as “reckless” driving exceeding the posted maximum by some small number – as in my state (VA). Many people do not realize that driving 81 on the highway (posted 70) is technically “reckless.” Also 76 in a 55 – even if the 55 is preposterous and the average speed of traffic is 70 (or more) on that road.

      • Clay Hamm
        January 1, 2014 at 9:31 am

        Recently, while following a semi for fifteen or twenty minutes (safely and at a comfortable speed for both of us) I saw the dreaded cherries in my rearview. I figured he just wanted to pass us and was waiting for the oncoming lane to be clear. After a minute I realized he wasn’t going to pass and thought maybe he was after the semi. Then a second cop came from the other direction, did a
        u-ey in the gravel shoulder, came up along side me with his window open and started screaming and motioning for me to pull over. There is NO SHOULDER at this part of road and it drops off into a ditch. So, I figured I’d just continue until I found a safe place to pull over, which I did. By this time they both had their sirens screaming. The “seasoned” deputy (early twenties) approached my car cautiously, hand on holster, while the other provided cover from behind my vehicle on the passenger side. He immediately began yelling at me and demanding to know “why didn’t you pull over!” I told him “I was concerned for your safety as there is no shoulder and I didn’t want to stop in the roadway”. He took offense at this and loudly proclaimed “If I thought it was dangerous I wouldn’t have pulled you over!” He continued to demand an explanation for my “refusal” to “immediately” pull over. I remained calm and never directly answered any of his leading and invasive questions. He punished me for this by dragging out the event for over thirty minutes. In the end I went to court and pled guilty with a request for court supervison and a payment plan. The cashier explained that I have three months to pay, at which time I can request an extension. I quizzed her as to how many extensions are available. She wouldn’t say but I plan on taking as long as I can to pay – 6 months, a year, two years? Neither the semi or I were endangering anyone. The low speed limit on this particular section of road has nothing to do with anything objective and no one obeys it. We just all try to keep our eyes open for “da fuzz”, I guess I let my guard down.

        • eric
          January 1, 2014 at 9:34 am

          Sorry to hear about this, Clay – you have my sympathy (and empathy). I have “been there/done that.”

          Cops such the ones you encountered are no better than the East German Stasi (and much worse besides). They are bullies with badges – that’s all.

  14. Mark
    January 1, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Nice topic. For years now I’ve advocated to eliminate all speed limits AND delete speedometers from cars.

    I came to this after I had a speedo cable crap out(it worked but, made a screeching noise from hades.) I disconnected it and amazingly I found myself not worrying about how fast I was going but, concentrating more on the traffic around me and road conditions. It’s quite liberating. Just keep right except to pass(SHOCKING!)

    Speed limits encourage low-skill drivers to go faster than they are capable and annoy those with better abilities. In fact, speed limits encourage lawlessness.

    People would be forced to drive within their abilities and with awareness of their surroundings. “I don’t know how fast I’m going and I’m not sure of the conditions ahead…maybe I should back off a bit”

    I don’t expect anyone, least of all GovCo, to accept and/or implement this idea…but, I can hope.

    • Clay Hamm
      January 1, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Excellent comment, you are correct. If there were no speedometer all of the driver’s attention would be focused on the matter at hand – driving. Monitoring the speedometer diverts attention and is a hindrance.

    • eric
      January 1, 2014 at 9:38 am

      Hi Mark,

      I do track days (bikes and cars) and as anyone who races will tell you, most race cars (and bikes) do not have speedometers. They’re either taken off or taped over. You pay attention to the tach – and to what you’re doing.

      I think your point is spot on.

      Related to this: Back in the late ’70s, the government – in keeping with its idiot notions – decided to impose a law mandating that speedos read no higher than 85 MPH. They figured this would encourage people to “slow down.”

      • Mark
        January 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

        My race car still has the speedo in place but, disconnected(kill switch wiring goes through the cable hole). With the shift light I don’t even watch the tach that much, besides, even in race traffic the engine sound is nearly enough to determine shift points.

        I do remember the insipid 85mph speedos. The also had “55″ in larger type and sometimes circled. Just reminded me what a nag GovCo is. I was pretty a-political growing up but, when I started to get into sports cars the 55National Mandatory Speed Limit was invoked one weekend. I had to drive from Akron to Columbus, OH on I-71. The speed limit had previously been 70 and most traffic flowed no more than 75. That Monday morning I thought we’d NEVER get to Columbus and there were Ohio HP cars about every mile(so it seemed), lurking in the median and under bridges. Traffic was extremely light and it suddenly hit me how foolish government actually is. Here was an Executive Order(thanks, Dick Nixon) to “save gas” and I had to drive slower in my ’69 Bug while some dipstick in a motorhome, who couldn’t get much over 60 anyway, sucked juice like it was going out of style. I think that’s called an Epiphany.

        • Mark
          January 1, 2014 at 10:43 am

          On a happier note, here’s an in-car from my first race weekend at Mid-Ohio…man, what a glorious time.

          • dom
            January 1, 2014 at 11:33 am

            That looks awesome! I’m jealous.

          • Brian
            January 2, 2014 at 4:21 am

            Thanks for the ride Mark! :0) I know that your low operating RPM was above 5000, but what is your top one? 10,000 or 12,000 or more?

  15. January 1, 2014 at 9:05 am

    On a recent drive to Toronto I saw a sign on the Queen Elizabeth Way saying that going 50 kilometers per hour over the speed limit is punishable by roadside license suspension and towing away of one’s car.

    “If you are charged for speeding at 50 km/h over the speed limit, police will suspend your licence and impound your vehicle at the roadside.” http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/topics/speed.shtml

    No due process. I wonder what happens to the now carless people.

  16. Salt
    January 1, 2014 at 9:09 am

    I went from NC to Fla (and back) over Christmas. I observed that a great majority of people on the roads were doing well in excess of the posted speed limit. It was common to be in the flow doing 80 in a posted 55. At one point I was in a group doing 90-95 in a 70.

    All these automobiles are capable of doing even greater speeds, especially myself as I was in my 911. If 70 is safe by statute then 71 must be unsafe no matter I could potentially be doing 120 or better in a car designed to do just that.

    Under the current rubric, if safety is the issue then my 911 should be illegal. That’s what common sense dictates. But since safety isn’t the issue, then what is?

