What is the anti-MADD quick-and-dirty smackdown?

Posted by $ winterwind 6 years, 11 months ago to The Gulch: General
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As some of you know, I'm reading stuff that brings me into contact with MADD members. I get stuck when they say "Rights? My son is dead! Where are HIS rights?!?"
Well, unfortunately, he doesn't have any because he's dead. While true, that's a little bit in-your-face for me, and observers, if any, tend to think I "don't care". The fact is that I care about different things in a different way than they do.
But what can be said to that? Somehow, "taking away other boys' rights will do nothing for your son" leaves you open to the roadside sobriety checks and everything that can go with them aren't taking away anybody's rights!!!
Well, um, yes they are.
No they're not.
You see where I'm going here.
I'd like something snappy that will stop them in their stilettos.
All assistance appreciated.


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  • Posted by Zenphamy 6 years, 11 months ago
    Snappy? Something along the lines of,
    'Anytime you have to lie and exaggerate to expound your ideas in order to deny me my natural, and what's called Constitutional, Rights based on imagined effects that haven't happened yet--you've become a nuisance and a pontificating pest.'

    If I ever harm or cause the death of another through my inappropriate actions, I'll be glad to face a jury of my peers and deal with the punishment imposed, but only after--not before. And by the way, Prohibition was repealed 80some years ago.
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    • Posted by plusaf 6 years, 10 months ago
      I addressed that kind of 'argument' with my 47th Law...

      http://www.plusaf.com/falklaws.htm#47th
      .............................
      "When one of the participants in an argument or discussion plays the "moral" card, it's because they don't have any facts, reason or logic to bring to their side of the argument."

      The neat thing is to be aware of how the "discussion" changes when one side suddenly and unexpectedly labels the topic "really a moral question." It means they know they just lost the argument, but in reality, if the other side rises to the bait, they just lost. Morality trumps logic, facts and reason all the time in a "discussion" or "debate."
      ............
      And that's exactly what you're describing about MADD and their "argument."

      I used to donate to them, but cut them off for exactly that reason... I don't support unthinking illogic.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 6 years, 11 months ago
    There may be those among the people who are so filled with forgiveness that any tragedy is an excuse to show their holiness by forgiving the perpetrator. I am not one of those. When the horrible tragedy struck someone very dear to me, all I felt was anger. Not only that, I wanted to vent the anger, not only on the perpetrator, but on anyone and everyone of his ilk. If you can understand that, you can understand why I once wanted everyone restricted, Constitution be damned. It took me years to return to rationality, some people never do. In those who have never had discipline enough to use their brains over their emotions, engaging them at all, would be a mistake and a waste of time. Had you expected a rational response from me during those years, all you would have gotten would be arguments and resentment. I would have irrationally wanted you to feel as I did.
    I hope this has given you some insight, Remember that most of MADD is mad.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 11 months ago
      Perhaps, but MADD is based on lies and it is hurting thousands of innocent people and undermining our freedoms. It is time for MADD to be exposed and go extinct.
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      • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
        I'm not sure what would be "exposed" - they're pretty out there with who they are and what they want. I'm right with you on the going extinct.
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        • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 11 months ago
          I disagree. Very few people understand their true agenda or how they lie and many people accept their lies as the truth.

          It is sort of like environmentalists. They pretend to be interested in protecting bears and human habitat, but really they want 5.5 billion humans to die - immediately.
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    • Posted by teri-amborn 6 years, 11 months ago
      Thank you for that insight.
      My personal "tragedy" wasn't care of drunk driving but rather "drunk living". (alcoholism) and the destruction that these folks are capable of knows no boundaries.
      I still don't support MADD. When the problem is a spiritual one, physical punishment rarely works.
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
      herb - I think you're right - they want everyone to "understand" their point, and the only way to do so, according to them, is to do what they say.
      It's a bit like the "you can't understand the problems of the man from Zamunga, because you're not from there, so you have no standing."
      hmmm.
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  • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 11 months ago
    My response would be along the lines of: "I'm against drunk driving as well. How about we just totally prohibit alcohol? Oh, yeah, we tried that and all it lead to was gangs and making responsible drinkers law breakers in the eyes of the law. It did not eliminate drinking, nor driving while intoxicated. We need to hold drinking drivers responsible for their actions."

    Or, "So, you also want to make hammers illegal as well? Because the willful actions of people using hammers have caused deaths as well."

    People are responsible for their actions, whether that is using a hammer or consuming alcohol. Likewise, guns don't kill people, people kill people (sometimes using guns).
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
      robbie -Right and reasoned as you are, I think you would get some percentage of MADD that would say, "OK, let's prohibit alcohol! Fine!" and some percentage that would say "If the police stop you, and you fail a breathalyzer, they should just shoot you. all done."
      I don't think reason has a part in this conversation; I'm just hoping to get them to shut up."
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    • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 11 months ago
      Robbie, your arguments are only rhetorical rants. You do not address the fundamental problems. It may be that some other solution exists, but you seem far from finding it.

