On “Speeding”

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The government cares about revenue – and control. It posts speed limits accordingly.

At best – that is, assuming benevolent if condescending intent – they are posted based on the least common denominator: The abilities (rather, the lack thereof) of the most inept Clovers possessed of a license to drive. If one old lady can’t handle a curve without reducing her speed by 20 MPH – or execute a safe passing maneuver without needing an entire mile of perfectly straight road to do the deed – then everyone else must be compelled to operate at her level, rather than expect the old lady (and Clovers, generally) to up-rate their skills to an acceptable level.

The corollary of this dumbing-down of expectations is enforcement based not on actual harm done – or even plausibly threatened – bur rather on the fact of a statutory violation (as is true of 90 percent of law in this county today).

Thus people are routinely ticketed for no reason other than their having exceed an arbitrarily set – and often deliberately under-posted – speed limit.

Well, there is a reason: To collect revenue.

If “safety” were truly at issue – if all these technical foul infractions were in fact dangerous – then offenders would be dealt with – quite appropriately – criminally. The system does not ticket people who brandish firearms – and then send them on their way with their weapon, on the brandisher’s promise never to brandish again. Yet the system – as a matter of routine – issues millions of tickets every single day to allegedly dangerous drivers who are in possession of an implement potentially as or more lethal than a firearm – and is happy to let them continue driving, so long as they keep on paying.

It is only failure to pay that results in them deciding you must be prevented from driving. Note that even DWI offenders almost always have their driving “privileges” restored – provided they pay the fines and pay to attend the ASAP classes and pay the insurance mafia what it demands.

So long as you pay, you are a-ok.

It is – and always has been – all about the money.

Well, there is one other thing: control. Deliberately under-posted speed limits (and other ridiculous traffic edicts, such as mandatory “buckle up” laws) provide a ready excuse for  the state’s enforcers to pull people over almost at will. This, in turn, gives these enforcers the opportunity to look for other “violations” – which may and often does lead to more revenue – sometimes, even the vehicle itself under the war on some drugs’ asset forfeiture laws.

More profoundly, though, it is a way for the state, via its costumed enforcers, to assert its authority over us.  To remind us – As Lenin once put it – who does what to whom.

It is a characteristic of unfree societies that “laws” – and their corollary, enforcers – are ubiquitous. Impossible not to encounter merely by dint of existing and trying to function.

The object is to keep people in a state of perpetual apprehension. And by “people” I mean ordinary everyday citizens – not the always small element in any society that is actually criminal in the common law (natural law) sense of creating victims via their actions. These people – the real criminals, who create real victims – are incidental as far as the state is concerned. There’s no money in them. Or control, either. The sweet spot, for the coercive authoritarian state, is the average person just trying to go about his life.

This is why, in non-free societies, non-crimes are criminalized – and pursued much more aggressively – than real crimes that involve actual victims. Because that’s where the money – and the power is.

But back to “speeding.”

By any reasonable standard, if we are to have set speed limits (and that’s debatable in terms of its desirability) shouldn’t they actually be limits? The maximum velocity under absolutely ideal conditions, assuming a top-notch driver in a top-notch car, etc? But what do we actually have? We have statutory speed limits that are typically set 5-10 MPH below the normal cruise-controlled, sail fawn gabbling flow of traffic. Think about this a bit. On any given road, almost all the cars are driving slightly faster than the statutory speed limit.

What does this tell you about statutory speed limits?

It tells you they’re not limits – in other than a purely contrived, political-legal sense.

If virtually every driver can – and does – trundle along at a pace that is slightly faster than the legally permissible maximum as a matter of routine does it not imply the limit should be considerably higher? If everyone – or nearly everyone – is cruising along languidly at 70, does it not imply that probably it’d be ok to drive faster than that at least sometimes?

The fact that almost everyone – even Clovers – “speed” as a matter of routine speaks volumes about the nature of most statutory speed limits.

Widespread, almost universal flouting of any given law is strongly persuasive that the law itself is preposterous. And malicious. Think Prohibition. Or, closer to home, the 55 MPH National Maximum Speed Limit for highways that was in force for 20 long years. Politicians decreed that what had been legal yesterday (70-75 MPH) and so – one must presume, reasonable and safe – was all of a sudden “illegal speeding.” Did the highways change overnight? Did the cars? Did people suddenly become incapable of driving 70 safely on Tuesday even though they had done so on Monday? Then, just as arbitrarily, the law was changed again.  Just as suddenly,  it was once again “safe” (we presume) to drive 70 on the very same road – in the very same car – with the very same person behind the wheel – who the day prior to the law’s going into effect would have been ticketed for “dangerous speeding” had he driven the same speed on the same road in the same car.

It was a farce – yet people learned nothing from it.

Because the situation on today’s secondary roads is precisely the same as the situation was on the Interstates during the reign of Drive 55: Near-universal disobedience of speed limits we all know are not limits in any meaningful, real-world sense. Rather, they are political-legal constructs we must pretend to pay lip service to whenever a cop – a revenue collector – is in the area.

And so the game goes on. As it must. Because the government must have revenue.

And absolutely must control us.

Our “safety” requires it.

Throw it in the Woods?


  1. Clover, clover, clover – what a closed mind you possess. To qoute you:

    “Eric if speed limits are all about making money then why are there so many speeders still out there? Why are so many states and cities broke? Why is it sometimes weeks that I never see anyone pulled over? Explain this to me. If it was all about revenue you would be seeing revenue being made every day. I don’t. Do you?”

    I have a darned good example that the fines ARE all about the revenue:

    Not too long ago here in Australia, our police force wanted a pay raise of 7%. The government offered them 3%. What did the police do? I’ll tell you what they did: They drove their marked and unmarked cars to every single mobile speed (they are named “safety cameras here”!!HA!)camera locations and put their flashing red and blues on to warn all drivers of their presence. They also blocked the radar beam and the photo-taking (supposedly “prima facie” evidence necessary for conviction)capability. The government was losing a staggering amount of REVENUE as a result. Only one week passed until the police got their desired pay raise! If that’s not enough to sway your much skewed thinking, I don’t know what is. And if you insist on maintaining that thinking, I will have lost all hope for trying to open up your mind.

    Here’s another one for you:
    5 months ago, I received a ticket in the mail for allegedly speeding at 68 Km/h through a combination red light/speed camera (not for running the red light). For one, the photo showed another vehicle in the lane next to me. He was overtaking me. I was going to take it to court based on that alone, but I did somethng else as well. I got out my magnifying glass to see the extremely small print (of course I wondered why it was too small to read via naked eye) at the top left of both the 1st photo of my car (start of speed measurement) and the 2nd photo of my car (.5 seconds after the 1st photo). The speed limit was 60Km/h. Photo one text reads “zero seconds” and shows my rear bumper crossing a line. Photo 2 text says “elapsed time .5 seconds” and “distance travelled = 7.99 metres”. I then went to this site: http://www.unitarium.com/speed and entered (in the “metres per second” box)the distance the photo said I travelled in a second was thus, 7.99 x 2 = 15.98 metres travelled in one second. The correct speed I was travelling came out to be 57.528 Km/h !! I took it to court and won hands down. No fine, no demerit points and a very embarrassed police prosecutor. Stupid me forgot to file for my own costs…next time I’ll be sure to do that! Now, some dessert to add to this food for thought: I went through the very same intersection only a week after my court win to find the very fixed camera that I’d just beaten was taken down. Hmmmm….I wonder why…Could it be a case of Res Ipsa Loquitor??

    • Oh that’s wonderful Bill!

      I had a very similar case. I entered a narrow one-lane “HOV” lane–one of those socialist “high occupancy vehicle” lanes that use up one lane on each side so the fasco-socialists can indulge their social engineering schemes by forcing us to drive two to a car.

      Some bozo had dropped a 4×4 inch fence post halfway across the entrance, so I swerved to avoid it and got in the gravel and debris at the side. It started a tank-slapper and before I could correct I was into the wall on the other side. Thanks, Houston, for keeping your f***ing highways clean.

      The “officer” added insult to the injury of my wrecked car by citing me for “failure to control speed” and/or “excessive speed for the conditions”–really? So we’re to anticipate the “condition” of a fence-post across the road on a blind entrance-ramp, and then anticipate the city’s inability to keep concrete debris and rubble off the shoulders?


      So I got the Google satellite photo of the curve, and plotted its radius. Then I used the formula a = (V^2)/r to calculate the lateral acceleration through the corner. The car–an M-Coupe–was capable of a published 0.95 G of lateral grip. Lastly, I plotted the distance from the stoplight before the curve where I started.

      Anyway, I would have had to accelerate to 135mph in two hundred yards to have taken that corner above the car’s capabilities.

      The prosecutor offered me a plea down to a non-moving violation, and I very politely countered with the opportunity to visit Hades. Then I demanded a jury trial; it’s expensive for them.

      She turned red and went to the judge, then came back with a scowl.


  2. What about all the broken. Legs. Everytime someone in a movie or a sitcom goes skiing, they end up in a cast. Where are the safety helmets, kneepads, and elbow pads. If you fall, your ski may hit someone else. Shouldn’t skis be attached to your ankles by safety straps.
    How is it, new skiers don’t attend class and get skiing licenses. Where are the lanes on the slopes. The speed limit, no passing, and flashing danger lights.
    I demand airbags, and rearview ski goggles. GPS units for skiers who get lost. Avalanche insurance for skiers who start avalanches.
    Are skiers given brethylizers before getting on their skis. Drug testing too is a must.
    No one should ski over two hours in a row before a 30 min required rest period. Blood pressure and pulse should be strictly monitored.
    Skiers who have worse than 20/40 vision should wear a blue armband so we can verify they have glasses on. No one younger than 14 should be allowed to ski. Or pregnant women. Or felons or pedophiles…

  3. If speeding really were dangerous, every town could put up WiFi signals on utility poles and require that WiFi speed governors be installed in every car, so that they could electronically prohibit your car from going past the speed limit. But this would COST money and not create jobs for cops. They way they do it now GENERATES money and jobs for cops. If speed really did kill, one would think that WiFi governors would save lives and would be a no-brainer. But, as Mr. Peters points out, it isn’t about saving lives.

    • head in sand

      Well Steve, Mr. Peters is wrong. I have seen deaths caused entirely by speed. Does Mr. Peters say I am not telling the truth? Do you believe that speed never killed anyone? What causes 10s of thousands of deaths each year on our highways if speed is never involved?

      Mr. Peters believes that such speed controls are against his religion. If he was a cop he would be in the donut shop all day.

      Some day such controls may be mandatory. There are computer controlled cars out there now. It may come some day but probably not in my life time. If roads keep getting more congested though it would improve travel significantly. When cars are communicating to each other they can react in a couple of microseconds instead if tenths of a second. One second following distance would be thousands of times safer than what they are now. Gas mileage could easily double in some cases. You would never see braking on the interstate again. You could have smart traffic lights that would reduce the need to stop and control the traffic flow a lot better.


      • Gawd, Clover!

        It’s not the speed that kills you – it’s the impact with another object that does. But it does not necessarily follow that traveling at “x” velocity means an impact is more likely.

        This is a point that – apparently – you are just not capable of comprehending.

        Even more hilariously, you venerate arbitrary velocities. If 55 is safer than 65, then surely 45 is even safer. And 35 safer again. Why, we should all stop and stand in place – that would be safest of all!

        Everyone has a different skill (and comfort) level. I am a better – and safer – driver at 100 than my father-in-law is at 60. But a pro race driver is better – and safer – at 130 than I am at 100.

        You want to bind everyone down to one arbitrary, dumbed-down standard. The standard you feel comfortable with. But why should I be bound by your comfort/skill level? If I am capable of safely controlling a car at 100 mph, why should I be ticketed (and threatened with violence) because you’re not “comfortable” with anything faster than 70?

        Poor ol’ Clover… a bourbon of the boobeoisie.

        • CloverTell us Eric, does everyone really know how much skill they have at driving? If that is the case shouldn’t we have no accidents? Explain it to me Eric? Some say they have skill to drive 10 mph faster than everyone else and they crash. Some say they can text and drive and crash. Some say they can tailgate safely and crash. Some say they can pass in a no passing zone and crash. Some say they can drink and drive and crash. How many thousands of people each year do not know what their skill level really is? How about adding more speed to that lack of skill judgement and crash really hard.Clover

          • Does a competent,responsible person know not to swim farther from shore than he is able to swim back from?

            A competent driver is aware of his limits – and acts well within them on public roads (on a race track, you’re able to push your limits and the limits of your car or bike to the edge in relative safety and without risking harm to innocents).

            Competence behind the wheel isn’t synonymous with obeying speed limits, Clover. Indeed, it has been shown that timid, fearful drivers are more likely to wreck (not carefully the choice of words) than “speeders.”

            For you, exceeding some arbitrarily set velocity maximum is the sine qua non of “dangerous driving.” Anyone who “speeds” – that is, anyone who drives faster than a number posted on a sign – is by definition a “dangerous” driver. It’s hilarious. Or would be, if you weren’t serious.

          • CloverEric, I gave you a dozen examples of people that knew they were driving beyond any limits set by our laws and crashed. Tell us Eric are you saying they did not really crash. Those people that they hit are not really dead?CloverCloverClover

            • Clover, Clover, Clover….that Person A crashed (for whatever reason) does not necessarily prove that a given velocity is “unsafe” (to use your language). All it tells us is that a person crashed. This person may have been driving too fast for his abilities – or for conditions, or the capabilities of his vehicle. You focus relentlessly on velocity. And not only that, but arbitrary velocity – the “speed limit” – a number on a sign. A number pulled out thin air by politicians and bureaucrats. You reverence this number as holy writ. And you demand that prior restraint be exercised on everyone on the assumption that to “speed” (drive faster than this arbitrary velocity) is necessarily “unsafe.” For everyone.

              It’s silly – and it’s tiresome.

