Morning Links

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
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102 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    I’ve heard the expression “when pigs fly.”
    But when sharks fly, that’s proof, things have gotten really screwy.
    Damn Global Warming.

  2. #2 |  William Anderson | 

    I’m glad you had Drew’s endorsement today. He definitely has added good sense to that editorial page, especially considering that the editorial page of the old Chattanooga Times is on the opposite page, and it simply echoes the daily talking points of the Democratic Party. Glad there is some independent thinking going on in Chattanooga journalism!

  3. #3 |  Weird Willy | 

    Radley, it seems that you need to study and think about the issue of causation a bit more extensively. The article you linked to provides no “evidence” that bans on texting while driving makes the roads less safe; the only thing it suggests is that perhaps some miscreants may choose to disregard the safety of others even more recklessly in response to a wholly reasonable ban on their patently unsafe behavior. This article does not indicate that there is anything wrong with such laws, only that there may be something very wrong with some of the people whose destructive behavior those laws are intended to restrict.

  4. #4 |  James Hare | 

    Weird Willy:
    Existing laws governing distracted driving could very easily be used to deal with the “destructive behavior those laws are intended to restrict” without any new laws. Using existing distracted driving statutes also has the benefit of attacking the actual problem of distracted driving instead of a single cause of distracted driving. Wouldn’t it be preferable for police officers to enforce bans on distracted driving rather than trying to find all behaviors that cause distracted driving and outlawing each behavior separately?

  5. #5 |  Bob | 

    I mean, who among us hasn’t faked cancer, pretended to be a doctor online, contacted a friend online while posing as said doctor, then persuaded that friend to have sex with us as a way of treating the fake cancer?

    Wow, that was the most annoying site I’ve ever seen. Could there have been more shit all going off at once there?

  6. #6 |  ceanf | 

    @weird willy

    only amateurs have to look at their phone when they are texting while driving. so if i am a miscreant for texting and driving, you are a miscreant for changing your radio station while driving, which i guarantee takes your eyes off the road for longer than mine when i text and drive.

  7. #7 |  John Thacker | 

    “The article you linked to provides no “evidence” that bans on texting while driving makes the roads less safe;”

    Did you actually read the article, Weird Willy? It mentions an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, which provides evidence and the entire reason for the article. The study itself is about two years old; not entirely surely why this TV station waited until now to mention it. Perhaps Utah is considering such laws.

    Here’s a link to the IIHS press release, which has a link to the study. There’s much more evidence that the bans don’t work (as currently enforced, if people want that out) than that they do.

    As would have been obvious if you had read the article and then attempted to confirm the claim about the IIHS.

  8. #8 |  Weird Willy | 

    “Wouldn’t it be preferable for police officers to enforce bans on distracted driving rather than trying to find all behaviors that cause distracted driving and outlawing each behavior separately?”

    No, if anything it would be far preferable to eliminate the vague, wholly subjective, and often unenforceable statutes that ban the nondescript act of “distracted driving” and replace them with prohibitions on specific identifiable, indisputably dangerous and obstructive activities like texting while driving. This is especially so from a Libertarian perspective. Far better to seek enforcement against only specifically identifiable public safety hazards than to give cops an open license to stop and cite drivers because they think some unspecified act may have been “distracting.” Further, since the issue of ambiguity is removed in the case of texting while driving, I would prefer that the penalties for doing so would be greater than those for some undefined (and possibly imaginary) transgression contemplated by a cop. This distinction in penalties would require either a separate specification under the existing statute or a separate statute entirely, and I am fine with the separate statute.

  9. #9 |  John Thacker | 

    I would say that it’s not “new” evidence, though, since the study is two years old. Naturally, the Feds attacked it with a “it’s because we’re not cracking down hard enough” trope we’ve seen from Prohibition types before.

  10. #10 |  John Thacker | 

    Unless, Weird Willy, the evidence is that such statutes only replace texting while driving with furtive texting while driving, which is worse. The IIHS study suggests that, as the article mentioned.

    Do you have any studies that point in the opposite direction to show me? I’m really only familiar with the IIHS one.

  11. #11 |  Ariel | 

    James Hare,

    Go to distraction.gov and you’ll get a clear indication of where distracted driving laws will go. Only both hands on the wheel, looking straight ahead, and talking to no one constitutes undistracted driving. I prefer laws that deal with clearly defined, observable actions regarding driving.

  12. #12 |  Weird Willy | 

    John Thacker,

    Yes, I read the article (and have previously read the linked study), and if you also read it then you realize that it provided no evidence of the sort that Radley sought to adduce in support of his assertion. The fact remains that these laws do not cause the anti-social actions or dispositions of miscreants, the miscreants do.

  13. #13 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Weird Willy, I’m not seeing the logic fallacy you are seeing. The proposition is that there is more evidence that the ban is making driving less safe. No one is promoting any type of distracted driving as a safe activity.

    In this particular case, the word “evidence” is used and that can describe someone’s expert testimony (evidence), eye witness accounts (evidence), and statistics…all of which might be factually incorrect but still evidence.

  14. #14 |  Radley Balko | 

    This article does not indicate that there is anything wrong with such laws, only that there may be something very wrong with some of the people whose destructive behavior those laws are intended to restrict.

    If the goal is to improve highway safety, should we pass laws based on how people actually behave, or on how we wish they’d behave?

  15. #15 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    “Obama’s drone assassination program is now dropping sharks on people from the sky. Or maybe it was just a bird.”

    I thought the drones were a military program. This, frankly, sounds like the idiots at the CIA.

    Regarding the texting ban; I am in general agreement with the ‘the distracted driving laws should cover this’ position, BUT I think that the cause of the rise in accidents is not the ban (since an actual effort to enforce the existing ‘driving while distracted’ laws would have the same effect) but the sheer boneheadedness of the texters.

  16. #16 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Radley Balko,

    Regarding comment #14; I don’t think it’s that simple. We have laws against murder based on how we wish people would behave, no? And as I pointed out, above, if the distracted driving laws were enforced, that would have the same effect, wouldn’t it? Should we do away with those laws?

    I think the problem with the texting ban is the proliferation of laws that cover already covered ground, passed entirely so that politicians ca say they are doing something. I don’t think that you should get a ticket for texting, or changing the radio, or putting on make-up while driving UNLESS you are also driving in an unsafe manner – and I want to see the video. But if you are doing something idiotic that causes you to endanger other people you ought to get clipped for it.

  17. #17 |  MH | 

    “Go to distraction.gov and you’ll get a clear indication of where distracted driving laws will go. Only both hands on the wheel, looking straight ahead, and talking to no one constitutes undistracted driving.”

    This would save many lives, as it would be illegal to put the car in gear (taking a hand off the wheel) so no one could drive legally.