      Do you have the right to your own shooting range in your backyard on the theory that you are a responsible gun owner? (I don't mean out in the Back Forty of your farm. I mean in the city or the suburbs, of course.) You have no right to endanger other people and we have a century of experience with alcohol and automobiles. I fail to see the basis for debate.
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      • Posted by Zenphamy 6 years, 11 months ago
        If it's his property, yes he has the right to a shooting range. If he does't build it right and harms someone else, then he faces a jury.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 11 months ago
          Correct. If one can create an environment where one does not endanger others, then it should not be prohibited.

          At one time it was legal to drink a beer while driving in Texas (may still be, I don't know). So long as the driver is responsible and not intoxicated, what's the problem? HOWEVER, should that driver cause an accident, then the book should be thrown at them, as they clearly have shown that they weren't responsible.

          Making something illegal does little to stop those who will conduct such actions from doing them anyway. And there are already laws against reckless driving.
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  • Posted by khalling 6 years, 11 months ago
    Why do we care about drunk driving if rights are meaningless? MADD has gone out of their way to skew statistics to their agenda. They are rabidly totalitarian on this issue and ultimately feed a police state mentality. At some point you have to acknowledge their arguments come from emotion not reason. In 85 the founder of MADD was ousted by radical prohibitionists. You are arguing with people who have a broader agenda. For non profits their 28% of donations spent on programs ranks them at the bottom. The rule of thumb should br in the 60% range. Check out this site ( I hate the name) www.drunkard.com
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
      kh- maybe the way to go is to [look at invisible list in hand] and say, OK, 4th amendment down. And you're probably against the 2nd, too, right? What do you think about the Sixth and the Eighth?
      Just wondering if you're totally against the rights of the people, or if you make exceptions.
      MADDer is spluttering and gasping at this point, I hope.
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      • Posted by khalling 6 years, 11 months ago
        my fear is, MADD members are 2nd Amendment soft. and law and order-ers are ishy on the 4th Amendment. Then BIG on the 2nd. I deal with this all the time. Blinders on racehorses. You're seeing it in this post btw
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    • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 11 months ago
      Sorry, k, your arguments do not speak to the problem. Do you know NEOTECH? They are culturally an offshoot of Objectivism. But to criticize Neotech is not to address us here. On another note, consider the internal politics of the ARI. I can recommend a website called ARIwatch which while largely not that insightful does have some interesting facts to present, though not about this website and us. So, too, with MADD. You might have a valid point about the organization. The problem of people who drive while intoxicated is a different challenge entirely.
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      • Posted by khalling 6 years, 11 months ago
        this post is about MADD in specific.and their methods. Driving while intoxicated should not be a crime. Have you ever shared a bottle of wine at a restaurant and then driven home? If stopped for any reason and you refuse to submit to a blood draw, you will be forcibly given one with the court's immediate warrant sanction. The efforts of MADD have helped this totalitarian objective. THAT is the problem I am addressing and the discrediting of an organization gone wild.
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        • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 11 months ago
          khalling asked rhetorically: " Have you ever shared a bottle of wine at a restaurant and then driven home? " No, I never have. I am not a social drinker. You want to the right to get drunk with friends, get in your car and drive home.

          You will then claim since you did not harm anyone, that it was not dangerous. And when you do harm someone, how does putting you in prison or taking away your license or just shaming you in court actually undo the harm you caused?
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          • Posted by $ jlc 6 years, 11 months ago
            The very definition of 'drunk' driving has changed. Back when I started working in the lab (in Texas), the definition of drunk was somewhere around 0.12 g/dL. Now, I think it is 0.08 g/dL. The difference is that .12 is a level at which most people can sense that they are 'tipsy' and hence refrain from driving; at .08 most people feel just fine - until they get nabbed by the police.

            So I have sometimes wondered if the change in the legal definition was from a 'prevent drunk driving' model to a 'generate revenue' model.

            It is my belief that we have generated a Catch 22 situation here: if a patrol officer pulls over a car that is driving erratically, they have difficulty getting a conviction unless they can show that the individual is drunk (or on drugs). So this is where their focus has gone. (One is just as much endangered by a person who is 'driving tired', after all.) If the public had greater confidence in the police, then we would be more supportive of relying on the officer's decision - and we would not have to measure blood alcohol or not tag non-drunk reckless drivers. But that is not the case: we do not trust the police, so we enact laws that rely on measurable procedures.

            I personally think that the outward display of erratic driving should result in a penalty and cars that are driving normally should be left alone. Since we are now in an age of universal video cameras, we should rely on the report of those to ticket all drivers who are performing erratically and leave a person's body to their own control.

            The issue of drunk driving is going to become a degenerate question: Inasmuch as a cowboy's horse could get him safely home when he was drunk, an autonomous car will be able to get us home when we are thoroughly plastered.