        • One more thing Eric, you say that a race car driver is safer than you are even at a higher speed. Why is it that so many race car drivers crash on the highway then. They actually have a higher crash rate than a normal person. It is not how good of a driver you are but how many chances that you take with my life and yours.Clover

          • Clover, can you do anything but generalize? This is a symptom of your affliction – collectivism. Some people are better drivers than others – and some worse. Judge each driver – each person – by his actions. Everything you say amounts to “what if?” – hypotheticals based on your subjective notions of “too fast.” You probably drive faster than my mother-in-law, a timid woman who routinely drives below the speed limit. She would probably say you are an “unsafe speeder.” Please, what’s the difference between that – and you calling me an “unsafe speeder” for driving faster than you like?

            Speed limits – the actual ones we have – are not moral absolutes, nor even remotely limits in the literal meaning of the word. Even you, Clover, must realize this. Yet you demand absolute obedience – submission – to these arbitrary velocity diktats. No matter what the speed limit is, it’s the absolute limit – legally as well as actually. None dare drive faster! If they do, they are “dangerous” and ought to be punished.

          • Eric every study ever done finds that cars that move closer to the same speed are far safer. If your mother-in-law drives slightly below the limit and you drive well above the limit then what does that do to safety based on every study ever done on the subject? Tell us what difference in travel time does it make for you traveling at 10 mph over a limit of say 60 mph? On a 20 mile trip it means very little in travel time difference. 20 miles is above average for most commuters. Clover

            It is not about speed limits to you. It is about the need to break laws and the need to say you had fun driving 150 mph down the road? Go find a race track if you want to have fun. I race on snow skis. The difference is between me and you is that I do it on a blocked off course. I can not hurt anyone else with my speeding. You think on the roadway that others have the right to endanger others. I say that you are wrong. You say that libertarians have the right to do whatever they feel like if they are not hurting others. Speeders and aggressive drivers are hurting and killing others daily.Clover

            • False, Clover.

              The obvious example being the German Autobahn – where some cars are routinely traveling as much as 50 percent (or more) faster than other cars. Porsches running 150 – and Opels doing 70. Do you know why this works? It is called paying attention – and lane discipline. Germans look in their rearview mirror constantly. When they notice a car overtaking, they move over!

              Problem diffused.

              And: I do ignore silly laws – but precisely because they are silly. I “speed” because I am capable of safely handling my vehicle at a faster velocity than some bureaucrat decided was the uppermost allowable under the law. I exercise judgment, in other words. Something a Clover never does. He just obeys. And then gets mad when others do not!

          • Clover, unless you own a private slope you do not ski on a “closed course”; you share a slope with other skiers of various skill levels and speeds. Some skiers may appear to “speed” but are still in control. It depends on your skill level. Others are dangerous and totally out of control. I’ve had my skis taken right out from under me by a reckless teenager who had no business skiing through a crowd like he did. I was an actual injured party because of his recklessness, not his speed. The courtesy patrol removed his sorry ass from the slopes too as they should have.

            On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of expert skiers weave rapidly through a group of slower skiers without so much as brushing a single one of them. I’ve also been injured due to a couple of women standing perfectly still at the bottom of a lift ramp, running their mouths and not paying attention to who was dropping off the lift. To avoid hitting them I ran off the snow and into the rocks due to skiing etiquette. I twisted my knee so badly that was pretty much it for my snow skiing. No high speeds involved, just a couple of selfish Cloverinas thinking they owned the ramp in spite of the signs, in spite of ski slope etiquette and in spite basic common sense. The courtesy patrolman gave them a stern warning. Then told me if it happened again use the ramp blockers for a soft landing, not the rocks; that way they’ll learn.

            The same principles apply with cars Clover. I’ve had slow moving vehicles pull out in front of me, change lanes without signalling and cut completely across four lanes diagonally forcing me into the median or off the road. At each point I was at or under the speed limit and the other vehicle was moving well below the speed limit. In each case, if I’d been “speeding” I would have completely avoided these situations, because they would have occurred behind me.

            Each situation where the potential for interception and collision exists is unique. On several occasions I’ve avoided serious accidents on my motorcycle with the applied axiom “When in doubt gas it!” Speed doesn’t kill; having a lot more of it on tap than the vehicles around me and knowin how to use it has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. As usual, your logic and arguments are seriously flawed. Besides which, if you don’t like my driving, stay off the sidewalk. 😮

            • Clover not only never learned how to drive – he never learned how to reason!

              I can’t count how many times speed has saved my bacon – just as you’ve described. On my bike, especially.

              Clover would be bearable if – just once – he’d stop to examine his preconceptions in light of facts (and reason, derived from those facts) which challenge his preconceptions. I find him fascinating – and depressing – at the same time.

              Fascinating – because how can any person who isn’t literally at least mildly retarded not have developed at least some skepticism about the validity of speed limits given the notorious example of “Drive 55”? One day, it’s legal to drive 70. The next day (after passage of the NMSL) it is “speeding.” Then, the law is repealed. Next day, it’s once again legal to drive 70 – and no longer “speeding.” Demonstrable, incontrovertible, right-in-your-face example of a politically/legislatively contrived limit. Anyone half-lit can reason it out. That driving 70 didn’t become “safe” – the limit one could/should drive – by dint of a politician’s pen. And likewise, that it wasn’t “unsafe” by dint of a politician’s pen.

              It merely became illegal.

              That realization should have set the cogs in Clover’s brain in motion. Caused him to a least consider that perhaps speed limits aren’t always sacrosanct. That if we have one example of a politically contrived, obviously under-posted limit that turned reasonable, safe driving into “speeding” – then perhaps it is not the only example.

              What’s depressing about Clover is he is mentally – or psychologically – unable to make the distinction between these things. For him, if it’s “the law,” then it’s right. Morally correct. One commits an affront not merely against the statute. In the mind of Clover (if you can call it that) to violate “the law” is to commit what amounts to a sin. For Clover has a religious, reverential awe of “the law.” It is his Alpha and Omega. No discussion. No question. Just… obey.

              Did you ever see the hilarious remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau (with Marlon Brando)? Think of the lawgiver scene – the animal-human hybrids swaying rapturously as they hear the saying of the law….

          • Clover, I challenge you to produce one such engineering study.

            I know you won’t because I’ve never seen one like that in 20 years of following this stuff. Not one. I’ve read quite a few and none of them offer your cloverish road blocking notions of same speed. I generally don’t read the spew of the Insurance Institute for Higher Surcharges so you might find one there.

          • @Eric:

            One argument I like using to destroy Clover’s religious reverence for “the Law”* is slavery.

            I had a conversation with a woman I know who’s the head administrator of a local hospital. She’s busy implementing a mandatory flu-shot policy for the hospital–which of course I’m vehemently opposed to.

            When I asked “why?”, she seemed upset and said “I don’t want to…but it’s the law

            To which I replied, “You know, it used to be the law you could own black people and force them to work on your farm. Would you do that if it was ‘the law’ again today?”

            It certainly gave her a shock.

            She asked what she should do; I told her that first, it’s just a “policy”, not really a law–challenge it, there’s no penalty. And secondly, “Tell them to go to hell–you won’t do it.”

            She actually smiled at the thought. We should bring that phrase back into common usage; it’ll do wonders for the American spirit.

            “Go to hell”–slogan for a peaceful revolution.

            * “the Law” being any, including administrative, law…not the true Natural Law for which we innately have reverence.

          • First off Boothe, I do race on a closed off course. Tell me how any type of racing can be done interlaced with other people? Do they do that with car racing? Bike racing? Motorcycle racing? The ski courses that I go on they are roped off to the public during a race.
            Eric, if you want to drive like they do in Germany then you also have to follow their laws for safety. No passing on the right, no tailgating, following speed limits in congested areas around the cities. Many of the things that you feel are your choice are things that make it safer in Germany. In Germany you can be found responsible for accidents even if you were not what caused it by the mere fact that your speed contributed to the problem. Clover

            Yes Brent there are many studies that have been done about problems with varying speeds on roadways so go search them out for yourself. In Germany they set up strict laws and enforcement to make it safer and where it can be done. None of these strict laws are ones that you obey. You would be in jail if you drove there like you drive here.

            • Clover, you’ve finally conceded the crucial point! Hurrah! There may be hope!

              Well, partially.

              You began to admit that it is feasible for people to drive fast if they drive well. Passing on the right is not necessary, Clover, when people such as yourself move over! I’ve tried to place this morsel before your intellectual chompers on countless prior occasions. So far, you have declined to dine. Please, try a bite.

            • Ah, Cloveroni – but I bet you don’t limit the speed of your skiing when you’re just skiing – now do you? Do you ski no faster than the others on the slope? Or do you ski at the speed you are comfortable with? Do others – more skilled than you, perhaps – ski faster? Do others – less skilled – ski slower? All on the same slope? Indeed they do, Clover. How is this possible? Is it not daaaaaaaaangerous?

              It’s possible, Clover, because – mostly – people accommodate one another. If you overtake someone on the slope, they don’t hog the lane. They let you by. Basic etiquette.

              It’s the same on the road – or ought to be.

              Except it’s not – because of people like you. Your compartmentalized little brain doesn’t notice the disconnect between your “speeding” on the slope (ok) and my “speeding” on the road (not ok). Do you know why, Clover? It’s because you want what you are comfortable with. For everyone. You feel competent on the slope – so you’re ok with going as fast as you like. But when someone like me dares to drive faster than you are comfortable with – sound the alarms! Call the cops! Saaaaaaaaaaaaafety!

              That’s (one) difference between us, Clover. I’m not a hypocrite. You are.

              Another: You’re a control freak. I’m not.

              When I am out driving, if another car comes up behind me, clearly wanting to travel faster than I am traveling, I let them by. Irrespective of the “speed limit.”

              What do you do, Clover? You’ll just ignore the other car. To you, he’s a “speeder.” Rather than defuse the situation by yielding, you ratchet up the tension by not yielding. You see yourself as arbiter – and enforcer. And you get furious when other people don’t defer to “the law” you worship.

          • Clover, your point concerning relative speed is a good one. As far as I know, a differential of more than 15 mph becomes dangerous.

            So, this would tell us that a road engineered for 120mph is an “attractive nuisance” when posted at 65 mph. It attracts people to drive at the engineered limit, which places both persons of skill and “law abiding” citizens at risk.

            Good call. One that I happen to agree with wholeheartedly.

          • It’s your duty to find the cites to support your point.

            Germany does not do slowest ship in the fleet or else like the USA does. They do keep right except to pass. They even have a word for it. Rechtsfahren.

            Rechtsfahren is proven to be safer when looking at US speed enforcement vs. German flow cooperation.

          • Scott, the problem is Clover doesn’t believe in the 85th percentile method which closes down the statistical distribution of speeds. Clover believes in an arbitrary limit that feels good to Clover enforced at the barrel of gun resulting in everyone driving the same speed. Two very different results.

            Speed differential plays a role, but only in standard deviations from the natural mean speed. There is no study showing that forcing everyone to drive the same speed works. Only that collisions increase as one’s speed deviates too far from the mean. (usually slower than the mean being far more dangerous than faster from the mean)

            Clover’s idea of making everyone drive the same speed is rather dangerous. It simply isn’t the same speed that is safe, but as you point out, everyone naturally forming a distribution based upon the road design.

          • CloverShow us Brent where are your stats that say a faster than normal driver is safer than a slower than normal driver? Does that say that the thousands of slower semis need to be removed from service? The only time a slower than normal driver would be dangerous is if a driver that is far faster than normal runs into them. Someone like you! Some of the stats that say a slower driver is more dangerous is when someone slows to make a turn and guys like you crash into them. I would hardly classify that as a slower driver though.
            Eric I would be removed from skis slope if I skied as fast as I am capable on a ski run with other skiers. There are signs up that tell you not to do it. The skier from behind always has to yield to the skier in front no matter what! The skier from behind always has to ski safely and not fly by someone missing them by inches like some of your friends on the highway do.Clover

          • Unlike you Clover, I can cite papers.

            The two famous ones are:
            Cirillo, J.A., Interstate System Accident Research Study II Interim
            Report II. Public Roads, Vol 35, No 3, August 1969

            Solomon, D., Accidents on Main Rural Highways Related to Speed, Driver,
            and Vehicle. Bureau of Public Roads (precursor to FHwA). July 1964

            If you weren’t just a troll you would already be familiar with them.

            Of course there are numerous others, but since you were unaware of the two most famous ones you really aren’t qualified to participate in this discussion.

  4. It is the nature of government to be bureaucratic. Highway laws are bureaucratic. There are no effective incentives, as there would be in the marketplace, to prune back the bureaucracy. There are only incentives to create more arbitrary rules and fines.

    Seems like an argument to put roads back into the domain of the free market.

    • Yes absolutely. My main concern is with the approximate $500 million per year that the province assesses under its “demerit point system”. The equitable title to that money is vested in the aggregate vehicle owners who are required by law to underwrite the liability. By charging the driver as driver and not as owner (even if they are the same being)the province misappropriates the $500 million into its general revenue fund. The province systematically robs the aggregate body of vehicle owners in essential and material reliance on a violation of the statute requiring the enforcement officers to charge the own as owner and not as driver. Strictly speaking, that is racketeering.

  5. Hi: I did an extensive analysis and report in 2007 for a multi-millionaire with a 550 SL and tendency to get speeding tickets. I examined the Motor Vehicle Act, the Police Act, and the Offence Act (all British Columbia statutes) and discovered that the ticketing system in BC technically qualifies as racketeering. He does not get many speeding tickets anymore. He had set it up so that the registered owner of the vehicle is a leasing company (his own).

    I have changed all the personal details to create a generic version as a pdf but do not know how to upload it to the forum here. I don’t know how relevant it is to the U.S. but it will certainly be of interest to readers who are into how we are being technically screwed by government generally. If anyone is interested please let me know (timothypmadden(at)gmail.com)

    Editor’s Note: PDF Here

    • I’ve heard of things like this and they do follow the premise of what the Rockefellers do, but something tells me without the wealth to back it up it wouldn’t work.

      BTW, I can see a technically leased vehicle being good for camera and parking tickets by some quirk of the law, but not for when one is pulled over by a live cop.

  6. But look at it this way. The state or locality sets its monthly revenue target. This month $X need to come from the issuance of speeding tickets. Motorists are tagged at random except for those motorists who have the political clout that enables them to avoid being tagged. The state or locality maintains a data base, accessible by the laptops in the police cruisers, of license plate registrations of those who are not to be bothered. Everyone else is fair game.

