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You, my fellow DU'er, have probably broken the law - and will be punished for it (maybe)

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:42 PM
Original message
You, my fellow DU'er, have probably broken the law - and will be punished for it (maybe)
Today I drove my wife to a drug store for a few items. I don't have a license anymore (will soon) because I rolled through a stop sign and had an expired out of state license. As noted in an earlier post I feel I was at fault and will pay for it.

As we pulled out of the store I needed to be in the left lane pretty quick, so I got over asap (pulled out of the parking lot, looked in my mirror, and got over). I did not put on my blinker. No need to really, as there was no one in sight and I had to get over quick.

According to the handbook, I broke the law. Had there been a cop around, I would have gotten (another) ticket and had to pay.

And here I sit, each day worrying over the little things I might do in traffic and having to pay for it - while bush and crew skate free as they kill people, lie to us, break laws left and right.

bush pardons his buddies, and the dems in congress won't even try to charge him with anything when they have plenty to nail him on.

We have cops out there everyday nailing people for simple things, driving around with a rule book in hand and charging you for every little thing you do wrong. And we cannot even get bush on one thing after all he has done???

I get the willies when I see a cop, even if I have done nothing wrong (and I say this as an ex-cop, nothing against police here). If I do anything wrong in their site I can get a ticket at the least.

And yet bush and crew can flaunt the law all day long.

You want me to obey the law? Then enforce it equally. Is that too much to ask?
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yeah, it's too much to ask. (Speaking facetiously)
The legislative branch, if we reference the Constitution, is not forced or obligated to punish the executive if the executive branch does something wrong, however heinous it may be like war crimes. It's purely at the discretion of Congress. The political nature of the impeachment procedure established in the Constitution virtually guarantees that there will be unequal enforcement.
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tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Traffic citations are just revenue devices...they have nothing to do with public safety.
(I'm an ex-cop too)

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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Playing devil's advocate...
Assuming that traffic laws are in place for a reason, and assuming further that the reason such laws are in place is to promote public safety on the roadways, then won't the threat of punishment (i.e. a ticket) get people to obey those laws more readily than if no such threat was present?
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tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. The -reason- for most of them is -because- they are so easily violated, thus making them
revenue enhancers. The threat of punishment, while touted for nearly-ever as a deterrent to "crime" is, to be blunt, nothing of the sort. I will admit some ordinances are adopted for the purpose of safety enhancement, ostensibly anyway, but their enforcement is done in such a way as to maximize monetary enhancement. (Actually, many cops abet the practice, sometimes even unwittingly, doing so simply from a desire to exercise power.)
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. But is the rationale for a law being in place...
and the way in which those laws are enforced one and the same? I'm not saying that these laws don't in effect act as revenue enhancers for police departments, but what I am getting at I suppose is that I think it might be possible for the notion that these laws act as both a benefit to public safety as well as a financial boon to police departments might be true simultaneously.
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tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. The two upshots aren't necessarily mutually exclusive...but the preponderance of "speed traps"
throughout the USA is pretty clear evidence of how and why the various laws are administered.
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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. No, the threat of punishment is not a deterrent. nt.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:15 PM
Original message
Would you care to expand on that a little bit? eom
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tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
21. I know you weren't asking -me- but I've studied at some depth the relation between
the murder rates vs. the states which have the death penalty. I don't have links handy but it's easy to discover that
states which have the DP experience higher murder rates than those which don't.
When I lived in Florida, for 18 years, I kept a log...which unfortunately I lost while moving, but it documented a rise in murders in the weeks and months after a murderer was given a seat in Ole Sparky. (I'm not making this up...I'm not rabidly anti-DP so that's not an agenda)
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. I agree with you that the death penalty is not a deterrent to capital crimes...
And there are many reasons why that is so, but I think that is a different issue though from whether or not punishment is an effective means of altering or preventing certain unwanted behaviors.
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tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Well, punishment in death penalty cases actually is very effective in preventing
recidivism by the convict...but I'm not at all sure the -threat- of it does much to deter crime.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #27
44. Well, that's true on the face.
You can't commit any new crimes if you're dead. Nevethless, as you note the DP is not an effective deterrent to capital crimes in that it doesn't seem to have much effect on murder rates...at least not the intended effect.

But I still think that it is another issue all together of whether or not punishment (not necessarily of the capital variety) has any effect on altering the incidence of unwanted behavior.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #13
41. Legal punishment is a deterrant to me (and I don't think I am unique).


I keep close to the speed limit to avoid tickets and I don't smoke pot because I don't want to go to jail even though I'd prefer to drive faster and get high.
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RedCappedBandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Research shows that you are in the minority.
Don't have any links, but i'm sure the information is there if you wanted to find it.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
22. the threat of consequences(being maimed or killed) is what slows most people down
the people who are speeding, running red lights and so on, if they are not slowed down by concern for their very life and limb, how does the cost of a speeding ticket slow them down?

it doesn't

i agree with the other guy, tickets are about revenue enhancement
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. A question, then...
Do you think that if all traffic laws were revoked and, consequently, there was no enforcement, that there would be no change in the number of fatalitieson the roadways?
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #26
36. the fatality rate would probably change very little.
But you have to make a distinction between traffic law and traffic control. I doubt if anyone would say make it legal to ignore signals and lane markings or to go 90 past the school at lunchtime. But with regards to speed, study after study has shown that drivers travel at a speed at which they feel comfortable and any attempt to artificially alter that usually has the opposite of the intended effect.

