Risk is Not Dangerous

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Risk is fun – and risk is part of life. Otherwise, we’d never get out of bed. No, rewind some more. We’d never leave our mother’s uterus.

This idea that risk – note, not recklessness, not irresponsibility – just “risk” – is something to be stamped out at all costs is perhaps the most cancerous notion of our era, right behind egalitarianism and democracy.

Columbus accepted some risk when he set sail across the ocean sea. It would have been much safer, I suppose, to stay home. But then we’d not even know his name – much less celebrate a day in his honor. Those bold men who strapped themselves into a tiny capsule mounted on a very large Saturn V rocket and rode it all the way to the Moon took a risk, too.

Risk is rightly viewed as synonymous with challenge – which necessarily entails the possibility of failure. One does not seek it, one is aware of its possibility. But one accepts the possibility as the necessary price to be paid in order to meet the challenge. To strive, to achieve. To be competent rather than complacent. To do – as opposed to not doing. Risk is the very thing that makes human progress possible. To refuse to act – or to limit action – until and unless all risk is removed is to negate the possibility of acting. It is to embrace stasis – and even that amount to a false sense of security, since failing to act out of fear of risk can itself be lethally paralyzing. Think of the prey animal that freezes rather than bolts at the sight of a predator.

Yet risk-avoidance has become the cornerstone of the red giant phase American police state, whose lurid glare we all live under today. Every new authoritarian measure is proposed – is justified – on the basis of risk-avoidance, no matter how infinitesimal the risk. Any risk is too much risk. No price too high, no imposition too extreme. If it makes us safer. If it reduces some risk.

Recently, for example, the government issued a ukase that all new cars will have back-up cameras as standard equipment – even though the number of children (and others) run over by a backing-up car (more precisely, an incompetently backed-up car) is too small to even be described as a fraction of a fraction. During the past ten years, the government claims about 650 flattened toddlers. A tragedy for those involved, certainly. But does it constitute a national epidemic – a risk so great that it justifies forcing every single person in a nation of 310 million people who wishes to purchase a new car to also purchase a back-up camera?  Do the math. What is the ratio? The percentage? Let’s call it an even 1,000 – out of 310 million.  Oh, yes. I forget. If it saves even one life.  That is the mantra.

And the result of allowing it to pass, unchallenged by reason, is that costs will be imposed on 310 million – most of whom face an immeasurably tiny risk of ever being backed-over by an SmooVee. But who will be throttled (and charged) in the name of avoiding this picayune risk.

Passing zones are disappearing. Too “risky.” More probably, not enough revenue was being generated when people could lawfully pass. The most grotesque assaults on our former right to travel unmolested are committed against us in the name of risk-avoidance.

Kids can’t play football – or even play outside. Too risky. I like to backpack. I wonder how long it will be before that, too, is declared too risky. I might fall. I might twist my ankle. I could pass out from dehydration. A snake might bite me on the ankle. There are no cameras in the woods, no emergency call boxes. It is all very, very risky. But not really. The majority of these risks – like the risks discussed above – can be reduced to almost nothing by prudent action and common sense. I watch where I step. I wear boots that prevent my ankles from flexing too much in the event I lose my footing. These keep me safe from ankle-biting snakes, too. I carry plenty of water – and keep a gun at my side for just-in-case. These put my risks down to the peripheral. They are still there. Yes, something could happen.  But it probably won’t.   And so, I am willing to assume the risk – rationally, reasonably.

It is – or ought to be – the same in other aspects of life, cars included. There is, for example, an element of risk involved in not wearing a seat belt. But the risk of being involved in an automobile accident can be greatly reduced by attentive, skilled driving. In which case, the not-wearing of a seat belt incurs virtually no risk at all. But rather than encourage rational risk reduction by prudent individual action, our red star police state pulsates with authoritarian fury at the merest suggestion of a theoretical risk – and pours forth its radiation upon us.

And the end result is not unlike living under the sway of an actual real-life red giant sun: We are forced indoors, our actions curtailed and limited. Everything we do is done under the oppressive heat and remorseless, never-flinching gaze.

I’d rather run a little rational risk now and then myself. Even if it means I occasionally get a sunburn.

Throw it in the Woods?


  1. In 2011, the police of the nation of Germany managed to keep the entire nation safe while shooting a total of 85 bullets. 49 were due to warning shots, 36 shots were aimed at suspects. 15 people were injured by police fire, and 6 people were killed by police fire.


    Whatever you want to call our slave catchers, public flogging ringleaders, and perpetrator torturors & zookeepers, the sheer volume of gunfire and killing precludes classifying this activity as police work.

  2. We, the nanny state will now allow you to do anything which could risk your ability to produce – your purpose is to produce capital. If you take a risk and get hurt, you will not only not produce, but you might even cost us capital, and that will never do. We urge you to rethink your position, or there will be consequences. Serious consequences.

    In any case you won’t have to worry about it – once Obama care is enacted, you will not be allowed to engage in any risky activity as that is clearly against the public interest. Oh, yeah, and clean up your diet, and stop smoking too, or we’ll tax you in the 90% bracket.

    ^ The previous rant is meant to emulate the thought process of the bureaucrat parasites at the helm of the current ship of state. Time to tell them all to go to hell, and find a place in the Philippines where you can fish from a small boat, live on the beach and enjoy life.

    • Kind of sad when you have to leave your home, family and friends because the government insists on managing your health and safety isn’t it?

    • Alex,

      You’re absolutely right, amigo. I’m amazed that so few realize what Obamacare will mean. “Health care” is almost beside the point. The true purpose – or ultimate effect, at any rate – of Obamacare will be the assertion of unlimited federal control over every aspect of our lives. From our diets to our habits to our recreations – as all will be argued affect “health” and thus “interstate commerce.”

      Wait and see.

  3. Speaking of risk we have actually made some inroads lately in Michigan. No more helmet law. Yep we got rid of it! Medical Mary Jane. You still have to get a stinking card but it’s a step in the right direction. I don’t smoke or at least very rarely and I would never pay for their card, but still kind of cool.

    Eric, I see you like to hike. You would love this place.


    It’s a bit odd because you can’t take any off road vehicles. It’s about 100,000 acres. I used to hike back in during muzzleloading season. Talk about risk. Strap on a rucksack in the middle of winter, find a track and walk it down. Sometimes it would take three or four days to get your buck. Then you have to find your way back, with a lot more to carry. Every single year someone makes the news because they don’t make it out. We usually find them but not always before the ravens, turkey buzzards and coyotes do. In fact the birds are often what leads us to them.

    The only time I really didn’t know if I would make it out was when I followed a buck through a marsh and broke threw the ice. That night the snow turned to freezing rain. I don’t own a cell phone or a GPS so there was no calling for help.

    It’s a great place to get lost and find yourself.

    • Former Louisiana Governor Mike Foster enjoyed riding without a helmet. Years ago, at the behest of then governor Foster, Louisiana dumped its helmet law only to reinstate is later because some anal sphincter of a legislator had a friend who cracked his noggin in a crash and died. Of course the sensationalist media did what it could to assist the turd of a legislator.

      Have you ever seen an ad sponsored by a helmet manufacturer support Freedom of Choice?

      Never happen. Research would likely reveal that the industry lobbied that helmets be made mandatory.

      Its sickening to to see Americans of all people support the legal violation of the Principles underpinning the unamendable Unanimous Declaration.

