Thomas Lifson asks an important question, one that should override any chatter about Elliot Rodgers’ use of guns, knives, and cars to kill his and injure his many victims: Was he yet another mass murdering young man on psychotropic drugs? If so, he would be another member in a select club of murderous young men on prescription drugs.
These drugs have helped millions of people function, but society needs to have a serious conversation to determine if there’s a subset of young men whom the drugs turn into psychopaths. Until we recognize this potential problem, we have no way of dealing with it.
I’m still brooding about my craptacular implosion from being a driver with a 36-year-long perfect record to becoming one with two moving violations in one frigging week. I felt better when a dear and valued friend told me that she’s had many more. I know that’s silly, but it made me feel like less of an idiot.
I’m still bugged, though, by the fact that one ticket was from a sting set up to turn random law-abiding citizens into potential violators and “lessons to the community,” while the other was from a red light camera that has no discretion, only triggers. Yes, I feel paranoid. And when I read that new cars include in their GPS/Navigation systems information about the speed of the road on which one is traveling, as well as real-time information about whether one is speeding, I felt more paranoid. So did a car reviewer at the National Motorists Assocation:
Cars so equipped “know” exactly what the speed limit is on any given road, at any given moment — just as they know the name/number of the road itself. They also know when you’re “speeding” — as Mazda’s helpful little helper helpfully lets you know. I have no doubt they also know exactly how much you’re “speeding,” too. This is not — yet — displayed.
But bet your bippie it is recorded.
All new cars — by law — are being fitted with Event Data Recorders (EDRs) or “black boxes” that record this data — and many others things besides. The ’15 Corvette will — reportedly — take video of your driving. And store it. See here.
I come from the generation of drivers that respects rules of the road 99% of the time, because I know they’re reasonable insofar as they protect people and property, and speed traffic along. However, 1% of the time, I fudge a little, while still respecting the spirit of the rules. For example, as my tickets show, I scoot through a turn on a yellow or I don’t stop for someone on a corner who’s manifestly having a conversation with someone and has no intention of crossing.
In the old days, you understood that the gamble was whether a cop happened to catch you. Nowadays, though, the gamble is gone: manned and unmanned cameras, videos, and even spying cars — they’re all out to get you. It feels uncomfortably like a road that’s moving us quickly to 1984.
At the New Editor, another reminder that, in Illinois, it’s not the law that matters, it’s the Democrat party candidate. Democrat judges will interpret the law however they need in order to ensure that the correct person is on the ballot.
Many of us have pointed out that Obamacare is a terrible tax on young people, who are going to pay ridiculous amounts on insurance in order to fund older and sicker people. It’s only fair to point out, I guess, that when it comes to the really old and sick, Obamacare is gouging — and potentially killing — them too. In this way, socialism is the great equalizer: sooner or later, everyone gets equally screwed.
I once pithily remarked that, to professional black agitators, because blacks were once forced to work as slaves, now all work is slavery. Melissa Harris-Perry, one of MSNBC’s myriad resident idiots-without-the-savant-part, now accuses the NBA of enslaving all those black men to whom it pays millions of dollars. If that’s slavery, count me in. Too bad I can’t dribble or shoot. Sigh.
Remember the scandal about Valerie Plame? She was the one whose secret identity was allegedly exposed by someone in the Bush White House after she had already gone public. That last little detail didn’t matter, of course, because it was the Republican’s fault. Heads had to roll, and Scooter Libby ended up in jail.
I have a feeling that the media is going to be much more mellow about the fact that the White House itself sent out a memo to 6,000 reporters expressly identifying America’s top spy in Afghanistan. Plame was a nebbishy, nobody, troublemaker, so no harm was actually done. This person, though, is in one of the world’s anti-American hot spots and this massively incompetent White House just handed out his name. It’s a dual scandal: first, that the White House did it; and second, that the media doesn’t care.
A man in Brussels uses a gun to kill four people at a synagogue. Hey, doesn’t Brussels have gun control? Why yes, yes it does. I think we call this bad guys with guns killing Jews . . . kind of like WWII. Funny how gun control doesn’t work when bad guys with bad ideas need guns.
Neo-neocon caught Chuck Schumer saying that, if Republicans don’t vote for amnesty, Obama “will have no choice” but to grant immigrants amnesty. Neo finds in this language scary echoes of the Enabling Act by which the Nazis managed to give Hitler the power to do whatever the heck he pleased to get the job done, a job that eventually included war, genocide, and national self-destruction.
We’ve always felt that our constitution protects us from this, but the Democrats have given us clear and repeated warning that they do not give a damn about the Constitution. (Obama, especially, has never had anything nice to say about this contract between government and the people limiting the government’s power.)
Be sure to read the comments to Neo’s post, too, because there’s a good discussion about situations in which it is reasonable and appropriate to make analogies to the non-genocidal goings on in Hitler’s Germany.
People used to speak of “guts and glory,” when they talked about the military. The Democrats have focused on the guts part and taken it to mean, not courage, but actual spillage of guts, with Americans either as bullies killing others or as victims being killed. Andrew Klavan points out that the guts are an integral part of the glory. Without the courage and the risk, what glory is left? You could just as well be a hairdresser.
And finally, if you haven’t yet read or heart Adm. William H. McRaven’s commencement speech at University of Texas (my sort of alma mater, since I got my law degree there), you must, you really must. It is one of the most entertaining and compelling statements of important life lessons that I have ever heard:
If you’re like me, and prefer to read, rather than hear, speeches, the Wall Street Journal has a written version of the most memorable part of his speech.