SPEED LIMITS …

I thought about how many hours that had actually been stolen from me. 

Because, if you think about it, its kinda time theft. But I digress …

My family and I just returned from a fall break vacation. We don’t do much of that together because of the challenges that come with our daughter’s condition. It requires a lot of attention and some pretty specific accountraments that are unwieldy to travel with. 

But we did it this time. And it went very well. 

We drove the whole trip. No flying. Because flying has basically become some strange Mad Max version of itself and is essentially a nightmare. Every time I go toy the airport these days, I feel like I’m leaving Saigon in 1975. 

Anyway …

We drove. Give me the open road anytime. I do love it so. 

Of all the things the U.S. Government has screwed up beyond all recognition, one of the things they got absolutely right was the United States interstate system. You can leave from the tip of Maine and drive all the way down to the Mexican border in San Diego, and almost not need a map. Just follow the signs. 

It’s really something. 

And I’ve spent most of my life on this endless highway of ours. 

One of the things that has always intrigued me is how speed limits are decided. 

Apparently, the 55-mile-per-hour limit was based on fuel metrics or something like that. Who cares? None of us ever obeyed it anyway. Maybe we all just like even numbers. So, it was decided that 60 was the new 55. 

But, I mean, if you can do 60, surely you can do…Oh, I dunno…70? 

So now, most of the country has a 70-mile-per-hour limit. In South Dakota (where I was traveling), it’s 80. 

When I was a teenager living there, it was widely known that if you even thought about getting close to pushing past the magic 55, you would get a ticket. I got several of them. 

Now, decades later, that limit is a full 25-miles-per-hour faster. Maybe it should’ve been 80 the whole time. That’s what we were all doing out there on the prairie, when no one was looking. 

The trip from Pierre, South Dakota, to the Nashville city limits, used to be a 24-hour trip. Hard numbers. No way to shave it. We tried many times. We tried different routes and leaving at different times of the day. But it was always 24 hours. 

Last week, I left Pierre at 8 am and pulled into my driveway in Brentwood, TN, 18 hours later. That’s even factoring in the hour we stopped for dinner in Columbia, Missouri. A full 6 hours shaved off that trip. 

How? Why?

We figured out that they built some bypasses around St Louis and Kansas City. That probably accounted for a good two hours off the trip. But there’s another four that came from one thing and one thing only…speed limits. 

If the speed limit is 80, I’m good for a solid 87 (probably 90). If it’s 70, I’m pushing it to 75 (probably 80). And when you start doing the math and averaging out the time and distance, the speed limits makes a huge difference.

And it gets you wondering about things that used to be illegal, but now are not. And if they should’ve ever been illegal in the first place. 

How many laws are basically 55-mile-per-hour laws? Outdated? Unnecessary? Obsolete?

And how many people a year get punished for breaking those laws? 

I have often said, if you want to defund the police, aim higher. The police are just enforcing what they’re told to enforce. The real culprits are those who keep making laws, year after year. And they become professionals at it. 

I propose we do a year long “law fast.” 

No new laws passed for a solid year. Instead, we go through all the ones we’ve already passed and figure out what needs to go and what needs to stay. 

Let’s examine what’s really working and what isn’t. And maybe we should start with the war on drugs. Just a thought …

This past week, Joe Rogan evicerated Dr. Sanjay Gupta (as well he should have) on CNN’s dismal and slanted reporting of Joe’s Covid ordeal. I watched a few clips of it. And it was all I could do not to stand and applaud. 

But during the course of the conversation, Joe and Dr. Gupta got in to the conversation about Dr. Fauci and the emails basically proving that our own NIH had funded gain of function research in the Wuhan lab, through a backdoor channel. 

Don’t try defending it in the comments section. It’s all there. And I can fucking read. 

Joe was asking Dr. Gupta what could be done to make sure this never happened again. In true statist fashion, Dr. Gupta jumped right to more global oversight, a bigger committee, a larger institution to keep an eye on all the other enormous institutions. Joe didn’t refute it. It always sounds good in the moment. 

I just shook my head. 

What might’ve helped would’ve been actual journalism tracking these things. Real, honest-to-goodness reporting that shines a light on things like that. But once you shine the light on it, there have to be consequences. And there are never consequences. Not for some people. Not for the ones deemed too important to society. 

On the other hand, there will always be consequences for people like me and you. We get the speeding tickets. We get told how fast we can go. We get warned to not drive that fast ever again. Oh and you have a tail light out. 

And then, 20 or 30 years later, they change the speed limit to the speed we were going in the first place. 

And on that long stretch of highway, in the middle of the night, when you’re making better time than you ever have, it makes you wonder …

if this isn’t just some game we’re all playing.     

R

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