      Future historians will surely marvel that those who had the most to lose persistently acquiesced in having their most precious property Plundered by Law.

      “In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.” –James Madison

      • I can understand a personal decision to wear a helmet (and so on) after having had an accident – or just being afraid of having one. Fine. What I cannot understand and never will be able to understand – is the urge to force other people to wear a helmet (and so on).

        As Seinfeld liked to say … who are these people?

  4. This reminds me of the generic “crossing guards” the police dept. – that’s right the cops – hire to stand out in front of the schools and tell drivers when to stop and when to go in order to ensure that the high school students can cross the street safely.

    Note: I’ve always thought that if you aren’t able to cross a street safely at that age then that’s kind of like natural selection.

    Because w/o that old man standing there I’d never see that other human being crossing the street and certainly would run him right over.

    I asked why they are there and was told – wait for it: it’s to ensure the safety of the kids. Wa Wa Wa …

    Truth is it makes it riskier. There’s a clear moral hazard associated with these “crossing guards” and I’ve seen it in play more than once.

    We have golf carts, cyclists, pedestrians and cars in Peachtree City, Ga and when one of these numbnuts stands in the middle of the street telling all these people what to do, the people stop thinking for themselves and looking both ways before crossing the street and rather depend on the moron in the POLICE jacket to tell them when to go and when to stop and more than once it’s almost caused an accident.

    They are just a bunch of seniors who think it’s great that they have a paying job and something to do. They don’t take the job seriously and most of the time their instructions as to who is to go and who is to stop just aren’t clear so you have a car going straight, a cyclist or golf cart crossing the street and heading right for the car.

    Once, one of the old fogies had to literally jump on the golf cart to get it to stop and keep it from being hit by a car. This sort of shit just wouldn’t happen if those guys weren’t there.

    Funny how the mantra is always: if it saves even one life; but they completely ignore the flip side of that coin: if it endangers even one life.

  5. 1923 Safety Last

    More dangerous than risk, is shielding a living thing from risk. It is prudent and logical to protect fine china and non living things from risk and breakage.
    It is not the case with living things, however. The more you shield a living thing from risk and randomness, the more sickly and vulnerable it becomes.

    Eventually the shield will fail and the result will be much more destructive than otherwise. It is far better to have daily doses of danger and uncertainty in your life. Moderation and temperance kills and makes you less vital in the long run.

      • Sorry, I was tired and just a bit blown away by some of the comments and facts on here, still am. All I could think of to say was, wow.

        Also, I’m damn glad I never joined the K-team.
        I almost did.

  6. I lived for a few years in town called Cairns in North Queensland, Australia. It’s hot there. Just out of town was a place called Crystal Cascades where a stream flows out of the mountains with beautifully cool water.

    A huge tree had a branch over one of the ponds in the stream and people had put a rope swing on it. The local story was that it was the biggest rope swing in the Southern hemisphere. Every time I visited there was a queue of people lined up to use the swing. Fantastic! You could swing about 150 feet and drop maybe 20 feet into deep water. The swing was there for several decades. Eventually some kid didn’t let go over the water, swung back and broke his arm when he fell onto the land.

    The local government cut off the branch that held the rope. Too dangerous.

    Mean, killjoy f*ckers!

    • That sort of thing has played out over here countless times, too. Instead of saying “bad luck” (or, he was foolish) or leaving individuals free to decide whether a given “risk” is too high – the Element all of us here can’t stand has to step in on everyone’s behalf – without ever asking them – and end such “risk taking” with new laws, regulations and restrictions of their choosing.

  7. Reading the comments and saw the conspiracy theory part. I don’t usually speak about them too much because it’s generally conjecture. I do however know for a FACT that our government and media will get together to lie to the people.

    To try and not get far off topic I’m going to toss this in as well. You can’t drink a beer in the this country at 18 but you can go to war.

    My first war started on Dec. 20th 1989. Operation just because. (I was old enough to drink beer but some of the kids that died were not) That was when I found out just how much the Governement and the media lies. The media and the government mark this as a minor event that played out in a few days or weeks at most with reletively few casualties. They still claim that only a few hundred civilians were killed when in fact it was thousands. I lost four friends in the first day alone and we had 48 wounded. My first deployment to Panama lasted from Dec 20th till June sixth. My second deployment to Panama (after Desert Storm) lasted close to a year and included free trips to Columbia, Honduras, Nicaragua and Bolivia.

    The invasion of Panama had nothing to do with drugs. It was about guns and the Contras who were basically the scum of the earth. After a failed coup attempt Pineapple head got ticked off and seized a cargo shipment of weapons headed to the contras. He took these weapons and handed them out to civilians that were called the dignitary battalions. We called them ding bats. These useless scum were a lot better at killing each other than us, which was a good thing. However, they did manage to rape torture and kill a lot of innocent people as well. We spent a lot of our time tracking these guys down and killing them.

    This is a video of just some of the war. Mainly it shows the civilians. it doesn’t show the barracks all over the county that we blew up. I am in it about half way through 6:10 (with the 9mill) you can tell my unit from our “rag tops”. We used strips of cloth from our old uniforms and tied them to our helmets. That little strip of tape on my arm is called glint tape. It actually gets picked up by the C130 spector gunships that you see in the opening. It can detect us so that we don’t get hit. It doesn’t always work.

    This is just a small glimps at what we did, but it is rather sickening so don’t watch it if you have a weak stomach.

    I guess you might call this state sactioned risk. I’m guessing this is part of the reason why I hate all governments.

    • There has never been a shortage of humans who will do terrible things for profit. Some will even do terrible things simply because they enjoy doing terrible things. They should all be taken to the nearest Veterinarian and be terminated.


        • Unfortunately legal crimes are the most difficult to deal with simply because they are legal.

          Consider this simple statement of an irrefutable fact:

          Forcibly interfering with a person’s effort to relieve his own suffering is morally equivalent to inflicting the suffering. It is in fact intrinsically criminal.

          And yet, every level of American Government has been doing just that for nearly a century now. And there has been virtually no protest at all from some of the most educated persons and factions in America. Apart from the scholarly but still little known protests of Drs. Ron Paul and Thomas Szasz, – each of whom has condemned the Drug Was as unconstitutional – the silence remains deafening.

          Tinsley Grey Sammons, author of AMERICA’S FORSAKEN PROMISE

    • So you would be the rag head dragging the dead guy by his foot?

      How did you get talked into doing urban re-development in Panama City?

      • I am the guy with the pistol pointed at dudes head, also with the guys on the road. I joined not long after high school no war in sight at that time. I was dumb enough to actually believe our government. Young dumb and full of cum, was how we put it.

        On the morning of Dec 18th I went to the barracks like any other day. We had a half day and were just going to play softball for PT. Kind of a treat for the Christmas holliday. One of my friends came running down and told us all that we had a “blue Bayonet” which was our codeword for pack your shit. We ran back hit the arms room to draw our weapons and real filters for our gas masks then grabbed our rucks and B bags and got on a bus for Travis Air base.

