What The Government Really Thinks About Gas Mileage

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All this hubbub over how much gas cars burn and the government won’t even synchronize traffic lights.

How much gas does that waste?

An interesting study was done by a Stanford University researcher a few years back. Its author – Victor Miller – estimated that the average car needlessly stops – and then goes – about 15 times every day as a result of such things as unsynchronized traffic lights.

When multiplied by the approximate number of cars driven each day in urban/suburban environments – which is about 60 million cars – the study determined that the fuel wastage of avoidable decelerating, idling and re-accelerating accounts for about 1.2 billion gallons of wasted fuel annually.

That is an ocean of gas – and a lot more gas than “saved” by elaborate, expensive and annoying technology such as the engine stop/start systems being grafted to almost all new cars as a desperation measure to meet the government’s fuel economy fatwas.

Much more fuel could be saved simply by keeping the cars moving. And – as a bonus – we’d also save time, an invaluable (and never renewable) resource.

But it never gets done. The lights remain generally unsynchronized. Cars lurch forward, briefly. Then stop – and wait. It is like a Soviet-era bread line queue. Rinse, repeat – times 60 million, every day.

Not only is gas (and time) wasted, but also brake pads and tires – and tires are made of oil (mostly). I wasn’t able to find a study which quantified how much needless wear and tear on tires can be laid at the feet of avoidable stop-and-go driving, but a sound guess is probably “a lot,” since most of the wear and tear occurs from the initial friction of getting going – and the friction of stopping.

That adds up, too.

If you want to save fuel, the best thing you can do is keep moving – especially once already moving. It takes relatively little energy to maintain momentum; the energy bleed comes from getting three or four thousand pounds moving. And every time you apply the brakes to slow those three or four thousand pounds down, all that energy goes up in smoke, expressed as heat. If you want to feel your money being literally burned up, touch your brake discs after 10 minutes of stop-and-go-driving.

Much of it avoidable.

But no one in the government seems to care. They certainly aren’t acting – doing anything about it.

Why? You’d think – if fuel economy really was such a Big Priority, as they say it is – the EPA would be sending hither proverbial swarms of officers to make sure that every traffic light in the country was properly synced with the others in its vicinity.

But that is too much effort, apparently. Even though it would hardly cost the government anything.

Probably because it doesn’t cost us anything. Would actually reduce costs for us. Unlike for instance the electric cars being force-fed to us. Which cost both money and time, in the form of wasted time while waiting for the things to recover a charge so that we can resume driving.

Electric cars being the ultimate form of stop and go driving.

The government’s latest “fuel saving” stratagem is to make high-octane premium gas mandatory, so that the car industry can make high-compression engines standard equipment. High-compression engines are more “efficient.” But premium unleaded is also more expensive – about 40 cents more per gallon than regular.

Behold the genius of government.

It is the same genius which – apparently – does not grok that fattening up cars increases their appetite.

We can debate all night long about whether the government has any legitimate business telling the car companies – that is to say, telling us – that we have to buy “safe” cars (“safe” defined by the government as complying with a multitude of barrier-impact tests) but there is no debating that to make them “safe” means making them heavy and heavy cars burn more gas than lighter cars.

This is the reason why today’s cars often burn more gas than the cars of 40 years ago, despite all the technical advances of the past 40 years.

The most “efficient” 2018 model family sedans  – with small four cylinder engines – approach 40 MPG on the highway. They would be capable of exceeding 50 MPG – if it weren’t for the fact that they are so fat. And they are fat because of all the steel which has been added to make them “safe” as the government defines that.

Perhaps the government isn’t so smart, after all.

If it were – and if it really did care about efficiency as opposed to controlling us – the lights would be synchronized before the end of next week. The fact that they aren’t – and likely never will be – tells us a lot about the government’s true priorities.

. . .

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  1. Yet another in a looonngg list of examples of the government saying they are doing x for y reason – and x clearly has no hope of accomplishing y. Miraculously though, some politically connected entity makes outsized profits due to laws our representatives (ha) pass that coerce a given behavior/action

    Obvious examples:
    mandatory insurance, in all forms.
    Fuel cans (can you pour fuel without spilling with approved containers?)
    Gun laws – this might be a true unintended consequence
    Foreign policy
    NAFTA and any trade deal
    Taxes with targeted beneficiaries
    Great Society
    Dept of education
    Dept of energy
    Dept of transportation
    Dept of interior
    TSA – theater security actors, this might where people who failed in other depts go to get their 20yrs and pension, judging from their “performance.”
    Veterans affairs – has there been a bigger group of incompetents since the post office?
    Federal reserve (I know, not government on paper, but c’mon.)
    Inflation targets
    Any federal agency dedicated to protecting consumers (hate that term) from fraud. Ha.

    Can anyone think of a case where this has not been the end result?

  2. Yes, it’s all about control. And that’s why when people speak about “freedom” in the political arena, they are quickly denounced by the numb-nuts who complain that “the people need someone to control them.”

    That explains why freedom that’s lost (or stolen) is almost never recovered.

    • Hi Travis,

      The problem with freedom is there’s no money – or power – in it. Real freedom means mass unemployment for millions of government “workers” and those who are parasitical on the government. It means each of us become sovereign over ourselves – but no other person.

      What a horrible prospect…

  3. You’ll enjoy this one. Whenever driving a road of speed bumps the thing to do is accelerate as fast as you can between bumps and then, as you approach each one, pull on the handbrake as hard as you can. This locks up the rear tyres and make a hell of a noise. Then release the handbrake as you go over the speed bump, acclerate and repeat. The residents get sick of this soon enough. They complain to the Council to remove the speed bumps or even destroy the speed bumps themselves (pouring diesel fuel on them soon softens them up, the cars and trucks do the rest and flatten them out).

    An alternative is to run the highest profile tyres you can fit on your car or truck. With reasonable suspension settings you can take the bumps at any speed you like that way. Make certain to hit the horn as you go through. Fun times.

    • Just to be clear, the reason we asked for speed bumps on our residential street that isnt a shortcut to anywhere is that there are some people who just cant drive 2000 ft without going 40 or 50 mph in a neighborhood with kids playing and no sidewalks. Assholes who care more to get home 10seconds faster than anyone else around them, or,worse, the teenage girls who can’t f’ing drive without a cell phone in front of their face (and their parents who don’t give a sh*t.) I don’t like the speed bumps either, but until everyone stops this “me first” bs, some have to take steps to prevent tragedy in our neighborhood. Call me a clover if you will.

      • Hi Todd,

        My take on this is that it’s preferable to chlorinate the gene pool, so to speak. Meaning, deal with the assholes – but don’t treat everyone as a presumptive asshole. That’s an easy trap to fall into – and this country dove into that trap.

        Assholes – and merely stupid people – multiply when instead of holding them (and only them) severely accountable for the harms they cause, everyone is treated severely even when no harm is caused (by them).’

        Gun control is the obvious example, but there are many others – including driving.

      • Todd, your post brought to mind an exchange between my mother and one of my nephews c. 30 years ago:

        Nephew: “I’m coming down the road [points to a ways up the suburban street] and this guy almost pulls out in front of me, while I’m doing 50”.

        My mom: “Why were you doing 50?!”

        Nephew: “Because I slowed down from 80!”.

        (T’was true- I was with him in the car!)

  4. eric,
    You are a “Saint”. And, where did you find my Bible? My wife has grown weary of my constant bitching about synchronized traffic lights. I have been preaching this since I started to drive in the 1970’s. God Bless You Brother. You hit the nail right on the head and yes it all about government control and the removal of our freedom.
    – Rob Robinson

  5. I’ve been saying something similar for years about roundabouts. They don’t require upkeep costs (lower taxes), they cost less capital to produce (even lower taxes), they reduce the stop and go traffic (saving LOTS of fuel), and they actually are SAFER because they make t-bone collisions very difficult to achieve. Roundabouts are the best of both worlds — lower expense/taxes and safer roads — all without infringing on more of my freedoms! Thanks for this article Eric.

    • They make it very dangerous for vehicles that have to take up all the lanes and have no vision when they are articulated.

      • Good point. An easy way to get around that on busier roads is to force a more substantial curve going into the roundabout. This slows down traffic, allows more time for line of sight, yet does not force traffic to stop needlessly. Works great in Carmel, IN.

        • I find the fat A pillars on modern cars make roundabouts hazardous, as they block your view of traffic upon entering the roundabout.

          • Y, my first newer car had monster a pillars and ridiculously poor vision to the sides and rear. Real safe, government morons. It is almost like the people who make the rules, don’t have to endure the consequences.

