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View Full Version : We have an early winner for the 2005 Darwin Award!!



Not Ozymandias
01-26-2005, 12:08 PM
http://www.dailynebraskan.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/09/17/414a5a030e91d?in_archive=1


DEREK KIEPER: Individual rights buckle under seat belt laws


I’m from the school of thought where everyone should have the right to do as they please as long as they are not infringing on the rights of other people. This comes from the political philosophy that inspired our founders and freedoms.

The duty of government is nothing more than to make sure everyone’s rights are protected and not infringed upon. Uncle Sam is not here to regulate every facet of life no matter the consequences.

No law, or set of laws, has made the government more intrusive and ridiculous than seat belt legislation. Nothing is a bigger affront to the ideas of freedom, liberty, yada, yada, yada. Whether you are a pinko liberal or a right-wing whack job, there are plenty of reasons for just saying to hell with seat belt laws.

Democrats and Republicans alike should stand together to stop these laws that are incongruous with the ideals of both parties.

For Republicans, seat belt laws represent an enormous cost to the federal government. Perhaps the amount of money we spend on safety belts pails in comparison to our defense budget, but it still seems to be a ton of money to make a choice for a person.

The government budgets $13.4 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the U.S. Department of Transportation for educating the public about safety belt laws.

Remember the “Click It or Ticket” commercials you saw on TV this summer during the tourist season? Well, the government wasted millions on those ads to make sure you knew officer Joe Friendly was going to be pulling you over for not wearing your seat belt.

The government also dispenses $25 million in grants to local law enforcement to increase the usage rate of seat belts. Even the Lincoln Police Department got a grant to help enforce the safety belt laws – lucky us.

Most ridiculous, though, is the $100 million doled out to states that have primary seat belt laws – these are the laws that say you can be pulled over for simply not wearing your seat belt.

If one is doing the math, that is more than $138 million spent on seat belt laws. But the kicker is this: It is estimated, by researchers for Congress, that only 6,100 lives are saved per year because of new seat belt wearers. Moreover, the increase in the percentage of those who wear seat belts has leveled off.

As laws become increasingly strict for seat belts, fewer people will respond positively by buckling up in response to the laws. There seems to be a die-hard group of non-wearers out there who simply do not wish to buckle up no matter what the government does. I belong to this group.

For the states’ righters of the right, this legislation represents another attempt by the federal government to step on the toes of the states. Not only does the federal government currently fund grants to increase usage, but bills are being debated that would punish those states that did not have seat belt laws, by withholding funding – usurping the right of the state to decide its own safety laws.

What frightens me more about safety belt laws is the intrusion they represent to Americans. Democrats should take notice. Choice is an important aspect of freedom – choice to do as I see fit with my body and being.

Yet, the government has decided that I do not have the choice to drive around without my seat belt. It is my choice what type of safety precautions I take. It is ridiculous to legislate actions that have no immediate effect on other individuals.

Telling me to wear my seat belt is the same as making sure I have some sort of proper education before diving into a swimming pool. If I want to dive in without knowing how to swim, that is my right. And if I want to be the jerk that flirts with death and rides around with my seat belt off, I should be able to do that, too.

If we regulate decisions that are personal and deal with safety, we very soon may be confronted with a slippery slope of legislation. What is next? Helmet laws for walkers? Kneepad regulations for office government interns? Or perhaps some sort of mandate for protective headgear for golfers will hit the law books in the future.

What should be most scary for those who love freedom and privacy is the government’s consideration of a bill to punish all states that do not have primary seat belt laws.

Officers have enough reasons to pull us over in the first place. This just allows them to pull people over and give us citizens a good shakedown whenever we want. Does anyone else see a problem?

I’m sure college students would love to be pulled over and asked by the cops why they were not wearing their safety belt, and then maybe the police can catch a whiff of something – that may or may not be there – and searching ensues.

I can see now officers not being able to see your buckled belt as they pass you at night – because it is dark – so they pull you over to make sure. Simple enough, police do not need another reason to pull anyone over; they do it enough as it is.

All those who want the choice not to click have a few options. One is exempt with a doctor’s note, or if pregnant. Or you can move to New Hampshire, the only state without a seat belt law. New Hampshire might be my bastion of choice some day, but for now I am stuck in Nebraska.

I just wish we could keep the government out of our pocketbooks and out of our personal decisions.
"What is next? Helmet laws for walkers?"
Ho ho, what a card that Kevin is. Too bad he never heard, "Instant Karma"...



http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2005/01/05/local/doc41db350078259784029686.txt

I-80 crash claims UNL student's life
BY BUTCH MABIN / Lincoln Journal Star

Derek Kieper was a smart, funny, intense young man who relished a good debate and would do anything for his friends.