    I believe it’s of two distinct, and observable, elements. The first is leftist emotionalism. Like gun control, because, say, a child MIGHT get harmed. The second is Insurance. Neither directly lends itself to actual safety.

    If safety were the issue, then I ask at what collision speeds do virtually all walk away from unharmed or, at worst, not dead? 25? 35?

    Heck, the YUGO should have been a major hit.

    • eric
      January 1, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Exactly, Salt.

      I often rant about the absurd disconnect between the ever-increasing capabilities of modern cars – and the ever-increasing criminalization of using those capabilities.

      Consider: In 1970, most highway speed limits were 70-75 (higher than they are now). Yet notwithstanding literally exponential improvements in the average car’s braking ability, grip adhesion and overall controllability, speed limits are about the same (or less) than they were 40-plus years ago.

      It’s absurd – unless, of course, you examine it from the perspective of the system (government, the insurance mafia). Then it makes a great deal of sense. It facilitates the collection of vast sums of money under the rubric of “safety.”

      And it confers vast power upon these entities.

    • Clay Hamm
      January 1, 2014 at 10:52 am

      “Under the current rubric, if safety is the issue then my 911 should be illegal. ”

      Or, any vehicle capable of speeds greater than the speed limit should be relabeled as an “unsafe vehicle”. There should be public outcry at Porsche for the flagrant disregard for public safety.

    • Brian
      January 2, 2014 at 4:56 am

      Please let me tell you and this group something that the vast majority of people do not know: Many semi-truck drivers are forced to drive casterated trucks due to insurance policies that the fleet adopts in order to lower insurance costs! Most OTR trucks today have 400 to 500+ HP engines today and could exceed 100 mph easily! So why are there so many truck drivers driving only 65 mph in a 70 or higher mph speed limit? Insurance dictates! They claim to have determined that OTR truck accidents occure when trucks who have been traveling for hundreds of thousands of miles with no insurance guy following him that driving 68 mph is unsafe driving for everyone, but 65 mph driving is acceptable.
      So here is the problem: Not all trucks are governed, and there are clover truck drivers! Oftentimes a driver with a governed truck will attempt to pass a slower one on an interstate highway. Clover will speed up and match your speed for 5 or 10 miles. The 4 wheeler drivers behind the passer will get angry at the driver in the passing lane for not completing the pass in a timely manner because they believe he can accelerate when he can’t thanks to the insurance company. When clover finally allows the passing truck to fully pass, there is often an angry 4-wheeler driver that desires revenge against the slow poke truck driver. He will pass and slam on his brakes in front of you to punish you!
      Announcement: The next clover who does this to me will get crashed into!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You will finally get what you deserve!
      Folks, please remember that slow trucks are usually not operated by drivers who want to drive that slowly. We get paid by the mile. The truck driver in the slow lane is usually the cause of a rolling truck road block.

      • RothbardianamericanHelot
        January 2, 2014 at 5:36 am

        The Free State Project was a close chance to create something different. A kingdom of liberty.

        I wonder why there can’t be a kingdom of liberty in America?

        What a nice place that would be.

        I imagine that’s what people in the old days thought that’s what America represented. … A kingdom of liberty.

        What a nice place that’d be.

        Got Damn! Can’t we even get a county like that?

        I imagine some already got that, only they are being quiet about it.

        Wouldn’t you, too?

        Camelot.
        … I so want to go there.

      • eric
        January 2, 2014 at 6:15 am

        Hi Brian,

        I know a guy who is an OTR trucker, so I’m hip to this – and more. For those who do not know, OTR trucking is becoming Soviet trucking. These guys are monitored at every step – literally. The trucks can be disabled remotely if a central operator decides the driver has been on the road “too long.” There is almost no latitude for the expression of individual judgment. The driver has become a human automaton. And the next step – being worked on feverishly – is to get rid of him entirely.

        • Phillip the Bruce
          January 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

          I know someone who got a DoT ticket for surpassing his time allotment while sitting in line at Customs on the US-Canada border. Ain’t governed life grand?

      • BrentP
        January 2, 2014 at 11:45 am

        Yes, some trucks are governed and the trucker being passed is an ass… but there are just too many other things going on before that situation occurs.

        All too often truckers begin a pass they know they won’t complete in a timely manner when traffic is approaching from the rear at a non-trivial rate or is already along side them in some cases. This happens regardless if their rigs appear to be governed or not IME. They don’t want to wait to start their pass so they make others wait behind them until they’ve completed it.

        The interstates I typically drive have three or more lanes per direction. Because it’s easier for them truckers usually don’t use the right lane. Then they, like the clovers, spread out across the other lanes. When traveling at peak trucking times it is not unusual to come across a wall of trucks. Sometimes only the left most lane is open of four or five lanes. There will sit a clover or one trucker decides he has to pass the wall and thus makes the wall complete. This despite the ‘trucks right two lanes’ signs. Which appear to have been becoming fewer.

        Some trucks may be governed, but that just makes behaviors like the above worse, it isn’t their cause.

  17. Clay Hamm
    January 1, 2014 at 9:46 am

    A few years ago in the Road Construction (one of Chicago’s two seasons: Summer and Road Construction) on a holiday weekend Saturday at 6 am I was cruising along in my 2000 Silverado on cruise control. I had all my extension ladders and aluminum planks on the rack (no, I wasn’t overloaded) and headed to a job, just enjoying the light amount of traffic and wishing it could always be like this. I realized I was gaining on the guy in front of me so, since the left lane was open (see, I was driving in the correct lane) I determined that I could simply drift over and then get back without interrupting my cruise setting. While in the left lane I noticed that the motorcyle who was but a speck just a moment ago, was gaining quickly and my plan needed to be amended. I floored it and got back over in the right lane only to discover that it was a State Trooper with a helmet cam/radar. I’ll shorten the long story – I got a mandatory appearance ticket for $375 because this took place in a construction zone. Never mind that there were no workers during this three day weekend, and the traffic was almost non-existent, and I was not speeding but during the time I was getting out of his way.

  18. Salt
    January 1, 2014 at 10:12 am

    This is slightly off topic.

    I purchased an ION sport cam and use it as a dash-cam. With a 32mb datacard and wired for constant power I get about 10hrs of recording, with audio (at 1080p resoultion). Fantastic quality. Cops have them, now so do I.

