Opinion: Part Two: Rules of the Road

I’m posting this a day early mainly because I’m going to be busy this weekend but I really want this to be said. I’m also hoping to get a few responses to this because I’d really like to learn something I may not know.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.

Also please excuse the formatting. I wrote this in Word and copied it here, but yeah I’m still tinkering with the formatting on WordPress.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!


At the beginning of the month I wrote part one of this article that pretty much dealt with what my pet peeves about driving are, and a mention about the “new” Indiana law that’s taking effect on July 1.

What a lot of people are calling the “left lane law”.

Basically what happened is that someone at the media was told or somehow found out that some genius at the state capital decided that they would amend the current law so that people driving in the left for an extended period of time, who didn’t get out of the way of people coming up fast behind them, would get ticketed.

Please note that I said the media – in that they had a field day with this. Specifically the part that said those driving in the left most lane of a highway or freeway would be punished. That’s the only thing they ever said about this amendment to the current law.

The supposed complaint that prompted this amendment is that it will deter reckless drivers (ie, slow drivers in the left most lane) and possibly prevent road rage.

The other side is that people who are obeying the law – basically the speed limit – are now being punished while speeders are being given the “Get Out Of Jail Free Card”.

Well, that first part’s never going to happen. People are going to go ape-shit on someone no matter what the government does – but the reason for that is an entirely different and debatable topic.

I may touch on that later sometime.

Ok, so, wanting to be more informed about all this before I go spouting my opinion without providing useless facts, I did a little digging.

The following information I found on a government website:

Indiana General Assembly
(http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/house/1305).

Basically, it’s not a new law as many articles have toted it to be. It’s an amendment.

House Bill 1305
Authored by Rep. Jud McMillin
Co-authored by Reps. Matt Pierce, Gregory Porter and Gregory Steuerwald
Sponsored by Sens. R. Michael Young, Brent Steele, Greg Taylor and Karen Tallian.

These names will probably not mean anything to anyone living outside of the state of Indiana. Hell, I’m sure they don’t mean anything to most people living inside the state either.

But as we all know, most laws that are passed under the guise of one thing usually has some underwritten, underhanded, underneath stuff that benefits only one particular group and has nothing to do with the actual bill. It just hides there so it’s not found by the general public who don’t read these laws because it’s too much, too crunched together, and has too much legalese in it.

  • Found out that this bill also makes it illegal for a person to possess an Indiana drivers’ license and one from other state – this is considered a Class C infraction.
  • You can get penalized for not slowing down or changing lanes if you come across a vehicle on the side of the road with its flashers on.
  • Your license can be suspended if you don’t show proof of insurance.
  • It’s now a class C misdemeanor if you don’t call 911 or render aid if you come across an accident.
  • If your license is suspended in another state you can’t obtain one in Indiana.

Wow! Seriously?

So yeah everything that was normally considered pretty much common sense is now a law because …

Now states can enforce and ticket and try to get money from these violators through the use of law enforcement officers, some of who already break other laws.

I’ve seen plenty of officers who perform “California rolls” so don’t tell me that they’re off to bust some criminal. He was on his phone at the time and didn’t look like he was in a hurry to get anywhere.

But what really gets me about this new “law” is the following – and these are verbatim (basically I’m copying and pasting here from the website):

  1. Precludes an individual from being adjudicated a habitual traffic violator more than once for the same underlying offenses
  2. Allows individuals to declare habitual traffic violator status by petitioning a court.
  3. Prohibits a driver’s license suspension or lifetime forfeiture for operating a vehicle while driving privileges are suspended or in violation of a license restriction.
  4. Allows holders of commercial driving licenses to seek specialized driving privileges.
  5. Repeals language that applies criminal penalties to an entire chapter.
  6. Removes the felony enhancement for selling a rebuilt vehicle without written notice.
  7. Specifies the conditions under which a person’s driver’s license, permit, or driving privileges may be suspended, the duration of the suspension, and whether the person may receive specialized driving privileges

At close to the end of all of these is the small sentence about changing from the left lane.

