These anti-pedestrian laws are intended either for the protection of the pedestrian, or for the convenience of the motorist. In either case . . . they are wrong.
If they are intended to protect the pedestrian from himself, they are paternalistic. I am opposed to paternalism. Among other far more serious objections to it is the objection that it defeats its own purpose. The children of some over-cautious parents never learn to take care of themselves, and so are far more apt to get hurt than children who lead a normal life. So I do not believe that in the long run it will be in the interests of safety if people get used to doing nothing except what a policeman or a traffic light tells them to do, and thus never learn to exercise reasonable care.
I am sorry when I see people taking foolish chances on the street. I believe in urging them not to do it. If they do it in outrageous and unreasonable fashion I should not be particularly averse to fining them for obstructing traffic. I rather think that might even be done under existing laws.
But I am dead opposed to subjecting a whole city because of the comparatively few incautious people to a treadmill regime like that which prevails in Western cities. I resent such a regime for myself. I have tried it, and I know that it prevent me from the best, and simplest pleasure that a man can have, which is walking. But I resent it particularly because it is a discrimination against the poor and in favor of the rich.
That brings us to the real purpose of these laws, which is not that pedestrians should be spared injury but that motorists should be spared a little inconvenience. I drive a car from the driver’s point of view. I know how trifling is the inconvenience which is saved thus at the expense of the liberty of the poorer people in the community. Indeed, I do not believe that in the long run it is for the benefit even of the motorist. I think it is a dreadful thing to encourage in the motorist’s mind, as these laws unquestionably do, the notion that he is running on something like a railroad track cleared for his special benefit.
After all, the most serious objection to these doctrinaire, paternalistic laws is the bad effect which they have upon the mentality of people. I do think we ought to call a halt to the excessive mechanization of human life. When I am in one of those over-regulated Western cities, I always feel as though I were in some kind of penal institution. I should certainly hate to see Philadelphia make like those places.
The target of their latest railing fatwa is Syrian President Bashar-al-Assad’s Instagram account. According to the White House, it is “nothing more than a despicable PR stunt.”
Well, when a superpower is trying to kill you for being an evil bad guy, then resorting to Instagram doesn’t sound like a crime against humanity.
I have no doubt that Assad is a brutal dictator who has killed lots of people to stay in power. I know this because I am reasonably certain, if such were not the case, that someone else would have assassinated Assad and would be ruling Syria as a brutal dictator who killed lots of people to stay in power.
But the White House fatwa is stunningly hypocritical…
Giggles was a fawn.
A family brought Giggles to the Society of St. Francis, a Wisconsin no-kill animal shelter near the Illinois border, because they believed the fawn had been abandoned by her mother. Roy Schulze, an employee, set up a stall with a food dish and a suspended milk bottle for the animal. He also videotaped it for sentimental reasons. He named her after the sound she would make. Giggles was scheduled to be transported to an Illinois wildlife reserve that rehabilitates fawns so they can re-enter the wild when they are older.
Giggles died in Wisconsin.
Roy was working in the barn when they arrived: squad cars filled with nine Department of Natural Resources officers and four deputy sheriffs. When he spoke to WISN news, he said of the armed group, “It was like a SWAT team.” They were “all armed to the teeth.”
Proverb begins with a promise of and a praise of the value of wisdom. Verse 7 warns that fools despise it and/or being instructed in it.
But the first warning Proverbs gives of a specific sin seemed, at first, counter-intuitive to me…
I feel uneasy when I read that Christians should love this country, or any other country for that matter. One might retort, “You’re Welsh; you have nothing to be proud of!” A comment unworthy of a reply. Again, someone replies, “You’ve already admitted you are unpatriotic; you wouldn’t understand what it is to be American.” Mea culpa. Notwithstanding such objections, I don’t see anywhere in Scripture which calls me, or anyone for that matter, to “love our country”. Yet this was at the top of the list of Rick’s advice on how “Christians must respond as Americans”. At the risk of biting the hand that feeds me, so to speak, let me offer a few thoughts about this idea.
