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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-05-2008, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Congress considers reinstating national 55mph speed limit

Full Story -> http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2...7383461669.txt

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An influential Republican senator suggested Thursday that Congress might want to consider reimposing a national speed limit to save gasoline and possibly ease fuel prices. | Find the best gas prices in Central Illinois

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., asked Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to look into what speed limit would provide optimum gasoline efficiency given current technology. He said he wants to know if the administration might support efforts in Congress to require a lower speed limit.

Congress in 1974 set a national 55 mph speed limit because of energy shortages caused by the Arab oil embargo. The speed limit was repealed in 1995 when crude oil dipped to $17 a barrel and gasoline cost $1.10 a gallon.

As motorists headed on trips for this Fourth of July weekend, gasoline averaged $4.10 a gallon nationwide with oil hovering around $145 a barrel.

Warner cited studies that showed the 55 mph speed limit saved 167,000 barrels of oil a day, or 2 percent of the country’s highway fuel consumption, while avoiding up to 4,000 traffic deaths a year.

“Given the significant increase in the number of vehicles on America’s highway system from 1974 to 2008, one could assume that the amount of fuel that could be conserved today is far greater,” Warner wrote Bodman.

Warner asked the department to determine at what speeds vehicles would be most fuel efficient, how much fuel savings would be achieved, and whether it would be reasonable to assume there would be a reduction in prices at the pump if the speed limit were lowered.

Energy Department spokeswoman Angela Hill said the department will review Warner’s letter but added, “If Congress is serious about addressing gasoline prices, they must take action on expanding domestic oil and natural gas production.”

The department’s Web site says that fuel efficiency decreases rapidly when traveling faster than 60 mph. Every additional 5 mph over that threshold is estimated to cost motorists “essentially an additional 30 cents per gallon in fuel costs,” Warner said in his letter, citing the DOE data

This isnt the 1970s. And it doesnt take into account that it will take longer to get everywhere, in turn the engines will be running longer. Arrgggg!!!!!

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-05-2008, 09:56 PM
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well it seems congress thinks that cars are exactly the same in every way as since the last time they did this. in the words of sammy hagar..."i cant drive 55"

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 12:45 AM
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I got my drivers license in 1973 I can remember when the 55 limit was first started. It lead to the CB radio craze as a way to beat the system. But enough of that stuff. The things that should be considered are 1) What mileage do you get at 75MPH? 2) What mileage do you get at 55MPH? 3) What mileage do you get driving in the city? I'll bet that your city mileage is a lot worse than what you get at 75MPH. If you are like most of the population of the U.S. you live in the city. So, if most driving is done in the city and worse mileage is in city driving maybe we should be looking at improving the efficiency of city driving. This can be done in many ways such as syncronizing stop lights on major roads, turning two-way streets into one-way during rush hours. The list for improvements is almost endless. This is the area we should be working in if we really want to save gas. I don't want to get into a political rant here but this is why we need new blood in the offices with new ideas, not the old farts that only think in the past.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 01:03 AM
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i say do it, i think it would be good. no one needs to drive that fast anyway.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 01:51 AM
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Might be worth considering, really.

True, our autos have changed quite a bit since the 55 limit was first mandated, but there is one thing about them that hasn't. Internal combustion engines. (Hybrids and all-electric cars aside.) There is a limit to how fuel efficient an internal combustion engine can get.....we're very close to that now.

I for one think that our (as a society in general) driving habits have only gotten worse in the last 10 years. Everybody seems to have developed this "Me First" complex on the road. Here's a few examples, using the abbreviation M.F. for these people; It stands for a "Me First" person, but feel free to interpret those initials for a much more common and fitting term

M.F. will pull out in front of you instead of waiting for you to go by even if there's no traffic behind you to wait for also. Now, they have to completely floor it to get up to speed before you can hit them, and you have to brake to keep from hitting them.

M.F. will drive 6 feet off your rear bumper regardless if the speed limit is 25 or 65.

M.F. won't drive the speed limit no matter what it is. 25? They need 35. 65? They need 80 to get where they're going.

M.F. will pull out and pass you at at least 20 mph faster than the posted limit, only to cut in front of you and then maintain a sensible speed. Or not....

M.F. will pull out and pass you at at least 20 mph faster than the posted limit, only to cut in front of you so they can take that turnoff coming up in about 500 feet.

Nevermind that a large percentage of these M.F. people are using a cell phone all the while. Different topic, but it lends to that self-important "Me First" attitude.

