Archive for the 'Environmentalism' Category

Speed limits are corrupt

Glenn Chatfield at Sanity in an Upside Down World recently discussed and supported the government’s use of speed limit cameras to catch speeding motorists:

The thing is, if you don’t speed, you won’t get a ticket. If I remember correctly, the cameras do not get you unless you are going more than 5mph over the limit; they wanted to account for variables in speedometers.
. . . .
Well, in this upside-down world where people think they can violate speeding laws, there are complaints by those who have been caught.
. . . .
Only in this upside-down world do people whine about getting caught breaking the law rather than just obeying it. As for me, I find it a lot more relaxing driving through town now without having my doors blown off by the rocket flashing by!
I find this position absolutely abhorrent, and I will explain why. The speeding laws are generally corrupt. They aren’t about safety. If speeds limits were about safety, they would be based on scientific engineering surveys (which, technically, is required by federal law if the state or county has received any federal highway funds). But speed limits almost never are based on such studies. As a result, speed limits generally are arbitrarily low.

The purpose of these arbitrarily low limits is to collect taxes from random motorists. Weak societies always complain about the need for more police officers (instead of having people man up a bit and buy guns to protect themselves). As a result, governments hire more officers. But then to make up for the increased number of officers, taxes must be collected. One way of collecting these taxes is to pull people over for breaking arbitrarily low speed limits.

It is analogous to what Roman soldiers used to do with the Jews, where a soldier would select a random Jew off the street and force him to carry the soldier’s equipment for one mile. Because the duty fell only on random people at random times (and because it was only a mile), people just angrily tolerated the imposition instead of revolting. Just like the Romans, we feel the need to have armed guards patrolling everywhere at all times. And just like the Romans, we must raise money to support these officers. It is easier to randomly tax some random citizens at unpredictable times than to tax everyone all at once and thereby risk a revolt. You can pacify the population even more if you do a halfway decent job of pretending that the tax is for the taxee’s own good, and that he deserves to be taxed due to his “dangerous” violation of the arbitrarily low speed limit.

I remember that in Knoxville, most of the speed limits on regular roads were actually pretty reasonable. But what the government would do to collect its take in support of the police was to lower the speed limit only on the interstates. That way, the police pulled over most of their speeders on the interstates, and they could effectively collect a tax only from foreigners who were merely traveling through the city but did not live there.  The people who actually lived in the city remained safe from the stops.  The voters wouldn’t get as upset, the government got its money, and almost everyone was happy.

A law by itself means nothing. Morally speaking, if someone wants to forcefully pull you over to the side of the road and ultimately take money from you by force, that person must have a moral justification for doing so. The mere fact that a government official writes a law is not a moral justification. A moral justification would be something along the lines of working to prevent murder or other immorality. By contrast, the desire to collect revenue is not a moral justification for robbing random citizens.

In the comments to his post, Glenn Chatfield writes:

I wouldn’t care if the purpose WAS to increase revenue, which it wasn’t, because it still gets people to slow down and obey the law.
But getting people to slow down is not a virtue in itself. That much is common sense. It should be undebatable that sometimes people drive too slowly and need to speed up.

Not just in Knoxville but actually practically everywhere, you’ll often find low speed limits along the interstates of large cities. What happens is that the government is not only trying to collect taxes from foreign motorists, but they are also lowering the speed limit way down for environmentalist purposes. The speed limit is 70 in Franklin and 55 near the middle of Nashville. Are the roads just built substantially more safely in Franklin? Of course not. Rather, the big city (not to mention Leftist city) just wants to enforce an environmental policy under the guise of “safety.” And they have basically re-enacted the Jimmy Carter national speed limit, but instead of requiring it nationwide, they only do it in their tiny little jurisdictions.

And no, the fact that cities can become crowded during rush hour gives absolutely no logical justification for lowering a speed limit. You are not legally required to drive 70 mph if the speed limit is 70. And besides, Franklin gets about as much traffic as Nashville, anyway.

Lest any of you tree huggers come back with the argument that low speed limits are good because they reduce smog or global warming or whatever, even if that were true it should be a completely separate debate. We should be handing out “environmental violation tickets” instead of speeding tickets. But instead, we have these “law and order” politicians who whine about how speeding motorists are a safety hazard, when the laws aren’t even based on safety! It is intellectual dishonesty of the gravest variety. And then they turn over your driving record to the liability insurance company — which they legally require you to do business with — so that the insurance company can jack up your insurance rates based on your “safety” violations. I’ve even heard that the insurance companies will often donate radar guns to police officers, like they are partners in the great scam.

And moreover, under both Tennessee and federal law, environmental concerns are not actually a legitimate reason for lowering a speed limit. So the law-and-order politicians and municipal judges can throw the book at you for violating these “safety” laws, and yet they violate the law themselves.