The vast majority of people drive with a whole lot of self-preservation in mind. My motivation to not drive through red lights is not that I may get a ticket, it's more because I don't want to get t-boned by a semi.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #36
45. Just out of curiosity...
do you have any citations for those studies? I'd be interested in seeing them.

I agree with you that many drivers have a drive for survival that makes them obey the law, but then there are of course some that do not (such as habitual drunk drivers). From personal experience, I do think, though, that the threat of punishment has an effect on drivers. Many times I have driven down the road with other drivers who were speeding when we came upon a cop who had pulled someone else over - all of a sudden everyone becomes the world's best driver. Seatbelts go on, they signal to change lanes, and most noticeably they pump the breaks (hell, I've done it myself).
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #45
48. Check the National Motorists' Association website
www.motorists.org plenty of information on the subject there.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
33. Absolutely correct, and a whole bunch of convenient excuses
for law enforcement to conduct what are essentially random searches.
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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. We don't have a Justice System anymore.
We have a revenge system, a revenue collection system and a special system for the wealthy and those in law enforcement, where charges and penalties are completely different from those for the lumpen. We also have a "bread and circuses" system. Not to mention a career-progress system, where prosecutors measure their success by the number of people they put in jail or in the execution chamber.

But justice? Has nothing at all to do with anything. Any justice that comes from this collection of systems is purely coincidental.
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FloridaJudy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. I think we've locked up the wrong 1% n/t
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. That's a DUzy, imo
It's just too true!

:applause:
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. I see your point, and I agree with it wholeheartedly on an emotional level, though I think...
you're being a bit unfair. The job of the traffic cop is not to enforce the law when it comes to high crimes and misdemeanors. The traffic cop is supposed to pull people over who break any of those rules in that book he or she has.

Also, just because other people are breaking the law doesn't mean that you are able to follow suit. For instance, if you are speeding on a highway where everyone else is speeding and you are pulled over, the defense that everyone else was breaking the same law you were won't pass muster.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Indeed, but
The role of our elected officials is to enforce laws as well - to wit, impeach bush for his crimes.

when the people we elect and pay are not even willing to try to do so then one must wonder about it all.

They make excuses for not doing their job, and they want to be rewarded with re-election - or they want us to elect them to higher office.

These are the people that MAKE the laws, and then spend money to ensure those laws are enforced. And yet they give a pass to people like bush and the other people affected by their laws they don't.

Seems a tad unfair is all.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. I agree with that.
Though I wouldn't say it seems unfair. I would say it is unfair. That's why I agree with your original point on an emotional level, because it isn't right that, for example, we should be locking up pot smokers by the droves whilst mass murderers on Penn Avenue continue to feast and fuck ala Rome.

Nonetheless, I guess I still try to believe that we are a nation of laws and that we should all try to respect that - even if others aren't.
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magellan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
8. You and I are subject to a different set of laws than the government
It shouldn't be that way, and you only have to look around to see how damaging that's been to our society and country as a whole. But there it is.
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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. I have had the "traffic wilies" too...and I have no outstanding issues...
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 07:14 PM by Journalgrrl
BUT - I thought when I saw the title here, that we might be thinking about how forums like this are no doubt targets for those who practice surveillance...

I have edited myself, and even avoided posting my thoughts on some threads because I thought about who might be reading this.

and THAT is far scarier than being pulled over and harassed on the side of the road...though when I see how people are being thrown in "holding cells", stripped, and left for hours or days...I should no doubt worry about simple traffic stops too...

who knows how they would come for us, eh?

At least I take comfort in living rurally, so I think I have a better shot at being "lost" before I could be "found"

god, can you see the tinfoil showing? I sound looney, but I am serious and that's even worse. :scared:
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. You offer food for thought and a whole new post :)
It is a sad day indeed when we are more scared of our government and what we say then they are of us.
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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Ya...they aren't scared much, are they?
And we are the ones who are looking over our shoulders...

I wish it wouldn't come to this, and yet the tides are changing faster than ever, it seems.

And how DO we get them to answer for their crimes, anyway? we all scream for action, and call our reps, etc...what next? storm the bastille?


I think I can runstle up a few torches...you got a pitchfork? too bad that won't do mch good with the firepower they'd be using on us.

shit, let's not even go there...
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Irishonly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #14
38. Law Enforcement worries about the wrong things
If I recall you live much further north than I do. Hardly anyone gets pulled over for anything unless there are two police cars available. When they do a sobriety check which is really a way to check for a license there are usually at least 15-20 police there. The other day I was almost side swiped by a car and there was a police person there. The other driver ran a stop sign and had I now swerved there would have been an accident. The policeman drove off which was good for the other driver. Me, I wanted to see a ticket.

