Just to steer the topic back onto the use of helmets off-road, how much riding do you think you would be doing if you turned up at your local motocross track, and refused to wear a helmet while practicing or racing. The club is imposing their will on you and you either accept it, or go play elsewhere... Our club requires helmet, gloves, boots, chest/back protector, plugged handlebar ends etc. so the racing is safe for everyone... protecting us from each other and ourselves perhaps, but covering their own butts as well...
I read a statistic yesterday that for every dollar spent on fixing accident black spots on the road, the govt. saved $14 in costs to the community such as medical and emergency service response costs...
Let's do the sums...
Helmet costs $200 or so...
Dental work - 1,000's
Plastic surgery - 10,000's
Life as a vegetable - $1,000,000's
Loss of life - $priceless (to me anyway)
The $200 seems like a damn good investment!
[ August 13, 2002: Message edited by: yamaha.dude ]
now wez noze why he da mod-rator
He'd got Brains
[ August 13, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]
OK, I should have quit long ago. I received a mostly respectful PM from someone who feels that I disrespect authority, feel I should pick and choose which laws I obey, and belittle the 'system' by the government wiping ass on constitution comment. He's right on all counts. Here is my response and I will reply no more. Promise.
I appreciate your concern shown by PMing me. I am not discomfitted much by public opinion.
I do not have much respect for authority, in fact I have a considerable disrespect for much of the authority embodied by the federal government. I hope you and others do to or we are condemned to endure it needlessly.
First, just to authority. I think you would agree that there have been regimes that have warranted disrespect, even though they had tons of authority, in fact many have been described as 'authoritarian'. The Taliban is a recent example, they had tons of authority and they had my scorn. Pol Pot, the USSR, the chicoms, Nazi Germany, are the common examples. Others that we have blatantly supported like Aristide in Haiti, Marcos in the Phillipines, the Shah in Iran, and many others have had authority and my utter disrespect.
I teach my children to do what is right even if it is illegal. Moral and even ethical considerations trump legal considerations. Yes, I teach them to take into account the legal ramifications of their actions, including the seriousness of the legal offense and punishment and the likelihood of being caught. I teach them this because I believe it and I believe it is important for them and their generation. I hope they have the courage to change the current government (preferrably to a constitutional basis) that we have lacked. I hope they do what is right, legal or not, and hope and pray they do not get caught if doing the right thing is against the law. I tell them don't do it because it's legal if it's not right and if it is right, don't fail to do it because it is illegal. You have me pegged fairly well, we just disagree about its appropriateness.
Now to whether the current government warrants my scorn. I believe that the federal Declaration of Independence and Constitution are nearly ideal for a working government. It consists of a veneer of common goals between a republic of soveriegn states. It establishes a set of checks and balances, and in response to the tyranny of the vote, limits the federal government to selected roles, such as common defense, common currency, and a common postal service. The bill of rights, the first 10 amendments, unfortunately enumerated certain rights (speech, press, arms, unreasonable search, cruel and unusual punishments, etc.) which tend to obscure the broader but less specific rights of the Declaration of Independence. They did, however, specifically deny the federal government any role not specifically granted by the constitution (10th, (paraphrase) any power not specifically granted to the federal government in the constitution is reserved to the states, or the people, respectively.).
I look around and see the confiscation of over 50 percent of my income by the federal government. And I see very little for it, and not much of that in the constitutional authority of the federal government but in extra constitutional matters. The post office is self funded, the military is expensive, the treasury is not. My roads are paid for by fuel taxes, my schools by property taxes, my police by sales and income taxes. What constitutional role does the government have in welfare, ecology, aviation, non-military space, research, education, etc. None. In fact, for things that are in direct violation of the 10th amendment, the government confiscates my money and spends it. If the federal government should have a role in it, all it takes is for 2/3s of the states and 2/3s of the congress to amend it. For none of these or many others has there been the public advocacy to do these things (give the government these authorities), yet the government, again in direct violation of its own defining document, assumes these authorities to itself.
For basic liberties, none is more important than the right to bear arms. Without that, the people have no recourse if the vote is ignored or subverted. And our right to bear arms has become a joke. You have to get a permit for some arms. Back when they were slightly more concerned about the constitution, the congress realized it could not outlaw guns so they taxed them with a stamp tax, similar to the stamp tax on cigarettes or liquor and created a branch of the treasury to enforce it, the bureau of tobacco, alcohol and firearms. The difference between the stamps on tobacco and alcohol and the stamps on various arms (automatic, over .50 caliber, short barreled, silenced, and many other categories) are not available. You can't get one. They couldn't outlaw them but they could require a $50 tax stamp and then not sell the stamp. And you expect me to respect that? And the BATF and the FBI and the DEA and Agricultural Inspectors and over 100 different agencies do carry guns. And are not subject to restrictions on carrying on planes, 500 feet from a school, automatic, silenced, etc. I have a huge disdain for this, just as one example. Now it is routine for police to kill unarmed citizens. It does not even make the nightly news in a midwest midsized town like Columbus. And there is Ruby Ridge. And Waco. And Elian Gonzalez.