  18. #18 |  Comrade Dread | 

    Obama’s drone assassination program is now dropping sharks on people from the sky. Or maybe it was just a bird.

    You know, if they were, and it worked, I think I’d be okay with that just on the sheer scale of awesomeness of weaponizing sharks.

    The only thing more awesome would be a platoon of bear-shark hybrids.

  19. #19 |  Bob | 

    More evidence that ban on texting while driving make the roads less safe.

    It’s pointless to pass laws telling people how to drive “right”.

    My strategy is to drive a vehicle that weighs north of 6000 pounds. That way, when some clown crosses the center line because they’re texting / eating / getting fellated etc, I’ll be the one to survive the crash. And as a bonus, after the country totally collapses financially, my heavy vehicle will be able to support the armor plates needed to survive! Sure, it gets lousy fuel economy, but your tax dollars help by perpetuating the petrodollar system! It’s win-win for me.

  20. #20 |  Weird Willy | 

    Yes, Radley, we should pass laws based on how people actually behave. When we do this, we should account for all people, social and anti-social alike. In doing so, we need to realize that there will always be a certain number of miscreants whose behavior is simply beyond reasonable appeal and is essentially unreformable. This has absolutely *nothing* to do with the issues at hand, which are whether texting bans themselves are making the roads less safe and whether what you have offered constitutes evidence that they are.

  21. #21 |  Weird Willy | 

    Boyd Durkin,

    Thank you for the attempted lesson on evidence. I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but I am afraid that you efforts are a bit mistimed. I may have found your instruction a bit more useful many years ago, prior to my publishing an award-winning article on evidence issues in historical studies and receiving the CALI Award for all evidence sections in my second year at law school. Despite its tardiness, however, I still appreciate your overture.

  22. #22 |  MH | 

    “We have laws against murder based on how we wish people would behave, no? And as I pointed out, above, if the distracted driving laws were enforced, that would have the same effect, wouldn’t it? Should we do away with those laws?”

    The law should take into account the incentives it creates. If, instead of preventing texting, the law encourages texters to text more furtively, becoming even more distracted than they would otherwise be, then law is a failure. You can blame the texters (“miscreants”) for their texting, but the law is still a failure.

    The difficulty here is the texter’s perception of low risk, combined with the difficulty of enforcement. In that respect it’s different from laws against murder, or laws against wreckless driving.

  23. #23 |  AlgerHiss | 

    Far more important to driver’s rights than AAA ever was is The National Motorists Association:

    http://www.motorists.org/

    They do great work on red light cameras, speed cameras, speed traps and all things driving: They’ve a huge libertarian streak running through them.

  24. #24 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    MH,

    I have been saying this since the Cell Phone laws were passed; why do we care what people are doing UNLESS there’s been an accident? The laws should be written so that additional penalties kick in if there is property damage of harm to others done while you were working your texting-thumbs or your ratchet-jaw. But such a law would probably have the same effects, as nitwits tried to ‘hide’ an activity that their cell phone company was documenting in realtime. People are idiots. That doesn’t mean we should surrender to the idiocy.

  25. #25 |  Quiet Desperation | 

    Yeah, freedom and liberty and all that, but as an engineer, I hear “drones armed with sharks” and I’m asking where to send my resume.

  26. #26 |  Burgers Allday | 

    Burgers here.

    STRONGLY recommend the solitary confinement article. Guy is an excellent writer and did some great research.

    On a related note, Craig (?) Montfort has now spent a couple years in solitary. He made the news because they finally gave him a tv for loneliness. You might remember him as the guy who looked like a cross between Ben Affleck and Obama, who got so mad that the policeman slammed the 15 yo into the cell wall (on video) that he went out and killed a policeman.

    Thing is, he hasn’t been tried or convicted yet. Still gets solitary. That seems bad in a different way than the abuses noted in the excellent Mother Jones artie.

    Here is a link:

    http://www.policeone.com/news/6018085-Accused-Seattle-cop-killer-gets-TV-for-loneliness/

    “Oh . . . that Burgers.” ™

  27. #27 |  En Passant | 

    #25 Quiet Desperation wrote October 24th, 2012 at 1:28 pm:

    Yeah, freedom and liberty and all that, but as an engineer, I hear “drones armed with sharks” and I’m asking where to send my resume.

    The really high demand is for bio-electrical engineers — to figure out how to put a laser on their heads.

  28. #28 |  Marshall | 

    This thread reminds me of the rat bounty tale often used to illustrate the themes of “unintended consequences” and “perverse incentives” that laws can create. Cliff notes: 1) town has rat problem, 2) town council passes law that gives a reward for rat tails with the intention of reducing the rat infestation, 3) large amounts of rat tails start being turned in, 4) rat population explodes to heights never seen, 5) turns out people began farming rats in response to the law.

    While reasonable people would realize this was a poorly thought out law, you can be sure there would also be some Weird Willy type stomping his feet and whining about how the world did not bend to the state’s will. “Well it’s not the law’s fault those miscreants reacted that way! It’s a reasonable law!”

  29. #29 |  Ariel | 

    Ceanf,

    I have two teenage girls and all their friends to draw from. I have yet to meet one that can read a text sent to them without looking at the phone. They also tend to use both thumbs to write a text.

    C.S.P.S, I think by the time of an accident it’s a little too late. OTH, unless there’s one cop car for every 10 or 20 other cars, the only thing these laws will really do is pile on more punishment after. We already had laws that cover the resultant behavior (weaving, red-light running, permanent parking at a stop-light, etc.). I do think that cellphone usage should only be hands-free while driving, but have no doubt that some people will talk to the phone rather than the windshield, just as they do to passengers.

  30. #30 |  Cyto | 

    She didn’t know about it because it isn’t a kill list. It is a disposition matrix. Duh.

  31. #31 |  Cyto | 

    #28 | Marshall |

    I love your take on unintended consequences. We run into this problem all the time at work – our sales force and most of the staff is driven by incentive pay and bonuses. Even the most carefully crafted policies can have unintended consequences. It takes years of experience and several failures to even begin to understand just how crafty people can be at exploiting weaknesses in a policy. Even then you’ll still be taught a lesson every now and then.

    Unfortunately, just like most things in life, this is one of those things that you can’t be told. You have to experience it yourself to really learn it. Prior to the college of hard knocks, most people use their powers of rationalization to convince themselves that “nobody would really do that”.

    Based on this experience, I’d say “no texting” is too far removed from the desired result (safe driving). In addition to the “don’t get caught, so lower the phone” idea, people will come up with other work-arounds to the law – speech recognition being an obvious possibility. If the incentives are great enough (“I really, really want to send a text”) and the immediate perceived risk is low enough (“I’m a really good driver and I’ll be quick”), you’ll not eradicate the behavior with “cause I said so” and a minuscule chance of being caught.

