The Clover Test

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Could you be a Clover?

Maybe you don’t even know what a Clover is?

Here’s how to know :

* Do you use your rearview mirror?

Clovers tend to be oblivious to their surroundings – and in particular, of their fellow motorists. They don’t notice that their rear bumper has grown a tail six other cars long. The true dyed-in-the-wool Clover does notice – but doesn’t care. Either he’s “doing the speed limit”-  or the other drivers are “speeders.”

Those other cars stacking up behind him can wait. What’s their rush, anyhow?

* Back into parking spaces?

A behavior peculiar to Clovers is the reflexive need to back into parking spaces – after multiple attempts and always at an angle that makes the adjacent spot useless or (if another car is already parked there) forces its owner to enter his vehicle Dukes of Hazzard style, through the window – because there’s not enough space to open the door anymore.

* Need two lanes to pass a bicycle?

Clovers have much worse than average depth perception and sense of spatial relationships, so when they roll up behind a bicycle, they will slow to the bike’s 10 mph crawl and Hold until they have at least another car width’s worth of room to attempt to pass by. This may not become possible for many excruciating miles. . .

* Apply the brakes at random?

Just like the blipping bioluminescence of a firefly, the Clover will signal his presence in the area by tapping his brakes for no reason, at random – even on open stretches of road.

Related: See-saw slowing and speeding up. The Clover never quite masters the High Skill of maintaining a given speed without the assistance of cruise control.

* Slow for School Zones even when school’s obviously out?

The Clover is born with a hinge at the base of his spine, near the pelvis – to facilitate reflexive genuflecting before any and all laws – even when the law at issue isn’t even operative. Thus, to a Clover, one must always slow to a Moped-like crawl when within a 5 mile radius of any school, open or not.

* Wait for the green light even when right on red is legal?

Clovers by definition lack initiative. Thus, they will park at traffic lights and wait – even if right on red is allowed and even if it’s infuriatingly clear to other drivers trying to get where they’re going that there’s no oncoming traffic. The Clover will wait…. and wait. And then wait some more. And thus, so will you.
When the light finally does go green, the Clover will invariably not notice for several seconds, long enough to make sure that at least two or three cars behind him that might otherwise have made the light won’t.

* The stop-merge

This is a Cloverish specialty de la maison. When entering a busy highway, stop on the on-ramp; then creep directly in front of traffic running 70 mph at no more than 15 or 20 MPH. It’s up to the other cars to make room for you. If another driver almost wrecks or spills his coffee all over his lap trying to avoid you, well – he shouldn’t have been “speeding.” So there.

* Refuse to move right -

Perhaps the signature characteristic of Clovers the world over is their adamant refusal to yield to faster-moving traffic. Ever. This act is what distinguishes the Clover from the merely slow/cautious driver. It is understandable that some drivers – the elderly, for instance – are not comfortable driving faster than the speed limit, or even at the speed limit. We may all end up like this someday. But the problem here isn’t the slow driving. It’s the obnoxious, passive-aggressive determination to force everyone else to drive slowly, too. The non-Clover will notice that others are trying to get by and will pull over, or move right to let them do so. We wave our hands in appreciative thanks. The Clover, however, will cling to his position like a leg-humping Lab. Flashing your lights will only egg him on; he’ll drive even more slowly. Some particularly vengeful Clovers will even use their Clovermobiles (typically, older Buicks or late-model SmooVees plastered with those little stick figure fambly icons) to physically try to prevent you from passing if you dare to try.

The true Clover, you see, is not merely a bad driver. He is a bad driver on a tear; angry at the world and in particular, anyone who who doesn’t view the world in through Clover-colored glasses. That would be anyone who doesn’t automatically worship The Law (any law; every law) or who isn’t consumed by a desire to make sure everyone else obeys The Law.

Hopefully, this isn’t you. And if it is you, why not just move over?  It’s not very hard – and you’ll feel better in the morning.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  143 comments for “The Clover Test

  1. dom
    March 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I don’t think you mentioned “don’t use their turn signals.”

    • March 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      That, too! Poor ol’ Clover’s prolly got a full load in his Depends by now…

      • dom
        March 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm

        Dood.. I drove down to Virginia Beach this weekend for a training clinic (225 miles each way). For the life of me I can’t understand why people hog the left lane going right at, or below the speed limit! Makes me want to pull out my .45.

        • Mithrandir
          March 27, 2011 at 11:22 pm

          “Makes me want to pull out my .45.”

          So you can play “That will be the day.” by Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison on your turntable. ;)

          It is not easy being a clover. So many miles, so little time. ;)

          • March 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm

            If only we could set them aside, like green M&Ms… maybe send them all to Madagascar or some such….

          • dom
            March 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

            “That will be the day.” by Buddy Holly

  2. fenimore neon
    March 29, 2011 at 4:19 am

    You also forgot complaining endlessly about clovers and saying that America should go back to how it is and thinking some laws are ok, but others not. People who do that are also clovers. Also people who use the term “we” or “us” when including their self in the discussion.
    Those who are not clovers, don’t even think about clovers. Why? Because clovers, mass men, and whiners in fact do not really exist. They are only manifestations in your mind to keep you from accomplishing your own path of life.

    • dom
      March 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      “Because clovers, mass men, and whiners in fact do not really exist.” HA, maybe nothing exists at all. Maybe I am being deceived by some sort of Unmoved Mover!

    • March 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      “Because clovers, mass men, and whiners in fact do not really exist”

      If only…!

  3. brainfan
    March 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Here’s one for you: a slow moving truck or tractor is crawling up a hill. It’s moving right next to the curb so people can pass. The person immediately behind it is driving along the center of the street, with plenty enough room to pass, but drives at the same speed as the truck anyway.

    The point about these people deliberately driving slowly with the knowledge that people behind them are getting impatient is key. They have a holier-than-thou attitude that makes them feel like they are making the road safer when in fact, they leave a path of angry people who are so fed up that by the time they have the chance to pass, they’re going to drive much faster and much more aggressively and unsafely than if they hadn’t encountered the clover.

    • March 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Exactly. Common courtesy (assuming the driver is just timid/scared to pass) would be to pull over as far to the right as possible and let the traffic behind him get by. But as you’ve noted, they don’t do that. They belligerently do everything thy can to make sure no one else can pass the slow-moving truck or tractor. It’s exactly the same move as planting themselves in the far left lane, refusing to inch past the car adjacent to them in the right lane and then move right themselves to let the mile-long back-up of cars proceed. These Clovers are petty power-trippers; the same type you find at HOA meetings and school boards.

  4. nathaniel
    March 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Regarding bicycles I’d like to point out that at least in my state bicycles are treated as any other vehicle. To pass any slow moving vehicle you have to pass in the other lane and can not pass with oncoming traffic, nor near the apex of a hill.

    While it may by aggravating when folks hold up behind a bicycle it is not safe to anyone on the road to pass with oncoming traffic. It is not safe to be partially in the other lane with an oncoming car. I observe that as soon as one car passes a bicycle every held up car continues in line without any regard to oncoming traffic. It is a lemming effect. While the ‘clover’ might be aggravating in this case the typical driver is neither noble or safe.

    Most people seem to think they have a right to go the speed limit or higher at all times on any road without concern for bicycles, pedestrians, slow moving vehicles or parked vehicles. This is why being a garbageman is far more dangerous than being a cop.

    • March 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      This is off track a little, but here goes:

      I think it’s crazy to allow bicycles on roads where speeds are higher than 25 MPH. Speed variance (not “speeding”) is a legitimate safety concern. It’s also a courtesy issue. I like bikes; I ride bikes. But I try not to be a dick and make cars slow to a crawl because I can’t pedal 35 or 40 mph. Ideally, roads would have an extra two feet of pavement on each side – bike lanes – and then both cars and bikes could coexist in peace.

      • nathaniel
        March 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm

        If you limited bicycles to roads 25 mph or less you’d run into a problem. The state asserts driving is a privilege, not a right. This is how they can forbid you from driving while not infringing your right to travel. Such a law regarding bicycles would very much infringe on your right to travel.

        Regarding bicycle lanes I find them, depending on the city, a joke. In my city they take a road that is already wide enough for a car to pass a bike without going into the other lane and lay down a stripe in the gutter. This is in fact more dangerous for bikes. Glass, metal and storm debris accumulate in the bike lane. And cars feel less of a need to stay wide of bikes (which is really a problem when the bike needs to avoid the debris in his ‘bike lane’.

        I certainly understand the frustration of getting behind a bike. But I’m not sure why the cyclist is rude for using the road. If it is just me and the bike on the road then only pure selfishness could have me believe the bike does not belong there. I love my car and the freedom it offers but like any thing it has its downside. I think the economic idea of moral hazzard applies. Car drivers feel safe in their metal car and thus act more recklessly. I also think that since we can get places quicker, rather than being thankful for this, we expect to be there quickly and thus find any obstruction a nuisance that greatly angers us.

        • March 29, 2011 at 2:47 pm

          You’re right in a technical/legal sense. But in terms of common sense – and courtesy – bikes on roads with no shoulder to speak of and vehicle traffic running 35 MPH or faster are a hazard to themselves and others at the worst – and at best a major nuisance to motorists. One bike can slow dozens of cars to a near crawl. How is this any different from the Clover who does 26 MPH in a 40 zone? He knows he’s making other people slow to his pace and likely making some of them late for work or appointments or whatever – but he doesn’t care. He’s doing the speed limit; it’s a public road; he has the right to use the road. Etc. All true. Doesn’t make the guy less of a jerk for doing so.

          I think the law for secondary roads should generally be the same as it is for highways; i.e., non-motorized traffic not allowed. Or at least, required to pull off/yield to faster-moving traffic. The latter would solve the problem without any need for laws – and so it’s my preference. Unfortunately, there are a lot spandex-clad Lance Armstrong wanna-bees out there who – like Clover – absolutely refuse to ever pull over!

          • nathaniel
            March 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm

            I think the difference is in ability. The car can go faster, but chooses not to. The bicycle cant. We shouldn’t get mad at people for lacking ability. That would be like getting mad at retarded people for being retarded.

            If the argument is from numbers then trucks should win. They are carrying cargo that is probably going to hundreds or even thousands of people. They should rule the road at whatever speed they want. Also, when you get out into the country you have the guys who provide our food who occasionally need to use a road to move between fields. These fields were probably separated by the state who decided they wanted to build a road through the farmer’s field.

            Regarding being late for appointments or work that is part of the moral hazard of cars. Because we can travel so far so quickly many people chose to live very far from work and to leave for an appointment with no built in time for any delays. They then want to blame the impediment to their movement for causing them to be late because who wants to blame himself? But would they get mad at God for allowing a tree to fall across the road and block traffic? Should we not allow road repairs because that slows down traffic? When a wreck happens do we stop to see if the person needs help or do we just keep going because we have to be somewhere?

            Again, I fully understand the feeling of frustration. I have it too. But I’ve come to understand that these frustrations are due to how I’ve chosen to live my life. If I dont want to be late for an appointment I should leave earlier allowing time for a cushion. I fail to do this as much as I should but when I do I feel a lot less stressed out.

          • By that logic
            March 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm

            I trust that sometime in your life, you have come upon a driver changing a flat tire, a truck making a delivery, or farm equipment moving in the right lane of a road. If you are able to successfully negotiate these obstacles without hitting them, you should be able to safely pass a cyclist operating in the lane as well. If you cannot, you should reconsider your ability to operate a car.
            As the operator of the larger, faster, and more potentially dangerous vehicle on the road, it is your responsibility to not put at others at risk on the roadway if separated facilities are not provided, whether it’s a pedestrian, cyclist, or Amish farmer in a horse-and-buggy. It is no one’s responsibility to not be a “nuisance” to you.