            Jan
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          • Posted by khalling 6 years, 10 months ago
            GHBs! Sharing a bottle of wine over dinner does not make one a reckless driver. So your argument is a strawman. Ever driven home from Thanksgiving dinner? Drowsiness is a more likely risk of impaired driving. I guess you have a thing about spirits. Ok. Once acknowledged we can get on with a rational debate
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          • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
            Mike - How is khalling dangerous if she "shares a bottle of wine" [that is, usually NOT getting drunk] , drives home, and has hurt no one? What harm has she caused? and how can you truly say that if she is in this situation, that her actions were dangerous?
            some part of your argument is missing - the assumed premise part, I think.
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          • Posted by khalling 6 years, 11 months ago
            oh my goodness, your point of view lacks reason. where is any of your empirical evidence for your point of view? there is no evidence that drunk driving laws have stopped a single accident. that anyone is impaired at .08 , you are suggesting an interference of peoples' freedom and without any empirical evidence the burden of proof is on you. This stand you have is statist-not Objectivist.
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            • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 11 months ago
              Correct me if I am wrong, but laws have very little to do with preemption and very much to do with laying out penalties for abrogating the rights of others. Laws (or more accurately the penalties for abrogating such) can serve as a warning or disincentive to those who pay attention to such so as to encourage one to evaluate the potential costs of a particular action BEFORE engaging in an activity which may result in the abrogation of others' rights. We don't punish people before they commit a crime, however - this isn't "Minority Report".

              Now I can see that you are simply going to argue that my very logic supports your argument. Perhaps it does. But I would ask you to consider two points:

              1) As one who values the products of the mind and the exercise of sound logic, why would you deliberately dilute and impair your critical thinking abilities - especially just before operating an automobile and thereby placing others of the public in danger?

              2) As a corollary to 1, why would you seek to encourage others to place themselves in a position in which they would dilute and impair THEIR critical thinking activities - especially when the results of such can have such devastating and life-altering outcomes?

              Please do not take this as any measure of support for MADD. I look only at the principle involved - in this case the free and unfettered exercise of clear judgement and the full use of the rational mind at all times.

              As one acquainted with the grief that can only come from the death of a child, I feel for those who have joined themselves to such an organization as MADD, but out of pity, not sympathy. Emotions can have the same effect as alcohol in clouding the exercise of the rational mind, and it seems pretty clear to me that some of MADD's members allow their grief to drive their lives (pun intended) with an outcome no different than that which they crusade against.
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              • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
                blarman -
                unfortunately sometimes, freedom includes the freedom to be stupid - that is, to impair your thinking abilities. I do not drink wine to impair my thinking abilities. I drink it, when I do, because it's delicious and enhances the gestalt of the meal.
                I also don't think kh is encouraging others to impair their thinking. I think she is saying that until your ability IS impaired, there is no conversation. [feel free to correct me, k.]
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                • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 10 months ago
                  I hope that is the case. The one flaw I would point out is that driving ability is impaired after only one drink. It is not illegal until BAC reaches .05, but there is still a minor impairment. I could not in good conscience encourage anyone to any degree of impairment of their reasoning capacity - but especially not when the result might endanger the safety of others. In such a community as The Gulch where the capacity to reason is placed at a premium, I must question anyone who advocates both for reason and for voluntary impairment as being a contradiction.
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              • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 11 months ago
                Blarman,

                Your idea about alcohol is simplistic. It is known to boost endorphines. "Beta-endorphin release produces a general feeling of well-being." http://www.attcnetwork.org/explore/prior...

                In addition it has been shown to boost cognitive reasoning. "The finding that older women who consume moderate amounts of alcohol score better on cognitive tests suggests that it can." http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050117/f...

                Drinking alcohol is not about impairing your ability to exercise sound logic. We know that the brain needs time to reorganize (down time which includes sleep) and to function more effectively. In fact many great scientific discovers have occurred when people have turned off their immediate processing (active thinking) and allowed their mind to free associate. Now I would argue this can only work if you first put in the hard work of active thinking, but I would also argue that alcohol also provides this down time for free association and reorganizing the brain.
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                • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 10 months ago
                  "Drinking alcohol is not about impairing your ability to exercise sound logic."

                  It is nevertheless a side-effect - regardless of one's intention. And due to the demands on cognitive processing in driving, to suggest that someone can effectively operate a motor vehicle when impaired by alcohol is disproven in study after study. I would also point out that alcohol is also the #1 factor in domestic abuse, so clearly there are additional negative side-effects (of a temporary nature) other than just when driving.

                  In regards to the links you posted, I would only note the time factor was nowhere present. The cognition studies weren't conducted immediately after imbibing. The studies you linked to, while interesting, only speak to potential long-term effects while ignoring the short-term ones. I don't feel it prudent to ignore either in the grand scheme of things, but in the case of impaired driving we are specifically focusing on the short-term effects, so any arguments regarding the long-term effects of alcohol are going to be of minute importance in comparison.
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                  • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 10 months ago
                    You exaggerate the negative effects of alcohol and ignore the reality that you and many people drive that poorly for a variety of reasons. Singling out alcohol is irrational.

                    And you asked why anyone would ever want to drink alcohol and I gave you a number of good reasons for doing so.
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                    • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 10 months ago
                      "Singling out alcohol is irrational."

                      For what reason? There is a demonstrated causal relationship between alcohol consumption and impairment - especially when driving a motor vehicle. Further there is hard evidence of the number of automobile accidents and deaths caused by alcohol-impaired drivers - to say nothing of domestic abuse. To ignore this evidence is irrational. is it the only cause? No. But to say that because there are others this one shouldn't be addressed is ridiculous.

                      "and I gave you a number of good reasons for doing so."

                      To all decisions there is a cost and a benefit. The value derived from a decision will contain two portions: an objective portion and a subjective portion. The objective portion will be based on our knowledge and reason, while the subjective portion is based on our own personal beliefs with regard to a matter. How we weigh the combination of these two will ultimately vary from person to person just as our personal moralities vary.

