Der Aufruhr des Speckes Dieser Weg Kommt

I confess, this headline is nothing more than a cheap attempt to increase my rankings in the Google-Germany search engine results. How could Germans making a query about “speck” — more properly known in the States as “bacon” — not be intrigued to stumble across a headline that translates literally into “the rebellion of the bacon this way comes”?

As an aside, I have to say that I love the German language. The Teutons have great words you’ll never find in any other tongue. Regarding the vocabulary of social upheaval, what other culture would ever devise the word, “Zwergenaufstand” — “dwarf rebellion”? I envision throngs of small, stocky people agitating against the depravity of dwarf tossing.

This is a long and rambling introduction to a simple announcement: The October 1, 2007, edition of the Bacon’s Rebellion e-zine is now online. You can read it here. Better yet, subscribe, so you don’t miss a single issue. Here’s what we have to offer:

Dead End
Virginia’s corporate recruitment strategy still delivers results. That’s the problem. By neglecting home-grown entrepreneurial companies, Virginia is falling short of its economic potential.
by James A. Bacon

Swallow a Toad
Observations on the November 6 elections are getting more colorful.
by Doug Koelemay

Perhaps We Should Call Them “Safe Street” Fees
Totally lost in the controversy over “abuser fees” is the fact that they work. Stiff penalties for reckless driving has resulted in… less reckless driving!
by Michael Thompson

Virginia is for Gulags
A plan for a special prison for illegal aliens is jolting. Is it really needed, or is its purpose to draw attention from GOP failures?
by Peter Galuszka

VIVA Downtown Markham!
Suburban Toronto’s New Markham project, a mixed use community served by Bus Rapid Transit, could serve as a new model for development in Northern Virginia.
by Bill Vincent

Nice & Curious Questions
Outside School Walls: Home schooling in Virginia
by Edwin S. Clay III and Patricia Bangs

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6 responses to “Der Aufruhr des Speckes Dieser Weg Kommt”

  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    The Homeschooling article, an interesting read.. and first impressions are… hey.. this could be a real competitive challenge to our public schools…

    ..but then reality sets in..

    College Admissions… how in the heck is a kid gonna show that they are a “success”… without demonstrated involvement in “official” activities such as the Spanish Club or Advanced Placement… or Sports and/or other school-provided extra-curricula activities.

    Has anyone run a survey of .. say how many home-schooled kids get into some of the more popular Universities?

    also.. what percentaged of home-schooled kids… transfer from home-schooling to public schools at middle school or higher?

  2. Norman Leahy Avatar
    Norman Leahy

    Michael Thompson’s piece on abuser fees is interesting…but not in a good way.

    It’s always easy to call out the press and, increasingly, bloggers for ignoring stories. But when Thompson says:

    “Clearly, our roads are getting safer and only on thing has changed that could have produced these dramatic reductions in bad driving — the implementation of the much-abused abuser fees. Nothing else has happened to produce these results…”

    He’s ignoring the larger story, too.

    Leaving aside the legal uncertainty surrounding the fees, Thompson neglects to mention a number of other initiatives that have lead to greater road safety, some of which can be found here.

    A strong, statewide law enforcement emphasis on seat belt use…stepped-up enforcement of drunk driving laws…better driver education for kids…free help installing child safety seats…there are more items to be found at the link. Combined, these initiatives have probably done more to increase safety than abuser fees ever could.

    But that doesn’t exactly fit the narrative being peddled (desperately so) by GOP leaders.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    There might be a difference between greater safety and less bad driving. Greater safety could come from all those things you mention, and from less bad driving.

    Without a standard reference, how would you know? Is there really less bad driving, or are the fees so high that more police are taking pity? Or just fewer arrests?
    Maybe the police are letting the marginal cases go more often, hoping to bag big game, and big fees. If all the data comes from police records, where is the quality check?

  4. Groveton Avatar

    Of course the “abuser fees” are working. It was all but certain that they would. The relationship between supply, demand and price holds for a lot of things. People who “demand” to speed and drive recklessly intuitively understand the “price” of doing so. They know they might get caught and their behavior reflects the price of getting caught. Raise the price and you reduce the demand. I think it’s funny that the same conservatives who claim they can’t understand this believe that the death penalty is obviously a deterrent to murder. They believe that “no parole” and “three strikes, you’re out” are deterrents to serious crime. But raising the penalties for bad driving won’t deter bad driving.

    Of course it works.

    Whether it’s legal, fair or appropriate are all good questions. Whether it will work is not.

  5. Anonymous Avatar


    I think you are probably right, but there may be other factors at work.

    Without an independent reference junction, even a thermocouple is useless.

    Absent that, all we have is reduced arrest records, which may mean nothing.


  6. Groveton Avatar


    No arguments from me about the lack of data. The Virginia state politicians are either blessed with almost divine intuition or they are “stabbing in the dark”. I vote for the latter.

    Location-specific costs.
    Jurisdictional transfer payments.
    The economic impact of immigration.
    Imrpoved driving attributable to abuser fees.

    The list goes on and on.

    Our state legislature governs by guesswork.

    Apparently, the standards of learning in place atthe time of their education did not include math, probability or statistics. However, there was plenty of hype, hyperbole and buffoonery.

    It’s good to see that, in your case, thermodynamics was on the agenda.

    Thermocouples need a cold junction and public policy analysis needs a baseline. No doubt about it. Yet the logic of reference points in physics has been understood for hundreds of years while the logic of reference points in Virginia has yet to be discovered (at least by the legislature).

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