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'[OT]: Speedtrap warning device using any GPS recei'
2001\11\04@081453 by Roman Black

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> Olin Lathrop wrote:
>
> >Alternatively you could try obeying the speed limit.


Olin, if the government told you they had determined
that a huge amount of injuries could be avoided if people
were forced to walk REALLY SLOWLY, ie, never walk fast
or run, no matter what your health level, ability or
physical training is...

Would you walk REALLY SLOWLY the rest of your life?
Never walk fast again? Never run again? Taking those
options away from YOU because there is a small segment
of the community that fall over when they walk fast
and get hurt??

The only sane reality is where people must use their
maturity, social conscience and skills to walk just
quick enough to get where they want to go without
hurting themselves or others. Always allowing for a
small random disaster percentage, this is reality
after all.

To force ALL people to walk REALLY SLOWLY is some
type of dystopian hell where the competent 80% of
society must forever pay for the incompetence of
the other 20%.

And I didn't even mention revenue raising...
-Roman

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2001\11\04@110911 by Arnold Chord

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Interesting concept...except walking and running is a Human right, driving
is a human responsibility.
If I weighed 2500 pounds and could travel in excess of 80 miles and hour  I
would consider this a legitimate arguement.

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2001\11\04@115939 by David VanHorn

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At 07:34 AM 11/4/01 -0800, Arnold Chord wrote:
>Interesting concept...except walking and running is a Human right, driving
>is a human responsibility.
>If I weighed 2500 pounds and could travel in excess of 80 miles and hour  I
>would consider this a legitimate arguement.

I think the more relevant point is that in a walking accident, you aren't
likely to take out very many of your co-walkers or bystanders.

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2001\11\05@053631 by Gerhard Fiedler

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At 00:02 11/05/2001 +1100, Roman Black wrote:
>Olin, if the government told you they had determined that a huge amount of
>injuries could be avoided if ...

I thought most of us here lived in some kind of democracy... Australia, UK,
US, ... (Yes, I know that some of the Republicans in the US think they live
in a republic and not a democracy, but I still have to see a commonly
accepted definition of democracy by which the US is a republic but not a
democracy... :)

One of the basic conecpts of a democracy is that there are rules to be
followed by all (usually some kind of basic law or constitution and then
the simpler laws made up by some kind of legilative institution), usually
made up by elected representatives of the people. So the common way to
change rules that don't suit the majority in such a situation would be
through election of representatives that represent the will of the people
better.

Sounds to me that a majority stands behind the speeding laws, and somehow
the ones who want to defy them have a problem with democracy. I think the
better way to deal with the dislike of these laws would be a political
action to abolish them. Can be done -- if you can find a majority. If you
can't, well, then...

ge

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2001\11\05@064221 by artstar

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There are also people who:

1) Vote because they don't want to pay a fine for not doing so
2) Attend the elections but choose to vote the "donkey"
3) Vote agreeing with most of what one politician stands for, but not
all things
4) Are disenchanted with the way the system works and gain a sense of
hopelessness, thereby doing nothing to change the system

Now let's face it, democracy or not, no government would ever sacrifice
one of their biggest revenue raising businesses like traffic
infringements. We in Australia have a federal election coming up this
Saturday and the campaigns have been fierce. The major hook for one
party has been the broken promises of the current government. They've
replayed footage prior to the last election and then shown the results
today. Sure, a politician can promise you abolishment of this, relaxing
speeding laws, etc etc, but then again, that promise is not legally
binding either. If you know of a country where people can vote things
into submission, name the country and I'll gladly take my car there with
me! Realistically, you don't have control of what goes on behind closed
government doors.

Democracy was something invented by the Greeks many a moon ago. Though
it may live on, it has taken a path of contamination. Get used to that
concept of democracy, because that's what we're living in.

Adios,
LarZ

---------------  TAMA - The Strongest Name in Drums  ---------------

{Original Message removed}

2001\11\06@045815 by jeethur

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> Democracy was something invented by the Greeks many a moon ago. Though
> it may live on, it has taken a path of contamination. Get used to that
> concept of democracy, because that's what we're living in.