Kieper, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, died early Tuesday morning when the Ford Explorer he was a passenger in travelled off an icy section of Interstate 80 and rolled several times in a ditch. Kieper, who was riding in the back seat of the Explorer, was ejected from the vehicle.

Two others in the vehicle, including the driver, Luke Havermann of Ogallala, and the front-seat passenger, Nick Uphoff of Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, sustained non-life threatening injuries. Havermann and Uphoff, both 21, were being treated at BryanLGH Medical Center West.

The three men, members of the same UNL fraternity, were returning to Lincoln from San Antonio, Texas at the time of the accident, reported to authorities by a truck driver around 3 a.m.

"At this point in time, I'm in shock," Kieper's father, Paul Kieper, said in an interview Tuesday.

"He was a bright young boy, a 4.0," Paul Kieper said. "He loved to be silly. He loved to debate."

Paul Kieper said his son graduated from North Platte High School in 2002. When Derek Kieper came to Lincoln for college, the elder Kieper moved here, too.

Derek Kieper played on the defensive line for the North Platte High School football team, his father said. At UNL, Derek took on five majors — history, psychology, economics, sociology and political science — and had plans to attend law school.

Last year, Derek attended a summer program in economics at Oxford University in England.

"He loved it," Paul Kieper said. "It was his first time with travel abroad."

Kade Pittman, a friend of Derek since seventh grade, said Derek was a true friend.

"He'd do anything for anybody," he said. "He was really funny, extremely intelligent. He'd tutor me in classes he didn't even take."

Pittman said he last saw Derek shortly before Derek headed off to Texas for Christmas break.

"It's really tragic," Pittman said. "He's really going to be missed."

Capt. Joe Lefler of the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office said Havermann was driving the Explorer east on the interstate near Northwest 48th Street when the vehicle went out of control on the ice-covered road. He said the vehicle travelled into the south ditch and rolled several times.

A truck driver headed in the same direction witnessed the accident and called 911, Lefler said. He said alcohol did not play a role in the accident, but he declined to discuss how fast the Explorer was travelling.

Derek, who was thrown from the vehicle, was not wearing a seat belt, Lefler said. He said Havermann and Uphoff were wearing seat belts at the time.

In a column written for the Daily Nebraskan in September, Derek attacked seat belt laws as intrusions on individual liberties and expensive to enforce.

"It is my choice what type of safety precautions I take," he wrote.

"There seems to be a die-hard group of non-wearers out there who simply do not wish to buckle up no matter what the government does. I belong to this group."

Erica Rogers, opinion page editor at the Daily Nebraskan, said Derek's brains and intensity would be missed. Kieper and Rogers had lively political debates, she said.

"He had a Republican focus on economic issues," she said. "He was aggressive. He was really intense.

"He was a very engaging student. I'm sure UNL will be at a loss."
And thus another meathead leaves the world no poorer for his absense, dying as he lived: moronically.



"Even the Lincoln Police Department got a grant to help enforce the safety belt laws – lucky us."
No, Kev, lucky us.

Not Ozymandias
01-26-2005, 12:10 PM
Crap on a stick, now Horny Pope is going to show up to remind us that the term "Darwin Award" is technically inaccurate.

HornyPope
01-26-2005, 12:17 PM
I won't if you end your sentance with "Dully noted".

wheelchairman
01-26-2005, 12:18 PM
That man is a true martyr. I'm guessing he was libertarian. If I had a cool pwn3d image, I would use it.

http://www.politicsforum.org/images/humour/owned.jpg

Not Ozymandias
01-26-2005, 12:30 PM
No deal.


http://members.aol.com/TheBigGeek/pigasus.jpg

HornyPope
01-26-2005, 12:37 PM
You will regret the day your crossed me, Trebek!

Mota Boy
01-26-2005, 01:08 PM
At least he died doing something he loved: not wearing a seat belt.





I agree with him, though - mandatory seat belt laws are a restriction of personal freedom. You know the risks of not wearing one, and you only hurt yourself by refusing to comply.

RXP
01-26-2005, 01:43 PM
you only hurt yourself by refusing to comply.

Incorrect.

Econmists would say negative externalities. Someone gets into an accident cause of no seat belt causes the NHS more money. Further more they lose working days which causes a loss to both the public and private. I could extrpolate this down the line but I can neither spell the word or be arsed.

