Reckless Ridiculousness

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Do you think it’s reasonable to put someone in jail for up to a full year, fine them thousands of dollars (not counting lawyer fees) and then punish them for an additional 11 years by making it certain that they will have to pay two or three times what the average person pays to insure their car – merely for driving more than 20 MPH above the posted speed limit (no matter what the speed limit is) or faster than 80 MPH, anywhere? Not running over toddlers while rip-roaring drunk. Not driving the wrong way down the highway. Not doing anything, in fact, except driving faster than “x” MPH – regardless of context, regardless of circumstance – and absent any demonstrable harm, much less an actual victim?

If not, then don’t drive in Virginia without your radar detector on. Though it’s not well-known, Virginia law defines merely driving 20 or more over the limit, or faster than 80 MPH, as statutory “reckless driving.”

§ 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit. – A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

This involves no ordinary mail-it-in speeding ticket. The cop can (at his discretion) arrest you on the spot. If he is “nice,” he will merely give you a piece of paper that tells you that you are ordered to appear in court to face the charge. You cannot just pay them off this time. At court, you’d better bring a top-drawer shyster – because if you are convicted, the penalties will be severe. Though it’s not commonly done, the judge can throw you in jail for up to a year. And he can fine you thousands (up to $2,500). And you will pay your lawyer thousands more on top of that to defend you from the worst (jail) and hope he can get the charge reduced to something that doesn’t carry with it the prospect of a couple of months in Oz.

But even if he keeps you out of the clink, the lawyer can’t shield you from the harshest punishment they will throw at you: They will suspend your driving privileges for at least six months and for the next 11 years, that “reckless driving” cite will remain on your DMV record (along with six “demerit points”) and as a result, you will be all but uninsurable. Or rather, you will be forced to pay usurious insurance premiums – typically two or three times what you were paying before. For the next 11 years.

And you haven’t even been accused of causing any actual harm to anyone.

Stick-up men aren’t handled this harshly.

Now, consider:

Many Virginia highways have posted speed limits of 70 MPH – just slightly lower than what they were before 1974, incidentally. (That is, prior to the Fed’s 55 MPH edict – which was eventually repealed some 20 years later. Even so, maximum highway limits still haven’t recovered and are generally lower than they were before the 55 MPH law went into effect. )

Anyone who has driven on a highway lately – or anywhere else, for that matter – knows that traffic normally flows at 5 or 10 MPH faster than the limit. This has been true forever, or at least, as long as we have had speed limits. Which, as everyone – including cops and judges and the people who write the laws – knows can’t be described as the Maximum Safe Speed for the road. Everyone knows they’re just numbers – typically set  several notches below the routine, average speed of traffic to say nothing of the maximum safe speed for that road.

Under the old 55 limit – in force for more than 20 years, finally repealed in the mid-’90s – it was statutory reckless driving to be traveling 76 MPH on the Interstate. Today, it’s a minor speeding ticket to do the same thing. Unless, of course, you go 5 MPH faster than that. Now you are a Reckless Driver. A killer of Our Children and such. Even though it is often moms in minivans doing the “reckless driving” (statutorily speaking).

The poor people out there are like seals happily swimming in the waters off San Francisco Bay – blissfully unaware of the Great Whites lurking nearby.

And this “20 over” business is perhaps even more absurd. Near us, they (the government drones) recently decided for whatever reason (well, for reasons of revenue) to drop the posted speed limit on a very broad four lane artery by a full 10 MPH down to 35 MPH. It is 55 MPH shortly before the change in signs – and of course the road is still the same road and the cars still drive at pretty much the same speed as they did before, which means 50-ish MPH.

Which means – give that man a prize – reckless driving.

Thousands of people are cited for this in VA every year. Can there really be that many reckless drivers out there? Sounds awfully scary. Or is just another example of latter-day USA police state excessiveness; the phenomenon that writer Sam Francis christened anarcho-tyranny? What he meant by that is a system under which trivial – and typically victimless – violations of administrative law, the sorts of penny-ante “offenses” that are committed by ordinary people (that is, non-criminals) are dealt with severely – while actual crime, with real victims, goes gently into that good night.

Think about it: You’re driving along with the flow of traffic, headed to your vacation destination. You and everyone else around you is doing 75-80-ish, as is common, routine and typical on an Interstate highway. The cop up ahead in the cut-out with his radar gun picks you out of the group, like a white shark separating one of the seals from the others. You were just driving “x” MPH. A violation of administrative law, surely. But reckless driving? Seriously? It’s so jaw-droppingly excessive, so over-the-top preposterous … so silly – that it literally boggles the mind.

