Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The Diff in a Jiff
55 is so much nicer a speed. Don't you agree?
TRUST. So the Dems think we're ready for their approach to everything. Maybe you are. But we can't help remembering that as bad as the Republicans are, the Democrats are worse. The question you have to ask yourself is this: Just how badly do you want to be protected from yourself? If you're really afraid of how much harm you might do yourself by making your own choices and living your life your way, by all means vote Democrat.
Here's the perfect example. Hillary Clinton is devoted to keeping you safe from your worst impulses:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, ex-First Lady and likely future presidential candidate threw out an odd legal suggestion to the National Press Club this week: a nationwide return to the double-nickel. According to Clinton, "The 55-mile speed limit really does lower gas usage. And wherever it can be required, and the people will accept it, we ought to do it..."
Meanwhile, the red-state hick idiots in Texas have just done this:
DALLAS -- One of the fleetest critters in western Texas, so they say, is the kooky-looking bird called the chaparral, or "roadrunner." The main tourist attraction in Fort Stockton is a huge statue of an 11-by-22-foot roadrunner called Paisano Pete, who greets visitors from atop the town's "Welcome" sign.
But on parts of Interstate Highways 10 and 20 around Fort Stockton -- heading west toward El Paso and east toward San Antonio and Dallas -- the gawky bird no longer will be the fastest thing going.
Last week, state highway officials in Fort Stockton unveiled the first 80-mph speed limit sign -- reportedly the fastest posted speed limit in the nation.
Rep. Pete Gallego, who represents a district bigger than Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined and sponsored the bill, said it will only add to the comfort of drivers who travel the desolate highway.
"Probably the only difference might be that police write fewer speeding tickets," he said.
Some safety officials and energy conservationists predict the additional speed allowance can mean nothing but more fatal accidents.
"People don't survive crashes at that speed," said Tom Smith, director of the Texas office for Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization.
"This will result in more deaths," said Russ Rader, spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "You get somewhere faster, but at what cost?"
Mr. Gallego said Texas Department of Transportation specialists had studied the situation and found that in the three years since the speed limit in that area was increased from 70 to 75 mph, the number of fatalities had actually dropped.
The highways, among the most remote in the U.S., are generally four-lane, well-maintained and straight as an arrow mile after mile. It is often 10 to 15 miles between exit ramps. The affected highways total about 400 miles.
Just a few observations. Straight roads kill people because they get bored. Suggest anything to you? About Democrats? Also, social engineers have been trying to fix speed limits for generations, but STUDIES SHOW that actual speed limits are set by the drivers themselves, of whom 85 to 90 percent travel at a speed that is safe given traffic, weather, and road conditions. Legislated speed limits are either irrelevant or a dangerous complicating factor to these driver-set speed limits. Does this suggest anything to you?
Pay attention, all you leadfoot, minivan-driving soccer moms. Do you really want a huge congressional tax increase AND a permanent personal tax increase in the form of mucho additional speeding tickets plus the associated insurance premium hikes you'll receive for all your incompetent driving around in the suburbs? If your husband can't convince you to drive slower with the kids on board, do you really think Hillary can?
Think about it. We'd call this a kitchen table issue. What would you call it?