But right now I’m reading the rest of these items, the ones I have underlined above, and I’m saying to myself – WTF?

  1. Makes impossible or prevents the existence of an individual from being judged a habitual traffic violator more than once for the same underlying offenses.

What?

  1. Gives the person permission to petition the court and claim they are a habitual traffic violator.

So these two lines mean that they can claim insanity? They can go out and drink and drive multiple times but only be charged once? What happens if they kill someone and then later on kill someone else? Does this law prohibit them from being charged for the second crime?

What’s the deal?

  1. So, now the person who is constantly getting DUIs is safe from having her/his license suspended for life?
  2. Exactly what type of specialization are we talking about here?
  3. What language is being repealed? And why are we needing to repeal it? Who’s benefitting from this?
  4. So, now it’s legal for Torretto to sell his mod street car? (For those who don’t know or have never watched them, he’s a character from the Fast & Furious movies and I’m sure I misspelled his name).
  5. Now, with everything else being said above, there are certain conditions where one can be suspended, so long as it has nothing to do with anything that’s been said above.

Ok, so now we have all these words that to me seem to benefit the criminal. And yet the media said nothing about these. Is it because they thought the left side issue would cause the most drama so get the most sales or the most hits?

Were these other items already law or are they what I think they are – amendments to the already existing law?

But to top this off, our rep, Mr. McMillan, who authored this beauty also co-sponsored SB 101 – which many of you may or may not know is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

You remember that one right? George Takei had an issue with it and people were boycotting Indiana. Or for those not familiar – the one those pizza guys got flack for and then got all that money because they refused to cater a gay wedding.

Co-author Rep. Pierce also co-authored HCR 75: Acknowledging the tragic assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the fact that he “truly belongs to the ages”.

Didn’t he die in 1865? It’s 2015 right? History buff wasting time and state funding? What exactly does this do and who does it do it for? And how much is this costing us?

Co-author Rep. Steuerwald sponsored SB 306 which reads to me that a person can go ahead and trespass on your property provided he/she doesn’t harm you or your child. Anything else is fair game.

Ok, by this time my stomach’s pretty much turning, so the other four yahoos tied to this law are off the hook for now because yeah.

Seriously?

Do people read this the same way I am? I mean, click on the link above and it’ll have links to everything else that the representatives have done plus goes into more detail (more or less) about this and other bills and amendments.

If they do, are they not the least bit concerned?

We have traffic laws being made up and passed by these people.

Am I the only one just a bit perturbed by all this? Help me out!

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Opinion: Raising Minimum Wage

Some of you may have been anticipating Part Two of my opinion on driving. I’m sorry to disappoint.

This is a hot topic and I anticipate that some of you may not like what I write. That’s fine.

I’m not writing it to try to persuade you, but to give you something to think about and perhaps get more information myself to revise or confirm my belief. All I ask is that you respect it. Thank you!


Well I was originally going to continue my expression of Indiana’s updated “Left Lane Law”, but something came up recently that warranted attention:

Minimum Wage.

Dun! Dun! Dun!

And it’s funny I happen to be doing my English writing assignment, which I’m taking a break from. Not that it has anything to do with this topic, but just the idea of researching for an opinion is intriguing.

But I digress.

There are so many issues tied to this and it’s such a hot and emotional topic that most would try to shy away from it. But I think I want to put up something that will perhaps get people to start thinking, logically more than emotionally, and perhaps help me to see a different side to this issue.

I am personally against raising the minimum wage based solely on the argument that it would help people obtain the lifestyle they feel they deserve.

I am personally against raising the minimum wage based solely on the argument that it would help people obtain the American dream.

What exactly is the American dream? To own your own business? To own your own home? To own your own car? To be married and have a family by the time you’re twenty-five? To have traveled across the country?

What do people deserve? That in itself is mostly intangible, but because we can’t measure that, we fall back to homes, cars, trinkets, etc.

So I’ve been reading and listening to other reports and opinion pages that say this is sorely needed. We need to raise the minimum wage dramatically in order for the standard of living to be balanced – whatever that means.