Meanwhile, if you’re the head honcho of some politically connected corporate boondoggle – Solyndra, say – you can victimize millions of people (the millions of taxpayers who were forced to pay the millions that enabled you to steal billions) and not even get a fine.

Which of the two would you say is “reckless”?

But, tell it to the judge. . .  .

Throw it in the Woods?


  1. Anyone convicted of 70 in 55 should have been pardoned and compensated once that stupid 55 law was repealed. I know the system’s corrupt but that’s the best we can hope for.

  2. As you may know, Virginia is the only state that bans the use and sale of radar detectors. There is no evidence that the radar detector ban increases highway safety. Our nation’s fatality rates have fallen consistently for almost two decades. Virginia’s fatality rate has also fallen, but not any more dramatically than it has nationwide. Research has even shown that radar detector owners have a lower accident rate than motorists who do not own a detector.

    Maintaining the ban is not in the best interest of Virginians or visitors to the state. Some people will not drive in Virginia due to this ban. Unjust enforcement practices are not unheard of, and radar detectors can keep safe motorists from being exploited by abusive speed traps. Likewise, the ban has a negative impact on Virginia’s business community. Electronic distributors lose business to neighboring states and Virginia misses out on valuable sales tax revenue.

    Radar detector bans do not work. Research and experience show that radar detector bans do not result in lower accident rates, improved speed-limit compliance or reduce auto insurance expenditures.
    • The Virginia radar detector ban is difficult and expensive to enforce. The Virginia ban diverts precious law enforcement resources from more important duties and this ban may be ILLEGAL.
    • Radar detectors are legal in the rest of the nation, in all 49 other states. In fact, the first state to test a radar detector ban, Connecticut, repealed the law – it ruled the law was ineffective and unfair. It is time for our Virginia to join the rest of the nation.
    • It has never been shown that radar detectors cause accidents or even encourage motorists to drive faster than they would otherwise. The Yankelovich – Clancy – Shulman Radar Detector Study conducted in 1987, showed that radar detector users drove an average of 34% further between accidents (233,933 miles versus 174,554 miles) than non radar detector users. The study also showed that they have much higher seat belt use compliance. If drivers with radar detectors have fewer accidents, it follows that they have reduced insurance costs – it is counterproductive to ban radar detectors.
    • In a similar study performed in Great Britain by MORI in 2001 the summary reports that “Users (of radar detectors) appear to travel 50% further between accidents than non-users. In this survey the users interviewed traveling on average 217,353 miles between accidents compared to 143,401 miles between accidents of those non-users randomly drawn from the general public.” The MORI study also reported “Three quarters agree, perhaps unsurprisingly, that since purchasing a radar detector they have become more conscious about keeping to the speed limit…” and “Three in five detector users claim to have become a safer driver since purchasing a detector.”
    • Modern radar detectors play a significant role in preventing accidents and laying the technology foundation for the Safety Warning System® (SWS). Radar detectors with SWS alert motorists to oncoming emergency vehicles, potential road hazards, and unusual traffic conditions. There are more than 10 million radar detectors with SWS in use nationwide. The federal government has earmarked $2.1 million for further study of the SWS over a three-year period of time. The U.S. Department of Transportation is administering grants to state and local governments to purchase the SWS system and study its effectiveness (for example, in the form of SWS transmitters for school buses and emergency vehicles). The drivers of Virginia deserve the right to the important safety benefits that SWS delivers.

    Please help to repeal this ban and give drivers in Virginia the freedom to know if they are under surveillance:

    Tell Friends and Family about this.

    • I remember in the mid ’80’s when radar detectors came out for the first time Down Under. Car yards were enticing sales by having a factory-fitted radar detector with every new car sold. It took about a week for the “authoritais” to crush that one forever. Complete ban on all detection systems. People still used them tho. We can purchase them from anywhere in the world, but can’t use ’em in the car, just like scanners.

  3. All very intelligent commentary.
    The Bible told (and tells) us exactly what has been and continues to happen.

    When the Hebrews rejected the prophets and demanded a king (someone the people could give the power to) we started down this slippery slope.

    When we fail to kill the evil doers, but only lock them up and turn them loose after a time, we invite evil to return to their ways.

    Look at where we have arrived: Good is called evil, and evil is called good. Just like Eric said, one goes to jail for speeding, but murderers are let loose (once they have been rehabilitated)

    Bottom line, “The People” have exactly the government “The People” asked for. The rest of us are stuck with it.