    The public becomes aware of this. So we choose, by our motoring habits, to pay the lesser to two taxes: the time tax of going slower than we might safely go or the money tax if exceed the so-called “speed limit” and find ourselves among the relatively small fraction of speed limit exceeders who, in any given month, happen to be tagged to pay the money tax in the form of the fine that results from the speeding ticket.

    Eventually if a sufficient number of motorists catch on to the game, the $X dollars a month that the state or locality finds it necessary to extract from motorists, in the form of speeding tickets, will be extracted in some other way. Registration and inspection fees will increase. More roads will become toll roads. Insurance rates will rise with kickbacks paid to the state or locality. Or a motorized officer of the law will simply pull you over and say, “Your plate ends in a 7. The magic number this month is 7. So this month it’s your turn to ante up.”

    This latter means of raising revenue for the state or locality has something to recommend it in that there’s something refreshing and, in its way, psychologically liberating about outright, honest extortion.

    • Clover, clover, clover – what a closed mind you possess. To qoute you:

      “Eric if speed limits are all about making money then why are there so many speeders still out there? Why are so many states and cities broke? Why is it sometimes weeks that I never see anyone pulled over? Explain this to me. If it was all about revenue you would be seeing revenue being made every day. I don’t. Do you?”

      I have a darned good example that the fines ARE all about the revenue:

      Not too long ago here in Australia, our police force wanted a pay raise of 7%. The government offered them 3%. What did the police do? I’ll tell you what they did: They drove their marked and unmarked cars to every single mobile speed (they are named “safety cameras here”!!HA!)camera locations and put their flashing red and blues on to warn all drivers of their presence. They also blocked the radar beam and the photo-taking (supposedly “prima facie” evidence necessary for conviction)capability. The government was losing a staggering amount of REVENUE as a result. Only one week passed until the police got their desired pay raise! If that’s not enough to sway your much skewed thinking, I don’t know what is. And if you insist on maintaining that thinking, I will have lost all hope for trying to open up your mind.

      Here’s another one for you:
      5 months ago, I received a ticket in the mail for allegedly speeding at 68 Km/h through a combination red light/speed camera (not for running the red light). For one, the photo showed another vehicle in the lane next to me. He was overtaking me. I was going to take it to court based on that alone, but I did somethng else as well. I got out my magnifying glass to see the extremely small print (of course I wondered why it was too small to read via naked eye) at the top left of both the 1st photo of my car (start of speed measurement) and the 2nd photo of my car (.5 seconds after the 1st photo). The speed limit was 60Km/h. Photo one text reads “zero seconds” and shows my rear bumper crossing a line. Photo 2 text says “elapsed time .5 seconds” and “distance travelled = 7.99 metres”. I then went to this site: http://www.unitarium.com/speed and entered (in the “metres per second” box)the distance the photo said I travelled in a second was thus, 7.99 x 2 = 15.98 metres travelled in one second. The correct speed I was travelling came out to be 57.528 Km/h !! I took it to court and won hands down. No fine, no demerit points and a very embarrassed police prosecutor. Stupid me forgot to file for my own costs…next time I’ll be sure to do that! Now, some dessert to add to this food for thought: I went through the very same intersection only a week after my court win to find the very fixed camera that I’d just beaten was taken down. Hmmmm….I wonder why…!!

  7. Great article! So very true about speed limits being arbitrary and about revenue, not safety. In a suburb, in the DFW area of Texas, that I drive through to get to work, they won’t and can’t pull you over unless you’re driving eight or more MPH over the posted limits. I found this out after receiving a speeding ticket (the cop had to make a U-turn and speed to catch up with me). After downloading the city’s list of fines from their website, I found it showed penalties starting at eight over the limit, this includes those 20 & 30 MPH school zones. Quite a scam they’re running.

    • Everyone – except Clover – knows it.

      For one, because they can see that nearly everyone – even Clover – “speeds” routinely. That by itself ought to get any thinking person thinking about the validity of these “limits.”

      But not Clover.

      He is like a cat addled by catnip when it comes to “the law” – the thing he venerates above everything.

        (*shrug* Well, it’s the law.)

        *shrug* “Well, it’s the law.”

        How many times have I heard that stupid expression of hopeless resignation when, to comfortably acquiesce in all laws it would be necessary for a person to assume that there are no bad ones. Why does a homo sapiens acquiesce in laws that stifle his very nature? Bad law should not be merely avoided – thereby leaving the unwary and unlucky to be legally rendered by an insatiable faction made up of legal parasites – it should be openly defied by more citizens than can possibly be arrested, jailed, impoverished or otherwise ruined by the unlawful Legal System that has supplanted the genuine Law of the Land.

        Know the Often Crucial Difference
        Lawful and legal are not synonyms. There is an ethical element in lawful that is often painfully absent in things that are legal.

        Encroaching Tyranny
        Unmistakable signs of legal tyranny have been increasingly visible in America for more than ninety years. For an opener, consider the Eighteenth Amendment along with lawyer Harrison’s infamous Act1.

        1. Harrison Narcotics Tax Act 12/14/1914

        Principles routinely Contravened
        Beginning with Power that obviously contravenes Unalienable Rights, all laws that are
        repugnant to the July 1776 Action of the Second Continental Congress should be systematically eliminated. Laws that are expected to be the most difficult to eliminate should be eliminated first. The non-amendable July 1776 Action of the Second Continental Congress clearly establishes the philosophical, i.e., lawful, limits to Government’s Power to interfere with the peaceful exercise of the Individual’s Rights.

        In the light of the Principles that inspired the Unanimous Declaration, Americans today have greater lawful cause for rebellion than did the Colonists in 1776.

        WE hold these Truths . . .

        Tinsley Grey Sammons

        • Law is a necessary….What? Evil. We are constantly deceived into arguing the level of necessity while losing sight of the fact that law is, and recognizes itself, as a fundamentally evil thing that must be very carefully administered.

          The conceptual opposite of law is equity. Equity means to do what is right according to conscience. Equity means virtue. Law means to take what someone else produces by force or coercion. To worship “The Rule of Law” means literally to worship “The Rule of Evil”.

          That is why the system teaches children that the opposite of law is lawlessness/chaos.

      • I remember one clover from another forum. He thought 70mph was the perfect interstate speed. 55 was too slow. So he would be a full out speed kills nazi on everything faster than 70mph. However he would not obey a 55mph speed limit. Speed is the perfect example of how clovers just want their opinion enforced upon others.

        The funny thing is to get all ‘speeds kills’ on them but choose a speed slower than they drive. Use all their arguments on them to defend this lower speed. It can be amusing.

      • Eric you say that speed limits are not set correctly because people speed over those limits. In the US if the cops allowed zero tolerance over the limit then you would not see anyone speeding. Since cops allow sometimes 10 mph over the limit people know this and know the actual speed limit is a mph or 2 less than what the cops allow. If you increased limits to 90 mph there still would be people that would go over that amount. What does that say? I have seen people pass me on a blind spot on the road. Then a straight section of the road comes up and there they go driving 5 mph faster than me. Tell me what that means? Does that mean the speed limit is 5 mph too slow or does it mean the driver was an idiot?

        • Clover, Clover, Clover… how many times must we go over the same ground?

          I did not write that “speed limits are not set correctly.” That’s what you wrote.

          What I wrote is as follows: Speed limits are rarely limits in the sense that the number corresponds with the maximum reasonable speed under ideal conditions. Rather, they invariably correspond with average (and low average at that) rates of travel. This – to any thinking brain – is pretty compelling evidence that the “limits” are only limits in these sense of the statute. That all those cars out there being driven at – or (usually) 5-10 MPH faster than the “limit” – are not operating at the extreme edge of the envelope of velocity for the road/conditions. They’re just motoring along at speeds well below what a limit – properly speaking – would be.

          And consider this, oh Clover: If so many people “speed” what does that suggest? Do you really believe that so many otherwise sane, sensible, responsible people – people who, in every other area of their lives, take care not to expose either themselves or others to life-threatening risks – suddenly transform into reckless, irresponsible people simply by dint of getting into their cars? That they are all (all those “speeders”) flippantly indifferent to life and limb – including their own?

          Or does it perhaps seem more reasonable to suggest that – just maybe – the speed limits themselves are silly?

          • Eric your point about engineered limits and posted limits not being the same is very well taken. My grandfather was a civil engineer who built part of a major interstate freeway in California back in the 60’s and he was very proud to tell anyone who’d listen the road was engineered for 120 mph. It’s my understanding that quite a few roads built at that time and after had similar specifications but even today, after the demise of the double nickle and vastly improved auto suspensions, the limit on that road is 65mph.

            The only cogent argument I’ve heard against posting the limit where it was designed to be is most folks wouldn’t drive 120 if they could, creating a large difference in relative speed. I’ve heard people quote statistics to the effect that a differential greater than 15mph increases the incidence of traffic accidents. I don’t know if that’s true.

        • 85% of free flowing traffic (85FFT)

          If the 85FFT is 60mph, by definition 15% of traffic will travel faster than 60mph. LEOs can focus their efforts on the 15%.

          This will probably mean less revenue for the state, but safer roads for everyone else.

          • CloverThere have been a lot of studies done on traffic speeds. You say that speed limits should be set at free flowing traffic. OK. If we had that millions more would die. It is proven that people do not slow down when traffic becomes more heavy. Brent and others keep driving the same speed and just pass in no passing zones or weave through traffic. It has been shown that people do not slow down when it rains and slow very little when there are snow packed roads. You pay for varying speed limit signs depending on traffic and road conditions then I would say it is OK to increase some speed limits by 10 mph. I have driven in states with higher limits like Iowa at 70 mph and Nebraska ,Kansas and Colorado at even higher limits. It is hundreds of times safer than around major cities. Why? Because the police are able to hold traffic to those speeds. I have seen it. It works. The solution is not to increase speed limits but teach the idiots how to drive. Driving 10 mph faster through a major city makes little difference when your trip is only 10 miles but increases tremendously the traffic congestion with all of the changing of lanes and heavy acceleration and braking!Clover

            • Clover – would you please read (slowly, carefully) what I wrote and then direct your comments that way – as opposed to manufacturing things I did not write and then trying to argue with me about things you’ve written?

              I did not write that “speed limits should be set at free flowing traffic” (whatever that is supposed to mean; I can’t parse your illiterate ramblings).

              I wrote that speed limits are not limits in other than a legalistic sense. They do not represent the maximum safe velocity for a given road under ideal conditions. Rather, they are invariably posted below the prevailing flow of traffic – the average speed of most cars, most of the time. Hardly a “limit” – in other than the aforesaid Cloveronian legalistic sense.

              The result – nearly everyone, on any given road, at any given moment, is “speeding.” It is a manufactured offense – designed to generate revenue. The fact that even you “speed” – don’t deny it, Clover – ought to tell you something. But of course, it doesn’t.

              Which is why you’re a Clover, Clover.

          • Eric,

            Follow the money. Speed limits are set by traffic engineers, taught by insurance co’s.
            Less accident’s, less payouts, good for the shareholders.


          • You are mixing arguments. The PSL is not the same as poor drivers that switch lanes, jam on brakes, or hang out in the left lane.

            I consider them to be different issues.

            an example of how Minnesota and Virginia
            determine their speed limits.

            They both rely on (engineering investigation and traffic investigation).

            Some Q/A regarding speed limits from MNDOT (follow link for full details.

            Will lowering the speed limit reduce speeds?

            Will lowering the speed limit reduce crash frequency?

            Do you have any support for your position?

          • Mithandir

            You just supported my postion. You wrote,
            PSL are set by engineering investigation and traffic investigation.

            I just added that the insurance co’s spend a lot of money and time on seminars for traffic engineers, so the engineers will make good PSL. Which is good for profit. Less claims to pay.

            I do not understand the mixing of argumets statement. This thread is about PSL and how they are set.

            Eric did say ” the speed limits are silly”.

            I did see that the link also said the speeds are set so most people will follow the PSL for good traffic flow.

            So if the PSL is set so most people will drive for a good traffic flow, you are right to say that the cause of the accident is people not following the traffic laws ,by driving to fast, drving to slow, blocking traffic, ect


            • Rick,

              One problem is that posted speed limits are frequently not set “by engineering investigation and traffic investigation.” The 85th percentile rule, for example, is routinely ignored – even though in many areas it is the law, as per the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

              Doubt this? Observe, next time you’re out driving, the rate at which most of the cars are traveling. Most are traveling faster than the posted speed limit. If the posted speed limit had been set “by engineering investigation and traffic investigation”- that is, per MUTCD and the 85th percentile rule – then most of the cars would be traveling at or below the posted speed limit. Very few cars would be traveling faster than the posted speed limit.

              Everyone – well, almost everyone – knows this (that speed limits are under-posted) at least intuitively. Which is why most people routinely disregard them.

              They bear no relation to reasonable speeds for a given road. They’re nothing more than arbitrary constructs designed to turn the majority of drivers into technical scofflaws who may be fleeced virtually at will.

          • Rick,

            This is what Eric wrote:

            Speed limits are rarely limits in the sense that the number corresponds with the maximum reasonable speed under ideal conditions. Rather, they invariably correspond with average (and low average at that) rates of travel.

            (Emphasis mine)

            I wrote that

            They both rely on (engineering investigation and traffic investigation).

            These statements are not exactly the same.

            The absolute limit for driving on a particular road under ideal conditions with a competent driver might be 120mph. The engineering and traffic studies may determine that the PSL should be 80mph.

            Even if the PSL was 120mph, I would not travel much faster than 80mph. This difference in speeds is not an issue since I (and hopefully others) keep to the right except for passing others.

            Keep right, pass left would permit smoother and safer traveling for all.

            I do not understand the mixing of argumets statement. This thread is about PSL and how they are set.

            The PSL is a different issue than
            the driving of people.

            Even if the PSL is set at an appropriate limit, it is still possible to have people drive poorly.

            Driving at speeds beyond road conditions,
            weaving in and out of traffic,
            passing in no passing zones,
            heavy acceleration and heavy braking have nothing to do with the setting of the PSL.

            Follow the money. Speed limits are set by traffic engineers, taught by insurance co’s.
            Less accident’s, less payouts, good for the shareholders.

