Re: Eric Peters' Keep Up -- or Pay Up!:
Comments on Eric Peters' article.
Thank God. There's nothing like cruising down the road only to find some left lane hog doing 54.5 MPH and refusing to yield and move right. My only wish is that more states were as sensible as Louisiana. Perhaps the police will also ticket those idiots who don't understand the term "merge," who stop at the end of the acceleration lane when trying to enter a highway and put their turn signal on, pitifully pleading and waiting for someone driving on the highway to stop and let them in. Frequently I've been accelerating up a highway on-ramp only to encounter this scenario. Nothing like going from zero to 60 mph and then back again in less than 100 yards!
-- Chip Johnson
Regarding Eric Speedy Peters' "Keep Up or Pay Up," a comment:
A side result of any such law as he proposes will be that if I want to use the left lane to pass somebody at whatever seems to me to be a safe speed -- which will probably be at least 10 mph slower than Eric Peters -- he and Richard Petty will have an even more fevered attitude of entitlement to their personal left lane, their breakneck speed, and their imagined right to perch on my bumper. And I'll finally have to patent and market the battery of tail-mounted defensive/offensive measures I've had on the drawing table for some time.
Sure the left-lane slowboats are an irritating lot, though it's rare in my experience that they'll be driving under 60 mph. Don't we already have enough unenforceable laws? Relax, or something.
-- Jeffrey S. Erickson
Davidson, North Carolina
Regarding Eric Peters' article "Keep Up - Or Pay Up!": Bravo! Huzzah! To whom do I write to nominate him for a Pulitzer, nay, Nobel Prize? He hit the nail on the head so hard he probably broke the hammer.
The following gem is particularly brilliant and it sums up our current state of affairs quite succinctly:
"...our roads have become aggravation avenues chock-a-block with SUVs driven by passive-aggressive cell phone Chatty Cathys and Businessman Bobs too enraptured by their conversation to notice the conga line of vehicles trying desperately to get by."
Mr. Peters correctly addresses both types of these drivers. Some drive passively while actively engaged in conversation and are indeed unaware of the traffic hazard they are causing. However, others are more insidious. They are the passive-aggressive drivers who know they are impeding the flow of traffic yet choose not to pull over because they enjoy their position of power. These control freaks may have little say over anything else in their life but in this one circumstance they get to control a whole "conga line" of people, as Mr. Peters puts it.
It is a very serious issue. These left-lane-lollygags prevent anyone from passing them, thus clustering the cars together into dangerously tight formations. Yet most states' departments of police and transportation choose to target the people who try to get around these road hogs with campaigns against so-called "aggressive driving." But it's the drivers who are trying to put space between themselves and the other drivers by moving to the open spot in the road who are actually the safer drivers. Congratulations to Louisiana for choosing to side with logic over hysteria.
As Mr. Peters notes, we have been spoon-fed the party line that "speed kills.," However, to paraphrase Daffy Duck's observation of Newton's First Law of Motion in action, it's not the speed that kills, it's the sudden stop. There is nothing I can think of that is more likely to cause sudden stops, a.k.a. wrecks, than the clusters of cars in close formation that these bad (i.e. naughty) drivers bring about. I consider these drivers second only to drunk drivers in their degree of public traffic menace.
-- R. Trotter
Great Falls, Virginia
Mr. Peters has fallen afoul of the logical fallacy known as "the false choice." The police already have the ability to ticket those who do not stay right, except when passing. The left lane is the passing lane, not the "fast lane" as some so ignorantly call it.
Those people who are in the left lane, and passing others, and are driving at the speed limit the speed limit are obeying the law. Those doing 80 in a 65 zone are criminals, period! I have many times found myself trying to move left to pass when some idiot driving at a speed well over the limit creates an unsafe situation and I have had to stab the brakes to safe all of us from the selfishness of some idiot that refuses to abide by the law.