    Which is of course why the government is working to come up with a law requiring chips that disable cell phones while driving. (see what I mean about unintended consequences?)

  32. #32 |  celticdragon | 

    If the goal is to improve highway safety, should we pass laws based on how people actually behave, or on how we wish they’d behave?

    So…since outlawing capital murder just makes some people try to act furtively and not got caught killing another person…we just shouldn’t bother?

  33. #33 |  celticdragon | 

    Yeah, freedom and liberty and all that, but as an engineer, I hear “drones armed with sharks” and I’m asking where to send my resume.

    Me too. Of course, I also want lasers…

  34. #34 |  celticdragon | 

    I have been saying this since the Cell Phone laws were passed; why do we care what people are doing UNLESS there’s been an accident?

    As has already been pointed out, after the accident is a bit late, especially if the texting idiot has killed him/her self or another motorist…in which case your add-on penalties would be largely irrelevent anyway. (IE if the offender is dead, than he or she will not learn from it and if I am dead, the charges from that will vastly outweigh whatever you propose and I will not be magically brought back to life by them in any event. I would obviously rather not be dead in the first place, and idiots who text while driving threaten your life and my life when we are on the road.)

  35. #35 |  resistance | 

    Who coulda knowed that a mala prohibita law would not result in the desired outcome?

  36. #36 |  Highway | 

    The only possible value that a law specifically against “texting while driving” has is to signal that it’s a bad idea to do it. And really, we shouldn’t need a law to indicate that. You people who think you can read and write texts while driving safely are deluded. You can’t, and you are lucky that your inattentiveness has not caused you more problems. It’s a guarantee that you spend far more time looking at the screen than you think you do, that you travel much farther than you think you do in that time, and that many more things can happen that you don’t see than you think. It’s just a fact.

    We didn’t need any laws against texting and driving, tho, because the ultimate goal was already covered. How do police figure out someone is texting and driving? Usually because they’re driving poorly. And that was already against the law! Wandering in your lane, repeated quick corrections, inconsistent speed, these were already things that other people see, and know that you’re not paying attention to driving for whatever reason. And that reason doesn’t matter. If you’re not paying attention to your driving, you shouldn’t be driving.

    I don’t know why people decided that trying to focus on a little tiny phone screen while driving was an acceptable idea, but really it’s not. If you have this habit, I implore you to stop (I also think you should stop talking on the phone while driving, even hands free, but I fear that battle is long lost). You’re not as safe as you think. You’re not as good as you think. Really, you aren’t. Don’t stop it because it’s a law or not. Stop because it’s a dangerous behavior. And realize that if you get into an accident because of something like that, the person that’s sure to be in that accident is *you*.

  37. #37 |  Nick T. | 

    I think the texting issue is much like drug prohibition, logically. We *know* that some people will still use drugs, and we may know that some poeple will continue to text while driving. If we know these things we need to weigh to what extent the prohibited behavior will keep happening and whether its going “underground” will cause negative consequences that outweigh the benefits. The evidence is, of course, pretty solidly in on the drug war.

    I don’t think it’s helpful to use rubricks like making laws based on how we wish people behaved versus how they actually do, or ones that just write off miscreants.

    In trying to evaluate driving-while-texting prohibition looking at accident rates in states that have passed such laws is “evidence” for sure. Whether it should be given significant weight and credibility, is a very (more) important but separate issue. Evidence, as you clearly know, Weird Willy, given your sterling resume is anything that tends to prove an issue in question is more or less likely to be true.

  38. #38 |  MH | 

    “So…since outlawing capital murder just makes some people try to act furtively and not got caught killing another person…we just shouldn’t bother?”

    In moral and practical terms, the cost of legalized murder would be much greater than the cost of dealing with murderers’ efforts to evade capture. In contrast, it’s not at all clear that banning texting is having a deterrent effect, and may even make the problem worse if it encourages more dangerous texting.

    It seems to me that most people who text while driving are not all that concerned about safety, and would be willing to break the law when it conveniences them. Therefore, the texting ban only addresses the small subset of the population who are both reckless AND obsequious followers of the law. And that’s probably why it’s not having much effect.

  39. #39 |  red | 

    The laws increase accidents because people keep the phones below the dash level now not to be caught. I used to text at stop lights but I would always raise the phone up so I could see while I texted(Texting why moving is dangerous for me, so I don’t do it). With the new law I still text at stop lights but I have to keep the phone low and sometimes miss the signal change because of it.

  40. #40 |  Marshall | 

    celticdragon:

    The intention of a “no texting” law is, presumably, to lower the amount of accidents caused by texting while driving. If the law doesn’t do this, but in fact does the opposite, that makes it a pretty awful law.

    The intention of a law against capital murder generally has two desires: preventive and retributive. I think it is safe to say that a law against capital murder prevents [i]some[/i] murders through determent and [i]some[/i] murders through enforcement by locking up proven murderers, and is thus desirable. We also may wish to punish a murderer for having deprived someone of her right to life, even if in that instance there is no preventive effect to be had.

    So I don’t think your comparison is that solid. There is a lot in favor for prohibition of murder, knowing what we do. There is not for a texting-while-driving prohibition, knowing what we do. Your sentiments are reducible to, “It’s the thought that counts.”

  41. #41 |  Danny | 

    I couldn’t get the Morning Joe video. Either way Debbie is confused because she wasn’t going to admit to the US Citizens because she didn’t want to get added to the list. She probably knows that the administration “punishes its enemies and helps its friends” if that was the quote the president made.

  42. #42 |  MH | 

    “With the new law I still text at stop lights but I have to keep the phone low and sometimes miss the signal change because of it.”

    So you are not a reckless driver, just an asshole.

  43. #43 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    #31 | Cyto |

    Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense: Profiting From Evidence-Based Management would probably be of interest. IIRC, the conclusion is that incentive plans can work for things that people do as individuals, but they tend to damage cooperation.

  44. #44 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    RE: Gary Johnson endorsement…

    I commend the Chattanoga Times-Free Press for endorsing Johnson. I doubt I will be voting, but it is still nice to see a newspaper that is willing ignore the “don’t waste your vote” nonsense that continues to empower the two parties that keep U.S. corporatism chugging along.

    I find Johnson’s views to be mostly refreshing. Ending the war on drugs, less interventionist foreign policy, less corporate welfare. Sounds great to me. Of course, as a philosophical anarchist whose economic views are probably closest to mutualism, I would have some disagreements with Johnson as I would most LP supporters.