                      For me, I refuse to surrender one minute of my cognitive abilities to the cloud of alcohol or illicit drugs. It probably also factors in largely that based on my BMI, a single glass of wine would see me passed out under the table (I'm a stick). I don't want to be responsible for doing something while under the influence I would regret later. A temporary loss of reason is not worth any potential health benefits - especially ones I can get other ways. You are welcome to choose otherwise.
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                      • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 10 months ago
                        Because you have exaggerated the problem, you have not compared it to other risks, you have not shown that the systems being used are effective. It sounds a bit like a religion.
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                        • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 10 months ago
                          As I said before, part of any decision is going to be objective, and part is going to be subjective. How much one allows from each side is going to factor into the ultimate decision.

                          One decision-making process weighs the enjoyment from alcohols' effects above the potential safety or reasoning concerns. The other weighs the reasoning and safety aspects as being more important than a temporary pleasure. Of the two courses of action, only one guarantees a total avoidance of potential pitfalls. With the other, there will always be a possibility of undesirable consequences.

                          Exaggeration and underestimation are both judgement calls and are ultimately evaluations of risk. For personal reasons, my risk tolerance in this regard is 0, therefore I choose to abstain. Your risk tolerance is obviously much higher than 0, so you partake. Nothing complicated or mystical about it.
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              • Posted by khalling 6 years, 11 months ago
                great points, blarman. There have been many laws passed that preemptively punish before a "crime" is committed. Yes, it is illegal to drink and drive if one's blood alcohol limit is above what is legally allowed. No one questions that the legal limit is the same across the board for everyone and that everyone's metabolic rate is different. However, other laws have been passed making it not only legal for police to set up road blocks and ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer or blood test, but arrest you before a crime is committed. We have gone from, a crime was committed, because a person died in an auto accident, and the accident was caused by a drunk driver to everyone can be guilty until proven innocent of a crime which may or may not occur in the future. That is a big statist leap. and while you are at that stop, they are running your plates, checking your tags, asking where you're headed, who is that kid in your backseat...the list keeps getting longer and longer. Now to your points:
                1. I make reasonable judgments based on experience and science. As was said earlier, sharing a bottle of wine over a two hour meal, will likely metabolize most of the alcohol. Eating a large Thanksgiving meal and driving home poses more risk, in fact studies show more accidents are actually caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Do you suggest no one drive home after a big meal is eaten on a holiday?
                2. you will have to give me an example of what you mean here. Are you suggesting that by my support of limiting road blocks and mandatory blood draws, I am encouraging others to drive while impaired?
                To your last point, I completely agree. Even the founders of MADD in both the US and Canada felt that their grief in support of the organization was hijacked by turning the operations into a Big Business. Please see db's post on point.
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                • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 10 months ago
                  I hate to quote President Obama, but "let me be clear". I absolutely do NOT support the use of roadblocks. I stand with you in asserting that these assume guilt before even establishing reasonable suspicion. There is a VERY limited safety aspect for the use of roadblocks, as well as border enforcement, that I condone. Random stops, however, I don't agree with - even though they are allowed by current law. The blood draws without even reasonable suspicion fall beyond the pale IMO.

                  1. I commend you for recognizing your limits and waiting an appropriate time before driving to ensure your mind is clear before operating an automobile. If only everyone had the capacity to do such and self-police, I suspect that the law would be superfluous. The law exists because not everyone has the self-control you do. And the more alcohol one imbibes, the more impaired one's judgement becomes and the less capable they are to self-police. That is the concern.

                  The sedative qualities of tryptophan (the chemical in cooked turkey that produces drowsiness) is well known and I think it is a valid observation - only the comparison remains in question. I don't have any data to either support or disprove your theory, but if you wanted to assert such, you would have to prove that the effects of tryptophan are equivalent to alcohol and thus can be considered an equivalent threat. Whether or not such is the case, I have no idea. If they were, I would wholly support at the very least a public awareness campaign to enlighten people about its effects. I believe that falling asleep at the wheel is currently a misdemeanor under "inattentive driving", so I believe that the law already covers those cases, but further action might certainly be warranted provided a causal link was found.

                  2. I apologize if I was unclear. What I took from your statement was that you were arguing for the repeal of drunk-driving laws. I believe we both agree as to the roadblocks and their misuse. If I misunderstood you, I apologize. If you do support the repeal of such, I will disagree and point out that the whole reason laws get passed is to create disincentives for abrogation. I would find it difficult to accept the contention that such a disincentive did not even once enter into the mind of a would-be perpetrator and cause them to re-evaluate their decision. If so, the only support for such an argument would be that the person wasn't rational in the first place - which non-coincidentally is a common side-effect of alcohol consumption.
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  • Posted by scojohnson 6 years, 11 months ago
    A little bit of my viewpoint... I live in a neighborhood that is within the 'recreational' area (lake/beach) of a large metropolitan area. I rarely drink, I haven't bought a 'case' of beer in maybe 2 decades, never by a 12-pack either... I buy the 6-pack microbrew stuff only, and a 6 pack will last my wife and a month or two. I'll have a beer or glass of wine with dinner at restaurant, same with my wife, that's about it.