        When we got there they locked us down behind barbed wire, then handed out our ammo and intructions. They gave us a few words to say. Alto, (halt) baja su armas (put down your gun) etc. We then flew to Texas and got the rest of our equipment and got our “chalk” numbers, our T-10 parashutes, and pills for malaria which we pretty much all barfed up shortly after we lifted off in C130’s. Just after midnight we jumped into Tocuman Air base. (stand up hook up, shuffle to the door)

        They did not inform my wife for close to a week and officially tell her I was in Panama. (nice Christmas present)

        • Jeez, a true life horror show. It might be nice to share stories like that a little more publicly just in case some of the guys signing up these days don’t really know how it goes down.

          • I try to as often as possible. They have a veterans day at our school. It’s generaly a dog and pony show put on by recruiters. I do my best to let the kids know the truth.

          • @Brad–good for you.

            I don’t do the “thank you for your service” thing; I ask vets what they experienced.

            Nine times out of ten, it’s a Charlie Foxtrot as you describe.

            No wonder 75% of military political donations go to Dr. Ron Paul.

        • BTW, I crewed a C-141 *and* a C-130 out of Moffet around the same time you were there. The 141 was serviced at Travis.

          I spent a wonderful day in a Lear doing touch and goes at Travis looking for clear air turbulence.

          • I remember Moffit, I was on Planet Ord for a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t service some of the C130’s that would fly us into Fort Hungry Lizzard (Hunter Ligget by King City). Night landing on dirt runways were a trip.

            Ever go to Shoreline Amphitheatre? I saw some great shows there. Black Sabbath, Guns and Roses opened for Iron Maiden and bunches of others.

            Ord is a ghost town now. It’s a great spot to moutain bike though. 15,000 acres. I Grew up part of my life in East Salinas. Half my family still lives there so I get back once in a while. Spooky place though, all boarded up. I broke into my old barracks and sat on the first SGT’s desk and lit up a fatty.

          • Sounds like you might know Ord is now a Cal State University? They’re still trying to clear all the munitions and the local towns are all fighting for a piece of the territory.

            I did my deep water air training in Monterey (salvage/rescue diver). I love the Carmel Canyon (the underwater part off Monastery (Monster-Berry) beach.

            Small world.

          • Yah, they have a couple small campuses there actually. Golden State was the first to open if I remember right. I went to Chapman right off the warf in Monterey. Carmel is fun I surfed off of Asilomar. I owned a sub shop in Marina. (submarina we called it) That was while I was still in.

            Santa Cruz was the bomb. The Mavericks by half moon bay were out of my skill level if it blew in big.

            We actually did our best to clean up the munitions on Ord. We would burn down the Manzanita then walk through with flack jackets on and look for unexploded ordanance. Half the dang bushes were still there so they ripped up our BDU’s and no they didn’t pay for new ones.

            I did my helocasting at Corona ca. Down South!

            Monsestary Beach is nice. Especially in the winter when the tourists are gone. It’s one of my wife’s favorite beaches. It’s a bit of a hike to get there so that actually helps a bit. I did see divers there quite a bit. It must be a popular spot. probably the clear water but I still imagine the currents were strong?

            The road is a little iffy to, my wife took the chrome off our VW squareback (my surfmobile)on that road. San Jose Creek Beach is another name for it. Close to were the Carmel river dumps in.

            Small world for sure.

    • This writing is worthy of better accolades or praise than I am capable.

      At least 3000 were killed by CIA head GHW Bush. He is no different than Putin.

      One struggles to differentiate the prideful lashing out of Charles Manson and Bush’s face saving Operation Nifty Package to expunge the longtime CIA employee Noriega.

      The cornerstone of doublethink brain damage is domain dependence.

      Remembering apples are apples is the first step.

      Doves & pidgeons are the same bird. Both are feral descendents of Rothschilds ancien world communication system. I don’t know how the uniform tyranny coalesced or functions, but I believe it is real,

      Panama Deception

      We live under dinosaur capitalism, where one must become a titanic monster, hide, or be crushed underfoot.

      • The Panama Deception is a great documentary. I wish that more people had a chance to see it. They always talk about forgotten wars well this was one of them.

  8. While not too bright Nancy was saying “Just say no.” I was and still am saying “Just say Know.”

  9. Brad Smith wrote, “busy body troublemakers would try and ban you from taking a risk when they themsleves were taking much bigger risks.”

    And they often seem to be blind to it all.

    Reminds me of those who ban smoking in certain areas such as parks, where People can drive exhaust producing cars through, as if somehow second hand smoke was worse than car exhaust?

    Of course it’s not about the risk, it’s all about power and control.

    • In the case of “second hand smoke” and tobacco in general, it’s mostly about tax revenue, which I suppose falls somewhere under power and control doesn’t it?

      You take a product that people generally want, like tobacco or alcohol, and you demonize it. Maybe you have a few horrible incidents related to the use of this product (photos of children maimed by drunk drivers, old people using a voder from a wheelchair). You attach what I call a sin stigma to the product. Then you apply a tax stamp “for the children”. You’re done.

      Someone should write a book about it. Maybe call it “Practical Crisis Engineering: A Guide to Revenue Generation”.

      • It was interesting to see Tom Selleck play a chain smoking Eisenhower on TV last night. Apparently ol’ Ike really burned em back in ’44.

        BTW, I thought Sellcek did an outstanding job. As usual.

        • I’m afraid I didn’t get the chance, I don’t watch broadcast television unless it’s somewhere around the first week of February. My wife is a football fan and I put up an antenna so she could have her annual Super Bowl party. Mostly I never watch television; it irritates me to the point of distraction.

          I like Selleck’s work and I don’t care if he’s gay or not. I figure not, but it’s really none of my damned business is it? He’s a great actor. My personal favorite Selleck film is “High Road to China”. I absolutely love that one, it’s up there with “Casablanca” in my book.

    • BTW, second hand smoke is a favorite subject of mine. I used to be a research scientist in a former life and I spent a lot of time doing experiment design. One of the things that completely mystifies me is where anyone managed to find any data at all to support the second hand smoke scare and associated public legislation.

      I’m pretty sure nobody installed instruments to measure tobacco smoke then installed them in restaurants and bars all over the country. I’d have noticed. I can’t imagine how anyone was able to identify the people in these non-existent environments and follow them for 20 years to assess the health risks. Furthermore, where was the control group?

      Second hand smoke is a lot like AGW; it’s a chicken little crisis made up from whole cloth; a theory searching for support. The problem is, most folks are just plain gullible. You put some serious looking dude with glasses, a bad haircut and poor taste in clothing in front of a microphone and most people will believe anything he says. It’s pitiful.

      • Scott, are you familiar with the 1974 Suffocated Monkeys Experiment? Those who aren’t can find details about the stupid cruelty via Google.


        • No, I wasn’t but I am now. This is obscene. I know there are fans of Reagan out there so I’d like to mention that simply being elected to a public office does not qualify you to correctly interpret experiment results. You really have to read them and think about them before you decide to believe them.

          What a tragedy.

          • I was with fellow Stoners the evening that news of the government sponsored experiment was televised. We instantly saw through it all and of course were angry and disgusted.

            Naturally the funded experts gave government the “scientifically acquired proof” that pot smoking causes brain damage.

            Gosh, I wonder how capable and smart I might be had I not smoked dope every evening for nineteen years? Surely Richard Feynman and others would have nothing on me.


          • Well Tinsley, I happen to know Dick smokes once in awhile himself so you’re going to have to invent a better excuse 🙂

            I had already heard of the Stanford Experiment, however I’m pretty sure they didn’t do biopsies on the brains of participants.