        • Mark, when traffic circles are “retrofitted” to existing roadway grids they do NOT work well. they are too stingy on the space allotted to them. Arund where I live the stupid things are a pestilence and are dangerous. Besides, the eedjigs heareabouts do NOT know how to use them. On approach, if the driver can SEE another car anywher ein the stupid thing, they come to a full stop and wait till they can’t see anything at all coming. WOrse than a four way stop when the traffic and eedjits are thick. The turning radius on most of them is so small the newer long semitrailers (53 fooot) cannot negotiate them except by going up on the sidewalk. One near here, in an area with several large truck shipping warehouses (major retailer distributioin warehouses, forty or more doors each) the rigs take up every inch of roadway and still climb the kerbs inside and out.I see more crashes at thos things than I do at traffic lights in the area. Taking them on a bicycle is VERY hazardous.. I’ve come close to getting hit more often in those infernal deathtraps than on all the other roads I ride, cmbined. And I ride a LOT, thousansa of miles ayear.

          • Tionico, what you just described is probably my biggest pet peeve. Very true about retrofitting a four way into a traffic circle. Concerning the idiots who don’t know hoe to use them properly, I would refer you to what Eric said above about chlorinating the gene pool on the speed bumps issue. The more personal responsibility and accountability instead of government issued safety, the better for us all.

  6. “And every time you apply the brakes to slow those three or four thousand pounds down, all that energy goes up in smoke, expressed as heat.”

    When you sit idling, you use about a gallon of fuel an hour. Driving at 70 mph on the highway, you will go through about two gallons an hour….but you’ve actually gone somewhere.

  7. Ethanol proves its a rigged game. It takes more energy to make it than it can put out and results in lower fuel mileage. Huge payoff to the corn lobby.
    Maybe iso-butanol will displace it. At least it has more BTU’s to contribute.

    • Amen, Harry.

      I’ve been covering this stuff for going on 30 years, god help me – and the scam is so obvious to anyone with some mechanical understanding and a brain that can think and eyes that can see.

      It can also be easily reduced, as follows: If (like electric cars and so many other things) ethanol is such a boon, so desirable, then surely it would succeed on the merits… right? But (just like electric cars) ethanol exists – as a motor fuel – only because of crony capitalism; that is, by force and fraud.

      • Plus, I recall that they have to move it around in tanker trucks or trains, because they can’t run it through the colonial pipelines because the ethanol breaks down the seals in the pipes.

        • Hi Todd,

          Yes. Ethanol is corrosive, caustic stuff. For a Fun Time, get a beaker of it and then drop in rubber parts. Wait a while. See what happens…

          • Y, sounds like a good time lapse sequence for educational purposes. There is a reason that marine fuel and aviation fuel doesn’t have ethanol in it – people can die due to the unfavorable characteristics of a fuel that corrodes things and attracts too much moisture. Ethanol is yet another “unintended” intended consequence of rent seekers currying political favor in order to vacuum money out of the great unwashed.
            The place we get the lawnmowers and such maintained has a sign that they don’t warranty engine repairs because ethanol.

  8. In my cloverific area they’ve been shrinking 2 lane parkways down to single lanes (each direction) for years now, on top of reducing the speed limits. Not that the speed limits matter because you can barely get going that fast for more than a few seconds anyway. One roadway I occasionally have the misfortune to travel on even has signs proclaiming “traffic lights timed for frequent stops” – take THAT you mundanes! – and they have the nerve to call it “traffic calming”. Sure does the opposite to me; I drove a bucket truck for most of my career with the power company and would occasionally hit a speed bump that wasn’t marked, tossing most of my equipment all over the place. Would like to take the pointy headed bureaucrats who dream up this crap and use them for speed bumps.

  9. The 8 mile strip between my town and the next town has 11 traffic lites. When one turns green, the one up ahead turns green and then turns red just as you approach it. Depending on the traffic flow, if you make one lite you often make them all. If you don’t make that first lite, you stop and go 11 times. Everyone says the same thing. “Why don’t they DO something.”

    • Sounds like Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda, NY. The town intentionally has the lights timed so that you hit every one if you drive the speed limit.

  10. It isn’t just about gas mileage. I had to have my mandatory smog inspection recently and hit every red light on a main drag to get there and back. If they were really concerned about smog, they’d time the lights. It’s not about that-there’s revenue in all that gas being used and smog emitted at traffic lights when you’re not going anywhere.

  11. Replacing stop signs with yield signs and citing those who violate right of way rules at intersections would do more to reduce fuel consumption than synchronizing traffic lights in places where they aren’t needed.

  12. I was recently in England and had a diesel Mercedes 220 which I drove for about a week. It drove beautifully under all sorts of conditions. The last time I looked, it was getting 47 mpg. As I have read, the technology involved in gaining that type of mileage has been blocked from import to the USA by the car companies, and I would imagine also the oil companies. A stable of vehicles that got that kind of mileage in that size car would devastate both the care companies that didn’t adopt it and the oil companies who don’t care how much mileage any one gets, the fewer mpg, the better for them

  13. I’m in a relatively ‘rural’ area in SoCal and the damn city has set the lights so that within 2-3 seconds of a car approaching the main road from a side road, the light turns red for the main! Talk about friggin’ annoying, because they literally stop several cars for one, when they car entering from the side might have to wait only 10 seconds or so to turn; as there is never much traffic. But even more aggravating, is that the city doesn’t even need any damn traffic lights! The money they waste in terms of installation cost, power/maintenance would be more than offset by putting in roundabouts where needed. They’re a much better solution for a rural area!

    • There’s a light in my area that stays red for two minutes while traffic builds up behind it. Then you get a 10-second green light, resulting in a Chinese fire drill as cars try to either turn or go straight before the light changes.

      I’ve called the state DOT to get them to change the timing. They said they knew what they were doing but would look at it. Three years later and the situation has only gotten worse.

      • At least it sounds like people try to get through the light. By me the clovers first in the queue are asleep and then when they notice the green light or the vehicle in front of them has moved accelerate slowly. Then one or two run the red and everyone else is left there to sit through another cycle where the same thing will repeat. Each round the backup grows. Then they wonder why there are traffic jams.

  14. The gov’t’s goal is less cars on the road. As Eric has mentioned, if they make driving miserable enough, less people will drive. There’s not much better than stopping every block for a light to make you hate getting in the car. I say its likely by design.

    As for saving fuel….. I live near a busy two lane road that is a transit system bus route. When the bus stops there’s no way to get past it, legally or safely. Its not unusual to be in a line of 10 or more cars idling behind a bus that has maybe half a dozen passengers on it. It would probably be cheaper financially and environmentally to just pay for Uber rides.

    Nothing to do with fuel savings, but I’ve seen idiots meet an oncoming transit bus on the road and stop as if its a school bus!

    • City buses in smaller cities like Richmond, Va are usually running around all day, empty. They have dark tint on the windows, probably to keep everyone from seeing that they are empty. Those bus systems are a big waste of money, but they provide jobs and pensions for a certain class of people who would otherwise be unemployable.

      • Hi Ed. We have this problem in Melbourne, Australia. Large buses with one or 2 people but otherwise empty. I hate buses, and do not ride them preferring to car or walk. And the biggest part of the buses put out more pollution than the same number of people in cars.

  15. How about “Yield Right of Way” rather than “Stop” signs. In rural and suburban areas that would save a ton of gas. But then the traffic courts and the judges retirement fund would take a hit. Can’t have that.

  16. All lights and stop signs should be “slow and go”. When HUGO knocked out all the lights in Charlotte we got around better with no lights. People worked together and shared the intersection time. No sitting at an empty intersection waiting for the light to change. When the lights cam back on the traffic jams returned. It was not just due to the level of traffic either.

    Got stop signs all over the plant sight – a 1/2 square mile, and a BIG pet peeve is no one stops a the stop signs. Can see for 2-300 yards at most so there is not a need to even slow down from most directions. I suggested having all yeild signs if you can see — NO GO! How about one/two stop and the rest yeild — NO GO! I suggested a green line to give the right of way and a yellow to identify a yeild direction —– NO GO! Really comes down to those on the “Safety Commitie” want CONTROL and demand people STOP! Yet no enforcemtne so no body stops… not even the safety natzies!

    • I lived in Charlotte when Hugo hit and was working for an electrical contractor at the time. We worked 16 hour days for a month, replacing meter bases and other service entrance components. I remember NG guys out at major intersections trying to direct traffic. After a few days, those guys spent most of their time jumping out of the way to keep from being run down. They weren’t needed and their officers insisted that they stick to the mission, I guess.

  17. The Gov’t doesn’t care about fuel economy, just look at the car pool lanes! The damn hours on them are 5:30 -9:30 AM in the morning and 3:00-7:00PM in the evening. Especially the morning route, there are 3 lanes of bumper to bumper and basically no one in the carpool lane. (It is doing 70+ mph). I always daydream about the entire mass of single-car commuters taking over the carpool lane. They couldn’t pull us ALL over!!!