    Listen and understand, There is No Hope without Jesus.

    • Strange, the Bible says that all authority comes from God. Hence Ghengis Khan was Biblically correct when he say something to the tune of “what terrible people you must have been for God to give me the power to conquer you.

  4. @Boothe –

    “I have come to this conclusion: Until we weed evil men out of positions of authority (corporate, religious, governmental, etc.) corruption will eventually corrode and destroy any system or organization mankind devises”

    This statement implies that the evil ones are a minority, if they can be “weeded” out correct? Then if there is a moral majority, then how is it these “evil” men are not yet weeded out? Could it be the case that in fact there is an immoral majority in which case we cannot dare have a government.

    I also hear you mention again this idea that myself and others believe that we each should be “self-sufficient” in our security. When you go out job hunting, are you “going it alone”? No of course not. You are choosing to asssociate with certain employers and certain employers are choosing to associate with you and you both do so for mutual benefit. Is it public school indoctrination that prevents one from seeing that a community association employs the exact same incentives? Even with gov’s impodent promise of security, we still see neighborhoods organizing themselves to provide for the community’s security. Without the gov, communities would be even more involved in these activities, as they should be.

    And if a community has elderly and they do not have the morality to protect the elderly in their community then that is that community’s morality. Should I and others be forced to pay the gov so they can supposedly protect that community’s elderly ( which they won’t ) or should the elderly and his family and friends, and church and charities and whatever other options he has be responsible for it?

    The one thing I believe we can have at the federal level is an army but not a standing army. A reserve army drilled and perpared if WE are ever attacked. Something as this could easily be paid for and accounted for and controlled.

    • Yes, the truly evil are a minority and are estimated at about 6% of the populace (ref. Lobaczewski, et al and Ponerology for a better explanation than I could ever hope to give you). These people know they are different than we are, recognize each other even as children and work together. They are totally self centereed and do not have a conscience so people like us do not comprehend the way their minds work. Their lack of compassion, empathy or any moral guidance system gives them a serious advantage over the rest of us. They gravitate to positions of authority and power. They will kill you (or order you killed), never blink, go home, have dinner and go to sleep with no difficulty.

      They seem to actually get off on killing, oppression and misery. They strive to appear “normal” by acting just like us, hence the difficulty in “weeding them out”. The other big issue is the approximate 27% of the population that will go along with truly evil people for their own personal gain even though they have a conscience (hence justifications like “I was just following orders.”). You really need to acquaint yourself with this area of study Don. It is essential to understanding what’s going on in world politics and especially international banking. Often right in our own personal relationships (can you say “ex-wife”?).

      My apologies for not being clearer on what I mean by “self sufficient”. I’m not referring to 19th century agrarian self sufficiency where we produce practically everything we eat or wear off the land we own. I use the term in contrast with the dependent class: welfare recipients, disability cheats, 30 year old pot-heads living in their parents basements, bureaucRATs or any others of the parasite class. Self sufficiency to me means possessing a marketable skill, trade or profession that you are able to voluntarily exchange to others for your livelihood on the open market.

      I have no problem with free association of any type. I also understand that we can accomplish things by organizing capital that we cannot accomplish individually. I work for a large utility that provides electricity to hundreds of thousands of people. This is not something I could do on my own. This is not something that you, Eric and I could do collectively either. It must be accomplished through a large organization, with a hierarchy strongly resembling government that restricts my individual liberty in myriad ways. This is the problem with large organizations.

      I am free to leave and go to another corporation for employment. It will not be remarkably different. Just as I am free to leave the United States to seek more liberty elsewhere. There will always be trade offs. It just depends on what you want out of life. I expect you can come pretty close to an ideal of Anarchy on the North Slope of Alaska. I don’t want to live there. Here, where you have a higher quality of life, you also have Boobus Americanus and he sees the need for government, right or wrong. We are in the same handbasket with Boobus. It could be a lot better, but it could certainly be a lot worse. So I try to educate the people that are receptive and watch out for the evil ones.

      I don’t believe anyone should be forced to pay for anything they don’t want to. But let me say this, mean old Mister Reality dictates that the Internal Revenue Service has more men with guns than Boothe and Don. The people that run it are evil. They don’t care what the Constitution, 26 USC or God Himself says. You can be perfectly right morally and legally and still find yourself sitting in federal prison if you piss these people off. They are lawless and violent. So it doesn’t matter what our moral outlook is, we’d better do what we can to avoid confrontations with these people. Just like you’d better do what you can to avoid a confrontation with a Great White Shark while you’re skinny-dipping. The IRS is like the Mafia writ large (my apologies to the Mafia, they are more honorable). You pay protection, they leave you alone. You don’t pay, they take your shit, they lock you up, they go home, they eat dinner, laugh about it, go to bed and sleep like a baby. Tell me how, nuts and bolts, rubber-meets-the-road, you’re gonna change that? I’m very interested in your plan.