A driver in the left lane doing the limit has a right to be there. Only those driving over the limit will overhaul them, and their impatience, immaturity and selfishness is the cause of the danger.
Mr. Peters is correct in stating that "law enforcement" has become a revenue racket for local governments. For example, as a County Engineer in Ohio one of my revenue line items comes from a cut from moving violation fines. One municipality near Columbus seems to be violating the law with an unauthorized speed limit and uses their portion of US 40 as a speed trap and money maker.
Alas, the list of such government abuses is a long one, but the issue is a red herring in Peters' argument. The fact remains that speed limits remain. If you exceed it you break the law and you deserve a ticket. My observation is the speeders are most at fault for creating the speed differentials that lead to accidents with "slowers" being at fault in exceedingly few cases. If you are not staying right except when passing you should be ticketed. If you are speeding you should be ticketed. The police already have the authority to do both in most jurisdictions.
-- Richard L. Hardison, PS, PE
Morgan County Engineer
Morgan County, Ohio
BEST LAID PLANS
Re: John Tabin's How'd He Do?:
Reflecting on the President's speech on Monday I kept thinking that at least the criticism "he doesn't have a plan" would have to be dropped. Do we truly live in a time of such transparent shallowness that a presumptive Presidential nominee can go from "he doesn't have a plan" to "there is absolutely nothing new here" in less than 24 hours? At a minimum Kerry and all those who follow him closely should have one hell of a case of whiplash.
If this really represents the level of awareness, discourse and intelligence in our fair nation, then there is no hope and it doesn't matter. I need a reason to believe that the survival of our nation is actually important. The media is quickly causing me to believe that we are so stupid, so narrow of focus, so completely self-absorbed and so easily duped that we don't deserve to exist. My hope of hopes is that the only group the media is speaking to, and of, is itself.
-- William Rau
Re: Doug Bandow's When Quislings Go Native:
This was what one would call a "derivative" article, containing almost nothing that hasn't been previously published, and lacking --as have the other condemnations of Chalabi -- anything much in the nature of proof. What we have so far seen that denigrates Chalabi is buttressed almost entirely by the opinions of individuals whose credentials we often cannot evaluate for ourselves; indeed, many of them are anonymous, like "One U.S. official," and some are just strange, like "an influential Kuwaiti parliamentarian." What the heck kind of a reference is that? Couldn't he find an eminent Bhutanese poet to quote?
On the opposite side, Bandow mentions only one significant Chalabi supporter: David Frum. But the respected Michael Ledeen has also defended him, as has Newt Gingrich; and these are not credulous dummies. Further, Bandow presents him as a rather amazing -- not to say dualistic -- individual: on the one hand he "is widely distrusted by Iraqis," and "[his] colleagues had little more confidence in him," yet "he became perhaps the most influential member" of the Iraqi Governing Council.
I have no absolute opinion about the man. Like Doug Bandow and a whole raft of his fellow accusers, I have nothing significant to go on, only a bunch of opinions unburdened by much in the way of facts. But the piling-on that we are seeing, the feeding frenzy occasioned by the raid on Chalabi leads one to suspect that political motives might be behind the attempts to weaken him. Certainly Paul Bremer cannot love the man who correctly criticized Bremer's decision to reverse de-Baathification.
Notice that included in the false intelligence that Ahmed C. is supposed to have fed us are the fabled WMDs and Saddam's mythical al Qaeda links. In fact, despite the extra half year to move or hide WMDs that was awarded to Saddam by our pursuit of a United Nations' blessing, an amazing amount of evidence has surfaced to indicate that WMDs were indeed a part of his armory: huge amounts of protective gear and nerve gas antidotes, camouflaged chemical plants deep in the desert, large quantities of "insecticide" hidden in bunkers at weapon storage sites, and the well-advanced ricin program that everyone conveniently forgets to mention. And although sparse as yet, an amount of proof that Saddam was working with al Qaeda has been turned up, and even that he did seek African uranium.
