We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, August 17. 2010
Tuesday morning links
How Arnold Schwarzenegger's California dream soured
Californians now cursed by all humanity
Times so bad California lawyers only getting $10/hr
California women now have triple the nation's fat rate
In unrelated news, New York state is now forcing DWI drivers to install a device on their car that forces them to pass a breath test before it'll start:
— How much does it cost to have an emergency road service come out and unlock the ignition?
— How much will the first family sue for when someone's car breaks down on a lonely road in the snow and they freeze to death because the car wouldn't start because the system malfunctioned? Or it locked the ignition because of the (A) breath mint the person was sucking on, (B) unique medicine they were taking, not to mention the (C) swig of whiskey they took for warmth?
Is Obama Winning the Hearts and Minds of the Arab and Muslim World?
Giant Mecca clock seeks to call time on Greenwich
10 Things You Must Know About Malware
It worked! I did it!
I just invented a time machine that can reach 10 years into the future and snatch a headline from the New York Times. It can only work once, so let's hope it's a good one!
Axe falls on ObamaCare services
Well, at least it's still ten years away.
Life Imitates Dr. Mercury's Wildest Hyperbole
First read this.
Then look at the title of this.
Obama and daughter take plunge, swim in gulf
Posted by Dr. Mercury in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 06:00 | Comments (18) | Trackbacks (0)
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The comment is inaccurate: The car will not start if breath alcohol over a certain amount. No risk of driving and having the car stop etc..
It will only be put into cars of people who have already had a DUI (about 4,000 people).
This makes the roads safer for everyone (including the DUI).
Be more careful about reading your source article.
"The comment is inaccurate: The car will not start if breath alcohol over a certain amount."
I said: "...is now forcing DWI drivers to install a device on their car that forces them to pass a breath test before it'll start." This is inaccurate...how?
"No risk of driving and having the car stop etc.."
No one implied it would suddenly stop the car.
"It will only be put into cars of people who have already had a DUI (about 4,000 people)."
No, it will put immediately put into 4,000 cars and future offenders. This is a state law, not some kind of "test program".
"Be more careful about reading your source article."
I will if you will. :)
I'll be as accurate in my reading doc as the traditional MSM is in their reporting. After all, I've been indoctrinated so... errr.. taught so well.
"I just invented a time machine that can reach 10 years into the future and snatch a headline from the New York Times."
But will there even be a New York Times 10 years from now?
My twin sister was killed by a drunk driver when we were 16 so I should be in favor of the BAC switch.
I'm not. It's just another intrusion into personal lives that, in essence, can be defeated easily with little effort and will do nothing to stop DUI and will increase the cost of cars by X amount for no real reason.
The only way to stop DUI permanently is prohibition and that ain't gonna happen anytime soon. Let's start talking about getting drunks and abusers to take responsibility by imposing jail time, monetary penalties, social restrictions like limited hours, house arrest, etc.
Responsibility? Heh. We already assign "responsibility" to the offending parties.... such as the bar. "Its the bar owners fault they kept serving me alcohol"... or the liquor manufacturer's "because they didn't put the proper warning label on the side", or the psychotherapist, or the parents, or....
Well, you get the picture. The responsibility is always somebody else's ... never the drunks fault.
There are about 1,100 Google hits for the following:
“Most states have regulations that allow or mandate that judges order the installation of interlock devices as a penalty during sentencing in drunk-driving cases.”
What New York did would appear to have a fair amount of precedent. Without doing extensive research, my guess would be that the difference between NY and many other states is the issue of judicial discretion.
I disagree with Tom Francis on this. Like Tom, drunk drivers affected my childhood. When I was a young child I was in an auto accident where a drunk plowed into a station wagon filled with two families. A parent of one family was killed immediately. I was sitting right behind the driver, and in my mind’s eye I can still see the driver hitting the steering wheel. My mother suffered crippling injuries that took nearly a decade to remediate.