    One of the critiques I have of Johnson, and American libertarians (classical liberals) in general, is that their love of privatization–any privatization–blinds them to the fact that they are, in some cases, simply giving power over to another authoritarian hierarchy. Consider the following bullet point from the LP website:
    “As Governor of New Mexico, Johnson was known for his common-sense business approach to governing. He eliminated New Mexico’s budget deficit, cut the rate of growth in state government in half and privatized half of the state prisons.”

    In my view, prison privatization simply hands the power of the state over to a private entity. Private prisons are to criminal justice what Blackwater (or whatever it’s called now) is to the military apparatus. Privatizing prisons may be a way to save money, but it is also a way for the state to pass the buck when something goes wrong. So if an inmate dies suspiciously, the state can just say, “Hey, we aren’t liable for that. Acme Rent-a-Guard Corporation is!”

    Privatizing prisons, police or armies is a band-aid solution designed to win votes without having a hard conversation with the people about what government should or shouldn’t actually be doing. Instead of privatizing prisons, Governor Johnson could have fought the harder fight and said, “look most of these people shouldn’t even be in prison. Obviously most inmates aren’t in prison for forcible felonies.”

    With that said, Johnson is obviously a better choice than Obama or Romney and I would probably agree with him 60-75% of the time.

  45. #45 |  Bob | 

    #39: red

    The laws increase accidents because people keep the phones below the dash level now not to be caught. I used to text at stop lights but I would always raise the phone up so I could see while I texted(Texting why moving is dangerous for me, so I don’t do it). With the new law I still text at stop lights but I have to keep the phone low and sometimes miss the signal change because of it.

    Yup. This is why I drive a vehicle that is 6000 pounds plus.

  46. #46 |  red | 

    ““With the new law I still text at stop lights but I have to keep the phone low and sometimes miss the signal change because of it.”

    So you are not a reckless driver, just an asshole.”

    Who’s the biggest asshole, the guy trying to do something useful at a traffic light or the Nazis who pass these insane laws?

  47. #47 |  Phelps | 

    Didn’t It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia already do the cancer thing in “Charlie Has Cancer”?

  48. #48 |  Jay | 

    lol @ Godwin’s Law showing up here.

  49. #49 |  supercat | 

    One major problem with “texting while driving” laws is that they discourage the development of technologies which would facilitate safe communication with drivers. If someone is driving to a meeting 100 miles away and the meeting location or time gets changed, having a means of notifying the person before he reaches his destination is a good thing. The two technologies most suitable for that purpose are a voice telephone call and a text message. The voice call may not require a driver to look at a phone, but it has the disadvantage of generally requiring a driver to react to it at the time it is placed. A text message, by contrast, does not require such immediate reaction. If traffic conditions require a driver’s full attention, he can ignore any incoming messages until he can deal with them safely.

    To be sure, someone who is busy driving shouldn’t attempt to read War and Peace on a cell phone screen, nor attempt to write a dissertation on a cell-phone keypad, but that doesn’t imply that a cell phone couldn’t be designed which would allow a driver to glance at a message, determine whether it merits his attention, and hit one of a small number of buttons to send canned responses like “Yes”, “No”, “Call me”, “I’ll call you when I can”, etc. Such a device wouldn’t have to pose any more distraction to a driver than would a typical climate control system, but unfortunately none of the “anti-texting” laws I know of would make any allowance for them.

  50. #50 |  MikeV | 

    Distracted Driving:
    Some years ago I was on an expressway following a heavy truck. The truck was wandering over the road and looking very strange, so I pulled out to go around it. As I passed the drivers cab I looked up and saw an old portable TV setting on the passenger side dashboard and the driver was watching TV.

  51. #51 |  el coronado | 

    “With the new law I still text at stop lights but I have to keep the phone low and sometimes miss the signal change because of it.”

    At the risk of being labeled a nazi (LOL), Red, you sound like a kind of person who I see more & more of these days. The “Oh, that rule doesn’t apply to *me*” person. The one who shoots through the light 4 seconds after it turns red; the one who doesn’t pick up after his dog in a ‘pick up after your dog’ park; the one playing his stupidass music as loud as it’ll go while filling up; the one at the movies/concert who’s either talking on his precious little cellphone or trying to take video….I expect you know the type. The type of person whose pathetic, infantile rationale for these acts is always, at heart, just a variant of “Because _I wanted to_, that’s why!”. By your own admission (see above) you’re one of those guys.

    Actually, there IS a word for people like that: we call them “assholes”.

    Oh, dear. Does pointing that out make me a nazi? Let’s take a vote!

  52. #52 |  Red | 

    I follow a simply philosophy in life: Are my actions causing harm to others. Going through a light 4 seconds after it changes where I have a clear view of all directions and there’s no one around is fine. Going through a light where they’res other people around and I might harm someone isn’t. Picking up dog poop is always done because It would suck to have someone else step in it. That’s the golden rule and I follow it.

    The rules are suppose to be there to make us safer but they don’t. It’s been studied a bunch of times and it was found that areas with minimal traffic laws are actually the safest places to drive because people don’t have to spend so much time trying to obey an unnatural system and you spend more time watching the road and communicating with other drivers. The rules are actually there to tax you and give politicians a power high for making you follow rules that they and their enforces don’t have to follow. Cops are the most dangerous people to drive around because not only do they ignore all the rules, but they distract you by forcing to follow every rule to the letter to avoid that ticket.

    I was in 3 accidents within 2 years of getting my licence. Every accident happened because someone did something against the rules and I didn’t see it coming and thus couldn’t deal with it quickly enough. After that I learned to ignore the rules and watch the drivers. What are they doing, how are they thinking, and I learned how to navigate traffic without accidents because I learned how people actually operate. If you want a well working system it needs to be closely modeled how people actually do things, not on some arbitrary set of ever changing rules that just distracts people.

  53. #53 |  el coronado | 

    *sigh* I can tell you’re fairly young, Red, and I learned long ago arguing with a youngun is a waste of time. But what the hell – I’ll give it one more shot. Let’s use your own words, shall we?

    1) “I was in 3 accidents [...] because someone did something against the rules.” So the person who said ‘Awww, that rule don’t apply to ME!’ caused you to have an accident. His/her selfish and/or stupid assholishness caused YOU to have an accident, causing you all the (presumably) attendant pain, suffering, trouble, and monetary loss that accidents bring. Right? So assholes like that are…how shall we say this…they’re “bad people” because they shit all over the usual social contracts for their own convenience. Right?

    2) OK! Now let’s take a look at another thing you also said: “I still text at stop lights [...] and sometimes miss the signal change because of it.” Behavior that could easily cause an accident, because everyone else on the road is expecting you to not be an asshole, and keep up your end of the social contract, and drive properly. You do this even after you found out the hard way that behavior can cause others pain & suffering & inconvenience.