        • Jeff
          March 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm

          They allow bikes because to not allow bikes would be abridging the right to travel? Thats interesting. Because most of the toll roads here dont allow bicyclists at all.

          Bikes shouldnt be on the road with cars.. Deaths occur when bikes are hit by cars. At worst, someone might fall down or get a bruise if a bike runs into a walking pedestrian on a sidewalk but no one will die as a result. Bikes should stay on the sidewalks. Cars and trucks should be on the roads. Thats what makes sense, thats what would save lives, and make everyone on a bicycle safer.

          • Brent P
            March 29, 2011 at 10:45 pm

            Bicycles are vehicles and belong on the roadway. A bicyclist who is following keep right to pass and all the other common sense parts of the vehicle code relating to right of way has very little chance of being hit. Climbing stairs is more dangerous. The crash-type manual regarding bicycle-auto collisions shows that most collisions are of the ‘ride-out’ type. Where a bicycle rider enters traffic, usually in a way he shouldn’t be. Hit from behind is extremely rare and the driver is usually drunk.

            If that isn’t convincing, I can change your mind about where bicycles should be instantly. You walk on a sidewalk and I’ll buzz by you on my bicycle at between 25 and 30mph. :)

          • By that logic
            March 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm

            “Deaths occur when bikes are hit by cars.”
            Deaths also occur when a passenger car is hit by a tractor trailer. Will we ban passenger cars from the interstates because it’s “unsafe” to drive smaller vehicles on roads with heavy trucks?

  5. brainfan
    March 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    “To pass any slow moving vehicle you have to pass in the other lane”

    Nonsense.

    • nathaniel
      March 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      I’m pretty sure that is going to be the law in any state for a divided road. Obviously you dont have to be in the other lane to safely pass in every circumstance.

      • brainfan
        March 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm

        This would be an example of a law that attempts to legislate common sense. People should know that they should beware when passing a bicyclist, that they should leave extra space in case the bicyclist needs to swerve from a rock or whatever. And believe me, I fully understand your point about people who do not anticipate the potential around any corner. The way people hug curbs around corners is appalling when we have no idea if there is a kid on a bike, a mom pushing a stroller, a parked car, or any number of other obstructions. Complicating that is the fact that there may be an equally reckless driver approaching the corner from the other direction who is crossing over the center line.

        I relate to what Eric is saying in this post, but I’m also very aware of what can safely be accomplished behind the wheel. One problem that we have is that a lot of these ‘clovers’ are just incredibly incompetent drivers whose level of mastery never really progresses with experience.

  6. Dottie Lou
    March 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    The next column should be about Clover-Juniors. You know, the kids with the cell phones. They don’t realize the light turned green cuz they’re talking/texting on their cell. They’re talking/texting on their cell & don’t want to hit the car in front of them so they stop 3-4 car lengths back at a red light. You can’t pass them cuz they’re all over the road trying to text, but they’re attempting to be safe by going reeeaally slow. The list goes on and on.

    • March 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Agree – drives me nuts, too! I ride motorcycles, so it’s a form of Cloverism that’s especially threatening to me…

  7. Jeff
    March 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Mr. Peters,

    I enjoyed your article concerning “clovers”. They are the nemisis of anyone who wishes to use the highway system for safe swift travel, and they are inimical to the rules of the road.

    Whenever I see one of your clovers I always think that they are suffering from either Borderline Personality Disorder or the similar, Borderline Trait.

    Borderlines are angry, depressed, wholly without a conscience, intensely narcisisstic, violate rules and laws without concern, and feed on the negative attention of others. They engage in self destructive and at time self mutilating behavior. They are extremely passive aggressive as well. The more they can anger someone, the happier they are. They are hateful, hatefilled people.

    I have met more than a few of these people in my personal life. Several were in my family. Two were hospitalized for it in mental institutions.

    Personally, as much as I detest the rolling tax man, I would love to see heavy fines laid down on people going slow in the left lane. They are the cause of accidents and the are the instigators of road rage. $500 a pop ought to do it. I am certain that it would be possible for many states to suddenly have budget overflows if such a policy were pursued.

    • dom
      March 29, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Jeff. That is an excellent analysis of clovers. Well put!

    • brainfan
      March 29, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      This is a really good point. Cops pull over speeders because they are the easiest people to catch. It takes a lot more thought to judge whether or not a person is driving SAFELY, which a speeder can do (as any off-duty cop knows).

    • Robyn
      April 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Hahaha, a Statie once pulled me over for going only the speed limit in the left lane. He’d been following me back into the city, looking for a reason, because I’d stopped at the station in his town asking for directions, and made some comment about the way the rotary in their town had no signs so only locals would be able to find the right road to continue on. The thing is, I was in my 66 Dodge Dart, and I didn’t like to take it over 65 mph, and I wasn’t in the left lane until I hit the area where the road itself split and I was taking the left exit. He instantly threw on his lights. It was exceeding dangerous, because my choices were pull over to the left shoulder, or make my way through several busy lanes of fast traffic to get to the right…and then miss my exit. I didn’t even get to explain this to the judge when I contested the ticket, because he took one look at the statie’s report, gave the cop a look, then told me I was free to go.

  8. March 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    LMAO! Great stuff! I certainly share your angst! I will note here though that all have learned to obey school speed limits 24/7 365 due to heavy enforcement at odd hours to get revenue. Judges here do not question police at all. They are a formal rubber stamp. There are also several areas drivers have learned to avoid due to radar set up in speed zone A, say 45 mph, and road block in speed zone B, say 30 mph. You are ticketed for the zone in B. Usually this is done around hills or ridgelines along certain roads. The B zone may even be mobile based on “temporary safety concerns”. Sad part is we can’t even elect better judges. Due to civil rights over watch all judge ships and offices must be federally approved. Elect someone they don’t like and it is declared invalid and an appointee is put in place. Fine mess we have ourselves in ! LOL

    Yours In Truth and Liberty!

    • Robyn
      April 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      Ditto, Ernie. That was the only quibble I’d have with eric’s post. You have to make a big show of slowing down for school zones in my area 24/7 even in the summer or the wee hours of the night because the revenue-grubbers lay traps there all the time.

  9. Aaron
    March 29, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I think the folks who back into parking spaces is a tossup. I do know people (co-workers actually) who meet your qualifications in this category but also know quite a few like myself, who drive or have driven full-size pickups and find that backing into spots at Wal-Mart is far easier than pulling into them normally. I always found it a one-pass deal when backing in but centering the vehicle pulled in front-first often required a small corrective maneuver. At least this is true with long bed or short-bed with crew cab type trucks. I, of course, also know how to use my mirrors to accomplish this task. It made pulling out much easier as well since there’s less truck in front of you than behind you when you’re in the driver’s seat.

    I’ve also noticed an advanced breed of left-lane dwellers not mentioned in the article: Those who decide they need to move right in order to turn or exit no more than 50 feet prior to the exit or intersection. These are the worst kind because, at that point, they realize their situation and in panic, stab the brakes so they can swing their head around to scout for a spot in the adjacent lane into which they can slide. From my personal experience, this usually happens at exactly the same time I’ve given up on them moving right and just did so myself and started to accelerate around them.

    • brainfan
      March 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      I almost always back into parking spaces and I almost always do it in one fell swoop, arriving in the center of the space and you’re right: you need to know how to use your mirrors. I do this because the angle a vehicle turns just plain makes it easier, but also for another reason: when you have to back out of a spot in a busy parking lot, there are potential clovers in abundance. You have to constantly be aware of every single direction at once. There may be pedestrians or more likely, there may be a lazy SOB who doesn’t see that you’re already backing out so he backs out into you.

      Your second example is a good one as well. It always amazes me how willing people are to risk their lives for the sake of convenience. Would it really be a catastrophe if they accepted the fact that they will miss their exit and have to turn around at the next one? A similar situation is someone who is attempting to take a left onto a very busy street. This person will wait for 10 minutes for traffic to clear in both directions and he’ll often make the very dangerous decision to pull out in front of traffic. It never seems to occur to them that maybe they should just take a right and then turn around in a parking lot or something.

    • HighDesertGuy
      September 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      A lot of good observations on Clover behavior expressed here.
      In Arizona it is legal to stay left and to pass on the right. Insane. More people hang in the left lane here than anywhere I’ve ever driven. I’ve gotten so comfortable passing on the right in the past few years that I scare myself. How do you change a whole communities driving culture? HEY CLOVER: STAY TO THE RIGHT !
      ….AND DOING 33 IN A 35 IN MORE DANGEROUS THAN DOING 42 IN A 35. IT ENCOURAGES PASSING AND MANEUVERING THAT CAUSES ACCIDENTS. KEEP UP OR STAY AT HOME.

      • September 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm

        HD,

        Thanks – and, I’m hip to AZ; my parents live in Scottsdale and I’ve been through the area many times. It’s Noooo Joisey in the desert!

  10. Jeff
    March 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    How about the people who stay in the far right lane at a red light of a 4 or 6 lane road when said driver is going straight at the light totally inconsiderate of the people lining up behind them waiting to make a right hand turn while the light is red.

    Oh and I CANT STAND people who just sit at red lights waiting to turn right when no one is coming. In fact I have on several occasions actually just went around these people and made my turn. Then typically a few seconds later I see the person in my rearview pull out slowly and finally realize that it must be “ok” to turn right on red.

  11. MB
    March 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Yesh.

    I see these people all the time.

    I don’t get the mania of some people for backing into parking spaces. The worse are the people who seem to insist on doing it all the time, even when its not appropriate, such as parking lots with angled parking.

    As to the highways, I’ve come to call these jamm ups as ‘moving road blocks’, where you have someone (usually a big truck) in the right lane going slower then everyone else, and people trying to get around them on the left, but its slow going because some people don’t make an effort to really go fast, past the slow moving vehicle, and then get over to the right so others can get past.

    • dom
      March 29, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      Yeah, the ‘moving road blocks’ are the best! They get off on forcing you to struggle past them!

    • brainfan
      March 29, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      I explained my reasoning for backing into spaces. No, I don’t do it for angled spaces, but it’s a heck of a lot easier and safer to do it that way.

  12. Brent P
    March 29, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I have adopted some of the behaviors listed, but for different reasons and in different ways:

    Right on red. I will not turn right on red at any red light camera intersection. I don’t care how many people are laying on their horns behind me. RLCs are designed to steal from people so I will not be in an intersection when the light is red if I can help it.

    Letter of the law: Because of a couple of my vehicles I have found myself a target for the local badge wearing highwaymen. Just looking at a cop is enough for me to find myself on the side of the road having a conversation with a gun carrying government employee. I’ve been followed by more honest cops waiting for something they could exploit only to arrive home and them peel out in frustration to go back to their hiding spots.

    I won’t block anyone from passing, but I won’t go over the posted limit in many areas everyone else does. I can’t give the highwaymen anything they can use. Those annoyed should take it up with the government. The government they want, which has absurd rules it only enforces on “bad people”, but not them. They drive a sensible Toyota sedan or mini-van, not a Mustang, Corvette, or other irresponsible vehicle. I often think that sudden and mass obedience to absurd traffic laws would result in positive change (thanks the to traffic tie-ups caused).

    Passing bicyclists. I am a bicyclist. I don’t like to be brush passed so I won’t brush a bicyclist who is riding properly. I will attempt to give him a full lane and it is easy to do. I will see the bicyclist from some distance off and will adjust my speed slightly (up or down by 5mph or less) such that my pass is perfectly timed.