      I agree in principle with virtually everything you’ve written here the past few days Don. But there are 310 million Americans most of whom don’t agree with us. In fact most still think there’s actually a difference between the demoplicans and republicrats. Many will now call DHS to turn you in for taking pictures of a public building or “looking suspicious”. Welcome to the USSA. So I have to base my moves on practicality or I will end up incarcerated or dead and so will anyone else.

      As far as your last paragraph goes, I am a fervent proponent of a citizens’ militia and have written about it at length before. As far as I’m concerned only those people that bear their own arms (not government supplied arms) to the polling place should be allowed to vote (or have served their term in the militia). If you’re not willing to defend hearth, home and country (the operative word being DEFEND) you certainly shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions for the community at large. And let me add, if you are in government service or on the dole you most certainly should NOT be allowed to vote. The Swiss militia model would have worked here if it hadn’t been co-opted and destroyed by evil men for their own power and fortune. Remember, war is a racket. The folks that are getting very rich off that racket are vehemently opposed to ever restablishing a true militia. They are evil and have way more money, men and guns than we do. They enjoy using force utterly crush and destroy people that oppose them. What do you propose to do to fix this?

      • Boothe you and I agree on almost everything. In fact, I’d say you, Eric, doncooper, BrentP, and other libertarians concur on 95% of the topics that matter.

        Our “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” arguments re: anarchism vs. minarchism are fun intellectual diversions…and at this point in history, nothing more.

        The REAL battle is this:
        We labor under absolutely fucking naked tyranny that would have made Orwell blanch in horror and Hitler clap his soft little hands in meth-fueled delight.

        Our job is to go out and wake people UP RIGHT NOW before it’s really past the point of no return…or at least, past the point where we don’t have opportunity to wake people up because we’re in a concentration camp.

        This is that point. The camps are built. The beta-testing for domestic pacification is done; the programs are in place. The TSA highway checkpoints have started. There are “border patrol” checkpoints 100 miles inland all over the country; 2/3 of the populace lives within 100 miles of the coast or a border. The media takeover was complete twenty years ago, now they’re just testing the override systems (EAS). The internet is next; they’re already shutting down sites wholesale. The surveillance systems are in listening already–internet, email, telephone, street corner, GPS. The RFID chips are next.

        Let’s get out there and DO SOMETHING! By “something” I mean something peaceful and effective. This is a war of ideology; it cannot be a shooting war because that’s what the psychopaths are prepared for. Sun Tzu Wu–don’t go after your enemy’s strengths.

        Post Alex Jones bumperstickers on street corners. Put up Ron Paul posters in your yard. Even if it’s uncomfortable, talk about liberty to your friends, coworkers, and neighbors at every opportunity.

        We’re at that Solzhenitsyn moment–“Oh how we burned in the camps…” etc.

        Let’s NOT burn in the camps. Let’s fan those tiny sparks of freedom in people’s minds–they’re still there, they’re just dim.

        I’m no longer thinking about expatriating; why do it, when the New World Order will just show up there five years after it’s done here? America, as lost as it is, at least has a deep ancestral memory of freedom.

        Remember Dune? “The Sleeper has Awakened”

  5. It’s a good debate Eric, and I don’t think that I’m doing a very good job of explaining how a “gov” is nothing more than a group of people from our society. No different than a group of people from our community, so why not have this “group of people” at the community level IF it’s something that the community agrees on?

    Why can’t the people of a community, police, adjudicate and sentence just like the people in the gov do?

    The “gov” is nobody special. They’re just a bunch of people who, theoretically, “govern” with our consent. What is policing, adjudicating and sentencing at the community level if not doing so with the communities consent? The moral majority in the community will take care of the immoral minority. Now if you are a community of people who are not willing to take that responsbility, and you want to pass it on to a governing agency then fine, but that doesn’t mean I have to participate, and it also means you may not be able to count on me when your government fails to protect you.

    You are right: we agree in principle, but any advocation for a gov – regardless of size or constitution – being forced on people is a violation of the very rights that you believe we need gov to protect.

    How can one violate people’s rights in an effort to protect their rights from being violated?