    As Eric says, unless one loses control of their car, how is one unsafe? Yes, I do support coming down on someone who acts irresponsibly. But speed itself is not irresponsible. I had a guy, who was whipping himself around cars trying to get ahead as fast as he could, pull in front of me with but inches to spare. His action was irresponsible, not the speed. Which brings me to why the dash-cam.

    Laws are NOT brought about totally arbitrarily. There is always discussion as to the why of it by those who make such laws. Speed limits are safety based. Doing 90 in a proclaimed 55 zone, say on an interstate, is not, itself, necessarily unsafe.

    For example, and as I once posted here about, I was ticketed for Following to Closely. I got out of it by the statute itself – proof of such is only by a collision (damage).

    I have often driven around the DC beltway. No one goes the speed limit. Yet, everyone seems to get where they are going. How is that possible? So much unsafe all at once.

    Speed limits are capricious. Was I irresponsible? Lets see what my dash-cam says.

    • eric
      January 1, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Good stuff, Salt.

      Both Dom and I have cameras, too.

      Did you know you can post videos over at http://www.clovercam.com? This is an adjunct page to EPautos.com

      Check it out!

  19. Larry
    January 1, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I think focusing on speed limits is Just picking the low fruit
    off the tree. Speed limit signs and obeying them is Just one of the hundreds of driving laws that we the licensed subjects are exposed to.. Driving laws are by design, made to be broken. they serve two fold, either intentionally or unintentionally. Humans by nature cannot function in their natural state by absolutes, and Government knows this, it’s their way of stacking the deck so-to-speak. By making laws that are counter intuitive to Human behavior, they gain the upper hand and can impose their will on their subjects. this is controlled further by denying the subjects the opportunity to change these laws by way of licensing.

    once you allow yourself to be licensed, you have lost your human right to govern yourself.

    Anyone remember the story about Saudi Arabian women fighting for their RIGHT TO DRIVE??… Interestingly enough in the US it’s not a right. It’s a privilege.

    • Jean
      January 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      That is identical to an excerpt from “Atlas Shrugged.” Ayn’s point there was that the rules are specifically made so they can not be obeyed without being broken – that is the point. It enables “The Gunverment” to take what they want under color of law.

      Only solution is to kill them all. Naked force is all they respect; give it to them in spades.

  20. Noel
    January 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Great article. DO wish more people were 1) aware that all speed limits, etc pertain to commercial vehicles and not us; 2) that while inconvenient, if arrested, then the court appearance FORCES the system to admit it; 3)that by more cases in more courts, by spreading the word, these damnable socialistic laws will fade away…

  21. Elo
    January 1, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Try life without traffic lights too.

    • eric
      January 2, 2014 at 7:15 am

      Apples and oranges, Elo – and thus, a bad argument.

      But, the fact is traffic lights are over-posted, too. That is, there are too many of them – and most are “dumb” in the sense that they simple go red and green according to a clock, not the presence or absence of traffic. Thus, people are required by law to sit at a red when then there is no reason for them to do so other than it being required by law. When traffic is light, lights should be flashing yellow – proceed with caution. It’s preposterous to punish a driver merely for making a “right on red” (or left on red) if he did so without causing harm to anyone.

      • Elo
        January 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm

        Wasn’t making an argument. Traffic lights are as useless as speed limits – for the most part.

        • eric
          January 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm

          Roger that, Elo!

  22. john
    January 1, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    As an extension of Peters’ remarks, we also have altogether too many cops in this nation, one for every 300 mundanes, the highest ratio in the world, with the possible exception of North Korea. Being one of America’s Swinest is also one of the safest outdoor jobs in our country, being nowhere in the top ten of dangerous professions or trades. And they typically get to retire after twenty and can go on to another department and another high-paid twenty! But “they lay their lives on the line for us every day!” Like hell they do! Want to see a leisurely response time? Just call 911 and say “Shots fired.”

    • eric
      January 2, 2014 at 7:07 am

      Hi John,

      Yup.

      A telling fact about “the freest country on Earth” is that more Americans are in prison than in Russia or China and perhaps even North Korea.

      Police in this country have become a de facto army of occupation – with legitimate peace keeping becoming more and more a peripheral part of the job.

  23. Steve Victor
    January 1, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I’ve been saying the same thing for years. Government might properly SUGGEST maximum speeds, but it has no right to MANDATE them and fine people (i.e., steal their money) if they refuse to obey them. To suggest is to try to protect us (from ourselves, ostensibly). To mandate and punish when no harm has been done is facetious totalitarianism.

    • eric
      January 2, 2014 at 7:04 am

      Exactly, Steve… I keep hammering away at. Maybe one of these days, we’ll get through to the Clovers.

      Or at least, around them!

  24. Patriot1
    January 2, 2014 at 12:50 am

    CloverOne time I was driving in a residential area. The speed limit was 35, and I was going 35. Suddenly a fuzzy little puppy ran out in front of my truck. I slammed the breaks on and fortunately, I stopped a foot short of it. Then three little kids, from 8 to 12 years old, came running out and got their puppy. It scared the crap out of them, but their puppy was unhurt. I was glad I didn’t hit it, being that I ‘m a dog lover. If I had been going 40, 5 MPH over the speed limit, which I usually do, it would have been a different, and very sad story. Speed limit laws are reasonable laws, especially in residential areas. I’m a very good driver, but no amount of skill will help you in a situation like I experienced with the puppy. And then there’s winter driving conditions. I live in Minnesota. I see winter accidents all the time, mainly caused by icy conditions, especially black ice, which is one of the most dangerous things there is. When there’s black ice on the roads, anybody who is a good driver will always drive slower than usual. Most accidents are caused by people who think they can drive the speed limit on icy roads. They think that because they have a four wheel drive they can drive as fast as they want. Wrong. It doesn’t matter what kind of a vehicle you have or how good of a driver you are, ice is ice. This Peters guy must live in a warm weather state. Try driving on ice and snow sometime. It can humble you very quickly, you might not be as good a driver as you think you are. Try hitting a patch of black ice and rolling end over end into a ditch at 60 MPH. I have. It’s not much fun. Doesn’t matter how good of a driver you think you are, once you hit a patch of black ice, you no longer have control and are at the mercy of the elements. So Mr. Peters, before you shoot your mouth off, try driving in Minnesota some time. It’ll shut your cocky ass up real fast. I’m no “clover” either, I hate slow drivers just as much as the next guy, but I don’t like people who drive way too fast either. It’s just common sense.