    Yet you’re still doing it. On purpose. And in your comment #52, you’re *defending* that behavior. See the problem?

  54. #54 |  Fascist Nation | 

    Good lord. Claiming to be a doctor to bag a girl is illegal. I’ll have to go back to alcohol.

  55. #55 |  Weird Willy | 

    Nick T.

    “…looking at accident rates in states that have passed such laws is “evidence” [of occurence] for sure.”

    I would not even care to dispute that, but that is, of course, quite irrelevant. We were examining evidence of causation, not one of occurrence (i.e., what is making the roads less safe). As Mr. Durkin overlooked in his previous post, information only becomes evidence when it is probative of and relevant to the issue at hand. What may be evidence of the occurrence elephantine migration is not evidence of its cause. Similarly, crime statistics provide no evidence of handguns causing crime, just as the present evidence of accident occurrence does not account for accident causation. I find it remarkable that people here would apparently choose not to see that the causal factor in these latter two exemplars is purely the behavior of miscreants.

    BTW, congratulations, Marshall! Your inept analogy and deliberate, mindless mischaracterization of “Weird Willy types” in your post *#28 wins you the Imbecile of the Day Award! I am sure your mother will be very proud.

  56. #56 |  Marshall | 

    Thanks Willy, that means a lot coming from someone so versed in spitting out sophist bullshit.

    Your blabbering about how the law doesn’t “cause” the accidents, but rather “miscreants may choose to disregard the safety of others even more… in response to a ban on their patently unsafe behavior” is an irrelevant distinction for quacks. Laws such as this are put in place to affect people’s behavior — it is entirely reasonable to judge the law as bad if people “respond” poorly. It doesn’t mean that certain people become blameless for their actions (these “miscreants”); it means the law has created perverse incentives.

    If the law worked — people were deterred from texting, accidents lessened — and someone said the law prevented accidents, I sincerely doubt you’d be here babbling about how “the law didn’t ‘prevent’ anything, people prevented accidents by not texting! They just happened to ‘respond’ to the law!” But maybe you would. Either way, your weird sophomoric philosophy rants don’t add anything to the discussion but noise.

  57. #57 |  PeeDub | 

    To people like ec, you’ll always be an asshole if you don’t do everything exactly like them. Don’t worry, ec, ossification of the soul is just part of getting old.

  58. #58 |  el coronado | 

    Just remember that wonderfully tolerant attitude when some asshole blows through a red light and T-bones you, Peed. Because he was, “you know, like *totally* in a hurry and just couldn’t wait! Hey, I *said* I was sorry, Dude!”

    See if you’re all understandy and shit if that crash destroys your car. Which you can’t afford to replace. And because some asshole T-boned you, you get fired from your job – a job you desperately need. So now you’re homeless. Or Mr./Ms. “Because I didn’t want to wait” also kills your beloved dog. Or a family member! – let’s say your daughter. You gonna give that asshole a sympathetic hug and forgive him and *definitely* not sue his sorry ass ’cause you’re not an ossified old fuck, and you totally respect a free spirit? Someone “unbound and unhindered by society’s rules, man.”? Yeah….I didn’t think so.

  59. #59 |  Herb | 

    “More evidence that ban on texting while driving make the roads less safe.”

    Surprise, surprise…..confirming what you already know.

    Clicking on the link, it appears your conclusion –though cute– is wrong:

    “It’s hard to pin down exactly why this is the case, but experts believe it is a result of people trying to avoid getting caught in states with stiff penalties.”

    Again, the problem isn’t a texting ban. It continues to be idiots who text when they should be driving.

  60. #60 |  Red | 

    el coronado,
    Trying to force people to obey a made up system of rules simply doesn’t work well. This is not a moral question. I don’t care what people’s motivation for their mistakes are what I care about the results. Several towns in Europe have gotten rid of all their speed limits, traffic signs, stop signs, ect and the results where less accidents because people couldn’t abuse the rules by assuming that others would obey them. Running a red light is pointless if people are taking turns going through an intersection. There’s simply no room to abuse it. Everyone having to stop at an intersection just to be sure it’s clear almost entirely eliminates red light broadsides that we see everyday in America.

    Due to corruption the nation of Georgia got rid of their entire traffic police force for 2 months during Christmas. This is a nation huge alcohol and drunk driving problem. Traffic deaths dropped in half when they’re were no enforcers on the road. They promptly went back up once the cops where writing tickets and pulling over drunks.

    You can talk about people not living up to your bullshit moral code of driving all you want, but the results speak for themselves.

  61. #61 |  Red | 

    “Again, the problem isn’t a texting ban. It continues to be idiots who text when they should be driving.”

    Like cops? I see them texting all the time while driving. But that’s legal….
    Some people are just unsafe drivers. You need to get those people off the road. If some people can safely text and drive what’s the problem?

    The better approach would be making unsafe activities safer. The hands free phone is a good example. Despite many studies showing holding a phone while talking and using a hands free device causes the same level of distraction , states that have passed laws in favor of hands free devices have seen reductions in accidents. In actual real world practice it simply works.

    Getting a workable hands free texting system that displays the texts as a holo on the windshield(the holo system already exists) in every car would be an excellent way to reduce texting accidents and allow people to follow their nature instincts.

  62. #62 |  Herb | 

    “Getting a workable hands free texting system that displays the texts as a holo on the windshield(the holo system already exists) in every car would be an excellent way to reduce texting accidents and allow people to follow their nature instincts.”

    Yeah, and in a driverless car you can text all you want. It’ll all be a moot point, though, once we figure out telepathy……

    “If some people can safely text and drive what’s the problem?”

    I’ve heard a variation on this from alcoholics on their third DUI. It was no more convincing.

  63. #63 |  Juice | 

    #59 – Herb,

    There are more accidents after the ban than before. Do you want to reduce accidents?

    The law is in place and there are still “idiots who text when they should be driving.” What should be done to police these people? How would you further crack down to ensure that they follow the law?

  64. #64 |  tariqata | 

    “Getting a workable hands free texting system that displays the texts as a holo on the windshield(the holo system already exists) in every car would be an excellent way to reduce texting accidents and allow people to follow their nature instincts.”

    I feel like it’s necessary to point out that it is highly unlikely that texting while driving is an instinctive human behaviour.

  65. #65 |  Bob | 

    I can’t wait until people can get implants in their brains to allow hands free phone calls, texting, stock feeds, restaurant reviews, posting on “The Agitator”, etc. Note I said “people” not “me” because I sure as hell don’t want one.

    Imagine the possibilities… you’re posting in the comments while tweeting that you’re posting in the comments while driving while looking up reviews for the restaurant you’re driving to… all hands free!

    What could go wrong?