  18. Eric,
    Add school buses to the list. They stop at every house now instead of a central pick up point. And there is usually a line of cars behind them, all stopping and starting.

    • Hi Bill,

      We need to compile a list!

      The school bus thing is an excellent example of needless waste – and suffocating “saffffffffeeeeetyism,” too..

      • Oh NO….Screwl buses are not safe by any streatch of the imagination. Do the BEST drivers drive them? Do they have seat belts? (I’m a believer in seat belts…just do not approve of the Gubment forceing me to wear one.)

    • And literally “starting”, since the engines in many of the newer ones will shut down during the loading/unloading of the inevitably pokey kids.

    • This!!!

      Damn school buses are stopping at the children’s homes, especially on major roads. And when its a private road they can’t go down the kids wait inside mom’s idling SUV then don’t even start getting out until the bus driver opens the door. Then the kid has to say goodbye to mom, siblings, the dog, and the cat. The slowly the child boards the bus. The driver waits until the kid finds a seat a with friends and gets settled and then finally and slowly closes the door. Then traffic in both directions can start moving again. Those behind the bus of course very slowly accelerating.

      And it’s not just little kids. I’ve seen HS kids dropped off at their homes by the after-school activity bus. In my HS the activity bus dropped us off one or two stops per square mile of homes and always on the outer edge. Kids who lived in the center like me were a half mile from home.

    • And in my area, the kids go to different indoctrination centers for every few grades, resulting in too many buses on the road.

      • And don’t forget the spoats![sports]. A bunch of kids all meet up at the school, complete with waterboys, coaches, nurses, psychologists[for grief counseling if they lose], referees; a few suits from the office….and all pile into 3 or more buses that may travel halfway across the state so the kids can compete with some other indoctrination camp [gee, it’s not like they could ever find any other kids in the local area to play with….]…

        All the people traveling to the skool; the buses; people going to watch the games; etc. etc. can you even imagine the expense, “pollution” [;) ] and ‘wasted’ fuel on a national basis???!!!! -and really, even for the asshats who support such crap, it’s utterly ridiculous, as it’s something that only a handful of kids from each conformity camp participate in.

        Freaking here, they even have scholastic [is that the term for it?] BOWLING and GOLF!!!!!!!!!

        • Preach it, Nunz!

          The hyper-organized aspect of it creeps me out the most. The kids (and parents) have to be occupied at all times. From one “game” to the next. Literally every day – or as close to it as is feasible. Never just let the kids alone for a day and allow them to entertain themselves. That might encourage the development of some . . . individuality.

          • And all for what, Eric? -so their kid, or “their team” can rack-up more points than the next guy, or get a ball through a basket more times….. For this these kids lose the joy and freedom and invaluable learning experiences of childhood.

            And such has got to be a politician’s dream! Imagine: They don’t have to force or even encourage parents to do this to their kids…. The parents WANT it- “Oh, if I buy this house, does the local school have good sports programs for junior?”.

            These kids have never experienced freedom. They don’t know what it’s like, so to lose it, means nothing to them, because they never had it to begin with. They’ve never had to work things out on their own, or make up their own rules to make things work, because every situation they’re ever in is adult supervised and already has a plethora of well-defined rules.

            They’ll never know what it is to have to work with other kids- others who may be older/bigger/hostile, in situations where there are no rules nor anyone to enforce them. Knowing only that from childhood, they can’t function without clearly defined rules and demarcations for every situation. It is so sad.

            But hey, it might pay off for one or two of them: They may get to become pros (If they happen to be among the 5% who possess the genetics), in which case they’ll be able to lay claim to being “successful”- which apparently means: Being illiterate, but yet earning enough money to be able to buy all the drugs, purple Cadillacs, and gold-digging women you’ll ever need.

            Heck, ever look at people’s photo albumns? [Do they still have those?]- Many people, every picture in the freaking thing is from some formal event: “Here’s my HS graduation; Here’s Uncle Joe’s wedding; Here’s me with the team getting a trophy; Here’s when I enlisted to be a mercenary….” Every one’s is the same; same costumes; same rituals; just different faces.

            What ever happened to “Here’s my little sister washing my car; here we are that time we ran into Aunt Viola whom we hadn’t seen in 20 years, at McDonald’s; Here’s mom showing off the cake she just baked…”

            It seems no one does the latter anymore. It’s as if day-to-day life no longer has any value to these people- or no longer even exists. They’re all just constantly donning various uniforms and costumes, and playing interchangeable parts. They’re no longer individuals- but rather just part of the collective.

            [Well…. That’s what you get for telling me to preach it! 😀 ]

    • They do the same thing here in Indianapolis now too. It’s disgusting. One time I saw them use a full size school bus to take about 7 high school kids to a cross country meet. To make matters worse, they paid the bus driver to sit there for the 5 hour meet so that they could leave as soon as it was over instead of scheduling independent pickup/drop-off times. The best part, the high school was only about 5 blocks down the street from where the cross country meet was being held!!! Those xc runners easily could have walked to the meet.

  19. Government is an agent of the banking kabbalah. Banks live on debt and there is no better origin of debt than the government. Even more wonderful, banks learned long ago that government can cause the creation of debt. Hence we get more and more government, and debt. In our fascists Reich the corporations also love to force the expenditure of our money. Stop lights are a wonderful waste of our resources when random. Corporations support politicians that spend public money.

    Another auto related giant waste of money are daytime driving lights. They seem inconsequential but if understood on the magnitude of their existence, they account for much gasoline usage.

    • I like the day time drivint lights as it increased visibility. Need a switch so it will be MY choice to use them and not the Gubment. I added 4 to my motercycle. Well, I added 4 additional bright LED’s for night driving but run them in the day light.

  20. I don’t drive as much as I did in my youth. But, I know a few roads with very few traffic lights through marvelous vineyards, as well as farmer’s fields. My favorites are twisty and hilly where I can have a bit of fun stretching my cars and myself. Powerful cars that handle, and have good brakes are a joy to drive once in awhile for pleasure. This particular drive has a few places that one can definitely wring out a fast car fairly safely as there are long flat stretches. There are also big farm trucks, sort of rolling stop lights. Such is life.

    • Hi James,

      I moved to a rural area for just those reasons; unfortunately, the Cloverization of my area is now noticeably picking up speed. It will probably be necessary to flee within five years, maybe sooner.

      • I moved to an area loaded with farms and rural roads. Then an army of illegal aliens moved in like locusts and converted almost every square inch of greenery into condos for job-stealing H-1b’s imported for the pharmaceutical research centers 10 miles away. Soon the stop and yield signs turned into stoplights. I might as well live in the city.

        • Hi Bobster,

          Terrible; you have my sympathies … can you at least sell your place for Top Dollar and use the proceeds to move farther out?

        • Bobster.

          Lemme guess: NC.?

          Eric: You can’t get away from it in this country. It’s even just now starting here where I am. The Indians and Habibs are taking over the gas stations; the lowest-of-the-low Mexicans are coming for the farm work. I see the same thing just starting to happen here that started in NY 40 years ago- and this is literally the last place that was untouched- far from any city; extremely rural; and hard to get to.

          There is no escape from any of this shit anywhere within the borders of this country, or really, anywhere in the first-world. TPTB are now turning their attention to the few remaining places that have managed to hold-out till now.

  21. Someone I follow made a good point sort of related to this topic: Imagine how much better things could be if employers embraced remote working. Anyone that works at a computer could do their job from home. It’s kind of ridiculous to have all these people every day get into a car and drive to a building in the city to sit at a desk and stare at a computer for 8 hours, and then have them all get in a car and go back home. Five days a week, every week. Imagine how much less fuel would be used. How much money and time saved with less traffic\wear on the roads and with less wear on vehicles. Significantly less fuel used. Less emissions produced daily. People could sleep in more, leading to better health. People could spend more time with their families and less time sitting on the road. Even the companies would save money (though some would be really hurt in this world). No/less rent and utilities expenses, no janitors or security needed, make the employees buy their own computers, printers, phones, and internet as a condition of employment… or if they’re generous, reimburse the employee’s expenses. Maybe rent a space once a week if necessary for the team to meet up.

    People would drive much less and probably enjoy it much more. People in general would probably be much happier. These companies pretend to care about the world and their communities. With that one thing, they have the power to improve so much and save so much human energy and productivity. With so much less time and energy spent on maintaining the current standard, more time and energy could be used for innovation, investment, and progress. They don’t because they actually don’t care. How will they know the employees are working? I guess if the work doesn’t get done fire them? But what if they get their work done in 3 hours instead of 8? Give them more work I guess, then they’ll slow their pace to match 8 hours.

    Also, I have a question about the NAP and property rights, for anyone willing to entertain the question. This was an interesting point I recently heard.