    In the summer months and on holiday weekends, we always find ourselves in "sobriety checkpoints" leaving our own home and stuck with all the drunk white-trash boaters, etc. Its pretty darn irritating... Fortunately the unincorporated city/neighborhood we live in is fighting back to the county and doing our best to just get rid of the events & whatever that are held at the lake to diminish the crowds hanging out here on labor day or whatever. We have very few businesses here, and only to support the residents. There is no upside, and no desire to have anything to do with any of it.
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    • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 11 months ago
      I do not know where you live, but basically boating while intoxicated is also a crime for the same reasons as DWI. You just need to find an interested law enforcement agency to clear the lake.

      I grew up in Cleveland and the Coast Guard could not be aggressive enough on Lake Erie. Rather than your "white trash" we had the discretely uncharming bourgeoisie of the EYC and CYC who thought that they were above the law. Well, the laws of nature are unforgiving. So, when a storm came up, the skippers would panic, race for the yacht clubs and run up on the breakwalls because they were too drunk to steer. It was amusing in a sad sort of way. The same sadness as when someone went overboard, could not swim, and no one on board was fit to do much except yell. At least there was some record of that. The other thing we get on the Great Lakes is the "missing fisherman" (or plural). They go out in a small boat for an afternoon of fishing and drinking and are never heard from again unless they wash up somewhere. (I know: you think that you should be so lucky...)

      The thing with cars is that the drivers do not just kill themselves and their passengers. So DWI enforcement must be more strict than BWI.
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  • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 6 years, 11 months ago
    People should be held accountable for their actions drunk or sober, but infringing on mass scale the rights of the innocent (check lanes) will not bring back your loved ones. The world is, has been and will continue to be a dangerous place. The choice is only of what kind of world the free will live in, or if there are to be any free.
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  • Posted by teri-amborn 6 years, 11 months ago
    When they called me (I'm no longer on their call list) I would tell them that MADD is part of the problem...not part of the solution.

    Drunk driving isn't criminal behavior. Hurting people is criminal behavior.

    I also suggested that they try to.lobby congress for the death penalty for any drunk driver who kills by intoxicated use of a vehicle...but that probably would give them more ideas.
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    • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
      Two words: "depraved indifference"

      Of course it is a crime to be falling down drunk and get behind the wheel.

      (I didn't say blow .08 - I said being falling-down drunk.)
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      • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
        Why is it a drime to be falling down drunk and get behind the wheel?
        WHAT HARM HAS BEEN DONE?
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        • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
          "Depraved-heart murder, also known as depraved-indifference murder, is an American legal term for an action that demonstrates a "callous disregard for human life" and results in death. In most states, depraved heart killings constitute second-degree murder."

          Do you argue against this?
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          • Posted by khalling 6 years, 11 months ago
            you have to commit a murder first zero. But I am a big fan of depraved heart murder being used-like in the government with government officials. let's start there-millions of murders at the hands of mediocre 3 letter agency officials. It is the theme in all of the Hank Rangar thrillers
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            • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
              So you agree with the concept of "depraved indifference"? That "callous disregard for human life" is a valid legal definition?

              If so, then consider this:
              A person who attempts murder but fails due to random events is still guilty of attempted murder, right? Even if no one was hurt at all?
              (Remember your answer.)

              A person that can hardly walk, but decides to drive home - and kills someone along the way - has committed some kind of crime hasn't he?
              Surely you don't hold that this was simply an accident - a civil court matter?

              And if by sheer luck he doesn't kill someone...?
              (Now remember your previous answer.)
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              • Posted by khalling 6 years, 10 months ago
                I did not ding you. No one encourages a fall down drunk to get behind the wheel. However, we should not set up road blocks where everyone is treated as a fall down drunk before they are able to show they are not. Its absurd. And irrational.
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  • Posted by Lucky 6 years, 11 months ago
    Alcohol is the cause of much misery against its consumers and others.
    But laws against drink driving can backfire. Meticulous research has shown how accident risk increases with blood alcohol level - but there is always a blip at low levels - the cause is the law - spouse A drinks a glass and hands over driving to spouse B, but spouse B is a worse driver at zero than spouse A is at 5%. Result, more crashes.

    Can not resist giving this link.
    https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/world/...
    Much bad behavior, safe to say that alcohol played no part.
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  • Posted by $ richrobinson 6 years, 11 months ago
    That is a tough one Winter. I would probably say that they were probably too emotionally driven to make good decisions. I would explain that I find I make better decisions if I can use reason and solid facts to make up my mind. It's hard to do that if you have suffered a loss like they have. Good luck WW.
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  • Posted by JCLanier 6 years, 11 months ago
    Outside of your own personal domain- anything executed while inebriated that endangers others should have legal consequences.

    A pilot that takes command of a plane while intoxicated, a bus driver, a train conductor, etcetera, if intoxicated, are all guilty of endangering the lives of innocent people.

    However, a glass of wine/ beer, even two, if imbibed while eating a two hour dinner will not cause intoxication (this discussion is not about exceptions, i.e. Individuals with extremely low alcohol tolerance, etc.)
    Responsibility requires that you recognize your limits and if you go past them get someone to drive you home, friend or taxi!

