Thursday, April 14, 2011

Liberty Lines 4-14-2011

(First published in The State Line Tribune)

I'm sure you have seen the shiny new signs you paid to have placed around the schools. "The use of a wireless communication device is prohibited in the school zone." That makes me think of another quote which suggests that the ultimate answer to kings, or small town governments for that matter, is a belly laugh. Those in government, at every level, give me opportunities to laugh at their absurdity on a daily basis.

Obviously the sign doesn't really mean what it says. I assume what it is trying to wirelessly communicate to those who read it is that the use, by drivers, of cell phones and other things of that sort is prohibited while passing through the school zone. Maybe it is also intended to be interpreted as prohibiting the students from using cell phones in the school zone before, during, and after school, as well.

But that is not what the sign says.

If the sign were taken literally, it would mean books, blackboards (or their modern equivalent), and the human voice are now prohibited in the school zone, including in the classroom. That would effectively shut down the schools. While I agree with that course of action, I seriously doubt that was the intent.

If the sign were taken literally, it would mean that those of us who live in the school zone would be prohibited from using any wireless communication device in our homes. I think any attempt to enforce that one might be unpopular with more than just the rare libertarian.

(I self-censored this paragraph from the column, but in light of recent events I should have left it in to embarrass the parasites.) It would also mean the local law enforcement officers would be prohibited from texting or talking on the phone while cruising around the school- and that can't possibly be true since I have seen them do it regularly!

The sign is a humorous reminder of the reactionary nature of would-be rulers. It is an attempt to hold back the tsunami of technology with a sign backed up by a law. That hasn't ever worked in the past, and I doubt this will be the first time it will succeed. Responsibility, by drivers and pedestrians alike, is the only thing that will work, and that can't be legislated. Yes, the best reaction to any government is a good belly laugh.


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