<RANT_MODE>
Yeah, that's what I've been observing for a long time. Let's face it.
Democracy has been around for a long time. And it ain't the best or the
Most efficient system around. Communism? That might get to be worse than
Democracy. Although Democracy is quite a peaceful deal, the basic fact I
observed was that there is no plausible way in which Democracy can run
without corruption. i.e No Corruption No Democracy. I've written a long
doc about this but fear the local cops might catch me on the Basis of
Article 19
Of my Indian Constitution:" Inflammatory Writings". This is one of the
weak
Defenses Indian democracy has against a revolution.
</RANT_MODE>

Jeethu Rao

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2001\11\06@070639 by Russell McMahon

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> Sure, a politician can promise you abolishment of this, relaxing
> speeding laws, etc etc, but then again, that promise is not legally
> binding either.

I'm interested to hear that relaxing speeding laws (by this do you mean
increasing some speed limits?) has actually been an election plank.
In this country (across the ditch) speed limits themselves are usually
(almost always) recommended by road safety experts who advise government on
the tradeoffs between speed limits and probably range of road deaths and
injuries. How this is administered may be another matter.

> If you know of a country where people can vote things
> into submission, name the country and I'll gladly take my car there with
> me! Realistically, you don't have control of what goes on behind closed
> government doors.

It's interesting to find a person for whom the ability to drive a car fast
on a public road is such a pure passion that they are willing to put it
ahead of all of life's other priorities to the extent of migrating (complete
with car) based on this consideration alone. For most people other factors,
such as quality of life, employment, security, road safety and much more,
would come ahead of this on the list. Presumably Germany with its unlimited
speed autobahns would be a good starting point without having to rely on
future results from uncertain political promises.

There must also be quite a few countries which have no speed limit in much
of their area. Afghanistan may well be one, especially at present, and you
would probably find that fast driving is presently both encouraged and
commonly understood. You could probably consider many of the previous
Russian Republics for much the same reasons and no doubt large areas of
Africa would suit your requirements.

The secondary considerations such as general survivability and other factors
as above, may direct the final choice. Let us know which of these options
you choose.

> Democracy was something invented by the Greeks many a moon ago. Though
> it may live on, it has taken a path of contamination. Get used to that
> concept of democracy, because that's what we're living in.

Yes. You are quite correct that Democracy has been contaminated from the
pure form created by the Greeks. Nowadays anybody is allowed to vote -
including the female half of the population that the Greeks excluded and in
most countries you can't find a decent slave for love or money, so there's
no question of them not being allowed to vote either. It's just not the same
in a Democracy without the slaves!
We won't even mention the furriners (who the Greeks regarded as sheep ( -
"Baaaah barians") Apart from that though it seems pretty much the same then
as now. Human nature hasn't changed much. The Greeks elected 500 men
(literally) by public vote to represent them. Why anyone would think that
they then did this in an unbiased manner I cannot imagine. The richer were
known to have disliked this system which gave so much power to the common
people. Also, Greek democracy lasted only for short periods and in limited
areas , interspersed by bouts of warfare. No real comparison with the much
more temporally stable modern perversions.

In this country at least, if any group has a single interest issue that is
REALLY important to a small but significant portion of the population then
they can form a political party and have enough weight to be sure that their
views are listened to. This is a result of our "MMP" proportional voting
system and the relatively fine balance of power. Maybe you need to agitate
to change your voting system or pack up your car and ship it across the
Tasman to NZ and set up a new political party? :-)

regards,




                                   Russell McMahon

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2001\11\06@141638 by steve

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> There must also be quite a few countries which have no speed limit in
> much of their area. Afghanistan may well be one, especially at
> present, and you would probably find that fast driving is presently
> both encouraged and commonly understood.

The faster you go, the less blown up you get.
To paraphrase -
Afghanistan is an example where exceeding the speed limit saves
lives.