    • BrentP
      January 2, 2014 at 1:57 am

      had you been going 35mph and left a few seconds earlier or the dog had escaped a moment sooner the dog would have also gotten hit. It simply would have been too close to you when you saw it for you to stop.

      But nobody here is talking about residential roads. I’ve never understood why the law-is-the-law-obey-the-law and the speed kills types have to equate interstates with residential streets. Sure the speed limits are set right on residential streets almost always. What does that have to do with absurdly low interstate speeds tens of mph below the flow speed let alone the max safe speed? With arterial roads set 10 or 15 mph below what they should be?

      If the puppy and the kids are going to run out into the interstate I don’t think the problem is drivers’ speeds.

      Doesn’t matter how good of a driver you think you are, once you hit a patch of black ice, you no longer have control and are at the mercy of the elements.

      Typical american thinking. No, you’re not at the mercy of the elements. There are things that can be done. I’m not the greatest driver, hell I ain’t even a good driver compared to the people I consider good/great drivers, but here’s me hitting some black ice in my ’97 Mustang a few years ago:

      • January 2, 2014 at 2:15 am

        If you look at the history of the discussion, yes, we were indeed talking about that. I understand Eric’s point about “pre-crime” and I agree with him but I think you’re pretty much an awful person if you’re that careless, at least as awful as the cop who stops you from doing so. Highways are a completely different story and I agree that speed limits there are absolutely absurd.

        • eric
          January 2, 2014 at 6:39 am

          Certainly, David.

          But, remember: “Awful” (Careless, reckless, criminal) people will always be among us. Laws do not magically rid us of their kind. What they do is treat us all – in an ever descending spiral of laws – as presumptively careless, reckless and criminal. At first, it seems somewhat reasonable and the restrictions are mild. But the inevitable logic of the principle that has been accepted will lead to increasingly less reasonable restrictions – and before you know it, you know it, a 12-year-old boy can’t board an airplane without having his balls fondled by a government goon.

          • Me2
            January 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm

            Eric, i fear you may be insane;
            ———————
            Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

            Albert Einstein
            ——————–

            Not really (I don’t think you expect different), but I see you repeatedly explaining things in the same logical and well reasoned manner only to have the Cloverish continue bleating the same idiotic safety catchphrases they learned by rote and have no true understanding of or compulsion to investigate critically.

            -Think of the children, Speed kills (it doesn’t, abruptly becoming stationary does), Officer Safety,……..

            Yet ask these idiots how thick their brake pad/disks are, the depth of the tread on their tires, the season rating of the tires, what to do in a skid…….. Blank stares.

            I see stupid people, and they don’t know they are stupid.

          • eric
            January 2, 2014 at 1:38 pm

            I know, Me2 . . . I know… sigh.

            But what else is there to do?

            I suppose if I were a psychopath, I could simply use my knowledge of the weak-minded to exploit them for power and profit.

            Sometimes, it sucks having a conscience.

          • Me2
            January 2, 2014 at 12:40 pm

            Eric – “and before you know it, you know it, a 12-year-old boy can’t board an airplane without having his balls fondled by a government goon.”

            Right after the TSA scanners were installed, I said to some friends, “soon, you will not be able to board a plane without a cavity search”. They all told me I was crazy and that the public would never allow it.

            A while back, I sent them all a link to several of the ‘roadside anal/vaginal probe’ articles that have become all too common, asking what the public was doing about them. No responses.

            At a lunch a few days ago, I reminded one of the recipients of the links that he had not responded. He became irate that I was ‘harassing’ him with this stuff. I pointed out that I was merely highlighting the abuse, not performing it and that his anger was misplaced.

            “I don’t want to hear about it” was the only thing he could say.

            These people all deserve what is coming.

          • Me2
            January 2, 2014 at 1:53 pm

            ” I could simply use my knowledge of the weak-minded to exploit them for power and profit.

            Sometimes, it sucks having a conscience.”

            We may have been separated at birth. :)

            I am facing the same dilemma and cognitive dissonance. It may be wrong to fleece the sheep but it seems the only logical thing to do when faced with a mass of them, hell bent on remaining sheep and supporting the Shepards-cum-Wolves….

            More and more the Matrix quote is relevant;
            ” But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

            At some point, my survival trumps the rights of the willfully ignorant. The alternative is basically suicide.

          • Me2
            January 7, 2014 at 11:49 am

            Kind of sums up my thoughts (mostly);

            http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/violence-face-tyranny-often-necessary/

            NAP, while adequate for dealing with the moral, needs to be discarded at some point when dealing with those unrestrained by morality and conscience . Otherwise, you are merely bring words to a gunfight.

          • Bevin
            January 7, 2014 at 6:13 pm

            Dear Me2,

            No disagreement over what you meant.

            But I think it’s important to agree on the definition of the NAP. I’d say that what you advocate was already covered by the NAP.

            Sovereign individuals were attacked long ago by others who labeled themselves “The Government” and asserted the “right” to do so on the premise that they represented “higher authority” that must be obeyed and paid.

            Therefore sovereign individuals had the moral right to resist violently long ago. Choosing not to do so was merely a case of not resisting while a mugger has his gun pointed at your head.

            It’s not a moral issue at all. It’s merely a tactical issue.

        • Gil
          January 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm

          By such reasoning attempted murder cannot be a crime as it’s a “pre-crime” any more than buying a set of steak knives. “The Simpsons” made a gag to the tune of “attempted murder ought not be a crime just as no one gives out Nobel prizes for attempting science”.Clover

          On the other hand, who dares to BrentP as how to many pirouettes he do with his truck on icy roads?

          • eric
            January 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

            Are you insane?

            A serious question. Because I cannot see how a person in possession of his senses could fail to grasp that attempting to kill someone is an act of extreme aggression – and as such, no Libertarian (or decent person, period) would ever countenance such.

            Of course, I realize that to the Clover Mind (such as it is) such things as driving faster than an arbitrary number are synonymous with attempted murder.