    • Don, I think the original idea of government was to set uniform standards for punitive measures when warranted. One of the reasons we have state preemption laws for firearms rights is because officious local bureaucrats try to pass highly restrictive ordinances at the local level. So I cleary see your academic argument against any form of government. But I stand a better chance of winning PowerBall (and I don’t buy lottery tickets) than you do of achieving pure Anarchy.

      It ain’t gonna’ happen because as soon as you get the folks together in one community, or the other, to punish Joe-the-Murderer or Frank-the-Rapist, democracy (mob rule) will be the order of the day. Without standards (the rule of law) one community will be all too happy to “rehabilitate” Joe and turn him loose to do it again. The other community will disembowel poor old Frank on the questionable word of teary-eyed woman seeking revenge, because they “feeel sorrry” for her. So pretty soon people will start looking for someone “reasonable”, a “learned man”, to be in charge. He’ll need help, so he’ll hire friends and family. They’ll write the rules down and start taking up a collection. Now you have government again and the corruption that will go with it.

      The current system sucks, no doubt. But fifty thousand different little systems each imposing their own local penalties won’t do either because you won’t know what you’re walking into (or driving through) ahead of time. You may find yourself down at the local quarry, sledge hammer in hand with shackles on your feet, for farting in public. Now that would be one helluva violation of your rights because you broke a “rule” (since we wouldn’t have actual laws) in Hickville, but it won’t affect me one bit over in Dufusburg.

      So when you get out of the work program at Hickville and start telling people what they did to you, everyone will go “Don, we don’t have any uniform laws, just local rules. So what goes on over at Hickville is their business. You shoulda stayed outa there!” There will be no recourse (unless you want to take revenge on your own).

      Since you will be outnumbered over at Hickville, you’ll have to take some friends along. Pretty soon you’ll have a shitty little border war like we had out here along the Missouri – Kansas line with the Jayhawkers and Quantrill’s Raiders effing up the countryside. Then the people will cry out for order and you’ll have government again. This pattern has repeated itself since time immemorial. So in answer to your final question “How can one violate people’s rights in an effort to protect their rights from being violated?” Well….you can’t.

      I believe the one thing we are put into physical reality to learn is compromise. We have to learn to submit sometimes, to cede our individual authority and sovereignty at least to some small degree if we wish to live in relative peace. If not then we have to acknowledge an unfettered free will will ensure that our life will be as short as it will be intensely violent. The other choice is the life of a hermit. But even that won’t ensure that some overweening government asshole won’t come to your remote camp and try to tell you what to do.

      I have had to learn to enjoy liberty in my own mind and take precautions to avoid the spikes and snags in physical reality, both natural and manmade. I figure if I needed control over anything other than my own thoughts and actions to thrive in this world God would have given it to me.

  6. It just boggles the mind how people accept a bunch of fat-ass bureaucrats sitting in their ivory towers passing ANY law they want. They write a bunch of arbitrary words on a piece of paper, raise their hands to vote and presto! A new law that gets handed down to the thugs on the street to enforce.

    What if the new law says: no wearing green on Wednesday? Would people obey it? I bet my bottom dollar they would! That’s the state of boobus-americanus in this country.

    • “What if the new law says: no wearing green on Wednesday? Would people obey it?”

      Clover would!

      Once anointed by The Law, a given action is by definition right and proper.

      Submit! Obey!

      • Well actually, the law would be preceeded by a disclaimer that reads: “The Secretary of Colors or his designee shall promulgate regulations for the implementation of this act.” Because Heaven forbid that the legislature actually do it’s job and write a law when they can get an administrative functionary to do it for them.

        Then you’d have to read the “words and phrases” section of the new law to determine that: For the purposes of this act the term ‘green on Wednesday’ shall be construed to mean ‘orange on Sunday between the hours of 3:00AM and 5:00AM in Capitol Square’. Next thing you know you’re standing in court with a ticket in your hand telling the judge that Subpart A of Section 1.23c says ‘green’ actually means ‘orange’ and that you were actually wearing coyote brown anyway in Ocean View and it was Friday night anyway. The judge will tell you the officer says it was ‘green’ and what the cop says goes. Furthermore you are not to interpret the law in “his” courtroom, HE will tell YOU what it means.

        When you ask how this is possible in a “free country”, the judge will say it is a matter of public policy and you’re guilty; so just shut up and pay the fine or you’ll be held in contempt. You’ll go find out how much it will cost to appeal his decision. At that point you’ll just pay the fine and costs of court because its cheaper and less hassle. Then you’ll go home pissed and disgusted to lick your wounds over a stiff drink (because you know better than to burn a doobie). Anyone care to correct this assessment?