  66. #66 |  Kid Handsome | 

    I’m starting to believe el coronado may be a parody. If so – great job.

  67. #67 |  marie | 

    <iI have been saying this since the Cell Phone laws were passed; why do we care what people are doing UNLESS there’s been an accident? The laws should be written so that additional penalties kick in if there is property damage of harm to others done while you were working your texting-thumbs or your ratchet-jaw.

    I agree with your first sentence, disagree with the additional penalties. Why additional penalties? If you cause an accident, you should be dinged for causing the accident. Period. Does it really matter what caused you to run the red light? People are irrational about cell phones in cars; I do not understand the vitriol aimed at people who use their phones in their cars. If I cause an accident because I am digging for a Kleenex, or if I am changing the radio channel, or reaching for a napkin because i spilled my coffee, or because I am drunk…ding me for causing the accident.

    If I am drunk but do not cause an accident, why is that a problem? We all do ordinary things in our cars that can cause accidents–the furor about cell phones is a ridiculous focus. Cell phones are evil but GPS that we have to read while we are driving is good? Texting is bad but dialing the phone is okay?

    Something that will make cell phones inoperable inside a car is pretty damned stupid. How will we report unsafe drivers or problems on the road? And if I hand my phone to a passenger in the car to send a text or make a call for me, that is as safe as safe can be. After an accident, they would find that I had been texting.

    As for the shark, did it make anyone else think of the exploding shark in the Batman movie?

  68. #68 |  Herb | 

    #63 “There are more accidents after the ban than before. Do you want to reduce accidents?”

    Yeah, that’s why I’m fine with banning texting while driving, even if it’s not perfectly enforced.

    It’s the dummies who text while driving that aren’t helping on the “reduce accidents” front.

  69. #69 |  MH | 

    For many people, law is an expression of their moral sanctimony, rather than an attempt to solve a problem. So it doesn’t matter if the law doesn’t solve the problem it purports to solve. Or even if it makes the problem worse. The law is a way to shake your finger at the people who annoy you. And this really explains a lot of the problems that we have.

  70. #70 |  Johnny Aimcrier | 

    #27 “The really high demand is for bio-electrical engineers — to figure out how to put a laser on their heads.”

    Just ask Dr. Evil’s son, Scott, I think he pulled it off.

  71. #71 |  James D | 

    “Yeah, freedom and liberty and all that, but as an engineer, I hear “drones armed with sharks” and I’m asking where to send my resume.

    The really high demand is for bio-electrical engineers — to figure out how to put a laser on their heads.”

    Ahh … I get my daily humor from the strangest places … thanks guys.

  72. #72 |  Weird Willy | 

    Herb,

    Your conclusions are intelligent, reasonable, and logically inescapable. Unfortunately, however, that means they may be lost upon a large segment of this list’s readership. If you read through the entirety of this thread, you will actually find a post in which someone attempted to construct an analogy comparing a case in which no incentives were discussed but only negative incentives would apply, with a hypothetical case in which positive incentives were thoughtlessly constructed. To compound his error, that fool then suggested that if a person can rightfully ascribe causation to actors, then that same person would be one to stomp his feet over people’s impertinence in directly responding to the thoughtlessly constructed positive incentive. As if that were not bad enough, that poster then proceeded to post comments that made it seem as if he did not even realize the scope of his own demonstrated stupidity (difficult to believe that someone could be oblivious to something so painfully obvious, but if you read the thread you will note that it is true).

    As I stated, your comments do much to commend you, but don’t be surprised if one of the resident trolls gnashes his teeth at you for posting them here.

  73. #73 |  Weird Willy | 

    #69, MH

    Nice post, one that expresses a viewpoint with which I largely concur. I would think it would be more fitting, however, if it were posted in a discussion where issues of moral sanctimony are evident, and not a discussion of the real, pernicious, and all too present hazard of texting while driving and the destructive events caused by those who refuse to stop engaging in that patently dangerous behavior.

  74. #74 |  celticdragon | 

    For many people, law is an expression of their moral sanctimony, rather than an attempt to solve a problem.

    To use a previous example:

    Outlawing murder obviously does not solve the problem of murder. People still kill each with distressing regularity. What the law does is codify certain behaviors that are unacceptable and that an offender will be held accountable for. The texting law is no different. People will continue to text while driving and endanger themselves, their passengers and all of the rest of us who drive. Now, they can be held accountable for it if caught. The fact that some try to hide their illegal and dangerous actions does not mean that we as a society are obligated to excuse it and not bother to try and stop behaviors that threaten our own safety.

  75. #75 |  marie | 

    The law is a way to shake your finger at the people who annoy you.

    Let the finger-shaking begin!

    …the real, pernicious, and all too present hazard of texting while driving and the destructive events caused by those who refuse to stop engaging in that patently dangerous behavior.

  76. #76 |  Juice | 

    Herb said :

    Yeah, that’s why I’m fine with banning texting while driving, even if it’s not perfectly enforced.

    It’s the dummies who text while driving that aren’t helping on the “reduce accidents” front.

    I also asked you “What should be done to police these people? How would you further crack down to ensure that they follow the law?” You did not respond to this. What kind of more perfect enforcement do you envision?

  77. #77 |  MDGuy | 

    I think we will be seeing something about this on the Agitator soon:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57540165/nypd-officer-accused-of-plotting-to-kidnap-cook-women/?tag=contentAux;mostShared

    NYPD’s own Cannibal Lecter.

  78. #78 |  Weird Willy | 

    Well done, Marie! Why, you didn’t make yourself seem an abjectly obtuse moron at all! ;-) Let me add a little more of what you would probably label as “finger-shaking,” just to stoke your fire:

    1) Water is both wet and heavier than air;
    2) Nuclear power plants characteristically generate nuclear waste;
    3) Pigs cannot generally fly under their own propulsion just by twirling their tales; and,
    4) Texting while driving is a real, pernicious, and all too present hazard whereby actors often cause destructive and otherwise harmful events (oops, I guess this obvious and intelligently indisputable fact was already stated without any trace of “finger-shaking” above – sorry for the repetition).

    There, now *that* is some real “finger-shaking” for you!

  79. #79 |  el coronado | 

    Man. Now I finally know Mugatu’s pain: it’s like you people have taken crazy pills. ‘Why should there be no-text-while-driving laws anyway? That’s totally uncool!’ ‘What I do in my car is my business!’ ‘If you cause an accident, you should get dinged for the accident, not what you did to cause it!’. etc etc Jesus. Blue Steel, Ferrari, Le Tigre…..They’re the *same face*! Doesn’t anyone _notice_ this?!?