“Loving one’s country” strikes me as a peculiarly American, and American Christian, thing to say. American patriotism has long been the slave to a rather romantic view of American history. The amalgamation of the faith, or at least, the church with politics, has undoubtedly given rise to the view that somehow, America was once a Christian nation. (Just to be clear, I am not charging Rick with this. I’m not charging him with anything actually, just meditating on his piece). Rick, in fact, makes clear that he views the development of America not in Christian, but theistic, terms. However, the predominant opinion among American Christians is that America was a Christian country, and the way to return it to said Christian roots is to legislate that change (again, I don’t think Rick is arguing for this). There are better historians out there than I, but I doubt this romanticized view has ever really been the case. Has America really ever been a Christian country? Is there indeed such a thing in the new covenant era? If there were, one might, as a Christian, be able to stretch to the term “love” for one’s country.
Read the rest at Loving God AND Your Country? – Reformation21.
I thought this was excellent, but I am not sure I agree on all points (not sure I disagree either!).
For example, maybe , since God so loved the world, and since Christians are supposed to pray for the prosperity of wherever they are, a case can be made that Christians should love every country. This might actually support the writer’s concern better.
Just exactly what is the Republican Party supposed to stand for if Hillary Clinton looks attractive to any former GOP Presidential candidate in a race against another Republican? Yet McCain said, “It’s gonna be a tough choice.”
The writer of the report for Townhall.com suggested McCain wasn’t really being serious because he laughed when he said it. But I’m not so sure. In that same interview he said words about Hillary as Secretary of State that I’m sure she’ll be happy to use in her campaign:
“I think she did a fine job. She’s a rock star. She has, maybe not glamor, but certainly the aura of someone widely regarded throughout the world.”
So if Rand Paul wins a chance to run against his “rock star,” what are the chances he would side with Paul?
I wrote this yesterday for the Godfather Politics blog:
As an antidote, here are some of the things we should be thinking about as a result of what we have learned so far.
The first is that the days of the internet as a truly global network are numbered. It was always a possibility that the system would eventually be Balkanised, ie divided into a number of geographical or jurisdiction-determined subnets as societies such as China, Russia, Iran and other Islamic states decided that they needed to control how their citizens communicated. Now, Balkanisation is a certainty.
Second, the issue of internet governance is about to become very contentious. Given what we now know about how the US and its satraps have been abusing their privileged position in the global infrastructure, the idea that the western powers can be allowed to continue to control it has become untenable.
Third, as Evgeny Morozov has pointed out, the Obama administration’s “internet freedom agenda” has been exposed as patronising cant. “Today,” he writes, “the rhetoric of the ‘internet freedom agenda’ looks as trustworthy as George Bush’s ‘freedom agenda’ after Abu Ghraib.”
That’s all at nation-state level. But the Snowden revelations also have implications for you and me.
They tell us, for example, that no US-based internet company can be trusted to protect our privacy or data. The fact is that Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are all integral components of the US cyber-surveillance system. Nothing, but nothing, that is stored in their “cloud” services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance or from illicit downloading by employees of the consultancies employed by the NSA. That means that if you’re thinking of outsourcing your troublesome IT operations to, say, Google or Microsoft, then think again.
And if you think that that sounds like the paranoid fantasising of a newspaper columnist, then consider what Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, had to say on the matter recently. “If businesses or governments think they might be spied on,” she said, “they will have less reason to trust the cloud, and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out. Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets, if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes? Front or back door – it doesn’t matter – any smart person doesn’t want the information shared at all. Customers will act rationally and providers will miss out on a great opportunity.”
The story shows how completely self-centered and yet utterly clueless Congress is. Here is a major financial problem that they inflicted on their own staff by the way they wrote the law. Yet the only response is to treat this like some kind of fluke and start wringing their hands over how to fix it. Has even one House member asked himself or herself “If I missed this and messed up the job for my own staff, what other damage might I have done in voting for this huge un-read bill?”
No, of course not. Every single legislative failure, as they are reported daily, is always an isolated anomaly. It just needs to be fixed and then we move on. Business as usual has been restored.
Ask yourself this question: Wouldn’t McDonald’s love to get five cents more on every Big Mac if their sales would remain constant? Then why don’t they raise the price? The answer is obvious: they fear the loss of revenue as fewer people buy their Big Macs So if they already know they can’t raise the price a nickel how can these people claim they can get away with raising it over thirteen nickels?