    No- I do not agree with the extremes of MADD. I do not agree that they should FORCE a person to undergo a blood draw. The law to check for impairment by intoxication, should only be applied where there has been an accident and suspected or evident that the driver is impaired by alcohol. This might be impairment by drugs, legal or not, but any form of operating a machine, that endangers others, while under the influence of mind altering substances should have legal consequences.

    In conclusion, anyone repeating this offense after having hurt or killed someone should be severally dealt with... like never being allowed behind any wheel again.
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
      JCLanier - well thought out, in general.
      "outside of your own personal domain" is a sticky [slippery] one. What does that really mean?

      I think you slipped in saying "The law to check for impairment by intoxication, should only be applied where there has been an accident and suspected or evident that the driver is impaired ..." It is not the job of the police to determine that the driver is impaired and that caused the accident. That is the job of a judge &/or jury. The problem is, we can't slip the driver into cold storage so that his blood alcohol content will be the same at his trial that is was at the time of the accident. Therefore, the law says, the police must collect the evidence immediately. There's where it REALLY starts to slip. States are finding that breathalyzer tests are unreliable, and have moved to blood draws - involuntary, if "necessary". Hos else are you going to get the proof of impairment, which is deemed necessary?
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      • Posted by JCLanier 6 years, 11 months ago
        Winter: Thank you for your commenting.
        I will attempt to better clarify my comments on this subject.
        "Personal domain" meaning your home, your property: if you decide to drive around wasted on your property, crashing into and destroying your property, running over your sheep and ending up in your own lake....well, that's up to you.
        However, once you venture out/off your property and on to tax payer/public roadways, you now assume a responsibility to not jeopardize the safety of others by following precise rules and regulations that allow for all of us to go about our daily road movements in relative safety as can be expected. My point is that driving impaired is irresponsible, irresponsible to all of us that depend on coherent driving by everyone, everyday so that we can drive to work and back home without loading the risk of tragedy.

        As far as your comment about the judge and the police... I think we are saying basically the same thing: the "law" is meant to be the police. The police are not "judging" but are collecting the data for the eventual judge and jury... the police are the first on the scene and, as you state, and as I said, they will be collecting the necessary data.
        I hope this helps clarify my position.
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    • Posted by hattrup 6 years, 11 months ago
      Well worded.
      If I operated a private tollway, I would have no problem restricting use to only those not drug
      (or otherwise) impaired. Exactly how that
      would be done, and the definition/measurement of impairment would be the challenge.
      Perhaps an entrance exam (obstacle/driving course)...
      This would give the rest of my customers some assurance of safer travel (vs. their other
      recourse of unrelenting lawsuits).
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      • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
        If you owned your own road, you could pick the test, and advertise it. If other drivers didn't think it sufficient, they wouldn't have to drive on your road.
        Thank you Neil Smith! - in his alternate universe novels, there is mention of a road owner who is going broke because they reduced the speed limit to 125 and no one will take their [toll] road any more.
        Your road, your rules.
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  • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 11 months ago
    If we were really against drunk driving we would get rid of the taxi monopolies, but we don't, which shows this is not about saving lives but collecting revenue and turning people into criminals.
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  • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
    To me the answer is patently obvious.
    You stop an offender based on behavior and then you subject them to draconian punishment.

    This is a serious crime. It merits serious consequences.

    The time you serve should be based on you degree of impairment.
    If you're drunk enough to fail the field sobriety test - six months upon conviction.

    If you're hammered - 5 years.
    2nd time - 10.

    It's called "depraved indifference" and in any other context it's a serious crime.

    And no, the prisons would not fill up with drunks. And yes, the incidence of drunk driving would plummet.

    And no, we would no longer have to subject the law abiding to blatantly unconstitutional random searches.

    As to what to say to the MADD folks - suggest what I've just said.

    PUNISH the guilty!

    (Of course, I'm talking REAL years here - not "jail time" years (usually 1/3 to 1/2 of real years.)
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    • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 11 months ago
      The .08 alcohol limit has no rational basis. MADD are a bunch of lairs and it is time to stop this assault on innocent people.
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      • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
        The crime is based on impairment - not blood alcohol level.

        I recall an educational video where they gave alcohol to a half-dozen motorcyclists whose riding experience ranged from newly licensed to pro BMX.

        Of course each person's reaction time got worse with each drink, but the thing I noticed,
        (Only I! How come nobody else ever notices!),
        was that only on the last drink - well past the blood alcohol legal limit - did the BMX Pro score as badly as the newbee's first ride.

        If the beginner was legal at the start the pro should have been legal at LEAST up until the last drink.

        If you can't walk a straight line you can't drive.

        If you're a little buzzed - but CAN walk a straight line, CAN touch your nose with your eyes closed, CAN say your ABC's backward starting at "M" - well then you probably CAN drive just fine.

        Don't base it on blood. Base it on impairment.
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        • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
          How, then, do we deal with people like me? I have inner ear damage and cannot pass any test that requires that I be perfectly balanced and remain that way. I "test", using the physical tests, impaired, even when I haven't had a drink in months.
          This is, BYW, one of the great annoyances of life.
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    • Posted by fairbro 6 years, 11 months ago
      Nazi "criminal justice system" in USSA, they also lock people up for not paying alimony, for possessing drugs. 3 million in prison, in USSA, more than China and Russia combined.
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      • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
        It's not NAZI to punish the guilty And someone driving sh!t-faced is not committing a victimless crime.