I picked this specific image for my post because it gave a summary of the information I’ve been hearing and reading about minimum wage. The image is thanks to 9to5.org by the way. It gives a lot of numbers in support of why minimum wage needs to be increased.

And number don’t lie.

But boy can they be manipulated to death. Kind of like the unemployment rate – but that’s another hot topic.

So you raise the minimum wage to $10 or $15 an hour. As of right now that’s an increase of $2.75 or $7.75 depending on which direction you go.

Yay! You’ve provided a way for people just entering the workforce who haven’t the experience needed to just slide by the way most have all their lives. They’ve never worked, never had to be responsible or rely on themselves but they’re making more than a lot of other people who have been working for years or decades.

And what happens with those people? I know people who are barely making $1.50 over the current minimum wage who have been working for over five years. I know people who have been with their current company for over thirty years who are making just 2-1/2 times the current minimum wage. I myself have been working since age 16 and am making almost twice the minimum.

The number of people who will be making under the minimum wage once it changes – and believe me, there is a push here in Indiana for that – will skyrocket. I know a reporter who claimed that once this law passes, the person will be making quite a bit less than minimum wage compared to someone starting at McDonald’s at $15 (which at the time was the rumored amount – I believe it has since gone down to $10 but I’m sure that’s incorrect).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe in fairness. I believe that everyone has the right to survive as best they can, but based on my own experience if the minimum wage does increase I also expect an increase of equal or greater value to be bestowed upon me.

Why?

I deserve it. Not because I’m vain or pretentious but because I have a lifetime of experience in a number of fields. I’ve gone and am going to school to better my knowledge in order to obtain positions that allow me greater responsibility and therefore greater income. I am expanding my resources in order to better my standard of living and quality of life.

And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I’m sure many of you out there feel the same way. Why should someone just starting out with no experience, with or without a degree (aside from a high school diploma) make more than I do?

What about those who obviously cannot?

I could say that it’s a matter of choice – but that’s another hot topic that will be touched another day.

What say you?

Do you agree? If so, why?

Do you not? If not, what am I missing?

Let me know, I appreciate the input and the knowledge, just no name-calling or bashing please.

Thank you!

Opinion: Part One: Rules of the Road

I’m a day late with this, and for that I apologize. I also apologize for the fact that this is a two-part opinion.

I originally wanted to make my post on the upcoming July 1 Indiana law change regarding driving on the left lane on multi-lane roads. But based on some of the opinions I saw, I thought I’d add other stuff to that, and it turned into another rant on a similar but different topic.


Rules of the Road

Please don’t get me wrong, I am far from a perfect driver. In fact, although I don’t see many who I consider good drivers, I don’t think there is a perfect driver out there. Definitely can’t consider those who are just coming out of driver’s education classes to be perfect because they’re being “trained” by imperfect driving instructors.

First and foremost, speed limits.

Contrary to popular belief, the signs out there that say “45”, “55”, “70”, are not the posted speeds that everyone has to drive. There are words over those numbers that say “SPEED LIMIT”. This means that this is the fastest you are allowed by law to drive. Basically, if you’re in an area (zone) that has signs that say “SPEED LIMIT 30”, please don’t think that this is the slowest you’re allowed to go and anyone who’s going slower than this shouldn’t be driving or they can only go this speed if it’s inclement weather.

If you’re driving along and you find yourself closing in on the car in front of you, it will mean one of two things: you are speeding or they decided they aren’t going to go as fast as the speed limit (ie. the fastest speed the law allows in that zone). Either way, it would be to your benefit and safety if you don’t tailgate that person in your attempt to try to get them to speed up.

Unless you’re going to be paying their ticket, points, increase cost of insurance, court fees and any possible damage that may occur, you might want to back off.

Lights

Speaking of inclement weather, if it’s raining, snowing, foggy – you know, basically when it’s not a nice sunny day – please, please, please put on some lights! The newer models have an option of letting the car determine whether it’s dark enough to automatically turn on lights (hence A for auto). Choose this setting if you think you’re going to forget or you don’t really know. For the older models, yeah you should think about it.