    If someone invites someone else into their hot air balloon, their property, then takes them up, and then in-flight decides they want their guest to leave, (maybe they had an argument) what is correct? Basically, should property rights be void when maintaining them would result in the death of another? If the property rights are respected, the person must leave and die. If the person/guest refuses to leave, are they violating the NAP? Does the property owner in this case have a duty to assure the safety of their guest before kicking them out? Similar examples include a boat in the middle of the ocean or a house with a ferocious animal outside. Thanks all!

    • My sister works from home, and many people I work with have the option at least a few days a week. I had to laugh at a comment in a blog post about the new chairs at Apple’s new spaceship and how concerned they were about their employees. I said if Apple really cared about their employees they’d bulldoze the building and give everyone a good internet connection at home.

      • But then how can you have meetings to shame people and then focus on the detail in thousands or more they weren’t quite perfect on?

        • Plus, how would individual workers in their own homes experience [pronounce in awed tone] diversity?! (Could hire a Puerto Rican maid, a Jap gardener, and have a teenaper deliver the paper, I guess…)

    • “If someone invites someone else into their hot air balloon, their property, then takes them up, and then in-flight decides they want their guest to leave,”

      Damn, Bran. That sounds like some of the egghead shit that Walter Block would argue about. Seriously.

    • Hi Brandon!

      The reason why not is – as it usually is – control. Working from home would do all the things you note, which is precisely what is not wanted. What is wanted is to keep the population controlled. To minimize their freedom of movement as well as their free time; to turn them – to the extent feasible – into overworked drones who don’t have the time to think. To be what George Carlin correctly styled obedient workers.

      On the balloon thing:

      While the balloon is certainly the property of its owner, that does not give him the right to kill – or harm – the passenger (assuming the passenger hasn’t physically attacked and the owner is acting in self-defense).

      If the owner decides he longer wishes to carry the passenger, then he may cancel the flight, land the balloon and then ask the person to disembark. At that point, the owner of the balloon has the absolute right to deny service/access and the passenger is obligated to disembark.

      The owner may owe the passenger a refund or some other compensation, depending on the circumstances/prior agreement – if any.

      But it’s fatuous to suggest that the owner may toss the passenger out – kill the passenger – once the balloon is in flight because it’s his property. It certainly is his property. But that doesn’t give him ownership over the property of the passenger – the passenger’s physical person. And because the passenger cannot disembark while the balloon is in flight (without forfeiting his life) the owner of the balloon is obligated to give him the opportunity to do so without forfeiting his life. That is to say, he is obliged to land the balloon before demanding the passenger disembark.

      Did you get this morsel from Walter Block?

    • As for the balloon question… The variety and complexity of human experience is such that no simple formulation, not even the NAP, is able to cover every conceivable situation. The NAP (and I try to live by it myself) is simply a brief, easily transmitted, verbal expression of a deeper principle, the idea that as ethical and moral actors, each of us with the others, we have a duty to minimize the damage and the danger to which we expose others. The point is, that even the NAP is not something that can be “programmed” into action with the presence of human thought and judgment. What is aggression? What is imminent danger? What constitutes damage? All these questions have differing answers depending on the situation. In the long run, so called “common sense” is a better route to use for decisions than a strict, 100% literal reading of the NAP. The difficult part is to use common sense without falling to the temptation of mere rationalization to excuse unethical behavior.

      • Sorry… stupid but important typo on my part. “into action with the presence of human thought ” should be ” into action WITHOUT the presence of human thought “

    • Hi all, thanks for the responses. I had not heard of Walter Block before mentioned here. I got this from Dave Smith on the Part of the problem podcast. He may have gotten it from Walter Block. This example was actually used in an abortion debate, with the hot-air balloon owner being the mother, and the invited guest being the fetus. So in that example, assuming the guest was actually invited (consensual sex, not rape) then the mother has an obligation to see the fetus/child through to term, and not abort/kick it out mid-flight.
      I understand the NAP and property rights are not a perfect, one-size-fits-all solution to every human experience, and the balloon example is not practical, I just wanted to see what was said here as an intellectual exercise.

      • Hi Brandon,

        This is going to kick up some dust, but:

        It strikes me that the debate over abortion is fundamentally a debate over whether one accepts biological facts – or not.

        Biologically, it seems inarguable to me that life begins at conception. From that point onward, we can debate the value of that life, whether it is “fully human.” Whether it possesses any rights or just some, depending on how long it has been since sperm fertilized egg. But I don’t see how it can be denied that life – a new life – has begun at that moment.

        If rights are a function of life – as opposed to developmental stage of life, ability to live independently, to evince an awareness of its own life – then the developing embryo/fetus has the same natural rights as any other living person, including (as examples) the retarded, small children, the elderly and so on. The alternative is to take the position that rights are a function of development and capacity – in which case, logically, the lives of retarded people, small children and the elderly also have lesser “rights status” – like the developing embryo/fetus.

        If it would make you queasy to smother to death a six-month-old prematurely born baby, would you feel the same discomfort about aborting that child four weeks earlier, while it was still inside its mother?

        If not, why not?

        At what point does it become ok to “terminate” the developing life?

        These are tough questions…

        • Excellent points Eric. A quick search shows most abortions happen because the kids aren’t wanted. Generally no moral or property rights violation reason. I imagine this debate is fairly new in human history. Perhaps the age of an issue is a good barometer for what the common sense answer is. Abortions, bake the f*ing cake, women voting… (just kidding… sorta.)

        • Strictly, as a pragmaticist, I’d favor a medical criterion over a biological one- more applied science than science. The point of fetal viability- the point at which a fetus can feasibly survive outside of the uterine environment, with medical intervention and aid if necessary- might work as a better objective point to demarcate potential personhood, as opposed to an argument over the biological definition of life, which is actually a pretty contentious subject when dealing with generally applicable understandings of life, organisms, self-replication and genetic propagation at a purely scientific, biological level. (Are viruses life? They replicate themselves and propogate their genes, but aren’t cellular organisms. Prions? They can sometimes self-replicate, but don’t even have genes. Mitochondria seem to have once been unique cellular organisms, with their own genetic material apart from the cells’ in which they reside, but are now organelles within more complex nucleated cells- what about it?)

          More actionable (instead of definitional) medical distinctions allow sidestepping that whole thorny argument, while also preemptively rendering context-irrelevant other arguments over (sometimes posthumous) rights of organ and tissue donors, patient autonomy specifically as related to the mother, and a whole field of deliberate as well as unintentional sophistry.

          Not unlike preferring an civil engineer’s answer to “Will the dam break?” rather than a geologist’s, a fluid dynamicist’s, an ecologist’s and a philosopher’s. The thorny bit would be in initial definition and periodic rreevaluation (as technology and procedures better over time) any defined point of viability, but no worse than trying to argue about the fundamental question of biology- what is and isn’t alive- and the conceptual framework itself is quite sound.

          • Hi Mike,

            This is a very tough issue or all the reasons you lay out. I wish the general conversation could be as thoughtful, as opposed to the fatuous talk about “choice.”

            Choice? My body?

            Ok, then why can’t I choose to put whatever substance I choose to into my body? Why is that a crime – especially in view of the hard fact that it is 100 percent my body that’s at issue – but it’s an inviolable right to terminate a pregnancy (another life) when that is the woman’s “choice”?

            • It seems that most discussions on the subject of abortion always presume that there is/should be some regulatory/punitive force which operates via coercion and the threat of/use of violence to enforce a particular moral dictate over individuals [i.e. government].

              From the Libertarian/anarchist perspective: Why do so many lib/Ans suddenly approve of the establishment of and intervention of government, in this, the most personal of all matters?

              A child is the “property” of those who created it. It took 2 people to conceive; it takes the woman’s body to sustain the Cletus The Fetus; it takes the physical and/or financial support of the parents to sustain that child’s life after it is born and for quite some time.

              How is that creation/responsibility the prerogative of anyone, save those who created it?

              While I believe that abortion is wrong; I also believe that enabling power structures of men to interfere in the intimate personal lives of people is just as wrong. This is EXACTLY what the Clovers/authoritarian-collectivists do; they enforce their values, by force, on others- even over their own personal lives, property and bodies.

              By doing such, is exactly how we got to mandatory car seats; not being allowed to ride in the back of pick-up trucks; mandated helmet wearing while bike riding; not being able to play outside unsupervised; CPS showing up at people’s doors; etc.

              Not to even mention state-sponsored care for unwanted kids [Did you know that the states pay ridiculous amounts of money monthly to people who adopt those unwanted kids???]

              • Fair enough. I was trying to come to grips with it more ethically than proposing a legal standard- far riskier, due to the codified slippery-slope fallacy in law that is precedent- but it’s worth noting that ethics are not necessarily a good 1:1 basis for law, though there is definitely merit in *some* measure of correlation. (You certainly don’t want laws requiring wrongdoing, but you don’t necessarily want to compel good, either.)