I joke all the time about sending a resume to my county's Sheriff's Dept. and see if they would hire me. Here's my plan for that.
Give me the mounted radar package, a badge, the flashlight, and the radio.
Let me use my own insured vehicle that isn't a late model Impala or Crown Vic, nor does it look like them.
Give me the hidden flashing red n blues with siren package.
And finally, a duffle bag full of citation booklets and large package of ballpoint pens.
I ask not to be "on the clock", nor will I even ask for any kind of regular salary, or special police benefits. I get paid commission from every Moving Violation ticket I write that wins either through a court hearing or a simple fine forfeiture.
I would simply drive around. And I'd be extremely busy. The revenue generated would benefit the Dept. like never before. I'd be able to quit my full-time job after one month.
Maybe I should put all joking aside and seriously, get that proposal in.

In my daily commute to work and back Monday through Friday, (about a 30 mile round trip) I see at least 5, and I mean at the least five Moving Violations. People doing ridiculous and illegal driving habits. Every day. That's at least 25 tickets a week, over the same 15 mile stretch of road. Figure about $150 average per ticket, just for throwing an average number out there.......$3,750 a week in fine forfeitures. About $15,000 a month. If I get 20%......isn't that like $3,000 a month for me? $12,000 a month for the Dept. They'd love it. And that's 30 miles a day for me....what could I get after quitting my regular job and making those hot laps over a 6 or 8 hour day?

Gawd, what if I did this deal with Dane County and ran the Beltline in Madison all day long back and forth?

Long story short, and sorry I digressed a bit, or a lot.....The "Me First" people aren't going to abide by trivial things (to them) such as Speed Limit postings, no matter what they are posted at. They can't even get the Stop Sign thing right! And there are simply not enough law enforcement patrols to be in all the places they may be needed. Impalas and Crown Vics can be spotted a long ways away even at night regardless of whether there are of Government Vehicle or Civilian Vehicle status.

As for imposing a national speed limit to conserve fuel, I think (and could be wrong though) our cars today should get they're best highway fuel mileage at right around 55-65mph, on average. I do know my Super Hoopty will pull down about 40 mpg highway if I maintain a steady 60mph over the course of, well....highway distances. City's not bad, either as I don't romp on it much, ease in through the gears, and don't drive around town in just First, Second, and Third..... Gotta love that stickshift, and I haven't seen another Corsica with a 5 speed.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 08:52 AM
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Hooray for the nanny state! It's a good thing Big Brother is looking out for my mpgs, otherwise I don't know what I would do!

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 09:33 AM
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One thing I've noticed is that around here (Cincinnati area) that I-75, I-71, I-275 is a lot crazier since the speed limit was raised, especially the big rigs. I wouldn't mind it being lowered once again. Then they need to enforce it.


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 09:56 AM
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Back in the 70's when for the most part, all cars where shaped more or less the same and got better mileage around 55 it's one thing... but cars are no longer all shaped the same or get the best milage at the same speed. My truck gets the best mileage between 55 and 65. My car has gotten it's best milage @ 70+.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 10:12 AM
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My car has gotten it's best milage @ 70+.


+ 1

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ThunderChecken View Post
My car has gotten it's best milage @ 70+.


+ 1
+1 more...

in the city i get about 20mpg on the highway cruise set at 84 24-26mpg

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 01:15 PM
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First, I can't recall ever being denied the opportunity to purchase gasoline as people were in the 70's.

Secondly, the US is using less oil than before, yet prices at the pump continue to soar.

Assuming that a 55 mph speed limit DOES save gas, I still think we will not see any lower prices at the pump.

A friend at work and I were talking about this a few weeks ago.

I drive fewer miles now than I did before. He drives fewer miles. Our friends and families drive fewer miles. Many people we know and ourselves have traded off our vehicles (trucks) for more fuel efficient cars. Many people I know now carpool. I read in the news about things people do, some of them extreme, to save gas. The list is endless...

We concluded that people have changed their lifestyles enough to save fuel.

Then a day or 2 later we hear on the radio about how much less oil the US has used this past year, in BILLIONS of barrels of oil.

So why do the prices at the pump continue to increase? And why should I believe that any fuel savings from a 55 mph speed limit would actually help?.



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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougar281 View Post
Back in the 70's when for the most part, all cars where shaped more or less the same and got better mileage around 55 it's one thing... but cars are no longer all shaped the same or get the best milage at the same speed. My truck gets the best mileage between 55 and 65. My car has gotten it's best milage @ 70+.
I know that feeling. I always compared driving my 84 Vic to "pushing a brick through the wind", lol... I could do ok at 65, anything above that it got worse mileage. And heaven forbid I run into a headwind

Now our 03 Vic on the otherhand seems to get it's best mileage around 70 as well. It's still a large/heavy car, but the aero is better than the old box bodies. I can squeeze a little more than 400 miles on a full tank, with mixed city/highway driving and my wife uses the A/C occasionally.

At least when I'm in the 03, it stops a lot of the "M.F." people from doing dumb stuff. Not always, but it sure makes them stop and think

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 08:29 PM
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IMHO - If they actually enforce the 70MPH thats already there it would do a lot. I drive around 80 on the highway and get passed all the time like I was standing still.

