Two Random Thoughts While Driving

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While driving in Atlanta traffic I had that sudden “uh oh” feeling in the pit of my stomach when I spotted one of Atlanta’s finest in my rear-view mirror. I was on the Perimeter (I-285 / Beltway), and may have been exceeding the posted speed limit. I moved over; the gendarme passed; no harm, no foul. A few minutes later I noticed a private security vehicle decked out with lights and an official looking logo on the side. My immediate reaction was not one of fear, although the security guard was likely armed. The contrast struck me – private security, be it armored trucks and their guards, bank security guards, and even the much derided mall cop all serve a noble purpose, protecting property and people. They do so without the threat of bashing the brains in should one not comply. The worst the mall cop does is escort you from the premises. I suppose in actuality, the worst they do is call an actual cop, but I digress. Best of all, these private security forces have no legal or perceived monopoly of force, and must pass the market test for their services. Few would argue that an armed bank guard would be justified to use deadly force to protect the bank’s property or customers from a robbery. But no one believes the same guard can wade into the street in front of the bank and start giving out “tickets” to people willy-nilly.

Second, the state lies about everything, all the time, at all levels of government. I am constantly amazed at the bold faced belly-laughers posted to the smart signs around large cities. In Atlanta, the median morning rush hour traffic is easily 70 mph. Do 70 mph in most places and you will be going with the flow of traffic, passing the occasional clover, while being passed by the occasional lunatic. The smart signs claim the traffic speed is 55 mph, or alternatively claim the average commute to some destination 6 miles away is 6-7 minutes. These lies serve to reinforce the fiction that the omnipresent state has everything under control, and if you are caught speeding at 70 mph, you are some sort of aberrant violator rather than the norm. I suppose I should not be surprised about these relatively minor, albeit bald faced lies, considering the state lies and starts wars that kill millions.

8:49 pm on August 26, 2013
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