            You may be correct that insurance companies teach (or influence the teaching of) engineers.

            Do you have support for your statement?

          • mithrandir, you say that speed limits should be set at the 85% of drivers at free flow traffic. That means that the fastest drivers need to slow down with the new limit or be ticketed. Is that what you believe also?Clover

            Since speed limits are to be set for free flow traffic, let us say that that speed is 80 mph on Chicago interstates. What speeds should cars be driving at with heavy traffic? 55 mph? Clover

            What speeds should cars be driving at in rain? What speeds should people drive in wintery snow conditions?
            If there are cars still driving at 80 mph in rainy conditions do we ticket them for driving too fast for conditions because they should slow down below the free flow limit when conditions get worse?
            You say it OK for drivers to drive as fast as they like because the slower drivers can keep right. Do you believe this when traffic conditions are heavy traffic? Let some drive 90 mph while the rest drive 40 mph?

            It is nice to have your ideal speed limits and such but if you do not think beyond the ideal what good is it?

            • Clover –

              One of your (numerous) problems, intellectually, is your tendency to generalize according to subjectives. Other drivers ought to drive no faster than you – in your infinite wisdom – decide they should. Whether a given driver can safely control his car at 80, 90 – or 120 mph – is irrelevant to you. All that matters is that everyone blindly Submit and Obey to whatever diktat is issued by the local politicians and bureaucrats. Politicians and bureaucrats who promulgate speed limits that are arbitrary and frequently, set absurdly low (as explained at length to you already).

              Why not let individual drivers drive at whatever speed they feel comfortable driving? And if they can do so without causing any problems (wrecks) then why not leave them the hell alone?

              I know, don’t tell me. They might wreck. According to you. According to your assertions… your feelings. So, prior restraint. Doesn’t matter that (as in my case) a “speeder” may “speed” routinely, for decades, without so much as scratching a fender. Your feeling that I might is sufficient to have men with guns threaten me with lethal violence unless I drive at speeds you’re comfortable with.

          • Clover, your unparsable spew is a significant problem. However you babbled something about the fastest drivers slowing down if the speed limit is posted correctly at the 85th percentile. This does happen and is well known to those who have read the engineering research.

            With an 85th percentile speed limit, those who followed the low limit to obey the law speed up. Those who were slightly over slow down. Now keep in mind the difference between the 85th percentile speed and those higher is usually, even with an under posted limit, just a few mph. Avoiding a ticket is worth going 3mph slower.

            But your kind doesn’t want good engineering and safety. You want people to obey and do as you think is best.

          • Eric you say that if someone can safely control his car at 80, 90 – or 120 mph – is irrelevant to you. Eric that is where you are wrong. Over the last 100 years there have been 10s if not hundreds of thousands of drivers who were not able to control their car safely at those speeds and killed people. You say that is irrelevant to me or our government? What do you call that, no big deal? Irrelevant?

          • To Mithrandir,

            As an insurance agent and adjuster I have to go to CE seminars. I see the same traffic engineers. These seminars are taught by insurance co’s

            The seminars are about PSL ,roundabouts ,red light cam’s and how the above reduce claims.

            I do not know if the traffic engineers are required to go, or if they go for the doughnuts.


            • Rick,

              “Going to seminars” means nothing. The relevant thing is that the 85th percentile rule (and MUTCD) is routinely ignored. Speed limits are commonly set below 85th percentile speeds – and without any traffic survey being done.

              It’s about revenue – for you (the insurance mafia) and them (government).

          • head in sand

            Eric if speed limits are all about making money then why are there so many speeders still out there? Why are so many states and cities broke? Why is it sometimes weeks that I never see anyone pulled over? Explain this to me. If it was all about revenue you would be seeing revenue being made every day. I don’t. Do you?

            There is a local town where there was a speed crackdown on the street through town. It is a street with heavy traffic and is 45 mph. There were a lot of complaints about speeders and many crashes. They clocked someone at 70 mph. Would you say such stopping of drivers is only about revenue? I still like your lack of any kind of truth in your posts.

            Explain why these facts do not mean anything?


            • Clover, I sometimes wish you had a few more IQ points. Then at least this would be a challenge. I sometimes feel as though I am clubbing a baby seal. Ah well.

              Has it ever occurred to you that you just answered your own question? That it is precisely the fact that there are “so many speeders” out there that proves it’s all about making money?

              By turning virtually every driver on the road into a “speeder,” the system has created an endless source of revenue. A cop can just go out and issue tickets literally all day – because the system has turned everyone into a “speeder.”

              You might ask: Why not ticket them all – every last speeder? Because then the money machine would grind to halt. It is precisely selective enforcement of a statute that turns almost everyone into an offender that keeps the machine humming smoothly. They want you to “speed,” Clover. They know almost everyone will “speed” – because the limits are absurd. And because they are selectively enforced. Which means, you can “get away” with “speeding” most of the time. But they also know that each person, in turn, will be made to pay. Not too much – not all the time. Just enough to keep the spigot flowing.

              Poor ol’ Clover…

  8. Same thing with red light cameras. If they truly were about safety, they wouldn’t shorten the yellow light. Nor would they take them out when they don’t produce enough money.

    • Hi Jebbu,

      I do fault the police when they follow orders that are obviously unfair – or worse, tyrannical. No one is forced to be a cop. They choose to do this sort of work. If they choose to be the enforcers of ridiculous, unjust or evil laws, then they are culpable for doing so.


      • Agreed, and it’s even worse than that. More than being culpable, they are demonstrating that they have no regard for a person’s unalienable rights; which God has endowed us with, and if you’re an atheist, which are inherent by our humanity. Cops have shown that they have no humanity. In fact, when you observe their copious violations of our humanity by their unjust, immoral harassment, brutality, lying to us on the street, lying about us in court, stealing from us and killing us without conscience (all of this with court approved impunity) it’s not hard to conclude that all cops are subhuman neanderthals.

        • That’s my take also, Lee.

          For the life of me, I cannot fathom how any decent person could become – or remain – a “law enforcement” officer. It requires turning in your empathy – your humanity. You become an automaton. A rule-quoting machine. I just enforce the law.


          What’s tragically ironic is that so many people will shake their heads when they hear or read about what camp guards, Gestapo thugs, NKVD sadists – etc. – did when they “enforced the law” … but are blind to the same things when done by politically correct costumed creeps – the ones they’re taught to revere as “heroes” …

          Clover understands.

        • Many years ago Alan Dershowitz revealed that law officers often jokingly refer to testifying as testiLYING. They “justify” doing it “to get the job done.” It is particularly useful in getting a conviction in drug cases and the judges and prosecutors damned well know it. In fact, they know it while it is happening. This is one area where informed grand and petit juries could get THEIR job done.

          WE the GOOD* People have a long way to go. Somehow a significant number of Americans must come to realize that their most dangerous potential enemy is truly THE STATE. Today, I regularly encounter “revelations” that I wrote about twenty years ago. Enlightenment is happening so slowly that I will surely be dead before a mass execution of convicted statists takes place.


          *GOOD people mind their own business and even respect the unalienable rights of people they despise.

      • RIGHT!!!

        Caging is repugnant to my very nature. I simply could not bring myself to punish someone for violating an unjust law.

        I would rather see every unrepentant drug prohibitionist dead than to cage someone for possession.


  9. eric wrote “is cruising along languidly at 70, does it not imply that probably it’d be ok to drive faster than that at least sometimes?”

    You can drive as fast as you want, at any time. Just flick on your overhead strobe lights and activate your siren; now no speed limits apply.

    • Well stated: nobody harmed, nobody’s personal rights violated = no crime comitted = no valid fine. It boils down to Corpus Delicti. In essence Corpus delecti of crimes refers to a palpable harm. Where there is no violation of an established right there can be no wrong.


      General – All corpus delicti requires at a minimum: 1) The occurrence of the specific injury; and 2) some criminal act as the source of the injury. For example:

      Homicide – 1.) An individual has died; and 2.) As a result of action (or inaction) by another person.

      Larceny – 1.) Property missing; and 2.) Because it was stolen

      Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_delicti

      • Precisely!

        This is the argument between Natural Law, expressed as Common Law, formally malum in se

        Versus government-made, synthetic, administrative law, formally malum prohibitum.

        No Victim, No Crime!

        I’m sure everyone here knows it already but I’m excited that New Hampshire now allows the defense attorney to specifically inform the jury of their right to jury nullification; and it’s already led to an admittedly “guilty” cannabis defendant to walk when the jury decided the law was exactly what it is–bullshit.

  10. New Jersey lowered the limits to 55 like everyone else. Later, only reluctantly, they raised the speed limit to 65 – but only on some highways, and not every mile of those.

    The telling giveaway is on every “Speed Limit 65” sign – below the big 65, in smaller type: “Fines Doubled”. They really hated to give up their 55 racket, so they put a stinger in when they raised the limits again.


    How long have telephone poles played a major role in electric power transmission? A telephone pole in saturated ground near large trees is as vulnerable as an erection suddenly immersed in ice water. How much longer will such inherent vulnerability be ignored before America decides to bear the expense of storm proofing her power distribution?

    How much longer will it take to realize that sheet pilings and fill could make the homes in an entire neighborhood virtually invulnerable even to a twenty foot storm surge?

    How much storm proofing could have been purchased with the funds spent unnecessarily for multiple military adventures and the support of a multitude of tax supported parasites?

    Over the years many power outages have been experienced in Gonzales Louisiana. However, there has NEVER been an interruption in natural gas service which is distributed underground.



    • Tinsley, it’s human nature, here as elsewhere, to take the shortest path unless folks expect better. Look at all the folks who build right on the beach in places like Galveston, with cheap subsidized insurance, and is it any wonder they keep building the same cheaply built place only to watch it blow away later. And they never build it with concrete and steel pylons or any sort of storm proof construction. Nooooooo! The usual stick built crap. Same for those next to a river that regularly floods. Build the house up high or move away? Noooooo! Gotsa build it where it’ll fookin flood and then whine about the stick built rabbit hutch being swept away. Einstein said it was the mark of insanity to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. What we have in this country are the most insane processes imaginable.

      • No conceptual capacity, either.

        Clover, for example, will rail about my declining to wear a seat belt or riding a motorcycle without a helmet. But he won’t peep about the willful stupidity of people who build a home three inches above sea level, 50 yards from the surf, in an area where Hurricanes are a known – and regular/recurring – hazard. It’s a sure thing that such homes will eventually suffer damage – perhaps a total loss. But the much slighter risk of my being injured or killed as a result of not buckling up rouses Clover’s indignation – while the idiot beach-builder gets his sympathy as well as his (and fellow Clovers’) demands that I “help” them rebuild (or subsidize the cost of their insurance).

    • Tinsley, I used to wonder why they didn’t bury power lines like they did “land line” telephone cable when I was a kid. But with over thirty years in power plants and alternative energy, I can tell you that there are legitimate reasons: namely line loss and construction costs. If you’ve ever been out under a transmission line on a humid summer day, then you have probably heard a sizzling or crackling sound overhead. That’s corona loss due to ionization of the atmosphere around the line. It take current to do that and that current is lost. It had been estimated that this, combined with resistive losses, cost $2.4 Billion (or 6.8% of total power production) during 2008 in California alone (per Harting @ Stanford Univ. in 2010). Someone has to pay for that and I assure you that the utilities pass that loss on, one way or the other, to folks like you and me.

      The problem is that when you bury the lines and operate them at transmission voltages, capacitance goes sky high. The line charging current, depending on voltage, can be anywhere from 20 to 75 times as high as that with an overhead line. For example, at 345 kilovolts, an underground line would be unable to deliver any power (i.e. 100% loss) at 26 miles. Add to that the much higher installation costs, maintenance costs and voltage regulation problems and you have a non-starter.

      Furthermore, only about 2% of the outages in the U.S. are transmission related anyway. Most are subtransmission or “local”. Here again, who’s going to foot the bill for burying those local lines? Just like the delivery of any commodity, power production must be reasonably profitable or no one will want to do it. Since many, if not most, electric utilities are stock holder owned, the rate payer will have to pick up the tab. The rate payer will scream bloody murder to their representatives, who will in turn scold the utility to keep electricity affordable. Underground lines are not affordable.

      Never mind that electricity is a luxury item that is expensive to produce large scale and one that man has succeeded in living without for millenia! Now everyone sees it as a necessity and the FSA thinks it should be free…just like cell phones, gasoline, food and healthcare. But it ain’t free and putting the “grid” underground would merely make it more expensive. So are you really going to give a shit that electric power’s less suseptible to storm damage when only the wealthy can afford it and you’re reading an old paperback by candlelight? I seriously doubt it.

      • Magic. Boothe, it’s just magic. Every engineer’s and technician’s labor is to keep them living in comfort and luxury. Always.

        The social human animal has no concept of how the modern world is made and held together let alone works. No appreciation for the labors to do it. They just want it and want it for free. After all it’s their birthright. It’s about compassion. blah blah blah.

        Then people wonder why practically nobody wants to go into these fields in the USA. Hard work, long hours, no appreciation, little chance at upward mobility beyond a certain point. The social animal wants sociopaths to take care of it all for them. Enslave those who can keep the power on and the world working.

        I’m not sure what the future is but the current track leads to two places with regards to technology for the masses. A) “Who run BarterTown?” B) “Spock’s Brain” I was going to add C) Third world power theft, but the FSA isn’t bright enough to rig such things without killing themselves.

        On another note regarding outages… the local power company lies on restoration times. It’s like they never want to say it’s going to be longer than a few hours. But if it’s going to be three days, just say so. I want to be able to plan correctly. (I lost a bunch of food in 2011 because ComEd kept telling me it would be a few hours and it became days. If they told me days from the start I would have moved it all to my other place where I had power. By the time I did that, because of ComEd’s lies I could only save a small portion.

        • Brent,

          Did you ever happen to see the Star Trek: Next Generation episode, Samaritan Snare? You could have written it!