        If it only endangered themselves I'd be just as OK with it as Heroin. A real bad idea but your choice.

        But it's not just them - is it?
        And they really do kill people, don't they?
        And they didn't give it a moments thought, did they?

        That will change when the stakes are high enough.
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        • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 11 months ago
          0.08 is not driving shitfaced and why put the emphasis on alcohol? Not getting a good night sleep often has a worse effect on driving performance.
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          • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
            See my comments on impairment vs blood alcohol level.

            I couldn't agree more.

            As for a good nights sleep - that's simply not true. Unless you are literally falling asleep at the wheel, it has no where near the same impact as driving drunk.

            Neither does any other "distraction" which impairs you only for as long as you are "distracted".

            As opposed to driving drunk which impairs you for the duration of your drive.
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 11 months ago
              As one who has had the occasion to drive quite long distances rather often (heck, I drove 4 hours this morning to get to my client, departing at 5am), I can attest to the issues of driving while tired. Even though I got a good 7 hours of sleep, I often find myself getting drowsy and closing my eyes "for just a moment." When I find this happening, I figure out someplace to pull off and get some fresh air and get the blood circulating. But for those who don't do such, I can see them being all the same hazard on the highway as one who is intoxicated, at least for that period where they are not fully functioning.
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              • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
                Robbie - Try vitamin B12 [sublingual is fastest] to wake you right up; try vitamin B50 to keep you awake for a number of hours. It doesn't feel like speed, you just feel awake.
                I don't do it often, so I can't speak to any trade-offs [like falling over asleep 10 hours later], but it does work for me and a number of other people.
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                • Posted by Robbie53024 6 years, 11 months ago
                  Thank you. Actually, due to other issues, I do take B12 daily. Haven't tried such during driving, so might try that. No experience with B50.
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            • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 11 months ago
              Really, here is one site that disagrees http://www.parking.ttu.edu/shared/drowsy...
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              • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
                Not to be bull-headed, but this seems to lead to a bizarre conclusion.

                I'm pretty sure it is generally accepted that most people do not get adequate sleep anymore.
                ("Most" just means over half - but in this case I think it's considered much higher than that.)

                Their research concludes, therefore, that the majority of people are essentially driving drunk.

                Reminds me of the research that said talking with your passenger is just a distracting as talking on your cell phone.
                I remain skeptical.

                (Please note I do not consider moderate blood alcohol levels to be an accurate indicator of impairment.
                And I did concede the obvious danger of someone actually falling asleep.)

                Aaaanyway, sometimes we have to simply agree to disagree, neh?
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
      ummmm, I think there's some untidy thinking there, Zero.
      One of the arguments raging right now is how do you prove what a person's blood alcohol level IS at the time of the stop? The only way to determine whether a person is too drunk to fail a roadside sobriety test is to give him one. There goes "reasonable search" right there.

      And my position is one in which the punishment should fit the crime.
      Robert Heinlein, in The Number of the Beast, I think, has a scene in which some security guards [or such, it's not clear at the time] drive out to a lonely stretch of road with a person in custody. They then break the leg of the prisoner, and leave him there for a precisely-timed 38 minutes. A waiting ambulance then takes him to a hospital. This was his punishment for having caused exactly the same thing to happen to another person.

      HOWEVER
      If a person keeps driving drunk, and never causes an accident, WHAT HARM HAS HE DONE? Not what harm MIGHT he have done, but what harm has he actually caused? Can we prove that every driver around him recognized his impairment and exercised extreme caution to avoid an accident? I avoid 30-something women texting, myself.

      We cannot toss people into prison unless they have caused harm. period
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      • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
        Period?
        Nonsense.

        When you shoot wildly into a crowd does it matter if no-one is hit?

        A person who attempts a murder is guilty of attempted murder - even if he missed completely.

        A person who simply PLANS a crime with another is guilty of conspiracy.

        When a person is guilty of "depraved indifference" why does it matter if no-one was killed?
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      • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
        Oh, sorry, forgot to mention. You administer the sobriety test when you pull them over for erratic driving.

        Not random stops. Why random stops? There's no reason to think all these other people are drunk - and if he's not driving erratically - why pull him over?

        Buzzed driving is NOT the same as drunk driving.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 11 months ago
      I am completely against the random searches. It's unfortunate, though, that long jail sentences are less of a deterrent than a high probability of getting caught. Because of this, invasive searches probably are a "better" use of money. Increasing jail sentences tenfold costs ten times more and doesn't make criminals stop. So I'm saying turning the world into a jail "works" best at stopping crime and is still wrong.

      Regardless of all this, there's simply no excuse for people not being free from unreasonable searches.
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      • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
        Of course jail time of the length I describe is a deterrence.
        Most drunk driver are normal folk - not criminals by nature.

        Not people for whom loss of job, home and freedom mean nothing.

        If it were known - as sure as the stove is hot - that driving when you can't walk will land you five years in prison you WOULD see far fewer DWI's.

        The average man is not stupid.

