16 May 2008

A Safer World

We are gradually choosing a safer world. It is less obvious that this pursuit is making ours a better world.

Canadian teenagers are generally unable to get their driver's license until they are 18. Data proves that drives aged 16 and 17 are more likely to destroy property and lives. It only makes sense that these teenagers ought not to drive, and increasingly, American states are following this lead. Of course, if one follows the data to its logical conclusion, we ought to stop all young adults from driving: even a 21 year old is more likely to wreck than is a 30-something driver.

I'm unable to find the reference, but a town in Brazil instituted a ladies night some years ago. They wanted the ladies in this macho town to be able to go out without harassment or concern. On this one evening each month, no men are allowed out after dark. What they had not anticipated is a drop in violent crime of about 95%. Again, to logically follow from this, it makes sense to have a curfew for all men, every night.

Finally, 21st century laws like the Patriot Act and new executive orders are seeking to make ours a safer world by monitoring your mail, reading, phone calls, and Internet activity without a warrant and by allowing detention without cause for an indefinite period. This, too, is making America safer.

"There is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country where the police were allowed to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country where the government is entitled to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your e-mail communications; if we lived in a country where people could be held in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, the government would probably discover and arrest more terrorists or would-be terrorists, just as it would find more lawbreakers generally. But that wouldn't be a country in which we would want to live, and it wouldn't be a country for which we could, in good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that country wouldn't be America.
- Senator Russ Feingold, October 11, 2001, in a debate over the Patriot Act. Senator Feingold was the only senator to vote against it.

These are just the first steps towards making this a safer world: stop young adults from driving, keep men in their own homes after dark, monitor all thinking, and lock up and / or deport anyone we think is suspicious.


LSD said...

Those of us with little kids in the house can thank them for exposing us to such rich treasures as can be found daily on Sponge Bob Squarepants. I am reminded of the briliant episode where Sponge Bob gets hurt practising extreme sports with his squirrel girlfriend, Sandy Cheeks and decides to live the rest of his life indoors with new 'safe' friends that consist of an old potato chip, a penny and a piece of paper.

Dave said...

Moderation in all things.