      • clover
        January 2, 2014 at 8:14 pm

        Clover

        Brent you continually show your stupidity. You recently told about when you went into the ditch sliding backwards. If the ice was the same in the video above you either would have hit the cement or been steam rolled by the semi. I did have to laugh at the 4 wheel drive truck that blew past me on not very good roads recently and watched him fly into the ditch with snow flying high. Expert drivers can not drive fast on ice with normal tires. On some ice 15 mph is too fast. I watched other vehicles go into the ditch at those speeds. One time a long time ago I had a rear wheel drive vehicle and it was so icy on a side street that I had to put the vehicle in and out of drive or I was sliding off the road.

        You say all you need is expert drivers to drive fast. just like the crash of the 40 year old ex race car driver recently that was in the news? I would bet that he was a better driver than anyone you know. He was lucky and only killed two.

        • eric
          January 3, 2014 at 6:56 am

          Clover, if all you’ve got in the way of argument is “you’re stupid!” then I have one for you in the same vein:

          I know you are – but what am I!

          Brent’s a credentialed engineer and he backs up his statements not with 5th grade-level insults but facts (which you seem incapable of comprehending differ from opinions).

          Who are you? Some guy on the Internet who has difficulty composing a grammatically correct sentence – to say nothing of a coherent, logically expressed argument.

          Not only haven’t you got any standing to discuss engineering or driving, you haven’t even got the ability formulate your non-expert/layman’s opinions in other-than-gibberish format.

          Again, you’re here only for purposes of illustration. To demonstrate the flimsiness of what guys like Brent (and myself) are tasked with unmasking.

        • BrentP
          January 3, 2014 at 10:57 am

          Clover,
          The way you lie about what I wrote previously and what I “say” is astounding. You are certainly a despicable creature. I am not going to spend time correcting you. Now go back under your bridge.

          The point I was making is that the notion of ‘give up’ is something we are programmed with. It’s difficult to fight off the learned helplessness. In driving it manifests itself with notions of being at the mercy of the elements, that collisions are ‘accidents’, and so on. It’s entirely false. As shown, I push my left foot down on the clutch pedal and make corrective steering inputs. Had I left myself to the ‘mercy of the elements’ as clovers do, I might not be typing this right now.

        • Brandonjin
          January 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm

          Clover, the 40 year old you refer to, Paul Walker, was not an ex racer. He was doing it to the day he died. Paul was not driving the car. His friend, Roger Rodas was driving the Carrera GT, and got into the accident killing him and Paul.

          • BrentP
            January 3, 2014 at 1:49 pm

            Plus the investigation showed they were obeying the posted speed limit. 45mph into a rigid light pole inches from the roadway can be quite deadly. Also in California they have theses lane marker reflector things that bump up from the road surface. Domed things. Some have theorized that in a lane change they could have sent the difficult to handle Porsche all squirrelly unexpectedly.

            Combine these factors and what killed them? Poor government road design. But of course in clover-world government is faultless. Had they used the style of reflector used in Illinois, recessed as to allow for plows, and/or used light poles with break-away bolts, nobody would have died.

            If it was a private road, the owner would likely get sued over these things. But alas, it’s government.

          • Boothe
            January 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm

            BrentP – (Placing tongue firmly in cheek) you know Walker & Rodas were driving a Porsche which is a (potentially) “fast car”, so it must be a “dangerous” car. I mean really, look at picture of a Carrera GT; it looks “fast” just sitting there. So you know it must be dangerous and accident prone. I mean really, who needs such a car as this? It could kill just sitting by the curb. The same way that an AR-15, being a high capacity “assault weapon” can kill just by sitting in your safe. Who needs such a gun? Jeeees! Don’t you “speed freaks”, “gear heads” and “gun nuts” get it? That “ex racer” dude must have been going fast, because well, the car looks fast and his buddy was prolly just like him and drove too fast too, dontcha know, and that’s what got ‘em killed, see? The probably had a hidden compartment in the car, with guns in it and were on their way to school shooting when they wrecked too. Besides, everybody knows that clover is way smarter than everybody else; that’s why we all seem so stupid to him/her/it. Clover’s probably even smarter still and quite the orator after a few beers, so other folks are jealous of that and that’s why s/he/it got punched/bitch slapped regularly back when s/he/it’d go out drinking. ;)

            The actual speed (which Porsche engineers are supposed to extract from its data recorder…at some time…for the cops) has yet to be revealed. But if it was 27 MPH, it was “too fast” according to the cloverian worldview. Because, well, you know, an accident happened and it was a “fast car” and Paul Walker “drove fast” “all the time.” Porsche allegedly sent a memo to to its dealers that: “not only reveals how remarkably powerful the £300,000 Carrera GT is, but also that “this vehicle cannot drive over a Foster Beer can that is lying on its side” without being damaged.

            The letter issued reads: “The Carerra GT is as close to a racecar as we will ever get. The car has all the disadvantages of a racecar. You need help negotiating small inclines. You need to be aware of what type of road surface you are on.” (quoted from The Business Recorder)

            So Brent, you appear to be correct in your assessment of that car’s quirky behavior. But what if the speed data from the car’s black box disagrees with the popular notion that “speed was involved” (of course it was, cars that aren’t moving don’t collide with stationary objects)? I suspect we’ll stand as much of a chance of seeing that data as we will of seeing the video surveillance records of an unarmed and helpless Miriam Carey’s murder by cops.

          • Brandonjin
            January 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

            Brent, I hear conflicting reports. Autoblog tells me that the LA coroner’s office determined that the car was going 100+
            I will say, it’s interesting that they won’t give a specific MPH, just that it was above triple digits.

            I did hear, as you did, that the reflectors caused the loss of control. My state only has reflectors on the interstate…, and they’re in the median. I agree too, that there would be a lawsuit if the road was private.

    • eric
      January 2, 2014 at 6:48 am

      Patriot,

      Stating that “speed limit laws are reasonable laws” is not an argument – it is an assertion. And relating an anecdote is not evidentiary proof of anything.

      It’s just a “story.”

      Now, the facts are that most speed limits are set well below the engineering standard (85th percentile speed) not to mention the “common sense” you cite.

      The fact is that individual skill/judgment varies – and that some people are more capable of controlling a car at 10 MPH over an arbitrary speed limit than some people are at 10 MPH below. This can be easily demonstrated by setting up a few cones in a parking lot and evaluating the ability of random drivers to negotiate a course. To insist on a one-size-fits all standard based on the least common denominator is as preposterous as demanding that “Smith” not run any faster than “Jones” in a footrace.