Some people aren’t able to see you on clear days (because they’re not paying attention – but that’s another topic), so if you think they’ll see you on days when it’s harder to see, you’re sadly mistaken. Be proactive! Turn on your lights if for no other reason than to have everything on your side.

“Officer I had my lights on and I wasn’t speeding but this driver just came in front of me and there was nothing I could do aside from slamming on my breaks. I couldn’t turn the wheel too much or I would have – hit the oncoming car, driven into this building, something.”

Speeding

I understand, you’re running late for whatever reason you chose to do this. Just as I say that I’m not going to speed for these people, it’s your dime and your time if you chose to mismanage yourself. Pass me if you absolutely have to, but please don’t tailgate me. I’m already doing the speed limit and I will not go faster. Don’t flash your lights at me, I’ll think you’re a police officer and will slow down just in case I have to pull over for emergency vehicles.

Just remember, Karma’s a bitch. There’s a marked vehicle up there somewhere that will catch you if you aren’t again behind another law abiding citizen, coming to a stop sign/light or stopped by a train or accident.

Slower Traffic

Yes, I will bow down to those who complain about slow drivers. Maybe in my old age I have mellowed out a bit, but there’s a difference between opting to not go as fast as the speed limit and there’s just trying to piss someone off (and getting off on that).

Inclement weather – common sense (yes I know, what is that?) dictates that if the weather’s bad, go 5-10 miles under the speed limit to avoid accidents or worse. If the weather’s good, and you’re opting to drive five under the posted speed limit, fine. There’s no law that says you have to go 30 in a Speed Limit 30 zone.

However

If you are going less than 15 under the posted speed limit, then you really need to pull over somewhere and wait out whatever is causing you to decide to go that slow. Although many areas I drive in don’t have a posted Minimum Speed, 15 is pretty much the safest bet there is.

Again, inclement weather making you go that slow – yes, you can chance it, but it’ll be tricky. I know – I’ve already had a couple of close calls in all my years of driving and I wasn’t even going that fast.

Good weather and you’re going 20-25 miles under the speed limit – either have your flashers on (and no I don’t mean someone in your car flashing other drivers – I mean lights) or get off the road. You are a safety hazard like the speeders are.

Have You Complained About Everything Yet?

This list isn’t all inclusive. These are just the tip of my pet peeves when it comes to driving. I can’t tell you how many stop sign and stop lights I’ve seen ignored in any state I happen to drive in.

Now, we get to the point that started this whole thing.

Slower Traffic Keep Right

In major cities that have multi lane highways and freeways, it’s pretty much a given that most of the slow traffic will be in the right most lane. These are the people who are going well under the posted speed limit for whatever reason, those just coming onto the highway or freeway that haven’t quite gotten up to speed and for anyone who is going to exit really soon.

Seriously, don’t expect these people to go fast because you can’t manage your time. It’s called the ‘Slow Lane’ for a reason.

Some areas that have three or more lanes – these middle lanes are for faster moving vehicles and those who are going to be on this stretch of the road for a long time. They’re going to be going the speed limit or about five over or under.

The left most lane is the passing lane. Or in some instances, the car pool lane for bigger cities. These people are the speed demons who are going to be going anywhere from 10-50 miles over the speed limit. This in itself is wrong to begin with, but we’ve become sheeple so no one bothers to do much about it. Technically these are the people who are going the exact speed limit and are passing everyone else driving in the right (two or three) lanes.

And now, in Indiana, there’s a law on this. I’ve heard that we’re not the only state to have this.

More to come…

Opinion of the Day: 17 May 2015

The following are my own personal thoughts and opinions. They aren’t right or wrong – opinions aren’t. When they’re accompanied by facts then they’re right or wrong.

I respect others’ opinions regarding things, even my own work. I don’t mind being critiqued, in fact I encourage it because I like to learn things. I don’t mind being proven wrong. But what I don’t like is people just stating “your stupid” as opinion. Yes, I misspelled that on purpose because that’s how people seem to like writing these days.