    Ok, fine. Now let’s see y’all stand up for the abolition of the crime of DWI/DUI. Why is drunk driving illegal, and they sometimes put offenders in jail for it? Answer: because alcohol impairs driving skills – via boozy poor decisions/judgement and slower reaction times – and impaired driving can cause serious injury or death to others. Why is texting while driving (becoming) illegal? Answer: because texting impairs driving skills – via distraction – and impaired driving can cause serious injury or death to others. The same result, just a different cause. Hell, you can see it in the TV commercials they’re running lately: MADD-style vignettes of solemn survivors of text-crashes showing you the terribly important message they were texting (“C U ltr :) K bye”) just before they had their lives destroyed/loved ones killed.

    So which of you wants to stand up & holla “drunk driving should be legal!”? Anyone? Bueller?

  80. #80 |  el coronado | 

    I invented the piano-key necktie! I **invented** it!! What have you people done? Nothing! You’ve done _nothiiing!_ NOTHING!!!!!!!!

  81. #81 |  Brandon | 

    Drunk driving should be legal. Hold people responsible for actual consequences, not whatever boogeyman the most irrational among us can dream up.

  82. #82 |  marie | 

    Drunk driving should be legal. Hold people responsible for actual consequences, not whatever boogeyman the most irrational among us can dream up.

    Exactly.

    If it isn’t finger-wagging that justifies laws against drunk driving and texting, why don’t we have laws against picking up a dropped object in the car or against turning around to make sure the toddler didn’t unbuckle his seatbelt or against hot liquids in the car or against changing the air conditioning settings?

  83. #83 |  celticdragon | 

    Drunk driving should be legal. Hold people responsible for actual consequences, not whatever boogeyman the most irrational among us can dream up.

    Sooo…using this logic, walking around my neighborhood randomly shooting my lovely Auto Ordnance Thompson with a 30 round stick mag and .45 caliber FMJ loads should be completely legal.

    The only thing that would raise your dander is if I should actually hit somebody or something.

    We have gone off the fucking deep end now.

  84. #84 |  Bob | 

    LOL

    This is what I love about the internet. Where else can you get entertainment like this for free?

  85. #85 |  Brandon | 

    As far as I can tell, there is no rational response to “hold people responsible for the consequences of their actions,” because the only responses I actually get are hysterical fallacies. First of all, celticdragon, why would you do that? Do you have a strong compulsion to walk around your neighborhood firing a submachine gun? Is there a place in your neighborhood where you could fire a submachine gun at random without hitting someone else’s property? No, we haven’t gone off the deep end, or at least I haven’t, but I’m not the one who wants to walk around firing guns randomly in populated areas. When I shoot, I do it at a range or on wide open land, where there is almost no chance of me hitting someone else. And that is the entire point. It is up to you to judge for yourself whether your actions are reasonable, although firing a gun randomly in a populated area is a thousand times more dangerous than driving a car with a .08 BAC.

    That said, I also couldn’t really fault someone for shooting back at you if you were walking around a neighborhood firing a Tommy gun. Nor could I fault someone who forcibly took the keys away from someone who was stumbling out of a bar visibly intoxicated. But there is a big difference between that and allowing police to set up checkpoints and arrest anyone who blows over an arbitrary number on a scientifically-suspect device. It’s also yet another good reason for police to be recorded at all times. If you have video evidence of someone who is not in control of their vehicle, by all means pull them over, but this prior restraint bullshit that is the status quo does more harm than good.

  86. #86 |  EBL | 

    Separated at Birth: Hannibal Lecter and…?

    And there is a cop connection so it is Agitator appropriate.

  87. #87 |  EBL | 

    Oh MDGuy is already there at #77 with the Cannibal Cop.

  88. #88 |  Fluffy | 

    This has absolutely *nothing* to do with the issues at hand, which are whether texting bans themselves are making the roads less safe and whether what you have offered constitutes evidence that they are.

    Yes, it does.

    Despite the fact that a brainless cunt upthread compared texting while driving to capital murder, guess what? It’s not capital murder. It’s a behavior that makes driving marginally less safe. It’s a purely statistical crime, and the law is designed to be a purely statistical remediation. There’s absolutely no issue of justice at stake whatsoever. People observed that they believed that texting while driving made driving slightly less statistically safe; in response, they attempted the remediation of making texting while driving illegal.

    But that means that the entire measure of whether the law is an appropriate remediation or not is its statistical effect. If accident rates decline, it’s a success. If accident rates rise, it’s a failure. Period.

    If you attempted an engineering solution to a particular safety problem and your solution produced worse statistical results than the problem you were attempting to redress, you’d declare your attempt a failure. This is no different.

  89. #89 |  supercat | 

    #79 | el coronado | //Answer: because alcohol impairs driving skills – via boozy poor decisions/judgement and slower reaction times – and impaired driving can cause serious injury or death to others.//

    Most of the time that a driver is on the road, driving does not require absolute 100% attention. Good thing, because few people can devote absolute 100% attention to any task without fatigue. One of the problems with drunk driving is that when a situation arises which does require 100% attention, someone who is drunk won’t be able to instantly clear the alcohol from their system to react to it. By contrast, it’s possible for someone who isn’t 100% alert when there aren’t any other vehicles within five seconds of him to quickly become more alert when the five-second cushion drops to three seconds.

    While I would not even think of trying to send a text message while driving with the user interface of a typical cell phone, it’s not hard to imagine a better consumer-level communications device which would allow a driver who was en route to a meeting someplace to receive a message like “MEETING RELOCATED TO DAVIDSON CENTER” and punch some buttons to send a reply indicating “message received”, without having to divert his attention from the road for more than half a second at a time. Indeed, many fleet-dispatched vehicles including taxicabs and police cars already include such equipment. A driver who was dealing with a situation which required his full attention could defer his handling of the message more easily than if someone tried to notify him with a voice call.

  90. #90 |  celticdragon | 

    First of all, celticdragon, why would you do that? Do you have a strong compulsion to walk around your neighborhood firing a submachine gun? Is there a place in your neighborhood where you could fire a submachine gun at random without hitting someone else’s property?

    Under the terms as defined previously, your concerns are irrelevant. It should hypothetically be completely legal to shoot my Thompson anywhere and anytime I like up to the point that somebody or their property is harmed. Of course, that is also utterly insane…just like driving drunk (which manages to kill rather more people then my Thompson).

    My Thompson is actually semi auto. It is still a beautiful weapon, of course.

  91. #91 |  celticdragon | 

    Despite the fact that a brainless cunt upthread

    Your reasoning skills and faculty for logical reasoning leave me utterly agape in admiration.

    *giggle*

    After all, I’m just a brainless hussy who can only be defined by crude schoolyard terms for genitalia.