    • brainfan
      March 30, 2011 at 11:29 am

      Here’s your resident clover, Eric.

      • Brent P
        March 30, 2011 at 11:24 pm

        I would prefer addressing my points instead of labeling.

    • April 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      Amen and amen, Brent. I dont ride a bicycle, but will agree with everything else.

  13. fenimore neon
    March 30, 2011 at 2:21 am

    my point was that you lack focus. who cares about clovers? If you could would you want to make a law against them? So there are idiots out there who suck. I see them. I pass them. I give them the finger. But that’s all. I don’t give them another thought.
    I’ve written explicitly to you several times Eric. Quit worrying about anybody other than you. Just you. Don’t follow anyone else’s laws, rules, but your own. You are your own master. Because when you complain, and you agree with some laws, then that means you agree with the law-making mentality, and that is what breeds ALL laws—be a you, an I, not a we, them, or an us.
    You’ll be just you. You won’t have much more to write, and you won’t get the joy of seeing everyone reading your stuff, but you will finally be free to be you.

    • brainfan
      March 30, 2011 at 11:34 am

      Funny, I didn’t see anything in Eric’s post about writing laws against them. And you: “I give them the finger”? Grow up. I joined in the talk here, but make no mistake about it, I can also get by these people without feeling the need to indulge in this kind of behavior. The fact of the matter is, while I know there are people who deliberately do this kind of thing to get a rise out of others, I also know that I do NOT know if the person is an elderly woman, or a young person with little experience, or any other number of potential issues. What we DON’T need is more vulgar hoodlums instigating road rage.

      • March 30, 2011 at 11:36 am

        Agree. I posed something earlier about my mother-in-law. She’s a very nice lady; means no harm – but she’s a timid/fearful driver. There are many others out there like her. My approach is to give them a wide berth, and get by them quickly when the opportunity comes up.

  14. fenimore neon
    March 31, 2011 at 2:39 am

    fuck off brainfan. eric has written other articles, where he arhues against the making of laws in one area, and how those laws mess everything up, but then he argues for an other law. anyways, the point is that all law-making eventually leads to control over all aspects of life by some law-making agency, and its once we get to those laws that everyone screams…whoa. all laws are about power. its about having power over others in their decision making. ive been saying to eric that he needs to quit complaining and just worry about himself. but he obvviously likes the fame and glamour of others agree with his bitching more than taking ownership of himself and nothing else. it all starts with the individual.

    • March 31, 2011 at 7:33 am

      I’m not an anarchist, I’m a Libertarian – which is where I think we disagree. I don’t consider all laws – or all government – evil by definition. Laws that impose sanctions for harming others (not in the modern liberal statists sense of vague generalities but actual, direct and objectively definable harm against specific individuals by specific individuals) are, in my eyes, legitimate. Government that enforces such laws, too.

      I have no problem with, say, laws that make it a crime to to steal, or defraud or commit bodily harm – nor governments that enforce such laws. Do you?

      I think having the “rule of law” – that is, a system of courts and so forth to codify and enforce such laws – is a necessary prerequisite to a civil society, to civilization. The key thing, as I see it, is to restrict such laws – and government – on a moral basis, according to the principle of non-aggression. That means, you’re free to do as you please so long as what you do isn’t harming anyone else. Self-defense is moral.

      I understand the anarchist viewpoint that government (and laws, all laws) are – by definition – immoral. But I don’t see it or agree with it.

      Your thoughts?

    • Robyn
      April 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      Excuse me, but as fun as collective whining can be, that is not the only thing at play here, let alone the main thing. Keeping track of national laws regarding motorists is not only informative, but important to bring to light. People need to see the national pattern, because otherwise these little revenue-grubbing encroachments, like red light cameras not increasing safety, would be local news only. People also have to be informed on the dangers of giving up their constitutional rights for roadblocks that are definitely not about “drunk driving.” We need voices like eric’s and his vigilance in noting each incremental intrusion of our rights. It never ends…first it was “drunk driving” then it was “buzzed driving” and first it was roadblocks and now it’s no right to have devices that detect forced roadblocks and allow you to avoid them. Oh, but the devices that monitor our speed at every second will no doubt be mandatory soon.

      • April 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm

        Thanks, Robyn… that’s it exactly.

        The argument, “we’ll protect you” or “we’re doing it for your safety” and so on is and always has been the cattle call of tyranny. People such as Clover don’t see it – or maybe worse, they welcome it. I’m not sure.

        On “drunk” driving: The precedent that was established back in the ’80s, when so-called sobriety checkpoints were first approvedby The Supremes, is one that has let loose much – maybe most – of the low-grade tyranny we suffer today, including TSA “gate rape.” It’s the same principle: Subject people who have done absolutely nothing, or given any reason to believe they have, to random searches of their persons and effects. In the name of “protecting” them, of course – an irony that escapes the Clovers out there.

  15. March 31, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Trying to respond to Bythatlogic’s post (copied below) but his posts don’t have a “reply” button for some reason…

    Ok.

    He writes:

    “I trust that sometime in your life, you have come upon a driver changing a flat tire, a truck making a delivery, or farm equipment moving in the right lane of a road. If you are able to successfully negotiate these obstacles without hitting them, you should be able to safely pass a cyclist operating in the lane as well. If you cannot, you should reconsider your ability to operate a car. As the operator of the larger, faster, and more potentially dangerous vehicle on the road, it is your responsibility to not put at others at risk on the roadway if separated facilities are not provided, whether it’s a pedestrian, cyclist, or Amish farmer in a horse-and-buggy. It is no one’s responsibility to not be a “nuisance” to you.”

    There are two things here, I’d argue.

    First, I think the rule ought to be that regardless of “vehicle” (motorized or not) if it can’t maintain a speed that avoids it becoming an obstacle to the smooth (and thus, safe) flow of traffic, it should have the legal obligation to yield to other traffic by pulling over or pulling off, as the situation dictates. It is obnoxious – as well as unsafe – for a bicyclist (or a farmer on his tractor, etc.) to putter along at 10 or 20 (or more) MPH below the posted limit/normal traffic flow – refusing to pull off/move over when he sees other vehicles stacking up behind him. Would you not agree?

    Two, some cyclists are belligerent dicks who seem to be trying to make a point. The Lance Arsmtrong wannabees who insist on cycling on no shoulder/windy roads where passing them safely is very difficult. I’m not talking about 25 MPH roads, either. I’m talking about, for example, roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway (my area, where this is a constant aggravation in summer) that are posted 45. On hills, these Tour de Francers are barely even moving; less than 10 mph sometimes. But they just refuse to pull off, despite the conga line of cars behind them. That’s dickhead behavior in my book. I have no problem with sharing the road. I do have a problem with hogging the road – and that’s the issue here, sez me!

    • dom
      March 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      I agree with both of you!

      • March 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm

        And I bet we both agree that dressing up in one of those Tour de France spandex suits is not for us!

  16. fenimore neon
    March 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    i understand how “people” view labels, such as “anarchist,” and “libertarian.” But I have tried to get at you from many different angles through my responses. In a perfect world, I too am a non-violent, libertarian. No doubt about it. I am very fluent in the languages of Mises, Menger, Hayek, and Rothbard. However, this is not a perfect world. And there are not individuals anymore. There are herds, with minds the size of bb’s and no problem solving or logical ability whatsoever. If the idea of being a libertarian in a nutshell is thus:
    “I will not encroach upons anyone else’s property, giving each person the right to his/her private property.” Esssentially, what is mine is mine, what is yours is yours. Correct?
    You and I both agree that inflation, high taxes, runaway laws, run-away national debts, murderous wars, stealing money through the art of coordinated monetary policy between the banks and government, are all occuring right now?
    So you expect to solve this by sticking to your line of being a peace-loving proponent of libertarianism? No one is respecting your private property. Those in power steal it at will. So the idea of libertarianism is merely an ideal, like that of jesus christ the savior, that help the enslaved crowd deal with their lot as being enslaved and in chains they cannot break.
    They stick a gun in your face and say pay, what are you going to do? Pay peaceably.
    In order to have laws that make sense, real laws, laws hailing for humanity, and not the thousands of laws on the books now meant to control…the only way to get back to that…is to DESTROY every vestige left of the mass mind…including destroying the government…then start all over.
    Nothing happens though peace, except cool drum circles and hippies smoking weed.

    • dom
      March 31, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      Nice write-up. I’m left thinking to myself.. “Yikes” Makes sense!

    • March 31, 2011 at 7:48 pm

      I support Libertarian ethics in principle; to the extent this is possible in the real world. Not everyone is a pea-brained herd animal although I agree there are many (too many) such. We probably assume there are more stupid than smart/individualistic people because the stupid/herd people are more “in your face” and thus seem omnipresent. I agree we have to start over. I don’t agree that the way to do that is to abandon moral principle (if that’s what you are advocating) and become an indiscriminate Berserker. I agree that we should, to the extent we can, subvert, evade and confront “the system” as it is.

      So, my guess is we actually agree!

    • clover
      April 1, 2011 at 2:07 am

      I truly liked the writeup also. Someone who is against all wars and laws but is willing to do anything that will destroy the government and the people that run it. Kind of sounds like some bombers from the past. Tell me what is the difference except the government is trying to help the people. Build roads, feed the starving, support the elderly, keep the drunks from driving into someone else, it goes on and on. You may not agree with everything that is done and how it is done but is it worth blowing someone up for trying to do good? There are governments around the world that do point guns and tanks and jet fighters against their people but for the most part our government creates laws and bills to try to help people. You may not agree with them all but you work to try to correct things that are not quite right. Complaining does nothing unless you do it in a correct manner.

      I am now waiting for this truthfull post to get deleted.

      • April 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm

        Truthful? Equating opposition to stupid laws and those who enforce them with “bombers of the past”? That’s truthful? I guess to a Clover, who can’t imagine – or abide – any criticism of the Holies who run the government or the Laws it imposes.

        Poor ol’ Clover gets hisself all worked up….

  17. fenimore neon
    April 1, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Well. Not really agree actually. Because you think I am advocating something irrational, indiscriminate Berzerkerness, when it is far from that. I am advocating pure rational logic. If someone takes something from me, ie, freedom, I do not sit back and also give them my money, my time, and my balls. I say bring it mother fucker. And yes, 99.99999874percent of the world’s population are pea-brained herd animals. Its not because they are in my face, its because they are all educated by the same mass system. they believe the same things, why? because they are NOT TAUGHT how to think. they are taught what to think, and appropriate behavior.
    you see propaganda from a moral perspective, through the arts, through movies, through television shows, through even libertarian ideals, teaches from a humanistic perspective, that every person needs to be respected, that human are the best. Those things teach you an emotional attachment to these things called people. (If there were nothing but movies on about lions, and tv shows about lions being cool and humorous, and books about how a lion perspective helps you get ahead in the world, etc, etc etc…then everyone would be biased to lions.Hopefully you get my point.) Well, from a logical perspective, that does not make any sense, because humans are exactly like cattle (or at least what are labeled humans), in that they are born and raised for one purpose only–to pay taxes and follow rules. Because you are able to analyze and come up with the articles you do, about the types of people you do–clovers–is an analysis of the type of mass people you observe. Does it mean that they are all clovers? That they are completely brainless? No. But more and more they are becoming rule-following, mindless idiots. Imagine in another generation or two what the world will look like at its current pace.
    And it doesnt have to do with people’s minds. They are all bred to behave in the same manner. Behaviorism is at the core of education. Its more of a programming for beings to act in accordance…
    I write these to you not to correct, or be an ass, but because you are right there…you are able to grasp it…its within your reach….you just have to go a little further.
    Sure you will alienate some people…but they are not unique. they are not anything but an appeal to your emotions. thats it. bring dom with you. he gets it.
    “Man must not be afraid of ‘not doing what everybody else does’ or of ‘doing what nobody else does.’ It means that he must not be a mere mimic or sheep. He must think for himself. He must examine for himself the (his) grounds of right and wrong, and not let the principles upon which his life is conducted be laid down for him merely by other people’s opinions. He must not be afraid of criticism if he feels in his own heart that he is right. This is an exacting ideal. It requires the highest moral courage.”