        • I was not aware that there are so many stories based on the same theme. The version that I read was in a paperback that I took with me while working on a boat supporting the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico in 1972. The rather short tale was probably not new even then.

          I have difficulty remaining interested in long stories. MOBY DICK was a drag and WAR AND PEACE was one of the most tiring works that I ever forced myself to read in its entirety. Offhand, I can only recall the titles of a couple of thousand-pagers that didn’t bore me:

          CROSS OF IRON by Willi Heinrich and James Clavelle’s SHOGUN.


          • I loved Shogun enough to read every other book Clavelle ever wrote. Nowadays the longest books I read are usually written by either Stephan King or John Brunner. It’s getting hard to find good writers.

            Which of course explains why I’ve been frequenting Eric’s site 🙂

        • Feynman croaked in 1988 at age 70. Matthew Broderick played Feinman in the movie INFINITY. The movie held my interest and I will likely watch it again.

          It was Feinman who quickly recognized the cause of the Challenger disaster.

          • I’m sorry to hear that. He was still alive when I lost contact with SLAC in the early 80’s. He will be missed.

            He wasn’t that old, what happened?

          • Correction. Stomach cancer killed Feinman at 69.

            There are many hits on the Internet about this interesting man who undoubtedly had an extraordinarily great sense of life.


  10. Years ago I watched a segment on tv and this guy was taling about risk assessment, his field of study. It was fantastic. I couldn’t believe how many busy body troublemakers would try and ban you from taking a risk when they themsleves were taking much bigger risks.

    • Take for example the current director of the US National Institute of Health who recently, according to CNN ( http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/12/us/journal-avian-flu/index.html ), funded highly questionable “dual use” research into building a better, faster and more lethal version of the H5N1 bird flue virus.

      He’s more or less quoted as defending the creation of this virus because the government just “wanted to know how it works”. I believe this is, to put it politely, disingenuous. If I were asked to comment on it by a friend, I’d probably call it horseshit.

      So the very same government that’s trying to outlaw cell phones in cars because they’re “distracting” is building a permanent solution to the Social Security funding problem just down the hall.

      I can hardly wait for Dr. Fauci to shout “Ooops! Sorry about that! Won’t happen again!”

      What’s the chance members of the elite inner circles have already been vaccinated against Dr. Fauci’s new version of fratricide? I’d give mighty short odds. Honestly this really pisses me off.

      • You can fool all the People some of the time.

        You can fool some of the People all the time.

        But you can’t fool all the People all the time.

        Unfortunately though, you can fool enough of the People enough of the time.

        –Tinsley Grey Sammons

      • Scott that’s the one that really worries me–the Elites letting loose the dogs of bio-warfare.

        Everything else, including nuclear war, is survivable with precautions.

        Bio-war, less so–considerably less so. But the bastards are so bat-shit crazy, after this many generations of inbreeding, that I’m not so sure they have the self-restraint to avoid it.

        Certainly we’re playing with fire. There are well over 300 bioweapon “defense” labs in the US; few of them are level 4, and many level 2+ and 3 labs are handling pathogens that would be scary even in a proper level 4 facility.

        The government’s “philosophy” of bioweapon defense is insane; it’s to create the putative weapons an enemy might make, then (perhaps) create a defense against it…a totally transparent excuse to make bigger, badder germs.

        Mouse pox. Aerosolized Ebola. Spanish flu. A few examples of the horrors they’re cooking up, in the name of “defense”.

        I see a Stephen King The Stand scenario happening quite easily; in fact, such an event would be a plausibly deniable release mechanism.

        • Me too. I was a little concerned about the gamma weapons they threatened us with in the early 80’s and the EMP weapons they waived around in the 90’s, but not much because I didn’t think they were real. It was clear from their design though they were intended to kill people and preserve real estate. If your intention is to wipe out 99% of the slave labor, you really don’t want to have to rebuild the Empire State building any time soon. This should be taken as a given.

          I’m sure you can see where this line of reasoning is going.

            • Yeah. Assholes. A perfect example of anarcho-tyranny. Harmless old guy, vicious prosecution over trumped-up/bullshit. Meanwhile, the violent thugs running amok get three hots and a cot, cable TV and free heaf cayuh.

          • When I read stories like the one about that old guy in Austin getting his house seized, I want to go on a rampage. It makes me lividly, frothingly furious.

            How DARE those pencil-necked carpetbaggers presume to even enter his house, much less “seize” it? “Seize him!”–it’s the cry of the dictator through the ages.

            Cities all over the country are grabbing property for their well-connected buddies in the private sector.

            We no longer have private property. It’s owned by the State, and rented to you at the State’s convenience.

            Welcome to neo-feudalism.

            His mistake was in letting the fuckers into his house.

            • Same here.

              It boggles the mind, doesn’t it? The city, with apparently nothing better to do, sends its legions to dragoon a harming-no-one old man out of his home over a “code violation” – and then proceed to send and army of cement trucks to flood his basement and send him a $90,000 bill. Just unbelievable.

              Why weren’t his neighbors lining the street to at least protest?

              The fact that they weren’t explains why the city apes felt free to run amok.

          • Property theft by law is a common occurrence. As long as Americans meekly submit to being ruled by juris doctors and career office holders, many of whom ARE juris doctors, things will only worsen for folks not favored by the brazen de facto criminals protected by the Establishment Curtain*.

            I’ve been personally acquainted with a few lawyers and whenever I looked into their faces I was always overcome by the same feeling, which was: “I would dislike this son-of-a-bitch even if he wasn’t a goddamned lawyer.”

            There’s just something about the motherfuckers…


            *An original take on the Cold War Iron Curtain.

          • The neighbors didn’t do anything because they either didn’t know the guy or don’t like him.

            Government usually doesn’t try this BS with people who are well liked with lots of friends. Plus he’s probably ‘different’ in some way.

            Government targets people who are isolated and won’t be defended by the mass. This is why its targets are often painted to be kooks and such. It’s by design. It’s a social manipulation. Nobody is going to defend the ‘crazy’ old guy. They might even cheer on the government.

            In this specific case, the concrete was just a show of domination. there’s no reason that couldn’t have done with simple fill and concrete to repair the pad. Now it’s a big mess for all future use.

  11. I don’t understand the mentality that overeacts to risk. I’ve even been hit a few times by women drivers, and just let them go. What’s the big deal?

  12. The march of Empire with its barbaric brutality along with the seemingly endless expansion of the Matrix has been a bit overwhelming as of late, depressing even.

    I found this thought to be a bit uplifting, maybe some others might too?:

    Be of Good Cheer: the Keynesian Welfare State Is Doomed
    And liberty will prevail, says Gary North.

    “Keynesianism is in a death spiral. So is populist socialism. So is fiat money fascism. They are all in death spirals because they all reject this premise: “Lower taxes increase liberty.”

    Liberty will prevail.” …


    … Hmm, now where did I put those lawn darts? A.k.a. Jarts. … Spiral! Spiral! Spiral down!

    • death spirals

      Re: “death spirals”

      A great expression from the aviators who surely must have an abiding respect for them.


  13. Here’s the ultimate solution. No problems, perfectly doable and not all that expensive.

    What we do is assign every child born a berth in a small steel re-enforced concrete box. We insert a feeding tube and a catheter. We fill the box with a fluid compatible with the infant’s skin pH and we drain off the fecal matter every hour or so.

