RANGER AGAINST WAR: Dying to Talk with You <

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Dying to Talk with You

I can never fear that things will go far wrong
where common sense has fair play

--Thomas Jefferson

Common sense is not so common


Always you have to contend with the stupidity of men
--Henry David Thoreau


Oprah Winfrey is doing more to protect you than Homeland Security, and she's not even sharing in their pork.
Her campaign against the use of cell phones and texting while driving will do more to save your life than will the entire Homeland Security apparatus, and she does so more efficiently and intelligently.

Oprah presents the stark facts: A person driving while talking on the phone is four times as likely to have a wreck than is a person legally drunk, regardless of using an earphone. A person texting while driving is eight times more likely to wreck than a drunk.

Texting while driving?
Dear God, what could possibly be that important? How can one write and drive? Not just write, but push tiny little buttons at the same time one is supposed to be looking through the windshield and at surrounding mirrors; impossible.

She reports 6,000 deaths annually resulting from such accidents. Four years ago a young woman in a large SUV crashed into my car, ripping the door off. Her first words were, "I didn't SEE you!"
She was also legally deaf, and wearing a hearing device.

For perspective, ~3,000 die in the Twin Towers in 2001. No one dies from the efforts of the Shoe Bomber, the Underwear Bomber, Zazi or Padilla. But every day people are being mangled in The Homeland by idiots on cell phones, and most municipalities do nothing to stop the carnage.

The greatest threats facing average Americans have nothing to do with terrorism, but result from our daily behaviors.
If one were to have access to figures of annual U.S. victims of terrorists, Ranger will bet the farm it is less than 50.

Compare that to the homicide rate in any major U.S. city. Who would walk the streets of Cleveland, Detroit or any inner city after hours and feel safe?
Viewed realistically, terrorism is nothing more than an easily-contained irritant.

Our daily lives present the threat, but we ignore it because terrorism is such great entertainment.
The fact that Jack Bauer and the Show "24" is going off the air says terrorism in mainstream; de riguer before it ever really got started. We suffer from terrorist ennui in the same way we do vis-a-vis the real killers, like cell phone-induced wrecks.

As a motorcyclist, Ranger can say that nothing is more terrifying than being run off the road by another driver. That fear has canceled out my life-long love of the machine. The fact is that someone may kill you any never even skip a beat in their tawdry little soap opera life, maybe just for sport, maybe just to create their own little real-world version of Death Race 2000.
Entertainment is king in America, after all, and it is becoming a very private, isolated endeavor.

Who in the hell is everyone calling and texting? What is so important that everyone walks around with a device in their hands, or their ears or in front of their face? Does life have so little meaning that this sort of constant verification of existence is necessary?

Calling and texting while driving should be prohibited, and the criminal punishment for violation severe, especially for those who kill or disable another as a result of their recklessness.

If we protected our citizenry in this real-world way, we could dismantle Homeland Security -- a phony agency contrived to provide non-protection against a minor threat to the Homeland, best handled by agencies dealing with foreign and domestic criminal matters.

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Anonymous barcalounger said...

I have a theory. People nowadays are afraid to be by themselves. They have to be in contact with their contemporaries at all times. Like a little child that has to hold its mother's hand when they go somewhere. Their cell phone is their security blanket.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 12:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


I fully agree. Why do you s'pose people are afraid to be alone with themselves?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 12:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Peter of Lone Tree said...

They're afraid they'll ask themselves questions for which there are infinite answers.

Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 7:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

"As a motorcyclist, Ranger can say that nothing is more terrifying than being run off the road by another driver."

I second that! Many years ago I had a woman almost do that to me. Only there wasn't any off the road to go to, only guardrails. Terrifying? You're damn straight it was!

Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 2:45:00 PM GMT-5  

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