Rag Doll
01-26-2005, 02:17 PM
My dad would have died in a car accident if he *was* wearing a seat belt. A truck (huge thing...one of those landscaping ones, maybe, dont remember) came right at him, but he couldn't move the car out of the way, so he dove into the passenger seat of the car, and the truck proceeded to take the whole drivers side of his car off. if he had been wearing a seat belt, he wouldn't have gotten over to the other side in time and would be dead.

Mota Boy
01-26-2005, 02:22 PM
Technically you're correct, and you could argue grieving friends and family members count too, but unless you want to base a society around the underlying philosophy of acheiving maximum efficiency out of the population - banning unhealthy habits and enforcing exercise - I don't think you have a good point.

My underlying social philosophy is personal choice, limited at the point where you begin to encroach upon the freedom of others (as long as you're going focus on minor details, there are other exceptions, but I'm only giving an overview), and I think that the slight degredation in the overall efficiency of society isn't enough to warrant the restriction of personal freedoms.

Plus, you'd have to factor in the time and money spent on enforcing such a law and the negative effects on ticketed individuals, along with the fact that even under mandatory seat belt laws, not everyone will be wearing one.

Also, we don't have an NHS.

SicN Twisted
01-26-2005, 02:37 PM
This is amazing. This just made my day.

Although I don't agree with the seatbelt law at all for the reasons he mentioned - common, it is infringing on our personal rights - It's completely moronic to rebel against this by categorically never wearing your seatbelt. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness aside, buckle it. Not cause it's the law, cause it could save your life.

HMSPresident
01-28-2005, 11:47 AM
This is amazing. This just made my day.

Although I don't agree with the seatbelt law at all for the reasons he mentioned - common, it is infringing on our personal rights - It's completely moronic to rebel against this by categorically never wearing your seatbelt. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness aside, buckle it. Not cause it's the law, cause it could save your life.

And don't forget the old "if you're not wearing your seatbelt in the back, you can potentially crush the driver/passenger in front you in an accident" arguement...

RXP
01-28-2005, 12:18 PM
.

My underlying social philosophy is personal choice, limited at the point where you begin to encroach upon the freedom of others (as long as you're going focus on minor details, there are other exceptions, but I'm only giving an overview), and I think that the slight degredation in the overall efficiency of society isn't enough to warrant the restriction of personal freedoms.



You're one of those who believes in the property rights system has a pinnical system of freedom? I was reading an interesting article about that and I completely destroyed it in a responce. I'll have to find it.

That viewpoint is an utter joke. This is not a state of agency, this is a society where no man is an island. We all have social responsibilty. We have to face up to that fact. If you don't you're a selfish cunt. But your logical basis that wearing a setbelt isn't harming the freedom of others is flawed.

You encroach upon my freedom of movement when you're an idoit and get into an accident and die because it will then have to be investigated more throughly than if you had a seat belt on and don't die, causing traffic delays and what not. You encroach my freedom when you die because one of your friends works for me and he isn't in work thus costing me money, the government money and everyone money. It's the butterfly effect. You can't live in a state where your actions don't effect others' It's impossible. If a butterfly flaps it's wings in New York.... you know the rest.


Plus, you'd have to factor in the time and money spent on enforcing such a law and the negative effects on ticketed individuals, along with the fact that even under mandatory seat belt laws, not everyone will be wearing one.

The seatbelt law is a well known example that teachers give their Jurisprudence students. It was hated before the law came in, yet after it's mandatory obligation people sucked it up and now it's part and parcel of getting in a car, it's an example of when something is made law people follow. Of course not everyone will be wearing one. But the very fact it is law means people follow it.

The cost of enforcing such a law is miniscule compared to the cost of death in both human and economic dimensions. If you want to argue otherwise I won't even bother to reply because it's retarded.


Technically you're correct

I'm always correct, both technically and philophically. To argue otherwise is foolish.


Also, we don't have an NHS.

Well duh, but the private sector has to cover the costs. The UN has a term for this although it increases GDP so looks as if it's doing the economy good it's not. I forgot what its called. But the principle is to do with an oil spill. It will increase GDP but obviously not benefit the economy, in the long run or increase living standards.

Mota Boy
01-28-2005, 02:08 PM
You're one of those who believes in the property rights system has a pinnical system of freedom? I was reading an interesting article about that and I completely destroyed it in a responce. I'll have to find it.
Ah, so, in your mind, you once had an awesome response to an article I didn't write but is tangentially related to my argument? Well, that settles this little debate.