Yes ignition devices are “just another intrusion into personal lives.” Yes, they “can be defeated easily with little effort:” get someone else to blow into it. There are devices with photograph which would stop this, but they cost $330/month, as opposed to $75 for just the breathalyzer. A friend of mine used the ignition device as a consequence of a DWI. It cured him of DWI. He has been off the ignition device for several years, and no longer drives while intoxicated. I support ignition devices because they are less intrusive than jail time, fines, etc. Maybe ignition devices will stop many or most people who DWI from doing it again, before they kill someone with their driving. It’s worth a try.
I doubt that ignition devices are used for someone who caused a fatality while DWI, where it would be too soft a consequence. I certainly would not support using ignition devices as a consequence for a DWI fatality.
According to Tom Francis, the ignition device will increase the cost of cars by X amount for no real reason : the ignition device is added only to those convicted of DWI. It increases the cost of driving for those convicted of DWI by about $75 a month- at least it does in TX. Probably higher in NY. It in no way increases the cost of cars for those who have not been convicted of DWI- for those who are not family members of the DWI offender. For multiple-car families of DWI people- them’s the breaks. Of the ignition device case that I know of, the ignition device got removed after a year, per the conviction consequences.
Let's start talking about getting drunks and abusers to take responsibility by imposing jail time, monetary penalties, social restrictions like limited hours, house arrest, etc.
It is not as if there are not such penalties for DWI. People do go to the big house for many years for killing someone while DWI. Ignition devices are but another consequence: by no means the first.
He has been off the ignition device for several years, and no longer drives while intoxicated.
I don't know your friend and I wish him well.
But I highly doubt that is true. In particular if he is still drinking. The only real way to stop DUI is to stop drinking alcohol.
It increases the cost of driving for those convicted of DWI by about $75 a month- at least it does in TX
I was under a different impression for the cost factor. Now that I think about it, you're right - it could be a simple add-on device. I stand corrected.
You are entitled to your opinion Gringo and I respect that opinion. My point is, and remains, that unless and until there are hard and fast penalities for everybody, bar tenders, liquor store owners, bar owners, etc., then there aren't enough devices in the world to keep DUI offenders off the road.
I know that's probably not a popular opinion around here, but that's the way I feel about it.
My point is, and remains, that unless and until there are hard and fast penalities for everybody, bar tenders, liquor store owners, bar owners, etc., then there aren't enough devices in the world to keep DUI offenders off the road.
Most likely correct, but fair laws and enforcement of same would be a Pandora’s box.
At the same time, dealing with DWI fatalities is no walk in the part either. [I love my clichés.] I have little faith in the ability of our lawmakers to write coherent and fair laws, given what has transpired in recent years. Of course that would also include ignition device laws, would it not?
Half empty, half full. There were 13,846 DWI fatalities in the US in 2008, compared to about 18,000 murders (~6/100,000). From 1982 to 2008, DWI fatalities per vehicle mile driven dropped 70%.
But I highly doubt that is true [drinking while driving] . In particular if he is still drinking.
You are correct that behavior is difficult to change, for anybody. However, the prospect of prison time for the next DWI is pretty good incentive for avoiding drinking and driving. Admittedly it is better incentive than the ignition device.
Yes, it IS an add-on device.
Data from 2008 NHTSA report: p 9,16 and 1994 NHTSA report: p 31,48. I calculated the deaths/vehicle mile figure.
"Most likely correct"
Pardon me, but did you just state that you think liquor store owners should be held legally liable for the damage their customers do? And bartenders? Waitresses? Hotel managers? Guy selling newspapers at the bus stop who could have prevented him from getting in his car and wreaking his damage?
You might want to take just a wee little moment and think this one through. Don't forget to do that "you are there" stuff and picture your reaction when the liquor store owner won't sell you a 6-pack because "you've already had enough this week, and I can't take any chances."