      • Why not take it to the opposite extreme and ask why we need laws at all? Why should murder be illegal? Why let individuals decide how they will avenge the victim’s death than have government mess it all? At least individuals will be doing at their own cost and not forcing others to pay at gunpoint.

        • Some anarchists might agree with you – that codified laws ought to be done away with – although moral law would still exist and there would still be sanction for violating it.

          Just for myself: I’m not opposed to codified laws against moral crime; that is, against crimes where there is a specific, actual victim or harm done. I’m also not opposed to a system of courts and so on to adjudicate civil disputes involving similar questions, i.e., “the rule of law.” Don will probably remind me that such a system will inevitably exceed its bounds or violate someone’s rights – and I agree. But I see no alternative – and I see this as the best possible system for dealing with the problems that arise from human nature once the scale of community is larger than a very small village (in which no organized/formal system may be needed since everyone knows everyone, is probably related, and societal pressures alone can probably keep things – mostly – in check). I know Don and some other anarchists will still disagree with me – and argue that granting any authority to any institution/collective is always bad. Again, I agree. But the alternative, as I see it, is diffuse and widespread tyranny of individual men. Granted, individual men cannot commit the sort of mass tyranny that government – organized force – can. But is it not inevitable, given human nature, that absent some external restraint (“the rule of law,” a not-perfect but mostly-just constitutional republic) there will be individuals who exploit – and organize – and become the mass tyranny we are all (Clover excepted) so interested in gelding?

          Don/anarchists and I may not share the same premises. I’m not trying to speak for him here, just making some general statements, but –

          A great portion of humanity is not rational; many may not even be capable of reasoning. It is not a pleasant fact, but it is pretty evident – as well as verified by intelligence testing, which shows that tens of millions of people have IQs well below 100. That’s in this country alone. You’re not going to have much success appealing to such people on the basis of philosophical appeals to moral right. And there will always be demagogues ready to exploit such people to achieve power. We can talk Rights of Man until our tonsils fall out; it is not going to turn a light on in the heads of some people. Ever.

          Anarchism as a viable social system is probably not possible until humanity in general rises above its current state; until the average person is as bright – as capable of reason – as only a relative few are today.

          I’m cynical, I know. But that’s how I see it, not based on some irrational phobia – but on the facts of human history and the realities of everyday life. A society of 90-IQ drones that venerates football players, that is functionally illiterate, innumerate, suspicious of “learning” and conditioned to defer to Authoritay is not a society in which anarchy or Libertarianism or even limited government constitutionalism can take root.

          The only way is to start over somehow.

          And how we get that going, I just don’t know.

          • I hear an underlying assumption in everything you say: I don’t understand how it could work otherwise, so we need to keep what we have.

            So I ask: why do you need to have another “system” in place that is corruptable before you get rid of the current corrupted system?

            If a society – as in Somalia for example – is not civil enough or intelligent enough to come together and work as a community to provide for its own protection, then if you create a gov from those people then you’ll have a gov is not civil enough or intelligent enough to come together to provide for its citizen’s protection. So you’ve solved nothing.

            In fact you’ve compounded the problem now by giving a centralized body all the authority, all the responsiblity, and all the power to do whatever it wants, and it does.

            Alternatively, if you have a society where the moral majority is civil and intelligent enough to realize the common benefits of working together then you have no need for a gov at all.

            I think what you’re saying Eric is that you realize that we are not a civil nor intelligent society so you falsely believe centralizing power in a gov will address that problem. It won’t, never, ever. As evidenced by our current situation.

            Education may be a possible solution but if you have an IQ lower than 100 and you get to vote, then I’m not sure even education is a possible solution.

            But you feel obliged to do “something” right? We must do “something” and that “something” is a gov.

            Ever consider that you might live in an uncivilized, ignorant society and that’s as good as it’s ever going to get?

            Unfortunate reality, I know.

            • “I hear an underlying assumption in everything you say: I don’t understand how it could work otherwise, so we need to keep what we have.”

              I wouldn’t put it that way. I understand, conceptually, how it could work – given certain conditions. I just dispute that it could work, given the conditions that exist.

              “If a society – as in Somalia for example – is not civil enough or intelligent enough to come together and work as a community to provide for its own protection, then if you create a gov from those people then you’ll have a gov is not civil enough or intelligent enough to come together to provide for its citizen’s protection. So you’ve solved nothing.”