That viewpoint is an utter joke. This is not a state of agency, this is a society where no man is an island. We all have social responsibilty. We have to face up to that fact. If you don't you're a selfish cunt. But your logical basis that wearing a setbelt isn't harming the freedom of others is flawed.
Once again, I challenge you to standardize this viewpoint. Every time you drink alcohol you're running up your health risk. Every time you smoke or do drugs or eat poorly or have casual sex you increase your risk for disease and deterioration of health. If you honestly believed in what you were saying, you'd be for banning tobacco and alcohol and trans fat. Until you do this, you're just being hypocritical and picking and choosing when you want to make the "no man is an island" argument.


You encroach upon my freedom of movement when you're an idoit and get into an accident and die because it will then have to be investigated more throughly than if you had a seat belt on and don't die, causing traffic delays and what not...
And again, you aren't talking about freedom, you're talking about efficiency. Please explain to me how I'm encroaching on your freedom by making your commute five minutes slower? Or costing you money? That argument isn't just highly flawed, it's ridiculous.


But the very fact it is law means people follow it.
And I'm saying that we don't need a law, just an education campaign.


I'm always correct, both technically and philophically. To argue otherwise is foolish.
When stacked up against your flawed arguments, your brash tone only makes you look dimmer. You vaguely know some econ terminology, but explaining the definition of economic principles is no substitution for a real argument concerning political philosophies. If this is how you "destroyed" someone else's argument, then you might have to rethink the effectiveness of your prior blows.

RXP
01-28-2005, 02:18 PM
I know economics terms? To brag I got an A at A2. And 100% on a module and I completely owned macroeconomics but hated micro so didn't persue it further. I ain't some shitty PolSci student who is wasting his and his parents money in university.

The seatbelt needed to be law because some things need to become law in order for people to accept them. To argue that it's an infringement on personal freedom when most people dont' think twice about it, is crazy. To argue that an education campaign is all that is required kinda defeats the purpose. The sanction needs to be in place otherwise people will ignore it. Much like recent legislation passed to ban people using mobile phones while driving or a £30 fine. let me gues omg personal freedom!!

Is filing your tax return an infringement too? All that bother! We live in a society we all have to get along for the common good. You can't have everything, give and take. To argue against seat belt laws is just crazy.

To compare not wearing a seatbelt to drinking or having sex is a stretch to say the least. Everyone knows it's completely diffferent. Grasping at straws indeed.

My tone suits the person who I am arguing against. If he has a point I'd not be so forceful if he doesn't I write like this cause your ideas are funny.

And seriously I'll dig up that property rights thing. The guy was an idoit. If you know anything about the law of property you'd realise his ideas were just unworkable like much of these waste of time philophical ideas.

RXP
01-28-2005, 02:21 PM
Once again, I challenge you to standardize this viewpoint. Every time you drink alcohol you're running up your health risk.

To respond to your banning of smoking etc. I am purely an economist here. If smokers want to smoke they can but they're gonna have to pay for their health bills. Internalise an externality which is exactly what the governement do with huge taxs on fags and alcohol. I have no problem with it. If the smokers want to die and cause the health services cash, fine just pay for it. When I drink Jack I pay a stupid amount of tax, I pay for my health costs.

I do want to see public smoking bans though and bans in bars.

If you seriously believed in your convictions our society would simply not function. Sanction is needed not just education to get points across.

RXP
01-28-2005, 02:27 PM
How about this comprimise Mota Boy. If a guy doesn't wanna wear his seat belt he pays a higher car insurance rate, therefore satisifying my economic beef with it.

lousyskater
01-28-2005, 02:41 PM
That man is a true martyr. I'm guessing he was libertarian. If I had a cool pwn3d image, I would use it.

http://www.politicsforum.org/images/humour/owned.jpg


http://www.obleek.com/stuff/ww2ol/pwned/pwned3.jpg


there we go.

Mota Boy
01-28-2005, 02:52 PM
The seatbelt needed to be law because some things need to become law in order for people to accept them. To argue that it's an infringement on personal freedom when most people dont' think twice about it, is crazy. To argue that an education campaign is all that is required kinda defeats the purpose. The sanction needs to be in place otherwise people will ignore it. Much like recent legislation passed to ban people using mobile phones while driving or a £30 fine. let me gues omg personal freedom!!
Why does an educational campaign defeat the purpose? And the purpose of what? Public education campaigns are the preferred method used for replacing smoke alarm batteries, having an escape plan in case of a fire, detecting radon and other public safety measures. Nobody comes to your house to ensure that your smoke alarm is working and that your children know to crawl undersmoke and not open hot doors and fines you if you aren't in compliance, but people still follow them because they're aware that it's beneficial to them. My parents always taught me to buckle up not because they'd get fined if I wasn't secure in my seat, but because they were looking out for my safety. Most people will make the safe choice.