    • April 1, 2011 at 10:41 am

      And I thought I was cynical!

      I don’t agree that 99.9 percent of the world’s people are pea-brained herd animals. The problem is getting worse, yes, but it’s not that bad – yet. Keep in mind that “enlightened” people (that is, people who can think and who are capable of self-government, without the need for external prods such as Jeebus or Guvament) have always been a minority – but have also always been the nucleus of positive developments such as the rise of Rome or of the United States. The majority is comprised of cattle, yes, but that’s nothing new.

      It is up to the “enlightened” people to try to direct the course of the ship, so to speak. Not by force (except in response to force) but by an appeal to logic and reason. It is not an easy thing to do but it can be done. Perhaps Galileo was threatened with burning but eventually the heliocentric view overcame the ptolemaic. Etc.

      And also to try to cultivate more enlightened people. To get through to those who, through no fault of their own, have been reared in a system that does as you say: Brainwashes them into tax-paying, authority-reverencing drones.

      We do what we can. It is all that is possible. We may only partially succeed. Or not succeed at all. But I think it’s important that we try.

  18. clover
    April 1, 2011 at 3:08 am

    fenimore, explain to me how the laws that we have is just to have power over us? Tell me why stopping drunk driving and killing others is only power that the government has over us. Tell me why cops trying to stop or slow down people that if left unchecked kill others on the highway? If there were no laws you would have idiots driving 100 mph on a two lane roadway right besides the bycicle riders that are in the above posts or the farmer pulling out of a field that is allowing you to eat. Or do you grow all your own food and seeds? You do not agree with any taxes so we should have no schools and no roads and no medical aid for the elderly and no street lights or sewers or garbage collection or any type of city services. It is fine to complain about taxes but explain to me what the country would be like?

    • Robyn
      April 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

      clover, if you actually read what eric writes about you would know that road blocks do not stop drunk drivers. The fact that you keep regurgitating that buzzword as if it were some holy cause shows that you are victim of the mass disinformation that works on so many. Yes, it’s good to educate the masses on the dangers of drunk driving, and that alone does change the behavior of the majority. It will never change the behavior of those who are truly a menace, though, and neither will roadblocks, breathalyzers, ignition locks, forced roadside blood-draws and legal limits falling to the point that no one can go out to a restaurant and have a single drink with dinner. All that those increasingly intrusive measures do is punish and prey on the general public. It’s not easy to look up all this information, and it’s not generally known, because it behooves the political class and the revenue-grubbing police force to keep the public fired up about “drunk driving.” The road blocks do generate a lot of revenue by catching people with expired or suspended licenses, etc, but they don’t deter or prevent “drunk driving.” That’s just the catchphrase they give the fearful public so they’re willing to comply with anything from unconstitutional detention to forced roadside blood draws. You probably don’t even know that the founder of MADD quit, because the focus of the group is so far afield from its original mission. You should try looking these things up, instead of just repeatedly demanding a lockstep response to the Holy Cause of Stopping the devil’s own spawn….gasp….Drunk Drivers. Sorry, but no…I don’t consider State Troopers with needles as some necessary do-gooding just for our own safety from Drunk Drivers. I can see you rolling up your sleeve and letting the road jocks jab you, tho. And that is what YOU are happy to see our country “look like.”

      • April 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

        Nicely put! I am clapping my hands like a seal! But Clover is no doubt referring us both to “the authorities” for our outrageous disparagement of “public safety,” which, of course, is all for our own good…..

      • clover
        April 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm

        Robyn, you are wrong. I do not care what other statements that others have made up. The truth is that the things that have been done to slow down drunk driving have worked. Those things have saved thousands of lives. I will agree with it not working 100% but who cares if it does save thousands of lives? That is the same thing as not wearing seat belts and not having air bags etc. You can sometimes get by without them an entire lifetime but those things have saved thousands of lives and hundreds of thousands of major injuries.

  19. April 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    25mph scool zones: i have seen cities in riverside county,calif and other states enforce 25 mph scool zones even if the school is not open. sometimes if a child is just there or not. you have to know the enforsment practices of the area. it’s all about the money,period

    • April 1, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      Yes, exactly. But tell it to Clover… to him, it’s all about safety and (of course) the children….

  20. April 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    cancell my membership

  21. fenimore neon
    April 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    for clover. about taxes. YES, most definitely, above all NO SCHOOLS. Schools are the number one problem. And yes no medical care for the elderly. Why prolong their lives, so they can continue to leach off of the earth and continue to be consumers. People should live to 50. tops. Roads and sewage? I dont give a fuck.

    • April 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      People who choose to have children should be responsible for their care and that includes education. It’s a choice to have kids. Can’t feed em? Or educate ‘em? Don’t breed ‘em.

      Right now, in my county, they are about to jack up both the real estate and personal property tax assessments… because the schools require (yet again) more money. Part of the reason for this is that there are renters in the county who have kids but because they rent they don’t pay real estate taxes – leaving people like us who don’t have kids at all to pay taxes to pay for the education of their kids. I’m sorry if I come off like a dick but I don’t think people should be able to just fuck and breed and then make what amounts to an open-ended claim – backed up by force – on my money, my property. Selfish? Only if putting my own financial security ahead of the claims of people I don’t even know to fund the education of their kids at my expense is “selfish.” Pay as you go – and pay for what you use. If you use the schools, pay for the schools. If you don’t use them, why on earth should you be compelled to help fund them?

      On the rest: People should be able to live as long as they are able and want to, provided they’re not leeching off others to do so. There are plenty of 50 year olds who are worth more than many 20 year olds. Age is not the issue. Parasitism is the issue.

      • clover
        April 1, 2011 at 9:35 pm

        Eric again you lack facts. I am not sure about your state but most if not all states require people that own rental units to pay property taxes on those units. The renter ends up paying taxes through the rental payments. As far as breeding goes, since you do not want the government to do anything about it then how are you planning on fixing the problem. I am kind of sick of people complaining about things without offering any possible solutions.

        • April 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm

          The fact, Clover, is that people who rent aren’t owners, therefore, they aren’t legally liable for real estate taxes. Yes, it’s possible the landlord folds some of his cost into the renter’s payment but the renter isn’t the one who will be arrested or have his property taken at gunpoint if he declines to pay the tax. Second, the amount renters pay is nowhere near the cost born by the property owner. One of the major reasons why renting is attractive is that it costs less than owning.

          What do I want the government to do? Stop forcing people to pay for other people’s children. See to it that those who have kids are financially and otherwise responsible for their kids. If they want to go to skoo’ - then their parents should pay to send them to skoo’

          Your kids are not my responsibility. Mine are not yours. Having kids is a choice; no one is forced to have kids or has kids thrust on them by circumstances beyond their control. They choose to have sex, often choosing to have it without birf control. Their choice – their obligation. Just as my choice not to “buckle up for safety” ought – in an ideal world – to mean that any consequences arising from that choice are my problem, not yours.

          But that’s the freedom philosophy – an alien notion to Clovers!

          • clover
            April 1, 2011 at 10:08 pm

            Eric again you offer NO solutions. You say if you can not afford kids then do not have them. The only way you can have something like that is to have a country like China that has stict government control over such things. You want no government control. You say if they have kids they need to send them to school. If they have little money then they can not afford to send them to school. Then those kids will be uneducated and will not be able to afford to send their kids to school. You take the simplistic view when making your statements but offer no real solutions.

          • April 1, 2011 at 10:26 pm

            No solutions? Can you read? Seriously. I offered a very specific solution, in two parts:

            Part One: Think before you fuck. If you are not in a position to care for kids – including their education – then either don’t fuck, or use birth control. Is this unreasonable? Unfair? (Point of order: You’re the same schmuck who lambastes me for the potential cost I might impose on others by not wearing a seat belt or having an air bag… but you think it’s ok for shitheads to shit out kids and make me pay for them…)

            Part Two: End the practice of forcing others to pay for kids who aren’t theirs. It is immoral on the most basic level; i.e., it is placing the needs of complete strangers and responsibility for the actions of complete strangers onto the backs of others, at the expense of their own needs and those of their own kids/families.

            Further: Make any government aid such as foo’ stamps and so forth conditional on chemical or physical sterlization after the individual’s first child he/she can’t/won’t support. You don’t have to submit to being sterilized; you just don’t get open-ended government cheese if you don’t.

            And: This is not a recipe for China. America was not always a welfare state, one in which the government used its power to steal from Joe to “give” to Frank. The system we have today is in fact relatively recent, historically. And it is no coincidence that America’s decline parallels the rise in the sort of government-imposed reciprocal parasitism that Clovers are so enamored of (big word; go look it up).

      • mithrandir
        April 1, 2011 at 10:38 pm

        I mentioned this elsewhere, but in brief: Put a sales tax on items for specific causes. Sales tax on diapers, pencils, kids clothes, and other school/child related items to pay for education. Tax on alcohol and tobacco for health related expenses. This may not cover all of the expenses for education (in this example) but at least it puts part of the the bill on the appropriate people.

        • April 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm

          Good stuff. The object here is to establish the connection between individual choices and responsibility for those choices. Clover can’t grasp this. He equates the former with blanket “social responsibility” based on highly generalized and often purely speculative “costs.” For example, he believes in mandatory buckle-up laws because someone (no specific individual; just “someone”) might be injured and his injuries might impose costs on “society.”

          My view is more direct. Only individuals make choices and only individuals should bear the consequences, if any, of those choices. So, for example, if I choose to not wear a seat belt and as a result am injured in an accident, then I should be responsible for the costs involved and so on, either directly via “the bill” or indirectly, via higher insurance premiums. And, if there’s no accident – hence, no costs – leave me be and respect my right to decide what’s best for me.

          No one else should be held responsible for what I do, either – meaning, no one else should be denied the right to choose whether to buckle up or not based on what I do/did/might do.

          Kids and schools: Parents have to pay for their kids clothes and no one thinks other people should be made to do that – or buy them birfday cakes or baseballs, either. Likewise, parents should open their wallets to pay for their childrens’ education – not put a gun to the heads of their neighbors to force them to pay.

          Clover doesn’t see that, either – because, of course, he’s a Clover.

        • clover
          April 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

          I have a question for Eric. You say that you should make the decision if you should buckle up or not. What about kids. Is the parent also the one to decide if they should buckle them up or not? I have one more question, do you believe you are a lot safer if buckled up and it saves injuries and lives or do you believe it makes no difference or do you believe it does make a difference but could care less if it is better for you and others.

          • April 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm

            Yes, it should be up to the parents. Who else has a greater moral claim to make that decision? A government bureaucrat? A cop? Some politician? It’s not their kid. Hence, not their choice anymore than it (for now) is still none of their business what type/brand of clothes parents buy for their kids, what they feed them and so forth.