We don’t have any speed limit cameras near where I live, but if they ever bring them here, I will renew my offer to represent pro bono anyone who gets accused of vandalizing such a camera. Not that I would want to encourage such action, or anything.

Advertisements

Happy Columbus Day!

 

Happy Columbus Day, everyone! This year, as usual, I have heard a bit of Leftist whining about Columbus Day (in my Facebook newsfeed). But I really get tired of hearing the people whine about Christopher Columbus’s supposed evil in bringing down the American Indian civilizations. If anyone laments the arrival of the Europeans to the New World, I think that person should go watch the movie Apocalypto by Mel Gibson. Granted, the movie was a bit over-the-top, and hard to watch, and not performed in English, and probably not one of Mel’s greatest hits. Nonetheless, it certainly gets a few points across:

Warning — The following video is somewhat disturbing.

I have said it once and I will say it again:  I am glad that the American Indian civilizations were conquered and destroyed. And I am glad that Columbus came and discovered them so that such conquest could eventually take place. Even at their best — i.e., when they weren’t offering human sacrifices — the Indians were still communistic drug-crazed tree worshippers who possessed essentially no inclinations toward science or progress. Good riddance to the American Indian societies.

Besides, it was mostly germs that killed off the Indians. So if we want to say that any person eliminated the Indians, it would probably be God himself. The Leftists should go whine to him, and not to me.

Fundamentalist earth worshipper reduces the human population by one

I haven’t posted yet about the Discovery Channel terrorist, but I do consider that event worthy of at least a brief mention at this time. When the standoff was still ongoing, my mom made the statement that the terrorist was obviously completely crazy — that he wanted human reproduction to cease, for example.

I suppose that in a way he was crazy — but not much more so than most rabid environmentalists. Global warming fanatics do specifically argue that one excellent way to save the planet is to limit or cease reproduction. Some people even brag about how they are saving the planet by not having children, even though they tend to be feminists who hate children, anyway.

And besides, if humans actually are little more than animals (specifically, animals who have “evolved” via time and chance) — which is what the environmentalist Left typically believes — then what is wrong with killing off the humans to protect the other species? If we promote the human race at the expense of other creatures, aren’t we just being speciesist against the other various planetary organisms?

Of course, there is at least one significant flaw in this environmentalist logic. That is, if humans do not have value, why should we believe that animals and plants have any value? It may not be wrong to kidnap (or murder) humans to protect animals, but under the atheistic scheme, it isn’t particularly right, either. Thus, it is hard for me to see where the haters of humanity get the idea from that the planet itself has value apart from human beings. But although this leap in logic does demonstrate a bit of craziness, the craziness clouds the minds of all environmentalists, and not merely the extreme ones who wield guns and take hostages.

The typical environmentalist solution is to abandon pure atheism and instead adopt some form of pantheistic, nature worship. If an environmentalist goes that route, then I would say he is actually not crazy to murder humans. He is merely serving his own (demonic) god in a fully rational manner. I think what we see from the dead, mockable terrorist in this instance is the tragic result of rationally following a false religion to its logical end.

More mediocrity

So last week, two developments occurred. First, the University of Tennessee decided to allow its athletes to retain their human right to self-defense after receiving a stern talking-to from Rep. Stacey Campfield. Second, Barack Obama spoke about his willingness to allow domestic drilling for oil off the coast of Virginia.

Both authorities evaded the opportunity for real greatness. Although refraining from robbing students of their rights even further, UT officials nonetheless stood absolutely adamant in their prohibition of legal guns on campus. While Obama rhetorically agreed to take one useful step, his one useful step was mainly a token gesture.

Obama has taken no effort to reverse his enviro-socialist stance against drilling on land, or off Alaska, or any of the other offshore locations which he previously blocked. Republican Congressman Joe Barton also made an additional point about Obama’s proposal: “It won’t do any good if Minerals Management Service and the Environmental Protection Agency drag their feet and throw up one procedural roadblock after another.” When you control the bureaucracy, it is easy to say one thing while doing another.

In any case, Obama would merely be reversing the overly-restrictive stance that he took previously. Take away many of our liberties, and then give only a few back to us. We will cheer you! Congress already allowed the offshore drilling ban to expire in 2008. How exactly does Barack Obama even get any say in whether we can drill at this point?? Give us a real president — one who won’t invent his own laws without congressional votes.