I thought you were taking the opposite stance. :-)

> In this country at least, if any group has a single interest issue
> that is REALLY important to a small but significant portion of the
> population then they can form a political party and have enough weight
> to be sure that their views are listened to. This is a result of our
> "MMP" proportional voting system and the relatively fine balance of
> power. Maybe you need to agitate to change your voting system or pack
> up your car and ship it across the Tasman to NZ and set up a new
> political party? :-)

No, that won't work. "Speeding" doesn't pass the syllable test. The
criteria for these sorts of things is that the subject matter has more
syllables than "envelope". If it meets that criteria, it is too
complicated for the other politians and the views of trendy lefty
weirdo hippie has-beens must take precedence over years of
research by experts in the field.

Steve.

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2001\11\06@211930 by Russell McMahon

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Reply to pvt response to a public posting so I'll remove some details ...

> Really? So how democratic is compulsory voting here in xxx? Do
> people NOT have a right NOT to vote either?

Nothing is a perfect implementation of any system.
Names are just convenient labels to hang general groups of concepts on.
I suspect that many of the "democracies" that we have in the world today are
similar if not better in "goodness" to anything the Greek's achieved.
Nothing's perfect and even if it were there would still be a good percentage
of us who didn't like it :-)
eg for "half reasonable" democracys try UK, USA, NZ, Australia, Canada to
name just a few. There are many more but these I'm most familiar with. Some
like Fiji and Nigeria meet the test marginally if at all. It is utterly
inconceivable to most anyone here in NZ that the armed forces may one
morning rise up and take over the government. Not impossible - just
inconceivable :-)

I'm afraid I'm not fully up to date with the fine implementation details of
voting systems in other countries.
I know that even though voting is "compulsory" here, there is no actual
compulsion to vote or penalty for not doing so. Sometimes it is excedding
hard to get people to stand up for their own rights, and voting for those
who rule us is a major right. I'm not quite sure why you have a problem with
compulsory voting as I thought the perceived problem was our inability to
influence those in authority.



> NOTHING is democratic,

as above. I think what we have in many countries approximates the spirit of
the ideal reasonably well given the general nature of the human nature.

> and the only reason why Greek democracy only
> lasted in the short periods was because they weren't warring with each
> other, but rather defending themselves against invasions. Let's not make
> the democracy look like the culprit for the warfare.

I'm not a historian. I understand (possibly wrongly) that much of the
Greek's wars were in fact amongst the various nation states that we came to
know as Greece. Certainly external invaders can't help much. External
invasion by itself doesn't break down your form of government unless the
invaders succeeed and impose their form of government instead. certainly,
internal invasion applies pressures and we often see democarcy retreat from
such pressures to some extent - it is a somewhat fragile flower. cf eg WW2
war government of Britain and current restrictions in a number of countries
due to recent world events.

> Don't delude yourself Russell. Better yet, delude yourself, but not
> others.

Delusion is oft enough the result of a strongly held viepoint that is not
exposed to critical examination and exchange of views in a  wider forum. If
you or I can't examine our perspectives publicly we are more liable to be
deluded than if we do - always providing that we are also ready to have our
viewpoints changed by suitably logical and robust argument. I find that most
such discussions add to my always incomplete understanding of the matter
under scrutiny - which doesn't always amount to a change of viewpoint :-)


regards


           Russell



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2001\11\07@140706 by Peter L. Peres
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> I suspect that many of the "democracies" that we have in the world
> today are similar if not better in "goodness" to anything the Greek's
> achieved.

One of the things carefully omitted from the laudation of democracies is
the fact that at no time in ancient Greek history did a democracy exist
without a slave holding state. The other is that after the democracy
lasted for some time everything started going down fast, into decadence
and dictatorship and worse, and then there was a small 1600 year break
until someone remembered it without getting burned on the stake for having
such a good memory. So enjoy it while it lasts folks ;-(

Peter

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