                The underlying ethical philosophies are also far too simple for practical application (nevermind rule application, *nevermind law* as a step further still) if they only consider good and bad, right and wrong, but offer no room for a notion of ethical permissibility- neither righteous nor evil, but a muddled area of some discretion better left alone, or at the very least assessed case-by-case or on a spectrum of right and wrong. That is in itself a very great part of why law is not justice is not ethics is not morality, at least not if properly understood and considered.

                I bristle a bit at the notion of analogizing children as property, but then I’m probably just being too pedantic in interpreting an imperfect analogy, as most things are so imperfect. (This seems especially likely, as I believe I’m sympathetic to the substance of what you’ve said that implies, so we’re likely in substantive agreement, if not rhetorical analogy.)

                Finally, please understand that my first comment was not meant to single out fetal viability as the only or best answer- the point at which the nervous system has formed in the fetus, and so the point at which is can certainly feel pain, might also be a good demarcation, and is generally well understood within the context of human fetal development. The point was to find a point of ethical personhood rather than argue over more abstract notions of life itself, or to be sucked into culturally-relative or theological and doctrinal notions of the soul, etc. Best to define a level field and common point of reference if the argument or discussion is meant to find agreement rather than to merely but heads and do little else- which I’ve seen far too much of on this topic, albeit not really much here. 😉

                • Oh, I missed a lot of copy errors up there… :\

                  Anyway, as to Eric’s point: I feel there’s something ethical wrong, or at least neglectful, in most drug use or aesthetic body modification, but I am also very big on consistency, and if I want to espouse notions of sovereignty over oneself- and I do- then that has to be allowed, by the same underlying notions. It also makes has implications for ethics and law as related to other issues like assisted suicide, elective medical risk, and plenty of others. It’s not some trivial thing, that much is certain.

                  • I think a lot of things are immoral and wrong- but the thing is, whether it be drug use or abortion or whatever, it all comes down to the matter of do we have the right to choose what we do with our own bodies and property, or does someone else have superiority over us to dictate those things?

                    And the answer to that question is essentially what determines whether we are Libertarian/Anarchist, or Authoritarian-collectivists.

                    God Himself tolerates many evils, so that the innocent can not be harassed, and so we can all choose and live accordingly and deal with our choices in this life- blessings result from choosing good, and curses result from choosing evil. We will all be judged in the end.

                    Subjects like this separate the real libertarians/anarchists from the rest. Who has authority over your kid, and in what capacity and for how long?

                    Once we start to acquiesce on this, we find ourselves in the position of saying: “Well why not have child-abuse laws, and require children to wear seatbelts and helmets, yada, yada, yada…” -and there we have it- advocating government, for the purpose of enforcing our morality/values on others by force.

                    • Hey, Eric!

                      What a co-inky-dink! I cleansed my soul last night, too! But it involved porcelain… LOL

                      I think I would have prefered your way!

                  • Hi Mike,

                    Amen, I am with you.

                    These are tough questions and thinking people should be thinking about the answers. It seems self-evident (to me) that we each are sovereign over own bodies; I do not see a valid counterargument because any such necessarily implies or directly asserts the sovereignty of another person over my self, which is the same as saying they own me. The degree of ownership asserted is immaterial to the question of the fundamental question of the morality of the thing, just as a “little” theft is still theft.

        • Holy shit, Eric. I have always been “pro choice” – (don’t like that description, but I’ll go with it anyway). I also believe that it’s generally pointless to argue/discuss, as nobody ever changes their mind anyway. However, you really got me thinking. I’ve never heard the pro life argument stated in the way that you just did, and damn it, after a lifetime of believing that only my view could be correct, you may have won me over to your side. The balloon example may not be practical, but it’s a good start to the thought process that leads to the conclusion you articulate so well (as always). Your wisdom and way with words never cease to impress me.

          • Hi VZ,


            I don’t like the term, “pro choice” because it’s purposefully evasive – like “climate change.” Whatever the issue is, I think we ought to speak plainly about it. If it is not spoken of plainly I am suspicious of it immediately. I think this is a good rule of thumb. The “climate change” thing is a very good example.

            What does it mean – vs. what is it hiding? And pushing? It really means nothing at all. The climate is always changing – and changing in literally every conceivable way. Hotter, colder – in varying degrees and durations. That is what’s being hidden, though. And what’s being pushed is that the climate is changing unnaturally as the result of human industrial activity, especially human use of internal combustion vehicles.

            Similarly, “pro choice.” Well, it is great to be in favor of choosing. We are all in favor of that. But choosing what, exactly? In plain language – auf gut Deutsch – what’s meant is terminating a pregnancy. Let’s start with that, because it is what at’s issue. Not “choice.”

            The debate is now over, as I see it:

            Is it – or is it not – a human life?

            At what point?

            If it is a human life, does its mother have the absolute right of ownership over that life, including the right to end that life?

            I am not claiming to know the answers to these questions, but I do think these are fair – and above-board questions to ask.

      • Yes it sounded like something Block would come up with. He’s tha asshole who invented the term “evictionism” as a justification for abortion, as though a woman is, in effect, renting body space to a baby developing in her womb, so she can “evict” the “trespasser” without violating the NAP. He also advocated (theoretically) shooting a 5 year old who stole fruit in an orchard, in defense of property rights. That’s his method of “Defending the Undefendable”.

        Block is an extremely muddle-headed thinker, and is the most insufferably tedious assholes on the planet, or at least in the libertarian movement. He will post the entirety of an email exchange that has lasted a year or more, between himself and some other egghead, arguing over trivia.

        Arguing shit like “evicting” a developing fetus or withdrawing an invitation to travel on your aircraft in midflight makes people who might otherwise give libertarianism a listen, conclude that libertarians are insane.

        Block has probably chased away more potential libertarians than he has attracted.

        • L. Neil Smith supported post-natal abortions until the appearance of sentience until he became a father. At the time, I became a signatory of his new “Covenant of Unanimous Consent”

          • Hi Handler,

            Block means well, I think. But I agree – his writing is . . . hard going. I much prefer the classics: Spooner, Read, Nock and Mencken.

            • Walter Block is as free market libertarian as it is possible to get, and not getting him is an indication that the non-getter is a wannabe free marketer.
              Those of us who understand free markets won’t miss those who avoid LRC because they don’t.

          • You guys have any suggestions for a good (real)Libertarian/Anarchist daily morning read? Methinks LRC is going the way of the Libertarian Party. I can’t take that site anymore. It’s like reading Worldnetdaily of 20 years ago…..

            Seems as though all the alt news/discussion sites that I used to check have gone south just within the last year; just since Trump was elected. They all seem to have gone to international/mainstream-style news; filler; and fix-the-empire crap/hail-Trump-because-the-liberal-snowflakes-don’t-like-him, so-we’ll-support-Hitler-instead-of-Stalin…..

            • The LP hasn’t been going the way of libertarianism since the late 90’s, when republicans fleeing the Republican Party’s co-option by the neo-cons fled to the LP.
              Worldnetdaily (sic) has never been as libertarian as the LP used to be. It is populated by populist libertarians like Jerome Corsi, who is a wannebe conservative.

              • Hi Bill,

                Agree with you; I can speak to this personally as someone who – once upon a time – swam in those circles and knew some of those people personally. Corporate Libertarianism is just another business.

              • I also agree, Bill- but my point was, LRC is becoming that…err…those.

                e.g. WorldNetDaily was never Libertarian….but that is how LRC is starting to appear lately, with all of the emphasis on defending Trump/D vs. R/international politics- and thus, whereas LRC used to truly Libertarian, like the Lib. Party may’ve once been, it is now more of a quasi-WND-style site.

                It’s a very sad thing to see.

                • I lost interest in LRC because I stopped learning anything from it. Then over time when I glanced at it the authors that made me roll my eyes got more and more articles.

                  • LRC had long been a case of preaching to the choir (Then again, what isn’t? Once you understand the principles of liberty, you can figure everything else out- it’s not rocket science- but a li’l preaching to the choir is always comforting).

                    But as of late, it isn’t even that. It’s to the point now where I consider most of the headlines clickbait. You click on one that looks like it might have potential- and what do you get? Endless rambling to make some lame analogy, which in the end, tells you nothing you didn’t already know, and which ends up being more about mainstream politics than Libertarianism.

                    It’s depressing. As if the Libertarian community isn’t small enough already- it is now being pared-down even more, and even the old stalwarts are leaving the building.

                    The real catastrophe is that anyone on the periphery or anyone new coming in, in whom may be the spark of liberty, is going to have to go it alone- whereas if they were exposed to some good libertarianism- just the example or comments of one other person- it just might put them on the fast track and make all the difference.

                    What I don’t understand, is how someone like Lew Rockwell ends up turning his own site which bears his name, into what it has now become.