So here's what I say, if it's not too much to ask: let's wait for actual evidence rather than accept assertions and assumptions. Let's allow the lefty publications to go off half cocked in their quest for a scapegoat, while we take the conservative approach and await the facts. In other words, let's have the trial first and the hanging later.
-- Richard Donley
Re: P. David Hornik's Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dogs' Tails:
I think Mr. Hornik raises some interesting observations about women and marriage. I too have noticed the cavalier attitude many wives have toward their mates. I'm inclined to believe that these women grow weary of their husbands in the same way they grow weary of everything else in life. Many of today's wives grew up in fatherless households. No one taught them that marriage is not a prom date. No one pointed out that being married is vocation--not just a lifestyle choice. No one gave good example of self-sacrifice. And nowadays no one has more than two children so we're raising another generation of self-centered, overindulged citizens. You reap what you sow. We planted the seeds of selfishness, 'free love' (what a crock), and cold disconnection to our family. We divorce, we dump kids in hired care, we dump old folks in nursing homes. The family has taken a pounding. And now many women have lost the skills of womanhood in keeping families warm and intact. This all spells disaster for our culture.
-- Nora Peralta
David Hornik's article "Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dogs' Tails" raises an issue that he's not quite stated clearly (boldly?). It is not PC today to admit that there is a great internal difference between men & women that contributes to the lack of intimate conversation that women require (demand at times?) and men are often unable to provide. Men & women are wired and raised, to some extent, to communicate at a different level. Man is often very good at pursuing and wooing and even winning the woman of his dreams but he needs a little help to understand that the pursuing and wooing and winning have to continue after the marriage. After the marriage he often stops those activities since he has "won the woman of his dreams." But he does not realize there is a whole lot going on inside the woman's head constantly dealing with the emotions and feelings and reactions to her environment. She just assumes that the same thing is going on inside his head. Trust me, it's not. He's thinking and responding to his environment on a whole different plane. He's often totally shocked to find out she expects the "romance" to continue.
A good book to help couples work through this difference and even revel in it, is called "Men Are Clams, Women Are Crowbars" by Dr. David Clarke. It's not a difficult book to read and it is written from a Biblical perspective, but if a husband and wife read it together with open minds and honestly attempt its recommendations, it has the potential to revolutionize their marriage. The wife will have a new respect for her husband and the husband will cherish and learn to communicate with his wife. Their friends will be JEALOUS of their marriage.
-- John O. Adams
Milford, New Jersey
Re: Marc Miller's letter (under "Que Sera Sarah!") in Reader Mail's Making It Final:
Marc Miller's reader mail of 5/25 treating the relationship between (a)moral behavior and "inviting" terrorism is a glass half-full. Yes, it's ironic the purveyors of "if it feels good do it" moral relativism also criticize our side of the aisle for not doing a proper job of defending against those who attack us for that decadence. And yes, moral perfection on our part probably would remove one argument from the terrorist camp. But let's not forget they aren't waging a war solely on morals. Orthodox Jews aren't being blown up on busses on a regular basis because they celebrate sexual perversion.
Reacting to a moral condition is a red herring and radical Islamists attacked us on 9/11; we didn't fall into quicksand by straying from the moral path. Terrorists consider themselves jihadis... holy warriors, and any non-Muslim is a potential target. The jihadis want to islamify the modern world, not gently remind it of its moral shortcomings. The Pentagon wasn't hit with an airliner because it's a symbol of loose living. It is a symbol of American might. As was the WTC. OBL tried to pull a John Wayne: pretend to fade away, turn back and land a shot square in the jaw of the biggest guy there, then take your pick of the remaining standers-by who are shaking in their boots. Well, the big guy didn't budge.
May God continue to bless the United States and protect our forces.
-- Erik Litvinchuk
Re: Jed Babbin's Into the Screech:
This is a great article regarding the French. Let's hope Bush will ignore then when we rebuild Iraq.
-- Ruth Hunter
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