              But, you’re making it an all-or-nothing thing. Some people are not civil and/or intelligent enough. There will probably always be that element in any large society. My argument is that the existence of such people (the not-civil and not-so-intelligent) makes it necessary to have the rule of law – that is, some objective (as objective as can be, anyhow) means for dealing with problem people and problem situations. Do I mean to say that the rule of law (and those charged with maintaining it) would be perfect or free from abuse? Certainly not. But it could be pretty good, overall – and has been, in the not-too-distant past. The No Law alternative (I like this phraseology better than No Government) leaves it up to each of us how disputes will be handled and justice meted out. I freely admit I cannot conceive of such a dynamic resulting in other than chaos and barbarity; of “the rule of the stronger.” And I concede that vesting authority in any body of men is not the perfect solution. But if those men are constrained by just laws (laws hat comport with the moral law) then it can be the best-possible solution for an imperfect world and imperfect humanity.

              I realize we may not ever agree, but I wanted to state my case. And the more important thing for now is that we are in agreement in principle – and ought to devote our energies to battling Cloverism rather than one another!

          • Eric, you’ve exposed the problem with true Anarchy before with the point from “A Man for All Seasons”. After Don, Fritz and all the other Anarchists succeed in cutting down every law that prevents them from getting to the devil, what will protect them when they come face to face with him? It’s all well and good to say “I’m self sufficient, I deal with other people honestly and fairly and will provide my own defense if attacked.” That’s great when you’re young and strong and have like minded, honest neighbors. But when you’re old, weak or alone and have dishonest, aggressive neighbors you may well be a victim. Will our present system prevent this? Most emphatically, NO! Will Anarchy ensure this? Again, NO! But any attempt to achieve Anarchy in the United States in the current world situation will ensure tyranny under the United Nations or some other foreign power that will be even worse than what we have now: our guns will be gone and those of us that resist will die before they’re taken anyway. Put up a real fight and you’ll get to meet a Predator drone you helped pay for! Who can make war with the beast?

            Can a system based solely on free market insurance, arbitration and private security companies prevent crime? It most certainly will not. As my mother taught me early on: Most people, if you will let them, will take advantage of you. If they are running a massive corporation, these same people will take advantage of a lot of us at the same time. And I do not deny that I can vote with my wallet in the case of corporations. But let’s face reality: withdrawing my support from Sprint in favor of Verizon will have as much effect as my vote in the next presidential election. Once again, this type of Anarcho-Capitalist reward / punishment system works well at the village level and is of no effect at the national and international levels.

            I am painfully aware that the current system is flawed. I agree with Fritz’s observation that it has been that way since its inception. Like you Eric, I am also open to suggestions as to how we can do better than attempting to limit government by the rule of law under a Constitution. Having pondered the point of Anarcho-Capitalism at length (not to discount the logic or reason of Mises, Block, Rothbard, et al) I have come to this conclusion: Until we weed evil men out of positions of authority (corporate, religious, governmental, etc.) corruption will eventually corrode and destroy any system or organization mankind devises. It is a tireless minority of evil men seeking fame, fortune and primarily power for themselves that, like one dead fly, spoil the whole pudding.

            It won’t matter one whit at your and my socio-economic level whether it is “government” or competing insurance companies and arbitration agencies that end up being run by men that collude to enslave and defraud us. Our chains will be none the lighter nor our cells any less confining. If the men that come to my door with guns to take my property are wearing jeans and work for Xe Corporation the results will be the same for me if I refuse to submit as if these men were in state costume.

            Apparently some of my fellow posters here missed the footage of private contractors going door to door to disarm civilians after Hurricane Katrina. Granted they were hired by the government. But it won’t matter if those contractors are paid by Prudential, State Farm or the State of Louisiana; we’ll be just as dead if we object forcefully to their presence when men who are ostensibly “smarter” than we are send “contractors” out to disarm / evacuate / relocate us “for our own safety”.

            With Anarchy there won’t be a state government, as imperfect as it might be, to step in after this happens and reassert the people’s right to keep and bear arms by passing laws against general disarmament after a natural disaster. This is in keeping with the constitutional concept of protecting the minority from the depredations of the majority. I have no confidence, profit potential notwithstanding, that private companies won’t succumb to the same temptations many of them already have under the current fascist / mercantilist oligarchy they currently enjoy. Then it will simply be the same men running massive corporations directly raping us, instead of them wearing the condom of government to do it; the results being the same if not worse.