If I see something like that, I reserve the right to delete it.

You have the right to post what you like, but you’re going to take the consequences associated with it.

That being said, here’s this week’s posting:


Well, I wanted this post to be an Opinion Post, because I, like everyone else, am very opinionated. But what to write?

Or, rather, I should ask ‘What do I write that won’t get me into tremendous trouble or have my newly created account banned for life?’

  •  Do I talk about my belief that our government isn’t run by the three branches anymore and hasn’t been for decades?
  •  Do I talk about the fact that our president is about as powerful as the royals of England?
  •  Do I talk about how bad social media has become?
  •  What about media as a whole?
  •  The corruption of wealth…
  •  The abuse of power…
  •  Then there’s technology – how it’s affecting our lives.
  •  Or how it’s slowly destroying us.

Don’t get started on religion – not just yet at any rate. That is a tremendously large and volatile topic. Worse than politics.

Reality television and the drama created by their exploited lives.

So many topics to choose from. So many different opinions for each one.  Why, you could even have an opinion on how people express their opinions. Funny.  So, do I start small and work my way up?

Or maybe will just listing things like this open eyes and minds?

And what about the stuff that’s out there that people don’t want to talk about? Like extraterrestrials, paranormal, conspiracy theories, the future.

So I’m sitting here still trying to think of stuff to write today, opinion-related stuff, and my cat, Susie, is sitting over to my left watching me. She’s upset because although I fed her, she doesn’t like the food and wants me to feed her something else.

I tell her that I’m not wasting food.  And she’s looking over my shoulder. At whatever happens to be standing behind me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not extremely superstitious. But I do believe in the paranormal and I believe animals have the ability to see things we can’t.  I won’t go into detail that a long time ago I asked that I not be able to see them.

Don’t stop writing

Don’t stop reading

Don’t stop thinking

Don’t stop believing.

Daz

Before I start

Good morning!

It is a beautiful day here in Northern Indiana. Party cloudy and 64°. I was just commenting on how nice small town life is.

Before I start, I wanted to say a few things.

Regarding my fan-fiction stories. I don’t take any credit for the plot line. The stories come from my experience with and imagination/dreams because I interacted with the game I played. In fact, my first fan-fiction story revolves around Dragon Age II – the last/latest game I played.

The characters are true to form according to the game and to how the developers have defined them and the world. Ninety-five percent of the credit I give to Electronic Arts (EA). Only my character and what she does is my own.

With that, I will let you know that EA at any time may tell me to pull the plug on my stories. This is fine. I have the original and will either keep that with me or if they allow it, post it to their own forum.

All these stories will have a disclaimer before the story and I will have “Fan-Fiction:” in the blog title.

Regarding my own stories. These are mine, completely. If I was inspired by someone or something I will let you know prior to the story.

Unlike my other works, these will not be in order. I will, though let you know which ones they are by the title.

I’m currently working on two of them. I have more, but they’re currently stored on discs and they’re in the garage in boxes that are a little hard to get to at the moment.

Regarding views. My views are based on my own experience and knowledge. I don’t claim to know everything and I enjoy learning. I am open minded about some things, some things I’m rigid – which doesn’t mean I won’t listen to or respect your own views, I just won’t change mine.

You are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. Therefore I expect you to respect my opinion. I don’t mind if you tell me politely that I’m wrong and show me proof that I am. However, I won’t keep replies that merely say “you’re stupid” however you decide to spell it or use “colorful metaphors”.

You do have the right to respond however you want to. But with this right comes the responsibility of accepting the consequences.

Those things being said, I will add this disclaimer to my postings.

Aside from that, I hope that you enjoy what I post. I hope with time to become better at this.

Thank you!

Daz

ps: I wanted to put a “Featured Image” on this but I’m currently at the library and don’t think I have the authority to download images, but if you get the chance and I’m not able to edit this, the picture I thought of using is at: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Pieter_Claeszoon_-_Still_Life_with_a_Skull_and_a_Writing_Quill.JPG.