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Stalin would be proud

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by dan, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. [Taken from here...] I didn't write it! :)



    The older I get, the more I realize that a significant number of my fellow journalists are totalitarian elitists, which never ceases to horrify me. Behold:
    "Motorcycles weave aggressively through traffic. SUVs push the limits of the roadway, breaching medians into oncoming traffic. High-throttle cars race down the freeway. While some drivers continue to make the nation's highways into hazard zones, the numbers show that our roads are actually safer than they've ever been. Safety precautions - considered by some to be nuisances or even an infringement of rights - are actually working. Giving up a little bit of freedom to enhance safety really can be a good tradeoff [emphasis mine]".

    Benjamin Franklin said it best, folks: Anyone who is willing to give up essential liberties for a little security, deserves neither. Stalin would've been proud of the author. After all, the position that individual rights and liberties are optional is fundamentally evil at its core.

    The more fatal flaw in the above quote, however, lies in the amalgamation of speed limit violations and poor lane discipline as equal contributors to the so-called "hazard zones" the author attempts so dramatically to describe. The fact of the matter is that speed enforcement, especially on rural roads and highways, has been unarguably shown to increase the accident rate. Speed doesn't kill. Poor lane discipline, lack of skill, and driver inattention do.

    "Even as roads have become more congested nationwide, the fatality rate for motor vehicle crashes dropped 0.6 percent last year, according to the federal Department of Transportation. At just 1.46 deaths for every 100 million miles of travel, 2004's was the lowest death rate recorded in the 30 years such data have been kept. The improvement was attributed to safer vehicles, stricter laws and a drop in alcohol-related accidents."
    In what order, at what percentage, and in which areas of enforcement? Furthermore, who is this position on safety improvement attributed to? One of the biggest red flags signalling possible yellow journalism is failure of the author to attribute facts and quotes to specific sources. The reader should be especially wary of such tactics when reading editorial articles written by apparent Marxists.

    "Some may argue that the state has no place forcing drivers to take safety precautions. The motorcycle helmet law continues to draw ire among bikers who want to take responsibility for their own lives. But the problem is that the burden of preventable injuries falls on everyone. Accidents and injuries put upward pressure on insurance and health-care rates, which hit us all."

    100-percent, totally false. According to McGregor Interests, a leading investment and economics firm, insurance companies are big supporters of helmet laws, often citing the "public burden" argument. The assertion is that reckless bikers without helmets are raising everyone's car insurance rates by running headlong into plate-glass windows and the like, sustaining expensive head injuries. While it is true that bikers indirectly jack up the rates of car drivers, it's not for the reason you might think. You see, car drivers plow over bikers at an alarming rate. According to the Second International Congress on Automobile Safety, the car driver is at fault in more than 70 percent of all car/motorcycle collisions. In such cases, juries tend to award substantial damages to the injured biker. The result: Car insurance premiums go up.

    The only thing worse than an uninformed journalist is a stupid, uninformed journalist. Were I to wager on this subject, I'd say that improved highway safety is directly related to improvements in auto design and better driver education. Restrictive laws regulating helmet use, seat belts, and speed limits are good for little more than genereating revenue, and are certainly no justification for the infringement of personal liberties. But so long as nucklehead journalists like the one quoted in this post are given a voice, it is likely that such misinformation and bad laws will continue to be authored.

    For more nonsense, read the whole thing here.
     
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  2. Dan, you are performing a valuable service by continually bringing these articles to our attention. And you comments, I believe, echo pretty much what a lot of us are thinking. Stupid people making baseless assertions in order to support an insupportable position.
     
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  3. Possibly the only useful contribution this bozo has made is the last bit: "The only thing worse than an uninformed journalist is a stupid, uninformed journalist." It's a nice bit of self-description

    Read the original article. There's a link. except for the odd bit about giving up liberties, its a fair, balanced statement.

    Kreitz's knee-jerk reactions and spurious arguments mostly don't relate to what has been said.

    The main thrust of the original was that seatbelt laws and a graduated licencing law had had a beneficial effect on the road toll.

    Compare The original author's statement about bike helmets:"Some may argue that the state has no place forcing drivers to take safety precautions. The motorcycle helmet law continues to draw ire among bikers who want to take responsibility for their own lives. But the problem is that the burden of preventable injuries falls on everyone. Accidents and injuries put upward pressure on insurance and health-care rates, which hit us all."

    and Kreitz's response:"100-percent, totally false. According to McGregor Interests, a leading investment and economics firm, insurance companies are big supporters of helmet laws, often citing the "public burden" argument. The assertion is that reckless bikers without helmets are raising everyone's car insurance rates by running headlong into plate-glass windows and the like, sustaining expensive head injuries. While it is true that bikers indirectly jack up the rates of car drivers, it's not for the reason you might think. You see, car drivers plow over bikers at an alarming rate. According to the Second International Congress on Automobile Safety, the car driver is at fault in more than 70 percent of all car/motorcycle collisions. In such cases, juries tend to award substantial damages to the injured biker. The result: Car insurance premiums go up."