          Synopsis: The Enterprise comes to the aid of a broken-down ship which contains a race of beings called Pakleds. The Pakleds can’t figure out how to “make it go.” So, Capt. Picard beams over Chief Engineer LaForge. The Pakleds leer appreciatively. “He is smart! He can make it go!” At first, they seem like harmless dullwits, these Pakleds. But when it’s time for LaForge to beam back, the Pakleds stun him unconscious to prevent his departure – and it quickly becomes apparent they intend to enslave him. Because “He is smart. He can make it go”….

          • I’ve seen that one, didn’t think of it. I usually don’t recall Next Generation episodes. That does sum up about how I feel about american society these days.

          • It’s like Idiocracy In Space but here they’re just smart enough to know when they’ve seen something good enough to enslave. It’s the America of the Future!

      • The problem is that when you bury the lines and operate them at transmission voltages, capacitance goes sky high. The line charging current, depending on voltage, can be anywhere from 20 to 75 times as high as that with an overhead line. For example, at 345 kilovolts, an underground line would be unable to deliver any power (i.e. 100% loss) at 26 miles.

        You only get that with AC. In some places, they convert to and from DC precisely to avoid that problem. That still presents greater costs than with overhead lines, though.

        Never mind that electricity is a luxury item that is expensive to produce large scale and one that man has succeeded in living without for millenia! Now everyone sees it as a necessity…

        It becomes a necessity as soon as it crowds out the alternatives. For instance, my flat doesn’t have any way to cook by burning solid or even liquid fuel, so it’s a gas ring or an electric oven or nothing. Yes, I know I could bring in a paraffin stove or set up a barbecue somewhere else, but that’s the point – the facilities on hand really only offer electric and some gas cooking, and it would take reworking to get anything else.

      • Boothe, thank you for a well informed input that calls for a reassessment.

        Perhaps the most inexcusable failing is the failure to remove certain trees that are likely to fall across the overhead lines. It is not difficult to pick out the likely candidates that are within range.

        I have good reason to suspect that falling trees are the major cause of outages in some areas. Following our last outage a few years ago I cruised Ascension Parish to examine the fallen trees responsible. Their rot and other “weaknesses” could have been easily noted prior to the storm. If nothing else their potential range is easy to calculate. For example: The beautiful seventy foot sycamore behind my house won’t quite reach my patio. Hopefully, if it ever falls it will kill the inconsiderate bastard who frequently burns toxin producing materials outdoors* when the breeze, if any, is blowing my way.


        *I’ve been fighting for an ordinance for more than a year now. The dramatic increase in population simply demands an end to outdoor burning. I haven’t gone federal yet but I may have to.

        • @Tinsley–

          Tinsley, friend, don’t take the bait man! Step away from the hired gun!

          *I’ve been fighting for an ordinance for more than a year now. The dramatic increase in population simply demands an end to outdoor burning. I haven’t gone federal yet but I may have to.

          Couple ideas:
          1) Have you talked to this inconsiderate boob who’s burning noxious crap and fouling your property? If not, get thee to thine neighbor and pluck the mote from his eye! (Assuming there are no beams in thine own).

          2) This is where tort law is a good thing. Yes I know tort is abused; but this is its place. This neighbor is doing palpable damage to your property; he’s covering it in noxious gases to the detriment of your health and your property’s usefulness. Take him to court!

          But please, please don’t enlist the gunvermnent to do it for you; that is the source of their power! They set us against each other, and insert themselves in civil, community disputes; turning those disputes into vitriolic years-long battles that increase their power, decrease your power (and rights), and cost us all money and property rights.

          Because what will the State do? They’ll create an ordinance, or a regulation, or a mandate–and each of them will steal a little of everyone’s property rights.

          yes–you may get what you want short-term. He may be forced to stop burning noxious crap. But thing long-term; how will that affect future generations? That little incursion by the State, allowing it to tell us what to do with “our” property, balloons over time…until every little fucking thing needs a “permit”, or “approval”, or “inspection”.

          All for what? So you didn’t have to go confront the unpleasant son-of-a-bitch who’s burning tar paper? Or spend a little time in court suing him?

          The best part is this: when you DO sue him, government will make it hard (but not impossible) for you to win; precisely because there is no ordinance yet!

          See how twisted it is? They want to force you to use them to settle civil disputes!

          Break your leg, offer you a crutch, claim to let you walk.

  12. *chuckles* It’s not always them vs us. Recently Alabama asserted its authoritah over posted speed limit on a US highway as it goes thru a small local burg known for speed traps. The town wasn’t too happy when the signs were replaced with higher speed limits… *grin* State said the higher speed was safe, so there. Not much of a difference, only 5mph or so, but they sure howled at the higher limit….

    • Why of course! There are patches on I-20 that I kept my eyes open for because they passed through “towns”, if you could even call them that, where the speed limit drop by 10mph. Why? There wasn’t a damn thing to slow anyone down for unless it was to spend time in the village jail.

  13. All this business is why I tend to avoid main roads, urban areas, stadiums, large crowds, and so on. Too much chance of being randomly selected by thugs with badges and targeted for revenue…err…safety. This lesson was burned into my head a long time ago when my dad was ticketed for doing 56 in a 45. However, he wasn’t doing 56 — the person who flew past him on an uphill grade was! The cop just needed to write a ticket and didn’t even bother to get the right car when he pulled out. If they decide they want to arrest you, you’ll get arrested. If they want to write a ticket, they’ll find a reason to. Justice has instead become an arbitrary and random process of keeping the serfs in line and lining the pockets of the enforcement class!

    • That’s why I hate any place where large numbers of tax victims congregate. Especially those “known” enclaves where the doughnut-eaters are notorious.

  14. The glorious collective utopia reduced down to the lowest common denominator, idiot proof and hive minded. Yes we can!

  15. Central Florida is one of those areas where the ridiculously underposted speed limit is king and ringing Orlando is a gauntlet of tiny speck-of-fly-shit-on-the-map cities all hosting police departments that are desperate for money.

    This is why I donate what I can when I see fire fighters “passing the boot” at a given intersection. I know they provide an actual public service and if they have budget shortfalls, unlike the aforementioned police departments, they can’t just extract it from passing motorists at the barrel of a gun.

    Any complaint about arbitrarily lowered speed limits is automatically met with the fallback argument of “safety” around here. Let me tell you about “safety” and the value placed upon it by our beloved costumed enforcers. Winter Springs is loaded with areas that have one of those underposted speed limits – except one. All underposted zones have a saturation nearly beyond the carrying capacity of radar and laser speed measurement devices manned by an appropriately-sized army of tax feeders. There is one road, however, that is posted at 55, which is actually reasonable for the type of road. Needless to say, the police presence on that road is absolutely zero, since there is no profit to be had. The difference between that road and all of the others as far as the apparent “need” for policing is that there are a few of those memorial markers where people have actually *died* along that road. You’d think that, in the name of “safety”, there would be something done to mitigate whatever has actually been threatening people’s safety along that stretch of road.

      • mithrandir tell us where it is that speed limits are so underposted that you are incapable of following it? I have not run across any road where I was not able to follow speed limits! I have not run across a road where the limit was so underposted that I was not able to get where I wanted to go and not take me forever to get there! Are you one of those that has to drive an extra 10 mph or more to go 5 miles down the road to save a few seconds?

        • Clover –

          Speed limits are so underposted that virtually every driver is technically “speeding” on any given road at any given time. That fact, by itself, ought to raise some questions about the reasonableness of speed limits that are routinely violated.

          I suspect that even you “speed,” Clover. And if you don’t – if you actually do drive at or below the posted maximums, then you’re one of the few who do.

          PS: Your idea of the “appropriate” amount of time it takes to get somewhere is neither universal nor something that ought to be enforceable at gunpoint. But of course, being a Clover, you arrogantly – and with murderous violence – demand that everyone else be forced to travel at whatever rate you deem “appropriate.”

          PS PS: Just for you, I went for a short hop on my sport bike. There is a nice stretch of straight road shortly before you get to the turn-off that leads to our place. I clocked 167 in a 55 today. And hot damn, it felt good!

          • @Clover:

            I went down to Angleton early this morning, normally a half-hour drive from Houston.

            Fifteen minutes.

            Touched 182 in a 60 zone.

            It felt good.

            Saved time, and if it pisses you off it’s even better.

          • Take my little corner of the Amerikanishes Heimat for example. After having spent some time out of state doing work I returned to find that the speed limit had, on the road that leads into town, had changed with no warning. It now dropped, without warning, from 55 to 35 and you’d damn well better have your eyes open because the local yokels are always hiding and looking for someone to fleece. It also explains how this town managed to “finance” the new digs for city hall, etc.: off the backs of unsuspecting motorists.

          • I don’t know how you guys don’t get nailed for that stuff. I am not lucky that way. One instance I accelerate from 20 under to the posted limit to get past a weaving drunk… who does the cop pull over? Yeah, me the guy driving legally.

            MoT: In Illinois a drop in SL like that is illegal. They exist, but they aren’t legal.

          • @BrentP:

            I get nailed on average every 18 months looking over the last 10 years.

            Valentine One plus Laser Interceptor, plus decades of avoiding cops has made it infrequent.

            • My V1 has only let me down once – and arguably, it was an impossible situation. I was driving on a four lane road (two lanes each way) that drops for no good reason from 45 to 35. I’m in the right lane when a Clover in a huge SmoooooVeee pulls out right in front of me. I break left and punch it to get around this Clover. At just that moment, a revenue collector came into view, coming from a cross street. He saw my maneuver and “painted” me with his instant-on: 53 in a 35. Little weasel … maybe 24 and five feet 5 …I had to tamp down the urge to smash him in the face. But – thanks to my wife – I shut up, said nothing, took the payin’ paper.

              Swapped it later for a day wasted in “driving school.”

          • Methyl “Just for you”, it’s not just for for Clover, it’s for every single one of us.

            Good on you. Thanks. Hope you’ll be around for a long, long, long long long, time.

          • * Methyl, I caged that line from a speech by Harrison Ford to Anne Heche in “Six Days, Seven Nights”.

            My hope is this whole thing won’t take more than six days…

          • The purpose of the speed limit enforcement system in practice is for the government to bestow upon its “enforcement officers” the de facto psudo-power of non obstante (“notwithstanding”) or dispensation or “selective prosecution” to use the vernacular.

            According to the (BC) government’s own published data there is (just from memory of the data I had five years ago)something like an 80% chance that any given vehicle will be in excess of the posted limit at any given snapshot-in-time (assuming good weather and no substantial impediments to traffic flow).

            The enforcement system becomes commensurately “selective prosecution” where the officer makes an otherwise arbitrary decision on which drivers to ticket.

            Administration concurrently defaults to the fact of the issuance of the ticket constituting the guilt of the accused, with the onus unlawfully shifted to the accused to prove that they are not guilty. Augmented by administrative sleight of hand to coerce acceptance.

            “You stand accused of being accused. How do you plead?”

            “But I was not speeding”.

            “You must first answer the charge as it is brought. How do you plead? Guilty or Not Guilty?”

            The English civil war circa 1688 was fought over this issue and the English Crown undertook in perpetuity never again to foist such a practice as selective non enforcement on the People under the Bill of Rights of 1689 (The non obstante Clause). The drafters of the Bill of Rights even expressly referred to it as a “pretended power” so as not to give it even the appearance of ever having been legitimate.

            That is why the system in B.C. is unlawful notwithstanding any statute to the contrary. But there is no statute law authorization regardless because it is practically impossible to build the “selective prosecution” and therefore also selective non prosecution, into the wording of a statute. Much easier to stipulate for fixed speed limits as the written law, and then let the enforcement officers run a dispensation-based enforcement scheme to keep the people oppressed by unlawful means.

            The arrangement is legally untenable from the outset because the Crown or any other government cannot bestow upon its officers a power, pretended or otherwise, that it does not itself possess, let alone one that it is expressly prohibited from possessing. This is pretty basic stuff.

            In Canada the Crown is simply breaking its contract with the People. It may have been a Bill of Rights when seen from the side of the People, but it was more accurately a “Suspended Death Sentence” from the Crown’s perspective, as long as it kept to its contract never again to engage, for profit/revenue or otherwise, in the mala in se (evil/wrongful of itself) pretended power of dispensation/selective prosecution.

            A little over 300 years later and the same Crown is back using again. And it’s not just the public highways – it is in every nook and cranny of everything government does – we’re saturated in it.

          • Timothy Madden on November 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm wrote:-

            Administration concurrently defaults to the fact of the issuance of the ticket constituting the guilt of the accused, with the onus unlawfully shifted to the accused to prove that they are not guilty. Augmented by administrative sleight of hand to coerce acceptance.


            The English civil war circa 1688 was fought over this issue and the English Crown undertook in perpetuity never again to foist such a practice as selective non enforcement on the People under the Bill of Rights of 1689 (The non obstante Clause)…

            You have confused the Civil War (which was not fought on that issue) with the Glorious Revolution of 1688, decades later (which didn’t involve much fighting, at any rate in England, and did involve that – among other, even more serious things).

        • Many places in NJ are under posted in my opinion. I do not have access to engineering studies to name specific roads, but if I were to name some.

          SR-70, Garden State Parkway, NJTP, ACE, SR-35, US-130, SR-133, SR-33
          CR-571, CR-549, CR-527, Palisades Interstate Parkway, SR-31, SR-15, CR-539

  16. The new clover hysteria crime is gouging. Gougers are now criminals. Look at these gas gougers on newyork.craigslist.org

    5 gallons gas Manhattan $60 firm text 347-507-8444.
    5 gal bucket of gas Queens $75. Call 718-213-9263.
    5 gal bucket premium Flushing . $100. Call 917-982-6535

    • I use to get annoyed at price gouging. One day I read that gouging did serve a useful purpose. After that, while I still do not like gouging, I do not get as annoyed about it.

      Around here in Ocean County, NJ most gas stations that were selling gas (many had no power) were selling about $3.50-$3.60 per gallon. Some stations were selling at a higher price. The highest I heard was about $3.85/gallon.

      I stopped for some fuel last night and was fortunate that the wait time was only 15 minutes. At some places the wait times was over 2 hours. If they were lucky the fuel did not run out while waiting on line.

      The fuel situation made me think about Mad Max. It is getting better in OC, but the actions that some people show others due to lack of fuel is shameful. The thin veneer of polite society is thinner than I expected.

