Archive for the ‘The Law’ Category

Why Helmet and Seatbelt Laws Suck

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

The biggest reason I don’t like laws like this is because they impede the natural selection process. It’s much like how welfare enables a society to live unnaturally above their means, until they can’t (Think Irish potato famine and the Malthusian Theory – <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe”>Wiki it</a>). Creating laws to protect the stupid is, uh… wait for it… stupid. Keeping around stupid people just pollutes the blood lines. Maybe that’s why there are so many people who hang out in the left lane.

Seriously, if somebody wants to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, or drive a car without a seatbelt, that’s their own stupid choice. If they make it for a long time like that then maybe they really are very talented drivers, or perhaps just lucky. Laws are good for keeping people from doing malicious harm to others, but keeping people from being stupid and hurting themselves – NO. And don’t start in on how we the taxpayers have to cover their medical costs – that’s the failure of an entirely different system.

Regulation in general annoys me. I’m tired of the political correctness that continues to grow, and the ridiculous lawsuits that have crippled our once great nation. “Oh, I had no idea that spilling scolding coffee on my lap would scold me! It’s YOUR fault for selling it to me!” “I didn’t know combustible gas that runs my car could combust when I ran over that other car while dialing my cell phone. You sold me an unsafe car, so pay me millions!” Wake up, there are many things in life that are dangerous, and it’s not up to the government to be your Mom and tell you which ones they are. Take some responsibility. Yes, driving is dangerous and it shouldn’t become such a complacent activity for everybody.

Instead of laws, products and services should be created and evolved through competition and economics. People should demand quality and accept nothing less. And it’s YOUR responsibility to determine if something is safe for you. If somebody wants to make a piece of junk car and sell it, then they should be allowed to as long as there are stupid people who are willing to buy them.

Every new law created to police the stupid is another chip away at the freedoms of everybody. Man, now I’m in a foul mood. sigh.

At any rate, please wear your seatbelt because it’s the smart thing to do, not because it’s required.

The Dark Ages of Speeding Tickets

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

I’ve been pretty lucky for well more than a decade or so as far as speeding tickets go, but my luck finally ran out and I got nabbed. Of course, getting a ticket was a real bummer and all, but something very odd stood out to me in the process.

I’m not sure there’s been another decade of time that’s seen more technological advancement as we’ve seen in the past one. The way we operate on a daily basis has been changed forever. In our world of crazy gadgets and computers, we’re never far away from any answer – it’s just a matter of a few keystrokes (or touches with things like the iPhone!). Even the police have seemingly advanced. I haven’t seen a single police car for years that doesn’t have the laptop running in the center console. They have access to all kinds of relevant (and irrelevant!) information on you and everybody else.

So this is why getting my ticket stuck out so oddly to me. Why in the world does a police officer have to take my license and transfer my information in their craptastic handwriting, along with the barely legible law infractions and other details and then give me a carbon copy of it? The ticket I just recently got looks absolutely no different than the ones I got back in the 80s.

Since I got the ticket on my way to work, I called the number when I arrived at the office to find out how much I owed so I could put this experience behind me. Wait for it… Yep, you guessed it, the police office didn’t know anything about the ticket I received. They said to wait a few days for it to enter the system and call back. Are you kidding me? Is this some kind of jobs-creation program. Is there really some data entry clerk slowly working through stacks of paper, transferring the information into digital format so it can finally be accessed?

What’s the point of having a fancy license that has all of my personal information encoded in the magnetic stripe on the back, including my finger print, if they aren’t even going to use it. Am I to believe that this day and age, it’s too costly to put a reader and a printer in all of the cars? I mean, they figured out the laptop! Sure, perhaps all of the state licensing agencies don’t have some common format for license information – who’s fault is that? Fix it if that’s the case.

I’d hate to think that some pissed off data entry clerk transferring barely legible handwriting is in the position to incorrectly input the details of my offense. If they type a 98 instead of a 68 in the speed, that’d take somebody like me forever to get that corrected, and the insurance company probably wouldn’t believe me, either.

Oh, I guess there’s one more piece of the puzzle that, well, puzzles me. Once I finally got the amount I owed and the address to send it to, guess my surprise at “money order only.” So on top of all the other hassles, I now have to take the time to get, and pay for, a stupid money order. Oh, and then track down a stamp and an envelope to mail the thing. When was the last time you bought a stamp! I do everything online. If I could have just sent it from my online bank or paypal account, everybody would have been much happier.

So anyway, I just don’t understand such an archaic system. If there’s any deterrent from speeding, it’d be dealing with the complete and utter frustration of a system that hasn’t kept up with the times.