  92. #92 |  Fluffy | 

    It should hypothetically be completely legal to shoot my Thompson anywhere and anytime I like up to the point that somebody or their property is harmed. Of course, that is also utterly insane…just like driving drunk (which manages to kill rather more people then my Thompson).

    If you were shooting your Thompson straight into the ground, I would submit that yeah, it should be legal. With the exception that it would probably be a noise violation or disturbance of the peace. But it sure wouldn’t be reckless endangerment.

    It would become reckless endangerment if you were firing into the distance, because you would lack the ability to determine where your rounds were going. And unless you were in a national forest or out at sea, it would be pretty likely your bullets would be going onto someone else’s property.

    You know how many people I’ve killed in 25 years of driving after having a couple of drinks at dinner? None.

    The sheer number of passenger miles driven every day in the US escapes people who think that driving with a BAC of .08 (or texting while driving) is some kind of horrific, unspeakably dangerous and antisocial crime. There are lots of drunk driving accidents a year because millions of people drive legally drunk at least once a week. There are texting while driving incidents because millions of drivers are texting while driving every day. Except for drunks and texters who are visibly out of control, the actual delta of decreased safety is trivial. If either of these things was actually that dangerous, it would look like the fucking OMEGA MAN opening around here.

  93. #93 |  Fluffy | 

    After all, I’m just a brainless hussy who can only be defined by crude schoolyard terms for genitalia.

    I also think you’re a pathetic pantswetting neurotic who thinks the world is much more dangerous than it actually is, and as a result of your perpetual terror you are obsessed with fantasies of control.

  94. #94 |  celticdragon | 

    Fluffy, honey…

    One of us looks foolish right now with their argument skills.

    It isn’t me.

    Go read up on the logical fallacy called argumentum ad hominem.

    Go back to me on that, sweetie.

  95. #95 |  Fluffy | 

    I’m well acquainted with the fallacy, and you apparently are not.

    It refers only to arguments in the form, “The speaker has a bad character, therefore we can know his argument is false.”

    It most definitely does not refer to arguments that contain personal insults.

    So if I offer a syllogistic argument, but take breaks in that argument to indulge my indignation and call you a cunt, that is not the ad hominem fallacy. And in posts #88 and #92, I clearly offered arguments with premises and conclusions, that you have not addressed. My insults were completely incidental and, while self-indulgent, they have no impact (positive or negative) on the substance of the argument itself.

    It is very common, on the internet, for very stupid people who don’t know how actual fallacies work to think that any post that includes an insult or a curse is somehow invalidated as being “ad hominem”. But the concept has an actual definition, which you apparently didn’t know. Hopefully you will benefit from my explanation.

  96. #96 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Fluffy: “So if I offer a syllogistic argument, but take breaks in that argument to indulge my indignation and call you a cunt, that is not the ad hominem fallacy.”

    Oh, well then that’s perfectly ok then. LOL! I wonder where people get this wild idea that libertarians are mostly a bunch of white frat boy types that are hostile towards women and their viewpoints? Way to raise the bar Fluffy. And an interesting approach as well. “Lets see, I’m going to show off by using a bunch of technical grad student terms and then I’m gonna keep it real by calling a female poster a cunt.” Classy! I bet you wear a wife beater under your pinstripe suit, yo!

    Granted I’m late to the party on this one but it looks like The Agitator comments section took a turn for the worse the last day or so. Glad I missed most of it.

  97. #97 |  el coronado | 

    “I wonder where people get this wild idea that Libertarians are mostly a bunch of white frat boy types that are hostile to women and their viewpoints?”

    Well, seeing as how that demographic is _markedly_ absent from _any_ group of real Libertarians – not pretend wannabes claiming it to try & get laid – my best guess would be that “people get that idea”, (if they do, which I very much doubt) because stupid asses who don’t know what the fuck they’re babbling about run around saying it.

    Oh, and Fluffy – don’t go getting the idea this means I’m defending your sorry little posts. It’s a big ol’ internet, and there are a jillion ways of commenting on people/ideas you disagree with. Satire, call-em-a-nazi, reductio ad absurdum……..I myself find ‘pompous windbaggery’ works best for me. (That and obscure ‘Zoolander’ references, of course) But your little ‘shit in a pretty box’ commentary is nothing but rude, entirely unwarranted hostility. Helmut IS dead right about one thing: if you’d just thrown in a few “paradigm”s and “hueristics” into your enraged slobbering fulminations, you’d be a letter-perfect grad school stereotype.

    Tales told by an idiot, full of fashionable buzzwords and baseless, inexcusable fury, signifying nothing…..except a sad, angry little person/troll. Good luck with that.

  98. #98 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    El Coronado: “Well, seeing as how that demographic is _markedly_ absent from _any_ group of real Libertarians – not pretend wannabes claiming it to try & get laid”

    Well, I wish you were right about that. I may have gone a bit overboard there, but surely you have noticed that libertarian and anarchist gatherings are attended largely by white males. And my comment about insensitivity to women stems from research I have done elsewhere, as well as a general vibe I have picked up on when listening to some libertarians. Actually there was a story about this recently on a blog called the Gonzo Times, so you might check that out if you get a chance.

  99. #99 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    El Coronado:

    Here is a link to the article I referenced, lest you think I totally pulled all of that out of my ass-

    http://www.gonzotimes.com/2010/10/a-problem-of-white-male-anarchism-and-libertariansm-we-must-confront/

  100. #100 |  Brandon | 

    Under the terms as defined previously, your concerns are irrelevant. It should hypothetically be completely legal to shoot my Thompson anywhere and anytime I like up to the point that somebody or their property is harmed.

    That’s what I said. It’s also not reasonable to assume that you could do that in an average neighborhood without hitting someone or someone else’s property. Of course, that also depends on how the neighborhood is governed. If the streets, sidewalks, etc. are public property, go nuts to the extent you can without actually causing harm, but if they are owned by the neighborhood HOA, for instance, they can make all the preventative laws they want. Roads, however, are public property, so individual rights of all those using them must be respected. Which includes the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure, so the police have to have reasonable, articulable probable cause to detain someone, which rules out checkpoints and arbitrary limits.

  101. #101 |  Not Sure | 

    “It seems that there are few voices of minorities or women dominate in Agorist, Mutualist, Libertarian or Anarchist circles. Why is it that these concepts are embraced more by white males than other people groups?”

    If I had to guess, it’s because “other people groups” find benefit for themselves in the use of government power to force people to do things they wouldn’t choose to do on their own- something libertarians are sort of opposed to.

    But then, that’s just me.

  102. #102 |  Flight_714 | 

    ” So if I offer a syllogistic argument, but take breaks
    in that argument to indulge my indignation and call
    you a cunt, that is not the ad hominem fallacy.”

    No, but it does make you look like a dick.

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