            To answer your second question: I believe my personal risk of being involved in a serious accident is very low because I am a very skilled driver (not bragging; not saying I’m at the level of a pro race driver, either. But I have had race car driver training; been on a race track, etc.) and so judge that not wearing a seat belt is, for me, a slight risk. So I choose to take that risk. And as a matter of principle, I furiously reject the idea that anyone has any business taking that choice away – just as I’m certain you’d be mad if I or some other person decided we had some “right” to make sure you only ate certain foods, in the “right” amount – and exercised daily, etc. etc.

        • dom
          April 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm

          How perfect would it be if things were this way! It makes too much sense; therefore, will never happen!

    • clover
      April 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      Thanks fenimore. That is exactly how I thought you felt. Why not end the misery early?

  22. fenimore neon
    April 2, 2011 at 4:43 am

    you all don’t get it still. it doesnt matter what they tax for what reason…the government does not know how to responsibly allocate funds appropriately. if there is a tax on diapers for education…the government will not spend that money on education…but rather on wars, or on beauracracy. before you all start going crazy on saying I WISH I WISH I WISH the government would be this way, or be that way, understand first of all how our government is, and WHAT IT IS. And then take some time to understand properly how money really works in a country that is has a debt of 13 trillion dollars and counting and owes 40 trillion more dollars through medicare and social security that it doenst have, and yet still somehow is not bankrupt.
    And quit wishing for stuff. Your little Libertarian dream eric will never come true. CLovers will always be around until someone has the balls to wipe their genetic coding off the face of the universe, and the government will always fuck you in the ass, even if you rewwwy rewwwy don’t like it….
    Yall need to learn to look at the big picture, AND grow some fucking balls.

    • April 2, 2011 at 9:40 am

      Well, so what are you suggesting? Be specific. You say – or seem to be saying – that there’s no hope for freedom until “…someone has the balls to wipe their (Clovers) genetic coding off the face of the universe.” Do you support that? If you do, we disagree on a very basic level. Much as I am irritated (and more) by Clovers, I don’t advocate exterminating them. Or even beating them up, for that matter. Mock them? Sure. Take away their power over others, absolutely. Force them to live and let live, yes. If necessary, separate them from us if they can’t abide by the rules of proper human conduct – meaning, MYOB. But that’s as far as I go. If that means I have no balls, so be it.

      Maybe I have misinterpreted what you mean, so I await your response!

    • April 2, 2011 at 9:57 am

      You write, “…it doesnt matter what they tax for what reason…the government does not know how to responsibly allocate funds appropriately.”

      Of course.

      But the enemy of the good has often been the perfect.

      Nothing created by man can be free from flaws, at least not when it comes to economic/social/political systems.

      So, we strive for the best we can do.

      In my opinion, a constitutional republic is about the best we can do. It’s not perfect, not by any means. But what is better? Democracy? Anarchy? Socialism? A Spartan-style dictatorship of “wise elders”?

      You tell me. And why.

      On taxes: I have no moral problem with paying taxes to support what, to me, is the only moral purpose of government – the rule of law (those laws being moral only to the extent that they prohibit – and punish – aggressive force or fraud). Such taxes need not be derived from individual income taxes, which are an affront to liberty. Rather, sufficient revenue for government’s legitimate functions could be derived from tariffs and perhaps a general sales tax. Take away the current system of mass entitlements, a gargantuan military establishment and the bureaucracy to support it and you get rid of two-thirds of government spending – and thus, taxation.

      One of the broader political problems we would have to overcome, though, is the size of our theoretical constitutional republic. I don’t believe such a government is tenable in the context of a continent-sized country; too many people and the government is too remote and thus, not sufficiently accountable. Also, there is the issue of the body politic itself. A constitutional republic requires a common people, who share the same values and inclinations, outlook on life and background – which to a great extent spring from culture/ethnicity. It is taboo to mention this but I will nonetheless. The fact is polyglot, “diverse” societes are decaying societies in which one group – the formerly dominant group, is in decline while another group (or groups) is ascending. Fractiousness and strife always accompanies this process. This isn’t a “white power” (or anyone power) argument. It’s just a recognition of the fact that successful, enduring nations have always been ethnic/racially homogenous nations.

      The “we are the world” universalist mumbo-jumbo of left-liberals and neo-con Republicans is just that…

    • dom
      April 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      I’m curious to hear what exactly you are suggesting too?

    • clover
      April 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      fenimore neon is an Eric on steroids. A cannon waiting to blow. We will see his name in the news some day.

      • April 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm

        Eric is only steroidal in defense of liberty. Meaning, I defend your right to do your thing, as you see fit, as fiercely as I defend my right to do the same. So long as I am not hurting you, or threatening to, then leave me be and I will extend the same courtesy to you.

        Maybe you think I’m an idiot – and I may think the same about you. But that’s neither here nor there. I wouldn’t dream of trying to force you to do what I think is the “right” thing to do.

        So how about agreeing to do the same for me?

        This used to be the American way. Sad that it’s not anymore.

  23. fenimore neon
    April 3, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Eric. Dude.. I have been writing upon all of your pages, incessantly letting you know that by stopping at libertarianism, you will just continue to espouse ideas. Its the same as republicans. Its the same as democrats. “Lets give em something to talk about.” Blah blah blah. Libertarianism is a form of government. If you are ESTABLISHING a government, then I think a libertarian one would be key. I would totally join. But here is the problem. Our government is not libertarian. It is a massive empire that is eating itself. Ideally America started off with good intentions. But here is my thing about government, and this is the question that really got me into becoming an individualist: If America was founded on freedom, how come there are so many dumb mother fuckers here that want restrictions? The question posed to me by clovers, is,”if you don’t like it, why don’t you leave?” But how, what, why? All of the idiots, and power hungry government people, and people bred to be needy, all these people fucked up what this country was supposed to be. Its like the analogy where, when I used to smoke cigarettes: There was a bar we went to where we smoked. Thats what we did there. Smoke. Drink. Shoot pool. Well, people who didnt smoke went there, and then wanted a law to make all establishments non-smoking. What? Why go somewhere that does not fit with your character, and then try to change it? If I don’t smoke I’m going to not go out to a place where there are smokers. If I find myself in a country that is based on freedom, and I want o be about communes, well, I better find the commune place, not try and turn the freedom place into the commune place. Are you following me? That is what has happened to this country. But it is only a place. It has rules made up by other men.
    I am not for trying to change the world Eric. I change my self. Like I have said, No one is going to make a law that tells me what to do. Why? Because it is created by a government that breaks all laws, yet wants me to follow their laws. Like the parent who says do as i say, not as I do.
    I am a man. With a limited time span here. I will die one day. I will not go to heaven. I will not go to hell. All of my efforts, conquests, smiles, dreams, nightmares, will be over. Done. And that is how I live. What is the worst someone can do to me? Kill me. So be it. But your not going to do it without a fight. But if I die. I then cease to care.
    Only strength conquers. Thats why I wrote the thing about Malcom X on one of your other posts. Why? Because it is so honorable to continue to be about peaceably wanting to resist, to stand up for your ideals (peaceably), and to want to try to make others change for the better. But you know what? You are fighting an impossible battle. You’re fighting against a system that has educated the people in behaviorism since they were born. Why since they were born, because their parents educated them, and their parents had already been educated before them since they were born, by same said parents. Education trains people. It digs routine into your mind. Adheres you to their systems: Money, work, happiness, propaganda of rule, of laws, of order. LAws made from a fraudelent government, a fraudelent STATE, create ARTIFICIAL CONSEQUENCES. I’ve been all over the place, talked with many different people who say they want real change! (Bullshit) The only way real change can occur, is not because I am irrationally saying this, or because I am overboard, but only change occurs…when things change! And the only way that can happen is to start over. All of it. You can’t still have clovers. You can’t still have mentally disabled. You can’t have leaches. You can’t have whiners.
    I am not a homer for America. I like the earth. Why? Because its the only planet I can be on. But you are halfway to evolving out of your miserly human existence of feeling you should “just give it one more chance! ”
    The government loves you people, you libertarians, tea partiers. Because you are doing nothing to alter the infrastructure. You can’t. How could you? Awww. Would you fire all those people working in the government, and leave em without jobs? You can’t. Ron Paul can’t. Lew Rockwell can’t.
    Any taxes to a country that doesn’t give a shit about you is too much. Fuck em. Suck my dick. Malcolm X said the only way to get through to your oppressors, is to learn to speak their language. You speak to them of peace, well, they’ll just whack you with a pipe. To them you speak spanish, while they speak chinese. There is no communication. However, hit them first with a pipe, then the communication can begin.
    And fuck man, whats the worst that can happen? You die.

    • April 3, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Hey amigo – I appreciate all that; I agree with you in principle on most points, to. But you still haven’t answered the question: What, specifically, do you think should be done? You imply all sorts of noncompliance; doing what you think is right, as an individual – and that’s fine, as a general sentiment (one I agree with, by the way) but how far are you going to take it, in the real world?

      I try to advocate the ideas of individualism, choice and freedom. But yes, to cite one example, I do pay taxes (note, not “my” taxes; I don’t believe, in principle, that I “owe” the government the product of my labor to redistribute to others or to fund its evil machinations, etc.) and so on because as a practical matter, what other option is there? I’m assuming you do, too. If you work, if you own property, you don’t have much choice. There’s no practicable alternative right now. Right? Similarly, I’ll speed – when I can get away with it. But if I see a cop, I’ll play along and pretend to respect “the law” – because I want neither tickets nor wood shampoos. Again, what choice is there? Just asking…

      I hope this changes. I am trying to do what I can, as a writer, to foster the conditions that will lead to such change.

      I oppose Cloverism in all its forms – again, in principle. And to the extent it’s possible, in practice, too. What else is there?

      • clover
        April 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

        If our country is so bad, name me two or three others that you would rather live in or base the country we live in off of. Also tell us why they are better. I am waiting for your reply.

        • April 3, 2011 at 2:21 pm

          That’s not the question – anymore than whether ice cream with just a little shit in it is better tasting than ice cream with a lot of shit in it.

          Is America a better place to live than China? Sure. Does that mean things aren’t bad here – and getting worse? No, of course not.

          The real point is: America used to be a much better – freer - country. But it is becoming less and less free all the time; especially since 9/11 but the trend was going that direction anyhow.

          Chiefly, because the Cloverite mindset is becoming the American mindset: Security/safety means more than liberty/freedom. Trust the government; it always knows best. Obey, submit. It’s all for your own good. Society, not the individual. Etc.

          • dom
            April 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm

            LOL, for the record I don’t want any of that ice cream!

          • clover
            April 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm

            I understand. You could not live in any country. You say our country was much freer in the past. What past are you talking about? The past where there were not any states or taxes or roads and almost not people? Or the past where kids flew through windshields of cars because there were no restraints or the thousands of head injuries before air bags and seatbelts?

        • April 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm

          How about the past when you could drive without being hassled for not wearing a seatbelt? Or stopped and interrogated at random like a Soviet prole? Or be able to argue with a cop and not risk getting Tazed? Or board an airplane without being frisked/scanned? Or even having to show ID? Or, not have your phones tapped, your mail read or your home searched without a warrant? Or protest without being herded into a “free speech zone”? Or smoke in a bar (or own a bar that allowed smoking) Or decide for yourself whether to buy health insurance without being threatened by the government with fines… . etc. etc.

          Just a few quick examples from the past – from the pre-Clover America. It existed, oh, about 1980 or thereabouts.