      PS: I live up in the mountains of rural SW Virginia – and I assure you, winter driving on these shoulder-less and narrow mountain roads with steep drop-offs is as challenging as driving in Minnesota. We get plenty of ice here. Snow, too.

      And for the record, I have driven all over the country – including Alaska (as well as outside this country, including rural Canada in winter and several European countries on top of that).

      Your “argument” – if it can be called that – is just the usual tedious Cloveritic eructation that whatever you’re comfortable with (and not comfortable with) is “reasonable” – and anyone who questions this is “reckless.”

      • January 2, 2014 at 8:44 am

        Eric says:

        “…just the usual tedious Cloveritic eructation that whatever you’re comfortable with (and not comfortable with) is “reasonable” – and anyone who questions this is “reckless.”

        Priceless!

        • eric
          January 2, 2014 at 9:02 am

          Thanks, GR!

          “Patriot’s” line of thinking, of course, is the same sort of thinking that argues in favor of “reasonable” gun control.

          I doubt he sees this either. But perhaps now he’ll at least begin to consider it.

    • Darien
      January 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      I’ll see your “I live in Minnesota” and raise you an “I live in Alaska.” I’m plenty familiar with snow and ice, and narrow, poorly maintained roads. And you know what? I’m with Eric on this one.

      It’s completely fine for you not to like people driving what you consider to be “too fast.” I don’t like them either. But you know what? Me not liking something does not make it a crime. Is there some reason why you’re exceptional in this regard?

  25. Tor Minotaur
    January 2, 2014 at 4:24 am

    There are 3 Million Calvinists Fighting to Survive In South Africa. 500,000 have fled and are in diaspora.
    http://vimeo.com/32401140

    Peaceful Afrikaner community wants to extract vengeance on suspected murderer of 4-year-old Jasmine Pretorius
    http://afrikaner-genocide-achives.blogspot.com/

    White Genocide in South Africa
    http://www.genocidewatch.org/southafrica.html

    20 whites and 30 blacks are murdered by blacks each day in South Africa. (Population 51 million) 9% white.
    290/100,000 per year of white farmers are murdered. The European murder rate is 2/100,000 per year.

    - I contend that the 241 out of 317 million Americans who are Christians are comfortable in their blissful lala land, accepting all manner of manufactured fantasies about reality, instead of seeing clearly and dealing forthrightly with what’s plainly going on all around them.

    If you’re a Christian content to shop at Walmart and rely on the grid and forced economical system of the captive wage slavers, your beliefs are largely irrelevant. You’re part of the problem, not the solution.

    Preppers, Private Property Anarchists, Agorists, Counter-Economic Capitalists, Crypto-Insurgents, that’s the base. That is the backbone and heart of the future on which the Ron Paul generation will grow and thrive in the emerging voluntaryist freedom

  26. Tor Minotaur
    January 2, 2014 at 6:55 am

    The 13-Year-Old So. African Free State Project

    Orania – Afrikaner Free State

    Orania – Nowhere Else

    In December 1990, 40 Afrikaner families bought a dilapidated construction camp/town for the builders of a dam on the Orange River for US$ 200,000. Today it is worth US $500 million.

    It’s falsely portrayed as a racial enclave, but in actuality has a 3% colored and black population. It is true english-only speakers are not permitted to work there. Residents are required to learn Afrikaans and Afrikaner culture as a prerequisite. If they can be said to have an enemy, it is the English and UK Commonwealth Client State government that is their enemy, not the Africans.

    They have their own flag, bank, and currency. They are attempting to be internationally recognized by the UN and to build more Volkstaats throughout South Africa. In an Afrikaans newspaper survey 56% said they would move to a Volkstaat and 17% said they would consider moving, if one were available nearby.

    In 2012, Orania and the Xhosa community of Mnyameni signed a cooperation agreement. They aggred to assist each other in the development of their own institutions and to transfer knowledge between their communities in order to reduce their dependency on government.

    Orania has 10,000 registered supporters. In Orania, people from all levels of society perform their own manual labour. Since purchasing the 430 hectare town, the community has added 7 000 hectare of agricultural land. There are 70 businesses located in Orania.

    UK News Article About Orania
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2321236/Orania-Whites-town-South-Africa-Afrikaners-dream-building-state.html

  27. Jahfre Fire Eater
    January 2, 2014 at 10:14 am

    No Wake. Boat speed limits?

    I live on a dirt road, how about a “no dust” rule rather than an absolute speed limit? Should communities control how folks may drive through them or is a “No limit” policy everywhere, anywhere, all the time the only acceptable answer?

  28. Carl
    January 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Put it another way: what if we have speed limit for copulation in bedroom where everybody have to push at a certain rate per minute?

  29. louie
    January 2, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    I was in australia a couple months ago. In the island state of tasmania the law is all “p”s (learner permit holders) can’t go over 80 kph. The limit on the highways are 110. It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t two lane highways. They really back up traffic. You get a line of 20-30 cars stuck behind a slow driver. Talk about no brains, how are they supposed to learn to drive at highway speeds if they can’t go over 45 mph? And dangerous too, your going 65-70 and you come up real fast. Highway is real hilly and curvy. And there are movable speed cameras set up all over.

    • Darien
      January 2, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Reminds me of my mother’s theory back when I was a kid. I got my learner’s permit, but she was adamant that I was not allowed to drive until I had my full license.

      She never did explain how she figured I’d learn to drive without being allowed to do it.

      • eric
        January 3, 2014 at 6:54 am

        I don’t have kids, but if I did, I’d begin explaining things about driving (situational awareness, lane discipline) long before they even reached their teens. And they’d be driving – under my supervision – around the time they became teens (13 or so).

        It’s a particularly bizarre notion to keep kids away from motor vehicles until they reach 16 – and then toss ‘em the keys and tell ‘em, in effect, go play in traffic.

        • Linda
          January 3, 2014 at 11:38 am

          I took my children to the local mall parking lot on Sundays (at that time the mall was closed on Sundays) and taught them to drive, park within the stall lines, stop at the correct distance from the intersection. They were each between the ages of 13 and 15 when we started.

          The younger kids were in the car as well, so if they were paying attention they learned a lot.

          They had practical experience well before they took drivers ed. in high school.

          I allowed them to drive in our cul-de-sac, until some of the other mothers didn’t think children should be driving.

          Sigh! I guess I’ve always been a rebel.