      • One of the downsides of a free market is that people are free to be assholes. To take advantage of other people’s disadvantages. But, I’d rather live in a society that let individual assholes ply their trade without coercion than live in a society run by organized assholes who have the legal authority to use coercion to enforce their will.

        In a truly free society, the power of assholes to cause harm is much more limited. In an unfree society, assholes are free to do anything – and there’s next to nothing their victims can do about it.

        • There would be ways to deal with gouging assholes in the free market, especially on social media. Shaming in public, when most folks lived in the same small town and genuinely feared shunning, can still be effective in the “global village”.
          It cracks me up that “polly-tishens”, whenever a disaster looms, get on their self-righteous high horse about “gougers”, when they leech off the taxpayers, calling the shots on the greatest “gouging” operation of all history: The US “Gubmint”, and the real power, the hand inside the gauntlet, the Federal Reserve. It’s that ONGOING form of “highway” robbery that we ought to be up in arms about…literally! Fuck the election…lynch ’em all!

          • Right you are, Doug!

            The key, I think, is that in a free market, people are free to not deal with assholes.To find workarounds and alternatives. But government gives you no alternative – other than a gun pointed in your face.

          • Actually, I have no issue with the owner of any good raising prices during a crisis. This action serves a valid function in a free market of what has now become a very scarce good.

            Also, this mechanism will ensure that the scarce good will usually be available to the individuals that need it the most and are willing to pay.

            On the obverse, price controls to prevent owners from asking what the market will bear always and I mean always results in shortages of the good. Why? Because the price of the good was artificially kept low in a time of great scarcity.

            So now trauma doctor Tom, who can afford to buy gas at the price set by the vendor, now can’t buy gas cause grandma or your local welfare lout could fill up with cheap gas and got the last of it.
            The person(s) that depended on Tom to be at work now either has to suffer for a longer period of time or dies. BUT! hey that cheap gas was great while it lasted and it made nanny politician look good to the G(oonberment)lovers!

            There is a reason they call it poli (the many) and tics (bloodsuckers).

            I will say this to boot, all this has been explained in more than one article on LRC in a much better fashion than I could ever do. 🙂

        • No gasoline can be a big hardship for some people. Especially if fuel is needed to get to work or power a generator it is not easy to avoid gougers.

          One way is to be prepared as best as one can be prepared for emergencies to minimize the inconvenience from gougers.

          • Absolutely.

            I frankly have trouble understanding why anyone up there (other than helpless old people, etc.) is lacking fuel for essential purposes. This storm was not a surprise. It was well-publicized more than a week before it hit. Why do some people not take steps to prepare for such things? If I know a storm is coming that’s likely to knock the power out, I go out and buy the things I’d need to ride out a few days without power. If I live in an area subject to fairly frequent blackouts, I buy a generator – and keep plenty of gas for it on hand.

            Why didn’t everyone up there make sure their car’s tank was full well before the storm hit? If it seemed likely the power was going to go out, why not buy a generator before it goes out – and buy the gas you need to run it before you need to run it? Why didn’t they buy a few days’ worth of food and perhaps a small gas stove to heat it with? A pallet of water bottles? Before the storm hit?

            In my area – rural, country – people always do these things. It’s just common sense. Which, apparently, isn’t all that common anymore.

          • This is probably going to be a little controversial, but I think it gets to the kind of people who populate that region. I have to confess to some schadenfreude viewing the imagery of in-your-face typical yanquis practicing their somewhat characteristic rudeness at the pumps. Some of the sound bites have been truly delicious.
            To the point, these people are Voters, with a capital “V,” and they expect SERVICE from the state, their unions, etc. Funny stuff, and when TSHTF for real, assuming the media have some coverage, those areas are going to be ROTF funny.
            Let’s remember these are the people who continually vote for the like of Bloomberg, Clinton, Kennedy, and Frank.

          • @ Eric,

            To my knowledge, this area
            never experienced anything like this storm in the last 60-70 years if ever.

            Big storms have occurred in the past, but never affecting covering as large an area as Sandy affected.

            Besides areas of flooding and knocked over trees, I think the lack of available gasoline proved to be unexpected in this area (especially near the coastal areas of CT,NJ and NY). It surprised me that so many stations did not have backup generator service.

            I took some precautions (A gassed up car, 1-2 weeks water/food, radio, batteries was a nice start), but I will be looking into a generator and fuel containers to hold fuel for 1-2 weeks.

            Fortunately, I lost power for only one day and the temperatures were mild (over 55° F). There are others still w/out power, although that number is getting less each day.

            I cannot speak about others, but I only drove when necessary.

            Most stores were cleaned out by people buying food/water/batteries. I guess not enough people prepared well enough.

            In the future, I think people need to think about the wisdom of rebuilding in the coastal areas. It may be wiser to move elsewhere.

          • @ Downrange,

            I doubt many will see this as a wake up call. Hopefully, no bad laws are put into effect that will affect us all.

            Some of the video is funny, but usually the humor increases as distance from epicenter increases.

          • Well, if I lived there, I’d get the hell out. Maybe distance from the epicenter (of inevitable social miasma) has to do with choice.
            And, watching people suffer isn’t what’s funny; it’s the whole “hoisted on their own petard” that’s bringing a sense of satisfaction.
            Vote for these idiots, this is what you get. Most people see that pretty readily. Why in hell would anyone choose to be part of that kind of dependency? Absolute legions of the free shit army.
            And, here’s to the gougers! That’s truly Randian capitalism. Just practicing on small scale what their better in power are doing on a daily basis to their constituents.
            That IS one thing that will be made illegal, imo. When the real SHTF (this ain’t nothing) they will seize stored supplies of the prudent, on the pretext of punishing “hoarding.”
            This is a mild preview of what’s coming…

        • Sorry Eric you should revisit your thinking on this.

          Gouging is a GOOD thing!

          Take gas; it’s become a scarce resource in a disaster area. Price is a signal; it signals “Hey, this resource is needed!” As the price increases, the incentive to bring the resource increases as well!

          Hence, higher prices, more gas.

          In the meantime people feel they’re getting jilted by the higher price; but what it means is that people who REALLY NEED the resource are willing to pay the (temporarily) higher price…for instance, they guy whose medical equipment needs electricity.

          To outlaw “gouging” is to set price controls–and I hope everyone here is economically literate enough to know they never work. Remember the 70’s? How’d that work out for us?

          Price controls guarantee shortages; the pricing signals are distorted, and the resource is wasted. Producers don’t get the message to increase supplies, and voila, the resource disappears.

          Soviet grocery stores, anyone?

          Price “gouging” is the free market at work–never disparage it.

          Besides–who owns that gasoline? You, or the entrepreneur who started the gas station?

          • Wow!

            “methylamine on November 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm”

            American Greed personified!

            “You, sir, are an ass!” (And for those of you who know nothing – “My” quote’s a quote from an authentic American Hero!)

            Look him up.

          • Grasshopper: YOU, sir, are an ASS!”–James and the Giant Peach

            Perhaps not the quote you had in mind, but it fits your description. 😉

          • Mith, you defeat yourself. Ian isn’t an ass, Marly (barely) a bother! 🙂

            He’ll find a way just like the grasshopper.

            +5 🙂

        • Why deal with so called price gougers at all?

          If I put one of my cars up for sale on craigslist or ebay for $500,000 the worst that would happen to me is someone would laugh at it. Same with selling anything.

          If I have a 55gal drum of gasoline and then there is something that happens such that gasoline won’t be resupplied for awhile and I am told I can’t sell any for what it is now really worth, for a profit, to make the money worth more to me than the use of the gasoline, I’ll just keep it and use it myself.

          Furthermore, let’s say I have wholesale gasoline business outside of the effected area. I could get gasoline into the effected area but to make it worth it I have to sell it for 2.5 times what I can locally. Otherwise it just costs too much for me to transport it and there’s all the hassle and time too. No profit. There’s no law that says I have to truck my gasoline to where a shortage exists and sell it there, just a law that prevents me from selling it there for a profit. Guess what I do? I sell my gasoline locally as normal.

          The price gouging thing is just more cloverian nonsense that leads to shortages.

          If the price could go up, there would be no lines as people would largely decide to wait it out than spend $10/gal. At $10 gallon someone would truck in a tanker and sell for $8. Then someone would bring in another tanker and sell for $7.75 and so on and so on until full operation was restored. No price increase? F-it… we’ll get around to it… someday.

          So the crisis lasts longer and longer. Hero government. Breaks both your legs and then hands you a crutch.

          • Nowadays you only get a voucher for the crutch. It’s up to you to find a participating retailer who will accept the voucher. You’ll need to appear in person somehow to redeem it even though you are still healing.

  17. A few years ago, maybe in 2005, Car & Driver published a column, perhaps by then Editor Csaba Csere which revealed that the heads of various Auto Insurance companies had gotten speeding tickets, which may have affected their rates, but those rates were likely paid as part of their benefits packages.

    There is no connection between simple speed and accidents. If there was any evidence for such a connection, it would have been cited by now. Obviously, it is reckless to go 60 in a school zone with children present, but to go 80, sober, in broad daylight with clear skies on an isolated and open stretch of road and no obstructions, when that road is designed for 80, then to get a ticket for $300 because that road is posted at 60, is to turn our police into revenue collecting agents for the state. It also, like Prohibition did, creates contempt for law. Further, it’s a crap shoot. Most times, most folks will “get away with it”, then some poor sucker will get caught. The idea though that there should be any insurance rate increases due to simple speed, is a bad joke.

    In Nevada, you can go 125 on Highway 50 “The Lonliest Road in America” and if you do get a ticket, it’s like a ticket for an expired meter (with similar fines as well) and it cannot affect your insurance.

  18. In Germany there is no speed limit on the Autobahn for cars (only for large trucks, who aren’t allowed to be on the Autobahn during rush hour traffic at all), and no stop signs on country road intersections.

    Do they have more accidents than we do here in Canada (or the USA)? Not at all. On intersections, everybody slows down, the car to your right goes first….. NOBODY would disobey that rule of polite driving there.

    My older brother (who is 60) has been driving 200 kmh on the Autobahn for the past 40 years without an accident (if he’d ever have an accident, he’d be toast, of course, at that speed).

    Mind you, that speed scares me, and to humour me, he slowed down to 180 the last time I was visiting. 😉

    But if I could, I’d drive 140 to 150 kilometers an hour routinely here (our speed limit is a ridiculous 100 kilometers an hour here in Canada on the big highways). As it is, I don’t dare drive more than 120 (which usually the cops ignore…. in fact, I think it great fun to drive behind one of them, as that is the speed they drive, too….. can’t catch me if they do it!).

    What REALLY makes me mad is, that they like to have their speed traps set up on the bottom of a large hill…. unless you’re an idiot, you coast down the hill, of course, rather than wearing out your brakes…. and BAM!!! they’ve got you.

    I’ve been told it is my own fault that I get speeding tickets, for ‘breaking the law’. But if I obey the ‘law’, I’ll be breaking the law of logic, really, as far as I am concerned!

    • While visiting my relatives in Germany I’ve had the pleasure (or is it fear?) of traveling on the Autobahn and incredible speed. I can’t recall seeing anyone with a cell phone or big-gulp soda plastered to their face. The task of “driving” being more important than a text message about j-lo or some other asinine excuse.

      As far as speed traps go…. well, there is no sense in having it at the bottom of a hill but I’ve become so cynical about the motives of cops that I assume they’re there with the excuse that the speed limit applies whether going up or going down… gravity be damned. There are places I know where the highway patrol sit, this being in Texas, and I take my time because those traps have been there for decades.

        • Oh I agree completely. My cousins and uncles drove us around Dusseldorf and even in the east near Dresden. These are people who KNOW how to drive. But, then again, that’s the German way of doing things: staying focused on the singular task at hand. I don’t approved of their nanny laws and the degree that they’ve become pussies in the social realm but on certain things I see the logic.

    • Common misperception. Not much of the autobahn is unlimited speed, when I lived there, I would estimate only about 20% of the autobahn had speeds that were unlimited. This was a concern of the germans as their unlmited speed sections were continually being reduced, mostly due to traffic congestion. I was fortunate enough to commute on a 17km stretch each day that was unlimited. Ofher common misperceptions. Germans do experience road rage, which is a bit more disconcerting when the participants are cooking along at over 100mph. They also do stupid things like read a paper while cruising down the ‘bahn, so don’t think all Germans are perfect, high speed drivers. Overall, they do drive pretty well, and traffic flows well, mostly due to everyone observing the drive right concept. Simply staying in the right lane, save when passing. This concept is virtually unknown in America, or at least the southeastern us.

      • This concept is virtually unknown in America, or at least the southeastern us.

        Concept is foreign to much of northeastern US as well.

        • It’s common all over the US. especially those with a darker complexion seem to be the ones with the least understanding. There are even frickin signs that state: “slower traffic keep right” & these mother effers are illiterate or just retarded &I have no business driving.

      • I guess I don’t really know how much of the Autobahn is unlimited speed, as I never drove when living in Germany (I’ve been in Canada for 34 years), and have only driven with my brother when visiting.
        I’ve driven with him north of Hamburg, going to Kiel mostly, and he was seriously doing 200 kmh. But that is possible because you’re right, the slow drivers will actually stay on the right hand side…… while here in Canada you always get some self-righteous person driving at the ridiculous speed limit in the last lane, to stop others from ‘speeding’ (I guess you’d call the ‘clovers’ 😉
        And no, Germans aren’t perfect drivers, but on the WHOLE they’re more considerate and careful drivers. And there you don’t have a forest of traffic lights and stop signs, where a simple yield sign would suffice! But of course, you can’t ticket somebody for running a yield sign, or for failing to come to a complete stop when there isn’t another car in sight in any direction!

        • That’s why I love roundabouts. With a simple yield, and keeping your eyes open, you can go on your merry way. I experienced them in New Zealand and I loved it! Nobody around? No problem! Keep on keeping on. No lights to keep up with and maintain either.