  24. fenimore neon
    April 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    It was still bad in 1980. There were just less laws then. Still clovers though. Anyways. Here’s where you start. Ask your self…How do I know the things I know? Why was it important for the establishment to teach me those things? Why is it important that they teach me, as well as everyone else the exact same things? What type of a person does one become when he is programmed from the age of 1, just like everyone else has been programmed?
    And…I may not have been as explicit in saying this…But you pay your taxes…because you don’t want the consequences…not because there is not a better way. You are a slave. Learn to think just for your self…Not in terms of how to make it better for everyone else. Who cares…unless you believe in being noble and in selfless and all that shit…and if you do, well, then ask your self, Why do I believe in those things too? Is it because from the time i was little I was taught to share?
    You see…in order for it to be better…(which by the way I have no idea of what better/good/bad mean…as they are all relative, and based merely upon language and ideas)…but relatively speaking…in order for systems to benefit the planet as a whole…well, people will have to spontaneously adjust to individualism on their own. Ever tried to tell someone his behavior needed changing??? He’s not going to do it.
    Look at your whole behavior Eric. You don’t have to write about it on your blog. Write about it in a journal. At your house. Think about it. Understand it. But stop using the tools you have been taught by governmental schools. Because as long as you use those tools, you are theirs. As long as you pay them money, you are theirs. Quit giving them money. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. Whats the worst that can happen? You die? So what?

    • April 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      You write, “… you pay your taxes…because you don’t want the consequences…not because there is not a better way. You are a slave. Learn to think just for your self…

      Trust me, I can think for myself. That means I know if I don’t pay the taxes they say I owe I will be prosecuted – like it or not, fair or not – and the same goes for you, amigo. Unless you’re living off the grid and being paid in cash, that is. Are you? If not, if you have a straight job, then you’re stuck paying taxes just like me. If you own property, you’re paying property taxes, just like me. Bravery, independent thought, have nothing to do with it. It’s reality. It’s inescapable. Unless you want to risk going to the clink, which I don’t. Or you have someone willing to pay you off the books, in cash – which I don’t, either.

      That doesn’t mean I’m not doing everything I can to try to change the system. Do I think I will succeed? No. Still, I try. And what is the alternative? The only one(s) I see are: One, work off the books, illegally (perhaps not immorally, but no question illegally) with all the risks that entails and good luck finding anyone other than drug dealers/users or maybe random manual labor/construction daywork that will pay you in cash as a regular thing. Two, don’t work, don’t earn income – pay no taxes. Be free. But be poor. Three, live off someone else who does pay taxes and works within the constraints of the system.

      You seem to be a very young guy (maybe I’m wrong, just guessing) so I am (again) guessing you’re either in school, or recently out of school and living that early 20s lifestyle, which means you can get by with little, living day to day. Been there myself, done that. It’s fun, for awhile. Now I have stuff – and a wife – which requires a job. Which means, paying taxes.

      I’d like to know how you get around it – and if you don’t, how come you’re slamming me for doing what I have to do… what anyone who has a job/life that isn’t completely illegal has to do. I’d like specific answers; not more stuff about howI need to think independently, rise above my conditioning and fuck the world and its values…

      Seriously.

      I bee’s waiting!

  25. fenimore neon
    April 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Why are you so scared? Thats what they prey on. Understand that…and you become your own master. Or…as a tiny green jedi once said…In order to set your self free…you must unlearn all that you have learned.

    • April 3, 2011 at 10:33 pm

      Ain’t scared, son. Just dealing with reality, per my earlier post. You get a job, you pay taxes. If you don’t, you’re playing with fire. Scared has nothing to do with it anymore than not sticking your hand in a hot fire somehow makes you a pussy.

      Do I like it? No. Does it piss me off? Yes. Do I want to see it changed? Bet your ass. But there’s no getting around The System – unless you’re willing to work outside the system. That may be appealing when you’re a young kid; gets old when you get older and don’t want to live day to day, hand to mouth.

      Just saying.

  26. fenimore neon
    April 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    i figured you had a wife. not slamming you. you just have TOO much baggage to even consider thinking independently. because you have people who depend on you. freedom means zero dependence, on both sides of the spectrum. no, those questions will lead you to the right answers. within those questions, the answers will lead you to all you need to or will ever need to know.

    • April 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm

      That’s not an answer, hombre! “Thinking independently” isn’t the issue here – not with me. I’m well aware of what’s going on around me; does it really seem as though I’m not?

      You still haven’t told me how you make a living without compromising your ideals. How you function outside the system, if you do function outside the system. I’m not going to say you aren’t “thinking independently” or haven’t overcome your societal inhibitions or whatever if you, like me, have a job and thus, have no choice about paying taxes, etc.

      But if you aren’t working/paying taxes I’d like to know how you live. C’mon now. Be specific.

      My guess – tell me if I’m wrong – is that you’re in your early 20s and living a peripatetic day-to-day existence. Not slamming that; I did that myself. But eventually, if you want something more stable, more established, you have no choice but to play by the system’s rules. I mean, if you ever want a real job, because real jobs mean W2s and 1099s and there is no getting around it. If you ever want to own a home, you will pay taxes on it. No getting around that, either.

      Again, just saying. Balls, brains – got nothing to do with it.

      • dom
        April 4, 2011 at 12:43 am

        I had the luxury of living outside the system during my college days! Cash paychecks and no REAL property to get taxed on. Now I got a wife, kid, all kinds of vehicles and plenty of taxes to accompany all I own. I did some numbers one time and added all my insurance costs and taxes. I think it came close to half of my take home pay.

        • April 4, 2011 at 1:06 am

          Same same. You can live the Fenimore Ideal (think, Last of the Mohicans) when you’re in that position; but that position has its downsides, too. And: We didn’t sell out or become pussies because we got married, got real jobs and deal with the system as it is. That’s as ridiculous an assertion as my saying it’s a pussy move to live day-to-day, outside the system because you want to shirk real responsibilities.

          None of this is relevant to Cloverism and combatting it… which is what we ought to be talking about, sez me!

          • fenimore neon
            April 4, 2011 at 2:18 am

            How do you define “real responsibilities?” Raising a family, paying taxes, working, saying hi to the neighbor, doing altruistic behaviors?
            Or do you think that college life…and living day-to-day was just a phase in your life…and now that you are “grown up,” its time for grown-ass-man b’ness?

            And what downsides are there? No security? the ease of waking up in a world of down-filled snuggleness with the sig other would no longer be possible? All of a sudden your world would be filled with anticipation, alertness, and pure calculation of your every move? Everyday would be an unexpected bout with your former-slave masters? The final fulfillment of your defintion of freedom was too much for you to bear, and you wish you hadn’t eaten the red pill but instead could back to the comfort of the “real” world?

            You are just the same as everyone else Eric. You want stuff to change…but you also want it all to stay the same. You just want to tell everyone how much you really wish some of the stuff could change. But you do so with the mind of knowing that it won’t change. Sounds kind of redundant and pointless to me.

      • Jeff Anderson
        March 22, 2012 at 6:44 am

        Something you haven’t asked him is why he is slamming you about using this blog to espouse and convey your ideas to a larger audience rather than just writing a private journal? What is his excuse for using the tools the government taught him to use? Why is he proselytizing through your blog? How the hell does he even have access to the internet? Not only that, but why does he bother? It is just a tool the government taught him to use!
        He must be young as you have said. He obviously doesn’t realize that we didn’t even have these tools for the government to teach us to use when we were growing up. Unless, of course you are much younger than I am, and I am not quite to the age where he thinks I should just shrivel up and die, but I am damn close.
        He acts like a little name calling punk, falling in line, and using the tools the government taught him to use. He should pull the beam out of his own eye, then turn off his PC and live his vagabond lifestyle to its fullest.

  27. fenimore neon
    April 4, 2011 at 12:43 am

    ask yourself why it is that you want the things that you do? (i’m in my late 30’s). There has to be a reason why you want them…houses, stability (whatever that is)….Think back…could it not be that those were things that were important to those around you growing up….or they were the complete opposite of those around you growing up and you just really wanted to show them that dammit with some hard work you really could make it!!! These are the follies of the libertarian system and yall’s definition of freedom. Freedom means not having to answer to ANYONE’S system. Freedom means no laws. Hence…free. It is not an anrachistic definition…it is literally the definition.
    Read your posts…All of em…except for the car one’s which are brilliant observations. To an extent they are just societal rants. Anyone who takes the time to observe and be a part of society is going to see problems…And I’m sure you are playing the half-full cup theory…in that…”I’m going to stop bitching and being a part of the problem…and instead start offering up some solutions and be a part of the solution!!”
    Well…there is no easy solution. The only easy solution is to talk a whole lot and blog a whole lot. You already said you know your “mission” is pointless and will do nothing. Which it won’t. Because change requires changing your thinking, changing your behavior.
    If you have nothing to fear. Then you would stop pursuing an easy life of stability filled with Good credit scores, backyards for the labrador retriever, flat screen tele’s, beers, barbecues, and honey-do-lists….and man up.
    I think you are brilliant when it comes to observing the world around you…as a testament to your article on Pre-crime, which I believe is genius…really. You just have to turn that observation inward. Why do you know the things you do? Why do you look at the world in terms of opposites such as rich/poor, bad/good…? Things just are…all languange does is serve to give you reasons why not to act. Its called rationalization.
    I’m not going to tell you how I live. Whether or not I pay taxes. Whether I work or do not. I can tell you this. I run at least 150-200 red lights a week. Not because I am dangerous, but because the law does not tell me I have to do something if I am not going to endanger myself. I told you that I am not going to answer to anyone but myself. I am sure you can fill in the blanks on what I do and what I don’t. What I don’t do is drugs, alcohol, smoke cigarettes, anything with a major tax attached to it. And I read. Not best sellers such as Pillars of the Earth, but everything that has to do with how I am why I am the way I am. I started with Language. How did language evolve. I’ve read all sorts of behaviorism. Propganda systems. What Technology does to man? Aristotle. Plato. Hazlitt. Thinking as a Science. Logic foundations. Power. What is Power? Mises. How money started? What is value? Nietzche. The examination of Morals. And I apply all the questions I have ever had about my life since I was little…and I ask them to myself as though a little boy…Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? And of course a few Hows and Whats. The time involved is infinite. But it is my time.
    Some person came up with these systems. The same person or people who came up with these systems bleed and breathe air just like I do. Who are they to tell me what to do? Put me in prison. But is it any different than the prison they have already tried to put you in?
    I realized the chains that society had me under four years ago because of drugs and alcohol. And all the justifications and rationalizations that come with it. But they are the same rationalizations Joe Blow or Eric Peters uses to explain away his fears of being his own man. If you are your own man Brah, then find the keys to all the chains that hold you down.

    • April 4, 2011 at 12:58 am

      You mean like a job? It’s pretty much something one has to have, if one doesn’t want to live in a van by the river! Unless you’re independently wealthy – and even then, you still pay taxes. I wish you’d answer my questions instead of going off on tangents. Not trying to be a dick; just want to nail you down on this because you keep on saying that I need to “think independently,” and be my own man – etc. – which is well and good and really swell, too. But having a job, a life – and dealing with the shee-ite that the system imposes on us – doesn’t mean one can’t think, has no balls or is a vacuous, conditioned drone, either. Why do I want a house? Uh, because I need a place to live and having a house and my own land gives me a degree of independence renters don’t have. Are there downsides? Of course. But there are upsides, too. I choose to own a house (and I do own it; as much as one can, anyhow… no mortgage) not because of subliminal conditioning or some desire to conform. I like having 8 acres of land I can (more or less) do what I want to with; I like having a house that’s mine, that I can alter to suit me. Etc. “Man up” because I like that? Says who? You? What made you the Decider of my life? What works for me? Maybe I’m happy having a stable life, with a wife and all that. It’s got nothing whatever to do with whether I “man up” – whatever that means.