    When they get old enough to see and hear we introduce television.

    All births are by artificial insemination and the whole shootin’ match is run by a computer.

    That’s it! We’re done! Everyone’s safe!

    • About fifty years ago Asimov penned a short story about computers and machines taking over. Eventually, the ultimate question “Is there a God?” was fed into the Great Computer.

      There was a clicking and whirring as the computer checked its control of all connections. When it was certain that it was in absolute control of its very existence, it provided the following response to the Ultimate Question by booming forth the answer:



      BTW if anyone can find that piece Online please direct me to if.

      • I’ll find it and post it, along with some other of the other great computer controlled dystopia novels.

        Here is the most profitable movie of 1915 by D.W. Griffith:
        Birth of Nation (The Clansman)

      • I think you mean Frederic Brown’s “Answer.” The entire story is below, here’ the link:



        Dwan Ev ceremoniously soldered the final connection with gold. The eyes of a dozen television cameras watched him and the subether bore throughout the universe a dozen pictures of what he was doing.
        He straightened and nodded to Dwar Reyn, then moved to a position beside the switch that would complete the contact when he threw it. The switch that would connect, all at once, all of the monster computing machines of all the populated planets in the universe — ninety-six billion planets — into the supercircuit that would connect them all into one supercalculator, one cybernetics machine that would combine all the knowledge of all the galaxies.
        Dwar Reyn spoke briefly to the watching and listening trillions. Then after a moment’s silence he said, “Now, Dwar Ev.”
        Dwar Ev threw the switch. There was a mighty hum, the surge of power from ninety-six billion planets. Lights flashed and quieted along the miles-long panel.
        Dwar Ev stepped back and drew a deep breath. “The honor of asking the first question is yours, Dwar Reyn.”
        “Thank you,” said Dwar Reyn. “It shall be a question which no single cybernetics machine has been able to answer.”
        He turned to face the machine. “Is there a God?”
        The mighty voice answered without hesitation, without the clicking of a single relay.
        “Yes, now there is a God.”
        Sudden fear flashed on the face of Dwar Ev. He leaped to grab the switch.
        A bolt of lightning from the cloudless sky struck him down and fused the switch shut.

        More Links

        If you liked “To Build A Fire” you’ll love Jack London’s
        The Iron Heel – A 1906 – It’s an amazingly accurate description of our totalitarian corporate oligarchy we have now.




  14. Eric, you must have some sort of forked stick you use to find cultural and sociological topics of great importance. I picture you being guided by some supernatural force to write on those subjects. This is an inspired article. Nice work!

    • It’s the coffee… and the fury!

      I love liberty – and so I hate seeing where the country’s headed. I’m determined to do whatever I can, in my own way, to at least go down fighting. And with any luck, we’ll plug the ship and avoid going down with her!

    • I see him as being driven by the innate human desire, found in good persons, to share the WHOLE truth with his Fellow Humans. Would that more Individuals had the ability and opportunity to do it as well. Would that more Individuals had such an abiding passion for Liberty and Justice.

      Evil can only exist with Humankind’s permission and assistance.


  15. Eric, do the trails you frequent have those stupid sign in-sign out sheets for you to leave your name, address (why?) and time in and out, as always in the name of safety? It’s a common thing in the local national forests and parks, but strangely on the more frequently used trails where you’d think an injured person would be more likely to be found by others. Seems even forest and park rangers are gathering information.

    Hiked with some relatives this past summer and they were aghast that I disobeyed the orders of the US Forest Service and didn’t sign the trail guestbook. They were certain we were going to get “in trouble.” Hell most of the time I don’t even pay. Never did understand why the wilderness has an admission fee.

    • Oh yeah! The AT is sprinkled with them. But, I think it’s part of AT culture – long-haul hikers leaving their names so people they know will know they passed through when they pass through. I’m ok with this. Plus, it’s entirely voluntary. What I am not ok with is “registering” with the Park Oberfuhrer prior to camping – and camping only at “designated” areas. Throw that in the woods! I never pitch my tent (which is dull cammo, incidentally – not bright colored) anywhere near the designated serial killer slaughtering grounds. I choose a place off trail, deep in the forest, where there’s no one but me and the chiggers and maybe a bear.

  16. Gotta give you an A+ for this one.

    BTW, where did you first come across the word “ukase”? I first heard it from a scholarly acquaintance in the summer of ’67 and I’ve found it very useful as an attention-getter and a waker-upper.

    I do love words. I must have been born a wordfreak since I cannot remember not being one. When speaking, I often give a scholarly presentation and end it with some of my original profanity. Most folks love it. I generally know my audience and I make certain that every member understands what I’m talking about. While employed with Volkswagen dealerships I even did it in German,simultaneously grossing out and entertaining my German coworkers.


    • Thanks, TG!

      I also love language; the perfect word, the just-right analogy. I came across ukase back in college during a course about tsarist Russia. The tsars issued them – ukase – and I always thought it sounded just like it ought to: An arbitrary edict issuing forth from an insolent absolute ruler….

      • Ahh…the perfect word. Those of us whose native language is English are indeed fortunate…a fact supported by English-speaking Germans I’ve spent considerable time with*. Supposedly, German is close behind but English is surely THE language, having shamelessly adopted so many wonderful words.


        *A preposition is a terrible thing to end a sentence with. –Winston Churchill

        • “The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning-bug” -Twain

        • TGS–

          A Texan girl flew to New York to visit some sorority friends.

          As they greeted her at the airport, she said excitedly “Well where are we-all goin’ to?”

          One of the New York girls snottily replied “Here in New York, we don’t end sentences with prepositions.”

          The Texan girl looked thoughtful for a moment and said “Oh I understand! Where are we-all goin’ to, bitch?”

          • *snip* “Oh I understand! Where are we-all goin’ to, bitch?” *snip*

            Bullseye eloquence at its very best.

  17. Agreed.

    Seat belts: I’m all for them, if you want to wear them. If I don’t wear it, I’m cool with my insurance company charging a higher premium. There are consecquences to all actions.

    The std rebuttal for belts and stuff is “but we all pay for those idiots when they get into an accident”. They recoil in horror when I replay. “Then let’s not pay for it.”. Simple.

      • Exactly.

        The risk management of insurance should be on those who choose to manage that risk. As it stands (in Texas, and most states) insurance companies have lobbied for the requirement. All to keep boobus americanus safe, of course.

        I drive a ’94 Jeep Cherokee, converted to a diesel. Total worth of about $3k. I have to insure that POS? First, it’s dam near indestructable. Second, top speed is about 65 downhill with a tail wind. Third, I drive like a grandma (no wrecks in 18 years, no speeding tickets, nothing).

        Why have I paid over $2,688 ($56 x 12months x 4 years) insuring a jeep I have $3,000 invested in? Whose kid have I helped put thru college? I hope she’s cute, dammit! Send me a pic!

        I could have put in a new transmission. Bought a new(er) car, even. Maybe painted the jeep, put some new shoes on her… Who knows?

        • Drives me nuts, too.

          I have eight vehicles including three antique motorcycles and one antique car – vehicles that spend 99 percent of their lives sitting under cover in my garage. Yet I am required to maintain insurance on all of them, all of the time.

          Thousands out of my pocket and into the pockets of insurance shysters. I have the insurance cartels as much as some hate the Fed.