This is just one example. Social Security. Minimum wage laws. Nondiscrimination laws. A department of education. HUD. EPA. FAA. All without constitutional basis. A guilty unless proven innocent attitude to tax collection. Federal courts in civil tort cases. You may think one or more of these may not be constitutional but a good idea. If it is, we have a simple method of amending the constitution. Instead by executive order (as a recent presidential advisor said after one usurpation, 'Stoke of the pen, law of the land. Pretty cool.'), a simple majority vote in the legislature, or a simple majority of the Supreme court and extraconstitutional matters become law. The coercive power of the federal government is unconstitutionally used against the people of the US. And the constitutional unintended loophole of a treaty superceding the constitution itself, GAT, NAFTA, and the UN treaties being prime examples.
So I feel the 'the federal government wipes its ass on the constitution' is an apt metaphor. I have just expressed briefly some of the reasons I feel that way. I also feel that I am in line with our founding fathers, who disdained their government's authority, rebelled against it. (And to tie it to the example of arms in a previous paragraph, they fought arms control at Concord church where a cache of weapons was stored which is how they won their freedom, armed rebellion.)
I am not belittling a constitutional government. I am disdainful of the extra-constitutional government we currently live under. I would love to see it returned to a constitutional basis. Or even go away completely and revert to individual state governments.
It would be interesting to hear the response of Washington or Jefferson if you had said the same thing to them. Especially the Tom Petty quote. I wonder if they would have just gotten over it, looked beyond their self imposed prison?
Don't think I don't love my country. I do. I don't love the current government of the country. If it would just revert to a constitutional role, I would be a true Yankee Doodle Dandy. Until then, I want to change it for the better.
The way all of this started is people wanted to use the coercive power of the state in a new way, to enforce the use of helmets on its citizens. I shared that I think it is a bad idea. Not helmets per se but the use of coercive government power. It should be used sparingly. My honest opinion.
As to subsequent posts..
Sodomy is any sex act that is not genital to genital. It does not require an animal or a**hole. Hands are just one example perhaps one or more of you have been exposed to. And that's not even my favorite.
Yes, it could be worse. But it has been better. Just because it was worse in Vietnam, or the USSR, or even in France doesn't mean that I am happy with the current, 'we can impose our will others on any topic we deem prudent by using the coercive power of the state' mindset. I'm sure most of you are saying, 'Dude, it's only a helmet law.' Yes, but it is the principle as far as I'm concerned. If you want worse you can go almost anywhere else on Earth. But if you want better, you have to advocate for it. I am trying.
EGO, I wouldn't have voted for Gray-out Davis either. But I respect the vote and the concept of a democratic republic. Egalitarianism is at the heart of the democratic concept. If we aren't equal, the more than equal ones have a right to rule. If we are at least all created equal, we should have an equal say in our governance. Yeah, I voted for Bush too. After 9/11 I thought it was a good idea. But now I see steel tarrifs, a call for a larger federal role in education, and expanded federal benefits. It may be going downhill slower than with the opposition, and I suppose that's something, but I can't get too excited about it.
Finally, advocating a return to a constitutional government may in fact be bitching about it, in some sense. But any opposition to a federal law, executive order, or Supreme Court ruling would also be bitching. How could we improve or overturn these without opposing them. How could the federal government be returned to a constitutional role without outlining the ways it has exceeded that role? I may be bitching, but I feel we should always try to improve it. In fact, the right to advocate public positions is guaranteed in the first amendment, along with the right to petition the government for redress of grevances. Just because you call this bitching, doesn't mean I don't have the right to do it and to stay. Does it?
Is this concidered your Manifesto
I dont like the feds much either for specific reasons, but I bitch about it by voting. I get involved in my local hood orginazations as well in the attack on our sport. Hence I am a member of the Blue Ribbon, and other orgs.
I see it two ways, Black and Right Do or Dont
Some Bitch and do nothing Some Bitch and do something
Which are you?
Im not attacking you I dont agree with everything you say but I agree with some so there is meret.
But to dog us with this manifesto... Geez
[ August 14, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]
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