      What I want is for you to “man up” and tell us what you do to keep food on the table, a roof over your head… how you avoid paying taxes – if you do avoid them. And if not, why that doesn’t compromises your manhood.

      Direct answers, please!

  28. fenimore neon
    April 4, 2011 at 2:06 am

    sounds kind of cloverish of you to ask me how i would not give money to government? and also interesting how you responded by saying you wanted me to tell”us” how i do those things? thought this was me talking to you.
    no one likes to make self-examinations. i know. took me 30 years to finally sit down and think about and change the hard things. it way easier to think about, and talk about how its everything else on the outside….its the government’s fault, its the clover’s fault…no the fault lies in the part where people follow. stop following and start leading. leading your self.
    day one of the rest of your life begins by asking your self why you do the things you do? its as easy as that. not why you want a job? sure that is part of it but its a question way down the line.
    i’ll even give you the first answer. you know everything you know…because you have had other people tell you what it is important to know. from the time you were little…people said to you…this is what you should do…not that…and you LEARNED…built your foundation of thinking from the fact that you needed to be told what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Why do you know what you know Eric?
    Is it because you went out and examined the world according to you, and you came back and found that yes, a lot of your values to agree with those of society’s…if only you could tweak this here, and tweak that there, everything would be “swell.”
    Pardon my statement, man up. You have obviously focused completely upon that phrase, and it has allowed you to maybe miss the rest of what I have been saying. Please do strike that from the record.
    Just remember…in order to examine what you know….you must start at the very beginning. Anything someone else has told you…has either been a part of a curriculum…or a means to control your behavior.

    • clover
      April 4, 2011 at 2:57 am

      fenimore neon,I have one question. You keep talking about the curriculum that we have had that is the problem. What part of the curriculum. Math? English? History? Phys Ed? Working with others? I guess I may already know the answer.

  29. April 4, 2011 at 9:32 am

    No, dude – I’m not saying you ought to, or should give money to the government; that would be a Cloverish thing to say. I am asking you whether you have money taken from you by force (taxes) like the rest of us do, because we have no choice, because we have jobs and if you have a job, a straight job, then you have to deal with W2s and 1099s and you will have money taken from you by force (taxes) whether you like it or not – and the only alternatives are either not to work, to work off the books somehow (good luck and hope you don’t get caught), almost certainly at menial-type jobs – because those are the only jobs other than seriously illegal jobs that pay in cash … or you live off someone else who does work.

    Maybe you’ve figured out some way to evade the system, to work a real job and not pay taxes. If so, good for you. I mean that. I don’t like paying probably half my income in total taxes at all levels. Wish I didn’t have to. But it’s the cost, like it or not, of my being able to do what I do – and I like what I do. And how I live. For reasons all my own, too.

    Stop it already with the “man up” crap – and the notion that I’m pursuing the line of work I’m in or live the life I do, or am married, because I’m a fear-paralyzed drone incapable of introspection, who never asks questions. It’s silly New Age crap.

    Please answer the question! Your “self examination” line is an evasion.

  30. clover
    April 4, 2011 at 11:18 am

    My guess is that fenimore found a way to sue the state or a company and is living off of those funds. Taking away from the government is my guess. Stealing from everyone else.

    • April 4, 2011 at 11:50 am

      Well, if so, he’s still paying taxes – unless he got it all in cash and is living the Tyler Durden (Fight Club) lifestyle.

  31. fenimore neon
    April 5, 2011 at 1:15 am

    You obviously didnt read what I wrote. Because I said….Pardon the statement, “man up.” And I’m guessing if you didn’t read that then you didn’t read everything else I took the time to write either. I was not saying to man up.
    If it was a line…it would just be me saying take a look at yourself dude. But I tell you why and how. I don’t care what you do. Just think you could have a lot of potential being a true individual, rather than just a “member of society,” who happens to “be a really good driver.”

    • April 5, 2011 at 10:29 am

      So, let’s see. I’m not a “true individual” because I chose to pursue a line of work I enjoy that as an incidental requires me to pay taxes; because I chose to marry a great woman whom I love to spend my time with; because I chose to buy a nice home in the country that I enjoy fixing up… but you are a “true individual” because you chose not to pursue/acquire these things….?

      Uh… well… hmmmm…..

      • fenimore neon
        April 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm

        you miss the point because you look at the world through eyes others have given you. I have gone over all of this in each respoonse i have written. How do you know what you know Eric? Because of your environment. So if others have always controlled your environment, ie, through telling you what it is important to know, or rather through habitually forming how you behave under certain circumstances, through daily rituals of school, and then work…yes. you are not a true individual. why? because you have shared characteristics of everyone else because you have never taken the time to “unlearn” those characterisitics, and relearn individual characterisitcs. which means, doing over, relearning, everything you have ever been taught, except doing it, going out into the world, and finding out everything for yourself.

        • April 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm

          Wow. That is quite a universal (and completely gratuitous) statement: “you miss the point because you look at the world through eyes others have given you.” Insulting, too. Who are you to say that? What gives you an omniscient window into my mind? Maybe it’s you who are the behavioralistically predetermined one… . Why not? My say-so is as valid as your say-so.

          Seriously. Maybe others have a different idea of the good life. Maybe their idea of said life is just as valid as yours. It’s stupendously arrogant of you to set forth that you’re wiser/know better and the rest of us, who pursue a life that’s different than your life, are controlled, duped, cowering and fearful.

          Especially given your inability – your fearfulness? – to tell us exactly how you pay the rent, keep a roof over your head and so on…

          Look, dude. You have no clue – none – what motives me. What my life has been like; what my thoughts are and why I have them. Who I am. You have no clue – none – whether I’ve “gone out into the world to find out for myself,” as you so condescendingly put it.

          I’m here to advocate for liberty. To argue – reasonably, using logic to appeal to people’s moral common sense about not using force against others ot change their personal habits or to control them in any way, but rather to respect each other’s right to pursue happiness as we each see fit.

          I am not here to get into an inane debate with you over whether in order to be free you have to do as (and only as) FenimoreNeon does; that if you participate in the system in any way at all, then you’re a dupe and tool, etc. etc.

          • fenimore neon
            April 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm

            but others use force against you to take your property. And, if you went to school when you were younger, then went to college when you were older, and have not taken the time to eliminate all that you have been taught, then you have not taken the time to figure out your own life….because your mind has been filled with the same stuff as everyone else’s/ So yes, i do know what motivates you….Money. If it didn’t you wouldn’t say what would happen if i didnt have a job would make me “poor.” If it wasn’t money, you wouldn’t pay “half your income in taxes.” I know what motivates you because all you write about are justifications why you do stuff. Just do stuff. You say you “man-up,” yet you continue to pay your captors, because you don’t want to (are scared to go) to jail?
            Mass man came about through education. Then he is assimilated through work and money. When you are not working to earn money, you are at home working to spend money.

          • April 5, 2011 at 6:04 pm

            Yes, some do. So? Does that mean taking a job makes me a sheep? “Eliminate all I’ve been taught…” sigh… More of this increasingly tedious, tiresome, holier-than-thou posturing – as though you’re the Great Knower and others are just reflex-jerking, public school conditioned morons regurgitating rote-learned routines.

            Money motivates me? To an extent, yes. Can’t live without it. Who is paying for the computer you’re typing on? The DSL line you’re accessing the Net through? The food you ate this morning? Did you barter for it all? And even if you did, what is barter but another type of… money. Don’t be an idiot.

            You pay taxes, too – even if you get paid entirely in cash. What, after all, do you think sales taxes are? Are you too much of a rebel to buy food/commodities because you’re “paying off your captors”? Are you eating only food you’ve grown yourself, using seeds you got for free in the forest? What about your clothes…. ? Etc. Etc.

            Money is not the be-all purpose of my work or my life; it is a means to an end. So also a home; tools, supplies, clothes, food… all bought with (gasp!) money. And which includes (unfortunately) paying some taxes… such is life. You deal with it. And I do mean you. Unless you’re living off the land, wearing only clothes you made and food you grew then you’re participating in the system, too. Unless you’re stealing these things. Just saying.

            Again, don’t be stupid.

            I like an intelligent debate; this one’s no longer that.

  32. fenimore neon
    April 5, 2011 at 1:16 am

    How do you define “real responsibilities?” Raising a family, paying taxes, working, saying hi to the neighbor, doing altruistic behaviors?
    Or do you think that college life…and living day-to-day was just a phase in your life…and now that you are “grown up,” its time for grown-ass-man b’ness?

    And what downsides are there? No security? the ease of waking up in a world of down-filled snuggleness with the sig other would no longer be possible? All of a sudden your world would be filled with anticipation, alertness, and pure calculation of your every move? Everyday would be an unexpected bout with your former-slave masters? The final fulfillment of your defintion of freedom was too much for you to bear, and you wish you hadn’t eaten the red pill but instead could back to the comfort of the “real” world?

    You are just the same as everyone else Eric. You want stuff to change…but you also want it all to stay the same. You just want to tell everyone how much you really wish some of the stuff could change. But you do so with the mind of knowing that it won’t change. Sounds kind of redundant and pointless to me.

    • April 5, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Well, those are certainly responsibilities! But my point is that choosing to assume such responsibilities doesn’t mean you’re a thoughtless tool, drone or not “manning up” any more than not choosing to assume them does. If you disagree, well, then you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy.

      My philosophy (the Libertarian philosophy) is, simply: live – and let live. Why must you condemn me for wanting – and liking - my (freely chosen) lifestyle? I don’t condemn you for yours – whatever it is – or imply that you’re in intellectual and literal bondage because of your choice of lifestyle.

      Having a wife, a home, etc. doesn’t invalidate me as a man, a human being or delegitimize my advocacy of liberty any more than you not having those things (if you don’t, or choose not to have them) delegitimizes the ideas you espouse.

      It’s absurd for you to say that taking a steady job, getting married, buying home and so on is the product of my fear of living in “freedom” – as defined by you. Maybe I just prefer not living day-to-day and hand-to-mouth. Having a great wife/companion vs. not. Doesn’t mean I’m fearful, a sellout or a slave, chief.

      The attitude that you know best; that other people are stupid, brainwashed cattle by definition if they don’t agree with you – is not just Cloverish, it’s totalitarian. I respect other people’s preferences, their human right to choose happiness as they see fit. What makes a person a Clover – an asshole – is when they decide they’re going to use the law and its apparatus to impose their notions of the Good Life (or “safety”) on other people.

      Your lifestyle works for you; it makes you happy. Great! But not everyone wants the same lifestyle and that doesn’t make them sheep, amigo.

    • clover
      April 5, 2011 at 10:52 am

      I have to admit I was probably wrong about that guess that fenimore sued the state. I am sure now that fenimore is in jail and has internet access.

      • dom
        April 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm

        I was thinking the same thing!

  33. fenimore neon
    April 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Now yall are agreeing with clovers…oh my. Anyways…Like I said…the Libertarian Philosophy…only works if there are no other governments around. That way you can truly live and let live. But if you already live under a coercive government that steals 50% of your money or you go to jail…people steal this money…because if you don’t pay, then they come to your door and take you to jail….then your live and let live philosophy is null and void. Why? Because others are not living and let living….only Allowing you to live…if you pay them money…and follow their laws. YOU SEE ERIC, THE LIBERTAIRAN PHILOSOPHY ONLY WORKS IF “””””BOTH”””””PARTIES ARE OF THE SAME PHILOSOPHY. If just you are living the Libertarian philosophy…it is only a justification for being a slave to said coercive government. It just sounds a lot cooler than being a republican or democrat. And no, that was not my deifinition of freedom…thats what freedom is dude. Being free. It doesn’t mean being half-free. A quarter free. Kinda free. Free. So if you are going to bitch, and write articles, then use the correct terminology. You like being kind of free. Because logic dictates, that if you pay someone money to not go to jail…how is that free. So write in you articles that you like to be 2% free. Come on man? If you really took the time to “think” so much, all of this would have easily came to you?
    As for mass men, sheep, and cattle. If all cows and sheep bend over to eat grass, and you do too? How does that not make you a sheep, or a cow?