  18. I’m with you until you get to that seatbelt thing. Agree that it shouldn’t be required by law. But buckling a modern belt is hassle free. And wearing one is neither uncomfortable nor restrictive. No matter how skillfully you drive, the possibility of an accident remains. And if you’re in a crash, you’re going to be mighty glad if you were using the belt. (Unless that is, you’re going to try and sell us that cliche that it’s better to be “thrown free.”) 😉

    Wearing a seatbelt delivers a huge potential benefit, for almost no inconvenience or cost. To refuse to wear one just because the law requires it seems……well, irrational.

    • I’d wear my seat belt even if it wasn’t the law. Just ain’t worth it to end up getting hurt when it’s easily avoidable. No matter how good a driver one might believe themselves to be there is an equally opposite out there waiting to ram them when they least expect it.

    • Psft, I’ve plenty of friends who died while wearing a seatbelt, it’s a lot like the magic foam helmet, it’s not the be all to end all.

      Also, I find wearing a seatbelt both uncomfortable and restrictive. Ever try and roll up a passenger window from the drivers side while wearing one? Or try to pick something up off the passenger floor? Irritating as all get out. Wearing one with a sunburn sucks too.

      Plus, being forced to wear a seatbelt is the very definition of anti-liberty.

      Definition of LIBERTY:

      b : freedom from physical restraint

      And yes, travel is a right. There are many Supreme Court cases which say just that.

      • The three point belt is a typical half-assed measure that is typical of government dictates. So will it save some people yes, will it save as many as proper device would, no.

        If the government allowed it, many cars today would be coming from the factory with proper harnesses. The feds actually mandated the harness be removed from a ferrari and replaced with 3 point mouse belt in 1990 or so.

        The magic foam hat on the other hand is just that. When figures are corrected for reduced bicycling and superficial cuts, scrapes, and minor bruises, the foam hat does not fare well. They are also rated for a 6 foot fall. So if you’re over six foot tall well… plus we have to assume that bicycling is a major source of head injury. It’s not. Unless we include climbing stairs, driving, and many other ordinary activities the average person would look at someone wearing a helmet for as insane as major sources of head injury.

        Bicycling would have been banned by now if it wasn’t for the protection offered by the states other power grabs of the environment and health care.

        My favorite article on the risks of bicycling is here:

        Sadly I just noticed a note on the website that the author was killed while bicycling by wrong way drunk driver in 2003. Over the years I just google searched to the page I wanted and never saw the note.

        • I was just coming online (writing-wise) when the Ferrari harness thing took place – and remember thinking: Hmmm. If it’s about “safety” then what’s the issue here? A race harness is the safest occupant restraint there is. There’s a reason why race cars have harnesses – not three-point belts, not air bags. Scheisse!

          A harness is simpler, cheaper, more effective and far more reliable than an air bag. Which of course is why we don’t get to have them.

          • There may be some truth to reports of decapitation by three point belts. How much force is necessary to pop a fat head off of a skinny neck?


          • Over the years I’ve learned that government works to level people and businesses to the same mediocre level so nobody out competes the insiders or hurts their profit margins.

            Time and time again government agencies stop businesses from going the extra yard.

          • There is no possible way my harness could remove my head. Now, it is possible that I wouldn’t be able to get out of the way of an object that is about to tear off the roof of my Cherokee… But that’s not the fault of my harness.

            It is simply doing its intended job of keeping me “safely” strapped to the wreckage.

    • A friend of mine had his life saved because he was *NOT* wearing his seatbelt. Engine ended up in his seat and lucky for him, he was ejected from the car prior to the engine ending up in his lap.

      Getting into the convenience argument or “might save lives” argument is a distraction from the real issue, the freedom to do as you wish.

      *That* is the only relevant issue here.

    • At least Eric & co. agrees with you that Sept. 11 was inside job and a false-flag attack to get all the support and money they needed so they can keep meddling in the affairs of the Middle East as well as turning the U.S.A. into a Fascist Dictatorship.


      • Gil, I agree with you that Eric & Co. have their eyes wide open and are really, really good. I just want to help nudge them to perfect.

      • The lies and complicity are pretty clear. How many times can the feds change their story before you start to wonder Gil?

    • The moonhoax crowd is also wrong. Some things were faked, but not for the reason of faking the moon landing. The purpose was to cover up what was found there and the actual technology used to go there.

        • clark, it was from a Daily Bell article that I learned about Dave McGowan’s website, which I cite above.

          Dave’s website does a great job showing the moon landings to be a hoax (and ’60s music to be a creation of the CIA and Tavistock).

          • Only some of it was a hoax. That is what everybody is missing. It is the same with Roswell, the Government has created a false set of choices to distract from the what actually was found. In the case of Roswell, it is either weather balloons and crash dummies or Aliens. The third option is effectively kept out of the discussion which is Nazi technology (See Roswell and the Reich by Joseph Farrell).

            In the case of the Moon landings, the same premise is being used. The debate is either we went and found nothing or we faked the entire thing. The third option, we went looking for something and found it, used alternative technology to get there and once we found what we wanted we shut down future missions to shunt interest in space, is never brought up. (see Dark Mission by Hoagland and Bara.)

            The moonhoax crowd ignores a bunch of evidence showing that we did go. Yet, it is clear that many of the photos were obviously faked. The difference in image clarity between Apollo 11/17 and Apollo 12/14/15 is very striking. But this story, as with everything in politics, requires delving into the little known specifics of esotercism and hidden agendas.

            BTW, 9/11 is another example of this way of controlling the debate between two wrong answers. In this case the false choices are box cutter wielding Arabs or Controlled Demolition. One is absurd and the other is inadequate to explain *all* of the known evidence (and it contains its own absurdities (see http://wheredidthetowersgo.com/).

        • I have a book of high quality photos taken near and on the moon. It wasn’t a set. The shadow stuff is nonsense. The moon’s soil, moon dust, is black. So what’s a shadow and what is simply black? there’s no atmosphere for light to refract in. So it either reflects brightly or you see black depending on the angle.

          Where I believe the cover up is, may be with regards to what was found or seen while on the moon and that IMO the covert military/CIA/whatever space program took over and NASA became nothing more than a front operation or just a diversion.

          Also there is inherent risk in space exploration that the nannies don’t tolerate today. So another reason for it not to be public.

    • John, I just can’t buy the Apollo Hoax. Disclaimer: I am a former employee of a NASA contractor and I did in fact participate in the discovery of the rings around Uranus (that’s pronounced “Yer A Nus”, ignore any moron that tells you different. I was there).

      No one will prove America went to the Moon until they build a ship, send it up there and count the cigarette butts. I can’t make an argument stronger than the one you know, or present evidence more compelling than what you have.

      But for some unknown reason I believe. Go figure.

      • I find it impossible to believe that a fraud of that magnitude could have survived since 1969 without the truth being revealed. There is not a trace of doubt in my mind that there are human bootprints and man-made things on the moon, some left there by the astronauts who walked* and rode there.


        *If that peculiar hopping can be considered walking.

        • tgsam, the government keeps people quiet by: paying them salaries; paying them pensions; threatening injury or death to participants or family members.