        • January 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm

          So true. It makes too much sense for the clovers, though.

  30. Tor Minotaur
    January 3, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    That Cargo Cult that you speak of, is in reality maybe 10 times larger than our World Economy, I’m thinking.

    What Clover (Henry Anderson, or what did he say his name was?) correctly perceives is that there is something greater and more powerful than us mundane people. We’re better off mentally and financially than him, but that doesn’t matter he thinks.

    All our skills, our incomes, our families, and our wealth, are transacted in dollars. We are part of the reality/credit $77 trillion world economy.

    Clover may or may not earn money and be a part of our economy. But he definitely considers himself a part of the $770 trillion worldwide government force economy. The “Cargo Cult” of health, security, welfare, and safety, the four freedoms the UN declared in 1947.

    Rather than compete with us, or make a wager with us, in reality in an honest competition. Rather than put his money where his mouth is. He puts Government Promises and Threats where his mouth is. He imagines himself winning since he only competes with us in the Official Unreality.

    He sees his neighbors and people on the internet as only linked to him through the Cargo Cult of law and police power. He could care less about the reality of all the computers, connectors, and energy that make up the internet. He blanks out the significance of winning a more attractive mate, and walking through life with dignity and esteem.

    He denies all the car manufacturers, roads, fuel, and engineering that make up the highway system. He is a blissful Eloi member of the Government Cargo Cult. He knows the laws and rules, and is in good stead. He is relevant and important in something greater than himself. And something ten times greater than us as well.

    He looks down at us as Savage Morlocks who foolishly try to deal with reality and be individuals. We are filthy neanderthals in his, glassy jackboot admiring eyes.

    He sees all Morlocks as equivalent. There are Morlocks who follow The Law. And Morlocks who are Enemy Criminals. He is unable to distinguish between legitimately held wealth and power and illegitimate.

    When Clover is eventually eaten by the hidden Cannibal Morlocks who perpetrate the illusion of a benevolent government, even then, he will never truly realize what happened to him, and how he threw his life away.

    Morlocks – Time Machine – 1960

  31. MikeFromWichita
    January 5, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Just as pointing a firearm at another person is a clear act of aggression to be treated as such, so is driving your vehicle at a ridiculous speed down a residential street. Expecting folks to accept your acts of endangerment until you finally have an oopsie and then let you skate with a trival fine just isn’t in the cards.

    • eric
      January 5, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Clover,

      Pointing a loaded gun at someone is indisputably a mortal threat; there is no gray area.

      But what is “ridiculous” speed? The speed you decide is “too fast”?

      By what objective standard?

      There is none such.

      And that’s why your assertion is preposterous and your drawing an equivalence between pointing a loaded gun at someone and driving faster than an arbitrary speed limit or faster than someone else happens to feel comfortable about is ludicrous.

      • January 5, 2014 at 9:08 pm

        There might be a speed that, in certain areas (obviously depending on conditions) might be for all intents and purposes the same. That said, anyone who drove that fast in traffic would crash anyway. There wouldn’t be anything the cops could do even if they wanted to.

        Along these lines, someone in my family seriously questioned my premise that taxes were taken at gunpoint. I asked them to try not paying their taxes and see what happens (my point was, of course, rhetorical, as they know as well as I do that they’d go to prison.) “Well, you should pay your taxes”, they respond (Whether true or not, I fail to see how that addresses my point that taxes are taken at gunpoint.) I pointed out that you can get locked up if you don’t pay, and if you sufficiently resist you’d be killed. They actually asked me to name an example! I don’t see how this isn’t an obvious, but fortunately, I immediately thought of Larken Rose. They continued arguing the point, however.

        Its one thing to say taxes are a necessary evil. Its another thing to say they are acceptable. But I don’t understand how, short of plain stupidity, you can deny that they are coercive. I really don’t see what’s so complicated about that FACT.

        • eric
          January 6, 2014 at 7:01 am

          They’ve been well-trained!

          Which means, taught not to think, to follow a thing through to its logical conclusion. To “blank it out.” This is part of what Orwell meant by his term, doublethink.

          There is one thing common to the whole rotten edifice: Deliberate (but unconscious) refusal to confront the violence that undergirds everything. From “paying your taxes” to “helping” the poor.

          So long as they aren’t actually committing the violence, there is no violence.

          • RothbardianamericanHelot
            January 10, 2014 at 2:15 am

            eric wrote, “So long as they aren’t actually committing the violence, there is no violence.”

            OMG, if that isn’t the premise of so many original Star Trek episodes, I don’t know what is.

            …and many Twilight Zone, and Outter Limits episodes, too boot.

            Freaking MikeFromWichita and his clover bunch (and those unconsciously swayed by them) never stop to consider, ‘what if the people living in the residential area are Ok and fine with going 80 m.p.h.?’ …The clovers of the world never stop to consider asking what the people living there want.
            It’s all just imposed upon them.
            From down on high.
            …As if they were Zeus. ?
            Bastards.

        • Boothe
          January 10, 2014 at 1:42 am

          David – I generally ask this question: “If you didn’t believe men with guns would come to your house, would you voluntarily pay the tax?” Overwhelmingly, the answer is “No!” So even those that respond with “Well you gotta pay yer taxes” actually do understand the coercive nature of the system even if they won’t admit it.

          • January 10, 2014 at 3:42 am

            Actually, the coercion in enforcing most taxes is subtler than that, in ways that make it more cost-effective for the government. For instance, P.A.Y.E. income tax (withholding taxes, in U.S. jargon) is enforced against employers who have much less of a stake in resisting than the employees who ultimately pay.

          • January 15, 2014 at 10:25 pm

            Unfortunately, I think the people I usually talk to would probably say yes (Maybe its not true, but they’d still say it) and they’d probably appeal to their misinterpretation of “render unto caesar.”

      • MikeFromWichita
        January 10, 2014 at 12:12 am

        CloverNo Eric it is you making the preposterous assertion. Determining whether or not a particular range of driving behaviour is a clear and present danger is a rather simple engineering exercise right down to the number and type of reckless acts by your sort it takes to produce the typical road death or injury.

        • Bevin
          January 10, 2014 at 12:17 am

          Dear MIW,

          Highway engineers and traffic engineers are the first to point out that the speed limits posted by federal, state, and local bureaucrats are usually waaay below the safe limits that they designed into the roadways.