    • April 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      Sloppy reasoning. You make grand generalizations – viz, “people” steal and “people” don’t abide by the live and let live philosophy. Well, not all people. Some people. That some people do not abide by the rules doesn’t mean the rules are invalid; nor that a person who lives within an imperfect system, dealing with its imperfections – yes, its evils – has somehow become a willing enabler of those evils. No human society, ever, has been free of evils – or assholes. They will exist and persist as long as humanity exists.

      I am a writer; my purpose is to articulate what’s wrong, so as to move things in a certain direction – hopefully a better direction. There is nothing pointless or pussified about pursuing honest work, even in a less-than-honest system.

      You posture as though you live in the woods like Kazcynski, free of all these pesky mundane realities and the hassles of society. Your conception of “freedom.” I call bullshit. Either you you live completely off the grid or you have a job of some kind of job (and thus, pay taxes, too) or
      you’re living off someone who does.

      Well, which is it?

      Please, deliver….

      Please, tell us – instead of denouncing people who are not your enemy, who defend your rights and try to battle the creeping Cloverism of our society

      • dom
        April 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      • fenimore neon
        April 5, 2011 at 6:32 pm

        the only “people” who matter that don’t use the ideal of libertarianism, is the government. In order for libertarianism to work, EVRYONE must use libertariansim, not you, lew rockwell, and your buddy down the street.

        • April 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm

          I agree – that’s what I’m working toward. Will it ever be fully realized? I doubt it. But we can move closer to it than we are now. It has been done before; it can be done again. Remember: The enemy of the good in politics and economics is very often the perfect…

  34. fenimore neon
    April 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    sorry, man. am so not like a kazcynski. you cannot defend anything by paying your jailers. if you cannot form that logic, then i’m not going to make that proposition for you in the form of if a equals b then c.
    good luck with your “writing.” your “defense ” of freedom comes off about as good as the state’s does when going to war with other countries.

    i agree. this is no longer going anywhere, since you are incapable of logic…which makes sense since the sate doesn’t teach true logic is its institutions.

    • April 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      One does not “form” logic. One uses logic. At any rate… . Do you buy anything? If you do, you pay sales tax. In which case, you are “paying off your captors.” The degree is irrelevant. The principle – according to your logic – is the same.

      Please, man up – and tell us how you live without paying off your captors?

    • April 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      Oh, PS: You assume I am a product of state education. You assume incorrectly. And regardless, attending public/state school does not automatically invalidate a person’s point of view; only facts do. It’s very easy – dismissive – to just spew that no one else (or at least no one who hasn’t “seen the world,” or done whatever you have done and think everyone else should do) has a clue what’s going on because they’re addled by their conditioning and so on and so on.

      Well, let’s turn the tables. What are you doing that’s so spectacular? Are you living a hobo life? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, if that’s what does it for you. Assuming you aren’t just reacting to a bad early childhood and misdirected conditioning… .

      Just fucking with you, man. But trying to get you to see that other people aren’t brain-dead or cowards because they earn money and live conventional (in your eyes) lives.

      Either they’re pro-liberty or they’re not – that, for me, is the important thing.

  35. fenimore neon
    April 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    either way. you don’t “use” logic then, because you are incapable, because the state does not allow it in its institutions. better?

    • April 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      Not really. See my last post.

    • April 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      Wish you’d answer my question(s).

      Do you buy anything? If you do, then don’t you have to concede you’re paying taxes, too? And thus, your captors?

      What does the degree matter? The principle is the same. So, either you have figured out a way to work and live entirely outside the system – in which case, bravo! – or you’re unfairly (and illogically) criticizing others for doing the same as you, albeit on a larger scale.

      Which is like being “just a little bit” pregnant. You either are – or you aren’t.

      So, which bees it?

  36. fenimore neon
    April 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    am an independent currency trading advisor not living in America.

    but in order to be for liberty, one must have the correct vision of liberty, or its just merely a restrictive version, whihc is how we got to this place now…placing restrictions on liberty.

    • April 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      That’s cool. But I assume there are taxes wherever you live, too?

  37. fenimore neon
    April 6, 2011 at 2:01 am

    yes. there are taxes. but no income or property tax. and the taxes where i live are actually used like they should be used. SO when they are paid, they are paid voluntarily, not at the point of a gun. I’ve lived in America. There, the taxes are taken from you, whether you say you are doing it voluntarily or not, they are still taken from you with the threat of force.
    Liberty, and freedom have zero restrictions on them. So when you talk of freedom or liberty, you are merely talking of the relative defintion of freedom…That you “wish to live in a libertarian society, where it would have a freedom rating of a 7 out of 10. Because telling people what they can or can’t do, negates the freedom part. So if there are laws, whether libertarian laws, or totalitarian laws, they are still laws and restrict the word freedom.
    Now are there laws everywhere? Yes. Does it mean I have to follow the laws everywhere? No. Thats where the balls part comes in. And the thinking of every situation, under every circumstance. Not following routine.
    The part of libertarianism sprung from the idea of taking things to an individual level. If I am one man, right? And you are five men, called a law-making system, right? What gives you the right to make a law telling me what I can and can’t do? Nothing, unless you are stronger than me, or unless you have guns, or threaten to come to my house and put me in jail until I say yes master I will do as you say, pardon my willful arrogance.

  38. dom
    September 21, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Holy smokes! I passed three clovers on the way home this evening.

    First one, no problem. Second one decided he wanted to tag behind a scooter going 20mph under the speed limit, so I pass his ass first chance I had. Then he decided he wanted to teach me a lesson and he tailgated me with his high beams on doing 15mph over the speed limit with me. Third one wanted to take the law in his hands and block the road, honk his horn, flash his high beams, and then tailgate me. He was my favorite one! I’ll miss you asshole in the 20 year old Honda! Hugs and Kisses..

    Can’t wait for you assholes to make an appearance on this site. I know you all see my EPAUTOS.COM magnet on the back!

  39. ali
    January 4, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Must be ahead of the curve. Some new folks bought a property adjcent to my shop. I hooked them up with a scrap guy to help clear the property. They GAVE me an 88 T bird Turbo Coupe. Haven’t done a thing with it yet, but spring time is coming.

    • January 4, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Wow!

      Why does that kind of thing never happen to me….?

      is the T-Bird running? I remember those like it was yesterday. They were hugely popular back in the day…

    • Boothe
      January 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Ali. I’m a former T-Bird TC owner myself. I had an 87 I did a lot of work on from PST polygraphite suspension components to changing out the A4LD to a cable clutch T5 out of a Mustang. I loved that car. Alas, my wife hated it (she thougt I was going to lose my license or die in a terrible accident) so I traded it off for a Jeep (sigh). If yours has been sitting any length of time, the rear brake calipers will stick if you apply the parking brake and eat the rotors. Here’s an illustrated article I wrote a few years back on how to rebuild them:

      http://www.turbotbird.com/techinfo/87-88_tc_rear_caliper_rebuild.htm

      You will want to check out the rest of the articles over at NATO (North American Turbocoupe Association), there’s a wealth of knowledge there. You’ll also probably want a copy of Charles Probst’s book Ford Fuel Injection & Electronic Engine Control if you own a TC (trust me on this). This book also applies to Mustangs of the EEC IV vintage. Put a set of KYB AGX adjustable shocks on it, graphite suspension components, crank the boost up to 15 PSI (5 speed only, it will lunch a stock A4LD) and make the 5.0 Mustang boys cry! There’s nothing like the look on some kids face saying “No way!” when you show him that his V8 just got taken by a 2.3L Pinto motor! ;)

  40. February 8, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I know I’m late to the party, but consider adding to the next iteration of this list, “Stay out of a left-turn yield intersection until it’s clear of oncoming traffic?” (resulting in the cars behind you, and possibly even you, missing the light entirely); and “Wait for the green light to turn left from one one-way street to another?” (left on red from one one-way to another is legal just about everywhere).

  41. September 14, 2012 at 4:59 am

    Okay so I do use my rearview mirror constantly. I do back into spaces for the faster get away if needed. I usually ride a bicycle because cars come with the intrinsic risk of being pulled over and because of my own close brushes with cars I always try to change lanes to go around bikes. I don’t apply the brakes at random. I slow for school zones because the cops are always lurking there. I do turn right on red as soon as possible. I accelerate to merge. I usually stay in the right lane because I don’t like tail-gaters and people who are in a rush because they always give themselves less time than they need to get places.

  42. William Cole
    April 30, 2013 at 3:44 am

    Driving in the passing or “hammer” lane. I see it all the time. Some guy driving along in the passing lane while the lane to the right is wide open for a mile or driving oblivious to the fact that someone wants to drive faster. There are several reasons why you should stay right, when you can: 1. In my state, it is the law. 2. It allows faster traffic to easily pass without waiting for you to notice. 3. Cops generally target “speeders” in the passing lane, so it’s also less costly to drive one lane over.

  43. Eric E55 Benz
    August 10, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Hi Eric–

    I’m a regular LRC reader, but I just discovered your Clover blog and I have been laughing for days! There is nothing worse on the road than Clovers in one’s way. Of course, things would likely be better if we didn’t have government roads with armed government agents on them enforcing Clover’s rules, but we are stuck with this crappy situation for the time being.

    WIth that in mind, I bought the ultimate Clover-killer from a friend a few months ago. It’s an ’04 Mercedes E55 AMG with Renntech Stage 5 mod kit. 600HP, 0-60 in 3.8 secs and a top end of around 200 (although I’ve never been past 140–LOL.) Most Clovers don’t even see you coming until you are already past them, and even the assholes that try to get in the way can only stay there for a nanosecond before I leave their Crown Vics, Buicks & minivans in the dust.

    I had one try to chase me down I-17 in a Hyundai last week after I flipped him off for driving 70 in the left lane of a rural interstate highway (the speed limit was 75). After passing him on the right and flipping him off, I got his angry geezer ass chasing me at about 90 MPH (the horror!!!). I played with him for a minute or two before I put the hammer down and left him in the dust. I would have loved to have been a fly on the inside of his windshield and hear how much I pissed him off by going 125 on a dry open highway where it is actually quite safe to do so. I can still imagine him shaking his fist and yelling in his best Grandpa Simpson voice: “He’s not following THE RULES!!!” LO-F’ing-L!!!!

    /Users/User/Desktop/2004 Mercedes E55/E55 Photos/EH1_8097.JPG

    • August 10, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Hi Eric,

      Magnificent!

      The E55 is a superb tool for dealing with homo cloverensus.

      Don’t you just love the way a “law abiding” Clover who worships the speed limit as the infallible, inviolable Word o’ God (the state being Clover’s god) will then rock up to 90 – as in your case – to try to “teach you a lesson”?

      By the way: I have a high-performance sport bike that performs comparably. Nothing more enjoyable than using it to slice through the Clover Patch!

  44. November 16, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    How does the “move over” thing take into account roads that only have one lane on each side?

    Or if you’re at a red light, and could turn right, but actually don’t want to go right? What if your destination is straight ahead or to the left? I know some roads have special turning lanes, but not all.

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