The reason your city gas mileage sucks is the converter locking and unlocking all the time. I did a hardcore city tune where I forced the auto to act like a manual and lock the converter every chance possible and no downshifts unless 40% of throttle was reached. My city mileage went way up and very close to the highway mileage. However the car bucked like a stick shift so soccer mom ain't gonna like that.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 08:49 PM
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IMHO - If they actually enforce the 70MPH thats already there it would do a lot. I drive around 80 on the highway and get passed all the time like I was standing still.

The reason your city gas mileage sucks is the converter locking and unlocking all the time. I did a hardcore city tune where I forced the auto to act like a manual and lock the converter every chance possible and no downshifts unless 40% of throttle was reached. My city mileage went way up and very close to the highway mileage. However the car bucked like a stick shift so soccer mom ain't gonna like that.
the guy who did the last tune on my car made it shift like that. total mileage on 96/595 to NSU and back for the week was at 26.5mpg




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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 11:54 PM
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I already drive 55 in the ZX2 S/R.

Econodriving (Not quite hypermiling, but the same thing)...... I'm getting 40+mpg.

Will it help anything if everyone else did too? Probably not much.

I'll get good gas mileage and save money while they burn theirs away.

If safety is a concern, start writing tickets for anyone using a cell phone in the car. Vehicles are plenty safe at 70, 80, hell, I can even see 90 if the drivers are paying attention.

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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 06:57 AM
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For those people saying their cars get better gas mileage at 70 mph.... please show me one single scientific study that reinforces that statement.

There are many, many studies on multiple modern cars that prove the exact opposite.

Bottom line is that people "don't want" to drive 55 even when they know it would save them money and be safer. "I want", but I don't want to do anything to get what I want... A coworker said he would rather buy a new car that gets better gas mileage, even though it would add a $250 month extra car payment, that drive 55 mph. How do you reason with someone like that while at the same time they are complaining about the outrageous price of fuel?!?!? Spend $250 per month to save $100 in gas but still be able to drive 75 mph?

People want what they want and don’t care whether it is logical, economical, or that common sense applies. Just look at the housing market…

Lowering the speed limit is not about lowering prices (IMHO), but rather decreasing our nation’s dependence on oil in general. It is like weaning a kid of a tit... he doesn’t want to, but it is for the better.

But I agree that the current speed limits should be enforced along with other laws aimed towards inattentive drivers.

I for one would love to see the speed limit go to 55 mph, it would equal a dollar per day pay raise for me.

But just my opinion!!

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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 08:18 AM
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 10:43 AM
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All the roads around me have a speed limit of 55 anyway, not that anyone follows it.


Aren't Speed Limits just recommended minimums anyway?

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 10:48 AM
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Aren't Speed Limits just recommended minimums anyway?
Everyone around here knows that "SPEED LIMIT 55 MPH" really means "SPEED LIMIT 90 MPH".

I am happy that they posted minimum speed limit signs on the LIE though, nothing burns my *** more than people going 32 mph in the left lane.

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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 11:42 AM
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It doesn't mean a gosh darn thing. NO one here will go 55. They all will go what they want. Follow the leader. I have actually seen most people now drive slower than what they used to when gas was cheaper. Lower the speed limit and people will just sit in traffic all day. How is that gonna save anyone any fuel costs. It won't. There are so many different things that affect gas mileage. How about congress just do there freakin job and get the dollar up to where it belongs. NO! They are lazy. THEY ALL NEED TO BE FIRED. UNELECT THEM AND PUT SOME SMART PEOPLE IN THERE THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Not leave everything up to the tax payer.

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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 05:04 PM
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well, the speed limit here on the highways are 65mph, and i normally go 60mph for the 2-3mpg increase. I figure if people are really worried about getting higher mpg, they will slow down. Maybe they are ok with going faster and burning more gas, while i really dont care if i take the extra 5 minutes to get where i'm going.

I dont think the government should decide whether or not you want to pay less for gas. its your decision, just because thats the speed limit doesnt mean you have to go that fast. 5mph slower than everyone else wont hurt much... or it hasn't yet for me anyway

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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 06:45 AM
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I don’t think the government should decide whether or not you want to pay less for gas. Its your decision, just because that’s the speed limit doesn’t mean you have to go that fast. 5mph slower than everyone else wont hurt much... or it hasn't yet for me anyway
But here is something to consider: Would you rather have the government dictate a fuel saving policy today, or would you rather have them set rationing when fuel in not available?

Sooner or later, the US is going to be in a position where it isn't just the price of fuel is high, but rather the fuel tanks are dry. (What would have happened if the 9/11 terrorists had hit these top 4 locations (http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/rankings/refineries.htm) rather than the ones they did?)