    The "assertion" about plate glass windows is something he pulled out of the air.

    His odd little argument goes no way at all to reduce the argument that helmet laws reduce death, injury and public cost. The fact that other things, such as driver behaviour also have an impact is irrelevant.

    The original author stated that "the fatality rate for motor vehicle crashes dropped 0.6 percent last year, according to the federal Department of Transportation" then went on to give details.

    Kreitz responds with "In what order, at what percentage, and in which areas of enforcement? Furthermore, who is this position on safety improvement attributed to?"... the sort of "prove it" reaction you expect from kids in primary school playgrounds and neurally challenged internet battlers. For crying out loud, its an editorial, you expect full references and Harvard system citations?

    If Kreitz had produced anything to show that the figures were false or had not come from the Department of Transportation, his message might have some useful content.
     
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  4. :? hmm which article has the tosh?

    they both espose utter crap:
    the heraldnet atricle by presenting road "trends" of a 2-3 year cycle... like that is somehow conclusive evident of trends

    then this kreitz guy jumps in

    if you wear leather then you disagree with this statement. Leather restricts your movements and comfort for the sake of safety. are you talking about compulsory helmet use? that infringes on personal liberties.

    franklin was referring to strategic security, not roads and safety laws so if you want to complain about my twisting of the words: the can was already open...


    then more
    he has one link to a guy who writes a webpage against speed and his article is the proof? there was no referencing in the articles, no peer review. a mention to "the federal survey" but no link to it nor explanation of who funded it... in america "federal" can have many connotations depending on the dept it came from. how trustworthy was this survey? a whopping 5 people were involved in studying the road habits a nation of 250million+ ?
    it was a poorly written attack on speed laws. It raised valid points but failed to truly present facts.

    come on people,
    rabidly agreeing with an article simply because it is pro motorcycle and pro your point of view isn't a great strategy for as the atricale itself states:

    if you want people to believe you, present facts not opinions.


    and finally damn , beaten by moike! :(
     
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  5. People will hang crap on bikes and on just about everything else. You pick anything that you enjoy and theres a Law about it and there is also a groug to oppose it!!! I enjoy Shooting........Ok wipe those shocked looks off your face :p and I'm not even a gun toting war monger (but if you listened to some people then thats exactly what I would be.) I used to play Paintball, you think bikes have it tough... Let it roll off your back a just keep doing what you love. Getting wound up just causes you stress. Be like me ...... "Stress Less" well almost.
    Stay upright...and have fun
     
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  6. :p

    Funny, I don't think any of our points overlapped much, but we reached the same conclusion.

    :)
     
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  7. phew... a good attitude to have...
    especially since you're a gun toting war mongererererer
    *backing slowly toward the door*


    :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
     
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  8. "Come On, Get Up There!!!" **Click-Clack**




    Gee that was hard to put on the center stand :p
     
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  9. hey dude, want to help me with my lit assignments?????
     
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  10. I don't do Lit.

    Now if you wanted to write something on the strategic use of enterprise resource planning systems, I've got a nice inspirational SAP T shirt you could borrow.

    :)
     
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  11. Some of the baseless claims the quoted journalist made remind me of people who buy 4wd's because they are safer in accidents despite evidence which suggests that they are more likely to get into accidents and the shock of the accident throws them around like a pinball inside the vehicle.

    Interesting point about the improving standards of automobile safety. Its such an obvious reason for reduction in the road toll and is brought to our attention a lot in advertisements but I never realised it until you mentioned it.

    As for the ideal that giving up rights to buy security is dangerous ... I'm going to have to disagree with you a little on political grounds. The average aid recipient gets less aid then a French of US cow gets subsidised by their respective governments. So isn't it fair to assume that security can be more important then rights in some situations?

    I'd be interested to see what percentage of car on bike accidents are seen to be neither drivers fault. Last I heard over 90% of accidents are attributed to poor decisions made by the driver / rider.
     
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  12. Pretty cute. The author of the article "Stalin would be proud" (TimKreitz) says "One of the biggest red flags signalling possible yellow journalism is failure of the author to attribute facts and quotes to specific sources."

    He then goes on to cite "McGregor Interests" ("a leading investment and economics firm" he says).

    Bullshit. McGregor Interests are a real estate company. Someone (a contributor to the Nebraska Biker forum that hangs off McGregor's website - Ted Pafford, http://www.mcgregorint.com/bikers/helmet law.htm )wrote an opinion peice that fails to cite any research about the effect of helmet legislation on the insurance industry. In fact, the one statistic he does cite is about the need for bicycle helmets - a public policy strategy that Victoria adopted about twenty years ago.

    So, if there are any accusations of poor research to be thrown about, TimKreitz has to be a contender.
     
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