#184.108.40.206.1 Dr. Mercury (Link) on 2010-08-17 17:56 (Reply)
Before you start mouthing off, you might want to take just a wee little moment and please read the complete sentence. To make sure the message gets through, I will repeat it: Before you start mouthing off, you might want to take just a wee little moment and please read the complete sentence. I hope your attention span is that long.
Just this once, try reading the complete sentence, por favor.
Pretty pretty please?
Most likely correct, but fair laws and enforcement of same would be a Pandora’s box.
Was it that hard to read the complete sentence?
#220.127.116.11.1.1 Gringo on 2010-08-17 19:25 (Reply)
You said "most likely correct", and then pawned off the rest on some mythological box. Way to make a stand on an issue, buddy.
As for the rest of your high school insults, stay off the booze for a few days and you should be fine.
#18.104.22.168.1.1.1 Dr. Mercury (Link) on 2010-08-17 19:34 (Reply)
Here is an excerpt from what Dictionary.com says about ‘Pandora’s box:
"a source of extensive but unforeseen troubles or problems: The senate investigation turned out to be a Pandora's box for the administration.
Note : To 'open a Pandora's box' is to create an uncontrollable situation that will cause great grief."
Wikipedia gives a good summation of how the term is currently used: "Today, opening Pandora's box means to create evil that cannot be undone."
Let us add some of the above statements- from Wikipedia and Cultural Dictionary- about Pandora’s box to my statement, the statement which you did not approve of.
"Most likely correct, but fair laws and enforcement of same would be a Pandora’s box" changes to
Most likely correct, but fair laws and enforcement of same would be a Pandora’s box, creating evil that cannot be undone. Passing those DWI laws will create an uncontrollable situation that will cause much grief.
Go ahead. Attack that statement all you want. Be my guest. Please. [Implicit behind my statement: Why would one want to pass laws that would create evil that cannot be undone? Why would one want to pass laws that will create an uncontrollable situation which will cause much grief? ]
#22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Gringo on 2010-08-17 20:18 (Reply)
Well, uh, yeah, at age 60, I think I've got a pretty good idea what the expression means. But thanks, just the same.
By the way, have you played the Microsoft game? Best game of its genre, hands down. I've been playing it for probably a friggin' decade and it's still fun. Like a lot of puzzle games, you can increase the difficulty level a number of ways so it never quite wears thin. If you ever see it for $5 in the Wal-Mart bin, buy it for a rainy day.
#188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1 Dr. Mercury (Link) on 2010-08-17 20:32 (Reply)
It is also worth noting that Barry and Sasha did not swim in the gulf. They swam off Point Pleasant in Florida.
That is a bay inside the barrier islands....not in the gulf itself.
Technically connected by water...but also very, very shielded from any oil (or dispersant) in the gulf.
Given that the boost of confidence was the whole point of his trip, I wonder why he didn't swim on the gulf side of the island?
It is kind of like someone bragging about swimming in the East River in NYC to make the point that the pollution is better while having their picture taken while taking a dip in the Hudson in Albany NY. Technically connected by water...but kinda defeats the point.
re: Times so bad California lawyers only getting $10/hr"
Actually sounds worse than it possibly is. Having a lawyer (ahem) friend who does summer internships at his practice, has a string of students and pre-bar graduates come through. He pays a couple (what he can afford) and the rest are there doing that "resume building"..... using those students who want specific practice in an area of law he specializes in.
A couple of years back, he had at least two interns working pro bono, 'hired' as a favor to acquaintances of his (their children)... He got some gopher work done, and the kids got some experience working in the bowels of a law firm.
In California, $10/hr probably would pay their parking and might even cover their lunch too.
Ok--all you folks who want to know why we should not build the Mosque next to the site of the Twin Towers--take a look at this.
"Giant Mecca clock seeks to call time on Greenwich"
Does anyone else remember "Swatch Time?" Partly an advertising stunt by the watchmaker, but actually a serious proposal to which the company supplied funds after it had been going for some years.
Well, serious as in "base OK but overdone to point of self-parody."