It seems to me this incident represents what goes on in Washington. Go after an infraction or breaking of the law that is easy. When horrible law breaking happens, don't do squat. Law abiding citizens have to worry about the trite.

I don't know if this makes much sense to anyone but me. I am just really tired of all this administration has gotten away with. They are like the driver who was laughing as soon as he realized there was no consequence for his action.
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angrycarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
23. I assume my presence here has doomed me already
And say exactly what I feel like saying. Liberty or death. I enjoy living in the boonies also, It will be the safest place if things start to unravel. Overt oppression will start in the poor sections of the cities, It will take a while to get out to small towns and rural areas.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:12 PM
Response to Original message
12. Forgive me, but you're really missing the obvious solution
All you have to do is contribute millions to the coffers of Senators willing to accept your money in exchange for ensuring that no one ever has to be inconvenienced with the facts of your crimes, and while they're at it they can rubber-stamp the President's generous gift of retroactive immunity.That way, you'll be cleared of both the moving violation and of driving with an expired license.Of course, you'll still have that pesky House of Representatives to deal with, but...
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
17. I think about this all the time. All the burden is on us - taxes and obeying laws.
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 07:18 PM by higher class
Where are their taxes - legislated away or they evaporated because they organized their company in the Grand Caymany or some other P O Box in some small country and the individuals washed their profits in gimmicks, and it's also laundered using the talents of big buck accounting firms.

Yep, slavery in the name of the law that applies to the little people brought in on a platter of allegiance and patriotism with red, white, and blue streamers.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
18. Your posts are excellent. I agree with them entirely.
Thanks for posting what you are feeling.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
24. Asking the dems to hold bush accountable
noble
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TML Donating Member (749 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
28. It is too much to ask
I'm a Latino and I've had a DWB (driving while brown), so I watch everything that I do. It's a fact I have racist cops where I live, so it's best to obey the law unless I want another embarrassing pat down --or worse.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Welcome to DU!
Hey, you should have known that you were brown before you left the house--the embarrassing pat-down is clearly your own fault...
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TML Donating Member (749 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #29
42. Not if I didn't break any laws
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. Uh...
Maybe I should have used a :sarcasm: in my previous post...

Obviously the color of your skin should be irrelevant to the likelihood of police harassment. That's what I was trying to convey with my unclear sarcasm.


Sorry for the confusion.


And, like I said, welcome to DU!

:hi:

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TML Donating Member (749 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. No worries
Thanks :-)
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
30. Straight Story; I don't know your situation...
Is your wife disabled and unable to drive?
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
31. Yes.
The whole meaning of us that wanted the democrats to impeach or arrest in relation to legitimate subpoenas and investigation is because if those in power are above the law, representive democracy and "freedom" are but a joke.
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
32. Don't know whether applauds are in order but VA pols made it clear why they raised ticket fees
Virginia Introduces $3550 Speeding Ticket

6/21/2007

Virginia legislator introduces new speeding ticket tax that boosts penalties beyond $3550, driving business to his traffic law firm.

Virginia motorists convicted of minor traffic violations will face a new, multi-year tax beginning July 1. Led by state Delegate David B. Albo (R-Springfield), lawmakers slipped a driver responsibility tax into a larger transportation funding bill signed by Governor Tim Kaine (D) in April. Albo, a senior partner in the Albo & Oblon, LLP traffic law firm, can expect to see a significant increase in business as motorists seek to protect their wallet from traffic tickets that come with assessments of up to $3000 in addition to an annual point tax that tops out at $700 a year for as long as the points remain.

"The purpose of the civil remedial fees imposed in this section is to generate revenue," the new law states. (Virginia Code 46.2-206.1)

The Newspaper.com


Lawmakers desperate or drinking too much kool-aid?

After the fury that ensued, IIRC the 'revenue generating' law has been rescinded.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. That and the fact that Albo is an attorney whose practice is primarily
traffic law.

When your $70 speeding ticket just ballooned up to $3500, a few hundred for a lawyer becomes a good investment.

Additionally the law only applied to residents, which kind of made it unconstitutional.
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. "Make a law, make a business." Old New Jersey street saying
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 11:16 AM by flashl
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quadriga Donating Member (306 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
34. Yeah and Cheney get's his 20th quadruple by-pass
While if I get so much as a broken finger, I'll be in financial ruin. If something serious happens to me, I'm pretty much dead.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
39. I believe that some European cities have eliminated traffic laws
I read something about that a few months ago. It's every man for himself now, with no signs and no penalties. The rationale is that signs caused more trouble on the roads than not, with people crashing while trying to figure out the rule. Makes sense to me!
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El Pinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
40. flout=thumb one's nose at the law. flaunt=show something off.


feel free to spank me for being persnickety.
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