                    • It is kind of like this group has turned into one where the minority post has anything to do with cars or libertarianism, while under more control by Eric than LRC ever has been by Lew.
                      Is someone holding a gun to your head to visit LRC, or is it just something else irrelevant that you want to whine about?

                    • Oh yeah, Bill, that Eric’s a real tyrant! [NOT!] – I think he deleted some spam, once….

                      And yes, I will whine when one of the great institutions of Libertarianism like LRC is essentially neutralized.

                    • “while under more control by Eric than LRC ever has been by Lew.”

                      You obviously are a latecomer to LRC if that’s what you think. I had an email exchange with Burt Blumert once after having asked him if Lew could make his editors stop with the overabundance of leftist authors, linked to leftist sites.

                      Burt answered that Lew chose his lineup of articles himself, every day, and that, although he (Burt), sometimes cringed at Lew’s choice of articles, it was 100% Lew’s show and nobody else had editorial authority..

                      In those days, an email to Lew, Burt or the site tech got a pretty fast response, though a respo0nse from Lew was usually terse, probably because he had the most mail to answer. That ain’t the case today.

                      The LRC blog used to allow comments from readers, until Lew suddenly stopped it for everybody except regular columnists and a few unknowns who may have been friends of his.

                      LRC is Lew’s site and he controls it totally. EPA is eric’s site and he allows commenters a free range of expression.

                      Anything else you need to be straightened out on, just say so. There are several commenters here who have been users of this site and LRC since the beginning, at which time you were still noodling along without internet access, and somebody will be glad to set you straight.

                    • I started reading LRC in maybe 2003 and regularly in 2006-7 and I don’t ever recall open comments. I probably haven’t read it regularly since 2012 or so.

                    • My observation has been the same, Brent. Closest thing I’ve seen to any reader participation on LRC were “send him email” links at the end of the articles- That was cool. I corresponded with Laurence Vance several times. (He’s one of the good ones)

                    • Lew has always posted foreign policy-related articles from anti-war leftists. Frankly, I don’t see anything wrong with that. He’s not endorsing leftist thought by doing so.

                      My only problem with LRC is the lack of quality content. When Lew created Political Theatre, he used to add his own commentary. He now basically copies junk Zero Hedge headlines. Also, the most mediocre contributors post far more than the good ones. I was so glad to see some Karen De Coster posts in the blog section a couple of days ago. I always enjoy Karen, Laurence, and Tom DiLorenzo.

    • Re: The balloon question:

      (Hi Brandon!!)

      Why is everyone making this out to be more difficult than it is?

      If you invite someone onto/into your property, it is a different scenario than if they tresspassed or entered forcefully. By inviting them, you have temporarily ceded a bit of your own right, and have become a guarantor of the level of safety that they would reasonably expect based on the conditions at the time of the invite.

      If the invite is withdrawn, unless the guest were to threaten/become violent, you would have an obligation to provide for his safe exit off of/out of your property.

      You don’t just open the car door at 50MPH and shove him out. You STOP the car and then throw him out.
      You allow him to get outside of your gate before releasing the hounds.
      You land the boat or the balloon or the airplane…..

      This isn’t rocket science….we all do it all the time- just usually not with a balloon.

      Now, if the guy becomes violent….then all bets are off, and we have the right to protect ourselves and our property, and if that means ejecting the ungrateful bastard (after you were nice enough to take him for a balloon ride!), so be it!

      Ejecting him from the balloon or shooting him in your home, if need be, there really is no difference- the rights and obligations are virtually identical regardless of the location or means of dealing with the guest.

      • “Why is everyone making this out to be more difficult than it is?”

        My question is why in hell anybody would debate such a stupidly framed question. It’s the kind of question that would never be debated face to face because the first answer the guy who posed the stupid question got would be a fist in the schnozz for saying something that retarded.

        I’m disappointed in you for taking the bait, old shoe.

        • “Taking the bait”? Nay! Rather, I’m exposing the facetiousness of the question.

          The question is designed to confuse the reader by using an unfamiliar setting. But as I pointed out, in reality, a “balloon” is no different than a boat or moving car, or even a home surrounded by guard dogs….

          So why fall for the guy’s tricks?

    • Hi Nunz and Ed, This is precisely why I come here for guidance on these things. And it makes me evermore grateful that I became exposed to libertarianism here, and not from the Libertarian Party, or Gary Johnson, or these leftists that call themselves libertarians. Just when I think I have it down someone throws a curve ball at me and I need to come here to deprogram. I still think these Walter Block-type examples are interesting to contemplate on a purely intellectual level. The kid stealing from an orchard makes me think of the shitty neighbors all around who “lightly” violate property rights, by letting their animals defecate on your property, park on your property, litter on your property, etc. No reasonable person would say violent retaliation in any of those scenarios is appropriate, but you can’t just let people violate your rights, even to a slight degree. If you ignore it, they’ll tend to do it over and over again. Some people may consider the above examples non-issues, others consider them violations.

      Again, just an intellectual scenario pretending we live in a society guided by the NAP and property rights. I know the practical answer is to just get away from people, as humans seem to never follow the golden rule, or be moral. You’ll deal with them in a libertarian world just like you do in this world.

      • “I still think these Walter Block-type examples are interesting to contemplate on a purely intellectual level. ”

        Maybe you’ll get over that someday. I hope you do. That kind of “intellectual exercise” is worse than a waste of time and energy. It can serve to turn off the very people you might want to interest in learning about libertarian principles.

        About property rights, the main violators I want to guard against are governments. I have more property than I can patrol or watch over myself, and I can dismiss a neighbor’s dog shitting somewhere in my place, or someone parking a car on a spot so far from my house that I won’t even know about it. A kid taking an apple, or some berries, or even a bushel of pears is not harming me. Little things like that with neighbors don’t really even bear noticing.

        Where real people in the real world need to be watchful is in the area of government thieves trying to take everything. If I’m sitting around with some bunch of egghead college professors who want to debate whether or not I’m ideologically pure enough in my regard for the sacred NAP, for them to consider me a libertarian, then I’m probably not paying enough attention to what’s real.

        • Ed, you might feel differently if your property consisted of a 40’x60′ lot, with a house occupying most of that- and the 30 square feet of open space you have might be the only place to park your car- and if someone else were to park there, or even just block it in, in the city where space is at such a premium, it could impact you severely. Or maybe on that little lot you have one fig tree with 3 figs, and some teenaper steals the 3 figs….suddenly, things become a lot more valuable, and the disregarding of your rights and abuse of your property by others would seem very egregious.

          It is the principle that counts. Whether you have 1000 acres or a 60×100′ lot, or a rented apartment…if someone shows disregard and disfain for your rights, they are tipping their hand as to their true character….and even if you don’t consider their disregard for your rights a problem because their current actions may not affect you…when they start doing something which does affect you, they are going to be harder to deal with because you let them get away with abusing your rights in the past, so now they don’t think there is even anything wrong with what they are doing.

          Back when I was building my big out-building, there were these people renting the trailer just down the road, and their Austrailian shepherd would come over and hang out with me. I loved the dog to death, but he would sometimes cause a problem for the outside cats that I feed, and he was becoming destructive- peeing on my new trees and shrubs, and he even broke my good 25′ tape measure…. So every time he’d come over, I’d throw him in my van and drive him home, and knock on the door and kindly tell the lady to please keep him at home because he’s causing problems,. plus sooner or later he’ll get hit by a car, crossing the road.

          This went on quite a few times. The lady would always say sorry…but the next day Bandit would be back! Finally, while returning him yet again, I told her that from now on, any damage he does, “you’re paying for”. That did it…..then they finally kept him home, until such time as they moved.

      • Brandonjin, I think that you are SO right on all of those points there!

        I’m not very familiar with Block, but I do agree with you that testing ideas by reducing things to a simple, yet relateable scenario, can indeed be a great way to test ideas- as long as we keep things in context. i.e. the balloon scenario would not be a good example as pertains to abortion, as the balloon owner did not create the guest.

        As an anarchistic “purist”, I like to imagine any given scenario in the context of an anarchistic society- i.e. if there is no government, it is up to the individual/family/voluntarily-associated group to enact justice- and that in itself would make people a lot more respectful of other’s rights, because if you get people mad at you and they seek justice/retribution/vengeance, you can’t call the porkers to come and escalate the situation.

        Some people feel that an anarchistic world would embolden criminal types to run wild, but I believe just the opposite would happen: Without anyone to hinder things like self-defense; equalization of power; and the exacting of justice, we would have a lot more of those things, and criminal types/violators of NAP would have to count the cost before acting, and learn to walk on eggshells.

        And again, very brilliant what you say about the Golden Rule.