When the tanks are dry, I can already hear all the complaining... "Why didn't the government do something 10 years ago!?!?!" "I can't get to work because my SUV gets 15 mpg!??!?! The government needs to subsidize my income!!!!" "The government needs to invest in alternative energy!!! Why did they wait so long?!?!?!”

No nation should be in the position where any of its nation's requirements are imported. It just isn’t good business. What is the best way to win a war without firing a shot? Cut off the supplies to the enemy. Eventually our “enemies” are going to realize this and start attacking our fuel and water supplies.

Pay now or pay later.

I’ve asked this before and nobody seems to give an answer: What does the government do when the security of the nation contradicts the actions of the citizens? And before you answer think about the 14th (1868), 15th, (1870), and 19th Amendments (1920).

IMHO, that is a tough question but also the root of the 55 mph speed limit proposal.

But of course, just my opinions/rambling.

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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 08:32 AM
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Oil will run out someday. Alternative fuel sources are a viable means of conserving what is left. Most of the drilling done now is for natural gas here in this country. There are some places we can drill for oil but this Democratic congress won't let us. Alaska is one. The Bakkan area. Florida and Pennsylvania are some more. This won't last forever. The Bakkan area is by far the largest. Some say it is bigger than the middle east fields. Congress won't let us drill there. They would rather make us do someting that we should do on our own. I'm not pissed about them wanting to lower the speed limit. I'm pissed they are taking more choices away from us again. My idea is to have a 55 to 65 mile limit in areas where it is viable. I thought it was up to the states to do this anyways.

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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 02:59 AM
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They've already lowered it to 75 here... Jeez, come on... We drive faster than 55 on ice without problems.

Sammy Haggar's updated version of "I can't drive 65" will have to be replaced back to "I can't drive 55."

Hehe, this is OLD! You'll love the mention of Win 95. "The Increase to 65 MPH"


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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 12:28 PM
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i say do it, i think it would be good. no one needs to drive that fast anyway.
I'm going to guess you haven't driven in the Great Plains much...

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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 94 Daily Driven 4.6L View Post
But here is something to consider: Would you rather have the government dictate a fuel saving policy today, or would you rather have them set rationing when fuel in not available?

Sooner or later, the US is going to be in a position where it isn't just the price of fuel is high, but rather the fuel tanks are dry. (What would have happened if the 9/11 terrorists had hit these top 4 locations (http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/rankings/refineries.htm) rather than the ones they did?)

When the tanks are dry, I can already hear all the complaining... "Why didn't the government do something 10 years ago!?!?!" "I can't get to work because my SUV gets 15 mpg!??!?! The government needs to subsidize my income!!!!" "The government needs to invest in alternative energy!!! Why did they wait so long?!?!?!”

No nation should be in the position where any of its nation's requirements are imported. It just isn’t good business. What is the best way to win a war without firing a shot? Cut off the supplies to the enemy. Eventually our “enemies” are going to realize this and start attacking our fuel and water supplies.

Pay now or pay later.

I’ve asked this before and nobody seems to give an answer: What does the government do when the security of the nation contradicts the actions of the citizens? And before you answer think about the 14th (1868), 15th, (1870), and 19th Amendments (1920).

IMHO, that is a tough question but also the root of the 55 mph speed limit proposal.

But of course, just my opinions/rambling.
you make some very good points here, and i agree with you, but no matter what, someone isn't going to be happy. Everyone wants to speed limit to stay higher, but no one wants to pay more for gas, and sure lowering the speed limit would help out, and the government might possibly make more money from speeding tickets.

No one wants to do anything the oil, but everyone knows that something needs to be done

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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 01:37 PM
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I dont think the government should decide whether or not you want to pay less for gas. its your decision, just because thats the speed limit doesnt mean you have to go that fast. 5mph slower than everyone else wont hurt much... or it hasn't yet for me anyway
Not many people think the government should decide things like that for us...yet they still do and will continue to do so as we let them.

It's not much different than these state/city wide bans of smoking. I don't feel it is right to tell a business owner how to run their business (at least the customer facing portion of it) but yet it is still done.

Americans in general or slowly losing more and more freedoms and choices every day and most people just take it on the chin, turn on the next game, and grab another drink.
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 01:40 PM
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Not many people think the government should decide things like that for us...yet they still do and will continue to do so as we let them.

It's not much different than these state/city wide bans of smoking. I don't feel it is right to tell a business owner how to run their business (at least the customer facing portion of it) but yet it is still done.

Americans in general or slowly losing more and more freedoms and choices every day and most people just take it on the chin, turn on the next game, and grab another drink.
See also: Molon Labe! by Boston T. Party (a.k.a. Kenneth W. Royce).

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Ranger Up - Not everyone's war stories end in high school.

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