      • When I was still part of the military-industrial complex, I was occupying the country of Qatar for a year. Qatar, being the protectorate it is, meant we invaders could drive ourselves to Doha and see the sights. Qatar’s road infrastructure is modeled heavily upon the UK(lots of roundabouts and even roundabouts that you can exit into other roundabouts) and as such it was law that when driving on a multi-lane highway you stayed to the left and the right lane(s) were for passing or cruising at a higher rate of speed (if there were more than 2 lanes).

        One evening a fellow invader was driving us to Doha and was chugging along in the right lane, with a huge snake of cars behind us. Even though they could have passed in the left, they didn’t, because it was illegal. Of course, the driver in my vehicle was a Clover, and this Clover was incensed that people driving too fast were trying to force him to move over. Suddenly, a car comes racing up the left lane – a cop, who pulls the Clover over to the side and hits him with a big ticket. It was even better because in Qatar you are expected to pay fines directly to the police, right then and there, which I always felt was refreshingly honest since that is the real reason the fines exist in the first place.

        • @Jordan,

          Great story, thanks! I *wish* I could have seen that Clover’s face! All that pompous self-righteousness, “I’m going at the speed limit“…deflated. Delicious.

          And you top if off with the “refreshingly honest” direct payoff to the cop…:)

          • It was even better, because the pompous attitude was tinged with a look you might have expected from a field overseer after a slave slapped him across the face. The Clover was certainly angry that these drivers were behaving in a way he disliked, but the fact that they were also members of a subjugated monarchy (and heathen religion) he was ‘trying to liberate’ was unbearable. I’ll never forget the expression on his face.

          • Thanks! I got here the same way many do, I suspect. I started as a war-loving conservative. Then I bought a book from half.com in search of good economic arguments to hit the liberals with, titled “What Has Government Done To Our Money?”. I never looked back.

      • Actually, 60% of German Autobahnen are unrestricted.
        The Germans do experience Road Rage but it is nothing like Road Rage in the US. Examples of what pisses off a German are: Driving in the Left Lane for no reason, driving at slow speeds and holding up traffic and passing on the right. If one does make a mistake while driving, depending upon what he does, other drivers will let him know either politely (driving with one’s rear fog light on) or rudely (not giving proper priority).
        I have been living in Germany for 6 months each year for the past 11 years and I have never seen a German reading a newspaper while driving. I have seen many drivers stopped at Autobahnen rest stops to smoke. As I understand it, driving while smoking is not illegal but it can be construed as a contributing factor if one has an accident.

    • In Germany there is no speed limit on the Autobahn for cars (only for large trucks, who aren’t allowed to be on the Autobahn during rush hour traffic at all), and no stop signs on country road intersections.

      Do they have more accidents than we do here in Canada (or the USA)? Not at all. On intersections, everybody slows down, the car to your right goes first….. NOBODY would disobey that rule of polite driving there.

      They have a similar rule in France. You can imagine what happens when four cars approach an intersection from different directions: they all accelerate to try to get the rightmost position. You can also imagine the results…

      • Well, Germans and French people have a different mentality. While you might be right that French people would speed up, Germans slow down when approaching an intersection, and don’t mind letting the other one go first. It works very smoothly, no 4-way-stop signs needed, and definitely no lights on intersections in the middle of nowhere, like you find here in Canada EVERYWHERE in the countryside. Very annoying.

  19. If speed is so dangerous maybe they should get out there and slow down the cyclists, boaters, planes, rockets, and I guess it’s too late to get them space shuttles! -shit

    They should get those speed walking fucks too..

    • Cheetahs, greyhounds, racing pidgeons. Doctors should write prescriptions slowly and legiblys so we are safe. They shouldn’t rush surgeries either. OSHA will set standards soon.
      Making decisions too quickly is a killer. Walk, not jump to conclusions.
      Fast talking salesgirls talk me into buying stupid shit I don’t need. I’d like a WPM strictly enforced so I quit getting fleeced. Music Videos are out of hand. 8 cuts per minute is a fair maximum to require.
      An optimizer in cheif can help find the best and safest time duration so we conserve resources and live more sustainably.

  20. I do believe the proper term for present day law enforcement is “Roadside Tax Collectors”.

    The former peace officers HATE that term, and so I use it exclusively as it accurately describes their current function in the USSA.

  21. Ah, the speeding/safety racket. No other issue has brought me into conflict with the State than the attempt by the local Mafioso to extract my property for this non-crime. As you point out, even if we were to admit speeding is a heinous act of aggression, the solution would be to stop the aggressor from accessing his weapon of choice, not adding a fee.

    Then, of course, the fine for speeding is about $100 in Pennsylvania – but the cost for the fine nears $300 after the fees and payouts to the uniformed gang member’s cronies are extracted. Evidently speeding means you owe the 9-1-1 Center a few dollars for upgrades (never mind that it was upgraded 7 years ago) and $10 to the ambulance that didn’t come.

    I successfully managed in 2008 to get a ballot initiative added for my township’s consideration to remove the speed limit from all township roads. It passed. Of course, it was dragged to court and overturned immediately by the the county commissioners and my state representative’s office. One government slug even told me at a township meeting that I was anti-poor because the lack of a speed limit (and corresponding fines) meant the township couldn’t run the heating oil program that year.

  22. I am reminded of this absurd catch-22 everyday on my drive to and from work on I-5 in Portland, Oregon.

    I-5 through town has many twist and curves. They are known as the Terwilliger Curves. They are kind of fun to drive in a sporty car, and are downright scary in a car with bad suspension. There are no shoulders. It rains a LOT here. They posted speed limit is 50. The reasonable speed limit would be 55-60. Every one drives at 65 or more. Few if any tickets issued. If I were to drive at the posted 50 mph, I would create many pissed off drivers, and I would create a hazard. In fact, I could get a ticket for Impeding Traffic.

    Progressive (Regressive) Insurance Company would LOVE to install an On-Star nanny-spy to monitor driving. It would detect my routine speeding at 15 miles over the limit twice every day of the week. I can imagine what my rates would look like. Flo, I will do business with your company when Hell freezes over. Unfortunatly, I expect other insurance companies to follow their lead.

    So driving the posted speed limit at 50 mph means a ticket for impeding traffic at the posted speed of 50 mph, and higher insurance rates for creating a traffic hazard, while going with the average speed of traffic can mean a speeding ticket and higher insurance rates for safely blending in with the prevailing flow of traffic.

    • OF COURSE it’s a shakedown operation. My fave “speed trap” is the 122 miles of US 95 in Oregon. Double-nickels ALL THE FUCKING WAY. About the only time that 55 is reasonable is during the winter in snow/sleet (sometimes it’s prudent to go even slower through the moguls), else the limit is ludicrous. Of course, with most of the traffic going to and from Boise, ID, being out-of-state vehicles, it’s nothing more than a fleecing operation. Interesting that it’s all in Malheur County, the name translating (roughly) into French as “misfortune”.
      Oregon, you can keep your fucking speed traps and the “can’t pump your own gas” laws. Screw you all. Your “polly-tishens” have ruined a great state with a fantastic coastline and beautiful mountains (I can think of no better place to freeze to death when stuck).

  23. (“” = italics) You sure do “love” to use “italics”, and “question marks”, don’t you? Doesn’t change the “fact” that you’re 100% “right” though, does it?

  24. If the US sets Speed Limits at 70-80MPH, appearantly, its Auto Industry’s products are not safe above these speeds – which is why I only drive German cars. Besides, purchasing or owning an American car is supporting a Country whose cars are designed and developed under probably the most corrupt traffic enforcement system on Earth.

    • Hi Doug,

      Virtually any new car you can name (irrespective of brand) is over-built for US roads/driving. The lowest econo-car can easily, comfortably and safely cruise all day at 80 MPH. Anything higher up the food chain could do the same at 90, 100-plus.

      The problem is not the cars. It’s the dumbed-down drivers – and the dumbed-down laws.

      • Perhaps so but US cars are designed and built for dumbed-down drivers and dumbed-down laws – German cars are not. There is not an Autopista in Mexico I would feel safe driving on in a Chevy or Ford at the speeds I routinely drive my VW or Audi.

          • Opera. I’ve always had a hard time with German opera. I don’t have any complaints with their instrumental stuff but as soon as they get into anything lyrical they seem to fall on their face. I don’t understand this.

            I spent nearly a year working the production of Goethe’s Faust and I have to say it doesn’t get much better with familiarity. I’ll take Lakme any day of the week.

        • Not really. Other than a few superficial details such as lights (and placement of lights), right-hand-drive, KPH vs. MPH instrumentation, etc. – numerous models sold here are fundamentally the same as the versions sold in Europe. One of the most recent examples is the Fiat 500.

          With the possible exception of the Smart car and one or two similar very short wheelbase cars, there are very few new cars – any brand, any manufacturer – that can’t comfortably and safely cruise at close to triple digit speeds… assuming a competent driver.

          And: All new cars (and German cars are no exception) are laden with dumbing-down features and technology, such pre-emptive braking, “smart” cruise control, aggressively interposing stability/traction control – to cite just a few examples.

          • Perhaps in the USSA but these are options in freer lands. My Audi has Start/Stop, ESP, DTRL (all of which can be turned off), No cruise control and a seat belt chime (an EU requirement – not German) which was easily turned off by the Dealer.
            Sure, a Chevy or Ford is probably OK at near triple digit speeds in the US or Canada but I would not (actually DID not when I had to drive one) feel comfortable driving this fast in Mexico. The last time I drove from the US to Central Mexico, I routinely drove 160-170Km/h or faster. I would NEVER do this in an American or Japanese car.

            • Could you have ordered your Audi without ESP? Air bags? ABS?

              Cruise is still optional in lower priced cars here as well – but it’s standard in higher trim cars, usually. This is not so much a “safety” thing as a price structure thing. American-bound cars tend to be more loaded with such features. In Europe, they used Benzes – de-contended, to be sure, but Benzes nonetheless – as Taxis.

              As far as American and Japanese cars at triple digit speeds: I can assure you – from personal experience – that the equivalent models relative to the German ones you tout are not troubled by such speeds. A little seat time in a Lexus GS or Infiniti M will quickly change your point of view.

          • Doug, Mustangs are toe-to-toe with BMW M3s. I optioned mine to where it is there except for a small power deficit, which of course is meaningless to driving safely at speed, only in getting to speed. A BMW for more money wouldn’t have been as well as equipped. And I’m not talking gizmos, I am talking stop go turn.

  25. Concern for safety – if there ever was any – went away with the $25 fines and the “generous” warnings that only we Geezers can remember.

    Now that I’m retired, as an economic measure I pay close attention to the posted limit and other threats even when it enrages the driver of the vehicle behind me.

    The State is your enemy and once you leave your home it is in your best interest to be paranoid. “Even paranoids have real enemies” and the Individual has no greater potential enemy than his own government.

    America is long overdue for a ruthless purging of its parasites.

    tgsam (1936 –)

  26. Good morning Eric! Another great article and sadly, very true. But I would challenge you on this one point you made: “– the real criminals, who create real victims – are incidental as far as the state is concerned. There’s no money in them. Or control, either.”

    There is a lot of money and control to be had based on real crime even though its incidence rate is numerically inferior to “infractions” or “technical fouls.” But since we still are a relatively affluent society and have lots of “stuff”, crime can be quite profitable for the criminals themselves. Actual violent crime and property crimes keep the masses in fear which justifies more budget money (i.e. manpower, real estate and hardware) for the police / prosecutorial / prison industry. Our local jail now charges for their “services.” The sheriffs’ association out here prints articles that cover how the local sheriff can actually “make money” for the county with the jail by warehousing inmates from other communities, charging to use the telephone and even charging you to stay as if you’d voluntarily checked into a hotel!

    People tend to buy more insurance if there is the perception of more property crime; so the insurance companies benefit. The newspapers, TV and now alternative media sell quite a bit of ad copy behind reporting on violent crime (remember the Don Henley song “Dirty Laundry”?). The revolving door in the criminal justice system often puts “real criminals” right back on the street. The American Trial Lawyers association rakes in a lot of money off repeat offenders as well. When an attorney is assigned as a public defender for an “indigent” suspect, we the taxpayers pick up the tab. And as we well know, crime is a political hot button issue. So politicians use “crime” and “law and order” as one more excuse to garner power, raise taxes and pass more laws. Whoever first said crime doesn’t pay doesn’t seem to have put a lot of thought into it.

    • Legal crime pays very well and it is quite safe. That’s why I have more respect for a Drug Dealer than I have for those who are part of THE GREAT DRUG PERSECUTION. The Drug Dealer gives you something that you want for your money while the Government Parasites take your property by force and force you into a cage.

      It is difficult for most folks to imagine Legal Crime but America is rife with it.

      Bastiat nailed it back in 1850 when he authored, THE LAW.


      • You’re quite right Tinsley. The gig was up for me when I went to court and the two “opposing” lawyers opened the door to the judge’s chambers right before the trial. Laughing and shaking hands like old school chums, they asked the judge if he was going to meet them out for lunch and he said yes. So much for a “impartiality” and a “fair hearing.”

        The two weasels came out acting all solemn and serious and sat down at their assigned seats. Then the bailiff announced “All rise…” and the show started. From what I saw the actual two opposing sides were the victims (us, the common folk to be fleeced and caged) and the perpetrators (the arrogant “officers of the court”) doing the fleecing and caging. The real criminals in that court room were wearing suits and “practicing at the bar.”

        I do my level best to avoid cops, lawyers and their “system” any way I can. I also avoid doctors and hospitals for similar reasons if I can. I agree with your opinion of the dealers of “some” drugs. They are entrepreneurs, not criminals and if the system weren’t set up the way it is, they would not enjoy the risk to reward ratio only prohibition can provide. Consequently their numbers would be fewer, the quality of the products better and the prices lower. Isn’t it odd that our national drug abuse rate was lower (by a factor of four) back when anyone could buy Laudanum and Bayer brand Heroin over the counter at competitive prices.

        • Sounds like you’ve ’bout got it surrounded. The unlawful LEGAL SYSTEM that has has supplanted the genuine LAW OF THE LAND is a money tree for the educated scum of the earth.

          The first vermin infestation that Americans should crush are the juris doctors and their ABA.

          I never laugh at lawyer jokes.