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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 11 months ago
    Experience has demonstrated without room for debate that driving a car while under the influence of alcohol - and much else, like putting on make-up - is dangerous to others. It is like having a outdoor shooting range in your backyard. (Sure out in the woods...) In the city, in the suburbs, you cannot claim that you are so good a shot with your gun that no one would be endangered. The very idea just expresses its wrongfulness. So, too, with alcohol and cars.

    Yes, some egregious authorities may use that as a pretext. That does not change the premise.

    The "Terry Stop" is when the police stop a known felon for a pat-down. Felons are not allowed to carry firearms. Now, some over-zealous law enforcement person might get it in their head to stop all automobiles and search for firearms. That would be wrong. The "Terry Stop" would still be right.

    So, too, is it within the proper powers of the agency that is responsible for safe roads to ensure that all drivers are competent to be safe.
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    • Posted by Maritimus 6 years, 11 months ago
      Hi, MM,
      I think that you need to accept the fundamental truth that living is dangerous, by definition.
      The continuous search for absolute safety is gradually inhibiting freedom, as I think most people see by now. The distorted reasoning of finding excuses and describing criminal acts as "mistakes" that are fault of the "society" just ads, it seems to me, more poison to the brew. Don't you see all around instances of people equating "freedom" with irresponsibility. Truly reasonable animals crave freedom of thought, freedom of expressing their thought and freedom of action based on their thought. There is balance between risk and safety, which all of us have to search. Have you ever thought about how many different kinds of police we have? Don't you find it depressing to see our governments becoming more and more oppressive? Just some food for thought.
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  • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
    Somewhere, sometime, I heard someone say
    There are 2 tragic and inviolate rules about war:
    Number 1 is that young men die.
    Number 2 is that you can't change #1.

    Maybe I should think in that direction.
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  • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
    I did not get my snappy comeback [somehow I knew I wouldn't, because there doesn't seem to be one] but I did get some very high-quality thinking and writing and food for further thought.
    Any day on which you get those is not a bad day, not at all.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 11 months ago
    I would encourage you to keep in mind that these people very likely are not rational any more than those who imbibe, they are merely drunk on emotion rather than alcohol. Both are impaired and neither can be reasoned with directly.

    Instead of focusing on a snappy comeback (which would require a logical and focused mind to either appreciate or absorb), why not simply ask them how long ago their particular incident occurred and whether or not they have sough professional or clerical assistance in dealing with it. Once they rejoin reality and make peace with what happened, they might be in a better position to be logical. It is only the logical people we can reason with.
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
      You are correct, of course.
      I usually say "You can't be argued out of something you weren't argued in to." Their position is based on emotion, and logic, thought and reality have no sway there.

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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 11 months ago
    The MADD member is right. We would all be safer if we turned our society into one big jail. Our cells and uniforms would be subject to search at any time. It would be safer against violent crime. How far do they want to take it? Is it just what killed their son? What about kidnapping, murder, armed robbery, speeding, eating junk food? We would be safer in jail.
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    • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 11 months ago
      Come on, CG, you can argue better than that... I've seen it... Try again. Answer my reply below.

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      • Posted by radicalbill 6 years, 11 months ago
        Driving tired kills causes more crashes than driving impaired and they tried to come up with a way to enforce ( fine you ) that, but never could figure out a way. Just puts things in a different light. Almost everyone drives tired and if they kill someone, most likely, they will not be charged.
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        • Posted by dbhalling 6 years, 11 months ago
          Actually, I think just a small push in research and we could have cars drive themselves. If we were really against drunk driving we would get rid of the taxi monopolies, but we don't, which shows this is not about saving lives but collecting revenue and turning people into criminals.
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          • Posted by Zero 6 years, 11 months ago
            Good point, DB. The REAL good news is we'll only be worried about this for a short time longer.

            Cadillac says they'll have hands-free driving in the fast lane in two or three years!

            Google will have curb to curb in 10 to 15 years.
            30 years and most every car drive itself.

            Seems like a long time - but not really.
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            • Posted by $ 6 years, 11 months ago
              There are many times when I don't want hands-free driving. There are a few, when I'm very tired, when I do. Then I indulge in what my sister and I call "wife-speak": wife or significant other sits in passenger seat, puts on seat belt, settles neck pillow, closes eyes and slurs "D'you wan' me ta drive, dear?" A snore is optional at this point. It does require prior negotiations, however.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 6 years, 11 months ago
        You probably think I'm making the slippery slope fallacy, but you should make your own arguments.

        What I said is true. If their only goal is to reduce crimes, it's better that we give up our rights. Freedom isn't free. If decreasing crime is their main goal, liberty may not be the way to go.
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        • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 11 months ago
          I agree with you here. One can not have free will without the propensity (and I would argue eventuality) for one to make a mistake. The only way to guarantee that no one ever makes mistakes and commits a crime is to disallow free will entirely.

          Since that is not only absurd, but a total affront to humanity and self-awareness, what we should focus on is helping each and every person understand reality so that they are capable of evaluating any given situation and making decisions that do not lead to undesired consequences. Will we be so completely adept that we succeed? Probably not - thus the need for laws and consequences. And there may be some who simply choose something contrary just to rebel.

          [Echoing CG] Freedom isn't free. It is a constant series of choices we make.
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