Overall, it is difficult to coerce wisdom. After people take actions that are truly stupid, it’s frequently possible to shame them into doing something resembling wisdom. But usually their lame attempt at reformation will mean nothing in the long run. With his polls at their lowest levels with taking office, Obama needed to do something popular before moving on to his next tyrannical scheme — which is probably a global warming tax on the air we exhale. Most of the public supports off-shore drilling, but not just limited to one state! What we really need is to let some of these people hit rock bottom and then demonstrate genuine repentence.

Doctor of Laws and Humane Letters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

I learned this weekend that the University of Tennessee has decided to build on its ingenius policy of sauna rooms by giving an honorary degree to the king of pointlessly uncomfortable living, Al Gore himself. Chancellor Cheek sent out the memo Friday afternoon. Presumably, they must have been impressed with Mr. Gore’s accuracy in predicting the temperature of the planet during the last fifteen years. As described in the email by our esteemed Chancellor Jimmy Cheek:

 The degree — an honorary Doctor of Laws and Humane Letters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology — will be granted at the commencement exercises for the College of Arts and Sciences on May 14. Mr. Gore will be the featured speaker at the ceremony, addressing graduates and their families along with the gathered faculty.

On the day commemorating a significant accomplishment in students’ lives, the relatively conservative UT students and their families get to be subjected to the mad ravings of a leftist scam-artist. Nice goin’, UT.

This will be only the third honorary doctorate granted by our campus, and it is fitting that it be bestowed on one of Tennessee’s most successful sons, whose career in public service and in business has been marked by visionary leadership and has made him a leading global figure and a respected voice on vital issues shaping our planet.

Mr. Gore’s “business” consists of 1) guilt-tripping productive citizens into paying him money to plant trees, 2) working at public universities other than UT, 3) producing pseudoscientific socialist propaganda films, and 4) accepting unearned monetary awards from international agencies. Meanwhile, he himself flies around the country in jets and uses up the electricity of a small neighborhood solely on his gigantic house while he preaches to others about the virtue of ascetic living. Al Gore is the scum of the earth, and this award is ridiculous. Even the name of the award sounds ridiculous, and rightly so.

Religion of self-destruction

Listening to Rush Limbaugh the other day, I heard about how the Catholic Church has offered some some environmentalist suggestions for Lent:

As the Lenten season arrives, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change has provided Catholics, schools and organizations with more tools and resources for its annual Catholic Climate Covenant
. . . .
[T]he Archdiocese of Washington’s Environmental Outreach Committee has created a particularly useful new tool: a calendar that lists 40 carbon-fasting measures individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprint.

The calendar contains suggestion for each of the 40 days of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, with “Remove one light bulb from your home and live without the light for the next 40 days.” Other suggestions include, “Turn down your thermostat by at least one degree;” “Check windows and doors for a draft…” “Making travel plans? Consider getting there without flying;” “Check the tire pressure of your car today;” “Learn about mountaintop removal mining;” “Show reverence for life and for the Earth today by obeying the speed limit…”

Take note of that last one the next time the fascists haul you into traffic court. A lot of speed limits have little to do with safety but are simply a corrupt tool of the environmentalists. But I will have to write about that later.

Of course, I do not present this story merely to gloat about the sorry state of the Catholic Church — with which I strongly disagree on numerous matters — but rather to demonstrate the link between global warming and ascetic religion. (Perceptive as I am, I have already pointed out this connection between environmentalism and asceticism previously.)

Lent is all about making sacrifices merely for the sake of sacrifice. People embrace these worthless rituals because they have guilty consciences that need to be soothed. Lent punishes the practioner and thereby cleanses his conscience. Ascetic holidays are godless and stupid.

The same can be said for global warming. Global warming is all about making practicioners feel better by performing little sacrifices such as turning their lights off, or taking faster showers, or whatever. It gives the practioner a warm feeling inside but serves no productive purpose. The modern environmentalist movement is generally without substance and is primarily just a godless religion. And to think that the House of Representatives just recently passed a global warming tax bill! Thank God the recent scandals, admissions, and weather have begun to cast such great doubt on this gigantic pagan hoax!

Alright, enough posting for now. I need to go eat a steak or something. I shall close with God’s opinion on the matter:

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink or with regard to a religious festival . . . . Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. (Colossians 2:16-22)

The green police

I saw a pretty great television commercial during the Superbowl.

The commercial jokes about arresting someone for using an incandescent light bulb. The truth is that Congress has already voted to prohibit these light bulbs. Although the government will not arrest individual consumers like in the commercial, any business that defies the law by continuing to produce light bulbs will certainly be punished.

The television is prophecying! This future is coming if we do not stop it! The strange thing is that even though the commercial makes fun of all this environmentalist garbage, the company went ahead and produced a “green-friendly” car. It’s like they’re making fun of their own product. As well they should!


ANALYSIS
YOU WON'T
FIND ANYWHERE ELSE

Author