          You are simply talking nonsense.

        • eric
          January 10, 2014 at 7:48 am

          Mike,

          To draw an equivalence between pointing a loaded firearm at someone (unequivocal deadly force intentionally threatened; literally I intend to kill you and have the means to do so) with simply driving faster than an arbitrary velocity is preposterous.

          “Reckless” insofar as traffic law has been dumbed-down to the point of absurdity. In my state, for example, it is defined as any speed in excess of 80 MPH. Yet the highways have a posted limit of 70. The 85th percentile speed (a highway engineering term you’re clearly not familiar with) of traffic is at least 75. Remember, these highways were designed for average speeds of 70-75 MPH … assuming the cars of 60 years ago.

          Do you really regard it as “reckless” to drive 81 MPH?

          The fact is, Mike, that it’s routine for posted limits to not be set in accordance with even 85th percentile speeds. They are commonly set below the 85th percentile speed. Which is why almost every car on any road at any given time is either “speeding” or on the verge of “speeding.”

          It ought to occur to even someone such as yourself that any law disregarded by most people most of the time is probably a silly law.

  32. Tor Minotaur
    January 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Reality itself is mostly a Cargo Cult.

    Here is the most viewed video from a YouTube account with 20 million subscribers – the most popular account in the world.

    A Funny Montage – PewDiePie

    Here is PewDiePie’s girlfriend, CutiePie. The alpha couple of the entertainment world right now.

    Language Challenge: Italian vs. Swedish

    As a libertarian NAPper, it seems prudent to me to find ways to view and acknowledge the world as it is. Not how I’d like it to be. Not what they tell me it is.

  33. speedlimit
    January 7, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    I absolutely hate speed limits. It makes driving on the road so much more difficult. I would be going speed limit and the cars to my right would be going about 5 mph slower than me. So it takes me a few to pass them safely. Meanwhile pissing off the cars behind me… All because I am not allowed to break this arbitrary velocity.

    • eric
      January 8, 2014 at 6:47 am

      Hi Speed,

      You’ve touched on a real safety issue: Speed limits (if obeyed) have made quick/efficient (and thus, safe) passing all-but-impossible. You’re now required (by law) to attempt to pass the car ahead of you doing 52 in a 55 without exceeding 55 – else you’re in peril of being ticketed. The passing maneuver that should have taken a moment ends up taking several; you’re in the opposing lane much longer than you need to be. Unsafe for all concerned.

      Of course, Clover will telly you: Then you shouldn’t try passing. Just “be patient.”

      • Brian
        January 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

        Eric, if you ever get a chance to work on an insurance agent who insures semi-trucks, please set the governor so that it will only go 65 mph.
        The clovers who run the insurance agencies give big discounts (or, more accurately, have risen the rates to others) to trucking companies to set the governed speed of their trucks at 62 mph or 65 mph. The only time those trucks can go faster is when gravity pushes them down hill. This is why there are seemingly so many slow-poke truck drivers on the highway, and why it takes miles to pass another truck. Not all trucks are governed though, and you get a few a**hole clover truck drivers who will speed up to keep you from passing. Of course the 4-wheeler drivers assume that the fault belongs to the governed truck in the passing lane, and the occasional clover will try to “punish” that driver when he finally does get by the slower truck by getting in front and hitting his brakes hard. If the passing driver slows down to allow the cars to get by, then all cars in both lanes will get in the right lane so you can’t get over until all cars and trucks have gone by. Then you still have that slow clover a-hole to try to pass or to stay behind as he slows back down to the speed he was going when you first decided to pass him.
        Most of these trucks could speed up to 80 or above if they weren’t governed beyond maximum rpm.

  34. Phillip the Bruce
    January 9, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I know I’m a few days late posting on this thread. But I’m also now a few dollars short. This morning on my way to work I had to take a 5 minute (at least) break and sit on the shoulder of I-70 with a tax-eater parked behind me with his disco lights on. It was after dawn, but overcast, and I did not see the extra antennae on the dark Crown Vic (otherwise unmarked) until too late. Normally I would not have been going 82 in a 65 – 72 is my usual target speed, when traffic allows that! But to add insult to the $160 injury of the speeding charge, he hit me another $50 for “Failure to display registration card on demand.” Not driving an unregistered vehicle – not even not having the card – I remembered another place to look after I told him I could not find it. When I tried to show him, he said, “I don’t need it now. I needed it when I asked for it.”

    • eric
      January 9, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Phillip,

      Really sorry to hear this; you have my sympathy. If you haven’t got one yet, I strongly urge you to consider buying a good radar detector. Mine has saved me literally thousands of dollars – and evading porky’s snares is priceless!

      • Phillip the Bruce
        January 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm

        Not sure if it would have helped in this case. How do they check your speed when they are moving in traffic also?

        • eric
          January 10, 2014 at 8:22 am

          Hi Phillip,

          The detector would have alerted you to the presence of the cop’s radar – which he probably had on – before you got within his “orbit.” This is exactly the sort of scenario where a radar detector is most helpful.

          It enables you to become aware of them before they become aware of you.

          Remember: Radar is not specific. It diffuses outward, away from the source. Unless you’re the only car on the road, he won’t know it’s you until the radar first indicates a “speeder” – at which point he will begin to focus on the cars in his target spread. If you’ve slowed down by then (thanks to the early warning provided by the detector) you’re usually safe.

  35. January 10, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    @Bevin,

    This morning there was freezing rain in my area. I drove much slower than the PSL on many roads during my commute to work. Traveling between 20-30 mph was common with slower speeds before entering the turns. (Most other people drove slower as well. Several people lost traction and ended off the road. )

    The trip home was much better. I was easily able to safely travel at PSL or better.

    If the PSL was based on sound engineering and most people practiced KeepLeftExceptToPass on multi-lane highways, travel would be better and safer for all.

    • Bevin
      January 10, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      Dear Mith,

      “If the PSL was based on sound engineering and most people practiced KeepLeftExceptToPass on multi-lane highways, travel would be better and safer for all.”

      Amen to that!

      The obstacle standing in the way of rational solutions, as always, is “The Law.” Statutory law. Arbitrary law. It invariably rides roughshod over common sense.

      An anarchistic social order spontaneously evolves natural law oriented rules of thumb that are far more reasonable as well as more conducive to “public safety.”

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