        We’d probably have a lot more of that in the above-mentioned scenario….but in the present world, anywhere people are inclose proximity to one another, we seem to have an endless supply of clods who are rude, uncaring, disrespectful and abusive, AND a lot of government, supposedly to “protect” us from such- i.e. from the people who voted to put that government in office… (LOL- their political system sounds ridiculous when it is merely accurately described, doesn’t it?!)

        I guess that is why the powers that be have herded everyone into cities. The average schlepp thinks that more tyranny is the answer to “protect” them from the obnoxious deeds of their neighbors, and crime- so put ’em in an environment where those things flourish, and they will not only tolerate tyranny, but rather demand it!

        Oh, and re: the kid stealing the piece of fruit: I can tell you (and this was within my lifetime)- things were certainly better when a property owner could put the fear of god into a kid, and genuinely make him afraid- as opposed to today, where kids know that they are a protected species who can not be harmed no matter what they do!

        I remember when I was c. 12, my cousin and I found these old ramshackled bungalows in the woods. You had to picture this: 60 miles east of NYC, but it felt like we were in the deep woods of Bumohuct county, Georgia! We entered one of the bungalows- there were no signs of life- but it was fully furnished. We opened the ancient refrigerator, and saw that it was full of food…fresh food. Uh-oh….this dump is inhabited! We started to leave, but were met my this big fat beer-bellied old guy in a wife-beater T-shirt, who looked like the requisite Georgia sheriff that one would expect in such a place!

        He cornered us and started saying something about how we must be the ones responsible for all the break-ins that had been happening lately (Yeah…us two lilly-white wimpy girlish 12 year-olds!) and that we weren’t going anywhere and that he was calling “the PO-leece”…..

        We managed to escape and were quite scared, and learned a valuable lesson about being careful to make sure a building is truly abandoned before exploring it.

        Imagine that scenario today: The snotty-assed kids would curse the guy in the wife-beater, and whip out their cell phone and call child protective services, who would sned the pigs and arrest the guy….

        This is why things just keep getting exponentially worse now…and why it’s not going to end until this society goes down in flames.

    • Beware “working from home”. That is a perfect excuse for employers to outsource jobs to the likes of India. After all, if you can do your job on a computer from home, then your boss will reckon, why not have some guy in India or China do that job for less pay from a computer in his home?

      No one seems to think about this. But a number of employers seem to have backed away from allowing employees to work from home recently anyway due to abuses.

      • If working from home pays more than commuting because it saves them the cost of providing everything, it could prove to be an entree into the virtual workforce. If your skills aren’t superior, no border is going to hold your domestic job.

  22. How about the millions of hours wasted on clogged highways everywhere. In the 1950s through the mid 1970s, highways flowed smoothly. Today, the same highways have 5 times as many cars. Cities have had fairly agressive freeway expansion in the last 30 years, but rural areas have languished. Flash traffic jams occur as a capacity collapse ensues on the country’s rural interstates. Other times, left lane driving and slowdowns cause cars to accelerate and decelerate, adding to the nation’s fuel consumption. These issues are ignored by politicians on the take.

  23. Heck, just making the side mirrors more aerodynamic and/or using those solid “racing style” wheel covers, will save 1-2 mpg. So why isn’t that mandated? Regardless, free energy magnet motors are ready to go off the shelf anyway, then cars wouldn’t need any fuel at all and would last a lifetime – but OF COURSE we can’t have that!

  24. Heres an intersting anomaly I just found which shows how much government cares about fuel efficiency or emissions, and not just extracting money from your pocket and restricting human movement.

    Here in the UK, our Dear Mayor Sadiq Khan (a key player in the government 15 years ago which irrationally promoted diesel for all purposes by taxing petrol cars) has introduced a T charge in London to discourage diesel…..

    Now, my humble 12 year old BMW x3, 2.0 turbo diesel engine getting up to 35+MPG on the highway, emitting so little that every year annual emissions test gives an error that its not detecting anything coming out of the tail pipe IS subject to the T charge just because its an old diesel. Ok, fair enough (well not really) but if thats the benchmarking being set…..

    BUT – the new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT…. 6.4 v8 just under 500horses… 20MPG at best…. is somehow so “green” that its NOT subject to the charge!!

    Now I hope the bastards stay retarded and ignorant and dont tax it as I hope to get one soon…. but then one wonders why government always screws up everything it does!!

  25. Most “planners” are in fact, doing the complete opposite. Slowing traffic. We have to “calm” the traffic they say.

    Just removing unnecessary traffic signals alone would save a ton of time and money. In my own community alone, I would remove all the traffic signals they have added over the last twenty years. My town has not grown at all in the last thirty. Not a single one of those in new locations is really needed. Plus they use $30,000 to $300,000 worth of electric ever year.

    • That “calming traffic” bullshit is mean to DIVERT traffic from what folks FREELY choose. Here in “Sack-of-Tomatoes” (Sacramento, CA), there is a veritable maze of dead ends, barriers, and the fashionable “traffic circle”, which accomplishes NOTHING. Why? It’s to keep folks commuting into downtown Sac from using these largely residential streets and “bothering” the folks there with their traffic, never mind that folks that live in the fashionable “Fab 40s” and similar areas WANTED to be close to the “city life”!

      It gets even better where I work (the former McClellan AFB, now repurposed as an industrial park). Traffic eastbound from there on Madison Ave is subject to an infurating amount of red lights and unnecessary waits…simply to keep the interchange at I-80 and Madison from clogging up. The “solution” is “Piss on you folks” that work in an industrial area, we freeway commuters have PRIORITY..and so on. All to keep an appearance that CalTrans actally has its shit together, which it doesn’t, of course.

  26. Has anyone noticed that elites are slowly trying to send everybody off to the concentration camps?

    The homeless, sex offenders, drunks, potheads, illegal immigrants, Muslims, prostitutes, gamblers, business people, protesters, dissidents, gun owners, and right-wingers are gradually being targeted.



    What will you do when they come for you?


  27. The very idea of “syncing” lights is fallacious. Except in a very limited sense (Like syncing them to give cars on one particular thoroughfare priority) or in limited places (e.g. a small town with one main road). In the asphalt jungles which are all American cities, suburbs and all but the smallest towns, syncing the lights so that traffic can flow freely on some roads, merely snafu’s intersecting roads and their cross streets, and their intersecting roads and cross streets, and THEIR…. (well, you get the idea..).

    Even if you look down a road and see all greens, at some point, the light is going to have to change to let cross traffic flow, and one of those lights is going to catch you. The more lights…the more times you are going to catch a red.

    Only place I’ve ever seen syncing work somewhat, was in an area of FL along the Gulf coast, where US 19 (If memory serves) is virtually the ONLY main road through a bunch of towns- so it’s basically: Synce the lights on 19, ’cause all intersecting roads are just essentially feeder roads for 19…and you wait at a red to get on 19, and then once you’re on….you’re on the “priority road”. But the vast majority of places aren’t like that.

    Even here in Bumpkinsville- the town where I does my shopping- pop. 12K- The lights along the main road are indeed synced…and if you drive at the appropriate speed (My vehicles don’t go that slow…) you’ll catch several greens in a row- but even in that small town, there are a couple of major intersections…with long lights and cars which would also like to occasionally get a green- so it’s really impossible- even in that limited environment- to make syncing work well- so you can forget about bigger towns, metro areas and cities….just ain’t gonna happen.

    Then, add to the mix: Lights that change in response to transponders to give “emergency vehicles” priority [Or in some places now, to even give buses prioritty…]. Lights that are triggered by the presence of vehicles; Left turn lanes extend the oncoming red the more vehicles there are making a left; pedestrian crossings that extend the green when a pedestrian pushes the little button….etc.

    So with all this, and the same things happening on all other nearby and intersecting roads, how would it be possible to sync lights, since every little thing effects not only the intersection at which it happens, but all nearby roads?

    Answer: It’s impossible.

    Another “miracle of technology” they’d like us to believe, but which really doesn’t exist. Any place where is any traffic, no matter what they do, it pretty much comes down to a chess game: Inch yours forward a space, and then the other guy gets to move his”- until you inch through the town or city, little by little…stop and go- and when you have the green, the guy on the cross street is cursing and saying “Why can’t they sync these lights?!”.

    • Yes, you are correct. However, the side streets are already screwed up now. Sure, you can’t fix everything but, having major surface streets synched would at least solve the worst of the problem.

      The real problem is with GovCo. Back in 1981 or 82 there was a public hearing on building a bridge on Dale Mabry Hwy over Waters Ave. If you lived in the Tampa Bay area back then or since, you know the intersection. “Worst Intersection in The State”. They had many Ayatollahs from Tallahassee down for the event. I mentioned synching the lights on Big Dale and was told that, “well, we’d have to get some money to do a study…”. It’s a time/speed/distance problem that any second year algebra student could solve fer cryin’ out loud and this ditz is talking about “studies”. The capper was when a female ayatollah I was speaking with told me she would not support any new construction until people started taking mass transit. The department she headed? New road construction.