          Tinsley Grey Sammons

  27. If “safety” were truly at issue, as Walter Willams says, the national speed limit everywhere would be 5 M.P.H.

    He said not having a 5 M.P.H. national speed limit was due to convenience. In his article he said it much better than I did here.

    Eric_G wrote, “he could pay cash on the spot to the officer”

    Wow. Had no idea they did that over thataways. I imagine a lot of that money often makes its way into the cop’s pocket. Hey, just like in Mexico, kind of.

  28. A few years ago a friend of mine moved to Ohio. In Pennsylvania speeding tickets are a big fine and a bunch of points, and they don’t get handed out very often. When my friend got pulled over on the OH turnpike, imagine his surprise to find out he could pay cash on the spot to the officer and no points! After that he started calling it paying the speed tax. Keep in mind this was several years ago, they may have changed the rules since then.

    I’ve said it before, but here in Colorado after 9/11 every town got money to hire a police force, even in cases where there was a good sheriff department. There’s a rule that for some time specified (can’t recall off the top of my head) the new police department can pull you over for as little as 1 MPH over the speed limit. I guess that so they can establish their presence in town and maybe pay for the uniforms or something. What it turns out to do is create overlap in towns with the new police, the county Sheriff and state Hwy patrol all gunning for you.

  29. I absolutely love this post, Eric.

    It is an argument I have with clovers all of the time. Speed limits, stop signs, traffic lights are sometimes the worst things for traffic (plenty of research has been done lately on the affect of traffic deregulation which almost always has a positive outcome). But what’s even worse is the revenue collector that is willing to hurt the average person for driving at a reasonable speed that is slightly higher than the posted “limit” or because they slow rolled through a stop sign at a clearly empty intersection. These collectors justify hurting people because they’re just “doing the job”.

      • For a Clover, authority is a given, he obeys, blinks, and breathes, all without thought.
        If he were to read in the paper, any of the following headlines, he would only swell with pride for being “an informed citizen.”

        1 roads are here by rationed. Odd plates can drive Mon Wed & Fri only. Even plates drive Tue Thu Sat only. Sun requires state DMV permission.

        2. Sugar drinks and Junk Food can only be purchased or consumed by a person with a valid ID showing them to be 21 years of age or older. Punishment to be same as given to a driver over legal alcohol limit.

        3. Bullying is a $200 fine and misdemeanor for first offense. 2nd offense is felony and $1000 fine minimum. Tailgating and aggressive driving is hereby designated as a form of bullying.

        4. No jobs of any kind can show preference to qualifications, age, sexual orientation, personality, or other criteria. All jobs are to be awarded first come, first serve, any violation of this is a fine of $5000 for each instance of violation.

        5. Upon death, all the deceased belongings are to be randomly distributed through a public raffle of his estate, to be held in the front yard of his last residence of record. IN THIS MANNER, EVERY CHILD WILL HAVE A FAIRER CHANCE TO BE A SUCESS ON HIS OWN MERITS.

        6. Sorry, allcaps attack, but I think you see the Clover-FSA mentality to be one and the same.

    • Trocki since you brought me up I thought I would respond. I did have to laugh at your traffic deregulation. It almost always has a positive affect, oh, excpet for the thousands that are killed! If you have not seen it check out the videos that Brent is in and tell me about traffic deregulation! Tell me that tailgating, speeding with weaving through traffic and passing on the right, cutting people off from behind when they are trying to turn or change lanes, staying in the right lane of an interstate because it is others problem to avoid you because you are too lazy to move over. Riding in another car’s blind spot for miles because it is the others person’s problem to avoid you. How about passing in no passing zones because you decide it is better than slowing down by 5 mph. Tell me all about your better traffic deregulation! I have seen enough of that to know we need more of it rather than less! At least more enforcement of what we now have. Traffic deregulation is what they have in areas of Russia and countries like India.


      • Where you’re getting confused I think Clover is in the difference between traffic deregulation and bad driving.

        It doesn’t matter if someone is hanging in your blind spot for miles if you have the option of safely leaving them in the dust and they don’t cause a collision before you notice.

        Deregulation doesn’t absolve a driver who causes harm from culpability, it absolves the driver who escapes harm. It absolves the driver who, without causing harm, drives as fast as is safely possible. A driver that causes harm is still responsible for the harm.

        So called “speeding”, in and of itself, causes no harm. Driving unsafely causes harm, the two aren’t equivalent.

        Deregulation simply means nobody gets pulled over for a statutory violation, they’re only prosecuted for actually harming someone. It’s a difficult concept and it’s even difficult for me to express it in the terms you’ve stated, mostly because you don’t write all that well. When you say:

        “Tell me that tailgating, speeding with weaving through traffic and passing on the right, cutting people off from behind when they are trying to turn or change lanes, staying in the right lane of an interstate because it is others problem to avoid you because you are too lazy to move over.”

        It’s hard to respond because the sentence you’re written is grammatically confusing. I can try to guess what you’re trying to say but it’s just a guess; the language you’re written is technically incorrect. Behind the structural problems there are also complex conceptual ones. It isn’t OK to do any of those things if they’re unsafe, but they aren’t always unsafe. Tailgaiting is irritating, but sometimes it’s OK, for example when approaching a turnout it’s actually polite and considerate for the following driver to close on the leading driver in anticipation of the lead driver pulling into the turnout. This allows the trailing driver to pass quickly, imposing a minimum of inconvenience on the lead driver. It’s just good manners.

        You confuse bad driving with illegal driving. They aren’t the same. Bad driving is always bad, illegal driving isn’t.

        • You stated this perfectly. It’s difficult to make somebody else overcome the obstacles ingrained in their head to understand the aspects of true freedom and liberty. Kind of like one of those vision puzzles where you have to relax your eyes to see the image hidden in the pattern. You can try to explain it to somebody until you’re blue in the face, but if they’re not wired in, they’re not wired in.

        • But there is still the issue of risk and risk management. I would replace the fines and demerit point system with the following scheme:

          Any driver may file a complaint (perhaps including by cell phone app) against any other driver whom he or she feels has made a material breach of broadly-defined driving etiquette, together with payment of, say, 5% of the fine amount as a premium for filing the complaint if the fine is to be paid into a victim’s equitable compensation fund, and 25% if the fine is to be paid to the driver filing the complaint.

          Then divide the fine amount by the relative frequency of complaints filed by this particular driver making the complaint.

          Then multiply the fine by the relative frequency by which this particular driver being complained against has complaints filed against them.

          A driver who files a complaint every day would carry (and cost) only 1/365 of that of a driver who only files a complaint against another driver once per year.

          Conversely, a driver who is complained against often would have their fines scaled up commensurately.

          Likewise if, say, ten different drivers were to complain against a given driver based on the same incident, and who rarely if ever file complaints, then that is a pretty good indication that the driver being complained against has done something that ought not be allowed to pass unpunished.

          If the complaint is contested and the matter goes to trial, then if the one who filed the complaint loses, they have to pay the fine amount either into a general compensation fund if there is simply no evidence either way, and directly to the other driver if there were substantive evidence of a fabricated or otherwise spurious complaint.

          It would be almost impossible to game the system, and people would begin to take pride in their ability to use the public highways without pissing off other drivers, and exactly commensurate with the frequency by which they do.

          And you would eliminate the need for about 80% of police presence, if not more. Road Rage would be reduced because you would be able punish another driver financially while still well within the existing fine schedules (probably much lower in the aggregate).

          If you feel that some other driver has put you or the public generally at some irresponsible risk and you feel that they ought to be fined $300, then file a complaint, and pay a premium of 5% of the fine amount if you want the fine to go into the equity compensation fund, and $75 (25%) if you want the fine paid to yourself.

          People do the same thing in crowds as with going into or out of major sporting events – we police ourselves locally within the crowd by becoming increasingly aggressive against close-quarter agitators commensurate with the degree of agitation and/or inappropriate behaviour.

          The core moving-group-dynamics principle would very likely apply on the public highways except that it cannot be administered in the same manner.

          It has to be converted to a system of reasonable financial penalties that can be administered without intruding on each other’s physical space on the public highway.

          • Timothy Madden that was funny. You want to have a guy driving down the roadway filling out his complaint on his IPhone? How safe do you say that would be? Clover

            What would you complain about? Speeding and flying around all other cars? Tailgating? Weaving through traffic? Flying around someone in a no passing zone? Pulling across someone’s rear corner of a car standing on their horn so they can not complete a turn or change in lanes? A driver driving drunk before they hit someone? A driver that ran through a red light or stop sign? What complaints would you allow? All the ones above are already laws on the books.Clover

            • Ah, back again… I suppose you think we’ve forgotten that (once again) you have failed to acknowledge the factual rebuttals posted in reply to your previous eructations… and now you’re back to spinning the same tired old records again… “safety” …. “speed kills” …. submit… obey.

            • Clover –

              For the umpteenth time: Why not worry about people who actually cause problems, but leave those who don’t in peace?

              You – and your kind – always have a hard-on to impose restrictions (and punishments) on others for doing what you don’t like, as opposed to doing some actual harm. You don’t like that I choose not to wear a seat belt. So even though I am causing no one (including you) any harm, you support laws that allow cops to point a gun in my face and threaten to kill me for not doing as you think I ought to. You object that some people drive faster than you think “safe” – according to some arbitrary edict (the speed limit) and support similar actions taken against peaceful people who have harmed no one.

              In sum, you’re a mean-minded little thug. I say “little” because while you are a thug (and certainly mean-minded) you’re also a pussy. Because you – and those like you – would never dare attempt to impose your likes and dislikes, your Thou Shalts (and Shall nots) on other people yourself. Instead, you vote for laws – so that others can do the wet work for you. This satiates your sadism without exposing you to any personal risk. For now.

              Someday, though, you may be confronted with the blowback of your evil ways. And when that day comes, I will not be there to defend you. Some may have pity. I will not. You – and those like you – have got it coming.

      • It would be a good study to examine Clover’s ‘input’ on my videos. Most of my videos consist of someone pulling out into traffic or changing lanes forcing me to avoid them. Clover, like many americans, believes in the back-asswards courtesy system where traffic already in a lane or on a road has to yield to those entering.

        • CloverBrent, most of your videos were exactly what was shown in the video above. Illegal and dangerous driving done by you. You drive up to thousands of times more dangerously than the people you complain about. Tell us why it is OK for you to drive against the law and dangerously? Why?CloverCloverClover

          • BrentP,

            I do not think clover is that stupid. Although, every time I think clover will not sound dumber, clover keeps proving me wrong.

          • Clover reminds me of my son in-law, who never speeds. I will not get into a car as a pssenger with him at the wheel ever since I was nearly killed because he refused to speed up and pass a drunk (or stoned, or psychologically incapable – who knows?; but obviously one not capable of controlling his vehicle at the time of this incident)driver who could not keep it in its lane. I bet vlover is thinking ” well, just slow down then and get away from him”; not possible because the situation was thus: simgle lane, soft shoulders, traffic behind tailgating my son in-law’s car. When the opportunity arose for him to pass this car, other cars did so from behind our car – even at times when there was oncoming traffic that made our situation absolutely life threatening. I kept telling my own clover son in-law to pass when I saw absolutely no threat to our lives (and to other lives in both directions on this 2 way, single lane per side, road). What I saw coming made my life’s memories pass me by in an instant. We got wedged behind this incapable driver’s car, a passing car directly on our left, and an oncoming car that left us without any “out” whatsoever. I yelled out for him to slow down enough to allow room to save out lives. He did so at the last possible moment – when we finally got rear-ended by a person whose yelling, horn beeping, bright light flashing, and hand waving antics for us to PASS that car were all things I witnessed for that gruelling 10 minutes of hell. If my son in-law simply got out of his politically washed (and consequently devoid of logic) brain the fact that all it would have taken to avoid possible carnage was to hit the accelerator for maybe 5 seconds as to pass that car when it was perfectly safe to do so 10 minutes ago, the ensuing argument would also have been avoided! Now I have whip lash and a difficult relationship with the man who is married to my daughter. All this because he wouldn’t dare go 10 Mph faster than the limit for fear of a ticket… I’ve seen many, many similar incidents like this before and since; all of which I avoided by one swift action of my right foot to get the hell in front of someone who quite possibly could have killed me and some other innocent people. I strongly advise clover to take a defensive driving course where the speeding up tactic is extensively taught to safely avoid an horrific accident. Check out some cop shows as well. They are taught similar tactics. Do THEY worry about getting a fine when their actions will clearly avoid death? Having seen police blatantly speeding (both in marked and unmarked cars) countless times, I doubt they ever worry about being fined, hands down, because they have what I call the “James Bond Syndrome” that gives them license to do what they please, when they please. One last thought: Accidents that (very rarely, if ever) occur on the German autobahn, where “speed limits” (not posted) are based solely on the capabilty of both the driver and the vehicle, are almost never related to excessive speed. It’s a fact that’s been proven time and time again. To all clovers out there, I strongly advise you wake up and smell the coffee. Speed infringements are in place solely for revenue and control purposes. The mentality where “if I don’t speed, I’ll never got fined” is bunkem; some day you WILL get fined by a “guilty before innocent” fundamentally flawed speed camera. How will you react when that happens?

          • The 2nd most absurd time I was pulled over was on a four lane arterial road. In the left lane there was a woman doing 25mph or so. Weaving in her lane from the left extreme to the right extreme and back to the left and so on. Posted speed limit 45mph. I waited behind her in the right lane. When she weaved left I punched it and passed her never exceeding 45mph. Guess who got pulled over by the cop three cars back in the queue?

            No ticket… just my papers run and then let go. After all, I never exceeded 45mph. I just went from 25 to 45 quickly. Told the cop about the weaving woman and he didn’t care.

  30. According to speed_limit entry on Wikipedia the WHO fatwas and Vienna treaties set speeds at 85% percentile of observed speed. It then mentions the US sets its limit 8 to 12 miles below whatever the 85% speed is.
    It seems the Bushobama modus operandi is to gouge Americans at every turn to create a slush fund for world leadership. Other than Japan, we seem to be the only other suckers to pay top dollar for everything to please these mojotheiving Eurohags.
    It’s easier to drop the iron curtain and Berlin wall when there’s socialfacialism in place everywhere you look. Miserable old dried out C U Next Tuesday’s and their lawz.


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