          The early astronauts were fighter and test pilots. It should have been no problem flying a T-38. But, look at the number of ‘accidents’ that astronauts had in the T-38:

          Read ‘JFK and The Unspeakable’ to see how murderous our government can be with its citizens — both JFK, assassination participants, and unwitting bystanders.

          • Sorry John, for me to believe that a coverup so enormous is simply impossible. Not even the Mafia could have effected it and some of their applied consequences for loose lips are dreadfully harsh.

            I wonder how much profit writers and publishers have netted from conspiracy crap? Why do they get away with it? They get away with it simply because people are intrigued and excited by conspiracies and Whoall dunnits.

            It took years for me to accept that a frustrated nobody murdered President Kennedy simply because he was a frustrated nobody. No murder has been more meticulously studied and I now believe that there is nothing more to it.

            Hell. monarchs, presidents, and dictators are reluctant to order assassinations simply because government ordered assassinations of Alpha Assholes might become commonplace.


          • John, it is worth noting that said committee officially refused to inquire in to any Nazi connections to the conspiracy. See Joseph Farrell’s LBJ.

          • Yep, no doubt s-s-, that the HSCA could have done a much better job. But, the FBI, CIA, and Secret Service were — shockingly! — absolutely uncooperative.

            Documents on JFK continue to be released from the archives, which is why many surprises still show up.

            BTW, the NASA archives on Apollo will not be opened until 2020 or so.

          • These conspiracies have never been kept secret. Never. They’ve always leaked. Info always got out. Good people talked of being stonewalled by higher ups and so on for every single one of the government stories that just didn’t make sense.

            It is that people refuse to recognize the people who come forward. The leaks that happen. People refuse to accept they exist so they effectively don’t exist.

            Even if JFK was killed by Oswald as impossible as it would have been for him to do it, Oswald was still clearly CIA.

          • Any good rifleman could have made the shot that Oswald made. I certainly could have.

            As for Oswald doing it, even a frustrated dickhead can be a good shot.

            For me the joker in the deck was always Jack Rubenstein.

          • Many have provided good answers. Few bother to listen. Most just disregard the good answers because of the bad ones.*

            I’ll bet you never listened to E Howard Hunt tape. Just one of those inside to a conspiracy telling his story. Those people that don’t exist because people refuse to accept they exist.

            I think government creates or encourages the really bad ideas of what happened for a particular event so that fewer will listen to the well researched folks.

          • @TGS:

            Any good rifleman could have made the shot that Oswald made. I certainly could have.

            Really? I can hit a head 20/20 times at 300 yards with iron sights on a 7.62 H&K G3. I could never have made the JFK shot with a bolt-action Carcano…which is a POS to begin with, and the POS scope he used.

            Here’s Jesse Ventura’s take on it

            Keep in mind, he’s an expert rifleman; and others, including the Warren Commission, were unable to duplicate Oswald’s miracle feat.

            • Two things (well, two of several things) always bothered me about the JFK thing:

              Entry wounds are typically small – and exit wounds very large. Why did the shot that (according to the Warren Commission) hit JFK in the back, then exited (allegedly) through his lower neck (this is where you see him reaching up, just before the fatal head shot) not leave a catastrophic exit wound?

              When I watch, frame-by-frame, the final head shot, it seems to indicate a shot from the front – because Kennedy’s head appears to snap backward as his skull bulges toward the rear and then explodes, spraying brain matter backward rather than forward.

              In any event, the things that convince me much more was going on, sub rosa, than a “lone nut” include:

              * The convenient silencing of Oswald by Ruby. I am not buying he “wanted to spare Mrs. Kennedy the pain of a trial.” Ruby knew Oswald – and they both knew all sorts of characters connected to shady elements, from the mob to the CIA (see: George de Mohrenschildt). I don’t believe in “coincidences” this extensive.

        • Many have spoken up that were involved, but no one cares or listens. Massive amounts of evidence have been accumulated showing that something fishy went on. But the final conclusion is not that the landings were hoaxed (at least not all of them). Project Corona was put up ostensibly as a spy satellite to spy on the Russians and yet it spent all of its time looking at the moon. They saw something and went to investigate. Then after they brought back what they wanted, they shut the moon program down so no one else would go.

  19. I know that both Eric and the regular readers of this site already know this, but the “risk avoidance” meme is just a cover. The PTB couldn’t give two shits or a damn about what dangers we mere mundanes really face (after all, THEY pose the real danger, so they could hardly focus on reality, could they?). It’s all pure pretense for imposing ever more controls over us. Fortunately for the PTB, clovers make up the majority, making this pretense easy to front.

    • Like so much else this is a sponge to soak up surplus industrial output. If there were a way to quantify such a thing as “spontaneous natural demand” for industrial products I believe it would be found to be a tiny fraction of current surplus output. Without such sponges to keep markets artificially unsaturated the present pattern of a small number of privileged manufacturers wielding obscene power could not have developed. It goes back at least a century and a half, but has been increasing in both scope and sophistication.

      • Exactly Ned.
        Damn near everything is a “Make Work Project”. Even or perhaps, specially, government functions.
        The big problem stems from the undercurrent of the idea that everybody has a Right to have a Job. This was bastardized from the Right to Work concept, which itself was badly flawed.
        Underlying everything is a human weakness of wanting to control other people; Government fulfills that requirement nicely.
        So now we have “A Right to a Job”, but no right to work and No Right to chose our own Work.
        Already the economy mirrors the Great Depression. Those who “work” for the government, or supply the government are doing very well. Those who do not are sinking rapidly because their shrinking incomes cannot compete with the government printing presses.

        • So right.

          The #1 risk to life and liberty is the state. I’m not worried about a robber breaking into the house, I have a gun. I’m more worried about a cop getting it into his head that I’m a threat and beating my butt or gunning me down.

          And if I resist, or dare defend myself? Life = over.

          Yeah, I’m WAY more afraid of the gooberment than any risk I choose to take.

          • Amen. I have almost zero fear of the non-government criminal element; I’m well-armed, practice self-defense, and will sincerely and righteously fuck up most any assailant.

            A cop on the other hand–you dare not defend yourself against even the most blatantly illegal behavior on their part lest you imperil your freedom and your life.

            The worst part? Get rid of the immediate threat, and the bastards will keep coming after you. Using your own money against you.

            It’s the latter that keeps me entertaining thoughts of expatriation–so I don’t have to be forced to pay into a system I long ago lost all faith in. More than that in fact; a system I hold in total disdain and contempt. The things they do with MY money are so reprehensible it makes me sick to think of them.

    • It’s all pure pretense for imposing ever more controls over us.

      This is why I haven’t filed a flight plan since I got my private license. It’s all about “safety” of course, making sure there’s a record of my route and time so if the flight plan isn’t closed they can launch SAR. Yeah, my ass. Every pilot doing this is leaving a nice little record of his travel habits with the federal government. And anyway the result of this policy is SAR people often get all fired up to go for no reason because some guy was in a hurry to make happy hour and forgot to close out his flight plan.

      I leave the details with my wife instead. That way if I’m overdue she can notify SAR with the pertinent info, and the FAA will only know where I went on the particular day I crashed rather than have detailed logs of my every flight. But you know the story, not everyone does this when they fly, hence the benevolent government comes up with a system for people to volunteer volumes of private information in the name of safety.