    • N- it does work somewhat as you say with high volume arterial roads where most of the intersections are essentially feeders. And when these are working right, they do help a lot. This fact is a clue to the real problem.

      However, we’re still stuck in the lowest common denominator- signs/signals and force- because civil engineers haven’t adapted to the fact that cars (and other fast moving vehicles) exist.

      The only real solution is to design the roads for cars, not horses, buggies, pedestrians, and bicycles. That would involve lots of cloverleafs, pedestrian overpass/underpasses, and roundabouts to eliminate lights and signs entirely. There are flaws with this too, but nothing like the current mess. The lights, the crosswalks, the signage, all make for a barely functional road system. And too many cops, lawyers, judges, and politicians are feeding at the trough to have any real progress on this.

      • True, Ernie, but the problem with cloverleafs and roundabouts, etc. is that they take up a lot of real estate- and even where that might not be a problem, the fact is, if you have a lot of such things in close proximity, they really don’t work all that great either- they just kinda keep traffic somewhat moving…but very slowly.

        Ultimately, there really is NO way to have the volume of traffic that we have in most places these days, and to keep it moving. The real culprit is “zoning and planning”- segregating every place into a place for a specific use…i.e. you live in one place; work in another; shop in yet another; etc. It requires everyone to just drive and drive, every day, for every little thing.

        Freaking kids can’t even play in the neighborhood anymore or ride a bike to get somewhere…they have to be chauffeured around to organized activities and be driven everywhere.

    • With synchronized traffic lights you get -one- red signal. Without them you may get every red signal. Huge difference.

      I used to live in an area where once upon a time I would get one red signal and if I progressed at ~5mph under the PSL I would get all greens from then on until the street terminated. Everyone in the neighborhood apparently knew it and I never had an issue doing 5mph under. It seemed most everyone figured it out.

      • The key word there, Brent, is YOU may get all greens. If you’re on the road that is given priority. Other roads: Not so much. And if two or more high-priority roads intersect….. well….it’s pretty much a wash. Everybody can’t always have clear sailing through all greens. For every green you have…someone else has a red. Works good where you have only one (or a very limited number) of major roads in one particular area.

        That’s why the study that Eric quotes is farcical [Not criticizing Eric- but rather, the educated idiots who’d author such a “study”]- It seems as though it is based on the premise that lights could somehow be synced in every place so that all drivers could always have greens….

    • Such synchronization depends highly on local driving patterns. For example, in Fresno, before the freeways were FINALLY put in (with the ’41 going from downtown to Bullard in the early 80’s, then finally extended across the San Joaquin river into Madera county by 2008) commute traffic was mainly on north-south thoroughfares like Palm, Blackstone, First St, Cedar, Chestnut, and Clovis avenues. On First Street, there were signs posted stating that the lights were ‘timed’ for 33 mph…considering that the speed limit was 40, going 33 like some old lady might have seem “Clover-iffic”…but…IF you timed them right, you could cruise from downtown all the way up through town without hitting a red light. It was at least at the time an honest-to-god effort to keep traffic moving.

  28. What the government thinks of for gas mileage. Just look at their personal fleet. At the lowest local level cops driver 15-10 mpg vehicles, Humvees get 8 hwy/4 city, F22 raptor 2900 gallons per hour, and the military as a whole uses an estimated 340,000 barrels of oil per day making it the largest single consumer of petroleum products in the world. Maybe thats why they want you in the electric car so that they can keep their taps flowing. If they really cared all cops would be in chevy bolts. Hypocrisy to the highest degree.

  29. Why not make Cold Air Intakes or custom tunes government standard or manual transmissions standard so everyone gets 4-5 MPG+? Most Silverado owners know first hand that the AFM burns oil and actually does not save any gas as when it is tuned out they see 1-2 MPG increase. Geee……

    • I’ll raise you 1. Disable the catalytic converter over temp protection, I saw a 1 mpg uptick in town after doing it to my car (don’t have any highway data yet). I was seeing 12.5:1 afr while cruising when the cat protect mode switched on (car is tuned to run a touch lean – around 14.8/14.9:1 when not in p.e.).

    • Brazos, in most Tx counties there is no diagnostic engine test for inspection so diesel DEF delete kits are flying off the shelves.

      No matter what flavor you like they all purr without all that bs. You can hear the difference idling and fuel mileage and power both go up and temps go down.

      The really insane part is subbing particulate matter from constant to burning it all using more fuel in something like a 5 minute window.

      Being on the road I see the new big rigs start spewing a huge amount of unburned fuel and particulate matter for several miles then go back to filling the trap.

      That’s some of the most stupid shit ever sold by the climate change /clean green crowd.

      As Mark Twain said “If voting made a difference they wouldn’t let you “.

      He’d shit a brick to see what we have now.

      • Hi Eight,

        For years – literally – I drove myself slightly crazy trying to understand why the government does what it does. Because it so obviously made no sense, if you assumed the object was the stated one. But once you understand that the object is not “clean air” (though the lower echelons probably believe this and are innocent in that sense) but rather to by steps render the internal combustion engine and thereby the privately owned car (for the average person) an economically impossible thing, then it all makes sense.

        Controlling mobility is just as important as controlling the money supply.

        The analogy is free ranging cattle on the plains of Texas … vs. cattle on a feed lot, preparatory to being transformed into ground round.

        Americans were once free-range. Relatively free. Now we are just steaks-in-waiting, without even the comfort of being able to roam around and munch grass for a few years without being tormented by “cowboys” all day long.

        • If you ditch the cell phone they can’t track or listen to you. If you use cash they can’t tell where you fill up the tank. Damage the license plate and you can possibly oavid the plate readers. need to disambel the on star too. Wear a hoodie, galsses, fake ears, and a bandge on your cheeks and the cameras cannot ID you. Baggy pants help too. ALso need to put a rock in one shoe and or a pair of ankle weithts on one leg, and one on a wrist so your gait does not give you away. There are ways to hide.

        • Exactly Eric, once the real goals are understood government is not stupid at all. Almost everything makes perfect sense from the goals and benefits of those with the power and influence.

          And we’re the crazy conspiracy theorists because we see how the decisions made in government benefit those in government and the people who influence them. Meanwhile those who consider those in government to be perfect selfless beings those people are normal and sane…..

  30. The town I live near has it’s “main drag”, a 4+turn deal that runs pretty much the entire county. The speed limit on the city portion of the road is 35 mph. The lights are synchronized at around 43 mph.

    Let that roll around in your head for a while.

    • I’ve noticed that as well, that in some stretches if you are speeding or running yellow-red lights you will hit all the lights in sync as opposed to following the speed limit.

      • Another interesting thing is that if lights are synched for, let’s say, 25 mph they are also synched in multiples of that speed. Trust me, it took no time at all to cross Akron, OH on Market st. at 75 one early morning…never hit a red light…

        • Or, maybe, Mark, it’s that the main raods are just set to all green at times when there’s no traffic, until a car at a cross street triggers a red? [Although what you say about multiples is likely true also].

          I know, in the shopping town here- go there pretty much between 6PM and 7AM and you can just zip through on any of the major roads and never hit a red, no matter how fast or slow you go, ’cause they stay green all the time unless they have a reason to change.

          • These were in sync, they even had signs telling you this. The problem with actuating side roads is that, e.g. Tampa, you’d finally get a clear stretch of road and then, BAM, someone would pull up from a side street and stop dozens of cars that were moving at or above the speed limit. Rear end collisions were the order of the day. If the lights had been synched up and the side actuation caused the light to go into rotation instead of default green it would have made things much easier.

            • Mark,
              I know exactly what you’re saying. You’re cruising down the main road and up ahead you see someone on the side road and they trip the sensor and the light changes, and you’re like, fuck! I get what you’re saying, instead of syncing the lights they should put sensors in the road farther up from the intersection so that if there’s a gaggle of cars coming toward the intersection the sensors will recognize that and will wait till those cars go by before allowing the light to change.

              • Hi Adam,

                Agreed – and the lights could easily be programmed to do exactly that. Most are “smart, with cameras and such and can “see” the traffic. Coordinating things so that traffic flows smoothly could be done; they just don’t want to do it. They do the opposite, via light timed to “calm” (their word) traffic, speed bumps, reduction of traffic lanes (this is happening all over the country) and every other thing you can imagine to make driving more tedious and thus to discourage it.

                • Darnedest thing, every time one of my vehicles comes within ten feet of a speed hump on a road my horn starts blaring until I’m about ten feet past the hump. Doesn’t seem to do it in parking lots, just streets. Been meanin’ to get that looked at…weird…

                  • Around my way there’s a sleepy little hick town so precious it has three speed humps in a row smack in the middle of a 20 mile stretch of otherwise 50mph road..in case you want to come troubleshoot it here


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