Also, I'm for fining people driving while talking. Studies show that it lowers the attention you pay to the road and increases the risk of accidents. I'm against it the same way that I, and almost any social libertarian, is against drunk driving.


Is filing your tax return an infringement too? All that bother!
You were the one that was arguing that losing money and spending a longer time on the road because of an accident impinged on your "freedom of movement". I was the sensible one arguing that it didn't.


To compare not wearing a seatbelt to drinking or having sex is a stretch to say the least. Everyone knows it's completely diffferent. Grasping at straws indeed.
Not in the least. When you drink, you harm your body and increase your risk of death. Same for sex. Millions of people die annually because of STDs. If you can't see the similarity, then you're even more out of your league in this discussion than I had imagined.


If you seriously believed in your convictions our society would simply not function.
Once again, you fail to back this statement up.


If smokers want to smoke they can but they're gonna have to pay for their health bills.
And HOW is this different from people who don't wear a seatbelt paying for their own medical bills? Really, you can ignore all my other points, just answer me this. Hell, to use your own argument against you, you pay for your own health bills in this situation, but you don't pay for the "butterfly effect" on society - not only do smokers die younger, they also spend a greater amount of time... shit, I don't know the term for it, but basically being old and decrepit. They cause society billions, if not trillions in lost productivity.

Mota Boy
01-28-2005, 02:58 PM
How about this comprimise Mota Boy. If a guy doesn't wanna wear his seat belt he pays a higher car insurance rate, therefore satisifying my economic beef with it.
I just say that he pays for his own medical bills.

Another way I'm for enforcing it is an incentive, such as reducing the fine associated with moving violations if the driver is wearing a seatbelt, but what you're suggesting is unenforceable.

RXP
01-29-2005, 01:07 AM
And HOW is this different from people who don't wear a seatbelt paying for their own medical bills? Really, you can ignore all my other points, just answer me this. Hell, to use your own argument against you, you pay for your own health bills in this situation, but you don't pay for the "butterfly effect" on society - not only do smokers die younger, they also spend a greater amount of time... shit, I don't know the term for it, but basically being old and decrepit. They cause society billions, if not trillions in lost productivity.

True, I was approaching it from an NHS perspective where the state pays for everyone. If they paid their own bills no problem, but seriously how many are gonna? Can they even? The butterfly effect argument fails here I admit because you can extrapolate anything to the nth degree.

That education purpose defeats the purpose was a mistake, I didn't mean it like that. An education campaign takes time, a lotta time to take effect. Where as an order backed by sanction is instant if enforced therefore not wasting time and the seat belt law as an awesome example of how when it was made law people started doing it.

I just fail to see how being forced to wear a seatbelt is stopping your freedom? Do you mean like physically movement wise? or the fact that the state can compel you to do something? I don't understand.

Mota Boy
01-29-2005, 09:13 AM
I just fail to see how being forced to wear a seatbelt is stopping your freedom? Do you mean like physically movement wise? or the fact that the state can compel you to do something? I don't understand.
Basically, the state is removing my right to choose, specifically, my right to choose to do something that could have potentially harmful consequences. I see wearing or not wearing a seat belt as my choice.

Now, this isn't a big issue in particular (unlike the dude in the article, I'm not arguing against this because I don't like wearing seat belts), but it's important as a "slippery slope". If we get used to the idea of the government protecting us from ourselves with seat belt laws (which a great number of people can agree on), then we can accept more and more instances in which the government decides what is good for us. For instance, in regards to assisted suicide, drinking, doing drugs, eating unhealthy foods [some legislators have proposed a tax on junk food] and participating in dangerous sports.

In essense, while I think that a seat belt law might be beneficial, I ultimately think that it's not the government's role to force us to protect ourselves.

SicN Twisted
01-29-2005, 03:15 PM
Instead of arguing specifics of the seatbelt law, why not bring mention of the general moral issue behind the seatbelt law - what gives the government, which is comprised of other humans born no different then we are, to make laws controlling what we do with our personal lives that affect us and nobody else?You can talk about affected familes members, but that's the path to justification of mass tyranny - saying people lack responsibility to make their own personal desisions so laws need to control them. People should be entitled to self determination and the seatbelt law is essentially unjust. I still wear my seatbelt.