            It seems that Dr. Paul and his Campaign for Liberty have awakened many Amerikans to the dangers of excessive government power; especially when that power is co-opted by transnational thieves at the helms of huge corporations (the same being fiefdoms and massive bureaucracies in their own right). I hope and pray enough Amerikan sheeple wake up to the truth that decentralization and local control are our best choice. I am a Minimalist Panarchist: let me decide which limited government I want and am willing to support. I’ll move. We had a taste of this early on in this country via state sovereignty. We simply need to restore the two letters that we lost in 1865: “SE”. We must return to being “THESE United States, instead of “THE United States”.

          • The normal people in Somalia are rather civil and able to operate without a government historically. The problems there are from those who wish to impose a government and that foreigners and foreign governments have taken advantage of the situation to dump toxic waste and worst. Somalia is a victim of statism in that statists won’t leave them alone to be stateless.

          • @Eric and Boothe re: anarcho-capitalism:

            It’s a fine argument and WELL worth having. I’m quite sure it was held by Jefferson et al. as well.

            Until we’re ready to ascend to the next level, I agree that Boobus Americanus could not function in a purely private society. Minarchism is a necessary stepping-stone.

            That said, look what happened to the American experiment in minarchism!

            Here’s the key to making that leap: identifying, ostracizing, banning, shunning, and disempowering the sociopaths.

            We need to revive people’s awareness of evil, and update the definition so they understand that sociopath = evil. We’ve neglected the term “evil”, we’ve tried to pretend it doesn’t exist, to pretend it’s just a medical problem or society’s fault. It’s not. There IS such a thing as evil.

            If we can recognize evil men, re-establish a true Republic with strict minarchism–then in the next cycle of history perhaps the minarchism will last long enough to realize that next transcendence to true personal liberty AND responsibility.

        • Murder is a crime. It’s a violaton of one’s right to life and a society should have a mechanism in place to settle such a dispute.

          But I do agree that individuals or a community are just as capable and valid to settle these things. In fact – as you mentioned – it’s a more economimcally efficient solution, and moral solution. I’ve mentioned before: when crimes are “tried” they are done so by complete strangers far removed from the crime, from the victims, from the perpetrator and probably in time as well. If such things are handled locally then these issues are not issues at all.

          If the gov sentences a criminal to death, it’s ok. If a community sentences a criminal to death it’s a crime? I am against anything that doesn’t make sense.

  7. Illinois is going a slightly different route.

    Illinois is still in the modified NMSL era. That means 55mph or lower limited access highway speed limits where most everyone lives and 65mph where just about nobody lives.

    First they made 40 over the limit a Class A misdemeanor. 1 year in jail and a fine of $2500.

    This year 30 over was made a class B misdemanor. 6 months in jail and a $1500 fine.

    Prior to this change in the law 30 over was just a mandatory court appearance where the judge would take a plea of guilty for a reduced fine and supervision. Fighting your case meant getting the full penalty (bigger fine) if you did not have a lawyer.

    Because Illinois speed limits are absurdly low 30 over is often the speed of traffic or very close to it. Simple passing can easily require a speed of over 85mph on some interstates. The boring miles of flat interstate now will last much longer if one wants to avoid harsh penalties.

    Details if anyone is interested can be found here:

  8. God damn you Eric. Where were you 6 months ago with this article? :)))

    Of course this is nothing less than legalized highway robbery. And it’s blatant. Right in your face: we’ll define anything we want as a crime, regardless how ridiculous. So today you are an upstanding member of society and tomorrow you are a criminal. Not because of anything you’ve done different, the gov just passed a law making you a criminal. The more laws there are, the more criminals there will be.

    I have to date refused to pay a penny to those criminals and my license may very well be suspended but if no one will come back to reality and listen to reason, then I must do what I must do to survive in an insane world.

    • OK, 20 mph over the limit? I keep hearing about the innocent getting pulled over for 1 mph over. Right! At 20 mph over the limit there is no excuse for not being able to stay under that amount. Even a 55 mph speed limit would mean at 70 you would be well under the severe punishment. From what I hear of the traffic in your state, 70 mph would be pushing it anyway. Also unless you are driving more than a 100 miles, 5 mph is almost insignificant in travel time. Maybe you should be thrown in jail for stupidity if you can not stay under 20 mph over the limit.

      Many say laws do nothing to driving behavior but when you know you may go to jail for doing a dumb thing then maybe you will not do it.

      • I welcome you to attempt driving the 45-55mph posted speed limits on the interstates in my area. I’ve done it. Scariest fing driving I’ve ever done this side of a snow storm on summer tires.

        Why? just try to make it from the right most lane to a left fork when elderly blue haired women driving Buicks are just about sucking your car’s doors off with the speed differential.


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