      • I love airplanes – I’d love to learn to fly. But flying seems to me, as an outsider, to be so thoroughly wrapped in red tape that it’s sucked all the fun (for me) out of it. I’m a get in/go – and go where you please, how you please – kind of guy. I’d stop driving (and riding) if I had to file a “driving” or “riding” plan, could only ride the specified route, at the specified speed – etc. Rather walk at that point.

        • In OUT OF AFRICA remember Dennis’ response when Karen asked when he learned to fly?

          I seem to recall that Dennis responded with:


          I imagine that someone simply showed him the controls or took him for a quick familiarization flight. Eventually he died in a crash, but so what. It was his own life.


          I detest red tape, fun squelching rules, revenue collectors with badges and bother in general. And of course there is the expense. So then, I too have never bothered to solo.

          Unfortunately Eric, if nothing else buries Liberty, overpopulation surely will. If anyone disbelieves that, let him slowly zigzag across America at an altitude of about 1500 feet. A Storch would be an ideal aircraft for the adventure.


          • Most people have the aptitude to learn. And the stick-and-rudder part is easy. It’s very intuitive once you understand the three axes of flight. Nobody had to tell me how to correct an oversteer; it just makes sense. Same with a plane, don’t let the nose too far up or down, don’t overspeed or overcontrol, don’t get too slow. Avoid the ground, of course. A Cessna will work spins and stalls out on its own as long as there’s enough altitude to turn into airspeed. And know your limits, good advice in any endeavor. If that’s all there was to it you could learn in a weekend.

            The big money gets spent learning what Uncle Sam allows and does not allow, and hours and hours of risk mitigation in the airplane, learning the myriad emergencies that seemingly are always on the verge of occuring at any moment. Fires, engine failures, communication failures, control failures (are you really going to land the plane using the doors and trim tab?), oddly enough the FAA removed spin training from the curriculum because too many brand-new flight instructors were crashing the plane after entering self-induced spins, so they weren’t doing that when I was learning.

  20. What irks me even more than the ‘safety’ / ‘no risk’ culture is the selective punishment of failure.

    Some people, via the government, have their downside risk covered while other people should they fail not only have to suffere the sting of their failure but are punished on top of that.

    For instance, say I run a large wall street bank. I can take huge risks. When one or more of these ventures goes sideways my buddies at the fed and in the government will bail me out at someone else’s expense and I will pocket a huge bonus. But I don’t run a large wall street bank. So let’s say I start out on my own. I take a risk. A risk increased by the government regulation and power. If things go sideways I will not only face going bankrupt but could also face lawsuits and even criminal charges when compliance with some obscure regulation became financially impossible.

    This punishment of failure is the most hideous part the risk adverse culture. It skews the risk/reward calculation into not doing anything. People who start small businesses today often do it without a clue regarding the imposed costs, regulations, and additional risk. Sometimes they get big enough to deal with it before they are detected, other times they don’t. But they started because they didn’t have a full understanding. With a full understanding of the downsides few people begin.

    Then there is paying for other people’s risk. I’ve ranted about being told that I am ‘lucky’ in various debates frequently. I am ‘lucky’ to be financially in good shape. No I am not. I make risk/reward calculations and am naturally risk adverse. I make study slow forward progress. But for that I am supposed to pay to cover someone else’s downside risk. Because they aren’t ‘lucky’. There’s a lot of fun I didn’t get to have because I couldn’t cover my own downside risk. Why should I cover theirs?

    I guess my point is there isn’t a problem with being risk adverse or risk taking the problem is the imposition of both the nannying and the charity. This country if it is to survive and thrive needs to get back to people being responsible for their own risk and reward without artifical outside forces. .

  21. See many diving boards lately? The pool at my apartment is 3 1/2 ft deep… it’s pathetic. About 20 years ago my friends and I would jump off a train track bridge into a lake, about a 20 ft drop. Flips, back-flips, 1 1/2’s…

  22. great rant. we homeschool are kids and they get to do lots of things other kids would be prohibited from doing in a school setting. my kids are done school in 2 hours or so…doesn’t take long when school isn’t like a prison with the inmates running it and you don’t have to indoctrinate them. So by 11am they are outside playing games the State would forbid, shooting BB guns, and just being kids and having a blast.
    Oh and I work from home so since I bought the TA last month they have been helping me work on it or just going for a ride with me at lunch time.

      • Hey give a guy a break. Working from and trying to read this Rant while kids are running allover the place.

        Besides me wife be teachin’ the chillings da english

      • What’s with grammar puritans?

        Rob’s comment read well in a pleasant colloquial tone. A couple of commas in the last line would have saved me about a quarter of a second’s parsing. No biggie.

        Grammar rules are really just conventions. They are continually evolving.

        • They are also what separates the intelligent from the ebonic illiterates. Those conventions are required for effective and clear communication.

          • Funny you should mention Ebonics. My friends all call my speech and writing Robonics. The even funnier part is that I did great on the verbal portion of the SAT’s and in my college English classes, my old man is an English major (aka the Grammar Nazi as he is referred to). I’m just normally too busy to proof-read what I am typing and my fingers have trouble keeping up with my brain….way too much espresso each day.

          • You might try giving historical documents a read once in a while.

            The Declaration of Independence, for instance, has more(modern)grammatical errors than the above comment. Yet, it successfully conveyed its meaning, just as the above comment did.

            Prior to widespread mechanical type, grammar ‘rules’ really were, to paraphrase Jack Sparrow, more of a general guideline. Forgive us all for not fitting your ideal Aryan Robot mold.

            Your dig was uncalled for, and combined with the racial slur is downright reprehensible.

            Rob can proofread, but no one can fix a$$&@##.

            By the way, your original grammar comment consisted of two sentence fragments. Fortunately, we now know where you stand on the ‘ol intelligence scale.

    • As a former college English teacher, I demur. The grammar is not bad, and that are/our mistake is a very common one too, I’ve noticed. The only real problem with this is the run-on sentences, which need proper punctuation. And, by the way, the most important aspect of any writing is the message, and this one is crystal clear. I would give it a B, maybe a C if he doesn’t learn by the end of the semester to punctuate properly.
      But non-sequiturs get a D EVERY time, and complaining about the grammar in this post is definitely that. Oh, and I am perfectly willing to risk a battle of wits with crank whiners any day of the week with NO preparatory precautions taken beforehand either.
      Good article, just doesn’t go far enough with the examples, which are in actuality far more legion than automobile safety gizmos. And, he unfortunately misses the bigger picture of all the REAL dangers that are never addressed while we get bogged down in the minutiae of tiny risks, such as backing up into a toddler, or having bombs in our shoes while entering security at airports– while removing them from our feet does not defuse them. Fukushima is a case in point of a HUGE risk this species is taking, doing NOTHING about it, except piling up a makeshift wall made of bags of rocks around it. Wow, do I feel safe!

  23. You’re just mad you can’t think of that kind of product to sell. Something in which you can convince the government to mandate in the name of risk prevention, but secretly and obviously for the guaranty of revenue creation. Cars are the ULTIMATE cash cow for revenue collection by the gobbermint. They need more money! They will keep adding shit like this FOREVER. I know this now.


    Risk prevention is the most awesome way to convince the clovernation to pay more money to them.

    • Case in point:

      SOPA/PIPA died on the vine when constituents called to complain of the invasion of privacy and free speech.

      CISPA takes the same legislation and slaps a “SECURITY RISK” sticker on the front, and vioa la! Passed with flying colors.


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